I recently read Eon: Dragon Reborn after reading a review by Orson Scott Card. I like most of the stuff he recommends, especially when he describes things as "absolutely stunning."
Eon is a fantasy novel very loosely based on Asian lore. In short, I agree with Card. The book is very well-written. The characters are well-developed and well-balanced. The pacing is excellent. I enjoyed the book from beginning to end, and was not bored once.
So if you are in the mood for an excellent fantasy novel without dwarves, elves, etc., I highly recommend Eon: Dragon Reborn, by Alison Goodman.
For an entertaining-but-not-great fantasy series with dwarves and elves, try the Riftwar Saga, by Raymond Feist. It is filled with cheese and cliches, but it was entertaining.
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