I meant to write this post last Friday during Goodreads’ Sci-Fi and Fantasy Week, but things got away from me. However, I did go through the effort of selecting some of my favorite fantasy books, and I couldn’t let that go to waste.
When selecting books, I went with ones that I didn’t include in my Top 10 Young Adult Fantasy Novels because I don’t want my lists to be too similar. Plus, I have many favorite books. Many many many. I want to talk about as many as humanely possible. You know, share all that book love:
- The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien. It might be a little drawn out in areas (does the reader really have to know that they traveled left and then right by the big rock?), but it’s a classic. I devoured them after the first movie came out.
- Xanth series by Piers Anthony. These books are just fun. Some are better than others, but they all share this escapism, happy-go-lucky, punny theme that just makes me happy. Plus, there are some surprisingly soulful moments such as the last pages in Yon Ill Wind and Night Mare (which was the first one I ever read). But perhaps the fondest memory I have of the Xanth books involves a terrible temperature of 104 and strep (which I was prone to as a child). My head hurt so bad that I couldn’t sleep, so my big sister sat by my bed and told me all about this land of Xanth.
- Dragonriders of Pern series by Anne McCaffrey. My big sister also introduced this series to me via Dragonflight. In fact, it began years of fascination with dragons. I honestly don’t know if I blame her for this or not; I was a weird kid. It’s been years since my dragon obsession, but my family will never let me forget. Ever. Still, the books are fantastic, and interesting mix of sci-fi and fantasy.
- Shannara series by Terry Brooks. I first discovered these book on the Book Mobile in elementary school. Do they still have book mobiles? My little brother first picked up The Elfstones of Shannara from the book mobile, and I stole it(literally—I accidentally forgot to give it back; I’ve always felt bad about that).
- Temeraire series by Naomi Novik. It’s like historical fiction meets dragons. They’re fantastic.
- Elantris by Brandon Sanderson. All I remember about this book is that it was very good, very interesting and unique, and has made me want to read the rest of his books. Which are on my Must Read list.
- Watership Down by Richard Adams. This book has talking, reasoning rabbits trying to find a safe place to live. It can be dark, but it’s also sweet.
- Incarnations of Immortality by Piers Anthony. This is one of Anthony’s lesser known series, but the reinvention of the incarnations of immortality into modern human guise—the Green Mother, Death, War, Father Time, for instance—is well-done and fun to read.
- The Magic Kingdom of Landover series by Terry Brooks. Not as well-known as the Shannara series, but with an interesting premise. Plus, the hero isn’t a young stud but a world-weary man who gets a second chance.
- The Dark Tower series by Stephen King. While the series dragged on, it was so interesting and well-written, that I just enjoyed the ride. The ending was twisty per classic King.
I’m aware that I have to expand my fantasy reads. There are just so many books to read and so little time. What are your favorite fantasy books?