For some time now I'd been on a fairly serious fantasy fiction binge. I'd long had Brian Aldiss' Helliconia Winter on the shelf, but had never read it. Recently I found a second-hand copy of the first book in the series, Helliconia Spring and started reading it. It has been most enjoyable.
Far too much fantasy fiction seems to be about combat and magic, and not enough about the very characters involved in such events. Fun for a while, but it gets dull. Robin Hobb's writing seems to be a pleasant relief from such drudgery. As a general rule, according to a colleague, any fantasy fiction written by a female Australian author is likely to be good. I haven't tested this to a great degree yet, but I have in the past thoroughly enjoyed Cecelia Dart Thornton's work, particularly The Ill-made Mute.
Happily, I found, at Elizabeth's Bookshop in Newtown, a good second-hand copy of the middle book in the Helliconia series: Helliconia Summer. I now have all three and hence no frustrating delays will be experienced. :-)