My Favourite Fantasy #2

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I’m so excited for this post, cos it’s been *ages* since I talked about my top ten favourite fantasy, and I’ve been wanting to do a follow up for years! Now I’m finally doing it and *bonus* I’ve added in some sci fi this time round (yes, I could have done a separate post, but I don’t have such a long list for it). I feel like this will be a bit like my favourite classics and romance lists- I’ll just keep adding to it more and more 😊 Without further ado, let’s talk about some of my *new and shiny and glorious* faves:

bear and the nightingale

Bear and the Nightingale– I mean, you all knew I was going to include this, didn’t you? This sumptuous Russian fairy tale retelling stole my heart from the second I stepped into Arden’s world. Atmospheric and so-darn-beautiful, I will never cease to be amazed by how magnificent this book is.

strange the dreamer

Strange the Dreamer– well, duh, Laini Taylor had to be on this list! Her writing is exquisite, her worlds sensationally unique and her romances to die for!

circe

Circe– this is by far and away one of the most exquisite books I’ve ever read. And on top of that, it’s a perfect retelling of the Odyssey. I. am. in. awe.

hazel wood

Hazel Wood– another book I have endless admiration for. For me, what makes this so special is how it balances the gothic and fairy tale elements just so. As a lover of both genres, this book bowled me over, transporting me far away into the Hinterland.

Neverwhere

Neverwhere– bringing me closer to home, Neverwhere tells the story of a hidden London, steeping the streets in mythological imaginings. A truly magnificent work.

charmed life

Charmed Life– I know there are probably a lot of other Diana Wynne Jones’ books with more renown, however, this one for me brings me such joy. Perhaps I’m being a little sentimental, it’s just this one hits all the right emotional notes.

poison chris wooding

Poison– I had to triple and quadruple check that this wasn’t on my last list- because I ADORE THIS WONDERFULLY WEIRD BOOK. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it may make you feel like you’ve hopped down the rabbithole in terms of plot, yet it’s undeniably a unique read.

warrior heir

Heir Series– I read this fairly recently and it still manages to make me oddly nostalgic- because the characters and relationships and stories have a way of clinging to your soul. Yes, Chima Williams is another author making a repeat appearance on this list- that’s just because she’s another author who never fails to knock it out of the park.

red sister

The Book of the Ancestor Series– I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this is the kind of series that reminds me why I got into fantasy in the first place. There’s so much to love about this- from the world to the sense of sisterhood to the romance. I just adore this series and can’t wait to read more from the author!

Red Rising Pierce Browns

Red Rising– well, when I mentioned sci fi faves, I bet you all guessed this would be on here. Many of you will already know my love for this *prime* series, so I’ll be quick in saying for the millionth time: this is gorydamn good! I mean, it’s Romans in space- need I say more?!

shades children

Shade’s Children– I’m never quite sure what genre this is- but it doesn’t matter, cos I will always love this twisty standalone.

the martian

The Martian– who’d have thought that a book about a guy stranded on Mars would be so much fun? That’s because Mark Watney rocks. Funniest protagonist I’ve ever read- and he makes this race-against-time sci fi so spectacular.

And that’s all for now! I have a few more I’d like to add, but I like to give it some space after I read books before declaring them *favourites*. Are any of these your favourites? Do you have any favourite fantasy books you’d like to recommend? Let me know in the comments!

Heir Series Succeeded in Being an Absolute GOLD MINE of AWESOME

*Non-spoilery full series review*

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Now I’ll be blunt straight off the bat: Chima isn’t known for crazy complex magic systems or the most unique world building- but what she *does* do is create characters you can root for and dramatic high stakes plots. And mannn does she do that amazingly well here. This is definitely her less popular series, yet I truly believe it deserves more attention. I don’t feel like there are nearly enough companion-novel style fantasy books like this out there and ahhh it was just so good!

Okay, enough shrieking, let’s get into the whys and wherefores of the Heir series, book by book, starting with…

The Warrior Heir

warrior heirI’ll be honest, this one took me a while to get into, making it not-the-strongest start. Once it got going though I loved it! Despite the slow opening, the plot picked up; the story was direction as they travelled from Ohio to the Lake District (inadvertently fuelling my wanderlust and reminding me why I adore that country).

As it went on, I became increasingly invested in the characters, admiring them in all their shades of morally grey- with everyone from hero to villain given depth (even the side characters!)

By the end, the seemingly random prologue started to make sense. And, thankfully from a book that had offered me such a sluggish beginning, the dramatic finale and complex world that had been created made it all worth it!

Rating: 4/5 bananas

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Wizard Heir

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If I sounded a tad lacklustre about the first instalment, then you might want to prepare yourself, because you are in for some serious GUSH.

The obvious reason why I dug this book considerable more than the first was that I was much more invested in the characters. We love who we love- and I instantly connected to Seth. His story distinctly more intriguing and, even if it was a bit obvious in terms of the “twist”, it worked for me because it had all the *feels*. It honestly doesn’t get much better than that for me.

I also love that feeling of being transported all over the world when I read- and this did that by the bucketload- more even than Warrior Heir. In short, this book gave me MORE and was a MASSIVE hit with me.

Rating: 5/5 bananas

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Dragon Heir

dragon heirI liked this one marginally less than book 2 and here’s why…

Firstly, in terms of world building, I quite liked how this book did dragon-type creature and references- though it wasn’t my favourite (I’ve mentioned before, I have high standards). I did, however, like how ghosts were used.

What I had the most trouble with, however, was that being a companion series it can be hit and miss how connected you are with the characters. The issue with this one was I thought the focus would be one already-established character (Jason) and it turned out to be about another bordering-on-Mary-Sue (Madison). I’ve got to admit I was disappointed in that and consequently failed to be totally into it because of that.

I did feel like the plot motifs were very similar to the Demon King– basically “descendants” doing what you never could, having love you couldn’t, righting the wrongs of the past- which made me compare the two a lot. And while I will say Demon King pulled that off more successfully, this one had individual moments that were better. Ultimately, this did have a satisfying ending, yet it also hinted at more to come– which made it slightly different to Chima’s other series, as it meant those themes wouldn’t be the be all and end all of the story. It was therefore up to the next book to take it up a notch.  

Rating: 4½/5 bananas

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Enchanter Heir

enchanter heirAnd boy did it do that! Primarily, this was cos the concept for this was awesome! And when it came to the question of hit and miss characters, these ones were a complete hit– and the great thing is this focused on them for two whole books, meaning it got round the “will I/won’t I be invested”- RESULT!

Reading some tips about the series before I started, I saw that this book had a negative reception. Some claimed it was twilightesque- I couldn’t disagree more (after reading, I determined the only reason for such a comparison must have been that it was popular to compare everything to Twilight at the time of publication). In terms of romance, they actually have things in common, and there are actually reasons for the direction their romance takes. I loved the little tussles at the heart of their relationship– and all the drama managed to leave me reeling.

I also totally disagree with the people on goodreads who don’t think this is its own book- have they never read a cliffhanger before? Protip though: if you do read this, make sure you have the next one close to hand when you finish, or you’ll be going “nooooo!” like Vader in the Lucas insert in Star Wars Episode VI- and no one wants that 😉

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(Heck you might do that anyway)

Regardless of what people say, this book was inventive, different and had a great mystery behind it. Too great of a mystery to be resolved in just one book.

Rating: 5/5 bananas

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Sorcerer Heir

sorcerer heirI had a HUGE dilemma with this book. On the one hand I couldn’t put it down; on the other the tension was so intense and got to me so much that I *had to* put it down. That’s right, this is an unputdownable book that you must put down at points for the sake of your own sanity!

As with the last one, I was absolutely crazy for the musician element, the characters, their relationships, the raw emotion of the story and- literally- *everything*.

One thing that held the series back a little in the previous books was the villains- but here they were so many complex baddies and that led to a ridiculous amount of “WHAT THE HELL IS GONNA HAPPEN” intrigue.

And as much as I didn’t want to know and yet needed to know how it would all go down, it ended up being painful and beautiful and wonderful. It was the perfect conclusion to the series. It was just AHHH-M-A-Z-I-N-G. Words can’t even express it.

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Rating: 5/5 bananas

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Overall, I loved this series MUCH MORE than Demon King– and that’s saying something, cos y’all know I frickin adored that series. At this point I’ll read anything Chima puts out and if you’re a YA fantasy fan, you should too 😉

Have you read this series? Do you plan to? Let me know in the comments!