I will be forever grateful to George R R Martin for awakening a global passion for one of the greatest genres of all time – fantasy. I’ve been an addict since I read The Hobbit back in 1982 (scary time frame) and have consumed just about everything written since. Some fantasy writers haven’t captured my imagination in the same way – Robert Jordan lost me by book four, Cecilia Dart-Thorntonby book two – but that’s rare.
Most fantasy writers lure me in instantly and I escape into worlds of wonder.
So for those who have finally embraced fantasy but don’t know what to read next, here is a list of my favorite authors – in no particular order. There are always more, but this is a scan of my bookshelf for my favs.
If you’re impatiently waiting for “The World of Ice and Fire” – scheduled to come out in October – this list should keep you going for about 20 years.
- Robin Hobb – “The Farseer Trilogy” and “The Liveship Traders” – awesome, awesome, awesome. Read anything Robin does, it’s terrific
- Brent Weeks – “The Night Angel Trilogy” – this series will blow your mind. Completely different kind of fantasy. I’m actually waiting for the next book in “The Painted Man” series to come out, so a reminder to go to the book shop
- Kate Elliot – one of the greats and “The Crown of Stars” series is brilliant – I love her
- Jennifer Fallon – “The Hythrun Chronicles” – wonderful series
- Maggie Furey – “The Aurian Series” – I need to see if she has published more!
- Sara Douglas – I’ve loved all of her books, with a special place for “The Axis Trilogy,” but equally enjoyed “The Wayfarer Redemption,” “The Crucible” and “The Troy Game.” We lost a great talent when she died
- Terry Goodkind – “The Sword of Truth” series. Loved it
- Conn Iggulden – while some wouldn’t put Conn on a fantasy list, I definitely think he deserves to be here. A writer of more historical fiction, his “Conqueror” series on Genghis Khan is brilliant
- David Zindell – “The Ea Cycle,” in fact it’s reminded me that I need to go back and re-read this series. Been too long
- David Gemmell – he’s one of my all-time favorites and created wonderful characters like “Druss the Legend.” If you haven’t read his work, give yourself a thrill. The books are short and can be read in any order. If you need a quick read, David is your man. Another RIP
- Trudi Canavan – another great Aussie female fantasy writer, I loved loved “The Black Magician” series, and she’s just launched a new series woohoo
- Jude Fisher – creator of “Fool’s Gold.” I must go and see if there’s any new books in the series. Wonderful, creative writer
- Janny Wurts – one of the truly great fantasy writers, who I first discovered when she co-wrote “The Empire” series with Raymond E. Feist, this woman is one hell of a talent. Love all of her books
- Rowena Cory Daniells – my word this lady can write and it’s fast-paced wonderful stuff. Check out “The Outcast Chronicles” and “The Chronicles of King Rolen’s Kin”
- J. V. Jones – “The Sword of Shadows” series is a cracking read – brilliant characters, wonderful story, definitely highly recommend it
- David Farland – it’s been a long time since I read his books and I must re-read them – check out “The Sum of all Men”
- Tadd Williams – “The Shadowmarch” series – another one I may need to read again
- Raymond E. Feist – one of my favorite fantasy writers of all time, I only recently read the last book “Magician’s End” – no, please don’t end! A wonderful series, written over 30 years, my first recommendation to anyone who’s never read fantasy but wants to give it a go, is to start with “Magician.” I am actually planning to read the whole series again
The interesting thing about fantasy is how it’s evolved. It started with journeys – think Tolkien to David Eddings. Then Raymond E. Feist moved the storylines to multiple worlds and moments – birthing a new style of fantasy. Then women started to come into the fold, with many wonderful super stars today. It’s awesome. We have so many different types of writers, but equally, we have very distinctive feminine and masculine styles too, and I like both. For my hubby, he’s definitely more attracted to the masculine.
It’s a great time for fantasy and hopefully more talents will be inspired to publish their yarns following the great success of Game of Thrones. Exciting. What’s next?
I hope these suggestions provide some reading inspiration, and if you are a fellow fantasy nut and think I’ve missed anyone critical, please let me know? I may have not listed someone you love because I wasn’t such a fan, but equally, I’m always on the lookout for new fantasy authors.
Yours, without the bollocks