Friday, April 19, 2013

Dear Cassie

Since we first became friends, it has been such a joy to get to know you. I truly enjoy our conversations (on chat and Twitter and text and email) about anything and everything, whether or not it happens to be related to books. I am so glad that we’ve joined up for a couple of projects (including the A Song of Ice & Fire Read-along), but my favorite is definitely It Takes Two! It’s been so interesting getting to read books of varying genres, and I’m excited for it to pick up again in June (when we finally get caught up on all the unread books we have!).

Now, back when we first started chatting about the feature, I remember finding out that you weren’t much of a fantasy reader. This, my friend, is a travesty to me! Though I have ventured into dystopian, historical romance, contemporary YA and even non-fiction, fantasy is the genre that holds the biggest spot in my heart. I grew up on fantasy novels, and have always considered them my favorite kind of book to read at any time.

You might be wondering – why do I love fantasy so much?

Fantasy allows me to enter entirely new worlds that are purely an author’s creation, and I could get lost in exploring and imagining them for ages. Fantasy does not, in my experience, pose any limits on the realities and situations and stories of the characters in the novels – except the ones the author decides are relevant to the world. Best of all, fantasy inspires me to be creative, to push past the boundaries of the reality I live in and to exercise my own imagination. I’ve never felt more determined to write a book than after a good fantasy novel!

Now, even though I decided on fantasy as the genre of choice for the March edition of It Takes Two, I wanted to write this letter and recommend a couple of my favorite fantasy novels. Though it’s not required that you read them, I do hope that you think back on them when you feel like giving fantasy another try.


Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas (my review)
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman (my review)
The Cadet of Tildor by Alex Lidell (my review)
Song of the Lioness quartet by Tamora Pierce
[Alanna the First Adventure, In the Hand of the Goddess, The Woman Who Rides Like a Man, Lioness Rampant]
Abhorsen trilogy by Garth Nix
[Sabriel, Lirael & Abhorsen]
Inheritance cycle by Christopher Paolini
[Eragon, Eldest, Brisingr & Inheritance]
Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
[Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows]
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
[The Lion, The Witch & the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Silver Chair, The Horse and His Boy, The Magician's Nephew, The Last Battle]
The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien
[The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, Return of the King]

Check out what these other amazing bloggers have to say about fantasy! They were sweet enough to share their reasons for loving the genre, as well as offering their own suggestions for fantasy must-reads.

Who is Aisa? I'm a book/sketchbook/comic/manga lover. A swimmer and a dreamer. A story enthusiast with the dream of telling and sharing stories through art and writing. I have been an avid fan of original and cleverly written stories since high school and since then have always wanted to create one of my own. I feel everyone has a last one story to tell but some have more than one. I hope to be able to share my hopefully unique and original stories and entertain my audiences at the same time. [Deviantart | Twitter | Blog]

Recommendations:
Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede
[Dealing with Dragons, Searching for Dragons, Calling on Dragons, Talking to Dragons]
Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull
[Fablehaven, Rise of the Evening Star, Grip of the Shadow Plague, Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary, Keys to the Demon Prison]
The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare
[City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass, City of Fallen Angels, City of Lost Souls]

Who is Alyssa? I’m just a twenty something dreamer. I am a sometimes librarian, blogger, and writer. I am always a drinker of tea and snuggler of cats. My homegirls include, but are not limited to: Princess Cimorene, Sorcha of Sevenwaters, Katniss Everdeen, Anne Boleyn, and Hermione Granger. You can usually find me in a dimly lit corner on top of a dragon-like hoard of fantastic smelling books. [Twitter | Blog]

Recommendations:
Sevenwaters series by Juliet Marillier
[Daughter of the Forest, Son of the Shadows, Child of the Prophecy, Heir to Sevenwaters, Seer of Sevenwaters, Flame of Sevenwaters] 
Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede
[Dealing with Dragons, Searching for Dragons, Calling on Dragons, Talking to Dragons]
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

Who is Cait? Cait is a book lover, nerd, scholar, imagine-er, writer, storyteller, reader, inspire-er and adventurer. Above all, she's hopeful. Her dream is to become a professional bookworm and encourage kids to want the same al because her heart is a mixture of Lucy and Luna. Which is probably why she enjoys nothing more than a good YA or MG book. [Twitter | Blog]

Recommendations:
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
[The Lion, The Witch & the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Silver Chair, The Horse and His Boy, The Magician's Nephew, The Last Battle]
The Secret of Platform 13 by Eva Ibbotson
Inkworld series by Cornelia Funke
[The Girl of Fire and Thorns, The Crown of Embers]

Who is Candice? Event Coordinator, blog at The Grown-Up YA, I love my dog, my cat, pie and Peeta Mellark. [Twitter | Blog]

Recommendations:
Graceling Realm series by Kristin Cashore
[Graceling, Fire, Bitterblue] 
Fire and Thorns series by Rae Carson
[The Girl of Fire and Thorns, The Crown of Embers]

Who is Daisy? Daisy spends her days as a doctor and her nights trying to read ALL the books. She loves nothing more than to discuss books with other people and getting lost in a good novel, preferably one that has kissing in it. [Twitter | Blog]

Recommendations:
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
Fire and Thorns series by Rae Carson
[The Girl of Fire and Thorns, The Crown of Embers]
Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima
[The Demon King, The Exiled Queen, The Gray Wolf Throne, The Crimson Crown]

Who is Danielle? Avid Reader, recently moved to NYC from NH, comic book/manga fangirl [Twitter]

Recommendations:
Eon duology by Alison Goodman 
[Eon, Eona]
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
Dragonlance Chronicles by Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman (Alexa's note: This is the first trilogy of the series.)
[Dragons of Autumn Twilight, Dragons of Winter Night, Dragons of Spring Dawning]

Who is Faith? I’m a short, talkative zoology student obsessed with all things chocolate, porcupines and books. When I’m not in lectures or reading, I can usually be found looking at cute animal photos, playing with my pets or eating junk food! [Twitter | Blog]

Recommendations:
The Belgariad series by David Eddings
[Pawn of Prophecy, Queen of Sorcery, Magician's Gambit, Castle of Wizardry, Enchanters' End Game]
A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin
[A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows, A Dance with Dragons]
The Liveship Traders series by Robin Hobb
[Ship of Magic, The Mad Ship, Ship of Destiny]

Who is Gaby? I'm Gaby (aka Queen Ella Bee), a 23 year old book blogger, lover and pusher. I live in New York City, love a good trip to a book store or a pit stop at a Panera. Or Magnolia's. Or anywhere that has cheesecake. Basically, I'm good for good book chats and I will always encourage dessert. Join me, won't you? [Twitter | Blog]

Recommendations:
Song of the Lioness quartet by Tamora Pierce
[Alanna the First Adventure, In the Hand of the Goddess, The Woman Who Rides Like a Man, Lioness Rampant]
His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman
[The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, The Amber Spyglass]
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Who is Laura? I'm just another girl on the Internet who blogs about books. I read for fun, insight, a laugh, a cry, or just because. Literature has helped how I view the world and I am forever grateful for that. [Twitter | Blog]

Recommendations:
A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin
[A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows, A Dance with Dragons]
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

Who is Natalie? I'm Natalie! I'm 18. I love books, obviously. And Ryan Gosling. I read a lot of YA fiction and some genres of adult fiction too. I'm currently taking a year off from school to work and save some money for university. I'll be going to my top choice university starting in September and I am so excited!!! Oh yeah, I also like Harry Potter, chocolate, music, and nail polish :) [Twitter | Blog]

Recommendations:
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

Who is Rachel? I'm Rachel - web designer and developer working in the city, except about 99% of the time, I wish I could be reading instead. I run the blog Hello, Chelly which is filled with book reviews, photos, music and my random ramblings. [Twitter | Blog]

Recommendations:
Harper Hall trilogy by Anne McCaffrey
[Dragonsong, Dragonsinger, Dragondrums]
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo 
Fire and Thorns series by Rae Carson
[The Girl of Fire and Thorns, The Crown of Embers]

So Cassie, if you're looking to start checking out more fantasy books, I hope you refer back to this letter. It's a wonderful genre, and as you can see, there are all types of stories and books available for you! Here's to hoping that you end up enjoying more fantasy than ever.

Lots of love,
Alexa

YOUR TURN - Are you a fantasy reader or a fantasy newbie? If you read fantasy, why do you love it? And what books or series would you recommend?

28 comments:

  1. This is so sweet! I can't believe all the great fantasy books I forgot about when trying to name 3! :)

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    1. There are so many great books out there! I think it says something that we were able to come up with all sorts of titles and subject matters and opinions when it comes to fantasy.

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  2. The post is so nice, and I'm glad you got so many other bloggers to add in their two cents worth about fantasy books! Reading this post definitely had me adding some more books to my ever growing TBR pile...

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    1. The only problem that I had with this post was trying not to get overwhelmed or carried away with adding books to my TBR! There are so many titles on here that I have yet to read, and I promise I've taken note :)

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  3. This may be the most extravagant display of book pushing ever! I LOVE IT SO MUCH. THANK U to not only Alexa but EVEEYONEEE who participated!!!! I will surely be checking out some fantasy!!!

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    1. Lots of love for you Cassie! I hope this encourages you to pick up a fantasy novel (or two or ten) <3

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  4. Well, you know me. I've a fantasy devotee! I love this post. Just love it so much.

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    1. It was so much fun to do! And yes, I am well aware of your love for fantasy and our mutual feelings for Ms. Tamora Pierce!

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  5. Fantasy was seriously what made me pick up a book and start reading. Love this post! I have never heard of the Cadet of Tildor. Will have to look it up. But I looove Tamara Pierce! I started reading her in college and that led to Garth Nix, Robin McKinley and Philip Pullman (His Dark Materials is one of my fav trilogies of all time) Thanks for posting this with all the book recommendations! I need to make a list now. =)

    -Michelle

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    1. I love Tamora Pierce too. Hooray for fellow Pierce fans! I need to revisit her books again, and I'm excited for #PierceFest, which will let me do so. I'm also a fellow Nix fan, as I loved the Abhorsen trilogy.

      Happy reading!

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  6. Now if there's anyone left in the world who, after reading this post of yours, still isn't interested in reading fantasy, point him out to me and I'll get over there with my magic fire-breathing red sword.

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    1. I shall surely point them your way! (And where did you get an awesome sword like that? I would like one too!)

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  7. I love fantasy, so I love this post! I agree, it's wonderful to lose yourself in a different world that comes straight from someone's thoughts. Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe are a few of my all time favourites. :)

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    1. You basically named three of my all-time favorite series/books! I have all of these, and re-read them from time to time. There's something wonderful and whimsical about fantasy that I could never give up.

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  8. Alexa, I just have to say that I adore this post!!! I love reading everyone's recommendations and I'm itching to buy more of the fantasy novels mentioned because they sound AWESOME!

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    1. I have been making an ever-growing list of fantasy novels that I need to check out, and this post certainly didn't help. I'm glad you liked it though!

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  9. Yay! Love this post! I hope Cassie reads some of the AMAZING recommendations!! I'd definitely recommend Kristin Cashore, Cinda Williams Chima's Seven Realms series, and, OF COURSE, A Song of Ice and Fire because these books epitomize what I love the most about fantasy: it expands my imagination and lets me live in a completely new world for even a short time. I love the escape of it.

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    1. I love what you said about fantasy because IT IS SO TRUE. I really hope Cassie does read some of these, as they are amazing suggestions - and they're all different from one another too!

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  10. Alexa, I love that you did this. SO MUCH. And I love that I got to jump in last minute!! PS: This post is also great FOR ME because it reminds me of all the good fantasy I still have to read!! ^_^

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    1. I love that you got to contribute! (Thanks by the way!) And yes, me too! I haven't read a lot of the books included in this post - and now I kind of want to.

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  11. Awww, this is such a cute post! Fantasy isn't really my thing either, but there have been some books I really enjoy. Anything Tamora Pierce of course because really, is there anything better? NO. Philip Pullman is amazing. I also liked Eragon, but never continued on with the series.

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    1. I think the most important thing is that you are a Pierce fan. That's all that matters at this very moment ;) Oh, and I say continue with Eragon because it's a SOLID series!

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  12. This post is so, so sweet! And I'm definitely all for Cassie reading fantasy. Book blogging has been good for her since she's already tried sci-fi and paranormal, but fantasy has always been a favorite of mine. Like you said, what I like most about it is the way authors can pull me into their (often beautifully created) world and make me feel right at home. My favorite Dutch children's books were fantasy novels, but it was Harry Potter that really made me fall in love. And then the Lord of the Rings. My favorites right now are Shadow and Bone (high fantasy) and the Mortal Instruments/the Infernal Devices (urban fantasy), and I CAN'T WAIT to read most of the books featured in this post. I should reaaaally catch up. But I love it :)

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    1. Fantasy is definitely my favorite, as always! And I definitely did this so that Cassie would feel encouraged to read some fantasy, and have some awesome selections to pick from.

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  13. I seriously LIVE on Fantasy. I would say between Fantasy and sci-fi that's about, oh 90% of what I read. I've read most of these, but I have a few I'll be adding to my TBR list :)

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    1. I read fantasy most of the time, though I've developed quite a soft spot for contemporary. I spotted a few series I've never read before though, so I definitely have some catching up to do!

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  14. I'm not a huge fantasy reader, but I have been venturing more into the genre lately and have very much enjoyed what I've read so far. I loved seeing what you and other bloggers had to say about the genre, as well as about some of your favorite fantasy books. Gives me lots of ideas for when I get in a fantasy mood! You've also made me want to do a post like this for historical fiction - that's my go-to genre :)

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  15. I LOVEEEEEE fantasy, it's forever and always my first true reading love. I like it because it makes my imagination soar and go beyond the ordinary. I love that feeling of being transported.

    My recommendations:

    the Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson
    The Name Of The Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
    The Mists Of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
    The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
    Eon by Allison Goodman
    Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
    Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

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Thanks for leaving a comment! I love seeing what you have to say, and will try to reply (here or on Twitter) as soon as I can :)

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