TOP TEN TUESDAY | Top Ten Books I'd Give To Readers Who Have Never Read Fantasy

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday is brought to you by the amazing Jamie over at The Broke and the Bookish! This week, I suggest a top ten list of books to readers who have never read any books in the fantasy genre!

  1. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis: This seven-book series is an ultimate classic - most children have grown up reading about the adventures of the four Pevensie children and their magical trip into a wardrobe, which is why it stands high on this list. 
  2. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien: While not my favorite series, it is absolutely a classic and deserves to be read. Tolkien's writing is pure poetry, and when you think of high fantasy - this is it.
  3. A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula LeGuin: One of the very first "school of wizardry" books, this doubtless inspired Harry Potter and many more. Bonus points go to the LeGuin for the fact that the protagonist, and most of the main characters, are dark-skinned.
  4. His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman: I've gushed about this series a million - no, a bajillion - times, and for good reason. Lyra and her daemon, witches, armoured polar bears, and "Dust," all blend into an epic three-part series that will leave you equal parts broken and blessed at the end.
  5. A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin: This is a masterpiece of modern fantasy. Dark, gruesome at times, and with more characters than you could possibly name, the series that inspired HBO's Game of Thrones will keep you breathlessly awaiting the next. Just don't wait too long, because the man is still writing them, and who knows when it'll be done.
  6. The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley: Too few fantasy books focus primarily on female protagonists. Bradley relates the Arthurian legends through the eyes of its powerful women - Morgaine, Gwenhwyfar, Viviane, Morgause, and Igraine.
  7. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling: One of the best-selling book series in history, this series focuses on the young wizard Harry Potter and his friends fighting Lord Voldemort (do I really need to recap? Please tell me you've all read this series. If not, go read it immediately. And if you hate it, DO NOT TELL ME, for my sanity).
  8. The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss: Lyrical, exciting, with a narrator who is definitely unreliable, Patrick Rothfuss is making a name for himself as one of the premiere modern fantasy writers.
  9. Stardust by Neil Gaiman: I had a hard time narrowing it down, but this is Gaiman's most "fantasy" of fantasy novels. When a young man goes to fetch a fallen star to win the hand of his beloved, he stumbles into an enchanted realm and things get complicated.
  10. The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb: A royal bastard with the "Wit" (the power to connect with animals) finds himself fighting for his life and to earn his keep as he trains to be a royal assassin. Perfection.

Honorary mentions: The Once and Future King by T.H. White, Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere and the Sandman series, and Wicked by Gregory Maguire. 

I was also thinking about adding the Wheel of Time and Sword of Truth series by Robert Jordan  and Terry Goodkind, respectively, but I could barely get through those books and can't recommend those bloated creatures to anyone with a good conscience. Unless you're my enemy - but still, I'd rather thump you with them and save you the misery.

Which fantasy books would you add to this list? Which of these would you take off?