Need help identifying 80's fantasy book series
May 14, 2007 12:03 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for help identifying three fantasy book series (presumed) from the mid 80s. See below for details on each of the three.

A conversation with friends this morning left me trying to remember the names/authors of three series of fantasy books I read as a teen. I've search Amazon, Google, etc. but I don't have enough info about any of the three for an effective search. It's to the point where I'm getting distracted... trying to think of any additional clue I can remember. Any help anyone can provide would be truly appreciated!

1. The first series was about a group of students playing an RPG who end up dumped into the fantasy world (yes, much like the cartoon version of Dungeons & Dragons). The only other thing I remember is one of the students, a girl, receives a robe that protects her like steel. She experiences some trauma and (if I recall correctly) leaves the group to become a monk.

2. The second series was about a young magician's apprentice. He had to work through the individual disciplines of magic (I think they were things like summoning, alchemy, thaumatugy, etc.) and the chapters or books were named as such.

3. The final series (I think there were only two of these books) dealt with a world where magic was focused on/through mirrors. I think the protagonist was a young woman.

Again, my thanks to anyone whose memory serves them better than mine.
posted by gyrom to Media & Arts (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Number 3 sounds like Mirror of her Dreams by Stephen R. Donaldson.
posted by Ohdemah at 12:09 PM on May 14, 2007

#2 sounds like Master of the Five Magics and its sequels, written by Lyndon Hardy.
posted by tdismukes at 12:12 PM on May 14, 2007

There are a ton of books with the basic premise of the first, but could it be The Fionavar Tapestry by Guy Gavriel Kay maybe? Can't recommend that series highly enough.

And I'm guessing the second one is Master of the Five Magics by Lyndon Hardy.

On preview, I see tdismukes beat me to #2.
posted by JaredSeth at 12:18 PM on May 14, 2007

The first is the Rosenberg's Guardians of the Flame and the third is Donaldson's Mirror ofher Dreams. I may remember the second one at some point.
posted by jadepearl at 12:18 PM on May 14, 2007

Oh wow, I remember Guardians of the Flame. I think I just had a bunch of brain cells come back from the dead.
posted by JaredSeth at 12:21 PM on May 14, 2007

Amazing... all three series in less than 20 minutes. I can actually get back to work now. Thanks to all of you!
posted by gyrom at 12:33 PM on May 14, 2007

If you decide to re-read the Guardians of the Flames books, don't. The early books don't stand the test of time, reading more as juvenalia than as mature fiction. The later books don't have the same flavour as the first four books, the author having killed most of the more interesting characters and then focused on minor characters, moving away from the core concepts of the series. And he's never going to tie it all up. Much like Robert Jordan, who's a shitty writer who drags his plots on for years but promises an eventual end, Rosenberg is a shitty writer who drags his plots on for decades and won't finish them.

Avoid, avoid, avoid.
posted by solid-one-love at 1:15 PM on May 14, 2007

Master of the Five Magics... by Lyndon Hardy.
Well known, I must point out, to any metalhead worth his salt.
posted by Wolfdog at 1:33 PM on May 14, 2007

Rosenberg is a shitty writer who drags his plots on for decades and won't finish them.

I really liked his D'Shai books, and the books about the jewish mercenaries weren't bad (Hero/Not for Glory), either. But agreed about Guardians of the Flame.
posted by leahwrenn at 5:33 PM on May 15, 2007

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