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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Favourite books on my bookshelf

I love fantasy books, but which fantasy authors do I like and if I had to pick one of their books as my favourite, which one would that be? I've chosen five of my favourite authors and these are Anne McCaffrey, David Eddings, Naomi Novik, Trudi Canavan and Terry Pratchett.

Anne McCaffrey's Dragons of Pern series is wonderful, although as time went on she did tend to repeat the stories from a different angle. Now Anne is no longer with us, her son Todd has taken over the series. At first I wondered if he could live up to his mother's reputation. Surprise, surprise he breathed new life into the dragons. I also like Anne McCaffrey's other books, both solo and written with other authors. Her Planet Pirates and Crystal Singers books are breathtaking. I would say that my favourite book of this author would be Killashandra the first book of the Crystal Singers trilogy. It has life, love and humour and also drags you into the story and holds you there, while hurtling you through space.

Naomi Novik's Temeraire series took me back to Napoleonic times but introduced dragons into the history books. Once again the first book of the series is my favourite. It was wonderful how a battle could lead to so much confusion and change the life of a sea captain who thought his future to be straightforward. Taking care of a dragon egg and later the dragon who emerged and bonding with him changed his private and military life forever. However, Captain Lawrence teaches Temeraire a strict code of ethics which the dragon interprets his own way and they end up in even more trouble.

David Eddings Belgariad and Mallorean are both marvellous series in their own right. I always thought they were a lighter version of Tolkein's Middle Earth, but have to admit these books also have their dark moments. David and his wife Leigh have also written other series set in a similar time period/ background, but I think the first book of Belgariad will always remain my favourite. Pawn of Prophecy really got to me with the young befuddled hero who had no idea who he really was, or why he had got mixed up with these strange magical people. It was also the first fantasy book I read which got me hooked on the genre.

Trudi Canavan has written a beautiful series about the two different types of magic - black and white. The magicians of Imardin believe white magic is the way to go, but is it? In the third book The High Lord (my favourite) the High Lord Akkarin reveals his hidden secrets to Sonea, an apprentice magician. She is fearful but also fascinated by his revelations, but they change the world she has always known into something completely different. The whole series, plus the sequel series, makes magic seem so natural I wondered why we don't have it in our world.

And last but definitely not least Terry Pratchett. His Discworld series is fantastic. I have no idea how he comes up with all the ideas. I mean who would imagine a giant turtle with four huge elephants on his back and a flat world on top of the elephants with the whole lot flying endlessly through space? Question: Is the turtle male or female? Only Terry Pratchett can take such a concept and add humour to the mix. Now comes the difficult bit. Which one to choose as a favourite? They all have great characters but I have a soft spot for Rincewind and Granny Weatherall. I think I'd have to opt for The Colour of Magic. This book introduces the Discworld and three characters two of who continuously appear throughout the series. First there is Rincewind - Wizard - failed. He only knows one spell and isn't allowed to say it. Next is Twoflower - the Disc's first tourist and lastly his luggage - he plays a major part in this book and a minor part in one of the other Discworld books. What's so special about the luggage? For a start it moves itself around, no wheels or hoisting onto shoulders for this trunk. The Luggage (spelt with a capital L) has legs and runs after its master (or anywhere else that takes it's fancy). 

I hope you enjoyed a look into my bookcase - yes I have all of these on my shelves. 


Janet Walters said...

I like some of the authors you like and not others. Actually my favorite is Andre Norton's Witch World series and Mercedes Lackey's stories. Somehow I find female writers write more fantasy the way I like it.

Sue Perkins said...

Thanks for your comment Janet, sorry it took a while to get back to you. I haven't really got into either of the authors you like, will have to check them out.