Instead, I'd like to hear from you. Remember how, in my last post, I talked about reading books in your target genre? Well, today I'd like to explore the genre of fantasy. What are some of your favorite fantasy books? Just a simple list or a few titles will do. Tell me your favorites, please!
And here's my own list, for good measure. If you haven't read these books yet, I definitely recommend you try!
The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien (a must for every fantasy writer)I suppose that sums up my list, at least for now (I may add to it later as more titles come to mind). At any rate, I believe the books listed above represent a wide range of fantasy, both new and old, tried and true, Christian and non-Christian, popular and unknown. Each of these books is certainly worth your time.
The Harry Potter series, by J.K. Rowling (Even though many people find problems with the magic, this series is one of the most popular young adult series of our time. It's important as writers to know what our audience loves to read.)
Inkheart, by Cornelia Funke (The sequels weren't quite so good, but Ms. Funke certainly has a gorgeous way of spinning words, and the story here is fabulous. Worth a read. Also, Funke's story Dragon Rider is a heartwarming and humorous tale. Definitely read it.)
Ella Enchanted, by Gail Carson Levine (Hilarious twist on a classic fairytale)
Princess Academy, by Shannon Hale (A compelling world with vivid characters, and thankfully free of objectionable material. If you're female, I'd definitely suggest reading it.)
The Little White Horse, by Elizabeth Goudge (An older story, true, with all the delicate beauty of the 18th century. However, in terms of Christ-honoring fantasy that's well-written, this book is one of the best that I've found.)
The Blackbringer, by Laini Taylor (An unexpected gem. One of the absolute best modern fantasies I've read, and again, nicely free from objectionable stuff. An awesome villain and an excellently crafted world, complete with a hilarious heroine named Magpie.)
The Dark is Rising, by Susan Cooper (A story that feels older than it is, with lots of Celtic and Welsh legends interweaving throughout. Somewhat mystical and packed with symbolism. Cooper's unique voice definitely makes it worth a read.)
The Complete Fairytales, by George MacDonald (These were inspirations for both CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien, and they're absolutely lovely stories. They felt like they'd leaped straight out of the brothers Grimm. Also, MacDonald's The Princess and the Goblin is lovely too.)
Dealing with Dragons, by Patricia C. Wrede (A laugh-out-loud twist on every cliche known to man. Read it as a family! The sequels are good as well.)
The Percy Jackson series, by Rick Riordan (I don't know how you feel about ancient Greek gods, but despite the strange premise of the story, I love Riordan's sometimes sarcastic and always funny voice. It's good to learn how to write for a modern audience. Also, the series also scores points for teaching ancient Greek mythology.)
Something by Robin McKinley (I especially enjoyed The Blue Sword and The Hero and the Crown. Also quite worthwhile are her two Beauty and the Beast retellings, Rose Daughter and Beauty. Probably most appropriate for 13 and above.)
The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster (I guarantee that this book will make you look at the world in a whole new way. A boy takes a journey through a land where words grow on trees, sounds take shape, and Rhyme and Reason are the damsels-in-distress. Awesome read for the family.)
The Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis (If you haven't read these yet, there must be something gravely wrong with you. At any rate, I envy you, because reading these treasures for the first time is a pleasure that few other books can bestow. Plus, the spiritual undercurrents in Narnia are excellent to observe and imitate as Christian writers.)
Now, come, tell me your favorites!