Top Ten Tuesday: Books I love from the Fantasy genre

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly book blogging initiative hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl with new themes each week.

This weeks theme is Books From My Favorite Genre (You pick the genre, and give us your ten faves.)

Fantasy has always been a genre that has resonated with me but in more of a fan of lowish fantasy and magical realism than the arcane of High Fantasy although i don’t mind a bit of High Fantasy at MG level as it’s a lot less… extra.

Discworld Books- Terry Pratchett

You may be aware that I adore the works of Pratchett and thus most of his works could fit here.

I love the Guards books for their facing of the darker side of humanity with hope for the light, I love the witches books for their exploration of the folkish aspects of culture and Granny Weatherwax and I love the Death series for its exploration of the desires and hopes of humanity both good and bad.

All with a fantastical and wonderfully funny and witty satirical tone. Gosh i think I will never not miss him.

Speak his name. GNU Terry Pratchett.

Good Omens- Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett

I read Good Omens for the first time as a teenager, I was lured by the Terry Pratchett co-writing but also the fact that Neil Gaiman was the other writer- at that point I hadn’t read any Gaiman but he was cool and edgy in a sort of literary Tim Burton kind of way- I enjoyed this introduction to his style and thinking tempered by the wit and humour of Terry Pratchett.

I of course watched the Amazon Prime series and got very emotional both tears and joy seeing such a heartfelt and loving tribute to the original work. Absolutely stellar.

Lady Of Hay- Barbara Erskine

Gosh I do love a timeslip book, I was talking to Mary fromBook Craic the other day about Barbara Erskine and we agree that she is the master of the dual (or more) narrative across time linked by place.

The former historian turned novelist has a way of evoking a historical with supernatural edge with some wistful, some ‘romantic’ and some scary/ haunting stories of usually women who’ve had a disappointment or setback in life finding resonance in a place of history and dreaming of usually women (her VERY latest one apparently is a man in the past!!) who have been there before until their timelines begin to affect each other.

I would LOVE to see books like this in the MG or YA bracket.

Practical Magic- Mary Hoffman

Ok I saw the film first but I was a child when this came out. Yes the book and the film are a bit different but the idea of witchcraft and magic not being just green faced warty villains and instead rooted in nature and part of the world around us was a game changer and led me down a magical path of imagination.

The Magic Faraway Tree Stories- Enid Blyton

Forever and ever in my heart will be the stories of children newly moved to the countryside off for a picnic in the Enchanted Wood and come across a fantastic place of wonder with a Magical Tree so tall it reaches up to other worlds that you can climb into and the folk that live in the tree including a Man with a face like the Moon and a fairy.

As an adult I can see echoes of Norse myths including Yggdrasil whether Blyton intended that it not and this book still touches my soul and forms a huge part of who I am and the desire to see wonder in the world too.

Chocolat- Joanne Harris

If I love the Magical realism of Practical Magic of course the story of a Magical woman infusing emotions into chocolate and using her craft to help the people of a small town was going to appeal to me!!

Again; I saw the film before I read the book which was a surprise when I read the book to find it is actually contemporary not set in the 1950s. However the wonder and magic is even deeper infused in the book and subsequent novels.

The House with Chicken Legs- Sophie Anderson

This book is all sorts of wonderful and an emotional hard hitter dealing with grief, loss, sudden independence and coming of age in one.

Taking the Slavic myths of Baba Yaga this looks at the concept of her being a carrier between the worlds, that Baba Yaga gives people a last party and time to tell their stories before returning to the stars.

The story centres around her granddaughter and her frustrations at being different and never really settling in one place, longing to have a life like the people she is being trained to help cross over.

The StormKeeper’s Island- Catherine Doyle

This is such a wonderful and atmospheric book that looks at the experiences of a young boy and his sister sent to stay for the summer with their elderly grandfather whilst their mother gets help for her depression which has never left since their father mysteriously drowned off the coast just before Fionn was born.

As soon as he sets foot on the island he feels an ancient energy deep in the island which is connected to his deteriorating grandfather and the candles he makes that capture snippets of time distilling the weather, emotions and experiences into the wax. But it appears the time has come for the island to choose its next and most important StormKeeper to finally finish the ancient battle against evil.

I always have an affinity to the mythology and legends of these islands so this book feels very special indeed.

Nevermoor- Jessica Townsend

I came to Nevermoor late, I was able to get my hands on an early proof of Wundersmith and knew I had to read Nevermoor first but as soon as I got through the first paragraph I was a fan.

Often compared to Harry Potter I think it’s actually a bit unfair as Nevermoor has its own depth and range of imagination that crosses an entire city, and whilst Harry Potter has a spot in my heart frankly the Hallowmass and Battle Of Father Christmas Eve knocks the socks off Halloween feast and Wizard Chess at Hogwarts alone.

There has been some OUTSTANDING MG fantasy released since January 2019 like amazing A Pinch Of Magic by Michelle Harrison, Starfell by Dominique Valente and The Peculiar Peggs of Riddling Woods by Samuel J Halpin and more but it was really hard to pick just one however, I decided I needed to include this one!

The Last SpellBreather- Julie Pike

This novel is about Rayne, a young girl fated to become the next SpellBreather in her tiny little village that is secluded and veiled from the rest of the world but Rayne damages her mother’s spellbook unleashing a curse and danger that causes Rayne and her unaffected best friend to flee and search for a solution.

It’s a classic hero’s quest but with a young girl instead this time and with one of the most creative and original magical systems I’ve seen in a long time this is such an exciting book and I look forward to reading more from Julie Pike.

Out in July.

Ok so I didn’t quite stick to the idea of MG Fantasy, YA Fantasy etc but a sweep of the Fantasy books that have earned a place in my heart.

Have you read any of these?

What genre or books would you choose?

My apologies for not including illustrator and cover designer credits on this version of the post- we are currently at the hospital (not emergency!) and I haven’t had time to edit it to the usual standard.

A later edit will update.

31 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Books I love from the Fantasy genre

    1. I love the ‘Real’ feel of witchcraft in Practical Magic so much!
      I will look out for that (I can deal with adult content, just won’t put it on the ‘for when you’re a bit bigger’ shelf!!)

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I`ve been meaning to read Good Omens before the Amazon adaptation, but I don`t think I`ll be able to do that. Everyone raves about the show, I don`t want to be left out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s absolutely fantastic, my parents haven’t read the book but didn’t feel lost in the tv show, of course there’s lots of hidden Easter eggs for book fans but it still stands whichever way you read it!!

      Like

    1. Ooh that depends on your personality!! The Guards series starts with Guards Guards when Carrot who is a human adopted by dwarves comes to the city to join the watch and he is obviously not the true heir to the throne of Ankh Morpork no way not really, that sword is just a sword you know!
      The witches are fabulous I would say start with Wyrd Sisters as it sets out the witches beautifully as Granny Weatherwax is the most iconic Witch ever and Nanny Ogg sings rude songs about Wizards staffs and Hedgehogs though never together!
      The Death series you can start with Mort but I would say Soul Music which is the first introduction of Susan Sto Helit Deaths Granddaughter who is enchanted by a young man doomed to die who invents ‘Music with Rocks in’ – there’s lots of references to 1950s rock and roll but you don’t NEED to know them to enjoy the book. (Of course they are funny if you do get them)
      I would leave the Rincewind books until you know you love Pratchett’s writing because they are heavily satirical and mock a lot of 1970s/80s high fantasy writing.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you 😊
      THWCL is lovely, made me cry, it’s quite cathartic if you’re dealing with any grief (even grief you thought you were long done with stuffed in a cupboard) but in a lovely way- Good crying not bad crying! 💜

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A fantastic list! Thanks for the mention. I haven’t read any Terry Pratchett so think it is something I’m going to have to rectify. I really cannot wait for The Last Speller Breather – it sounds just perfect! I have Wundersmith and The Lost Tide Warriors to read – there’s never as much time as I’d like for reading!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome! Terry Pratchett forms a bit of my soul as much as Magic Faraway Tree does, I think it’s the biting wit and understanding of people that endears me. I’m hoping for a quiet day tomorrow so I can curl up with my books!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Lots here I agree on, especially Discworld – listening to the Tiffany Aching books has been fab, I can’t wait to listen (again for some for the first time for others) to the rest of the series too.
    Can you believe I’ve not read Good Omens though?! It’s shameful. I really need to sort it out!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It took me a few years of a Pratchett fandom to read Good Omens- I think the contemporary angle didn’t help ha! But glad I did, the genius of both writers dances across the pages!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Yes, I’m thinking I might start there after getting reacquainted with Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg through ‘Tiff’! Though after the city watch making an appearance in I Shall Wear Midnight I’m also tempted to start with those. Although I also think I should just go back to Colour of Magic and work through them that way…!

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Oh I do adore the Guards. Not as fond of Rincewind but still it’s part of the journey. But as much as my heart is in Ankh Morpork my soul longs for The Ramtops- I have reread the Guards books more times than the witches and that’s saying a lot!!

      Liked by 1 person

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