Favorite Fantasy Books Part 1

I originally planned on this post being about my top favorite books ever, but through searching, soon realized that there are too many to count, and that they will need to be broken up into genres. Fantasy is such a diverse genre, as it can cross into the real world, can involve magic, or dragons, or elves, or it can involve real people living in a fictitious world.  Fantasy is where you can let your mind run wild.

Everyone has their slew of favorite books, and in the genre of fantasy, which I most often write, here is my list.

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  1.  Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien

Tolkien is perhaps one of the best story tellers of our time.  He made the different races in fantasy popular, and his descriptions are beyond compare.  While he is known to be a bit long winded, growing up, I learned to love his books first through the fairly simple telling of the Hobbit, and then through later reading the much more complex Lord of the Rings.  My favorite character being Tom Bombadill, and my second favorite being Samwise Gamgee of course.

HP

2. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

Oh man.  Harry Potter was my second love when it came to fantasy books.  The first book came out just before I turned 11, and so I grew up with these books, finishing the final installment when I was a freshman in college.  I followed all the movies of course, and I continue to go back to it again and again.  I love HP so much, that I even had a HP themed bridal shower, and two HP themed tattoos.  I love the way Rowling makes it seem like this world is really there, just beyond our reach.  My favorite characters have changed and morphed over the years but Ron and his brothers Fred and George have held sway for a few years now.

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3. Song of Ice and Fire Series, by George R.R. Martin

Martin.  What will we ever do with you?  I am constantly worrying that he will die before he finishes this series.  I am waiting with baited breath to find out the true ending, not just what is in the TV show.  I came to this series later in life, and fell in love.  Martin writes very deep characters in a complicated world, and somehow, he pulls off the multi-perspective novel extremely well.  I don’t usually love those kinds of books, but man, these books consume my soul.  My favorite characters vary from book to book but the top of the heap has always been Tyrion Lannister.  There is no one else for me.

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4. Abhorsen Series, by Garth Nix

This series was one of my favorites growing up, and I read and reread them over and over again.  I cannot express my love of Sabriel and her Touchstone, or Lirael and her dog. I love the world that Nix has built, and made so real, and I love the concept of necromancers who save the world.  At the time it felt like a new twist on an old concept. It also fairly heavily influenced some of my earlier writings. I think Moggett or the Disreputable Dog are my favorite characters in these books.  Plus, when Tim Curry narrates the audio book, you can’t go wrong! Definitely a must read/listen.

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5. The Seven Realms Series, by Cinda Williams Chima

This series does not get nearly enough recognition in my opinion.  I didn’t find these till I was well into my 20’s but they captured my imagination and I devoured them in about a week. I have gone back to them time and again, and this is truly a world in which I wish I could live.  I also have a soft spot for books that revolve around forbidden romance and schools.  My favorite character is Han of course.  And the newer companion novels are also turning out to be great.  I love revisiting old and well loved characters.

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6. Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith

So Sherwood Smith has long been one of my favorite authors.  I believe I’ve ready every single book she’s written and I love her strong female characters paired with caring and soulful male characters.  Something about the male characters she writes just draws me in and makes me fall in love. This was the book that introduced me to her writing and if you love a strong female MC trying to learn how to fight for her people, and for herself, while navigating a harsh world full of politics and intrigue then this is the book for you.

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7. Ronia, Robber’s Daughter by Astrid Lindgren

This book I have mentioned before.  I love this book with all my heart.  It was the first chapter book I remember reading and it is the book that really began to inspire not only a love of reading but a desire to tell stories. I wanted to write books like this and inspire young readers. Ronia is strong and sassy and independent, and she loves fiercely.  I love that about her.

Each of these books has influenced me and my writing in some small way.  I hope that they can begin to inspire you as well.

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