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Author Topic: Looking for a new fantasy novel/series  (Read 2268 times)
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Gratch
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« on: August 22, 2009, 03:33:57 AM »

Just got done re-reading Tad Williams War of the Flowers, and realized it's been a while since I actually tried anything new in the fantasy genre.  I've got a couple threads bookmarked, but the most recent one was about a year ago, so I figured I'd see if there's anything that is the latest and greatest.  For reference:

Likes:
-  George R.R. Martin (SOIAF)
-  Robin Hobb (Farseer and Liveship Traders)
-  Greg Keyes (Kingdom of Thorn & Bone)
-  Terry Goodkind (Sword of Truth, up until about the 6th book)
-  Tolkein (LOTR)
-  R. Scott Bakker (Prince of Nothing series)
-  Tad Williams (War of the Flowers, easily one of my all-time favorite fantasy novels)
-  Terry Pratchett (in small doses)

Dislikes:
-  Steven Erikson (I've tried, but his stories are far too damn much work)
-  Glen Wolfe (great stories & characters, but his writing style drives me nuts)
-  Robert Jordan (booooooooring)
-  Terry Brooks (how he avoided a plagiarism suit by the Tolkein estate is beyond me)  
-  Tad Williams (War of the Flowers is brilliant, but I thought the Dragonbone Chair series was dreadfully dull)
-  Stephen R. Donaldson (I get the idea of an anti-hero, but Thomas Covenant was a far too despicable character to root for even a little bit)
-  R.A. Salvatore (I can'r read his stuff without hearing dice rolling in the background)

Ones I've been considering are Guy Gavriel Kay's Tigana, China Meilville's Perdido Street Station, or Patrick Rothfuss' Kingkiller Chronicles (leaning towards Rothfuss...I've heard great things about him).  If anyone has additional suggestions, I'm all ears.  Wouldn't mind another "human transported to fairy-land" story either, as those seem to resonate really well with me for some reason.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2009, 03:36:40 AM by Gratch » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2009, 03:42:40 AM »

Patrick Rothfuss!   Absolutely loved the Name of the Wind.

I gave Perdido Street Station a good solid try but I think I need to be on acid to appreciate the author's...imagination.  Not for me.
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2009, 03:52:12 AM »

Definitely Rothfuss and The Name of the Wind.  If you want "human transported..." you might consider Kay's Fionovar Tapestry instead of Tigana, though people don't think as highly of it.  I also have to give a huge recommendation to Peter V. Brett's The Warded Man.  My favorite fantasy debut since Rothfuss.  Brett has an excellent mix of traditional and new elements. 

Scott Lynch's The Lies of Locke Lamorra is outstanding- it's a heist novel set in a very cool city.  The sequel, Red Seas Under Red Skies isn't quite as good but it's still pretty excellent and has the bonus feature of having pirates!  

Also Joe Abercrombie's First Law trilogy starting with The Blade Itself.  I think he especially appeals to fans of Martin.

I'd also recommend Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn trilogy.  The magic system in it is just awesome.  Sanderson also does a great job with plotting and he paces out various twists and turns at an excellent pace.  

Brent Weeks' Night Angel trilogy is quite popular but I can't personally vouch for it since I haven't read it.  

Given your likes and dislikes my gut feeling is that you wouldn't like Perdido Street Station.  

Also, I'll recommend Jim Butcher's Dresden Files just because it's awesome.  It's urban fantasy (but then again so is War of the Flowers to a decent degree) though.  Starts merely okay (though always fun and enjoyable) but each book gets better and better and pretty soon it's just flat out awesome.  My favorite series going right now.  
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« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2009, 04:50:55 AM »

Go with your initial thought and read Tigana.  It's not a high fantasy story with flying dragons and fireballs and chesty maidens (well...) but more of a very touching tale with amazing characters.  Plus it has the benefit of being a single volume so there's no major commitment.  If you like that you can check out his Fionavar books but they are really no comparison to Tigana.  Seriously dude.  Read Tigana.  Remember my Ghost Reveries recommendation?  Yeah.  You know I'm right.

 Tongue
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« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2009, 01:19:49 PM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on August 22, 2009, 03:52:12 AM

Also, I'll recommend Jim Butcher's Dresden Files just because it's awesome.  It's urban fantasy (but then again so is War of the Flowers to a decent degree) though.  Starts merely okay (though always fun and enjoyable) but each book gets better and better and pretty soon it's just flat out awesome.  My favorite series going right now.  

Butcher has a fantasy series that's pretty good, the Codex of Alera (book 1 linked).
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« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2009, 01:51:17 PM »

The Painted Man, by Peter V Brett (published as The Warded Man in the US I think)...

One of the most innovative fantasy books I've read the past few years...based on your "likes", I KNOW you'll love it.

I noticed a few other people in the Books youve read thread has read this as well.... Oh, and the author got a movie option right off the bat as well...pretty damn good book, and like nothing I've ever read before
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« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2009, 02:14:47 PM »

Thanks guys.  Going to grab The Name of the Wind, The Warded Man, and Tigana this afternoon (assuming B&N has all 3, of course).  That should keep me busy for a while.

Quote from: warning
Seriously dude.  Read Tigana.  Remember my Ghost Reveries recommendation?  Yeah.  You know I'm right.

Don't think I ever thanked you for that, actually.  One of these days I'll have to give you the whole low down about how that one recommendation from you has completely shifted my musical paradigms over the last couple years.  So, thanks.  smile
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« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2009, 03:46:11 PM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on August 22, 2009, 03:52:12 AM

Scott Lynch's The Lies of Locke Lamorra is outstanding- it's a heist novel set in a very cool city.

I second this one. And considering you have very similar tastes to me I think you will enjoy it. Great characters, good plot and a major twist or two. Also, I tried Perdido Street Station but didn't get past the first 100 pages or so. It's pretty far out there and Mievelle's narration irks me in some indescribable way.
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« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2009, 07:37:53 PM »

Quote from: Koz on August 22, 2009, 03:46:11 PM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on August 22, 2009, 03:52:12 AM

Scott Lynch's The Lies of Locke Lamorra is outstanding- it's a heist novel set in a very cool city.

I second this one. And considering you have very similar tastes to me I think you will enjoy it. Great characters, good plot and a major twist or two. Also, I tried Perdido Street Station but didn't get past the first 100 pages or so. It's pretty far out there and Mievelle's narration irks me in some indescribable way.

Another point in Locke's favor that I think Gratch will appreciate- the lead character is named after Locke from Final Fantasy 6.
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« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2009, 08:18:46 PM »

Y'all need to read Zelazny's first Chronicles of Amber
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« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2009, 08:39:49 PM »

If you like urban fantasy Charles DeLint's Moonheart is outstanding.

Even though you said Terry Brooks is on your "no" list and i agree for the most part, i very much enjoyed the 3 Knight of the Word novels.

A mix of fantasy/sci-fi I found to be a fun read was the Star of the Guardians trilogy by Weiss and Hickman

But you can't go wrong with Guy Gavriel Kay and Tigana is at the top of that list
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« Reply #11 on: August 23, 2009, 10:15:34 PM »

Another vote for Guy Gavriel Kay.  His work is remarkable and he should be read by every lover of good fantasy.
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« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2009, 10:35:38 PM »

Check out Richard Morgan's The Steel Remains. It is a stand alone gritty fantasy. The best quote I read was by Joe Abercrombie. He said of Morgan's book "He doesn't so much twist fantasy cliches as take an axe to them and set them on fire."

Speaking of Abercrombie he has a new stand alone novel called Best Served Cold.

-Crusis
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« Reply #13 on: August 23, 2009, 11:42:42 PM »

I'm reading The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks. I like it so far, but Rothfuss was better.
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« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2009, 12:48:11 AM »

I also thoroughly enjoyed Lies of Locke Lamora, even though it wasn't quite what I expected. Tigana is also a long time favorite of mine and is by far my favorite by Kay. Thanks to this thread, I am going to try a sample of Name of the Wind. (I've been reading some free classics on my Kindle and need a break...)
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« Reply #15 on: August 24, 2009, 01:26:35 PM »

100 pages into The Name of the Wind.  Damn, this is a good read.
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« Reply #16 on: August 24, 2009, 01:28:43 PM »

I'm about to do my bi-monthly amazon thing, so very nice with this list!
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« Reply #17 on: August 24, 2009, 08:44:22 PM »

Quote from: GuidoTKP on August 23, 2009, 10:15:34 PM

Another vote for Guy Gavriel Kay.  His work is remarkable and he should be read by every lover of good fantasy.

Tigana is truly great, and his historical fictions (i.e., A Song for Arbonne, Lions of al-Rassan) are also very, very good reading.
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« Reply #18 on: August 24, 2009, 09:34:27 PM »

Read most of what has been suggested here except Abercrombie. I've heard his name alot recently though. What's a good series of his?
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« Reply #19 on: August 24, 2009, 09:58:02 PM »

Quote from: Jag on August 24, 2009, 09:34:27 PM

Read most of what has been suggested here except Abercrombie. I've heard his name alot recently though. What's a good series of his?

The First Law series, starting with "The Blade Itself".  It's a trilogy.  He has one other book, his most recent, "Best Served Cold" which is a standalone but takes place after "The First Law" in the same world. 
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« Reply #20 on: August 24, 2009, 10:20:14 PM »

Quote from: Gratch on August 24, 2009, 01:26:35 PM

100 pages into The Name of the Wind.  Damn, this is a good read.
Hey, whoa now!  I was requesting this book from the library, and I saw 'Book 1 Kingkiller chronicle'.  I have a geis against starting unfinished series (I was fooled into reading the Song of Fire and Ice 'trilogy'...).  I'll keep an eye on it (I've got about 20 book thread Favorites between here and OO).
One of my absolute favorites is The Warlord Chronicles.  It is very low fantasy, but I really dug it (much more than his later Grail Quest series, FWIW).
I noticed Glen Cook's Black Company tales have been released in a trade paperback omnibus; those are generally well-considered as a pragmatic alternative to Erikson.
I agree with others who were disappointed by Perdido Street;  too much setting and not enough plot for my tastes, buy YMMV.
Zelazny's more modern fantasy Chronicles of Amber is a long-time favorite.  If contemporary is cool, that or American Gods might be of interest.
If you found Wolfe too loquacious, I hesitate to recommend Jack Vance, but his Dying Earth series influenced us nerds more than we might realize, and I relish any of his works for their wordsmithing.  Steven Brust reminds me of Vance in some ways, but might be more accessible. 
 
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« Reply #21 on: August 25, 2009, 01:59:58 AM »

Quote from: RuperT on August 24, 2009, 10:20:14 PM

Hey, whoa now!  I was requesting this book from the library, and I saw 'Book 1 Kingkiller chronicle'.  I have a geis against starting unfinished series (I was fooled into reading the Song of Fire and Ice 'trilogy'...).  I'll keep an eye on it (I've got about 20 book thread Favorites between here and OO).

FWIW I think the Name of the Wind works pretty well as a standalone novel.  I didn't know about the planned sequels when I finished it, and it worked well for me as a "guess what happens next" sort of open ended ending.  That said, I'm also greedily and impatiently awaiting the next one.
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« Reply #22 on: August 25, 2009, 02:20:55 AM »

Rothfuss made a pretty big deal about having the trilogy finished when the first book was published. The plan was to put the next book out a year later. IIRC on his blog he said the next book needed to be re-written and it would be delayed a year, then it was delayed another year. I love the first book but I am leery of him pulling a GRRM and re-writing the new one so much that it will be a new Feast for Crows. On the other hand he is a damn fine writer and I devoured his first book in about 4 days. Could not put it down.

Sorry Erikson isn't for everyone, I am looking at Dust of Dreams right now that was just delivered from the UK. My life pretty much comes to a halt every year when he delivers each new tome since they are by far my favorite books.

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« Reply #23 on: August 25, 2009, 06:02:52 AM »

Just ordered Dust of Dreams myself - cant frigging wait to read it! Based on this thread, I also ordered Name of the Wind, and a few others! Now if only Amzone would hurry up and deliver!
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« Reply #24 on: August 25, 2009, 06:11:48 AM »

how about the Riftwar series by Raymond Feist?
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« Reply #25 on: August 25, 2009, 12:25:57 PM »

Quote from: ChaoZ on August 23, 2009, 11:42:42 PM

I'm reading The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks. I like it so far, but Rothfuss was better.

I've read the first two books in this series, but I gave up on the third.  I like the premise, but Week's executions of the story left a lot to be desired
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« Reply #26 on: August 25, 2009, 03:19:43 PM »

Isaac Asimov....The Foundation Trilogy...just the first three books

Robinson...The Mars Trilogy
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« Reply #27 on: August 25, 2009, 03:34:14 PM »

Quote from: Scuzz on August 25, 2009, 03:19:43 PM

Isaac Asimov....The Foundation Trilogy...just the first three books

Robinson...The Mars Trilogy

not really fantasy, Isaac Asimov, rather hardcore scifi instead , but brilliant books nonetheless. I also can recommend pretty much anything after that by him, Caves of Steel, his robot novels, and Robots and Empire. Even the Second Foundation Trilogy, written after his death by David Brin amongst others is pretty darn good reads, if you dont mind a book thats a bit heavy
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« Reply #28 on: August 25, 2009, 03:37:05 PM »

I've given sci-fi a try with a couple "classics" (Gibson's Neuromancer, and Card's Ender's Game), and didn't really like either one.  I'd actually venture to say that I pretty actively disliked both.  However, I did really enjoy Farenheit 451, 1984, and Brave New World, so maybe I should just stick to the really old stuff.
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« Reply #29 on: August 25, 2009, 04:54:44 PM »

What about Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge? That one always gets thrown about in these types of threads. Reading it now and it's pretty good.

For what it's worth, I didn't like Ender's Game either. Didn't like the theme of the book, ie kids fighting wars. It rubbed me the wrong way.
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« Reply #30 on: August 25, 2009, 05:06:22 PM »

Quote from: Gratch on August 25, 2009, 03:37:05 PM

I've given sci-fi a try with a couple "classics" (Gibson's Neuromancer, and Card's Ender's Game), and didn't really like either one.  I'd actually venture to say that I pretty actively disliked both.  However, I did really enjoy Farenheit 451, 1984, and Brave New World, so maybe I should just stick to the really old stuff.

Isaac Asimov is probably as old as it gets :-D He's one of the grand ol' men of Scifi, with guys like Robert Heinlein, Ray Bradbury,Athur C. Clark,  Philip K Dick and that kind of writers. He was also a professor of Biochemstry and tends to be somewhat heavy-handed in his style of writing...but its a great universe to get into...

He's also influenced a LOT more than people think - for instance, Positronic, Robotics and Psychohistory are all his contrubtions to the english language...

pretty cool dude, all in all
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« Reply #31 on: August 25, 2009, 05:29:06 PM »

Quote from: Rumpy on August 25, 2009, 04:54:44 PM

What about Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge? That one always gets thrown about in these types of threads. Reading it now and it's pretty good.

For what it's worth, I didn't like Ender's Game either. Didn't like the theme of the book, ie kids fighting wars. It rubbed me the wrong way.

The premise didn't really bother me (although I've never taken the time to think about it much), but I thought it was terribly repetitious:

-  Pit Ender against older and tougher opponents.
-  Have him struggle at first and eventually win.
-  Repeat 5 or 6 times.
-  End

The twist at the end was interesting (somehow I didn't see it coming), but I found the book to be incredibly boring overall.
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« Reply #32 on: August 25, 2009, 06:07:20 PM »

The Coldfire Trilogy is absolutely amazing. Gerald Tarrant is one of my favorite fantasy characters of all time. The first book is a slow burn:

http://www.amazon.com/Black-Sun-Rising-Coldfire-Trilogy/dp/0756403146/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1251223386&sr=1-1

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« Reply #33 on: August 26, 2009, 10:48:10 PM »

Quote from: Razgon on August 25, 2009, 06:02:52 AM

Just ordered Dust of Dreams myself - cant frigging wait to read it! Based on this thread, I also ordered Name of the Wind, and a few others! Now if only Amzone would hurry up and deliver!

Dust of Dreams is another door stopper. It is almost the size of Toll the Hounds.

I'm glad to see Rothfuss winning over so many fans. He is a very talented writer.

-Crusis
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« Reply #34 on: August 27, 2009, 12:51:49 AM »

"Heroes die" - by Mathew Stover.  Might take a little work to actually find a copy, but its a pretty incredible read.  Also another vote for Abercrombie and Rothfuss.
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« Reply #35 on: August 27, 2009, 01:01:59 PM »

Quote from: Dante Rising on August 25, 2009, 06:07:20 PM

The Coldfire Trilogy is absolutely amazing. Gerald Tarrant is one of my favorite fantasy characters of all time. The first book is a slow burn:

http://www.amazon.com/Black-Sun-Rising-Coldfire-Trilogy/dp/0756403146/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1251223386&sr=1-1



+1. These are fantastic.
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« Reply #36 on: August 27, 2009, 01:18:58 PM »

Quote from: Malificent on August 27, 2009, 01:01:59 PM

Quote from: Dante Rising on August 25, 2009, 06:07:20 PM

The Coldfire Trilogy is absolutely amazing. Gerald Tarrant is one of my favorite fantasy characters of all time. The first book is a slow burn:

http://www.amazon.com/Black-Sun-Rising-Coldfire-Trilogy/dp/0756403146/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1251223386&sr=1-1



+1. These are fantastic.

I'm always leery of books described as "slow burns" or "slow starters", since that usually translates to "boring as hell for 500 pages, then good for the last 100".  Looks like the reviews on these are good though...might have to check them out.
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« Reply #37 on: August 27, 2009, 01:29:42 PM »

Quote from: Gratch on August 27, 2009, 01:18:58 PM

Quote from: Malificent on August 27, 2009, 01:01:59 PM

Quote from: Dante Rising on August 25, 2009, 06:07:20 PM

The Coldfire Trilogy is absolutely amazing. Gerald Tarrant is one of my favorite fantasy characters of all time. The first book is a slow burn:

http://www.amazon.com/Black-Sun-Rising-Coldfire-Trilogy/dp/0756403146/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1251223386&sr=1-1



+1. These are fantastic.

I'm always leery of books described as "slow burns" or "slow starters", since that usually translates to "boring as hell for 500 pages, then good for the last 100".  Looks like the reviews on these are good though...might have to check them out.

If you liked Tad Williams' "Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn" books, I think Coldfire Trilogy is similar in terms of pacing.
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« Reply #38 on: August 27, 2009, 01:41:08 PM »

Quote from: Malificent on August 27, 2009, 01:29:42 PM

Quote from: Gratch on August 27, 2009, 01:18:58 PM

Quote from: Malificent on August 27, 2009, 01:01:59 PM

Quote from: Dante Rising on August 25, 2009, 06:07:20 PM

The Coldfire Trilogy is absolutely amazing. Gerald Tarrant is one of my favorite fantasy characters of all time. The first book is a slow burn:

http://www.amazon.com/Black-Sun-Rising-Coldfire-Trilogy/dp/0756403146/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1251223386&sr=1-1



+1. These are fantastic.

I'm always leery of books described as "slow burns" or "slow starters", since that usually translates to "boring as hell for 500 pages, then good for the last 100".  Looks like the reviews on these are good though...might have to check them out.

If you liked Tad Williams' "Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn" books, I think Coldfire Trilogy is similar in terms of pacing.

Thanks, you just saved me $8.  I thought the Memory, Sorrow, & Thorn series was boring as hell, and quit about 2/3 through the second book because I honestly could not have cared less about any of the characters. 
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« Reply #39 on: August 27, 2009, 02:19:54 PM »

I just remembered a series I started reading but didn't get a chance to finish yet:  The Banned and the Banished by James Clemens.  the first 2 books were good, then I got sidetracked and didn't get a chance to grab the others, eventually forgetting about it until I saw them in my stack of books.
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