Wednesday, March 30, 2005

After Harry Potter: Recommended Reading

ZZTop makes a request:
I've always avoided reading fantasy fiction, with the exception of the Harry Potter series. I've decided to take the plunge and give fantasy a try. Since there are some fantasy writers and readers on this blog, I was wondering if anyone would recommend a reading list of say, the 10 best FF novels. I'd browse the local library, but I'm not sure I would get a good representation.

I'm not sure that we can limit this to just 10 titles, but the topic is now open.

Personally, and at the risk of seeming like a shill, I would say that if you liked Harry Potter, you should look at Patricia C. Wrede's novels next. Luckily a lot of other people who are far more widely read in fantasy than I am will say the same thing, so I think I can get away with it. If you're partial to lighter fare, there's her Enchanted Forest series: Talking to Dragons, Searching for Dragons, Bowling for Dragons, unsw., although again personally, I would start with Mairelon the Magician, just because I like it more.

As for J.R.R. Tolkien: while he is one of the great progenitors of the genre and I'm currently reading The Lord of The Rings for the umpteenth time (this time aloud, as bedtime reading for The Kid, and I defy anyone to say the name "Asfelof" out loud without snickering), I would not recommend him for the new reader. Reading The Lord of The Rings is hard work, of the sort that can put someone off a genre for life.

Your recommendations?