First, I believe the guidelines for what a “fantasy” book or movie is are hazy. Every time I tell one of my friends that I don’t consume a lot of fantasy entertainment, he says “You love Kill Bill. That’s a total fantasy.”
He is now locked away in my attic so he can’t bother us during this discussion.
When I think about the best fantasy novels, I immediately return to the Piers Anthony and Terry Brooks books I loved so much in elementary school and then in Junior High and High School. The Xanth series and the Shannara books were about the best thing that had ever happened to me. Today I think they’re fun, but goofy and poorly written.
I read fewer fantasy books each year. I’m talking about dragons and wizards and that sort of fantasy. But I still have my favorites, and once in a while someone will recommend something to me that I have to try, and I’ll absolutely love it, even though it’s got a dragon and a bunch of elves and hauberks in it.
Here have been my favorites that I have read as an adult, or reread as an adult:
- The First Law Trilogy by Joe Abercrombie
- The George Martin Fire and Ice books
- Anything by J.R.R. Tolkien
- The Name of The Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
And that is where I’ll leave it for now.
The question I’d like to ask, other than listing your favorite fantastic novels of distressed damsels and thrusting pikes and helms that are always getting cleft in twain is:
Is all fiction just fantasy? What defines the genre for you?
Ready, aim, top fantasy books, go.
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