Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Filling In The Gaps

I'm discovering lately that I seem to have missed out on the fantasy phase in my youth. (I was big on horror, sci-fi and contemporary as a kid, like Stephen King, Christopher Pike.) There seems to be all these sort of common knowledge things for people who have read a lot of fantasy that I have no idea about and I don't like that. It's like I'm missing a whole layer of experience that could enrich my writing so I've decided I'm going to fix it. Here's what I've come up with so far:

The Dark Is Rising Sequence by Susan Cooper
The Queen's Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner
The Wrinkle In Time Quintet by Madeline L'Engle (already read A Wrinkle In Time)
Terrier by Tamora Pierce
The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley
Abhorsen Trilogy by Garth Nix

I would love some high/alternate world fantasy recs! I've heard good things about Diana Wynne Jones, Shannon Hale, as well as Robin McKinley and Tamora Pierce's other books but they have so many that I have no idea which book to choose. I'm especially attracted to stories based in mythology or folklore, and I love anything with magic, but I'll read anything that's well-written! That includes Middle Grade.

Note: I've already read The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Graceling, and Fire is in my TBR pile, I'm up to The Voyage of the Dawn Treader in the Narnia chronicles. So please, rec away!


  1. I have to say that although I loved Terrier, I'd expand the recommendation to include all Tamora Pierce's work; I read it in chronological order until Terrier came out (Song of the Lioness, Immortals, Protector of the Small, Trickster's) and the same for the Winding Circle books. Very epic. :)
    I wholeheartedly second the Abhorsen Trilogy recommendation, too- I still re-read the every so often and am always stunned by the incredibly unique ideas of magic!
    Dianna Wynne Jones is solidly MG, more so than the above; when I was younger I loved the Crestomanci and Dalemark series but more recently I really enjoyed the Merlin Conspiracy.
    I don't know if you wanted recs for Urban Fantasy, but just in case I'd like to sneak in the Strange Angels series by Lili St. Crow- IMHO she's a master of painfully realistic characters and avoiding the whole 'my love interest is so perfect that there are never any awkward moments' thing.
    I hope you keep us updated about what you've been reading! :)

  2. Chrestomanci, even. Chemistry work always kills the portion of my brain that deals with spelling :)

  3. I've read the Narnia series and that's about it. I feel the same when it comes to high fantasy and sci-fi. I'm so lost! Lol! I've read The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkein a good many years ago. I tried Eragon but I couldn't get into it at the time. If you come across any that you really enjoy I'd love to hear about it.

  4. Fantasy was all I read as a kid! The Dragonlance Chronicles, The Dragonriders Of Pern, The Forgotten Realms Novels, The Wayfarer Redemption series, and so many more. But those are all adult titles. Oddly enough, as a kid I only read adult novels! There isn't enough fantasy in YA but I'm on a mission to fix that. ;) There are some great YA fantasy novels out there now but most of it urban fantasy, not high fantasy.

    ~Heather of CSC

  5. @ Lale - Thanks for the recs! Tamora Pierce has so many books I have no idea where to start. I picked Terrier partly because it's new and there's only 2 books in the series so far, and partly because it was called a "police procedural" which I found fascinating since it's a fantasy book. I loved Strange Angels but yeah, definitely looking for fantasy of the non-urban variety. I read a lot of UF!

    @Lacey - Can you believe I haven't read The Hobbit? I read LOTR when the movies came out because I figured if I saw all three movies I'd never read them and I felt like I should. I was surprised at how much I liked them!

    @ Heather of CSC - I haven't heard of any of those series! LOL I'll have to check them out. You're right there isn't much fantasy YA these days, but a lot of older fantasy kind of fits into that genre now so I'll look out for them.

  6. Valerie--let me know how you like Fire. I haven't read it yet but loved Graceling. LOTR is on my list of books I know I should read, but after being forced to watch Return of the King again this weekend, I'm a little over Frodo right now. :)

  7. I admittedly have not read LOTR, but I was one of those nerds that stood in line for the midnight openings at 12 o'clock in the afternoon for every movie. However, I did not wear a cape. Or a sword.

  8. Lacey--lol. My hubby dragged me to all of them, but at least we didn't stand in line 12 hours. He says the books are great though.

  9. I always went with at least 4 other people so we switched off. It was either do that to get the tickets, or wait in line later and risk the theater selling out. I guess I should note that I was a teen when those films came out. That's makes it acceptable. Lol!

  10. Interesting list. I've tried giving the Dark Is Risising series a shot, but we didn't really do so great together. Enjoy!


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