Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Outside of a Dog, #46

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx.

Among publishers, readers, and libraries, fantasy is hitting a big popularity spike – especially urban fantasy, like the adult faerie books we listed last week. Another category that has been around for a long time is called “High Fantasy” – usually the types of stories and books that have wizards, dragons, unicorns, and epic quests. Here are some of our favorites:

Chronicles of Prydain – Lloyd Alexander

Best known for the book (and 80’s cartoon movie), The Black Cauldron, The Chronicles of Prydain follow Taran, a young boy who wants to become a great hero. The Chronicles feature five books, plus a prequel, and both a Newbery Honor and Newbery Medal.

The Book of Three (1964) WMB

The Black Cauldron (1965) WMB WAM

The Castle of Llyr (1966) WMB

Taran Wanderer (1967) WMB WAM

The High King (1968) WCV WMB

A Song Of Ice And Fire – George R.R. Martin

These novels take place in the Seven Kingdoms of the fictional land of Westeros. While trying to decide who gets the Iron Throne after the king dies, the citizens and royalty of the kingdoms must beware of an icy threat to the north, and a girl who can possess dragons. There are four books released, with another three upcoming.

A Game of Thrones (1996) CHE RSV

A Clash of Kings (1998) WCV WAM

A Storm of Swords (2000) WCV

A Feast for Crows (2005) WMB

A Dance with Dragons (forthcoming 2009)

Song of the Lioness – Tamora Pierce

A rare high fantasy in which the protagonist is not only a girl, but a girl who wants very much to be a full-fledged knight in the realm of Tortall, the Alanna series is a great place to start if you’re new to this genre. Pierce has written several other trilogies and quartets set in Tortall over the years.

Alanna: The First Adventure (1983) WCV WMB WAM

In the Hand of the Goddess (1984) WCV WMB WAM

The Woman Who Rides Like a Man (1986) WCV WMB

Lioness Rampant (1988) WMB WAM

Wheel of Time – Robert Jordan

Although Jordan passed in 2007, he revealed to his wife and family the remaining plot for the final books, ensuring that the series could continue after he died. The Wheel of Time is truly epic in scope, spanning 15 books, including a prequel. These are the first five:

The Eye of the World (1990) SCS TPL

The Great Hunt (1990) WMB

The Dragon Reborn (1991) WMB

The Shadow Rising (1992) WAM

The Fires of Heaven (1993) WAM WMB

No comments: