Thursday, October 17, 2013

A Few Childhood Faves

As I may have mentioned in an earlier blog post, I was a voracious reader of fantasy books as a child. During my current search for inspiration and ideas for The Spectraland Saga, my thoughts turned to some of my favorite series from that bygone era...and so now, I present them to you as recommended reading.*

The Deryni Novels
About a race of people with magical psychic powers, at times these books resembled historical fiction with their realistic portrayal of political and religious conflicts in a medieval setting.

The Belgariad

A five-book series with lots of good ol' fashioned swords and sorcery.

The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant

Disclaimer: this series consists of ten books, but I only read the first six (the ones that came out before 2004). A bit darker in tone than other series with a protagonist that takes some getting used to, it nevertheless was deeply affecting and influential.

The Xanth Series

Disclaimer Part Two: I read the first, oh, maybe nine or ten books in this series and then stopped after that. I mean, c'mon, there are over thirty of these things! The ones that I did read were - in true Piers Anthony fashion - fun, playfully irreverent, and maybe just a little un-PC.

The Spellsinger Series

A series about a law student/janitor/guitarist who travels to another dimension where he can perform magic by playing rock songs on a special guitar-like instrument. Hey, that sounds kind of familiar! Not to worry, I re-read this before writing Book One and although they share that similar element, they are very different stories (and wavebows function in a more scientific manner than Jon-Tom's duar, which is like - need some kind of transportation? Play "Little Deuce Coupe" by the Beach Boys.)

So there you have it: some of my favorite books from my youth. Keep in mind that - if you're worried about this kind of thing - these books are not as kid-friendly as, say, Harry Potter/Percy Jackson/Joel Suzuki and the like. But they're good reads nonetheless.

* If you, like me, have a backlogged stack of books so large that you have to prioritize your reading, read [shameless self-promotion alert] Book One and other NIWA books first!

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