Romance novels, by their very nature, are usually not considered great literature. This is not to say that romance novels are not worth reading, but perhaps they should be judged with relaxed criteria. It is no different in the fantasy romance subgenre. Stories abound with sexy witches, shape shifters of all ilk and fairies that fall in love with humans. Here are a few that stand out as being particularly special for one reason or another.
Warriorby Zoe Archer is the first in a series of novels with the premise that there are sources of magic in the world that need protecting. The Blades of the Rose are a group who try and keep magical sources out of the hands of the Heirs of Albion. This first book is set mainly in Mongolia and actually had enough cultural information in it that I now want to visit there- minus evil men with magic trying to kill me, of course. If magic and the 1800’s are your thing then this is a great read. Continue reading “Fantasy Checklist Challenge: Romantic Fantasy”
Oh no, they’ll tell you, they don’t read fantasy. They have no idea where the fantasy section is at the library, let alone where to find Westeros or Xanth, or how to get into Mordor – doesn’t one simply walk? Oh sure, they read the Harry Potter books, but when it comes to their own reading they consider themselves firmly in the muggle camp.
Young adult novels appeal to many people, often because of the plot-driven storylines, but also because they’re about people finding themselves through turmoil, whether it’s a breakup or the world literally ending. The protagonist enters the book (or series) unsure and unformed, and leaves stronger, wiser, and often a leader in their world, whether it’s a high school or an entire universe.
Karou lives two lives. By day she’s an art student in Prague, with the requisite jerk boyfriend and fiercely loyal best friend. But she’s also sent around the world to collect teeth for her monster family, her hair grows out of her head blue, and she has tattoos of eyes on the palms of her hands that have always been there. When she comes home one day to find her family’s home a smoking ruin, her life is turned upside down and she finds out that her life isn’t what she thinks it is, and there are far more things in and out of this world than we can ever imagine. Read if you like: angels, demons, doomed love stories, strong friendships, and tooth-based magic systems. Continue reading “Fantasy Checklist Challenge: Young Adult”
Mythopoeia: The creation of a myth or myths. –Oxford English Dictionary
How do you decide if it’s a mythopoetic book? I’m not entirely sure, but to me these books display a deep and believable magical system, drawn from old gods and stories. They create myths that I want to believe in. Possibly one of the best examples of this,The Wood Wife by Terri Windling, changed my understanding of the desert, art and poetry. It’s a mesmerizing combination of entrancing language, compelling characters, and deep mysteries. Continue reading “Fantasy Checklist Challenge: Mythopoeia”
Fantasy tales are rife with characters from the seedy underbelly of society. Robin Hood, a mythical English robber, is the hero of Disney’s 1973 animated film, where many children are first introduced to the “loveable rascal” thief-type. Robin Hood’s shenanigans were so much more fun than any other Disney film, at least until Aladdin introduced yet another loveable, rascal, thief character. The message learned? Thieves in movies and books have all the fun and none of the consequences… at least until they’re caught. Continue reading “Fantasy Checklist Challenge: Thieves”