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July SeriesCAT: Fantasy

2019 Category Challenge

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Edited: Jun 17, 9:25pm Top

The fantasy genre is huge! What's all included?

From the webpage Find Me an Author: a Fantasy Novel is any book that contains unrealistic settings, or magic, often set in a medieval universe, or possibly involving mythical beings or supernatural forms as a primary element of the plot, theme, or setting.

From CliffsNotes: Fantasy fiction is a genre of writing in which the plot could not happen in real life (as we know it, at least). Often, the plot involves magic or witchcraft and takes place on another planet or in another — undiscovered — dimension of this world. Most often the overall theme of the setting is medieval in tone, meaning that some combination of the architecture, clothing, language, and technology resembles the European Middle Ages. Many times, the plot also involves mythical creatures or talking animals (that might wear clothes and live in houses), and witches or sorcerers.

When I started to look up sub-genres, I found a bunch that I had never heard of - at least by the name listed (from Wikipedia):

Bangsian fantasy: interactions with famous historical figures in the afterlife, named for John Kendrick Bangs
Fantastic poetry: poetry with a fantastic theme
Fantastique: French literary genre involving supernatural elements
Fantasy of manners, or mannerpunk: focusing on matters of social standing in the way of a comedy of manners
Gaslamp fantasy: stories in a Victorian or Edwardian setting, influenced by gothic fiction
Gods and demons fiction (shenmo): involving the gods and monsters of Chinese mythology
"Grimdark" fiction: a somewhat tongue-in-cheek label for fiction with an especially violent tone or dystopian themes
Hard fantasy: whose supernatural aspects are intended to be internally consistent and explainable, named in analogy to hard science fiction
High fantasy or epic fantasy: characterized by a plot and themes of epic scale
Low fantasy: characterized by few or non-intrusive supernatural elements, often in contrast to high fantasy
Magical girl fantasy: involving young girls with magical powers, mainly in Japanese anime and manga
Weird fiction: macabre and unsettling stories from before the terms "fantasy" and "horror" were widely used; see also the more modern forms of slipstream fiction and the New Weird
Wuxia: Chinese martial-arts fiction often incorporating fantasy elements

Steampunk wasn't on this list, but was referenced; also gothic, dieselpunk(!), dying earth and more!

If you haven't finished your Lord of the Rings reading yet, that certainly counts. And if you're reading the Dresden Files, that counts too. If you like only a light dose of fantasy, there are lots of great examples of magical realism out there - a couple of great authors come to mind with series books: Isabel Allende (Daughter of Fortune and City of the Beasts) and Haruki Murakami (Rat). ETA series info.

I've got about three fantasy series going right now, so I'd like to read one or more of:

Share what you'll be reading and don't forget to update the wiki!

I hope you enjoy your choice(s)!

Jun 17, 10:29pm Top

I have my sights on Hollow City for this challenge v

Jun 17, 10:59pm Top

High fantasy or epic fantasy: characterized by a plot and themes of epic scale

Well, that's nice to know I've always called it what it's actually called! Well, I alternate between calling it "traditional fantasy" and "epic fantasy". When I say I'm not always a fantasy fan, that is usually what I'm referring to.

I do enjoy urban fantasy, supernatural, much YA, though, so I have plenty of options for this.

Blue Moon / Alyson Noel
Page / Tamora Pierce
Reached / Ally Condie
The Sandman. The Doll's House / Neil Gaiman
Iced / Karen Marie Moning
The Forgotten Sisters / Shannon Hale

Well, it appears touchstones are not working at the moment.

Jun 17, 11:58pm Top

I think either Rotherweird by Andrew Caldecott or A Spell for a Chameleon by Piers Anthony, both of which are first in a fantasy series.

Jun 18, 10:23am Top

I'm so excited to finally read my omnibus of The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede!

Jun 18, 11:51am Top

I am going to continue on with the 2nd book in the Tale of the Shikanoko, Autumn Princess, Dragon Child by Lian Hearn.

Jun 18, 12:14pm Top

I'm planning on reading Foxmask by Juliet Marillier. It's the second book in its series.

Jun 18, 12:20pm Top

I plan on reading The Seeker's Mask, the third book in Chronicles of the Kencyrath series by P. G. Hodgell.

The library has just notified me that my audiobook of The Silmarillion has arrived. I requested it months ago. Sometimes, if I have trouble finishing a work, I find I do better with an audiobook.

So those are the two off my shelves.

I'm currently devouring The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin, so it will be sooooo tempting to get the next one in that series instead of fulfilling my comittment to read off my shelves. :)

Jun 18, 6:29pm Top

I ended up reading my choice already: Lies Sleeping, the latest Peter Grant novel by Ben Aaronovitch. I also lucked out with a physical copy of The Furthest Station, which I'd only ever heard of being an ebook.

Jun 18, 6:57pm Top

This is not one of my favorite genres, but I do have Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende on my TBR pile, so if I have time, I'll probably read that.

Jun 18, 9:14pm Top

I've begun Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James, the first in a proposed trilogy.

Jun 19, 8:05am Top

I'm hoping to get to Prince of Dogs and The Crystal Cave.

Jun 26, 10:11pm Top

I'm going to read Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George. It will also count for my retold fairy tale square on my BingoDOG card.

Jun 26, 11:02pm Top

>13 EBT1002: I enjoyed that one!

Jul 2, 6:21pm Top

I am congratulating myself for finishing the science fiction classic Ursula Le Guin's The Left Hand of Darkness. It is number 4 of the Hainish Cycle. I've classified Science Fiction and Fantasy into the same genre, but real fans probably don't.

Jul 7, 10:19pm Top

I have completed the 2nd volume in the Tale of Shikanoko, Autumn Princess, Dragon Child by Lian Hearn. I am really enjoying this magical fantasy story set in a mythical Japan.

Jul 8, 2:00am Top

A Breath of Snow and Ashes / Diana Gabaldon
3.5 stars

Everyone is settled on Fraser’s Ridge in North Carolina. And more settlers are moving there. They are coming close to the date that Roger and Bree had seen as the date Claire and Jamie died in a fire. They are also coming close to the Revolutionary War/the War of Independence in the colonies.

To me, this one felt a bit like “filler” to get somewhere, but at the same time, it (mostly) kept my interest. A few big things happened as time went on, but much of it was day-to-day. Those big things picked the action up for a while as each one happened. Claire had an apprentice to help her out/someone to teach, which I liked. There was something missing (in my opinion) that I would have liked to have “seen” just before the epilogue. I thought maybe that would be part of the next books, but I guess not.

Jul 8, 10:20am Top

Starting a re-read (from the dark ages) of The Crystal Cave. Interested in seeing if I still like what my teen self liked.

Jul 8, 7:24pm Top

>18 majkia: I've been thinking on and off of re-reading that but I'm not sure I want to read the whole series

Jul 10, 12:46pm Top

Completed the 2nd of the short story collections in the Dresden Files universe, Brief Cases by Jim Butcher.

Jul 10, 6:42pm Top

Completed the Crystal Cave. As good as I remembered it.

Jul 12, 4:58pm Top

Read Hollow City the second in the Miss Peregrine series.

Jul 14, 1:57am Top

The Sandman, Vol. 2: The Doll's House / Neil Gaiman
3.5 stars

Rose and her mother are flown to England and are in for a surprise when they arrive. Rose then heads back to the US to find her younger brother whom she hasn’t seen in seven years, since she was a teenager and he was only 5-years old. There is an odd convention happening.

Rose’s story was the most interesting storyline for me, though there a bit more going on in addition to her story and the convention. I reread my review for Vol. 1 and found that my favourite parts in that volume were also about the humans; I didn’t find the Sandman parts as interesting, though he does intersect with Rose’s story. On thinking back, I thought I had rated Vol. 1 lower than what I did. So, officially, I rated both volumes “good”, but I feel like I liked this one better, at least as compared to what I remember of the first one.

Jul 14, 2:16am Top

Blue Moon / Alyson Noel
3.75 stars

****Possible SPOILERS for the first book****
Soul mates Ever and Damon are together and in love. All is going well, though Ever misses her family, and especially her sister, Riley.
But when Roman shows up at school and charms everyone, Ever can tell there is something “wrong” with him. What is he up to?

I thought this was good. Have to admit, I didn’t remember much of the first book at all. I think I read it fast (it’s YA), and it just slipped my memory, but it came back as I read this one. I thought it got better as it got to the end of the book, and I will definitely be continuing the series.

Jul 16, 6:09pm Top

Finished A Crown of Swords, book 7 in the Wheel of Time series. Exciting book ending in a cliffhanger, so I need to start the next one soon!

Jul 17, 12:40am Top

Page / Tamora Pierce
3.75 stars

This is the 2nd book in the series. Kel has completed her first year to learn to become a knight. She is the only girl, and was bullied and picked on in her first year. Now in her second year, she hires a shy, scared girl (by request of the girl’s uncle) to be a servant to her while she continues to train, along with her friends, and some of her tormentors are still around.

I really enjoyed this. I liked Kel and I liked her friends. I also liked her new servant Lalasa. This one went pretty fast, as it sped through all the remaining years of Kel’s training, so it might have been nice to get more detail as we went along, but I guess being a YA book, it was sped up a bit. It’s certainly a great series for young girls, with Kel being such a strong role model, herself. But, of course, I’m enjoying it, too!

Jul 18, 11:26am Top

Please note - Our August host, EBT1002 has advised me that she will be putting the August thread up this weekend.

Jul 18, 7:22pm Top

I finished Illusion (Hoodoo Apprentice) by Lea Nolan earlier this month. I can't say this third installment in the Hoodoo Apprentice YA Fantasy series was my favorite of the three books, but it was still really darned good. This is likely going to remain one of my favorite YA Fantasy series for the long-term, so I'd absolutely recommend it. Just make sure you start with the first book, Conjure (Hoodoo Apprentice), and be aware that the first book in the trilogy is so magical, books two and three can't quite live up to it--though they're still really good and well worth the read. All told, recommended.

Jul 19, 3:41am Top

I have finished The lost plot, fourth in the Invisible Library series. Irene is a very doughty heroine, but I find the romance less appealing.

Edited: Jul 19, 7:36pm Top

I finished Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George. It's a fantasy retelling of the fairy tale of the twelve princesses. Magical, fantastical, heroic. And the first in the Twelve Dancing Princesses series.

Jul 20, 8:12am Top

Finished The Fall of Dragons by Miles Cameron. Excellent end to a great series.

Jul 20, 6:15pm Top

Finished An Artificial Night by Seanan McGuire, from the October Daye series.

Jul 21, 6:04pm Top

Dropping in to record Wisdom Lost: Pandemonium Rising Book 2 by Michael Sliter. Touchstones aren't working, but you can find it at: https://www.librarything.com/work/23491309/summary/171135832

This series is just so good. If you like grimdark or epic fantasy, you need to take a look at the series. Book One is Solace Lost (Pandemonium Rising).

Jul 26, 6:35pm Top

I read The Old Gods Waken by Manly Wade Wellman for this challenge. It's the first novel in the Silver John (aka John the Balladeer) series, which mixes fantasy and horror elements.

Aug 2, 11:13pm Top

Red Hood's Revenge / Jim C. Hines
3.25 stars

Roudette (aka Red Riding Hood) is an assassin who is coming after Talia (Sleeping Beauty), a princess of Arathea who has been exiled and is living in a neighbouring country with Danielle (Cinderella) and Snow (White).

There is a lot of fighting in this series. Yeah, kick-ass princesses are fun, but I have to admit, I tend to skim some of the fighting scenes. I briefly considered giving up on the series, but with only one book left, I think I might as well finish it off. I keep waffling between feeling like I liked it (3.5 stars) and feeling like it was ok (3 stars).

Aug 6, 5:56pm Top

Thanks everyone for joining and posting about your reads in July. I took a ton of BBs, so, thanks for that too!

>15 pamelad: Did you like The Left Hand of Darkness? I gave it 4.5 starts when I read it 4 years ago.
>17 LibraryCin: A reminder I need to continue with Outlander
>20 AHS-Wolfy: Did you like it? I haven't read any of Butcher's short fiction yet.
>23 LittleTaiko: I have Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and I didn't even know it was a series...
>24 LibraryCin: And a reminder to get back to Sandman also - I read the first issue ages ago, and I'm not really sure why I haven't gotten back to it.
>26 LisaMorr: This series reminds me a little bit of Mercedes Lackey's Heralds of Valdemar series.

And I need more series like another hole in my head, but I've really enjoyed looking into all the series you've read this month! Immortals, series with dragons, series set in a mythical Japan, magical cats!, Arthurian series, series with Hoodoo, a couple of series based on fairy tales, fantasy and horror mixed together, time travel and library spies, grimdark and changelings - adding them all to my pile!

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