Fantasy, whether fairy tale retellings, high fantasy, mish-mashed fantasies... etc... are always books I tend to enjoy. In fact, I'm more likely to pick up a fantasy with a traveling adventure than a science fiction, or dystopian, or paranormal.
Unfortunately, I'm often intimidated by the fact that a lot of fantasy novels, especially high fantasy, tend to either be extremely long with several books in the series, or somehow intimidating in other ways. YA high fantasy novels usually aren't as intimidating, of course, so I always get to enjoy those.
But I know that the term Fantasy is a very wide genre, and I'm not expert on each and every little subgenre ever created (high fantasy, steam punk, historical high fantasy, retellings, YA fantasy or YA high fantasy, childrens high fantasy or middle grade high fantasy...). Yeah.
Top Ten Fantasy Novels I Want to Read
The books listed are pretty much all in the high fantasy category, but we're not talking only the hardcore adult high fantasies such as J.R.R. Tolkien, George R.R. Martin, or Robert Jordan (of whom I did list one). I've got a little mixed basket of classic high fantasy novels, 500++ page high fantasy novels, and some more recent YA high fantasy novels as well.
The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb
Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb
I have wanted to read these three books since my days in high school when I first laid eyes on them in the library. Why I still haven't read them is a big mystery and probably has something to do with that intimidation factor plus a few parts lazy and a percentage of "There's probably just something wrong with me!" mixed together. And of course, these are also the first books of series that I want to read all the books for. But if I had gone ahead and listed every book in The Eye of the World alone, then this Top Ten list would be kind of moot.
And I wouldn't be able to list all other books that I really, really want to read in this Fantasy genre.
The Magicians' Guild by Trudi Canavan
The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett
The Color of Magic is a part of an extremely long, still running series that I've been recommended again and again by friends. And just going by the titles of each book in Discworld, I would read them just because I'm amused enough by the titles themselves. Again, I don't know why I haven't read any of these books yet. It's a bit disconcerting.
I own the The Black Magician trilogy and would like to read it sometime this year. In fact, it would count towards at least two of my Reading Challenges. So not only will The Magicians' Guild get read, so will the rest of the trilogy and the prequel. Again, I am only listing the first book.
Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier
Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier
I did not learn about Juliet Marillier until sometime in the past two years. And while pretty much all of her books sound like the type of fantasy novels I am most likely to pick up, I have so far only read Heart's Blood which was a Beauty and the Beast retelling. But the above two mentioned books (once again) are the first book in a series or trilogy that I would like to read at some point in time in my life, hopefully soon.
Dark Triumph and Mortal Heart
by Robin LaFevers
I read Grave Mercy last year and loved it. Not only did it have a kickass Nun Assassin, but it also had a lot of interesting historical aspects. But what I was most impressed at was the fact that I was drawn into the historical politics of Grave Mercy when I'm usually easily bored by political intrigue in a lot of stories. But the history of Brittany and the writing and the characters got me hooked.
Once again, why I still haven't finished this trilogy is madness because these two books keep popping up on my reading list each month, but somehow getting shuffled aside when other books end up in my hand somehow. (Though don't get me wrong, those other books are equally intriguing.) So, again... there is obviously something wrong with me and why I haven't finished this His Fair Assassin trilogy.
I mean, for crying out loud: NUN ASSASSINS!!
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
I have heard good and bad things about Throne of Glass, but the general consensus seems to be that it is a good book. I read the first few chapters of this story when it was first posted on a free fiction site many, many years ago. Then, when I found that it was being sold (and during the era of "I'm obsessed with my Nook e-reader"), I bought this book with plans to read.
But for some reason, it got shuffled to the wayside in favor of other books that managed to hook my interest.
This year, though, it will definitely get read so that I can finally find out why it's being hyped so... or learn why some people aren't too thrilled with it.
-- Honorable Mentions --
Elantris by Brandon Sanderson
The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn trilogy was one of my more favored high fantasies read in a long time. Then again, it's not like I've read a lot of them. I haven't continued on the series though, but I might. But I really enjoyed Sanderson's writing style and his imaginative creations, and so Elantris has landed its way onto my reading list.
The Lies of Locke Lamora just sounds interesting and reminds me of a high fantasy Ocean's Eleven. And who doesn't like Ocean's Eleven?
Because of all the books that are part of series, the list was slightly easier to make than others. But I still had to narrow a bunch of books down to ten, and edge out some others. Then I had to decide that I'm not listing all fourteen Wheel of Time books, or all six of the Robin Hobb trilogy sets I've chosen from, or all six of the Sevenwaters books... you get the point.