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Fantasy Books You Love and Why

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THE WINNER'S CURSE by Marie Rutkoski (two of the trilogy are out now): Political intrigue so thick, I can't see the straight path out of it. The books are dual viewpoint, told from the eyes of a girl who's the member of a conquering empire and the boy who's one of the leaders of the slave's resistance. Can these two protect each other as their countries/cultures flip-flop in power? Who's playing the cleverest game?

THE WRATH AND THE DAWN by Renee Ahdieh (releases in May): A Shahrzad retelling, told in multiple viewpoints with gorgeous writing and onion-skin plotting (thinly layered changes move the story along). I loved the way each person in the story had goals that conflicted with each other. You have sympathy for them all, but you wonder how each person's motivation is going to shape the story in response to what they encounter in the others.

(Can you tell I have a soft spot for political intrigue?)

What fantasies have you been reading and loving?
#1 - March 21, 2015, 02:08 PM

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Well like a lot of people I'm waiting for the next Song of Ice and Fire book.Talk about political intrigue! Not exactly kidlit, tho.

Reading the Monster Blood Tattoo series right now. I love it because the world building is so rich and detailed and not like anything I've read before. I really believe that world exists!

Also, I am in love with Skulduggery Pleasant. I know he's fictional, and a skeleton, but I really think we could make it work.  :ha
#2 - March 21, 2015, 02:24 PM
THIS LITTLE PIGGY (AN OWNER'S MANUAL), Aladdin PIX June 2017 :pigsnort
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Oh, I'm enjoying The Winner's Curse series, too! I've got several books I'm looking forward to coming out this spring, and I'm trying to combine a book order for free shipping (but it's hard to wait for the next one). I'm also enjoying Sherry Thomas's Elementals series, which I think you're already reading.

I recently reread Crown Duel (Sherwood Smith) and enjoyed it very much, even though it's older. It's got a nice slow build in it, and a neat trick of the author's where the reader knows more than the character, and it builds tension and you can't but keep reading for the payoff.

Another one I'm eager to read more of is Jaclyn Moriarty's Colors of Madeleine series. The first book started out sort of slow, and then all of a sudden, the pieces connected and I really liked it. The second book had a ton more going on in it, and now I'm hoping there's another book. It's just so strange and different and odd! But all in a very good way.

Also, Marissa Meyer's Cinder series. One more book! But we have to wait until fall. Boo.

I really enjoyed Kerstin Gier's Ruby Red series--funny and adventurous and not cold and angsty at all.

I love Elizabeth Bunce's books and wish there were more. We just need more fantasy like that. And RJ Anderson, too.

Oh! And one I'm looking forward to is Heather Dixon's new book, Illusionarium. I loved her book Entwined, and can't wait for another one. (Also, she's a storyboard artist by day, and her blog is really fun to read.)
#3 - March 21, 2015, 02:38 PM

I'm so upset that they didn't complete Elizabeth Bunce's trilogy. That upset me a lot. I loved those.
#4 - March 21, 2015, 02:53 PM

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Reader, reader, reader...
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I don't think I'm reading anything current (sounds like I should try WINNER'S CURSE, though), but I *loved* GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS trilogy. And I also enjoyed RUBY RED and trilogy too. Her newest one (about dreams) didn't grab my attention as much...which doesn't mean I won't try the second book, of course.
#6 - March 21, 2015, 04:43 PM
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I read the new one  in German, Robin (the dreams one, right?), and while I liked the beginning, the way the story developed didn't grab  me as much as I'd hoped. I wondered if maybe I was not understanding in some bits, because surely the characters would be smart enough not to do X, Y, and Z! Maybe I'll have a look at it in English sometime. (I didn't have that problem reading Emerald Green in the original, though...)

The Girl of Fire and Thorns was awesome. :)
#7 - March 21, 2015, 05:43 PM

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I read the new one  in German

Very cool!  :dancer
#8 - March 21, 2015, 09:41 PM
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Oh gosh. For fantasy, basically everything and anything by Tamora Pierce (of course!).

I'd say Mercedes Lackey's ARROWS OF THE QUEEN and the two books after it - they aren't exactly YA, but they're pretty close, and were really, really formative for me when I was about 12.

I love Cinda Williams Chima's SEVEN REALMS series. I also love Frances Hardinge's FLY BY NIGHT, which is kinda-sorta fantasy. (No magic, but set in another world.)  Going a bit younger, I love love LOVE Suzanne Collin's GREGOR THE OVERLANDER series. (She wrote it before THG and I might be the only one out there who does, but I love it even more.)

And speaking of middle grade, both for fantasy, but especially for fantasy, Bruce Coville was another writer where I love anything and everything. MY TEACHER IS AN ALIEN is probably his best known, but I have a whole shelf full of his books.
#9 - March 22, 2015, 02:30 PM
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Rachel Hartman's SERAPHINA! I'm reading the second one now, after having read the first at least three times, and am so bowled over by the detailed worldbuilding and intelligence, not to mention its wry humor. For example, this line I just read: "I noted the line of demarcation between wakefulness and sleep. It was blue."

And I care so much for Seraphina. I love how her search for identity, while fantasy-based, feels so relevant to what all girls go through as their bodies and minds grow and change.

Both books are a little slow to start with, but so worth plodding through.
#10 - March 22, 2015, 03:57 PM
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annemleone, I am a big fan of Seraphina and the follow-up, Shadow Scale. Just jumping in to say that...
#11 - March 22, 2015, 04:20 PM
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I just bought THE WINNER'S CURSE and plan to start tonight---looks like I made the right decision, based on all these comments. Also very much looking forward to SHADOW SCALE, but I want to reread SERAPHINA first. About the exquisite world-building in that book, it was fascinating to read about the author's road to publication in the pre-Morris Award interview she did (I think it's on Elizabeth C. Bunce's blog). The book got almost published, but then not, and then rewritten for various agents or editors. I can't remember the specifics, except that it was completely rewritten, whole new plot and all, about 3 times, which made me think that all that layering of history and detail probably came from all the years the author lived with the book.

I was recently in need of a book by a known master (just needed to be in excellent hands for a while) and went back to the later Earthsea books (TEHANU, THE OTHER WIND). I think they're more for adults than kids, but the writing is so confident and draws no attention to itself, but instead simply draws you into the lives of these people. What powerful writing.
#12 - March 22, 2015, 06:21 PM

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I love John Claude Bemis' Clockwork Dark Trilogy! He uses American folklore, steampunk, and heroes we all grew up with!
#13 - April 09, 2015, 05:00 PM

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