Monday, April 7, 2014

F is for Fantastical Fantasy

My Favourite Things: Fantastical Fantasy

I can still picture the moment when I truly discovered Fantasy novels for the first time.  It's not that I had not read Science-Fiction or books that would have fallen under the genre Fantasy before, but they would have been more mixed genre books and not what I would consider to be a truer form of fantasy, if that even exists today.  I think it's more a concept that exists in my stratosphere than in the publisher's as I tend to separate 'fantasy' novels into separate categories anyways, labeling some truer fantasy while others are relegated to approaching fantasy, as in containing fantastical elements but are not exactly what I consider fantasy.

Rambling aside, I had picked up this book at the airport, true nature being that I didn't want to read the books that I already had with me as that would be way too easy, and because I had taken too long to choose, actually chose two books quite by random.  Naturally, they would both be the first books in a series, and would be almost impossible to find in France, Germany, and Croatia, the main places I was heading for the entire summer. 

I discovered the world of Raymond E. Feist on the plane over to France, pretty much devoured Magician: Apprentice and truly knew what it felt to read what I consider a true fantasy book for the first time.  Sorcecy? Check. Swords? Check.  More magic? Check.  Other worlds? Check.  Elves? Check. Other races?  Check.  Mystery? Check.  Dragons? Check.  Goblins? Check.  Evil? Check. Dwarves? Check.  Young men discovering who they were?  Check.  Battles? Check. Romance? Check. You get the idea.  While it was great being in Europe for 10 weeks, I did check out quite a few bookstores to see if there was a remote possibility of picking up books two, three, and four as they had already been published by this time.  I was doomed to disappointment. 

I did manage to snag the next three books in the series, Magician: Master, Silverthorn, and A Darkness at Sethanon, as soon as I landed though and it didn't take me long to go through those either.  Luckily, Daughter of the Empire had just been published and I could attack that one too.  But now came the stumbling block that every avid reader must face many times in their reading career, THE STUMBLING BLOCK!!!!  What is that, you may ask?  There comes a point where you catch up to the author and he/she can't write any faster and now you have to WAIT!!  Wait, you say?  What?  Are you kidding me?  What's wrong with you?  You should be able to write 24 hours a day.  Don't you know your fans are waiting anxiously??  So, that left me with a conundrum.  What to read next? 

Luckily, the books just kind of landed in my lap literally at school one day due to a good friend who
thought I might like to try a new author, Guy Gavriel Kay.  Now, I discovered The Fionavar Tapestry, and I was hooked on this author too.  I have since read everything written by this author and look forward to any new work published by him.  Not always easy to read as characters have a way of dying, but in no way like The Game of Thrones where I don't know who to like anymore because all of my favourite characters keep getting killed off. This fantasy series was different from anything I had read before and it was incredibly satisfying at the end. 

A little aside, I had to say good-bye to the Riftwar Saga last year as Raymond E. Feist wrote his last book in the series, after twenty-five plus years, Magician's End, and it was definitely bittersweet.  I had followed the series, and all of his other books, for such a long time, and even though I wasn't as crazy over all the trilogies, my favourites being The Riftwar Saga, The Darkwar Saga, The Empire Trilogy, and The Chaoswar Saga, I still read them all and followed all the tribulations of Pub, Miranda, Magnus, and the heirs of the throne of Rillanon. I have to admit to a little tear as I finished the last book, not necessarily because the book was sad, but it was the end of a series I had read for such a long time and I was saddened by it.  That the conclusion was incredibly satisfying did help though.

Since then, I have read an incredible amount of fantasy and know there are series that are a lot better and a lot more complex and diverse, but these two hold a special place in my heart because they set me on the path to my love and discovery of this unique and fun genre.


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  2. I enjoy reading fantasy too. That's what started me writing it as well, I think. Aren't we the lucky ones that there is so much available for us to read!

    1. I've always thought that if I were to write a novel, it would be in the fantasy genre. And we are incredibly lucky to have so many talented authors out there, and so many books from which to choose!!!

  3. Ah, spammers. What tangled webs they weave...

    I haven't heard of Feist or Kay, but then fantasy's not my primary genre.

    1. Yes, I wasn't quick enough on that delete button...

      I've checked out your blog quite a few times, and it looks like you are an eclectic reader though, much like I am, with some interesting tastes in books. Happy reading!!