The Fallen Blade series, by Kelly McCulloughRead about another entry on the list.
Recently I was in the mood for Sword & Sorcery, but I desperately wanted a rollicking good S&S world that wasn’t riddled with the usual helpings of undulating prostitutes, willing bar maids, evil seductresses, and princesses who need rescuing in exchange for sex. The hero of Broken Blade, Aral, is a dude, a former assassin damaged around the edges and struggling to make a go of it after his life fell apart. He’s good at what he does, and makes a living sorting out other people’s problems in a world filled with magicians with weird and really cool familiars, political intrigue, and (of course) people who want him dead. This kind of narrative could easily go wrong on the ladies super fast. As it happens, Aral likes the ladies, and he also respects the ladies, and anyway the ladies are badass on their own behalf. This was exactly the S&S I wanted.