So, I mostly haven't read fantasy novels for a long time. This has been mostly because I'm a bit of a completest, and everything seems to be a series. I'm not the fastest reader, so this gives me a bit of a fear of commitment. But I love fantasy, so I've recently been trying to rectify the situation. Maybe my research skills are a little poor, or maybe the books I used to read as a teenager simply affected me better because I was well, a kid. I've read a few good books during my search, but none of them quite scratch the itch perfectly. It might not even be possible but I figure it's worth it to me to ask around. What I'm looking for requires a bit more words than a google search, so I thought I would see if anyone has any recommendations.
Here's what I'm hoping to find in a novel, in order from most important to less important.
Needs to be strictly fantasy, with no scifi elements, no modern technology, no guns. Cannons might be okay. Maybe if it's very minor, say some lost civilization that was more advanced that isn't really a major part of the story, that would okay.
The lands must be wild, dangerous, and preferably either unmapped or so untraveled people have mostly forgotten what's out there. Some sort of quest or travel should happen thru these lands.
There should be a variety of creatures. The more the better I'm thinking. The majority of the dangers faced shouldn't come from humans. I've been playing skyrim (which so far is awesome) but one of my only gripes is that everywhere, you run into bandits in the ruins and caves and what not. There are so many bandits that if they all teamed up they could easy conquer everyone else. In my opinon the darker remote corners you find are great places for orcish-goblin sub-human type things. Or perhaps a lair for some large hibernating beast. Always using humans, be they bandits or a cult, gets a little dull.
I'd prefer it to not have much in the way of sexual content. If its mostly in the background/ not explicit and can be easily ignored then I can live with it. It would be better if there were none, but I realize that may not be a very realistic expectation when it comes to secular novels today.
I would prefer it to either have a monotheistic religion, or that it not touch on religion much or at all. Again I realize that most secular fantasy authors probably find a polytheistic system more interesting and perhaps more likely in more primitive societies, so if it's in the background and main characters don't really focus on it much I can live with it. I'd pefer not to read something that has a monotheistic religion as a great evil in the world. Not because it offends me that much but because that's so common in geek entertainment that it's pretty tiresome.
It can be a part of series, but if so, some important thread or threads should get resolved at the end of the first book. It shouldn't be a complete and total cliffhanger.
It shouldn't be too fairytalish. What I mean by that is, nothing like a school bully getting turned into a pig for not listening to his school master. Probably not something that's common anyway.
Wow, sorry that was way more words than it seemed like in my head! Look forward to any suggestions you all have