Thursday, July 9, 2015

Hot Fantasy Needed

Posted by: Marie Harte
Hope my title isn't too misleading. It's hot out and I'm in fantasy binge mode. I go through different periods as a reader. Usually I read romance, because that's my writing wheelhouse. But lately I've been going back and re-reading my old fantasy favorites.

To list a few, and yeah, we're talking old school for some of them:
  • David Eddings
  • Mercedes Lackey
  • Michael Moorcock
  • Robert Heinlein
  • Kim Harrison
World-building aside, there's something that really stands out when you read about today's problems in a magical setting. Things are the same no matter where you are, but how you deal with them varies. Whether it be taxes, politicking, crime, healthcare, policing, you name it, every place has its problems.

Right now I'm re-reading the Elric of Melniboné series by Michael Moorcock. Moorcock describes his hero (in the novel Elric of Melniboné) and I was immediately hooked:

It is the colour of a bleached skull, his flesh; and the long hair which flows below his shoulders is milk-white. From the tapering, beautiful head stare two slanting eyes, crimson and moody, and from the loose sleeves of his yellow gown emerge two slender hands, also the colour of bone.

So okay, we've got an albino sorcerer. He's so weak, he's kept alive only by drugs and sorcery. Then his cousin tries to usurp the throne, and to stop that from happening and rescue the woman he loves, Elric turns to the gods of chaos for help. It's terrific stuff, and it reminds me why I read this all the first time around.

With the popularity of Game of Thrones on television, you'd think fantasy would be getting a swift rise in readership again. But I don't see other TV shows or movies reflecting this. We've got dystopian fiction, romantic suspense, crime procedurals, a lovely bit of science fiction re-surging, and tons of superhero movies. But the old fantasy movies and books (oh, how we miss thee, Harry Potter) don't seem to be stirring the crowds.

And I'm not sure why. BUT... I'm always on the lookout for new fantasy reads. Anyone have any recommendations? I know there have to be some, because we have stellar HBM authors who write it! Feel free to recommend your own. I'm trying to build a new fantasy list, and so long as there's fantasy in it, I don't care what other genres come attached--though I will admit I'm partial to romance in the mix.


  1. I love talking book recommendations... How about Patricia Briggs, Ilona Andrews, Jim Butcher and Wen Spencer? They're all on my buy-in-hardcover list.

    1. Oh yeah, all good rec's. I keep meaning to read many you mentioned, but I put them aside because I wanted time to go through their series. Briggs especially. :) Good list. Not familiar with Spencer. Have to look him/her up.

  2. Add Sharon Shinn and Anne Bishop to your list.

  3. If you're looking for fantasy + romance Master of Crows by Grace Draven is great, also the Twelve Kingdoms by Jeffe Kennedy. The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold. The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by NK Jemisin. Uprooted by Naomi Novik. ...I've been reading a lot of fantasy lately too.

    1. Thanks Eleri! I haven't read Martha Wells or Naomi Novik yet. Naomi might be on my Kindle...

  4. I love Anne Bishop. The Black Jewels series is my favorite, but I've enjoyed everything she's written. I like Mercedes Lackey too, and I really enjoy Patricia Briggs, especially the Alpha and Omega series. Molly Harper is hilarious for werewolves and vampires.


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