Friday, August 24, 2012

Favorite Fantasy Series

It has been a while since I've done a Favorite Things post that hasn't been connected to some poll going on somewhere on the Internet. In thinking what I wanted to do next I realized that I have never done a post on my favorite Fantasy Series. Since these are the books I reread the most often that seemed remiss.

So here they are in the order I read and fell in love them:

The Chronicles of Prydain: I read The Black Cauldron and The Castle of Llyr when I was 8. Somehow I missed the existence of the other three books until later. Still, this counts as my first true fantasy obsession as I read the two I knew about several times and spent a great deal of time running around my neighborhood pretending to be Princess Eilonwy. It has been a joy these past couple of months to watch Bit read and fall in love with these books too.

A Wrinkle in Time and companions: I discovered A Wrinkle in Time when I was in the 5th grade and pretty much went on a Madeleine L'Engle binge, reading everything in my school library with her name on it. A Wrinkle in Time is the book I have reread the most, but I adored the whole series and everything about the Murry family.

The Chronicles of Narnia: I didn't read these until I was in middle school. I read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe in sixth grade and the others sporadically through the years after that. My favorite is The Horse and His Boy, which I know is controversial. Don't care. I love Shasta and Aravis and everything about their journey. This is followed closely by The Voyage of the Dawn Treader as my second favorite.

Harry Potter: Yes, I adore Harry Potter. Despite seeing the flaws in the later books I love love love them. Strangely enough it isn't because of Harry himself, I actually always had very little interest in him. These books were all about Ron and Hermione for me. Individually, not just as a couple. (Confession: I think Harry would be kind of a boring person to hang out with actually.)

The Queen's Thief:  Do you notice how I always manage to include these books in some way on almost every Favorite Things list I do? (See here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and  here.) Am I obsessed? Yep. A little bit. That's because they are the best books I have ever read. Ever. The love I have for them knows no bounds and will never diminish. I have them all downloaded as e-books (as well as owning actual copies of course) so that they are always with me on my iPod wherever I go. I have my favorite parts book marked and read them whenever I have to wait anywhere. I read the entire series at least once a year, sometimes twice.

The Oxford Time Travelers: There is so much to love about these. Oxford. Time Travel. Great Literary References. Awesome Characters. Swoon Worthy Romance. Yes they are filled with it all. What is amazing is how they balance humor and tragedy and show the human condition at its best and worst. They are just all kinds of awesome.

Chrestomanci Chronicles: Of all the series Diana Wynne Jones wrote this is my favorite. And that's saying something as I adore all of her books. There is something about Christopher Chant that has embedded him in my heart like no other character of hers though. I think it might be his flirtation with the dark side and his obvious love, though absent minded, of his wife and family. All of the characters in this series favorites of mine though and the books are full of great adventure and magic.

You can find more fantasy series (and trilogies) I adore here. There are several other first in a series or trilogy books I've read recently that may be added soon. I'm waiting to see if their sequels live up to the beginnings. (If N.D. Wilson's Ashtown Burials continue to go the way of the first two books. It will definitely become an all time favorite.)

Feel free to share your favorites too.


  1. So you're making me feel bad that I left To Say Nothing of the Dog back in Manila! That's the only series that I'm not familiar with in your entire list. Fret not, I will grab my copy the next time I go home (probably in December).

    1. That's the first one I read too and it is the one I reread the most because it is the lightest. The others are pretty serious, though they have their moments. And the other three have Colin who I LOVE. But Ned in To Say Nothing of the Dog is awesome too.

  2. The Oxford Time Travelers sounds fun-which one comes first? Harry isn't really boring-he's just too emo. :-)

    1. Doomdsday Book was the first one published. To Say Nothing of the Dog is the first one I read and, as I said in above comment, it is the lightest of the three. It completely stands on its own. You have to read Blackout and All Clear together, they are two halves of the same story. (And you should have All Clear ready to go when you reach the end of Blackout.) I would recommend reading Doomsday Book before those two because it introduces an important character, but it is not essential.

  3. Also, do you recommend reading Chrestomanci in Diana Wynn Jone's suggested order?

    1. Actually I don't.

      I read them in the order they come in the double volume editions:
      Charmed Life (Vol 1)
      The Lives of Christopher Chant (Vol 1)
      Witch Week (Vol 2)
      The Magicians of Caprona (Vol 2)
      Conrad's Fate (Vol 3)
      The Pinhoe Egg (Vol 3)
      Then I read all the short stories.

      I like this order because it sets up some interesting contrasts, which is why I think I love Christopher so much. Reading Charmed Life first you see him as an adult and the Chrestomanci through Cat's eyes and then you can go back in time with The Lives of Christopher Chant and see the similarities and marked differences in Christopher's childhood. Same with Volume 3. There is a highlighting of the difference between how Christopher was trained as a young man and how he deals with the young people he is in charge of training that says so much about who he is without actually stating it.

      Whatever order you read them in though they are awesome!

  4. (sigh) more on my to read list. At least I know they'll be good :-)

    I really like the 100 Cupboards books. Not quite as intense as Ashtown, but I'd put them in my favorites list for sure. Otherwise, I heartily concur (except that I still have to read the Oxford Time Traveler ones... and most of the DWJ books)

    1. I really like 100 Cupboards too, but they are not quite in the same category as these others. Ashtown has the potential to be. :)

  5. Oo, my favorite series would almost match yours. The only one I haven't read is The Oxford Time Travelers. I'll have to read it! I think I might have a copy of the Doomsday Book, because I read and liked a Connie Willis book of short stories. I'll have to nose around and figure out where I put it.

    Other series that come to mind are the Young Wizards series by Diane Duane and the Books of Bayern by Shannon Hale.

    1. I really like the Books of Bayern too. They made my general list just not the absolute favorite list. I was never able to get into the Young Wizards books.

      Yes find your copy of Doomsday Book and READ IT!!! ♥