Friday, 28 June 2013

Off My Shelves: Fantasy!

I’ve put myself on a partial library ban this month because I tend to go in looking for nothing and come out with ten books I had no intention of reading, and because I’ve been re-sorting my bookshelves and have a horrendous amount (approximately 600) of books still to read, I thought it might be good for me to read purely from my own shelves for a bit. Hopefully it will give me a chance to clear the backlog of review copies as well.

Anyway, this is a great idea in theory, except that I have just so many books that I really have no idea where to start, and this is where the internet comes in! I have a lot (really a lot) of genre fiction, and so I’m going to do a little mini-series of posts where I will put up a short list of a few from one particular section that I’m interested in reading, and I’d like you to tell me what you think about them. If you’ve read any, if you haven’t, what you liked, what you didn’t, what I should read right now, what I should avoid forever... Everything.

The first genre I’m starting with is fantasy. As a teenager I read a load of fantasy, and David Gemmell remains one of my favourite authors to this day. Off the back of that I went round buying up loads of things people told me were a bit similar, and I now have shelves and shelves of beginnings of series and I need some serious help working out where to start!

Some things I have:
  •  Aaronovitch, Ben – Rivers of London
  • Auel, Jean M. – The Clan of the Cave Bear (I think I’m the last person in the world not to have read this series..)
  • Barclay, James – Nightchild & Shadowheart (I started to read one of them a few years back. I don’t remember which, and they’re from different – but related – series I think...)
  • Brooks, Terry – The Sword of Shannara & The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara
  • Feist, Raymond –Rides a Dread Legion (I’ve read Feist before – if anyone’s read this, how does it compare to Magician?)
  • Hobb, Robin – Ship of Destiny & Shaman’s Crossing (I’ve read The Farseer Trilogy and The Tawny Man Trilogy already and enjoyed both. My sister’s been reading The Liveship Traders and says it’s good so it’s just a case of getting hold of books 1 and 2 before I can start...)
  • King, Stephen – The Drawing of the Three (I’ve started the first book in The Dark Tower series a couple of times but always failed to be gripped. Is it worth trying again?)
  • Nicholls, Stan – Orcs
  • Paolini, Christopher – Eragon

This is less than half of the fantasy I have, but they are the ones that jumped out at me. So come on internet, give me your wisdom!


  1. Fantasy is my favourite genre at the moment, although I've not read enough of it to give advice really.

    The only one on your list I've read is Clan of the Cave Bear, which I found to be underwhelming. apparently the first book of The Dark Tower isn't great, but then it gets AMAZING.

  2. I'm really really unqualified to give fantasy advice because I basically never read it- EXCEPT The Dark Tower is my favourite thing in the whole world, only I don't even like the first book very much but then The Drawing of the Three is mayyybe my favourite in the whole series. So... does that answer that?!

    I very very much like this idea though. Crowd sourcing so you make sure you read the best books- awesome!

  3. Lessee! Heard great things about the River of London series. And Liveship Traders, though heard some pretty awful things about the Soldier Son trilogy of Hobb's. Heard the same things as the peeps above about Dark Tower, Gunslinger is very much a drag but the rest get much much better. Brooks I found a bit dry when I tried him though I'm likely gonna read on one day. Orcs is supposed to be all right. And Eragon's apparently decent but the series gets worse and worse. I actually haven't read any of the above so just relaying what I've heard time and time again. :D

  4. Haha, I should really do something similar. Although one of the reasons I love having Book Friends is that I feel A LOT less bad about the size of my own TBR :)

    1) No, The Dark Tower series is NOT worth trying again. Vehemently not. I've heard it gets so, so much better but... I can't see it.

    2) Rivers of London is alright, but the second one is actually a lot better. The ending of the first book is kind of hard to follow, although it is very original.

    3)I couldn't get into the Shannara series, although I LOVE some of his other books. The Word and the Void series, or the Magic Kingdom series.