First in a new series of articles on classic fantasy and science fiction, read and reviewed by Paper Droids’ KD Callaghan. I’m sure we can all relate to the fact that, after mentioning that I love fantasy literature, there inevitably follows a barrage of questions and recommendations about classics of the genre from whoever else is in the conversation, partly to test your geek cred, and partly to suss out any shared fandoms. KD’s been given a list, and for the next few weeks we’re going to follow her on her adventures through fantasy literature: I for one am super excited. Let’s take a look at what’s in store! -Ariel Kroon, Art and Lit editor
Thanks, Ariel! Like any dedicated reader I have a huge to-be-read list. (Actually, I have an Excel Spreadsheet, but that’s beside the point). And since school has left me way behind, I feel like I’m perpetually under-read, so this is me, catching up on some of the most interesting looking—and most highly recommended—books on my TBR list.
I came across this one while doing research for a project for a creative writing class. I kept seeing it described as “literary fantasy” which intrigued me, because there very much seems to be a divide between “literature” and fantasy which my professors encouraged and which I was working to break down in that class.
What am I expecting? From the blurb and my research, I’m expecting an epic fantasy adventure that’s more “literary”: more image systems, more overt themes, and probably a more obvious commentary on some real world issues. ***Review here
This series was recommended to me by a Master’s student studying fantasy lit because a) it was excellent and b) it apparently has a very similar premise to the novel I am currently working on.
What am I expecting? From such glowing reviews I’m expecting something genre-shifting—in the form of a tale of rebellion that plays with the prophecy trope and looks at what happens to a people after a prophecy has failed. ***Review here
I have seen this book literally everywhere and it piqued my curiosity. I did some digging and found out that it won the Hugo award in 2005 and was a contender for the Man Booker prize in 2004, which has only made me want to read it more.
What am I expecting? Victorian England + magic = a finely crafted, suspenseful tale which revolves around the relationship between Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. ***Review here
One of my creative writing professors name-dropped Aimee Bender when we were talking about surrealism in class and later referenced Particular Sadness in a discussion on magic realism, which has me very interested.
What am I expecting? A strange and wonderful story about family that puts the magic realism perfected by writers like Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Salman Rushdie into a more North American context. I also get the feeling that I’m going to be very hungry reading this book. ***Review here
One of the girls I used to work with recommended this series to me, saying “Artemis Entreri will be your new favourite character. I guarantee it.” Since we have fairly similar taste in books and in characters I’m intrigued to see what she’s talking about.
What am I expecting? To be completely captivated by Entreri when he comes along eventually, and to otherwise just enjoy what looks like a rollicking good adventure series. ***Review here