Discussion Forums - Fantasy

Topic: What Book(s) First Got You Interested in the Fantasy Genre?

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
Page:   Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: What Book(s) First Got You Interested in the Fantasy Genre?
Date Posted: 6/4/2008 7:59 AM ET
Member Since: 1/7/2008
Posts: 413
Back To Top

I was wondering....

What book or books first got everyone started in reading the Fantasy Genre?  Also, what appeals to you about Fantasy that you don't find in other Genres? 

Date Posted: 6/4/2008 10:51 AM ET
Member Since: 11/17/2006
Posts: 182
Back To Top

The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings were my first, and are still my sentimental favorites.

The things I like in a fantasy are a creative, rich, magical new world to escape to for a while.


Date Posted: 6/4/2008 11:01 AM ET
Member Since: 3/18/2007
Posts: 782
Back To Top

The Lord of the Rings was my first foray into fantasy.

I loved to read when I was in elementary school, but learned to hate it when I got to middle and high school and they started forcing me to read books that I had no interest in.  Then during (I think) my sophomore year of HS, I went with my boyfriend and his brother to watch LOTR: Fellowship of the Ring and loved it. I immediately went out and bought the books, and loved them too.

Next, I fell in love with Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series, but gave up after Naked Empire. Then came Juliet Marillier's Sevenwaters Trilogy and Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel series, both of which I have as HC keepers because they are still my absolute favorite books ever.

Until the past few months, I had been reading Historical Fiction, but have started getting back into fantasy. I am on a major Barry Hughart kick right now.

Hm.... what do I find in fantasy that I don't find in other genres? Well, Historical Fiction, by its nature, can't really be very plot driven since it's telling history and not just a "story." It has its limits as far as creativity can go. Fantasy, however, can include plot twists and surprises and really keep the reader wondering. I don't know. I guess it's really just difficult to put it into words. It's just more a feeling I get when reading fantasy than anything else.

Date Posted: 6/5/2008 3:07 PM ET
Member Since: 11/29/2005
Posts: 953
Back To Top

The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia A. McKillip was my first fantasy book when I was younger. It was a wonderful escape full of talking animals.

Fantasy is just a wonderful escape into a different world full of creatures that, somewhere in the back of my mind, I hope really exist. :D

Last Edited on: 6/5/08 3:07 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/5/2008 4:47 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,777
Back To Top

The first fantasy I remember reading was Anne McCaffrey's Pern (started with the Harper Hall trilogy) and also Ursula K. LeGuin's Earthsea, which was only a trilogy at the time. About the same time I discovered Tolkien and CS Lewis. By the time I was 16 I had so many fantasy novels my parents had to build bookshelves across an entire wall of my bedroom! I also recall reading the early Xanth novels fairly young, but I got sick of them pretty quickly.

Date Posted: 6/6/2008 12:39 PM ET
Member Since: 5/4/2008
Posts: 1,518
Back To Top

My first fantasy read was the Sword of Shanarra Trilogy by Terry Brooks and then The Magic Kingdom of Landover  series by Terry Brooks also. My step father loaned them to me and I have liked fantasy books ever since. I now have several fantasy authors on my home bookshelf.

I just love them. They take you away to another world.

Date Posted: 6/6/2008 1:46 PM ET
Member Since: 9/17/2007
Posts: 367
Back To Top

I have always been drawn to the fantastic, and read whatever I could that satisfied that urge. I remember in grade 8 finally getting the "good" stuff, one of the Sword & Sorcery anthologies. Roger Zelazny's tales of a swordsman and his horse, Black, stuck with me.

Date Posted: 6/6/2008 4:53 PM ET
Member Since: 4/8/2008
Posts: 111
Back To Top

I think it started with A Wrinkle in Time when I was 10. The Sword of Shannara was my first "adult" book that I read, I was 13. I remember that I had never even attempted a book that long before reading it and I loved it. Fantasy has been my favorite genre ever since.

Date Posted: 6/6/2008 8:21 PM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2008
Posts: 2,586
Back To Top

I read the Lord of the Ringsseries back in college and I would have to agree they are a sentimental favorite.  So many of the series that  I also enjoy owe so much to Tolkien.

Debbie - ,
Date Posted: 6/7/2008 10:39 AM ET
Member Since: 10/7/2007
Posts: 731
Back To Top

The Forest House by Marion Zimmer Bradley.  I have no idea why I even picked it out to read but from that point on I have been hooked on fantasy.

Date Posted: 6/7/2008 12:11 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 454
Back To Top

R.A. Salvatore's In Sylvan Shadows was the first book that really got me into the Fantasy genre. Now I'm obsessed - lol!

Date Posted: 6/8/2008 11:04 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2008
Posts: 6
Back To Top

I read A Wrinkle in Time and Lord of the Rings when I was 11. Loved them both.

Fiction is fiction, of course, but what appeals to me is the fantastic made normal, everyday, common. Since these worlds are mostly created from scratch, we can see what might seem out-of-reach in our lives made real. Magic, dragons, etc of course, but also honor, compassion, bravery, as well as a certain amount of social striving such as strong roles for women and gay characters.

Subject: Fantasy Genre
Date Posted: 6/8/2008 11:30 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2008
Posts: 1
Back To Top

To reply, I first got involved with Mercedes Lackey and L.E. Modesitt, Jr., especially his Recluce novels.  Lately, I've been reading Charlaine Harris and Kim Harrison.  I used to like Ann Rice, but lost interest in her work; I gravitated toward more light hearted fare.   When I was in elementary school, I inhaled the CS Lewis novels that are finally being made into excellent non-animated movies.

Last Edited on: 6/8/08 11:33 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/9/2008 2:22 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,603
Back To Top

Lord of the RIngs and The Hobbit for me as well. I first read them when I was 10 years old and have re-read them many times since then.

I read in a lot of different genres and like certain things about each type of book. What I like about fantasy is that the author can create a whole new world where the "rules" of our world don't apply. The sky can be pink, the "people" can be blue and gravity can make things fall UP! It's interesting to see what creative things authors can come up with to let you escape from reality now and then.


Date Posted: 6/9/2008 6:44 PM ET
Member Since: 5/17/2006
Posts: 50
Back To Top

The Hobbit was my introduction to fantasy in 1978-79.  As a preschooler I had an audio cassette + storybook version (based on the Rankin-Bass animated movie) that I loved to the point of memorization.  In elementary school my interest in fantasy led me to read the "proper version" of the Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, the Chronicles of Narnia, the Wind in the Willows, Madeleine L'Engle's fantasies, Lloyd Alexander's Prydain Chronicles, Star Wars tie-ins, various non-linear gamebooks (Choose Your Own Adventure, etc.), D&D manuals, and loads of Greco-Roman, Norse, and Arthurian mythology.

Date Posted: 6/11/2008 10:36 AM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2005
Posts: 5,091
Back To Top

The first one I clearly remember is The Hobbit.  But I was reading fantasy before that - I remember reading Little Witch, and Chronicles of Narnia and other books about magic and other fantasy themes before that.  But I think it was The Hobbit quickly followed by Lord of the Rings that sealed the deal.

Date Posted: 6/11/2008 2:11 PM ET
Member Since: 7/3/2007
Posts: 326
Back To Top

I read The Hobbit pretty early on (elementary? junior high? can't quite remember) and loved it.  Other than Once and Future King in high school I dind't read any more fantasy (or anything at all except for text books) until after PT school when I read Lord of the Rings.   It was then that I officially fell in love with the fantasy genre.

Then my husband got me hooked on RA Salvatore, starting with Homeland.  For me, it was LOTR on steroids.  I have read all of the Drizzt books except for the Orc King.  I read the Sellswords trilogy, and I am currently on book 5  (Ascendance) of the DemonWars saga.

I'm also a big fan of Harry Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia.

Why do I love fantasy?  Part of the reason is for the fantasy elements themselves: elves, orcs, halflings, dwarves, dragons, magic, and the escapism that all of those plot elements provide.  I like the medieval aspect of most fantasy novels... warfare is hand-to-hand combat between people of great skill and discipline with perfectly balanced weapons.  Except for some long-range magic launching, there are no impersonal, mechanized, modern day war machines (airplanes, tanks, spy sattelites, machine guns).  I like it that the simple (almost primitive) settings allow for incredibly complex plots that do not get glossed over by high-tech gizmos and computerized everything.


Last Edited on: 6/11/08 2:15 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/11/2008 3:50 PM ET
Member Since: 1/7/2008
Posts: 413
Back To Top

Cora, does that little baby foot in your avatar belong to your little one?  Cuuuute!!

Date Posted: 6/11/2008 3:50 PM ET
Member Since: 1/7/2008
Posts: 413
Back To Top

P.S. I still owe you my picks, I'm just crazy today.

Date Posted: 6/11/2008 11:56 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2005
Posts: 5,091
Back To Top

Oh, I forgot to answer the second question: why fantasy? 

I think fantasy represents something that is essentially true and fundamental in the human soul or psyche.  I part of ourselves that exists outside the usual, every day concerns that fill up so much of our time.  We spend so much time worrying about getting the lawn mowed, paying the bills, how are we going to afford the gas to get work, etc. that we lose track of the part of ourselves that is more than this endless round of mundane tasks.

Fantasy feeds that part of our souls.  Hobbits and dragons have no relation to any of those things we have to do, so when we read about them we are in another part of ourselves.  A better part?  I think so.

Fantasy, especially my favored heroic fantasy, deals with issues that are constant throughout human history.  Reading about Bard shooting down Smaug, I'm reading about a man battling a dragon.  I'm also reading about who battles the dragons in his own soul.  Boromir dying in trying to save the hobbits Pippin and Merry is a man saving his own soul.  His battle helps to arm me for my own battles, and to fight to keep my own soul from being dragged down - symbolically of course -  to the level of an uruk hai who cares for nothing but his own self and eagerly eats his own kind to provide himself sustenance. 

I read fantasy because it speaks to what is best and truest about humanity.

Date Posted: 6/14/2008 3:05 AM ET
Member Since: 6/3/2006
Posts: 19
Back To Top

It would have to be Andre Norton's Witch World series, followed by A Wrinkle in Time, and of coure The Chronicles of Narnia.

Date Posted: 6/15/2008 2:14 AM ET
Member Since: 7/20/2007
Posts: 1,046
Back To Top

I can't remember if i read The Hobbit first, or The Chronicles of Narnia... and then it kinda went from there. I know my mom had the whole Lord of the Rings saga sitting on her shelf since she was a kid, and she got me the Narnia series in a boxed set when i was about 8 or maybe 9. I still have them and i must have read them a hundred times. I am very happy they are making movies out ofthem, and not crappy movies either.

Why fantasy? Because it transports me to a place where anything is possible, and if i could live someplace where magic and fairies and wonderful things happen, you betcha i'd give up this life in a minute. As long as i could take my family. I'm kinda attached to them.

Date Posted: 6/15/2008 5:21 PM ET
Member Since: 4/5/2008
Posts: 14
Back To Top

Piers Anthony did a series of books way back in the 1980s about unicorns and magick.  I was instantly hooked after a much younger friend loaned me the set. 

Fantasy is the ultimate escape.



Date Posted: 6/16/2008 10:18 PM ET
Member Since: 7/10/2007
Posts: 40
Back To Top

Patricia McKillip's Riddlemaster was the book that did it for me. I've written about that here: http://www.fantasyliterature.net/mckillippatricia.html

Last Edited on: 6/16/08 10:19 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/17/2008 10:48 PM ET
Member Since: 6/13/2007
Posts: 84
Back To Top

Mists of Avalon -- Marion Zimmer Bradley. I read it when I was quite young and I just loved every word.

It just got worse from there....ahhahah