Reading Recommendations

Tonight, for something different, I want to make a few book recommendations.  These are the books (and authors) that I suggest for people who are new to reading fantasy.  They are listed in no particular order, with a little bit of explanation of what I like about them.

Beauty by Robin McKinley and Black Swan by Mercedes Lackey.  Both of these are stand-alone novels by good authors, and both are based on fairy tales.  The styles are very different, but I find that tweaked fairy tales can make a great introduction into fantasy.

Arrows of the Queen by Mercedes Lackey.  While it is not the first in the chronology of the world, this is Mercedes Lackey’s first published Valdemar novel.  I recommend Mercedes Lackey as a great first fantasy author because her style is very approachable and she does epic fantasy in small bites, typically trilogies but occasionally stand-alones as well.

I may get some who disagree, but I find Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series to be a bit more approachable, at least for epic fantasy, than Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time.  Both are great, but for newbies just starting to explore epic fantasy (which typically means a long series of linked books, most of which are large and some of which don’t have much of an ending) Goodkind’s are a bit less daunting.

Of course, the H.P. books by Rowling are also a great intro to fantasy, as are the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis and The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien.  (His Lord of the Rings trilogy is a classic, but not really a good place to start reading fantasy.)

Do you read fantasy, and do you have any suggestions for new readers that I missed?

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Nicole W
    Jun 13, 2012 @ 03:39:03

    Patricia Briggs. She also does urban fantasy, which is fantasy characters in a modern urban setting. I would say start with “Masques”, which is regular fantasy.


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