Saturday, July 29, 2017

Fantasy Books I've Been Inspired to Read

The Silmarillion Awards 2017 have come to an end, and my to-be-read pile has grown exponentially. I must admit, I haven't read as many fantasy books as I thought I had, so, in celebration of the genre (and in celebration of Lord of the Ring's publication on this day 63 years ago), here are some fantasy books that this year's Silmarillion Awards have inspired me to read (the links lead to each book's respective Goodreads page):

The Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson. Both last year and this year, characters from The Wingfeather Saga rose to the top of the nominations, and now to the top of my TBR (all right, maybe not the tippy top, but pretty close).

The Ranger's Apprentice by John Flanagan. I have heard good things about this series for many years. I want to know why the names Will and Halt incur such rabid joy. I even went as far as to get this book out of the library. Unfortunately, I also took out ten or so other books and never got to The Ranger's Apprentice before it had to be returned.

Paper Crowns by Mirriam Neal. Again, I have heard so many good things about this book! I follow Mirriam Neal's blog and am always impressed with her posts. I can only assume that her stories are just as good. Plus, this book has a cat in it, and I'm a big fan of fictional cats.

The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson. A few years ago, I read Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson and really enjoyed it. I know several people who have read The Stormlight Archive and highly recommend it. From what I know of it, it sounds like a great book! If only it weren't such a daunting size...

Ilyon Chronicles by Jaye L. Knight. This series has garnered a lot of interest and praise across the blogging community. Everyone I know that has read these Chronicles has enjoyed them. Initially, I wasn't too interested in the summary, but the more I hear about these books, the more I want to check them out! Plus, the covers are gorgeous.

Halayda by Sarah Delena White. Jenelle's review first sparked my interest in this book. Then, when several of the characters showed up in the Silmarillion Awards, I decided to definitely add this one to my TBR!

Sentinel by Jamie Foley. While Jet, one of the characters from this book, did not have a lot of votes in the Silmarillion Awards, all of the votes that he did receive were so enthusiastically given that it interested me in the book to which he belongs. Sentinel doesn't look like a book that I would normally pick up, but any book with a character as well-loved as Jet must be good, right?

Percy Jackson by Rick Riodan. Some day I will read these books. That is all I have to say.

The Tales of Goldstone Wood by Anne Elizabeth Stengl. I read the first book in this series last year, and I wasn't too impressed. This is such a well-loved series within the blogging community that I want to give it another try, though. I've been told that the series gets better and better as it goes along, so maybe I will have to pick up a later book.

The Beast of Talesend by Kyle Robert Shultz (our very own Silmarillion Award presenter!). Someone nominated a character from this book for the Silm Awards which first caught my attention. Then, someone on Twitter described The Beast of Talesend as Doctor Who meets P.G. Wodehouse (um, YES, PLEASE). Until about five seconds ago, I knew nothing more than this, and then I looked up the synopsis. It's a detective story, people! Was this book made for me?? Maybe. Either way, it is now on my TBR.

Have you read any of the books on my list? Did you like them?
Did the Silmarillion Awards inspire you to read any fantasy books? Let me know which ones in the comments below!


  1. I must read Ilyon and Sentinel. AND MY GOODNESS TALES OF GOLDSTONE WOOD GET SO MUCH BETTER. The first one is amazing, but they just keep building and getting more and more awesome. You must read them (in order, though!)

    1. They do look like good books!
      And thanks for your enthusiastic recommendation! Maybe next summer I'll pick up the series again and binge-read it (that was my plan for this summer, but I forgot about it until too much of the summer had gone by to complete the whole series).

  2. What a great idea for a post. I tend to give more weight to the classics in my decisions about what to read. To that end, I'm looking at reading Alice in Wonderland sometime soon. Peter Pan also might be worth picking up. Both of them had characters that made it to the finals. Can't believe I haven't read them yet.

    On a related note, I actually read How to Train Your Dragon just so I could write my Magnificent Dragon post, so I guess I've already been inspired in a way!

    1. Alice in Wonderland is a good book. Very whimsical and crazy. I've never read Peter Pan, though! It's so short that I really should just pick it up one of these days and read it cover to cover.
      Whoa, that's dedication! I'm impressed.

    2. Okay... you both need to drop EVERYTHING and read Peter Pan. Now! The Benevolent Bookwyrm hath spoken.

    3. XD Well, if the Benevolent Bookwyrm hath spoken, who are we to disobey?? I'm going camping overnight with some friends on Friday, so I'll bring it with me!

  3. PAPER CROWNS. I LOVE IT. This fictional cat most favorite thing ever, basically. XD

    Yes, you should try The Tales of Goldstone Wood again! I really like them, but I can understand if other people think they're a bit slow moving. But they really do get better! :)

    I really need to read Percy Jackson too...THEY LOOK SO GOOD!

    1. Lol, I hear that's the general consensus. I really want to read Paper Crowns!
      I didn't mind the slow pace, but I thought that the allegory was laid on a little too thick (my impression at the time was that if there was no allegory, there would be not story, and my opinion is that there should be a story first and then an allegory. Maybe if I re-read it, or continued on in the series, my opinion would change, though! I really do want to pick up more books in the series. I loved, loved, loved Stengl's prose and world).
      Percy Jackson does look good! They intimidate me a little bit, too, since there are so many spin-off series! They have some really beloved characters, though, that make me SO curious!

    2. Heartless is not my favorite of the Tales of Goldstone Wood. It was fine... but definitely a debut novel. Every book gets better than the last. If you want to try a later one that won't take too much time, I highly recommend Goddess Tithe (while a novella, I love it). Shadow Hand is my absolute favorite so far, though Golden Daughter was a close second. There continues to be a thread of allegory through the rest of the books, but it is not as heavy-handed as in Heartless, which is nice, because I agree with you about allegory. I prefer it to be subtler.

    3. That's encouraging! I checked my library's website, and they don't have Goddess Tithe, but they do have Shadow Hand. Even though I'd be (DUN DUN DUN) reading them out of order, I might read that one first, since it is your favorite!

    4. The nice thing is that you can pretty much read them out of order if you'd like because they're all fairly self contained the only ones that are not our Veiled Rose and Moonblood those you kinda have to read in order.

    5. Good to know! Thanks Jenelle. I'd give you a thumbs up emoji, but there isn't one on the computer (as far as I'm aware).

  4. The Wingfeather Saga and The Lunar Chronicles were 2 that caught my attention.

    Hopefully I'll find time to start at least one of them before the end of the year. Though right now I'm caught up in a certain unnamed fantasy story (hopefully soon to be published). And Brandon Sanderson plans to release the next book in his Stormlight Archive this November. So much to read.

    1. I agree! There is a lot to read. Even though I haven't read The Wingfeather Saga yet, I think you'd probably enjoy that one more than The Lunar Chronicles (they get very romantic as the books go on).

  5. Ahem. Sorry, I got a little excited about your post and all the comment-discussion about books! Which is my favoritest thing ever, talking about books.

    As far as your list, YES! I love the idea for this post! I may have to do one like it in the near future. Because I've gotten so many new recommendations through the SilmAwards!

    I have read Ranger's Apprentice and Percy Jackson and the first two books in the Ilyon Chronicles. I liked all of them. Be warned, Ranger's Apprentice is meant for a pretty young audience, so, while it is well-written and fun, it isn't mind-blowingly amazing... I think I would have enjoyed them immensely if I'd come to them at the age of 9, instead of 29... but for what they are, I did like them quite a bit.

    Ilyon Chronicles was not at all what I was expecting. SO good. Very different from the sort of fantasy I usually read, but beautiful.

    Percy Jackson was a favorite... but the continuing series let me down, so I stopped reading them.

    *whispers* I'm not much of a Brandon Sanderson fan... heresy, I know. *Ducks out of sight as Zac wanders through the room* I just... eh. I have issues with his writing style. I'll leave it at that. I know people love him, and that's cool. I have been less than impressed.

    I REALLY need to read Paper Crowns and The Beast of Talesend! And The Wingfeather Saga!

    I did pick up Cinder... but I haven't started reading it yet. Hopefully I get to it before I can't renew it from the library anymore!

    1. Hee hee, I love talking about books, too! I'm glad this post has generated so much talk/discussion. It's fun!

      Oooo, you should totally do a list on your blog! I'd love to read it.

      Isn't it sad when you read a book at an older age that make you think "I would have loved this as a child." That happened to me with Harry Potter and The Mysterious Benedict Society. Oh well, I always anticipate reading those kinds of books to any future children I might have someday. Maybe I'll save Ranger's Apprentice for that :p

      I really need to get my hands on a copy of Ilyon Chronicles, because I have an expectation in my mind, and I'm sure that the series is way different that what I'm thinking it will be like. I wish there were a library out there for self-published books! Maybe I should start one.

      That's too bad that Percy Jackson let you down. I had a similar experience after reading the first four series of Warriors by Erin Hunter.

      I'd love to hear more about what you don't like about Brandon Sanderson! I really liked the first Mistborn book, but the second and third one were so political that I got bored. That doesn't have much to do with writing style, I suppose, but, either way, I never finished the series. Oops.

      I'm so excited for you to read The Lunar Chronicles! My friends and I actually went to the release party of the last book because it took place about 45 minutes away from where I live. That was fun. We dressed up in our fanciest gowns and our prince (my dad) took us to the ball (a theater). People dressed up as the characters... someone taught Pride and Prejudice-style dancing... We didn't get to meet Marissa Meyer (because I had to get up early for work the next morning), but we got to buy signed copies of Winter!

    2. The release party sounds like so much fun!!