Maybe it has always been this way and I just don't realize it because I am not old enough to have lived through earlier periods, but it sure seems to me that we live in a time where the fantasy is, well, good, perhaps even quite good at times, yet it lacks the excitement I crave.
There were a good many authors in earlier times who produced books that I would pick up excitedly and move them right to the top of my to-read list. Tolkien; Howard; Leiber; LeGuin; the Thieves World series; the early Shannara books; the first five McKiernan books, and so forth, all were must-read for me.
Nowadays the only books that really get me excited and I simply must have them immediately are George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series. Sure, there are some other pretty good ones out there, from Scott Lynch's Gentleman Bastards series to Patrick Rothfuss's Kvothe books, but even those don't truly get my blood boiling with must-read anticipation.
Is it just me? Have I changed so much? I don't think so, because when I revisit old favorites I still feel that excitement for them. I can reread A Wizard of Earthsea or the first Fafhrd and Gray Mouser book as many times as I like and always love them. Only Martin's books do that for me today. I recently finished The Steel Remains by Richard Morgan and Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie, both of which got rave reviews, yet they were very unexciting for me. I liked them okay and will probably never read them over again.
It's true that I am leaving out YA for the most part (though I suspect LeGuin's books might have been called YA if there was such a category back then), but then I don't much care for YA other than the Harry Potter series (sacrilege, I know, given how many of you out there are so heavily into YA).
What are your thoughts on fantasy today?