I am a very big fan of fantasy, and my bookshelves are a testiment to that fact. Below I am sharing a list of my Top Ten Favorite Fantasy Books that I would recommend to readers that are new to the genre of fantasy. I hope you will enjoy them. I would love to know if you try any of my recommendations or if there are any others you would recommend to me.
1. The Night Circus- Erin Morgenstern
I LOVE this book. I have read it at least 10 times (probably more) since it came out. A mysterious circus that only opens at night, with no color but black, white and shades of grey. A battle between two magicians, a love story in the making, red headed twins, beautiful imagery, and delicious descriptions that lift the scents of the circus right off the page…and so much more. You will not want it to end, and you will return to it often after you finish it. Absolutely Charming!
2. The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicles Book 1)- Patrick Rothfuss
My best friend (Vania..who runs this blog with me) basically took this book off the shelf and literally opened it and placed it in my hands and told me to start reading it, while at a bookstore for another book event. That’s how much she loved this story…and am I glad she did. I fell head over heads for this story. You can’t help but love the hero and his trust sidekicks…and absolutely loathe the villians. There are demons, and sword fights, magic spells and even the fae. You will not want to put this book down. You will be engorged and if you are wise, you will read it slowly…as it is part of three…and the third is not yet written. Which leads us to book 2 and number 3 on our list….
3. The Wise Man’s Fear- (The Kingkiller Chronicles Book 2) Patrick Rothfuss
Here we continue with the adventures of hero…it starts like this
My name is Kvothe.
I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trehon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep.
You may have heard of me….
If just those few sentences don’t grab at you and fill you with curiosity, I have no idea what will.
4. Neverwhere- Neil Gaiman
This is a very odd, and curious book. About a girl named Door who lives in the secret hidden world under London. She is running for her life, when she stumbles right into the arms of our hero Richard and completely turns his world upside down. This is a book about “a city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, knights in armour and pale girls in black velvet. This is the city of the people who have fallen between the cracks.” Neil Gaiman never ceases to amaze me at how much of a brilliant story teller he is and this is one of his best works. Filled with quirkiness, and a side of twisted-ness…a truly Gaiman masterwork.
5. Harry Potter Series- JK Rowling
One of the most beloved book series of all time! No amount of words can ever describe how glorious this whole series is. It’s simply magical and you will just have to dive in and fall in love with it yourself. It’s not just for little kids, it will surprise you and enthrall you.
6. Grimms’ FairyTales- The Brothers Grimm
I love a good fairy tale and these boys have them, but they aren’t all sugar and spice. These tales are pretty dark and some even a bit twisted, but if you are like me and not turned off by a little blood or violence. The real version of these stories are not sugar coated like the Disney ones, but they are a much better read.
7. The Princess Bride- (S. Morgenstern) reconstructed by William Goldman
Loved this book from the moment I read the title, and I was not disappointed with the story I found inside. ” Fencing. Fighting. True Love. Strong Hate. Harsh Revenge. A Few Giants. Lots of Bad Men. Lots of Good Men. Five or Six Beautiful Women. Beasties Monstrous and Gentle. Some Swell Escapes and Captures. Death, Lies, Truth, Miracles, and a Little Sex.” So if that list of things that occur within these pages appeal to you, you will enjoy this book very much.
8. Game of Thrones Series (7 book series)- George R.R. Martin
They are long, and a bit confusing, and some even find it to be too violent, too brash, and far too much swearing. However, if you are looking for a historical fantasy saga that probably will never end because the author has yet to finish the last remaining 2 books…this might be for you. You have people fighting to be rulers of the 7 kingdoms, many sword fights, be-headings, incest, revenge, poison, betrayal, shadow creatures, and ice monsters, plenty of bloodshed, torture, and sex. These books are brutal and you will probably throw them at some point out your window, against a wall or just yell at it various times as you read it. The story and characters will keep you going….even if it hurts too much.
9. Lilith- George MacDonald
This book is weird. It has religious undertones and sort of goes into the Jewish myth about Adam’s first wife “Lilith” as well as Eve (Adam’s second wife). DON’T let that stop you from reading it. If you take it just as a story, (especially if you are not religious) it will be like reading any other myth or fairy tale. It is very interesting, and makes you question the world around you. It’s very philosophical to a certain point. If you like to “read between the lines” and “see” more deeply into secret meanings and symbols you will enjoy this one. Just keep an open mind…
10. Interview with the Vampire- Anne Rice
I could not compile a list about fantasy and not have my favorite vampire novel on it. I think Anne’s vampires are the epitome of the “romanticized undead” and I love them. Beautiful, deadly, witty, charming, and immortal. Anne’s lovely descriptive writing lures you deep into the story, and before you even get to the middle of the book you too will be begging for Lestat to make you one of them, no matter the price.
Did any of your favorites make the list? Are you going to read of of the ones I mentioned? I would love to hear your feedback!