Friday, November 28, 2014

A Book For Every {Fantasy} Reader


It makes me ridiculously sad that this amazing Fall Into Fantasy event I'm co-hosting with Hannah is drawing to a close today. It's truly been such a pleasure to celebrate fantasy, and the combination of reviews, personal posts and fun ones has really been a treat for me to write! I hope that our event has inspired you to continue loving fantasy if you already do, or to try out fantasy books if you've never done so. And I'm so grateful that y'all have really stepped up and joined in on our festivities. Even though the official event is over, feel free to chat with me or Hannah on Twitter regarding fantasy at any time!

Of course, we've been saving the most epic post for last - our fantasy book recommendations. Both of us are extremely excited to share some of our favorite fantasy reads, in the hopes that you'll discover something new right along with us. Without further ado, see my recommendations - yearbook superlative style!

POWER PLAYERS
Celaena is a trained assassin, one of the very best, and she proves her worth in the competition to become the King's Champion. But she's also a bookworm, with a love for sweets and pretty things. Her loyalty is unmatched; her vulnerability raw and heartbreaking. Complex and real, Celaena is one of my favorite fantasy heroines of all time!
There's just something utterly creepy about the thought that someone with such evil intentions is aware of your every move. The way that Sauron works through his henchmen, the way his influence takes over the minds of many - it's very, very, very disturbing and scary indeed. 
A-through-L is an utterly charming character. Not only is he a good-sized red wyvern, with the ability to fly and breathe fire, but he's also got an encyclopedic set of knowledge about things that begin with the letters A through L. He's earnest and loyal, and definitely an awesome sidekick!


RELATIONSHIP STATUS
There's nothing like growing up, studying and living together to create a friendship for life. Ismae, Sybella and Annith meet each other at the convent of Mortain, where they quickly form a bond. The level of loyalty, love and encouragement between these three, as well as their combined skill set, is totally the kind of group dynamic that works.
  • Bound for Life: Celaena Sardothien + Rowan Whitethorn / Chaol Westfall + Dorian Havilliard (Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas / my review)
I couldn't decide between these two pairs, because both relationships are so, so, so heartfelt. Celaena and Rowan are cara anam, soulmates in the sense that they recognize something similar in one another and have bonded fully over that. Chaol and Dorian, on the other hand, have a shared history and mutual respect; it's a brotherhood borne of utter loyalty and love.
I had so, so, so many feelings for Hector and Elisa as I read their story. The way their romance develops is gorgeously done. It's slow, it's subtle and yet, it's utter perfection. The way Hector protects and respects Elisa, the way she would do anything for him, their friendship - it all adds up to become one of the most epic romance stories I've ever read.


THE PLOT THICKENS
The level of detail that went into telling the story of Harry Potter through all seven books is seriously admirable. And Rowling expertly keeps track of it all, tying up all the plot lines wonderfully in her series finale. I'm still awed by the way she managed to write such a rich, full story and keep track of everything perfectly.
  • Off On An Adventure: The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
If you're looking for an adventure with high stakes and fantastical circumstances, I'd definitely recommend this! It's an older title, but it's definitely a classic fantasy tale with a hero setting out on an unforgettable, seemingly impossible quest filled with adventures and friends and foes and rewards and perhaps a certain dragon, too.
If you love mythology, particularly Roman or Greek mythology, then this is the series for you. I've said it many times on the blog, and I'll say it again now: Riordan has taken the things we know from Greek and Roman myths and woven them into a tale that's fantastical, fun and funny. It's really an enjoyable series, and I love how the mythology is woven into the contemporary world.


IT'S ALL IN THE DETAILS
What I like most about the magic that Tamora Pierce allows Sandry, Tris, Daja and Briar to have is that the inspiration for it is elemental. They each have a particular skill that manifests in unique ways, and they pick up more skills along the way. I love that these mages are so different from any I've ever encountered, and definitely highly endorse this entire series.
Dragons are my favorite creatures to read about in fantasy novels! Saphira is the dragon who hatches in Eragon's care, and Eragon becomes her Rider. Saphira is a great friend and ally to Eragon, as he is for her. I loved watching their relationship grow and transform over the course of their adventures together, and it definitely made me wish I was a Dragon Rider too!
One of the things Alanna of Trebond desires most, and one of the reasons she fights to gain her shield, is because she wants to go traveling to find adventure! And she does do a fair bit of traveling, seeing various lands on her way. It was fascinating to see her go from her home to the castle, the deserts and the mountains, and I loved how Pierce wrote these settings in a way that just felt so real.


THE WRITE WAY
Laini Taylor writes like a true artist. Her word choices are perfection, and the way they are strung together into sentences and paragraphs has a rhythm so steady and smooth. Her stories are full of beautiful passages, the kind of description or line that makes you want to go back and reread it immediately.
If I even try to tell you how profoundly saddened I was by the revelations at the death of Severus Snape, it would break my heart into a million tiny pieces. He might have been villainous to Harry in his own right, and I don't deny that. But his story? It broke my heart.
Iolanthe and Titus go through a whole bunch of terrible things in this story. But there are also lines, and moments designed perfectly to make a reader swoon with joy. There's one moment in particular that still makes me grin like a fool when I think back to it even weeks later. If that's not a sign of a perfect romantic moment, then I don't know what is!


DESIGN APPEAL
Here are a few reasons that I am so in love with this cover: (1) there's the silhouette of a girl in a fighting position, (2) there's a freaking fire dragon behind her and (3) the title font has an Oriental feel to it, which I'm personally totally a fan of. 
The first time I heard the title of the final book of the Grisha trilogy, I got a shiver down my spine. It sets the tone for the entire story, leaving readers feeling both anticipation and fear at the events that will lead Alina and her friends to their epic ending. 
I am obsessed with the map in this book. It's seriously so pretty! I love that there are so many places indicated on it, and I love the layout of the place, and I just think it was illustrated so darn well. It really helps me keep track of all these places where the characters venture.


TIME WILL TELL
  • Oldie But a Goodie (Pre-2010): Abhorsen by Garth Nix
Macky introduced me to the Abhorsen books in 2005, and I fell in love immediately. I'd never really read a book that focused on necromancy before, and it was absolutely fascinating. I loved that the heroines were all female, loved the creepiness of the world and the magic and I think it's still one of the strongest fantasy series I've read to date.
This is a hefty adult read, but I tore through it in about a day and a half. It was seriously addicting! I liked the political angle to it, and the story was pretty decent. But the best thing about this novel was the main character, who was totally a female worth celebrating!
(Beauty and the Beast x Fae) + Sarah J. Maas = a book that is bound to blow me away. I'm a huge fan of Sarah's other series, if you didn't already know, and there's no doubt in my mind that I'm going to totally enjoy her new series as well... especially because it's written for an audience that's a little bit older!


READY TO READ

The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows
There's a princess determined to regain her throne, a group of children who have honed their skills at stealth and theft, and a masked vigilante. What more do you need to know except that Jodi Meadows has probably written another epic tale?

The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen
A nobleman wants to find someone to impersonate a long-lost prince, and gets four orphans to compete for the role. There's a lot of political intrigue and dangerous deception involved, which only means that the there's more reason to be curious to see what happens!

Entwined by Heather Dixon
The Twelve Dancing Princesses was one of my favorite fairytales as a child. So it's not really all that much of a surprise that I would want to read a retelling of that story, now is it?

Lady Thief by A.C. Gaughen
I read Scarlet and really enjoyed Gaughen's take on the Robin Hood story. I meant to read this when it came out earlier this year, but it somehow slipped past me before I remembered to. I definitely should remedy that!

The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima
I know a ton of bloggers have read and loved this fantasy series. It's been recommended me a couple of times (read: A LOT), so I think it's time for me to pop this onto my TBR! Plus, thieves, wizards, adventures - sounds like a very me book.

Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff
One girl and a griffin against an empire. Oh, but that line makes me so excited to dive into the world of this book! I know plenty of bloggers who have enjoyed this series, and since it's now finished with the release of the third book this week, I can totally pull off a binge read.

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And there you have it, a whole bunch of fantasy recommendations to satisfy your fantasy cravings! I've got a whole lot more, so feel free to tweet or email. And check out Hannah's post too!

For your reference, here's a list of all the Fall Into Fantasy posts:


Hannah & I are both really grateful that you've joined us as we celebrated our love for fantasy in the past three weeks. We hope you enjoyed all the posts, because we certainly enjoyed coming up with them! Fantasy is, and always will be, the type of read I love best - and I'm happy Hannah loves fantasy these days too! (PS - Hannah is totally the bee's knees for being awesome about this event & all these posts. Loved collaborating with you!)

What are your fantasy recommendations?

7 comments:

  1. I loved
    this event. I thought all the posts were very created and that you did include
    every aspect of fantasy. At least what makes it such a beloved genre. I love
    the creativity you always put into all the events you organize. Please
    keep doing that!

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  2. Thanks for the epic master fantasy list! I've only read about half so I'm definitely putting the rest on my TBR!

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  3. I have been looking for some great fantasy reads lately!! So this is a wonderful list... thank you!

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  4. Love this as I was not a fantasy reader until you pushed Throne of Glass on me with all of your feels. I'm so happy I gave it a chance and have since read many more I wouldn't have and plan to read many more.

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  5. What a great post! Some of these I've read, some are on my TBR list already, and a few are going on it now. Thanks for posting it!

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  6. This is SO much fun and I love your graphic! I'm totally behind on all of these posts but I LOVE that you did this! I've recently gotten into fantasy lately... Really I was not a fantasy fan at all until I started slowly getting into in within the last... six months to a year. I actually have read a few here and there but I've totally fallen head over heels with so many fantasy books lately and find myself craving more! :D

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  7. LOVE this post! Thanks for putting it together!

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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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