Friday Favourites #8

For this week’s Friday Favourite, I decided I would once again focus on a favourite genre of mine. Whilst dystopia has been a relatively recent addition to my favourite reads, the genre that I am focusing on today I have loved for a long time. That genre is fantasy. Like many readers (at least readers of my age), I can trace my love of fantasy back to reading the Harry Potter books when I was younger. To be honest, I think fantasy was what made me fall in love with reading in the first place, the idea that you could enter this world, so different from your own, where anything could happen, and you could experience all these amazing things alongside the characters in these books. Harry Potter let me see the endless possibilities that there were in fantasy worlds, and the wonder, and the magic that you experienced with books like this. As I’ve grown up, my love of fantasy has not diminished, rather it has grown.

I love the diversity of fantasy as a genre, there are so many different worlds that can be created, so many different characters that can be explored, like I said before in fantasy there seems to be a world of endless possibilities, and when I hopefully one day become a writer, these are the sorts of books that I want to write because whilst writing in any genre obviously gives you license to be creative, I feel like in fantasy especially, you are allowed to be particularly creative. I’ve always loved the idea of characters have magic powers, or powers in general, and obviously fantasy books have these in abundance.

I also love that in fantasy books you can have characters you wouldn’t be able to get anywhere else (I mean where other than in a fantasy book would you find a walking, talking, magic using, sarcastic skeleton, and yes obviously I’m talking about everyone’s favourite skeleton detective Skulduggery Pleasant) and because of the different worlds, you can get all manner of different, quirky characters in a fantasy book. Fantasy is just what I like in a book, pure escapism, where you can fully dive into a world filled with fun, and magic, and quests, and fights, the list goes on. Although that doesn’t mean that fantasy doesn’t deal with hard topics, I mean look at Celeana in Throne of Glass and how much she goes through, or how much death there is in the Harry Potter books, fantasy can delve into some dark stuff at times.

Fantasy books also contain some of my favourite characters, whether it be Percy from Percy Jackson (becuase who doesn’t love Percy?), Celeana from Throne of Glass, Skulduggery from Skulduggery Pleasant, Artemis Fowl from Artemis Fowl, too many characters to list from Harry Potter, if you asked me to give you a list of favourite characters (or even a list of favourite books), I can guarantee you that fantasy characters (or books) would make up a hefty proportion of my favourites. There’s something about fantasy books that I find addictive, and along with dystopia, this is probably the genre that I read most. I have yet to find a fantasy book that I don’t love. I also find that fantasy books make the best movies! There’s something so inherently visual about this particular genre of fiction, and fantasy books almost always make great movie adaptations (with some notable exceptions, I’m looking at you Percy Jackson movies, but that was really the filmmakers fault for cutting too much out and changing the ages of the main cast, anyway, mini Percy Jackson movie related rant over!) because of the very visual nature of books in this genre.

I also love that there are so many different types of fantasy to choose from, there is something for everyone, whether you like vampires, or mythology, or fairy tales, something that is set in our world but with fantasy elements (contemporary fantasy, I’ve read quite a bit of this), humourous fantasy, high fantasy, romance, steampunk, urban…..the list goes on, I’ve found that no matter what your taste you can find something in fantasy to suit you (for instance I don’t read a lot of vampire based fantasy, but I have read quite a bit of contemporary, and the fantasy series that I adore, Percy Jackson and Skulduggery Pleasant, definitely have a healthy helping of humour). I love that fantasy doesn’t have any hard and fast rules, you can create the world you want to and you don’t have to worry about it being too strange, because it’s fantasy and you can do anything you like, you’re not really limited in any way. I also love the sense of wonder that fantasy creates in you, at these amazing worlds, or these amazing powers that characters have. Plus, I’ve found that fantasy leads to hours of conversation, as you talk to people about what powers you would have if you were in that particular world (yes, I have done this with a friend of mine about Percy Jackson, we’ve talked about which God we would want to be the child of, and what powers we would want to have on numerous occasions). The thing I love most about fantasy though, is that no matter what world it is, a good fantasy author will make you want to be able to visit that world (for example, how many of you who grew up in the Harry Potter generation wanted to go to Hogwarts? Or even if you’re older and have read the books, wouldn’t you love to go to Hogwarts?) and go on adventures just like the characters in their books. That’s what you want in a fanatasy book, a world that’s so amazing you want to go there.

My favourite Fantasies:

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(For convenience’s sake, I used the first book in each series, or first published chronologically to represent the whole series, this does not necessarily mean the first is my favourite book, except in the case of The Chronicles of Narnia, as The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe was the only book set in the Narnia universe that I managed to finish!).

What are your favourite fantasies? Is there a particular sub-genre of fantasy you like the most? Do you not like fantasies at all, if so, why not? Are you a fan of any of the books pictured above? And as always, most importantly, do you have any fantasy recommendations for me? I’m always looking for new ones to read!

I will be back with another Friday Favourites next week, but tomorrow (well later today really as it’s after midnight now here in the UK), I will have another Sidekick Showcase Saturday post for you, so look out for that!

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4 thoughts on “Friday Favourites #8

  1. Zezee June 6, 2015 / 11:19 am

    I enjoyed reading this post. Thanks for sharing your favorites. Mine are similar to yours: Harry Potter, Narnia, Percy Jackson, Heroes of Olympus; but also The Neverending Story, The Chronicles of Prydain, books by Tamora Pierce, books by Robin McKinley, The Wizard of Earthsea, The Lost Years of Merlin series, and much. much more. I love fantasy as well and I grew up reading fantasy novels. I forgot which book got me into reading (it wasn’t a fantasy novel) but I think the first fantasy novel I read was either The Neverending Story or The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. I immediately fell in love with the genre and rarely left its clutches since. I like how fantasy reveals truths about the human race and the world via constructions that are unreal, that are purely from the author’s mind (things the author has seen, experienced, or heard of then converted into something new). As Lloyd Alexander said: “all humor is serious and all fantasy true.”

    As you’ve touched on above, I think great fantasy writers are able to so convince you of the machinations of their world that you either REALLY want to visit it or NEVER want to encounter such a place. Since you’ve mentioned wanting to be a writer, have you read Wonderbook by Jeff VanderMeer? It’s a writing book/manuel that any genre writer can use but it focuses on fantasy and it has awesomely cool artwork on every since page. It’s the most fun and beautiful writing book I’ve ever read though I’m procrastinating and taking FOREVER to finish it.

    • iloveheartlandx June 6, 2015 / 4:43 pm

      Wow! Thank you for such a long comment! I’ll have to check out some of your other favourites. I like that as well, the truths that you can find about life in fantasy, explored through a world of an author’s creation. I didn’t touch on the never want to visit, but I’ve experienced that in fantasy too! I haven’t read Wonderbook, but it sounds good, I’ll have to check it out.

  2. TheLiteraryCounsellor June 6, 2015 / 8:59 pm

    Hi Jo! I’ve also been a fantasy fan for ages, but I feel like I haven’t read much of it lately. I’ve heard some really great things about Skullduggery Pleasant. I’ll have to take another look at it when I’m in my store next.

    I’ve been really enjoying your blog, so I nominated you for a Liebster Award. I hope you don’t mind! http://theliterarycounsellor.com/2015/06/06/liebster-award/

    • iloveheartlandx June 6, 2015 / 9:03 pm

      As you can tell, fantasy makes up quite a bulk of my reading! Skulduggery Pleasant is great, I highly recommend it. No, I don’t mind, thank you! I’m glad you’ve been enjoying my blog!

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