Book Club: Top 10 fantasy novels

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This week’s book chart has been put together by Lancaster fantasy author Clare Davidson who has just pulished her second book, Reaper’s Rhythm.

It features Clare’s 10 favourite fantasy novels “in no particular order”.

1 Chronicles of Prydain – Lloyd Alexander

This was the first fantasy series I remember reading as a child. Alexander’s vivid characters and exploration of Celtic mythology turned me into a fan of the fantasy genre.

2 Song of the Lioness series –Tamora Pierce

Another childhood favourite; I’ll confess that only the first three books in this series were available when I was a teenager. It’s a brilliant coming of age fantasy series, targeted at girls, without compromising on action.

3The Secret Texts trilogy – Holly Lisle

I discovered this American author whilst at university. This is an epic fantasy series, which puts a new twist on stock fantasy elements such as werewolves. The relationships between the central characters are realistic and often heartbreaking.

4 Green Rider – Kristen Britain

The start of a series, Green Rider is a fun adventure involving ghosts and magic. Another coming of age novel which girls especially would enjoy.

5 The Dark is Rising – 
Susan Cooper

The first young adult urban fantasy I remember reading. A great book which weaves Celtic mythology into a modern day setting.

6 Blue Moon Rising – Simon Green

A very humorous prequel novel, which is much lighter in tone than the Hawk and Fisher series. Although it’s full of stock fantasy tropes (unicorns, dragons, curses and the likes), it handles it in an amusing and original way.

7 Storm Front –Jim Butcher

A gritty and edgy start to a great urban fantasy series. Unapologetically adult in tone.

8 Lord of the Rings –
JRR Tolkien

This probably speaks for itself! I think there’s something for everyone in the Lord of the Rings: adventure, combat, magic, character depth and beautifully descriptive writing.

9 His Dark Materials – 
Philip Pullman

I read the first book after seeing a book review on television and fell in love with feisty Lyra and her daemon, Pan. The multiple worlds theory is interesting, as is the combination of fantasy and science.

10 Red Shift –Alan Garner

This short novel is both intriguing and disturbing at the same time. Set across different times, it looks at the way lives are interlinked by a single object and location. Garner handles the time changes deftly, especially towards the end as the book reaches its emotional climax.

*Thanks to Waterstones of King Street, Lancaster, for liaising with Clare for this chart.