I did this book tag almost a year ago and, while I had a hard time picking which genre to focus on, I ultimately decided on doing a romance tag. But I’ve been meaning to do a fantasy version of the tag ever since, and after way too long, I’m finally going for it!
What’s your favorite genre?
I might have already spoiled the answer to this one! I love a good fantasy, especially ones with amazing female leads and a touch (or more!) of romance. So many of my all-time favorite books are fantasies, and I don’t see that changing in the years to come.
Who is your favorite author from the genre?
Like I could really pick just one! I do really love Sarah J. Maas — they’re not perfect, but she just writes really compelling characters and I can’t stop reading her books. A Court of Mist and Fury is probably one of my favorite books ever. But I’m also a huge fan of Leigh Bardugo and Garth Nix and too many others to name!
What is it about the genre that keeps pulling you back?
I just love how creative the different worlds are that authors come up with and seeing characters navigate those worlds. I’m not sure I could envision myself having magic, but I will never tire of reading books full of magic and superpowers. And there’s something about an epic quest and mysterious history and so many other popular fantasy tropes that just get me every time. I can’t get enough!
What’s the book that started your love for the genre?
Hmmm. It’s hard to remember a time when I didn’t love fantasy, but I guess Harry Potter was probably one of my earliest introductions. I also remember the Tortall books by Tamora Pierce, the Abhorsen trilogy by Garth Nix, the Narnia series by CS Lewis, and His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman being some of my early favorites, all of which are still classics to this day! With origins like that, how could I not fall in love with the genre?
If you had to recommend at least one book from your favorite genre to a non-reader/someone looking to start reading the genre, what would you choose and why?
This is hard for me, because I really did grow up reading fantasy and for some reason can’t wrap my head around needing to introduce someone to it. I think it might depend on what someone normally reads. For instance, one of my friends wants to start reading more fantasy but didn’t care for Poison Study by Maria Snyder when she read it (it’s one of my favorites!). But I know she reads a lot of literary fiction, so I recommended The Fifth Season by NK Jemisin because I’ve heard a lot of people who say they don’t read much fantasy but love lit fic say they were blown away by this (as was I!). Hopefully she likes it, too! If someone is more of a romance reader, I think Amanda Bouchet’s A Promise of Fire is a great choice for some high fantasy romance. And A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness would be a great choice for fans of historical fiction. Also, you really can’t go wrong with the classics like Harry Potter and Percy Jackson.
Why do you read?
I’m just going to copy my answer from my romance post because it really hasn’t changed at all.
Why do I read? Probably because I can’t not read. Reading is my absolute favorite form of entertainment, plus I love learning and I learn so much from my reading. Yes, even romance—I can’t tell you how many of the random facts and historical tidbits I’ve picked up from romance novels. But you also learn a lot about relationships and communication from romance, too, which is invaluable information. Reading also how I unwind and relax after a stressful day. There’s literally nothing like sinking into a good book, and romance is one genres that is most guaranteed to suck my in quickly and make me forget about everything else. So I read because I have to and because I love it.
I should add that one of the things I love about fantasy is how it stretches the imagination and can be pure fun, plus I think they’re such a great way to grapple with modern day problems in a slightly more removed setting. And like all fiction, I think you can learn so much about empathy from fantasy and the various struggles and oppressions people in fantasy often face.
That’s it for this tag, but I don’t really feel like I had enough of an opportunity to shout about my favorite fantasy books, so I want to shout out a few more down here.
Recently I’ve been completely obsessed with Kill the Queen by Jennifer Estep, which is one of those perfect heroine-driven, political- and plot-driven fantasies with a heroine who doesn’t know the extent of her true powers. I was lucky enough to read an arc of the sequel, Protect the Prince, and now I really can’t wait for the final book in the trilogy! I received a copy of Kill the Queen as part of the Avon Addict program.
Some of my other favorite female-driven fantasies include the Tortall books by Tamora Pierce (I really need to do a reread to determine my current favorite, but I started with and loved the Trickster’s duology), the Poison Study series and the Healer trilogy by Maria V. Snyder, and the Graceling trilogy by Kristin Cashore. So if you like those and Sarah J. Maas, I think you’ll also like Kill the Queen.
I also have to shout out the Lumatere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta, which I think was just an incredibly well done trilogy, as well as The Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner. I came to those books a bit later, but Turner just did such an amazing job with the worldbuilding and the characters and the storylines of those books, and I cannot wait for the finale. And another newer love that I have to mention is Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse. This book completely blew me away and I’m completely obsessed. I’m so excited for the sequel to come out this month!
Really briefly, I’d also like to mention a few books that are at the top of my TBR and that’s I’m really excited to read: The Poppy War by RF Kuang (brutal Chinese-inspired fantasy with a magic school), Jade City by Fonda Lee (world where jade enhances magical abilities), Red Sister by Mark Lawrence (school of assassin nuns), and The Tiger’s Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera (f/f Mongolian fantasy).
Are you a fantasy? What are some of your favorites? Let me know in the comments!