Sorry about the hiatus, not that anyone probably was paying attention. But sometimes life takes a nose dive and the world becomes a bleak, desolate waste with no light, no Sora, and no Riku.
Then, because that’s not enough, your laptop crashes and refuses to let you run a disk repair until fourdays after you’ve already shelled out the money to buy a new one.
This Tuesday is all about my favorite books in my favorite genre; fantasy. Sci-fi is a very close contender, but if I’m honest with myself I’m more into dragons and swords and (attractive) people using magic. It’s fun! In a way the real world is most decidedly not.
How does one deal with a bustle in their hedgerow, anyway?
- The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss: This book was so real for me, true and good and pure and simple and clean and no I can’t stop myself with the Kingdom Hearts references, so don’t ask. Aurie is my favorite character in the Kingkiller Chronicles, and of all the mysteries presented in this series, hers intrigues me the most. The ending pretty much blew my mind with the pure intensity of the intrigue. So many questions, and absolutely zero answers! I loved it, and if you didn’t, you are wrong. (You can read my full review of it here.)
- Luck in the Shadows by Lynn Flewelling: This book was exactly what I wanted it to be; two thieves living double lives and slowly falling for one another. We alternate between the dirty streets of Rhiminee and the glittering world of the nobility all the while having lots of longing looks and unresolved sexual tension. The rest of the series sort of let me down with its penchant for hurt/comfort and introducing a child into the mix, but this first book is still wonderful, all strings of pearls and lingering perfume and creeping through shadowed gardens at night.
- A Darkness at Sethanon by Raymond E. Feist: Oh, the Riftwar Saga- before Feist started making sure his leads were super!hetero and had lots of smex with large chested woman there was this four part series that focused on camaraderie and dragons opening inter-dimensional portals and time altering warlords of destruction. This is the climax of the saga, and has the best siege I’ve ever read in any story. Seriously, Helmsdeep doesn’t have anything on the storming of Armengar. And I love Helmsdeep. Also Jimmy is my bae.
- Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis: It’s hard for me to choose this over Voyage of the Dawn Treader– but this one wins because it has Peter and Reepicheep, and Lucy doesn’t make poor choices because she’s jealous (which never felt like Lucy anyway and sorta felt like Lewis just doesn’t know women very well). So pagan! So magic! So not the terrible movie. I mean, I know I talked about this before; but Edmund’s duel in the beginning and Lucy’s Tree Party and rediscovering Narnia is just too good. I love it- this book feels so Narnia, with it’s secret meetings of forest folk and it’s attempts to resurrect Jadis and just, yeah. So good.
- Salamandastron by Brian Jacques: The first book of the Redwall series I ever read, and still my favorite (though Pearls of Lutra and Mossflower are strong contenders). Why my favorite? One because otter leads are the best. Two, because Jacques wrote a child sidekick who is not annoying. And three- Heagly Birds with Scottish Accents. With a name like Wild King McPhearsome, how can you go wrong?
- Emperor Mage by Tamora Pierce: It was hard to chose between this book and Wolf Speaker. But this one has undead dinosaur friends and hyenas and Rikash Moonsword and Kaddar. While Wolf Speaker has Maura of Dunlath making Daine and me crazy. So Emperor Mage it is. This book is exotic and glamorous; like Ancient Egypt and Imperial Rome had a love child in Magic the Gathering and it paraded around in the most beautiful clothes it could find. Seriously. Lush. Rich. Beautiful. All around great story with wonderful character development and a great world building. Plus cameos from the previous series, which is always a great thing in Tamora Pierce books.
- The Outlaws of Sherwood by Robin McKinley: So far my favorite retelling of the Robin Hood story I’ve read, because no one had bothered doing a novelization of the 1991 movie that owns my heart. This book feels like summer and sunlight through green leaves; it feels like Sherwood and Nottingham. Robin is relatable, not the super hero a lot of retellings have been trying to make him be- but human. He’s kind, thoughtful, a bit gloomy, and genuinely concerned for those who throw their lot in with his. Will Scarlet steals my heart every time, and Marian is brave and wonderful. I could do without the side plot of Cicely and Little Jon, but what are you gonna do? I seem to read a lot of writers who pair up younger woman with older men. *looks askance at Tamora Pierce*
- The Princess Bride by William Goldman: It’s a story about everything, what more could you want? Though in my heart, it’s a story about people making questionable choices and me loving them anyway. Why did Wesley stay away for so long? Why did Buttercup not figure her shit out sooner? Whatever. I’m just here of Inigo Montoya, anyway.
- Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones: I mean sure the movie’s good, but The Book is Better. And I love the movie. But the book has so much more! More romance, more characters, more world building. I love Miyazaki movies, but he does like to have a Big Message- and I can’t blame him! But I always felt like the war taking place in the movie was a little much, did we need it? Couldn’t we just have the Witch of the Waste be the antagonist? Couldn’t we have Sophie’s sisters and the bakery?
- The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern: Just the most beautiful book I’ve ever read. Just the most enchanting location ever. And romantic! A slightly angsty, full-of-longing sort of romance that I shouldn’t like but I do. But seriously, this story is beautiful and tragic and triumphant and I loved it so much that I wanted everyone I knew to read it too. Except that everyone I know doesn’t read as much as I do, and even if they did, I’d describe it to them and they’d most likely back away slowly, trying to avoid eye contact while I gushed about the gorgeous enchantments and lovely romance. This book is my aesthetic.