Sunday, November 1, 2009

Bookography

So where did it all start, what was the book that sent me spiralling on my journey into the made up worlds and minds of countless people? A valid question and one I will answer with this bookography below. This is not supposed to be a critique of the books nor is it a complete list of fantasy works I have read rather some simple impressions as a guide for readers who may be looking for new works to explore or where to start your journey of fantasy.

The Hobbit, by J.R.R.Tolkien, was the first fantasy novel I read during my primary school years and was a great read for those days. I do know many adults still read it and enjoy reliving the tale but I have never been able to go back to it even through I have tried a couple of times, with that said if you are a youngster looking to read a good tale then I can definitely recommend this for you.

A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula.K. Le Guin, although my memory these days is a little hazy when recalling days of old I do recall that although not completely imbibed with enthusiasm for this book (I would say that this is mostly attributed to the fact that it was required reading for my school) it did remind me about fantasy works which I had neglected for a long time and kick started my interest again.

The DragonLance series by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, back in the day these books are what truly drove my love of fantasy during my teenage years and I read both the Chronicles and the Legends trilogies, they have a great diversity of characters and a good storyline. What pains me here is when they released book 4 in the Chronicles series many years later I went back to read the Chronicles again only to discover that I didn't enjoy them as much and gave up part way through. This was due to the fact that they seemed to be aimed at a younger audience and the style of writing didn't quite entertain me as much as it did once. Still a great read for younger generations than I.

Lord of the Rings, J.R.R.Tolkien, well I guess it had to come around at some stage, although not one of my utmost favourite series this is considered one of the all time fantasy greats and I can't really argue with that so enough said.

Magician by Raymond.E.Feist, the whole series including Silverthron and Darkness at Sethanon were great reads again come into some of my favourite books as they were enjoyable to read at the time and great to reread now. They have engaging characters an in-depth world with lore and legend and a compelling storyline.

The Empire Series by Raymond.E.Feist & Janny Wurts, this is a three book series and would probably be my favourite books from the fantasy genre. Not only was the setting so well described and detailed but the characters were also completely fleshed out so that when I was reading I could and would often put myself into their shoes and try to plan how I would do things if it was actually me. This doesn't mean that they were predictable; rather it was so well written that I was able to engage with the characters and events described so in my view the hall mark of a good book.

The Icewind Dale Trilogy & Dark Elf Trilogy by R.A.Salvatore, now I have read nine books by Salvatore but really can't get into his writing or the books in a major way. Salvatore is a successful writer with many publication from the Forgotten realms setting and also some work in the Star Wars Universe I don't particularly like his style or really rate many of his books apart from Homeland which to me was his best work. So why have I read so much of his work? Well it stems from the fact that I actually love the Drow race and the Underdark setting of the Forgotten Realms as opposed to the books themselves.

Gardens of the Moon & Deadhouse Gates by Steven Erikson, this is where my journey has arrived to and I am glad I am here as these books rival my love of the Empire series detailed above. Erikson is an extraordinary writer who has used many traditional fantasy concepts and ideas and then melded them with the unique aspects of his world, the primary example of this is the concept of warrens. In doing so he has continued to grow the fantasy concept and reminds us that this genre is only limited by our own imaginations, a tune that rings true for me as I always say 'Imagination is Limitless'. I see this author as quite an advanced read but worth every second you can spend involved in his world and his stories.

As mentioned above this is only a small sample of what I have read but is a useful guide to give some direction to those creating their own path through the fantasy world.

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