Tag Archives: Fantasy

Top Ten Tuesday #14

top-10-fantasy

toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010.

September 13: Top Ten ALL TIME Favorite Books Of X Genre

I’m running a little late on everything these days, while I am moving my office out to my grandparents farm. Worst of all the internet there has a data-cap and it gets throttled to almost dial-up speeds when you hit the limit, so I’ve been trying to find a better internet solution that reaches out to the rural area they live in.

So I am a day late, but I just couldn’t miss this one since I am a big genre reader. In fact, just choosing one genre is not easy. (And these are not in any particular order.) Also, I’ll try not to make the whole list about Stephen R. Lawhead. ūüėČ

Top Ten Fantasy Books & Series…

  1. Books of the Infinite¬†– Book two Judge was by book of the year in 2015. I had read Prophet a couple of years ago, but when I got Judge I decided to read through the whole series back-to-back and it blew me away. The Books of the Infinite are a Biblical/Historical/Fantasy series set in a¬†fantasy realm. It’s hard to wrap your head around the whole idea of it, but the books are so well written you’ll forgive the genre criss-crossing right away.
  2. Lord of the Rings – Might as well just get it out of the way. The grand-daddy of fantasy series. Of course, I have a special affinity for the series I was named after. My parents read the books together when my mom was pregnant and yes they named me Arwen, it’s my real name.
  3. The Pendragon Cycle – This is where I would tell you to start with Stephen R Lawhead. The first three books of this series are absolutely fantastic. Taliesin begins with the fall of Atlantis, Merlin is the story of the young Merlin and his early life, and Arthur is about King Arthur (who else?). It’s the best Arthurian re-telling I’ve ever read.
  4. The Song of Albion Collection – Another Stephen R Lawhead series. This one is full of Celtic mythology and lore. The main character crosses over into an ancient other-world and in drawn into the fight between good and evil with both worlds at stake. For me these books are a great, quick read, the kind you can’t put down.
  5. Stardust – An absolutely fabulous book by Neil Gaiman. Weaving fantasy and fairy tales and history together in a unique story with a world all of it’s own. If you like Neil Gaiman and haven’t read this book yet add it to the top of your TBR.
  6. The Saga of the Trillium – I great collaboration between fantasy authors. Triplet princesses each have separate, yet connected destinies to fulfill in this series that weaves in and out of each of their stories. ¬†The alien world they live on is full of mystery (and I still occasionally ponder over it years after I’ve finished the series.) It’s a world that¬†once abounded in¬†scientific marvels and in magic, but now much of the knowledge of both has been forgotten. The world building is excellent, and the characters strong. A great fantasy series!
  7. Myst: The Book of Atrus and other Myst books by Rand Miller – I don’t even know what to say about this book that wouldn’t be a spoiler. I feel like these books are one of the best kept secrets of fantasy. You’ve probably heard of the game Myst, and if you’re like me were completely baffled by it. But these books unpack the mysteries of the world and of the time leading up to the beginning of the game.
  8. The Seventh Tower Collection – World building is so important in fantasy stories, and Garth Nix does a fantastic job of creating a world unlike any other. It drew me in and I binge read all 6 books. The sun is blocked by a magical veil and the world split into two factions. The Icelcarls¬†who have learned to eek out an existence in the harsh world of ice that the perpetual darkness has caused and the Chosen who live in a tower and have “tamed” the shadow creature who had at one time threaten their world.
  9. The Chronicles of Prydain – Mostly know for being the source for Disney’s “The Black Cauldron” these book tell the story of Taran the Assistant Pig-Keeper and his friends. This series is high fantasy and very deep thinking in a very approachable story.
  10. The Name of the Wind – It was so hard to pick a 10th book! I kept thinking of possibilities (this list could have been 25, not 10.) But I picked this one because it is sooo strong and because I am really looking forward to the next books (once I have time to read them.) This first person narrative is told in parts,¬†building the biography of a wizard (who at the time of the telling is really more of a bartender.) But the mystery between who he was and who he is, is what it’s all about, and what has me interested in the next installments.

I know I left a lot of great fantasy off of my list. Tell me some of your favorites in the comments below.

Review: The Quest for Merlin

MTQFM(KINDLE)The Quest for Merlin (Magimakía Book 1)
by Rafael Lovato
Pages: 245
Date Finished: 6/15/16

Book Reviews- Liked it Alot Liked It A Lot

Early Reviewers

  • I received this book free from the LibraryThing¬†members giveaways group in exchange for my honest option.

This was the first time I’ve received an eArc. I’ve been nervous about them because it’s not always in a format that I can read, and it’s been hit and miss with the email-to-Kindle. Luckily, I found a new tool where I can send books to the Kindle with a simple click from my PC. It worked great and I was able to read The Quest for Merlin on my Kindle without problems. (I really hate reading books on a computer screen, Kindle Paperwhite is really the way to go.)

MTQFMBANNER copy

The Quest for Merlin is a fantasy novel set in the modern day. ¬†It has a very unique premise and mythology. The story is told through various characters, the main story following the decedents of Merlin, but also has a very interesting side story as told by the goblins. That’s right, goblins! I really enjoyed the GPoV (Goblin Point of View) chapters.

The book begins with a goblin and troll dropping off a stack of histories to¬†the writer, even though he’s not named I can assume this character is Rafael Lovato the author of the novel. The goblin explains that it’s his job to translate them so the story of the Magimakia can be told to the world. Magimakia being a large magical battle between dimensions.

Each race seems to have it’s own dimension, with a magical energy signified by a special color (Angels – yellow, Humans – blue, Goblins – green and so on) and each race also has a magical specialty (for example Humans can open portals between dimensions.) Digging into this world is pretty interesting. It was unlike any other fantasy world I’ve seen in other books.

I wondered if the differences have to do with the author being Brazilian. One other foreign fantasy I read, the Russian The White Raven (Sword of the Northern Ancestors) was also very unique in its world building and mythology.

The chapters told in the point of view of Oliver, the teenage descendant of Merlin, are suppose to have been written by him in a history book of the Order of Mages and Witches. However, it really doesn’t seem like they were written after the fact by a probably older Oliver, because they are very much told in a teenage point of view (complete with annoying teen lingo and immaturity of thought.) In fact, at one point I wondered if the author had a bet going for how many pages he could have the main character think or say “Wicked.”¬†That was the only real downside.

Bottom Line:

A fun and different fantasy novel. The twist at the end really caught me by surprise. I will be looking forward to the next book in this series. If you enjoy modern fantasy you’ll probably enjoy this book.