My Favourite Fantasy #2

orangutan list

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!

All the Endings: Books Finales that *WOWED* Me

orangutan list

So I mentioned yesterday that I’m being a bit introspective at the moment and thinking about endings. A lot of books are about the journey- but let’s face it, the ending can often make or break a book. Since I’m upto that stage in my WIP, I started to fret about the kind of endings that leave me dissatisfied, but while I was writing the piece I realised there are a lot more endings that blew me away than let me down. And since this seems to be such a great procrastination tool, I decided I should do a counter-post and share some endings I’m utterly enamoured by:

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Poison– no spoilers, but loved the inventiveness of the book and unexpected ending blew me away.

emperor of thorns

Emperor of Thorns– completely bold, completely perfect- this ending was everything you could want from a series finale.

golden son

Golden Son– I love a good cliffhanger- it’s a special kind of torture to have to wait between books when everything’s on the line- I’m weird I guess 😉

Heir-of-Fire-UK

Heir of Fire– what was I saying about cliffhangers? 😉 It was an emotional end to an emotional book. This happens to be my favourite of all Maas’ books- and that’s cos the drama didn’t let up for even a second. And while the conclusion resolved a lot that went down in the book, it set up plenty for the next instalment.

broken things

Broken Things– kind of spoilery, but this is kind of my answer to the issue with TFIOS ending. I love when books are a little meta- especially when that means they mirror an aspect of a book within the book.

harry potter and the chamber of secrets

Chamber of Secrets– this is my favourite HP ending. It has the best mystery and reveal in the series in my opinion. And I simply adore how it was executed.

daniel deronda

Daniel Deronda– I love how realistic this felt at the same time as meting out justice for the characters. While the flawed heroine didn’t get exactly what she wanted, it made sense to me. And the perfect hero got exactly what he deserved. It felt so right.

persuasion

Persuasion– I’m a sucker for a happy ending and no one does that quite like Austen. This for me is the most perfect of all her creations in that regard, because it feels the most earned.

memoirs of a geisha

Memoirs of a Geisha– in a similar vein this appealed to the romantic in me. I love how this book is devoted to the idea that love can work out in the end.

tess

Tess of the D’Urbervilles– I also really appreciate books on the other end of the spectrum and frankly this is that. It’s perfectly tragic.

we were liars

We Were Liars– this heartbreaking finale made me absolutely break down- and I can’t say anymore because of *spoilers*- it’s best to go into this book blind and see for yourself.

count of monte cristo

Count of Monte Cristo– not only does this deliver exactly what you want, it also deals with a complex moral in a clever way.

shades children

Shade’s Children– this is the kind of ending that I used to just pick up and read on its own over and over. Because it’s just perfection. The twist towards the end was great, but really the best moment in the whole book is that flash forward.

anansi boys

Anansi Boys– I always love the way Gaiman shifts the story around a twist- and this is no exception. In fact, this was the book that made me fall head over heels for Gaiman’s work. And that ending- I wasn’t expecting that at all- *mindblown*.

noughts and crosses

Noughts and Crosses– it kind of had to end this way- but OH MY HEART! I will never be over it.

strange the dreamer

Strange the Dreamer– of course, Laini Taylor had to make it onto the list- because this is how to do an ending. I love how it felt both foreshadowed and sudden!

And that’s all for now! Do you agree or disagree with any of the books on this list? And what’s your favourite endings? Let me know in the comments!

“What would the world be like without Captain James Hook?” Villains I Can’t Live Without

I wasn’t actually planning on making this post… Somehow though, I couldn’t let my thoughts rest after talking about why villains are the greatest and I started mulling over which crooks are the very best at being bad guys…

AKA what villains could I not live without? Well, I’m here to tell you which baddies are some of my faves:

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Captain Hook– there’s a very obvious reason why I named Hook in the title of this post- he’s probably one of the best villains of all time! (not just because I love the movie Hook) As a man who grew into a tyrant, he is the perfect foil for someone who doesn’t want to grow up at all. There is no better symbol of what a person can become if they let their worst impulses get the better of them. Indeed, what would the world be like without Captain James Hook?!

richard iii

Richard III– I’m mostly trying to avoid putting anti-heroes on this list, because then I really could go on forever. Still, out of all Shakespeare’s villains, this is the one I find most compelling. I especially wanted to mention him, because I was reading the most incredibly thoughtful post a couple of days ago from Cameron @Here Be Wyverns (seriously recommend checking it out), where he described how you can’t make someone less villainous with a backstory and, well, I thought that’s it exactly. Characters like Richard III are a great example of this- they’re the sort where you see where they’re coming from and yet it’s impossible to excuse their actions. Plus I had to include dear old Richard; he’d have got the hump if I didn’t 😉

Joffrey_Season_4_Episode_2_TLATR

Joffrey Baratheon– GRRM has created some of my all-time favourite villains- yet I don’t think there’s any that I loathed more than Joffrey! (and that’s saying, especially since Ramsay Bolton was in the running!) One of the reasons he’s my pick is not only because he’s one of the first big bads in the story, he also somehow managed to get a lot of the action rolling by being such a vicious idiot. Also, as Drew pointed out in my why I love villains list, he’s a very notable villain- this one’s for you Drew 😉 I don’t think I can formulate the words “I love Joffrey as a villain” though- he’s not even remotely lovable.

eastofeden

Cathy Ames– aside from how much I love her introduction, she’s one of the most spiteful, vicious characters in literature. I love to loathe her.

 

 

 

armadale

Lydia Gwilt– it’s fairly simple why Armadale is one of my favourite classics: it has one of my favourite villains. I adore this femme fatale- she’s not one to be underestimated.

 

 

mrs danvers

Mrs Danvers– MRS DANVERS IS EVIL. That is all. (Seriously, I’ve hated this woman since I was 10)

 

 

thewitchesThe Grand High Witch– I always get the heebie jeebies whenever I think about the Witches- those long nails, bald heads and basically the fact that she’s pure evil made me terrified of her- arghh- like I said I don’t like to think of her!

 

doomspellDragwena– it doesn’t matter how long it’s been since I read this trilogy, I will always be terrified of the witch characters in Doomspell. With extra sets of teeth and a snake wrapped around her neck, there’s something endlessly ominous about her.

 

 

MissPeregrineCover (1).jpgHollowgast– that name is pretty genius, embodying a period of time and sense of dread, and subsequently demonstrating some of the inventiveness that made this series so powerful for me. I don’t always find myself fearing generic monsters in books, however, there’s something so unsettling about the creatures in Peculiar Children.

i see you sauron

Sauron– a lot of people would perhaps argue that Sauron is more of a force of evil and so not the best villain. However, not only is he creepilicious as a dark force overshadowing Middle Earth, having read the Silmarillion now, I can see how fully fleshed out he is, well, minus the actual body 😉

dolores umbridgeDolores Umbridge– more sinister than Voldemort, more unsettling than the Dementors, Umbridge definitely takes the biscuit for being my most hated Rowling villain. There are no words to describe how much I loathe this woman.

 

smaug 4Smaug!!! I was desperately trying not to include two Tolkien villains- but I can’t help it! I pretty much love all of Tolkien’s baddies, nonetheless, Smaug takes all the gold medals for being my favourite fictional dragon.

 

And finally some “you know who” villains ie ones that would be spoilery to name:

illuminae

gone-girl-PB

shades children

So what do you think with my list? Agree or disagree with any of them? And who are some of your favourite villains? Let me know in the comments!