~posted by Meranda T.
Lloyd Alexander, of the Prydain Chronicles, can be given credit for coining the term “High Fantasy.” A term used to define a genre that is placed in an imaginary world or based on epic and fantastical plots. This is a sub-genre of fantasy I have always liked.
My first experience with High Fantasy is the DragonLance Series. It was the first book I actually came home from school reading and continued to read. I strongly recommend anything by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. They have a great understanding of the world, since they are the original creators. Some of the characters are hilarious, some serious; they really just run the gamut of types of characters, which keeps me enjoying the world.
Jala’s Mask by Mike and Rachel Grinti is set in an island nation. The people who live here grow boats out of the coral reef surrounding their islands. Everything seems fine until an exceedingly large group that derive their powers from masks become determined to wipe out the island nation. I enjoyed following the cultures that were created in this book. I didn’t even have to think too hard to imagine how hot it could be since we’re currently experiencing a little bit of heat ourselves!
Speaking of creating great cultures, Sharon Shinn does an amazing job with the worlds she creates. The first book I read by her was Mystic and Rider. After reading it, I knew I had to own all of the books in that series. Her characters grow and change and there are always strong female characters. I recently read another series by her that starts with Troubled Waters. This world is ruled by Blessings. If you are searching for direction, you can stop in a temple and pull out some Blessing tokens to guide you or just for fun. People’s natures are ruled by water, air, fire, earth, and wood. I have fun imagining myself in the world and what Blessing would fall to me.
Since High Fantasy is filled with series, let me give you another one. With this one, you can feel free to stop reading after the first book but you will have questions. Rhapsody by Elizabeth Haydon is an exciting read with fighting and time travel. There are multiple different races, all with their own stories and motivations. Rhapsody is the main character and, as a Namer, she can only speak the truth. She is also on the run because she has the ability to change the course of history and as you may guess, someone is trying to stop her from doing just that.
I highly recommend all of these books if you are following along with our Fantasy Checklist. They have great world building in all of them that can help transport you on a voyage with the characters.