In which I give you fantasy not to be missed!


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish.  This week’s topic:

Top Ten Books I’d Give To Readers Who Have Never Read X:

Well, if you’ve read this blog before you’ll probably realise I focus fairly strongly on fantasy with a sprinkling of sci-fi and a little horror, mystery and history.  So, for my ten choices this week I’m going for books from fantasy to give you an idea how you can read many different styles whilst getting your fantasy fix (let’s face it, I never miss a chance to bang on the fantasy drum).  This may seem like a bit of a cheat because I do have more than one example for each description but I do only have 10 descriptions!!


  1. Children: Something to read to your children (not too young though – particularly if they don’t like spiders!!): The Hobbit by JRTolkien
  2. For the YA: I’m going to go with Harry Potter by JK Rowling, this is a series that a young person can get their teeth into and grow up with.  The series becomes progressively darker and the school setting means that a YA audience can easily relate.
  3. If you want stories with a fairytale feeling: The Graveyard Book, Stardust, Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman – BUT not all of Gaiman’s work is a light read so be careful what you pick up!!  Or, Sarah Pinborough who recently wrote three short books that were fairytale retellings – Poison, Charm and Beauty.  They depict a different side to Disney’s princesses and although fairytale style are definitely adult books.
  4. If you want alternative history: there are a few examples for this but, some are a bit deep if you’re new to fantasy and don’t want to move straight to epic – the major series that has turned people’s opinions on their head in terms of fantasy is the Game of Throne series by GRRMartin which is not so much alternative history but does have a mediaeval setting (that being said – this is fairly epic to say the least!). There is Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke. This is a very indepth venture set during Napoleonic times.  Alternatively, the series written by Jasper Kent  (The Danilov Quintet) which is an alternative Russian history with Vampires otherwise known as Vorodalak – starts in Napoleonic times and works up to early 1900s.  If you want an alternative Victorian history then a bit of Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate might not go amiss – steampunk with a bit of spice.  Otherwise you could just opt for Bram Stoker’s Dracula which is a classic.
  5. Light and whimsical, only bordering slightly on fantasy: I would suggest two authors for this – Joanne Harris (Chocolat, Coastliners or Blackberry Wine) or Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic, The River King. or The Museum of Extraordinary Things).
  6. Grimdark – well, this is very popular in fantasy at the moment and maybe not for everyone.  However, I love Mark Lawrence’s Prince/King and Emperor of Thorns.  This series is dark and even more so because of the age of Jorg at the state of the story.  But, in spite of this Lawrence’s writing and plotting is second to none.  The vision he has for the whole series is nothing short of breathtaking.  If you want to try something a little lighter but set in the same world then ML has started a new trilogy starting with Prince of Fools – this is set in the same world as the Broken Empire (Thorn) books but has a different feel completely with two very enjoyable characters – I can’t deny that the ending gets a little bit more heavy BUT I think by then you’ll be totally invested in the main characters.
  7. Military based, I recently read Django Wexler’s Thousand Names – this is alternative military, apparently known as ‘flintlock’ (thanks to Mogsy for letting me in on that secret!) which apparently means based during the musket era.  I really enjoyed this book, it is fairly in depth to be honest but for people who want to go easy on the fantasy element it’s very lightly done.  If you fancy something a little bit different then All You Need is KIll is very short, quick and enjoyable – set in the future with battles against aliens but the central character, who dies at the start of the story (that isn’t a spoiler) then comes back to relive the day over and over – groundhog style.
  8. Something a bit more romantic: – The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon.  Involving a bit of jumping back and forward in time this is a good series (although I haven’t read all of them).  If you want something a bit more, ahem, spicy, then Karen Chance or Christine Feehan maybe (so I’m told…..!).
  9. Detective based: Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files – this is one of those series that has a world living in parallel to the everyday mundane world.  It involves a wizard called Harry who also acts as a private investigator and assists the police with ‘supernatural, cases.  A very entertaining series so far.
  10. Classic:: I had to do it – I never miss an opportunity!  It would be rude not to mention Lord of the Rings by JRTolkien and this way I start and finish the piece with him.  However for other classic fantasy – A Midsummer Night’s Dream, A Christmas Carol, Frankenstein – the list could very easily go on and then on some more!

Now, if you were going to dip your toe in the fantasy pond do you think you might be tempted by one of the above?????

31 Responses to “In which I give you fantasy not to be missed!”

  1. Kathleen

    I just marked some recommendations that I haven’t read yet! Great list. I loooovee stardust.

    • lynnsbooks

      Yep – Gaiman – I do love him, although he has some very dark works as well!
      Lynn 😀

      • Kathleen

        I’m afraid I haven’t read any of his dark works. I’ve only read Stardust and Ocean at the End of the Lane. My cousin keeps recommending me some other Gaiman books but I haven’t picked any yet.

      • lynnsbooks

        Neverwhere and the Graveyard Book are very good. American Gods is a different tack and I haven’t read it yet – it has very good reviews though.
        Lynn 😀

      • Kathleen

        Thanks for the recommendation. 🙂 I did enjoy Ocean at the the End of the Lane and Stardust very much so I might try some of his novels again.

      • lynnsbooks

        I hope you enjoy. Will watch out to see your reviews.
        Lynn 😀

  2. lipsyy

    Great idea for this this week Lynn! You’ve inspired me to borrow a copy of Prince of Thorns from a friend too! I’m sure I’ll love it!

    • lynnsbooks

      I hope you do – I admit it’s not to everyone’s taste, especially if you don’t like the darkness of it but I love the series.
      Lynn 😀

      • lipsyy

        Oh I think I’ll like the darkness 😉

      • lynnsbooks

        Excellent. I look forward to seeing your review.
        Lynn 😀

  3. Michael

    So many great books….I sense my TBR pile will be increasing.

    • lynnsbooks

      This is the problem reading other people’s blogs – it’s very bad for the TBR! (but it’s also nice isn’t it!)
      Lynn 😀

  4. Nathan

    I have read so many of those. You have great tastes!

    • lynnsbooks

      Thanks 😀 I’m not surprised – you seem to have read loads – every week I seem to have a new book to add to my list from your tough travels!
      Lynn 😀

  5. jenclair

    Great list! I’ve read a lot of these recommendations, but there are quite a few new possibilities!

    • lynnsbooks

      I thought you’d have read most of these – you do read quite a lot of fantasy.
      Lynn 😀

  6. Danya @ Fine Print

    Sure, I bet you’ve never read those spicier titles. 😉 What a great list, Lynn! I especially love how you recommend The Hobbit for children – it was one of my favourites growing up. My dad and I used to sing all of the songs together!

    • lynnsbooks

      Ahem, well, I may have read one of two!! That’s really cool that you had that reading experience with your dad and singing the songs I share my dad’s love of reading and it’s where my reading tastes have come from. It’s really nice having that in common.
      Lynn 😀

  7. For the Love of the Page

    I’m really looking forward to reading something by Neil Gaiman. I have some of his books on my ereader, but I haven’t gotten to them yet. Everyone seems to love him! Great list! 🙂

    • lynnsbooks

      I absolutely love The Graveyard Book and put off reading it for ages because it looked as though it would be for really young readers.
      Lynn 😀

  8. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    Great list, very comprehensive and I like it a lot because there’s something for everyone! Some are great finds for me too. And I’m glad I introduced you to a new term! Flintlock fantasy, I’ve always loved the sound of it 😛

    • lynnsbooks

      Yeah, it’s a cool term – I love finding new descriptions for the books I read – you should have seem my face when I first heard of steampunk! ‘steam’? ‘punk??
      Lynn 😀

  9. lissiet

    Great list! I love the way you split it up!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

  10. Rabindranauth

    Excellent list!

    • lynnsbooks

      Thanks 😀 I enjoyed putting it together. I’m a bit of a listaholic!
      Lynn 😀

  11. anotherafterthought

    So…you’re secretly an undercover sales agent right?

    I think if I had to choose any of the umpteenth choices you listed, I’d probably maybe read Emperor of Thorns as I’ve sat through many one-sided fangirl-y sessions of someone’s love for Jorg (I hope you are not a groupie).

    joey via. thoughts and afterthoughts

    • lynnsbooks

      Of course I’m a groupie – and I receive a sales agents cut!! LOL Defo read the Lawrence books – they’re worth every minute.
      Lynn 😀

  12. Tabitha (Not Yet Read)

    That is an excellent looking freaking list! I didn’t know about ‘flintlock’ fantasy either til Mogsy

  13. Hat’s off to you… |

    […] In which I give you fantasy not to be missed… August, 2014, self explanatory really (Top Ten Books I’d Give To Readers Who Have Never Read X – x=fantasy) […]

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