fantasy

All posts tagged fantasy

Book Recommendations: Fantasy Edition

Published July 24, 2012 by caitlinnicoll

This post is for those of you struggling through the fantasy challenge, or just looking for a good recommendation.

 

All excerpts taken from Goodreads.

 

Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed

The Crescent Moon Kingdoms, land of djenn and ghuls, Khalifs and killers, is on the brink of civil war. To make things worse, a series of brutal supernatural murders strikes at the heart of the Kingdoms. And it’s up to Doctor Adoulla Makhslood to solve them.

“The last real ghul hunter in the great city of Dhamsawaat,” Adoulla just wants a quiet cup of tea. But when an old flame’s family is murdered, he is drawn back to the hunter’s path. Recruiting old companions and new, Adoulla races against time–and struggles against his own misgivings–to discover a plot for the Throne of the Crescent Moon that threatens to turn Dhamsawaat, and the world itself, into a blood-soaked ruin.

 

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.

Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.

 

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war. 

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”; she speaks many languages—not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

 

Way of the Shadows by Brent Weeks

For Durzo Blint, assassination is an art-and he is the city’s most accomplished artist.

For Azoth, survival is precarious. Something you never take for granted. As a guild rat, he’s grown up in the slums, and learned to judge people quickly – and to take risks. Risks like apprenticing himself to Durzo Blint.

But to be accepted, Azoth must turn his back on his old life and embrace a new identity and name. As Kylar Stern, he must learn to navigate the assassins’ world of dangerous politics and strange magics – and cultivate a flair for death.

 

A Spell for Chameleon by Piers Anthony

Xanth was the enchanted land where magic ruled–where every citizen had a special spell only he could cast. That is, except for Bink of North Village. He was sure he possessed no magic, and knew that if he didn’t find some soon, he would be exiled. According to the Good Magician Humpfrey, the charts said that Bink was as powerful as the King or even the Evil Magician Trent. Unfortunately, no one could determine its form. Meanwhile, Bink was in despair. If he didn’t find his magic soon, he would be forced to leave….

 

Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay

Eight of the nine provinces of the Peninsula of the Palm, on a world with two moons, have fallen to the warrior sorcerers Brandin of Ygrath and Alberico of Barbadior. Brandin’s younger son is slain in a battle with the principality of Tigana, which the grief-stricken sorcerer then destroys. After sweeping down and destroying the remnants of their army, burning their books and destroying their architecture and statuary, he makes it so that no one not born in that province can even hear its name. Years later, a small band of survivors, led by Alessan, last prince of Tigana’s royal house, wages psychological warfare, planting seeds for the overthrow of the two tyrants. At the center of these activities are Devin, a gifted young singer; Catriana, a young woman pursued by suspicions of her family’s guilt; and Duke Sandre d’Astibar, a wily resistance leader thought dead. Meanwhile, at Brandin’s court, Dianora, his favorite concubine and–unknown to anyone, another survivor of Tigana–struggles between her growing love for the often gentle tyrant and her desire for vengeance. Gradually the scene is set for both conquerors to destroy each other and free a land.

 

I hope everyone’s challenges are going better than mine!

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Um, Books and Stuff

Published March 27, 2012 by caitlinnicoll

I’ve been seriously slacking in the reading (and blog) department. But! I have read! Has anyone else been in a reading slump? Or better yet, does anyone have any good recommendations? I need some good sci-fi recommendations.

Anyways, so here is what I’ve been reading.

Fantasy

 

Sci-fi

 

After waffling for a few weeks, I’ve finally decided on a theme for the A to Z challenge, which will be Culture. Each day will focus on a different culture/ empire/ whatever I could find to fit the letter of the day for your world-building inspirational pleasures.

There is an overwhelming trend to write fantasy in some sort of European Middle Ages Default setting, and while I dearly love some of these books, Middles Ages I do not. I mean, it’s so boring stacked against the WHOLE OF HISTORY. Lately, I’ve been veering towards more Asian inspired settings because they are different, refreshing, and well, interestinger. I would also really love to read a fantasy book based on an ancient or Native American culture. So, if you know any, you would make me an extremely happy person.

I will also post book recs and whatever else I deem relevant. Which, knowing me, will be completely random.

Is It Really February?

Published February 13, 2012 by caitlinnicoll

Heh. Hi!

So I’ve taken a short writing break from my blog, to you know, write and stuff. And read. I’ve been doing lots of reading.

Speaking of reading, how is everyone doing on their challenges?

I’ve been reading mostly fantasy, but I have squeezed in a few sci-fi books. Here is a short list of what I’ve read. In pictures.

Fantasy

The last two aren’t strictly fantasy, but they do have strong fantasy elements.

Sci-fi

 

And I know this isn’t fantasy or sci-fi, but READ IT! Seriously.

 

If anyone is stuck wondering what to read next for their challenges, I’ve compiled a list of book recs on Goodreads. They are by no means exhaustive, but they’re a good start!

Fantasy

Sci-fi

I’ve also created a Pinterest board of inspirational things for my wip. Cuz, you know, I like to procrastinate and stuff.

http://pinterest.com/caitlinnicoll/tlf-inspiration/

 

Happy reading!

2012 Reading Challenge Update

Published January 6, 2012 by caitlinnicoll

I meant to post this at the beginning of the week, but there was a THING that insisted on acting like a rabid porcupine. *glares at computer*

So, is everyone excited about their fantasy and sci-fi reading challenges? I AM!

Already, I’m 3 books into my fantasy challenge (it’s amazing how much one can accomplish with no internet for a week. Seriously. You should see my notebook. FULL of words). I haven’t read any sci-fi books though. Yet. SHATTER ME is waiting quite impatiently. But so isn’t ANGELFALL. We’ll see which one can scream louder.

How is everyone else doing with their challenges? Are there any books you’re excited to read this year?

Here are a few of mine:

I’m sure I’ll think of about 500 more throughout the course of the year.

Also, I’m going to do monthly (maybe more) updates on my progress, and I would love to see how everyone else is doing.

 

2012 Fantasy Challenge

Published November 23, 2011 by caitlinnicoll

It has come to my attention recently that there are roughly eleventy billion fantasy books out there that I have not read. To combat this, I’ve decided to create a reading challenge, because I always do better when I hold myself accountable. So, who wants to join me?

the fantasy reading challenge will run from January 1st, 2012 – December 31st, 2012. Sign up begins today and lasts until February 1st, 2012.

If science fiction is more to your tastes, I will also be doing a sci-fi challenge. Details will be posted tomorrow.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it:

1. Sign up with the link below. If you don’t have a blog, you can link your Goodreads  account.

2. Grab the image on the left for your site.

3. Choose your level.

4. Leave a comment letting me know what level you’ve chosen.

Challenge Levels:

Hobbit: 5 books

Elf: 10 books

Vampire Slayer: 15 books

Wizard: 30 books

Brothers Grimm: 50 books

Dragonrider: 75 books

Curse Breaker: 100 books

Titan: 130+ books

More info: the books you choose can be in any sub-genre of fantasy, and can be adult, YA, or MG. Comics and graphic novels also count.

If you need suggestions, click here.

Alternate Challenges:

1. Read only high/epic fantasy

2. Read only urban fantasy

3. Read only historical fantasy

4. If you normally read adult, read only YA/ MG; or vice versa

5. Include at least 5 debut authors

6. Read only books based of myths/legends/ fairytales

I’m going to try for the Brother’s Grimm level; 50 books. I might shoot for Dragonrider.

What level are you going for? Do you have any great fantasy suggestions?

YA Recommends–Fantasy

Published July 10, 2011 by caitlinnicoll

With all the hoopla surrounding a recent WSJ article which Shall Not Be Named, I noticed there are a lot of adult readers who, for various reasons have avoided/shied away from YA. This is the first in a series of posts where I recommend “gateway” novels– novels that will help  ease reluctant adult readers into the Behemoth known as the YA world.

First up are my fantasy recommendations. This is strictly traditional, or high fantasy. Urban fantasy and paranormal fantasy will be a separate post. I have left out my opinions on the books, but you can assume that by me recommending them, that I thought they were fantastic. Which they were.

All synopses were taken from Goodreads.

1. Eon  and Eona by Allison Goodman.

Eon has been studying the ancient art of Dragon Magic for four years, hoping he’ll be able to apprentice to one of the twelve energy dragons of good fortune. But he also has a dark secret. He is actually Eona, a sixteen-year-old girl who has been living a dangerous lie for the chance to become a Dragon-eye, the human link to an energy dragon’s power. It is forbidden for females to practice the Dragon Magic and, if discovered, Eon faces a terrible death. After a dazzling sword ceremony, Eon’s affinity with the twelve dragons catapults him into the treacherous world of the Imperial court, where he makes a powerful enemy, Lord Ido.

2. Plain Kate by Erin Bow

Plain Kate lives in a world of superstitions and curses, where a song can heal a wound and a shadow can work deep magic. As the wood-carver’s daughter, Kate held a carving knife before a spoon, and her wooden talismans are so fine that some even call her “witch-blade”: a dangerous nickname in a country where witches are hunted and burned in the square.
For Kate and her village have fallen on hard times. Kate’s father has died, leaving her alone in the world. And a mysterious fog now covers the countryside, ruining crops and spreading fear of hunger and sickness. The townspeople are looking for someone to blame, and their eyes have fallen on Kate.
Enter Linay, a stranger with a proposition: In exchange for her shadow, he’ll give Kate the means to escape the angry town, and what’s more, he’ll grant her heart’s wish. It’s a chance for her to start over, to find a home, a family, a place to belong. But Kate soon realizes she can’t live shadowless forever — and that Linay’s designs are darker than she ever dreamed.

3. Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon

No one wanted Ai Ling. And deep down she is relieved—despite the dishonor she has brought upon her family—to be unbetrothed and free, not some stranger’s subservient bride banished to the inner quarters.
But now, something is after her. Something terrifying—a force she cannot comprehend. And as pieces of the puzzle start to fit together, Ai Ling begins to understand that her journey to the Palace of Fragrant Dreams isn’t only a quest to find her beloved father but a venture with stakes larger than she could have imagined.

Silver Phoenix is like a story plucked straight from the Arabian Nights. Which, is a very good thing. The Kingdom of Xian is a refreshing change from the “European Middle Ages Default” that is so prevalent in many fantasies.

4. Incarceron by Catherine Fisher

Incarceron is a prison so vast that it contains not only cells, but also metal forests, dilapidated cities, and vast wilderness. Finn, a seventeen-year-old prisoner, has no memory of his childhood and is sure that he came from Outside Incarceron. Very few prisoners believe that there is an Outside, however, which makes escape seems impossible.
And then Finn finds a crystal key that allows him to communicate with a girl named Claudia. She claims to live Outside – she is the daughter of the Warden of Incarceron, and doomed to an arranged marriage. Finn is determined to escape the prison and Claudia believes she can help him. But they don’t realize that there is more to Incarceron than meets the eye, and escape will take their greatest courage and cost more than they know. Because Incarceron is alive.

5. His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

Synopsis to The Golden Compass: In a landmark epic of fantasy and storytelling, Philip Pullman invites readers into a world as convincing and thoroughly realized as Narnia, Earthsea, or Redwall. Here lives an orphaned ward named Lyra Belacqua, whose carefree life among the scholars at Oxford’s Jordan College is shattered by the arrival of two powerful visitors. First, her fearsome uncle, Lord Asriel, appears with evidence of mystery and danger in the far North, including photographs of a mysterious celestial phenomenon called Dust and the dim outline of a city suspended in the Aurora Borealis that he suspects is part of an alternate universe. He leaves Lyra in the care of Mrs. Coulter, an enigmatic scholar and explorer who offers to give Lyra the attention her uncle has long refused her. In this multilayered narrative, however, nothing is as it seems. Lyra sets out for the top of the world in search of her kidnapped playmate, Roger, bearing a rare truth-telling instrument, the compass of the title. All around her children are disappearing, victims of so-called “Gobblers”, and being used as subjects in terrible experiments that separate humans from their daemons, creatures that reflect each person’s inner being. And somehow, both Lord Asriel and Mrs. Coulter are involved.

I intentionally left out HP, only because everyone already knows of it’s sheer awesomeness. If you have no idea what in the world HP is, I am going to assume you live a very lonely existence under a large rock at the bottom of the Mariana Trench. If that is the case, then I should tell you now that Sebastian was lying when he said it was much better under down where its wetter. I avoided HP for years, solely because EVERYONE was obsessed with and and I avoid trends as much as humanly possible. I rebel for the sake of rebelling (which, I assure you is the cause of every single one of my father’s gray hairs). A rebel without a cause, if you will. When it did finally pick it up, all I could say was: “Dear God, I am an idiot! This is amazing!” I then proceeded to read all 7 books in near record time.

Does anyone else have any good YA fantasy suggestions?