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Topic: Which Fantasy Novels really got you into reading?

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Subject: Which Fantasy Novels really got you into reading?
Date Posted: 4/20/2011 4:45 AM ET
Member Since: 1/26/2007
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What really got me into reading was the fantasy genre itself. I was in maybe 5th or 6th grade when I picked up the Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede. I really wish I still owned those books now. They were a delight. Perhaps I will buy them again some day. Without these books, I may have loathed reading for all eternity.

Date Posted: 4/20/2011 1:17 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
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I've always read fantasy. As a child I loved Enid Blyton books.  The Enchanted Wood, Folk of the Faraway Tree and The Magic Faraway Tree, are still my favorite books. The original ones NOT the PC versions of them.

Then as a teen I found the Terry Pratchett books and basically realised there was adult fantasy books that I liked..

I managed to buy an all in one book of my Enid Blyton faraway tree trilogy and love it all over again.  I have yet to get Up the Faraway tree as lots of copies are over $100 :(

Last Edited on: 4/20/11 1:22 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/20/2011 3:32 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2009
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I was doomed to be a bookworm from the start.  My parents were heavy readers and passed that habit on to me.  I don't remember a time when I haven't read fantasy.  Even the picture books I read had magic, witches or ghosts in them more often than not.

C. S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia series made a huge impression.  It's the first picture-less book I recall reading. 

Anne McCaffery's Pern series was my first foray into the adult section, followed quickly by the rest of her books. 

Date Posted: 4/20/2011 3:52 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
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I was a big reader all my life, but as a child I read mostly mysteries and adventure/survival stories. What got me into the SFF genre was Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern trilogy, which my mom made me read as a punishment when I returned my library books late. :)

Date Posted: 4/20/2011 5:10 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2009
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Wait, you got to read the Pern books as punishment?! 

Why couldn't my mom have been like yours?  Our punishment for late books was not getting to check out an armload on the next trip to the library.  And considering we only got one library trip every three weeks, that was a BIG punishment.

Date Posted: 4/20/2011 8:26 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
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Hehe, sometimes my mom is awesome. :D

I believe it was considered punishment because I really wanted to read something I had picked out and had to read the McCaffrey first. 11 year olds not being known for their patience, this seemed sufficient. But after I read Dragonflight all thoughts of that other book vanished. . .

Date Posted: 4/20/2011 9:37 PM ET
Member Since: 12/14/2005
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I discovered McCaffrey's Dragonsinger trilogy while all the other kids in my class were fighting over Beatrix Potter books. I remember thinking I was going to be in soooo much trouble for taking books out of the big kid section. Once my teachers let me know it was okay I hit Roald Dahl pretty hard. I have a hard time reading McCaffrey anymore but I still love The Witches. :)

Date Posted: 4/20/2011 10:23 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2009
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I started out with the first 2 Dragonsinger books, then read the main trilogy.  I'd originally thought Dragonsong was a stand alone, and was beyond thrilled when my sister handed me Dragonsinger a couple of months later.

Phoenixfalls, yes, your mom is awesome.  Now if only my Dad had done the same for me with Tolkien!  I think I'd like Tolkien a lot more if I'd read him way back then instead of reading him for the first time in my 20's.

Date Posted: 4/20/2011 11:13 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2009
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I didn't read any fantasy aside from the Chronicles of Narnia while I was young (which I loved).  In my twenties, I picked up Tolkien and read the Harry Potter series.  After that, I wasn't really interested in spending much time in my old favorite, the mysteries.

BTW, I read McCaffery last year for the first time, and liked them fairly well.  I read the "trilogy" contained in a hardcover volume (brain fade, ..can't remember the individual titles).  I picked up a paperback of short stories, but had a harder time getting into that.  Does anyone have advice as to which stories are "better" in that series?

Date Posted: 4/20/2011 11:39 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2009
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You probably read Dragonflight/Dragonquest/White Dragon.  That's the original trilogy.  My favorites were the two books about Menolly - Dragonsong/Dragonsinger.  There's a 3rd in the trilogy, Dragondrums, but it's about Menolly's friend.  That trilogy (Harper Hall) is more YAish.  Dragondawn was also interesting - it's about how they first settled Pern.

As far as the rest of them, one of the problems with the Pern series is that with the ones set in the main timeline, there's several books that cover the same events, all from different characters' perspectives.  It can get pretty repetitive when you're reading the same sequence of events for the third or fourth time.  But each book adds a bit to the end, so you still have to read most of them or you miss pieces of the story. 

Date Posted: 4/21/2011 12:00 AM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 1,376
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Aside from the original trilogy and the Harper Hall trilogy my favorite section of the timeline was the pairing of Moreta and Nerilka's Story. Like Melanti mentioned was de riguer in this series, they cover the same events -- in this case an epidemic -- but I liked them both quite a bit. If pressed, I probably liked Nerilka's Story more. . . but it would've lost some of its poignancy without Moreta first.

Date Posted: 4/21/2011 10:52 AM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2009
Posts: 1,620
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Thanks for the advice.  I'll pick those up.


Date Posted: 4/21/2011 4:08 PM ET
Member Since: 2/25/2007
Posts: 13,991
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Lord of the Rings, which I read around 8th-9th grade. Followed by Madeleine L'Engel's "Wrinkle in Time" series.

But, long before that, I read "Wind in the Willows," and the chapter about the Pan encounter was always my favorite---even before I knew fantasy was a genre....

Last Edited on: 4/21/11 4:10 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/22/2011 12:02 AM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2009
Posts: 1,620
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I forgot about Wrinkle in Time.  I loved those as well, and read them in about sixth grade.


Date Posted: 4/22/2011 4:52 AM ET
Member Since: 11/23/2010
Posts: 214
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 I have read my whole life. My great grandmother would bring me bags of books when I was little. I read every one of the Hardy Boys books. Then my grandmother got me reading the VC andrews books, flowers in the attic. It wasn't until middle school that I started to read fantasy. We studied The Hobbit in english class and I loved it. I then read the Lord of the Rings and have been hooked on the genre ever since.

Emily (em47) - ,
Date Posted: 4/22/2011 2:53 PM ET
Member Since: 8/3/2009
Posts: 11
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My Dad was into fantasy, he used to read the Lord of the Rings every year. He used to make up stories and tell them to us when we were little, so I always enjoyed the genre. I never really read when I was little. My parents tried, but I never found anything that sparked my interest until I was in junior high. I found Brian Jaques Redwall Series and it was the first time I was actually interested in reading. From there I picked up Tad Williams Memory, Sorrow and Thorn series and it just grew from there.

Date Posted: 4/27/2011 2:00 AM ET
Member Since: 1/16/2009
Posts: 112
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Don't really recall the first fantasy I read.  I had the idea it might have been Andre Norton's "Witch World", but then someone mentioned "Wind in the Willows".  I know I began reading SF in 1954, and it is an easy move from there to fantasy, so it might have been some work even earlier than" Witch World".  

Date Posted: 4/27/2011 2:27 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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I started early.  The Half Magic series by Edward Eager.  Then on to John Christopher's Tripods, A Wrinkle in Time and Narnia.

Date Posted: 4/29/2011 1:18 PM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2009
Posts: 332
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Star Man's Son by Andre Norton, ordered through the Teenage Book Club that Scholastic Books used to operate through the classrooms. We'd get to look at a flyer with book descriptions, pick which ones we wanted, hand over our quarter-per-book (this was a long time ago), and after what seemed like a really long time, the teacher would get a parcel of books and distribute them to whoever had ordered.
Date Posted: 5/2/2011 3:25 PM ET
Member Since: 5/17/2006
Posts: 50
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The Hobbit was the catalyst for my love of fantasy; as a little-little kid (maybe 4 y.o.) I read and re-read the "audio tape + storybook" version of the 1977 Rankin-Bass TV adaptation to the point of memorization.  In elementary school I read the proper version of The Hobbit, then Narnia, Prydain, Lord of the Rings, CYOA, D&D Endless Quest books, etc. 

Date Posted: 5/5/2011 1:58 PM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2010
Posts: 4,177
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LOTR for me.


Subject: First Read Fantasy's
Date Posted: 5/12/2011 1:56 AM ET
Member Since: 5/7/2011
Posts: 30
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My mother was away working alot and taught me to read very early. Bedtime stories were whatever book she was reading at the time (I continued the practice with my own children), and she loved science fiction/fantasy. When she finished with a book or her magazines she would lay them at the bottom of the bookshelf for me to read. My favorites were  McCaffrey, Norton,  and Cherryh.  I later discovered Mercedes Lackey, Jennifier Roberson (loved her Shapechanger series!), and believe it or not, Ann Maxwell, who wrote wonderful fantasy books back in the last 70s-80s. What a great topic!

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 5/14/2011 8:26 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 3,849
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The Chronicles of Narnia, the Princess books by George MacDonald, and a number of Madeleine L'Engle's books are some I remember reading early.  I don't know if it's considered fantasy, but I also read The Jungle Book when I was very young.

Date Posted: 5/19/2011 8:46 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,774
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Probably the earliert would have been LM Boston's Green Knowe series which are geared toward the 9-12 audience.

Tolkien's Hobbit and LOTR

McCaffrey's Pern

Lewis' Narnia

Ursula Le Guin's Earthsea

Susan Cooper's Dark is Rising

Date Posted: 5/30/2011 3:46 AM ET
Member Since: 10/21/2010
Posts: 8
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Terry Pratchett & michael moorcock