Continuing where we left off yesterday, here’s more fantasy novels as promised. Check out Part 2!
If you want something short but memorable
7. The Giver by Lois Lowry: Here’s another dystopian fantasy novel on our list and if you’ve read the hugely popular Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth, you’ll know where some of the ideas come from. Jonas lives in a society that’s seemingly utopian- no grief, no anger, no hunger and no poverty. A world where everybody abides by the rules and accepts whatever roles society has assigned them with until Jonas becomes the ‘Receiver of Memory’ and learns to feel emotions, see colours and hear music. The ambiguous ending is deliberately symbolic and makes the reader important questions about free will.
8. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness: This is very short but devastatingly beautiful low fantasy tale about a child named Conor whose mother is dying from cancer and is visited by monstrous storytelling yew tree at night. Not only does the book question the conventional idea of a monster, it also forces the reader to rethink the way we view human beings. There are stories within stories in this book, with unexpected twist in the tale endings that blur the line between heroes and villains. A poignant story about grief and growing up, the book affirms that although life is full of contradictions and injustices, it is still beautiful and worth living.
For those who love footnotes
9. The Bartimaeus Sequence by Jonathan Stroud : Hugely funny and full of adventure, think of this as a toned-down Terry Pratchett for kids. The first three books is a trilogy that follow the exploits of a young wizard Nathaniel and the djinn Bartimaeus but the last book is stand-alone novel and set in an earlier era. But the best part of the book is the hilarious footnotes that Bartimaues provides which are often explanations of magic as well as his personal comments and anecdotes. If you want something to delight you, give this a try.
10. Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke: This is more alternate history than high fantasy and explores Romantic and Victorian English society if magic was real and an actual profession for some. Written in a Dickensian serialized format, you can check out the full review of the book here and if you’re up for a lengthy work of one of a kind fiction, this book is definitely worth your time.
And if you can’t get enough of Harry Potter
11. The Magicians by Lev Grossman: If you feel that no other novel has been able to match the brilliance of Harry Potter, Narnia and Lord of the Rings, then you might want to take a closer look at The Magicians which reads like a pastiche of J.K. Rowling and C.S. Lewis brand of fantasy. The first part of the book is pure Harry Potter stuff for adults where you meet Quentin Coldwater who studies magic at a college of wizardry while the latter part features him and his friends venturing to a Narnia-ish land called Fillory which is under threat. Packed with fantasy and sci-fi allusions, the novel not only utilizes common fantasy tropes but also subverts them and is a must-read if you’re an adult and love your childhood fantasy novels the best.
12. The Earthsea Cycle by Ursula K. Le Guin : If Lord of the Rings-style of high fantasy is your thing and you’ve read Christopher Paolini’s The Inheritance Cycle as a child, then you may find this fantasy series quite enjoyable. With excellent world-building and simple narration, here are stories of young protagonists learning magic and having death-defying adventures and standard good vs evil battles.
So which books have you read and how did you like them? Let us know in the comments, and if your friend is a fantasy lover too, don’t forget to share the list with them!