Good morning, hope you are all well. Today I have some recommendations as to where to start if you are interested in reading fantasy but don’t have a lot of experiences. I am by no means an expert on this genre, but it is my favourite and most read genre so I’ve read a fair amount over the years. Obviously different people will suggest different places to start so I am just giving you some of my ideas from what I have read within the genre. I may do another edition of this, because there are so many books I can suggest – today I am sharing five suggestions. Let’s get started.
The Hobbit / J. R. R. Tolkien
I mentioned this in my Classics : Where to start as well and suggested in that post that it is a great place to start in terms of the fantasy genre. It is a fun, enjoyable adventure story that can be enjoyed by a variety of ages and readers. The pacing can be a bit slow and the language may be a bit dated for the modern reader, but there is a reason it is so well loved. As it is a standalone, you don’t have to commit to a whole series which may be quite intimidating. It is a great introduction to the fantasy genre and also a good place to start if you are interested in reading J. R. R. Tolkien.
Old Kingdom trilogy / Garth Nix
I couldn’t not put this on the list as this is the trilogy that got me into fantasy, and reading as a whole. This trilogy focuses on two Abhorsen over a span of about 30 years as they fight evil. An Abhorsen is a hereditary position who fights necromancers, the Dead and Free Magic creatures to protect humanity. In book one we meet Sabriel as she sets out to save her father (the Abhorsen), who is trapped in death. Within this trilogy you will find amazing characters, an interesting magic system (in the form of bells) and a rich world you’ll get lost in. In my opinion it is very accessible and can be enjoyed by a variety of ages. I absolutely adore this trilogy and highly recommend it.
Magician’s Apprentice / Trudi Canavan
From one of my favourite authors, this is a fantasy standalone set in Kyralia – the land two of her trilogies are set. It follows Tessia as she discovers she has magical abilities when she inadvertently uses it to defend herself against the unwanted attention of a visiting Sachakan mage. In my opinion this is a great introduction into fantasy, because not only does it have traditional fantasy elements to introduce you to the genre, but I think Canavan’s writing is very easy to get engaged with. Another reason this is a great place to start because it is a standalone so you don’t have to commit to a trilogy or series. I personally enjoy the healing elements of the story as well.
Ranger’s Apprentice series / John Flanagan
This is kind of cheating since I have only read 4 books in this series and I think it has around 12 books but I have really enjoyed the books so far. Although it is a long series, the books aren’t particularly long so don’t be intimidated. I believe it is a middle grade series, which I think means it’s intended for younger readers – I’m British and we don’t have grades so it doesn’t mean much to me :). Therefore it is easy to read and become engaged with the story, as well as the characters. It is a fun, entertaining series, at least it has been so far and I am very much looking forward to continuing the series.
The Farseer trilogy / Robin Hobb
This one I would recommend as a great place to start if you don’t mind slower pacing and enjoy character driven fantasy. I actually struggled abit with the first book in the series and I personally think the last book in the trilogy was too long, but they are only minor issues and I am very glad I persevered with the first book. Hobb is incredible at character driven fantasy and creating complex and interesting characters that you either love or hate. It may be intimidating because of the size but once you get into the story and characters you will be completely engaged. You do have to read this trilogy to read the rest of the books in the Realms of Elderlings in my opinion, although you can read the Liveship Traders trilogy without reading this trilogy. The cover designs of these books are some of my favourites as well.
Hopefully you will find this useful. I personally think these are some great places to start and I might do another one with more suggestions, so keep an eye out for that if you are interested. My question to you, is what is your favourite fantasy book you’ve read? I am always looking for new fantasy books to read. Hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.