Fantasy List

I asked a friend if she’d seen the post I made asking for fantasy recommendations, and she said she’d seen it, but not read all the comments because there were rather a lot of them. I was sorting the suggestions at the time, and I thought maybe there were other people who might like it as a list.

This list is split into three parts: books I’ve read already, my new library list, and things for which I’d be a very hard sell. The last section has some comments as to why. I’m including it because I do know that not everybody shares my prejudices.

If your suggestions are on my “already read” list, don’t be sad, that just means you correctly identified things I like. Also, it means I rate any other things you suggested more highly, as we clearly have congruent tastes. Though those people who suggested things I’ve already reviewed here did make me blink a little. Oh, and just because I’ve read it doesn’t mean I necessarily recommend it. I read a lot.

The interesting thing about the “library list” is how often my reaction was “Really? But it looks so generic!” This is proof that this works. It’s all very well that people recommended things that were already on my radar, like Megan Whalen Turner and K.J. Parker. It’s much more significant that they found authors I’d never heard of and books I’d picked up and put down again.

Suggestions that Ive already read

Clive Barker, Imajica

K. J. Bishop, The Etched City

Chaz Brenchley, Bridge of Dreams

Steven Brust & Emma Bull, Freedom and Necessity

Steven Brust, Vlad Taltos series

Emma Bull, War For The Oaks, Territory

Lois McMaster Bujold, The Curse of Chalion, Paladin of Souls, The Sharing Knife

Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities

C.J. Cherryh, The Paladin

Susannah Clarke, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell

Storm Constantine, Wraeththu series

Glen Cook

Susan Cooper, The Dark is Rising series

Charles De Lint

Kate Elliott, Crown of Stars

John M Ford

C. S. Friedman, Coldfire trilogy

Neil Gaiman

Mary Gentle, Grunts

Barbara Hambly, The Silent Tower

Robin Hobb, Assassin series

P.C. Hodgell

Nina Kiriki Hoffman, The Thread that Binds the Bones

Robert Holdstock, Mythago Wood

Barry Hughart, Bridge of Birds

Diana Wynne Jones, Tough Guide to Fantasyland

Guy Gavriel Kay

Katherine Kerr, Deverry

Rosemary Kirstein—but they’re SF. Look for a post on these soon.

Tanith Lee

Jane Lindskold, Brother to Dragons, Companion to Owls

Elizabeth A. Lynn, WatchTower, Northern Girl, Dancers of Arun

Patricia McKillip, The Forgotten Beasts of Eld, Riddlemaster of Hed

Michael Moorcock

Garth Nix, Sabriel

Terry Pratchett

Phillip Pullman, His Dark Materials

Sharon Shinn

Johanna Sinisalo, Not Before Sundown

Sherwood Smith, Inda, The Fox, The King’s Shield.

Charles Stross, Merchant Princes

Michael Swanwick, The Iron Dragons Daughter

Judith Tarr, A Wind in Kairo

Sherri S. Tepper, A Plague of Angels

J.R.R. Tolkien, Children of Hurin

Jeff Vandermeer

Lawrence Watt Evans

Michelle West, Hunter series

Edward Whittemore

Walter Jon Williams, Metropolitan

Patricia C. Wrede, Mairelon The Magician

Jane Yolen & Adam Stemple, Pay the Piper



Library List

Joe Abercrombie, First Law

Daniel Abraham, Long Price Quartet

Kage Baker, Anvil of the World

R. Scott Bakker, Prince of Nothing trilogy, comprising: The Darkness That Comes Before, The Warrior-Prophet and The Thousandfold Thought

Elizabeth Bear, New Amsterdam, Blood and Iron, Ink and Steel, Hell and Earth

Carol Berg, Flesh and Spirit, Breath & Bone

Holly Black, Tithe, Valiant

Elizabeth Boyer

Marie Brennan, Midnight Never Come

M.A. Brenner, Catastrophes Spell

Kristen Britain

Trudi Canavan, The Black Magician

Janet Lee Carey, Dragons Keep

Isobelle Carmody

Jonathan Carroll

Mark Chadbourn

Rick Cook, Wizardry series

Dan Crawford, Cat & Mouse

Kathleen Duey, Skin Hunger

Dave Duncan, The Great Game

Hal Duncan, Vellum, Ink

Teresa Edgerton, Goblin Moon

Ru Emerson, The Princess of Flames

Steven Erikson, Malazan series

Nancy Farmer, Sea of Trolls

Jeffrey Ford

Kate Forsyth

David Freer and Eric Flint, Pyramid Scheme

Shannon Hale, Princess Academy

Francis Hardinge, Fly by Night

Lian Hearn, Tales of the Otori

Jim C Hines, Goblin series

Robert Holdstock, Merlin Codex series

Simon Ings, City of the Iron Fish

Paul Kearney

David Keck

Greg Keyes, Saga of The Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone

Jay Lake, Trial Of Flowers

Juliet Marillier

Melissa Marr, Wicked Lovely, Ink Exchange

A. Lee Martinez, The Automatic Detective

J. M. McDermott, Last Dragon

Sean McMullen, Voyage of the Shadowmoon

China Mieville, Perdido Street Station, The Scar, Iron Council

John Moore, Heroics For Beginners

Haruki Murakami

Jeffrey Overstreet, Auralias Colors

Paul Park, A Princess of Roumania

K.J. Parker, Engineer trilogy

Victor Pelevin

Ricardo Pinto, Stone Dance of the Chameleon

Melanie Rawn, Ruins of Ambrai

John Ringo, There Will Be Dragons

Lane Robins, Maledicte

Matt Ruff

Sean Russell, Initiate Brother, Moontide and Magic

Charles. R. Saunders, Imaro

Brandon Sanderson, Mistborn trilogy, Elantris

Andrzej Sapkowski

Bruno Schulz, The Street of Crocodiles

Darrell Schweitzer, Mask of the Sorcerer

Ekaterina Sedia, Alchemy of Stone

Jan Siegal, Prosperos Children

Maria Snyder

Vladimir Sorokin, Ice

Wen Spencer, Tinker

Steph Swainson, The Year of Our War

Laini Taylor, Faeries of Dreamdark: BLACKBRINGER

Catherynne M. Valente, The Orphans Tales

Michelle West, Sun Sword

Megan Whelan Turner, Attolia

Liz Williams, Detective Inspector Chen

Sean Williams, The Books Of the Cataclysm

Gene Wolfe, The Wizard Knight, There are Doors

Jonathan Wylie, Dream-Weaver

Sarah Zettel, Isavalta



Very Reluctant to Try.

Emma Bull, E. Bear and others, Shadowunit—TV. I hate TV. This is a pretend TV program, and as such designed to appeal to people who watch TV and like it. Despite the fact Bull and Monette are involved and I’d normally be fascinated, this strikes me as something not at all aimed at me.

Jim Butcher, Dresden Files—Vampires. I hate vampires. I don’t hate them as much as TV, but that’s only because they’re not real.

Jacqueline Carey, Kushiels Dart—BDSM doesn’t repel me as much as TV or vampires, but it still isn’t my thing.

Mary Gentle, Ash: A Secret History, Ilario: The Lions Eye, 1610: A Sundial in a Grave—I hated Grunts. I hated it more than vampires and only slightly less than TV. It seemed to be a direct attack on Tolkien and everything I love about fantasy. Previous to this, I had enjoyed Gentle’s work a lot, so you’d think I could get over it, but every time I pick up one of her books I remember how much I hated Grunts and put it down again.

Nalo Hopkinson, Brown Girl in the Ring—despite having enjoyed other Hopkinson and having every reason to believe this is a good book, I’m reluctant to read something that earworms me with Boney M. I admit that this is a terribly shallow reason for not reading something.

Scott Lynch, The Lies of Locke Lamora—Pirates. Pirates are right up there with BDSM.

Martin Millar, Lonely Werewolf Girl—I strongly suspect it of having werewolves.

Kim Newman, Anno-Dracula—Definitely vampires.

Naomi Novik—Alternate history with dragons but the dragons didn’t change anything so you still have Napoleonic wars. Everybody else on the planet loves these to bits, but watch me gnaw off my own leg to escape.

Georges Perec, Life, a Users Manual—This looks like being the kind of magic realism that irritates me profoundly.



Back to the top of the page


Subscribe to this thread

Post a Comment

All comments must meet the community standards outlined in's Moderation Policy or be subject to moderation. Thank you for keeping the discussion, and our community, civil and respectful.

Hate the CAPTCHA? members can edit comments, skip the preview, and never have to prove they're not robots. Join now!

Our Privacy Notice has been updated to explain how we use cookies, which you accept by continuing to use this website. To withdraw your consent, see Your Choices.