First fantasy novel love?
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What was the book that "got you into" fantasy? I think for me it was the Dragonriders of Pern, which people keep saying is not fantasy, but I think is generally more fantastical than strictly science-fiction...Besides, back in the day, fantasy and sci-fi were always together in the back corner of the little book store! It was while I was looking Anne McCaffrey novels that I discovered more fantasy. Life changing event, my first Anne McCaffrey novel.
for me it's an easy one. i decided to read the lord of the rings trilogy before the movies came out. fell in love with the books, hated the movies, and have been a fantasy fan ever since :)
6: It was the same way for me. I read The Hobbit and the Narnia books when I was young, then went through a phase of reading only the classics, before finally coming back to fantasy as a young teen.
I read some of the titles here during primary school, like other readers, but didn't understand about genre's then.
I thought they were all excellent but wouldn't have been able to tell you why then.
Add to that, NZ authors like Margaret Mahy, Maurice Gee etc probably trained me up to appreciate fantasy. They wrote screeds of books during my tweens which had fantasy/fantastic elements landing in someone's life.
I guess looking back they were some of the first magical realism authors?
However at 13 or 14 I read Daughter of the Empire and started searching for fantasy genre titles in my library after that.
Wow, I didn't realise that was such a turning point. I should go back and thank our school librarian :-)
I'd have to say The Belgariad, The Dragonlance Chronicles, and The Riftwar books.
It was Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time for me. A friend loaned me the first book, I was supposed to be studying for exams at the time and read the whole series instead. I still have a lot of affection for WOT as a result :) It completely blew me away. Soon after I found Robin Hobb and the rest was history.
11knitteratheart First Message
I got into it young, so for me it was Alanna: the first adventure by Tamora Pierce.
I can't recall the exact book that first brought me to fantasy but it was either the belgariad series by David Eddings or The Crystal Shard by R.A. Salvatore. From there I began reading all the other books in the Forgotten Realms Series and moved over to books by Anne McCaffrey and so many other authors.
I don't remember ever not reading fantasy. I had kids' books about unicorns and stuff, then I had J books about magic (lots of Ruth Chew, for instance), then all the YA fantasy - Tamora Pierce and Diane Duane and Robin McKinley (to name but a few). High school was when I really 'got into' science fiction, but I've always read fantasy.
There's two moments that stand out in my memory. As a child, perhaps around 9 or 10 years old, my mother purchased The Chronicles of Narnia boxed set for me. I only read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe at the time, but I loved it. I finally read the entire series just this year.
Then, in the Summer between sophomore and junior years in high school, 1988, my summer reading list choices included The Lord of the Rings and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I read both series, loved them and have recently re-read them.
For me it was The Chronicles of Narnia. Then at school I remember reading The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander and The Weirdstone of Brisingamen and The Moon of Gomrath by Alan Garner. I didn't read The Lord of the Rings until I was about 13, and it wasn't until I re-read it after seeing the first two films that I became an all-out, elf-loving, Quenya-speaking (sort of), genealogically-informed fan. Sort of agree with philosojerk - I didn't hate the films but the books are so much better!
I liked fantasy most as a kid but didn't realize what I liked, since I read everything. I really liked Narnia and a book I had called Princess Nevermore. When I was in high school, a friend introduced me to the Wheel of Time and from the first page, literally, of The Eye of the World I haven't looked back, just kept on reading.
When I was a kid there was a radio program with a reading from the norwegian translation of A Wizard of Earthsea and a radio-play adapted from Elidor which I tried to follow as closely as I could. This was probably my first exposure to it. After that came the Hobbit, sold with a computer game from Melbourne House in the mid-eighties. This lead me to find the norwegian translations of the Hobbitt and the Lord of the Rings and read them.
But despite all of that I have to say that the book which started me on fantasy was Lord Foul's Bane. It was not the first, but it was when I read this book that I realised that fantasy could be something other than elves, dwarves and magic rings. (Although the book certainly has enough of things like that it is just so fundamentally different from The Lord of the Rings that it really woke me up to the possibilities.)
Hhmmm...way back in the mists of time, when I was a young boy, I think that my first exposure to the genre was the Hobbit, but not as a book. I recall watching the old animated movie of the Hobbit and loving it, but being VERY frightened of the dragon, Smaug. I later read the book and was hooked for life!
Ida Delage's Weeny Witch. Seriously. I was only five, but after that I was in it for life.
A combination of things all at about the same time Edgar Rice Burroughs, followed almost at once by Tolkien and Edmund Cooper. These authors led me on to many more, but the outstanding authors (for a variety of different reasons are Janny Wurts, Robin Hobb, Fiona McIntosh, Raymond E. Fiest, Katharine Kerr, J. V. Jones and Guy Gavriel Kay.
Favourite book has to be, "Lord of the Rings" (I did like the films but they are still unable to do justice to the book(s).
The DarkAngel - Meredith Anne Pierce; Witch World - Andre Norton; Dragon Singer - Anne McCaffrey; Lord Foul's Bane - Stephen R Donaldson; The Wizards and the Warriors - Hugh Cook; but somewhere before all that was a story about some kids in Cornwall, and one of them was called Bartholomew.
>28 Sounds like Over Sea, Under Stone from The Dark is Rising series by Susan Cooper. The boy's name is Barney.
I would have to say the Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb when I was 15years old.
littlebookworm: I liked fantasy most as a kid but didn't realize what I liked, since I read everything.
Same here, but I think I remember seeing my mom reading Damia by McCaffrey. She wouldn't let me borrow it because she said I was too young, so I found it at the library ;) I quickly moved on to Xanth by Anthony and have been at it ever since!
I've loved fantasy since I was little. Tales with witches, wizards, dragons, and magic were always my favorites when I was young. As for my first novel love, I guess that would be The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, but I've loved fantasy and fairy tales for as long as I can remember.
I loved fairy tales as a kid, and every other storybook that had dragons in it. I remember borrowing this storybook from a neighbor. The inside paper had a drawing of a castle tower, and a flight of dragons in the background. It looked like a pencil sketch. I don't remember the name of the book. (It wasn't Flight of Dragons :P)
But my first real love is The Hobbit, followed by Lord of the Rings. Cliche, I know hahahaha!
Like a lot of the others here I started off young. Probably the first fantasy story I read was Serendipity, which was a children's book. Other loves through the years were the Narnia books, The Hobbit, The Chronicals of Prydain, The Wrinkle in Time books and The Dark is Rising series. Once I got into junior high I discovered A Spell for Chameleon, which I mainly picked up because of the cover, and after that everything I read was fantasy (except what I was forced to read in school).
Like most people here, I was a big fairy tale fan as a kid, especially if it was about dragons or witches or wizards etc & like others I'd guess my first real fantasy read was The Chronicles of Narnia... But what got me hooked was David Eddings's The Diamond Throne when I was about 13, I dont think I've read anything but fantasy since actually... & although Eddings' writing style seems a bit repetetive to me these days, I'll always have a soft spot for my first fantasy love...
Easy, The Lord of the Rings. After reading it there was no turning back; I had found my niche. ...so to speak.
Totally agree i read The Hobbit closely followed by The Lord of the Rings . I was probably only 10 or 11 and have a very enlightened primary school teacher to thank for over 40 years of enjoyment.
The Oz books. My slightly-younger girl cousin was reading them when we visited her family; I got enthralled. I was probably around 9.
Well, I always loved fantasy and read most of what has been mentioned here . It's hard to pick which was the first but besides fairy tales I read The Book of Dragons by E. Nesbit and then all her others. I also was addicted to the Moomin books by Tove Jansen and one I remember really getting me hooked on fantasy was The Diamond in the Window by Jane Langton.
My teacher read us Half Magic and I consumed the rest of the books by Edward Eager. The children in that book talked about how wonderful The Enchanted Castle was so then I was off to read all the works of E. Nesbit. I couldn't believe my luck the day I found The Magician's Nephew on a shelf and devoured it. I read lots of Oz books in third and fourth grade by L. Frank Baum but also others by Ruth Plumly Thompson and John R. Neill. Later I read the Chronicles of Prydain and waited eagerly for each book of The Dark is Rising series to be published.
The earliest novel I can put a definite date to is Dragonflight in fifth grade (I count that as Fantasy with SF clothes on), but I know I read some kid-oriented SF/F before that, like Space Cat and Andre Norton books.
But then I was already watching Space Ghost and other sf/f shows on kiddy TV, as well as TV shows like Mr. Ed, My Mother The Car, I Dream of Jeannie, Bewitched, Out of Time, Out of Space and so on. No doubt this dates me badly! :-)
#54 Namazzi - I really liked Goodkind's Debt of Bones, which is what I read first that got me to read the Sword of Truth series. And I've liked most of the ones I've read. Not to burst your bubble or anything (cause they are still readable), but the last few books of the series have started going downhill. I don't know - that may just be my opinion, but I thought I'd give you fair warning.
Definitely Narnia and Oz. And I always liked the fantastical children's stories with the miniture people (The Borrowers) or talking animals (The Rescuers). And classic fairy tales of course.
There wasn't much fantasy (or science fiction) in my house - just not my mom's thing. So it wasn't until I entered high school that I made some friends who read sf/f who introduced me to a lot of other stuff, like Xanth and McCaffrey. But Narnia and Oz are the only things I can remember prior to high school.
The Blue Sword although I have always hated the beginning, once you get past that it is great. I also really liked the Xanth stuff, and early Shannara books. Oh, and my dad had some old copies of the Pern series, so I read that too when I was pretty young.
I tried to read the Lord of the Rings at the age of eleven, but had to capitulate after a few pages, found it boring and verbose. Didn't read the Hobbit before though, I think this would have made it far easier. The first fantasy novel(s) which really sucked me into the genre was Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin. I love Ged and Tenar till today, and the fascination for everything phantastic has not left me. I still know how desperate I was when I had to discover that I had read everything available in fantasy and science fiction in our library.
lord of the rings.... i was about 12... Liked the title(and the cover!!)
I have a vague notion of reading Alan garner when very young at school. Othewise I crossed over from Dr Who novels to The Hobbit and picked up Robert Howard very soon after.
The very first fantasy book I read was, Here Abide Monsters by Andre Norton. I adored it, but it would be another 10 years before I could say I was a fan of fantasy and I guess I'd have to credit Stephen Donaldson and his Unbeliever Chronicles for forging my love of fantasy. A bit dark for fantasy introduction, but it worked. ;)
My earliest reads had to be the big, heavy tomes of fairy tales, my mother got from her mother's library.
Anne McCaffery's first series of "Dragon" books, shortly followed by The Chronicles of Prydain and the first few Deryni books by Kurtz.
67non-apejase First Message
For some reason I used to turn my nose up at fantasy, until the librarian at work gave me The First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant to read. I was hooked after that.
67: I love that series. My poor Dad's copies are so worn by now, we've both read them so many times.
Lord of the Rings was definitely the catalyst. It was around 1980, and the Rankin/Bass version of The Return of the King had just aired on television. I saw something like the last half-hour of the movie, and I had to know the rest of the story. I read a lot of different things before then, including fantasy, but once I got hold of Lord of the Rings I never looked back.
Of course, since I had no idea about the order of the books or anything, I mistook The Hobbit for the first book because it said "The enchanting prelude to The Lord of the Rings" on the cover. So I went home from the library with The Hobbit, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King. Um.
Fortunately my dad, who is awesome, drove me back into town to get to the bookstore five minutes before it closed so I could get The Fellowship of the Ring.
I was going to answer J.R.R. Tolkien as a teenager until I noticed the posts that mentioned Edgar Rice Burroughs and then I realized Burroughs would have been the first fantasy "books" I read as a child. By "books" I mean text without too many pictures. Of course, there were also DC comics and most particularly Batman and Robin.
I guess the reason I didn't initially think of Tarzan and John Carter and Carson Napier and Batman is that as a child I didn't really think of them as fantasy. My imagination was such that I actually thought they were real (which could be a bit dangerous at times, but the late Fifties and early Sixties were a more innocent era).
As far as fantasy that, when I first read it, I actually read it as fantasy. that would almost certainly be J.R.R. Tolkien though. But as far as my personal favorite today, I think I'd probably choose Philip Pullman.
As a child, my intro to fantasy books were The Chronicles of Narnia, which were read to me before I could read; Alice and Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass (which I read in book form and listened to on vinyl LP endlessly as a child), The Wizard of Oz books, and Madeleine L'Engles Wrinkle in Time books.
I don't remember how old I was when I read Tunnel through Time by Lester Del Rey but it pulled me into it and I fell in love with fantasy. I don't care that people say it's sci-fi. Ultimately, it's all fantasy anyway.
I read just about anything as a kid (heck, I still do today) but mostly it was fantasy or SF, I just never realized it. I read The Hobbit in 4th grade, and knew I was really "home." After that, the teacher who recommended The Hobbit loaned me his copy of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and I was really hooked.
For me I was interested in fantasy-style writing after the magical children's book The Wind in the Willows (not mentioned!!) - and to a lesser degree, The Chronicles of Narnia.
After that I started enjoying the early Dragonlance novels by Weis and Hickman - which still have a soft spot in my heart to this day despite not having read any of them in over a decade.
For epic fantasy I first loved Wizard's First Rule and Lord of the Rings.
I was raised watching Dr. Who. Around four or five my dad started reading me the Wizard of Oz. Our library had the whole series. Then he read the Chronicles of Narnia. He got about halfway through before I decided I was old enough to read them myself. Around ten he gave me The Magic of Xanth. I found Redwall about that time too. Read to your children! You too can raise a geek!
It was a kid's book of short stories that still rings clearly in my head. Ironically, I can't remember its name but several stories involved imaginary lands and frightening monsters.
Andre Norton, Witch World and other titles. I liked fairytales and folklore and was very happy to find that people were writing new fairytales. A few months ago I found a copy of Witch World and read it again. Aaah, nostalgia.
Junior high-LOTR, and never looked back. Although I did read Alice in Wonderland and the Narnia books earlier, it was Tolkein followed by Herbert that did it for me.
Mmm, mine is rather embarrassing. I'm afraid it was the Dragonlance Chronicles that set me on this path to ruin. I still feel immense affection for them although I tried nostalgia-trippin' a month or so ago and found them almost unreadable.
I can't remember which I read first, but LotR, Narnia, and Earthsea were early reads for me.
I am sure I read the Hobbit before I read any of Anne McCaffrey's books but I really fell in love with fantasy withMcCaffrey, What do we classify the whole group of books about prehistoric man? I can't remember the names this morning.
Three major authors.
The first one, I am ashamed to admit, is Mercedes Lackey. However, I now find it formulaic, too devoid of action, and too simplistic.
The second one, about the same time as the first, is David Gemmell. I still enjoy his works now.
The third is Terry Pratchett. His Discworld is my favourite book sequence - extremely funny, social commentary, and an adroitness with language that is rarely surpassed.
I was an avid reader as a child, and really all kids books are fantasy one way or another, but the book that I remember being delighted with was a book called Green Smoke by Rosemary Manning (it was the start of a trilogy if I remember right)
Little girl on holiday in Cornwall walking on the beach searches for the source of green smoke coming out a a cave and finds a dragon!
What *did* it for me as far as fantasy as a genre would be:
Dragonriders of Pern series
The Belgariad series
The Adversary series Julian May
I read all of these in my first year in highschool and have been hooked ever since :)
90esotericus First Message
Believe it or not, my love with fantasy began with an unlikely work: Stephen King's The Gunslinger. From that simple beginning, I've fallen in love with the genre, even going so far as to write some minor papers on the subject while I was working on my master's degree. That's what I remember starting the spark that I am currently on, at least (which has lasted for many years).
However, I believed the first fantasy books I ever truly loved came from The Dark is Rising series.
My first fantasy, that locked me into the genre, would have to be Castle Roogna by Piers Anthony (Weird, the author touchstone isn't working. *shrug*). Anyway, definitely a good read.
My mom read to me each night:Alice in Wonderland, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Charlotte's Web,Stuart Little, The Reluctant Dragon, Flossie and Bossie etc. etc. But I think the first ones I read by myself were The Chronicles of Narnia. Then I move onto the Miss Bianca Series (made into the Disney film The Rescuers), The Borrowers, The Chronicles of Prydain, A Wrinkle in Time, Xanth and Pern.
I was first exposed to fantasy through The Chronicles of Narnia when I was very young and despite the fact that the series was unarguably my favorite for years, I didn't read another fantasy novel until 6th grade when I picked up The Sword of Shannara by because it was the longest book in my school's library. Then I discovered The Dragonriders of Pern (which I know isn't technically fantasy) and that led to the Valdemar books and the rest, as they say, is history...
I loved The Enchanted Forest Chronicles, too. I still want to name my next cat Fiddlesticks.
I picked up The Sword of Shannara when I was 11 or 12, and was hooked forever.
I posted a while back (message 20) that Faun and Games by Piers Anthony (author touchstones not working) was the first fantasy novel I ever picked up. That's true but the more I think about it, the more obvious it becomes that I've always loved fantasy stories. My favorite movies as a child were Disney movies with magic, and talking animals, etc. And after seeing the Disney versions I always went and read the real versions. I also loved fairy tales in general (whether they were "Disney-fied" or not). I just never equated fairy tales with fantasy as I got older. Why, I have no idea, but I didn't.
unicorn/dragon/Fairy Tale picture books as a little kid. Then Narnia which my parents read me and finally Lord of the Rings to seal my eternal loyalty to the genre.
99drumheller303 First Message
I was just trying to remember what really opened the floodgates for me. I had read The Lord of the Rings prior to this but had never branched out into other fantasy until reading Castle Roogna by Piers Anthony. I think it is simply because this book was amusing that really hooked me. I borrowed a copy from a friend in sixth or seventh grade, and started making weekly trips to the bookstore with my mom until I had the whole series. Anthony remains one of my favorite authors to this day. And I have not stopped reading fantasy since that day.
The one that made me aware the genre existed was Magic Kingdom For Sale/Sold by Terry Brooks, which I found at a car boot sale when I was 10 or 11.
What's harder to recall are all the kids books with elements of fantasy that I enjoyed before that, though previous posts here have helped me remember. I loved fairy stories (traditional and Enid Blyton style), retellings of Greek legends, Arthurian legends, books by Beverley Nichols, Maurice Gee, and the Narnia books. At infant school I was hooked on a series of reading primers that featured a boy called Sebastian and his mysterious encounters with the Sidhe (I think), but I can't remember the titles/author.
Hands down, The Hobbit, which I discovered in the sixties. I was completely hooked, hairy toes and all.
I'm startled to realize that I didn't read much fantasy as a kid-except, as one poster mentioned, DC comics. I used to have to go with my mother to the laundromat and there was a general store nearby where I took my allowance and spent it on Batman, Superman, Justice League of America, the Flash, etc. (And deeply regret I don't still have those.)
I also vaguely remember reading Asimov's I, Robot stories (I know: sci fi) in high school, and of course I watched Star Trek and other stuff on TV (Lost in Space!).
But really reading fantasy--I'm with the OP--the Dragonriders of Pern series.
As a kid i read the narnia books, but I didn't really start getting so into fantasy until I started reading the Dragonlance books. Then I was hooked!
Pern was the beginning for me too! However I started with Dragon song and Dragonsinger and then found the rest of them. The singing dragons hooked me.
My introduction to fantasy was the animorphs. Not sure if it's strickly Fantasy, then there was everworld. But I fell inlove with Traci Hardings works with "The ancient future" and Katherine Kerr's Books. Most of the books on my book shelf are fantasy or science fiction
That's an easy one to answer. For me it was Tolkien's The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy. Back in the late 70s and early 80s I had always heard great reviews about the books and I finally wound up getting them at a Book Sale for 25 cents apiece. In fact I still have those books at home to this day lol!! The covers were all faded when I originally bought them but other than that they are in pretty good shape. They still remain some of my favorite fantasy books to this day.
The Dragonflight was it for me. I was in third grade and I don't know how much I really understood, but I was hooked. I spread out to other fantasy from there.
113: I was also brought into fantasy (although I didn't realize it until much later) by Disney stories with talking animals, magic, etc. Furthermore I still love Disney at age 27, and I suspect I'm around 5 at heart.
I was about 21 when I first went to Disneyland and I was so excited I could barely stand it. I have a picture of me next to Mickey from that year!
That's ok...I suspect I'll still love Disney when I'm 27 and older too...YOU'RE NOT ALONE.
Oh my goodness, I forgot Wind in the Willows! My mother read that to me as a young child.
Funny enough, it was the Tapestries of Fionvar series by G G Kay, back when I was like 12 or 13. Hardly fitting reading for that age, and sure, I understood like half of it, but still I got totaly drawn in by the mystery of it. When I went back and reread it a year or so ago, I couldn't believe how heavy it was. And how good.
It has been so many years ago, my mother was the one who started me reading "fantasy" and scifi.
Probably was Edgar Rice Burroughs that I remember so well as a youngster. She had all the Tarzan series in paperback.
It was many, many years ago when my mother first started me reading "fantasy" and scifi. She was an avid reader. Probably my first read was Edgar Rice Burroughs Tarzan series with John Carter to follow. From there I took wing and have never landed.
No one has yet mentioned Dr. Doolittle by Hugh Lofting. I dovoured all his books.
They can be re-read by "grownups".
At about the same time we had Blytons "the Faraway tree" read on the radio - before
TV came to Australia in 1956 - "Uncle Norman" would do all the voices. This didn't lead me to read it, I think I would have been ashamed to be seen reading a "fairy storie", why I was a big boy of 10 or so.
Then, when I got access to the adults library I read The Professor Challenger serie
by Conan-Doyle followed by the Mars series by Burroughs.
I was lost to SF until the late 60's early 70's when SF started to overlap Fantasy seriously, and we got that label SF&F.
In another post on the SF group someone made the point that ALL SF is Fantasy writing. I tend to agree.
My mother read The Hobbit to me when I was eight years old. That started it all.
Anne Mccaffery, definitely. It was Dragonsong, the first Harper Hall book.
For me it was Crown Duel + Court Duel by Sherwood Smith, when I was in middle school.
Chronicles of Narnia - I remember my dad reading them to me before bed each night.
One of the first fantasy books I remember reading is No Flying in the House by Betty Brock, which I haven't seen mentioned here yet! I was definitely into the whole fairy thing before that, but that's one of the main ones I remember. After that I started on Tamora Pierce and shortly after that came Harry Potter, which my uncle gave to me for my 8th birthday. Next year, for my 9th birthday, he gave me The Hobbit. Thank god for my uncle! I haven't looked back since.
Hard to say. I've read fantasy and fantasy-inflected books since I learned how to read! But I would say probably Red Moon and Black Mountain really got me started, and Sword of Shannara solidified the attraction into true love. ;-)
The Wind in the Willows, and Myths and Enchantment Tales, a kid's book on Greek mythology. My mother went back to college when I was a little kid. She bought me the mythology book when she was taking a required mythology class. I read it, loved it, and then read her textbook, which I still have. Not long after that I read The Hobbit, and that was it.
My first reading in fantasy books was The Lord of The Rings (back in 80's). It kind of turned me on the "fantasy world"
#49> Edward Eager! It must have been him for me too, I was trying to wrack my brain for it until I came across your post.
Its hard to pick because so many kid's books are fantastical, when I was really little I loved the Dorrie the Little Witch books by Patricia Coombs and the Clifford the Big Red Dog books (which may not be fantasy but how else do you explain how he got so big and red? Its either magic or genetic engineering and genetic engineering wasn't really around when I was a kid) In another thread someone mentioned John Bellairs, I collected all of his books rabidly.
I also loved Robin Hood stories, which are a kind of natural segue, and when I was 11 or 12 I found Archer's Goon by Diana Wynne Jones and Lizard Music by Daniel Pinkwater.
When I was in high school the Xanth books and The Blue Sword by Robin Mckinley transitioned me into adult fantasy books.
All the people who are saying it was Harry Potter when they were a kid are making me feel old..I was in college when they first came out!
legend by David Gemmell - its the book i always recommend to a first time reader - converts them every time!!!
Technically, I join the people who mention fairytales as what got them into fantasy, I guess. But an actual book that stands out most in my memory is The Hobbit. I must've been three or four when he did. What cements that book in my mind is having learned years later that my dad finds reading incredibly taxing and he still made the effort of reading me an entire book. Not sure that means it still counts, though, as I'm sure I'd have continued reading fantasy even if I'd not been read that book.
I really don't remember, since bedtime stories since I was six have consisted of fantasy, but it was probably the Roald Dahl books followed closely by Narnia, and on from there.
For me it was The Hobbit, first read when I was about 11, followed by the Tolkien's other works, then Edgar Rice Burroughs, Robert E. Howard, and H. P. Lovecraft among others. Still enjoying fantasy some 40 odd years later, just read some really enjoyable works this year by Wm. Michael Mott (a little known but very good fantasy author) and Neil Gaiman, but it all started with The Hobbit, a book I almost didn't keep on reading initially because I thought the first couple of pages boring, but being a compulsive obsessive reader (backs of cereal boxes will do if nothing else is available) I kept reading and was hooked for life by the end of the first chapter.
Well, I read The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings in 4th grade, but they didn't really "get" me into fantasy. The first book I loved that qualifies as fantasy would be my still-favorite book, Shardik, which I read in middle school.
But I intentionally stayed away from the fantasy genre until after I was out of college and married. Then I happened across pretty much the entire Chronicles of Thomas Covenant series on clearance at Half Price Books and bought them on a whim. That's when I realized that, hey! swords-and-sorcery fantasy can be good!
I first experienced fantasy novels when my headmaster in England read the Hobbit to us (and did separate voices for everyone) back when I was 12 - after that I had to read as much as I could get my hands on - although I had a bit of a headstart being as I had been reading SF since I was about 6 - Tom Swift Jr novels - since then I have been alternating between SF and Fantasy ( as you can tell with my library when I finally get it all entered).
For me, it was The Magic Faraway Tree and the others in that series......followed by the Violet Bradby book called The Enchanted Forest which is a lovely book......if my first experience of things being quite 'dark' at times
148>>> You know, I think I actually read Shardik before I read Watership Down. While Watership Down is definitely my favorite by Adams, and one of my all-time fantasy faves overall, I'm still extremely fond of Shardik. Dang it all, though, this past summer must have been the fourth or fifth time that I've tried getting into Maia and I still haven't been able to finish more than the first couple hundred pages.
The problem with Maia is that there's an excellent 600-page adventure story there -- but you have to read through the first 600 pages of the book just to get to it. Myself, I love the book -- having read it thrice -- but I can definitely see why people would have a hard time getting through the first hundred or so pages.
When I was in middle school (about 20 years ago) I found Piers Anthony's A Spell for Chameleon on the library shelf and was sucked into the land of Xanth. I was hooked.
Same here, and Gemmell still stands up well to what fantasy I have read since, compared to some of my other adolescent reads.
The first series that I really fully remember being interested in was Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising.
The first book that really got me hooked on fantasy was Tamora Pierce's Alanna: The First Adventure, first in the Song of the Lioness Quartet (followed by In the Hands of the Goddess, Woman Who Rides Like a Man, and Lioness Rampant and a number of other series about many of the same people). I read this when I was ten years old and have never stopped loving it. I reread it periodically and know it by heart, and it is most definitely responsible for my unyielding love of fantasy!!
when i was about five, my mom read the cronicles o f narnia to me (and my dad) in 7 weeks we read one book each saturday, and i still remember it in a magical light. my mother read a lot to me when i was little, and i enjoyed it so much, that she actually had to cheat me to get me to read myself (she read a famous five book and in the middle of the action, where the smugglers have captured the children, and say they will kill the dog, my mom said she would´nt read enymore, and ofcource i couldn´t let the dog cliffhanging like that, and i have been a bookworm ever since). at my next birthday my aunt gave me the cronicles o f narnia and i really treasure those books (and are currently reading them to my son)
Well it kind of started with science fiction. two novels that got me wondering about other worlds and then my first fantasy novel to seal the deal. The two sci-fi books I am referring to are The Time Machine by H. G. Wells which is one of my favoirte books and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne. I might also consider Robinson Crusoe with these first two books. As you can see they are not fantasy but it got me curious for good adventure stories about worlds that are unfamiliar to me and some times to the main character. Then the first fantasy book I ever read was The Subtle Knife. I was in high school and I didnt know about the series thing yet that comes with fantasy so I read the 2nd book first to Philip Pullman's series. I loved it and dove in head first into fantasy.
Has anyone mentioned Harry Potter ? I guess it's so universal and seem so real now nobody ever thinks of it as a fantasy book. I started reading the series ten years ago and Jo has always been the woman who's most inspired me in my life since then.
Then I didn't continue in fantasy, I read The Lord of the Rings which I didn't find really good (I couldn't get past the fact that there was virtually no character development, although the mythology was interesting) and earlier this year I read His Dark Materials and thought it was genius from beginning to end (how people can possibly choose one book over the others is beyond me, it's such an amazing work as a whole) and I've decided to explore a bit more fantasy this year : I absolutely loved Coraline by Neil Gaiman and I'm looking forward to reading more of his books. I also read the first three books in A Series of Unfortunate Events which I found strangely good and intriguing (please don't spoil me as to the rest).
I've found that fantasy books seem to explore deeper topics than non fantasy books. I'm not sure why, perhaps the fact that everything is possible makes the author feel freer to explore very adult themes. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is incredibly violent and disturbing and just plain amazing and I can't imagine any author would describe such violence in "our" world in a book children could read.
But yes, it all began at number four, Privet Drive for me :)
Good to see other people enjoying Dragonlance. :-) Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman write great stories and it's one of their series that got me started into Fantasy: either Rose Of The Prophet or The Death Gate Cycle. Then Dragonlance came in sight and little by little more DL-books found a place in my collection. But most credit must go to Dan Simmons' Hyperion series, even though they're Sci-Fi. That's what really got me into SF and later Fantasy.
#162: I've found that fantasy books seem to explore deeper topics than non fantasy books.
I have to agree, as it's not just about reading about a fictional world and dito characters, but also how they interact and deal with certain matters still shows a link with real life. And sometimes matters are better dealt with than in real life. ;-)
My first fantasy (outside of fairytales and the like) was Narnia, handed to me by a lovely elementary librarian in 4th grade.
What really got me hooked, though, was McCaffrey's Dragonsong, quickly followed by the rest of the Pern books and then many, many more, picked up from a lovely library my 6th grade teacher kept. It was full of fantasy and science fiction, and that year I whipped through half of McCaffrey's writings, John Christopher, Tolkien, Robin McKinley, and half a dozen other others I don't remember anymore.
I think it's fascinating to see the same handful of half a dozen authors show up here as those who got us hooked! Just think how different the world might look for us without Tolkien or McCaffrey or McKinley or Rowling or Lewis or Cooper or Pierce!
There might be an age nias in this thread. If you are middle aged (urgh) like myself, you were probably reading more than 30+ years ago. And so in the early 70's I got into fantasy and my first love was Lord of the Rings. Over the next few years I devoured a lot, and found a true resource in Los Angeles called A Change of Hobbit, which was a store that was dedicated to Fantasy and Science Fiction. Perhaps in those early years, we didn't have as many works to draw on as there is now.
Robert Jordan would probably be the draw for fantasy for me now. At other times in these last years since Tolkien and I made acquaintance, there was Daley and The Doomfarers of Coramonde or Dave Duncan and his Magic Casement series. Or Raymond Feist and his Magician, H. Beam Piper and Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen, David Eddings and his Belgariad.
I venture to my library and see that without finishing all my tagging I have around 750 Fantasy books tagged, more than 60 that I have rated 10's.
And certainly age when you come to it is important. I might not be so bonded to the stories where young men are transported to fantasy worlds and save them, if I had not been a young man when first reading them.
A previous girlfriend had me reading the Mercedes Lackey items, then there was one that I just could not stomach at all in the Valdemar setting. It ended it for me forever. Now of an author who is quite prolific as a fantasy writer, I have just four of her books in my collection.
I think one of the things about Lackey is that, while many authors are love 'em or hate 'em propositions, Lackey brings out both reactions in the same person! Sometimes I really treasure her books and sometimes I want to barf at the "poor abused child" storylines or the like.
Moorcock's Elric of Melninbone and Hawkmoon stories. They are just great :) even today :)
Shannara Saga by Terry Brooks.
Had a major crush on the guy reading them on one of these youth group holidays, got him to talking about them, later he lent me the books - and i just fell for them. Both of them, actually. :>
I have always read fantasy and detective stories. I remember borrowing The Hobbit from the library and then The fellowship of the ring after we had a school broadcast serialising it. I think I've read most things people have mentioned from Elric to Mercedes Lackey and the Cheysuli books. Andre Norton's Witch World books were probably the first I collected, most of mine date from the sixties and the other authors are later. Being a librarian helped and I discovered the shops selling American imports when I became involved in media fandom (especially the lated lamented Andromeda Bookshop in Birmingham)
The Belgariad Series by David Eddings was the first fantasy series that I read. I still have the originial books I bought in the 1980'S.
Kind of cliche, but mine was Harry Potter. I'd never heard of the series and when I was in 5th grade our teacher read us the first book...it got me hooked. Took me awhile to figure out that fiction/fantasy was my main literary interest though, but now when I think back upon it...Harry Potter was the beginning lol
My mother read us The Lord of the Rings when I was about six or seven, my brothers younger. That started it off, and I devoured many from the local library after that.
So many of us cite the Lord of the Rings, perhaps we should have a second stage of if LOTR was your first, what was the second?
Ditto Harry Potter for the younger crowd. Not at all surprising that it was a gateway into fantasy for many readers.
I'm pretty sure it was the Wizard of Earthsea trilogy that I read first - either that or the Lord of the Rings ones came first and Wizard came second - memory fades with age dammit.
I think everyone is first hooked by the fairytales our parents tell us. Than most of us go through a phase where fairy tale stuff is "just for little kids". Then, we'll pick up a book that we just can't put back down. Mine was "A Magic Kingdom For Sale-Sold!".
Edgar Rice Burroughs was my first fantasy book. The Mars series was epic. Anyone remember the Gor series? The first few were really good - a bit like Burroughs' but more brutal. Like a lot of authors they became very long winded after a while.
When I was little books were either truth based or fairy tales, in my house anyway. So I read a lot of the Grimm's Fairy Tales and assorted originals that Disney got their hands onto. It wasn't until middle school when Harry Potter came out that I knew there were full fantasy books and not just short stories. But then I really got into the Dragonriders of Pern series, and that finished opening the gates.
For me it was the Incarnations of Immortality series by Piers Anthony.
R.A. Salvatore's Legend of Drizzt series.
He's not the greatest writer beyond his fight sequences but he deserves the credit for getting me interested in fantasy.
After taking a break around Book 5 I'm now currently finishing up the last book in the series.
This is a great thread, lots of memory lane.
Unfortunately I have no idea what order I read these things in, so I'll just mention some I remember from my early teenage years. I loved Roger Zelazny's Amber Chronicles (are those fantasy? I think only the first 5 were available to me), and Terry Brooks Sword of Shannara. Both provided plotlines for Dungeons and Dragons campaigns (firmly dating myself I expect).
For me it was definitely Robin McKinley's The Hero and the Crown. I was about 10 I think, and I very clearly remember going to my library and telling the librarian, "I want more books like this."
alanna:the first adventure did it for me when I was about ten. I'd been walking past a whole row of Alannas in my library for at least a year, and I'd pulled it out, because I figured, if the library has so many copies, it must be good. But the cover art looked both childish and trashy so I decided it must just have been some school's reading group rejects. So I shelved it and kept on ignoring it. I don't know what finally made me take it out, I must have been really bored, but I stayed up all night reading it!
I had already read a wrinkle in time, tarzan, Oz, Tolkien, etc., but I thought of those classics or contemporary fiction, not fantasy.
This is making me feel guilty, since I'm a lapsed fantasy reader. Mostly I read non-fiction now.
Anyway I think Dr. Seuss must have really gotten me started before I knew how to read.
'fraid it's Dutch books that got me hooked. I was so young, maybe ten or so. The ones I remember most vividly are De Zwarte Spiegel and Kinderen van Moeder Aarde. I hope both of these are translated to English for the rest of the world to enjoy (although the first one is originally German, I believe).
The first English fantasy I picked up was The Elfstones of Shannara. Still think that's an awesome read, although I clearly remember not liking the ending very much (I generally hate it those kind of endings, but I won't spoil it for others).
Actually my very first fantasy love was a Dutch book (translated into German) - I had almost forgotten. It was by Tonke Dragt and was called Der Brief fur den Konig. The beginning was read aloud to me in my third grade class, and I couldn't bear not to know how it ended!.
That's actually kinda cool, Caramellunacy :) Did you know they made a movie out of it in 2008? Search on imdb for "De brief voor de koning". I haven't seen it though.
For me, it's got to be the 'Icemark Chronicles.' This has to be one of the best fantasy books I've ever read, it's definitely gotten me into fantasy. Thanks for asking this question.
Into the Land of the Unicorns by Bruce Coville got me into fantasy when I was nine or so. My mom had already read T.H. White's The Sword and the Stone to me and I'd finish the other four books very soon after that, but at the time I didn't think that it was the same kind of fantasy, so honors go to Coville. :)
I started off reading SF but what got me interested in fantasy was The Hobbit.
I think it was the Piers Anthony series or possibly the Belgariad.
So long ago, and I probably still have them around somewhere.
Although I had read a few novels before, Feist's Magician was the first that I could not put down. Loved the genre ever since.
The first fantasy novel I ever read was probably Lord of the Ringswhen I was about nine or ten. I also read some children's/YA fantasy books, like Harry Potter or a few books by Wolfgang Hohlbein.
What really got me hooked on fantasy as a genre was Terry Pratchett's Discworld series, which I first started reading about six years ago. There were a few other fantasy novels I read at that time, basically everything I could find at our local library, like the Farseer trilogy, Otherland or the Pendragon cycle by Stephen Lawhead, but the Discworld series still stands out to me. Maybe because it was also the first series I read in English, rather than German, both to improve my language and because I had heard that a lot of the jokes got lost in translation.
#201: I remember reading that book and its sequel, but I don't really recall anything about the plot or the characters. They still should be somewhere at the back of a shelf or in some box...
It's about a young man who the night of his vigil to become a knight must make a decision as to whether to respond to a plea for help (and not be knighted because he broke his vigil) or to stay.
He ends up being chased across the kingdom by evil red riders while bearing a secret message. It's a great adventure story - and I think it's time for a re-read!
I can't really remember the first fantasy novel I read but I do remember reading the Weirdstone of Brisingham very early in life. Also, when I was about 10 I was at school in England and our headmaster read The Hobbit to us on a daily basis. He did all the voices as well - left quite an impression.
The first fantasy book that I remember is Dragons of Autumn Twilight out of the DragonLance books. I was home sick from school and I read the entire thing in one sitting—even seven or eight years later now I still reminisce about the characters! (Thanks, Captain Obvious. ;) )
For me it was The Chronicles of Amber by Roger Zelazny. My mom brought me the two-volume set with the first 9 novels in it, and I just fell in love with them.
I had two books I really remember carrying with me everywhere when I was a kid, one a collection of nursery rhymes with extremely detailed and gorgeous illustrations and the other was a version of Cinderella with illustrations from the same artist.
But I think I'll have to say that Into the Land of the Unicorns was my passport into Fantasy Land.
Then not a week or so later Redwall made me a permanent Fantasy Land Inhabitant.
There was definitely Narnia during elementary school, but I don't know if I considered it "Fantasy" at the time. And I have always loved the movie version of The Last Unicorn - bought the book last year.I didn't really get into fantasy until I got the Anne Bishop's Black Jewels Trilogy about 5 years ago during college. Even then, I didn't read them for a year...but once I did, I found a new favorite in the area of dark fantasy!
The series that introduced me to Fantasy was The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant.
Decades ago ;-), hen I was around 12 y.o., I came home from school with very good notes at the end of the school year, and my grandmother gave me a huge book as a reward ('de verhalenreus', to be translated as 'the Stories-giant', a choice selection of chapters from good youth and children books, but also some accessible text from 'adult' literature).
One of the texts was the first chapter of 'The hobbit', and when I found that an aunt had that book on her bookshelves, I asked her if I could borrow it... After 'The hobbit' there came The Lord of the Rings, which I liked even more..
The Andromeda Strain (1969), by Michael Crichton. read it in high school and loved it. The Mists of Avalon was also an all time favorite.
I would say The Silver Metal Lover by Tanith Lee did it for me.
Dragonflight. There was just something about Lessa and F'lar that drew me.
I think I read Halfmen of O somewhere beforehand, but never really loved it until later and it still doesn't have the same delight behind it. From Anne McCaffrey to David Eddings, starting with The Diamond Throne and leading on to all the other books. Except one, what was it called ... Losers? All of it at 13. I must say, I prefered Sparhawk to Garion.
Mine was probably the first book from the House of Night series Marked. That series is amazing!
Also if you're into dragons, try Voices of Dragons. I loved that book and couldn't put it down!
>224 I'm glad to hear this, as I just got The Lives of Christopher Chant through BookMooch!
225, 226> And Charmed Life. One of my all-time favourites (although I love them all).
My junior high library had a few books by Andre Norton. Those were the first books that I was aware of reading fantasy.
Probably The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Not very original, I know. :)
For me it all began with the Oz books- how wonderful it was to discover that there was sooo much more to Oz than the Judy Garland film! I also loved the colour series of fairytale books- 'The Mauve fairy Book', 'The Silver Fairy Book', etc.- classic European fairytales. Then I discovered Narnia, and Earthsea and Lloyd Alexander's Prydain books. Madaleine L'Engle's 'A Wrinkle In Time' also stands out in my memory.
I've been "into" fantasy fan for about as long as I've been able to read, so I feel in some ways like I was born to it, rather than being led into it. That said, some key milestones for me were:
The Magician's Nephew, followed by the rest of Narnia - Third Grade - Happened to overhear a librarian in the school library recommend the series to someone else, and moseyed over myself after they left. It definitely struck a chord (such that I still remember that moment in the library quite vividly), but I don't think I registered that this was a separate "genre".
The Book of Three, and the rest of Prydain - Fourth Grade - This was really the point where it clicked for me that this fantasy stuff was a world of its own and that I wanted *more*. I still go back and re-read the books occasionally. Taran, Eilonwy, and the gang are old friends.
Deryni Rising and Dragonflight - Sixth Grade - I read these around the same time, and they were my first "grown-up" fantasies. Once I discovered those, I hit the point of reading pretty much nothing *but* fantasy.
Would Lynne Reid Banks' The Indian in the Cupboard series count as fantasy? If so, then that would be my first Fantasy love. I read each book, at least, twice. But, I don't think I actually became interested in the genre until I read Dragonworld by Byron Preiss and Michael Reaves. I was looking for books with dragons like Draco from Dragonheart.
Don't know exactly, but one of them was Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke. Don't read it much anymore, but the book is very close to my heart.
I read the Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit and The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe when I was about 8/9, but never thought of them as being fantasy, since I didn't know the genre existed at the time. The first series I read that addicted me to fantasy was Robert Jordan, which a friend lent to me one after another when I was 17. There were only about 9 books in the series at that point though!
Can't stand those Narnia books at all. C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien used to be friends at one time. But the Narnia books, ugh. The movies don't make them any better at all. In fact they are coming out with a new movie. Not watching that one. I'm guessing that is my first fantasy hate.
Andre Norton most likely - I inhaled all of her science fiction and fantasy that was in print then. Quickly followed by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
Hee, kymethra--my friend hooked me on Robert Jordan when there were only THREE books! I used to reread them all each time one came out, but I had to stop so I could have my life back. Now I'm waiting to have all of them.
okeres, me too! I think my first Andre Norton fantasy was Here Abide Monsters, and I read every book my library had. Moved from there to everything else that had a rocket-ship sticker. (Since, you know, SF and F are the same thing...)
Hmm, I think it was Tamora Pierce's Wild Magic and then Melanie Rawn's Stronghold. Peirce I read at age 11 or so, and Rawn at maybe 14.
First was, "Tarzan of the Apes", followed by, "The Master Mind Of Mars" as it was the only book I could (at that moment) find by the same author. Then I was hooked and sought out and read any Edgar Rice Burroughs' books any I could get hold of. I branched out into Philip Jose Farmer and particularly loved his "Riverworld" series and books by Edmund Cooper which were all wonderful. I liked Ursula K. Le Guin's "Earthsea" trilogy (as it was then) and Herbert's "Dune" books. (I also read John Norman's early Gor books but agree with the previous writer, and stopped buying them. I now read many books and, I'm afraid, get carried away in bookshops etc. - currently having over three-hundred of a backlog of books still to read!
I don't remember my first fantasy book love, but Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede (age 11) was the book that told my dad that I was serious about fantasy, so he bought me Anne McCaffrey's Harper Hall Trilogy when I was 12, though that's technically science fiction. At 13 I read my dad's copies of The Belgariad.
Yet another Dragonlancer here. I grew up in a very f/sf friendly family (I'm American yet remember watching The Trial of a Time Lord while still in elementary school). The first two Dragonlance series were the first books that felt like mine because my neither of my parents had read them. Unlike The Hobbit or the Narnia books, where someone else in my house knew what was going to happen next, it seemed like the world of Krynn was unfolding for the first time as I turned the pages.
Probably the Chronicles of Narnia. I read the entire series multiple times as a kid. I read Prince Caspian so many times it split in half.
When I was a teenager, I joined The Science Fiction Book Club. You got to start with 6 books for $1 or something like that. I agonized over trying to get the maximum amount of value for that dollar. Among the books I selected were The Dragonriders of Pern, which I agree is more fantasy than science fiction, The Riddle-Master of Hed by Patricia McKillip and The Chronicles of Amber by Roger Zelazny. I fell in love with all of them and have been a fan ever since.
Wait, there's something other than fantasy? :0
LOTR totally started it.
My first fantasy love was The Darksword Trilogy by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman....I can read anything and love it, but there is something about fantasy novels that captivate me!
A Wrinkle in Time when I was about 9 or 10. Then I went thru a long phase in my teens where I read mostly historical fiction, and I don't remember any sff for a long time. Picked up AWIT again while in children's lit class in college in the late '70s, and was amazed...reading it as an adult was like reading an entirely different book than I remembered as a child...still reread it every few years. Then as a children's/young adult librarian, I began picking up a lot of YA fantasy. Most of the titles mentioned above I didn't read until my late 20's and 30's, including the children's books! I did book selection, and probably went a little heavy on fantasy (still do!) Howl's Moving Castle and the Alanna series were some of my favorites from that era.
definitley Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce. i fell in love with numair by the third book. and daine was the kind of heroine you root for. i was twelve years old when i first read it. my mom sent me down to mexico to study with the nuns, and she sent me down with only one book, Wild Magic. i didnt like fantasy back then, so i stubbornly didnt read it until i was SO bored out of my mind, i gave in. well, it turns out mom is ALWAYS right about books :P . (hear that mom? i finally admitted it!)
For me it must also have been The Lord of the Rings, but years later - not until the first movie I have to admit.
I was shocked though when I just noticed that I must have been 15 years old then. How time flies...
I don't know if it's considered fantasy or not, but I'd say Le Morte d'Arthur by Thomas Malory.
I actually never read a fantasy book until I was 60 yo & then it was The Hobbit which I have read 3x since & am presently reading for the fifth time. When I read it the first time I also read the LOtR right before the movies came out. A friend had tried to get me to read them several years before that but I only got motivated when they were making the movies. There are some things in The Hobbit that I had forgotten so I am getting my memory jogged. I have tried to read other 'sword & sorcery' fantasies & did not like them at all! 8^)
Pern, Middle Earth and Narnia, what can I say you can't beat them really.
The first book that got me into fantasy was The Ship That Flew. I must have been 6 or 7.
Looking back as an adult I would say the Dr. Seuss books started me on my way, but the first book that I read where I had some understanding of what I was reading as fantasy was The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, followed by The Hobbit, followed by the rest in both series followed by way to many to mention.
LoTR for registering that fantasy was an actual, still-written genre. Was into folktales, fairytales and legends long before that though.
For me it was two series, The Dragon's of Pern and Jordan's The Wheel of Time, I have been hooked since and love it!
My mum read The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings to me and my sister cover to cover when we were really young so I think I was conditioned from an early age to read fantasy.
The first fantasy books I read for myself were probably the Chronicles of Narnia books, and the first 'grown up' fantasy books I read were the Stephen Donaldson Thomas Covenant books which my dad had, I was still in primary school when I started them, quite a shock to the system I can tell you! where were the happy dwarves and elves? Bit traumatised. But it didn't put me off :)
I've read fantasy since I started reading at all, both from the school library & my family's books. Many of the authors already named: C.S. Lewis, Tolkien's Hobbit, Edward Eager, George Macdonald, the Oz books, the Alice books, E. Nesbit, Mary Norton -- I'm sure many more.
One person I loved, who I didn't see mentioned yet, was Lucy Boston -- the magical books about Green Knowe. Gentle by today's standards, and currently out of style, but the real thing.
I also loved the Mushroom Planet, which someone cited, but I think that's really SF (which I also started reading very early -- think of Space Cat Visits Venus!)
My first adult fantasy was when I turned 11 in early 1960, and my aunt gave me the Lord of the Rings trilogy. She sat me down and read the Ring poem to me in her most dramatic tones, & I was immersed in the books for days. Powerful stuff for the kid I was then! I don't know how many times I've reread it since over the years; by now it's "reading comfort food" for me. The books are in tatters by now, and not much better is one of my favorite possessions, my family's British wartime edition of The Hobbit with the original version of the riddle chapter.
this is a hard question because it started with soo many when I was really young about seven I picked up my first goosebumps book lol but around eight or nine I picked up Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine I was delighted with the book. that started interest in reading. the first series that really got me into 'fantasy' was probably the series of unfortunate events by lemony snickets lol around that same time then my first Harry Potter book but I wad completely captivated by stephen kings The Eye Of The Dragon. I couldn't read a book fast enough and thoroughly enough after that to sate my hunger for fantasy (:
For me it was Bruce Coville's Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher. I read that book over and over as a kid. Now, I'm reading the same worn-out copy to my five-year-old son. I'll never get tired of the magic in that story.
For me it was Narnia. I read all the books with my Dad then I read them on my own. I moved on to more advanced stuff for example in fourth grade I read all the lord of the rings books.
267 - hjensen, I found my copy of Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher at my parents' house a few weeks ago! I loved that book as a kid, too, and now I have it on my shelf in my house. Can't let it get away.
My parents hooked me on "book tapes" When I was about four. The ones that drew me to fantasy were Phillip Pullman's the golden compass and David Edding's The diamond throne. My first real fantasy read was The never ending story by Michael Ende. I found it in the school library in grade 2. I adored it then, and adore it still. The movies about the book do it no justice. What a great story. :)
I was going to say that's easy, it was The Chronicles of Narnia, but then I realized it actually started before then with Where the Wild Things Are
Try a little fantasy with horror. (Bruma and the enchanted forest) by Martin Barajas
Definitely Chronicles of Narnia for me too, I must have been 10 or 11, but it completely blew my mind. :)
My dad read the Hobbit to me when I was five and I have been in love with it and fantasy ever since.
I hope you don't think less of me for confessing that, but what got me started into Fantasy was... fairy-tales! Let me explain. When I was about 3-4 years old my mother bought me a collection of richly illustrated fairy-tale books that also came with tapes for your to listen to the story. I loved them, I read the collection so much and listened to the tapes so many times they ended up close to destroyed over the years.
This was what made me love stories that had fantasy, magic, faraway lands etc. As I grew up, my taste got a bit more "refined", and I began to enjoy more adult-fantasy works. That said, I am very eclectic reader and if the story is good I'll read it no matter if it's meant for children or adults.
I am also a huge fan of Science Fiction. Stories that mix Fantasy and Sci-Fi are much loved, lol! ;)
>278 There I go, looking for the "like" button. Why on earth would anyone think less of you for coming to fantasy through fairy tales? It's probably a factor for many of us and we just didn't make the connection.
And I totally agree about the mix of sci fi and fantasy--my books are tagged as "sci fi/fantasy" so I don't have to sit there and think about which one a given book is.
cixin Liu of Ants and Dinosaurs
three body written by Cixin Liu
278: I read fairy tales to this day. I own multiple collections, including three different translations of Grimm and two different translations of Andersen; when I visit bookstores, the Mythology/Folklore section is one of the first places I go.
The stories help me in my own writing, as they've provided many a plot idea. Among the fantasy novels I particularly enjoy are specific expansions on fairy tales, e.g. Marillier's Sevenwaters trilogy, Lackey's Elemental Masters series. Surely there are many reasons why so many fantasy and sci-fi authors (Vinge's The Snow Queen rocks!) turn to fairy tales again and again.
I'd actually be surprised to learn of fantasy/ sci-fi fans who did NOT start out reading fairy tales.
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