Great article and excellent recommendations posted in this thread! I'm going to add a few which I don't think have been mentioned:
Joe Abercrombie - The First Law trilogy: epic, gritty fantasy with lots of dark humour.
Paul Kearney - The Monarchies of God series: has everything from epic battles, religious strife, and political intrigue to month-long sea voyages, long-forgotten civilizations and shapeshifters!
I read the first book in R. Scott Bakker's Prince of Nothing trilogy and thought is was terminally dull, over-wrought and just not that entertaining. But that's just me.
where the frack is eragon? really,REALLY?
probably the best current fantasy series out there
By your avatar, I see that you are joking.
not in the least! yes i may be a troll but eragon is some of te best current fantasy series I've seen, kicks harry potters ass any time
Eragon needs to die under a heaping pile of plagarism lawsuits. Go read some real books: David Eddings, Anne McCaffrey, and the whole host of other good writers that the brat kid of an "author" blatantly "borrowed" from (and FYI, beating out Harry Potter in the quality department is no great accomplishment).
I was surprised to see Gemmell on there. I've read practically everything the man ever wrote. I was deeply saddened by his passsing. No more Druss, no more Skilgannon, no more Jon Shannow, no more Waylander, no more Gwalchmai.
I've been putting off reading Fall of Kings, because it's the last book of his I'll read and I don't want it all to end.
For a good time, I'd hazard to put up Robert Jordan's (now deceased) Wheel of Time series and Terry Brook's Shannara series. Both of which read like books that draw heavily from other fantasy novels and media yet soon become something pretty entertaining in their own right.
Also, no Terry Pratchett?! Sure, Discworld is by and large a hammy send up of fantasy and well, many different genres in general, but it's a fun and funny series, and I would think a deep well from which to draw humour from for a GM's sessions.