Mystified by magic? Love to marvel at the magnificence of new realms? Or maybe you love to read about wars fought by strange beings in strange lands… Head off on an adventure with our specially selected fantasy books.
An exciting read with a really lovely premise, that the extraordinary skill and speed of ninjas come from the fact that they are all vampires. This blending of genres really works. It’s officially a young adult’s read but it has great cross-over appeal. Fast, fun, full of fights, thrills and highly likeable characters, I can’t wait for the next one. Comparison: Ursula Le Guin, James Patterson (Maximum Ride series), Lian Hearn (Across the Nightingale Floor series).
This is the fourth book of The Twilight Reign series that began with The Stormcaller. An epic, gritty fantasy which should delight any fans of David Gemmell or Raymond Feist.
Huge in scope, this is a gripping and unusual adventure and romance packed full of larger than life characters and astonishing exploits. Forced to use his gift of ‘crossing over’ into the world of the dead so that he can make money for his cruel uncle, Roger longs to escape to a kinder and less dishonest life. Suddenly, he can but his new life is full of courtly intrigue, mystery and the greatest possible danger. Soon Roger is trapped and will have to make the most difficult decision of his life.
I’ve lost track of how many Discworld novels have flowed from the pen of the incomparable Terry Pratchett, thirty or so I believe. This is the latest madcap adventure from the world that so resembles ours yet is nothing like it. Having brought gnomes, newspapers and the post office to his creation, Pratchett now tackles football. It is a compelling mystery wrapped in exciting adventure wrapped in effortless parody wrapped in genius. As with all Pratchett’s work it is a joy to read and hard to put down but I would advise new readers to start a bit further back in the series in order to fully appreciate the cameo appearances of established characters here. Comparison: Christopher Fowler, Tom Holt, Jasper Fforde.
June 2010 Book of the Month. A gripping romance tinged with a strange and dark side as forces from long, long ago. Nora never meant to get into a deep romance and she certainly never means to fall for Patch. But Patch’s blue eyes are irresistible even if his behaviour is unpredictable. Nora gets seriously concerned when Patch seems to know everything about her. How does he do that? Soon Nora finds she is caught up in powers that are outside the normal. How can she stay in the present and stay safe? There are four books in the Hush, Hush Series. Hush, Hush, Crescendo Silence, and Finale
A cross over novel for teens and adults this fantasy adventure follows a young girl called Kate Winters who discovers she is the last of a rare breed called The Skilled. There are those who would see her destroyed for the powers she possesses and those who would fight to the death to protect her. A great adventure story with believable heroes and villains alike.
Trudi launched her career with The Black Magician trilogy, wonderful, imaginary stuff. This is the conclusion to her second trilogy, Age of the Five, so by now you should be well and truly hooked – and if not, why not?Comparison: Terry Goodkind, Ursula K Le Guin, Tanith Lee.
Beautiful, sweeping fantasy, the second book in the second series to feature Opal Cowan whose magic allows her to create glass that can carry thoughts, trap storms, even steal another’s powers. Following ‘Storm Glass’ Opal’s journey of learning continues as she must prevent her enemies gaining control of her powers and choose between the two men, so different in their ways, whom she could love. Exciting and compelling, I can’t wait for the third. Comparison: Jude Fisher, Janny Wurts, Maggie Furey. The Glass series: 1. Storm Glass 2. Sea Glass
A slow building mystery, an historical tour-de-force, a tale of creeping horror, Jasper Kent’s superb novel is a masterful blending of all three. The elusive and secretive vampires are strangely believable as they hide from extravagance and obey their own rules. An intelligent read with themes of curse and despair as the Russians unleash a true terror in their battle against Napoleon’s invasion. It will succeed with fans of horror, history or alternative history and I hope prove to be a true cross-genre hit. It certainly deserves to be. Comparison: Dan Simmons, Elizabeth Kostova, Naomi Novik.
It’s a Robert Rankin, to tell you anything will spoil it. Set in Brighton in the 60s, but not quite as we knew it, this stands alone, although it does make reference to earlier works and features ‘The Most Amazing Man Who Ever Lived’ who seems to crop up all over Rankin’s work. If you know him you’ll love it, if you don’t, what took you so long?Similar this month: None.Comparison: Terry Pratchett, Jasper Fforde, Andy Secombe.
Publishers are forever trying to compare this man and Tom Holt to Terry Pratchett. The only comparison is that they all write satirical comic fantasy. There is no substitute for Terry Pratchett but Robert Rankin is very much his own man and I love him. This wacky tale has the lovely idea that the Victorians actually rewrote history courteous of a cabal of witches. It’s fab.
Winner of the prestigious Teenage Book of the Year Award 2009. Winner of Best Novel at the Hugo Awards 2009Winner of the 2009 prestigious Newbery Medal.Spooks galore in this brilliant and fantastic story of life in the graveyard. When Baby Bod escapes a murderer intent on killing his whole family, he is taken in by the graveyard ghosts. A stunningly original novel deftly constructed over eight chapters, each of which depicts every other year of Bod’s life, a separate story of Bod’s life unfolds and always in the background there is the sinister, haunting presence of a killer. Bod’s curious tale is a masterpiece of original, absorbing and unstoppable story telling. This edition is illustrated in a breath-taking fashion by Dave Mckean.In January 2009 Neil Gaiman won American's most prestigious children's fiction prize, the Newbery medal, for his novel The Graveyard Book.27th January 2009 - Gaiman was asleep in bed in Los Angeles this morning when he was phoned by the award's committee and told he had won. 'You are on a speakerphone with at least 14 teachers and librarians and suchlike great, wise and good people, I thought. Do not start swearing like you did when you got the Hugo. This was a wise thing to think because otherwise huge, mighty and four-letter swears were gathering. I mean, that's what they're for,' Gaiman wrote on his blog after the call.Gaiman's The Graveyard book is the story of Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, who lives in a graveyard and is raised by ghosts. The Newbery, which picks 'the most distinguished American children's book published the previous year', has been criticised in recent weeks for being out of touch with its readers; the choice of Gaiman - a perennial bestseller - as winner, puts paid to claims that the judges favoured books with a limited appeal.Named in honour of 18th-century British bookseller John Newbery, the award was founded in 1922, with previous winners including children's classics such as Hugh Lofting's The Voyages of Dr Dolittle, Madeline L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time and Lloyd Alexander's The High King.'I might have imagined all of this, or they may have to do a sudden recount or something,' wrote Gaiman. 'But I think it probably happened. I mean, it's now 7:20am and I'm drinking tea and blinking happily at the world.' Titles on this year’s Teenage Book of the Year Award shortlist include:Auslander by Paul DowswellThe Graveyard Book by Neil GaimanOstrich Boys by Keith GrayThe Ant Colony by Jenny ValentineThe Vanishing of Katharina Linden by Helen GrantThe Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness
Simon Spanton, formerly Associate Publisher of Gollancz, the oldest specialist SF & Fantasy publisher in the UK, joined the editorial team of Lovereading in 2016 with a brief to select and review the very best titles in the fields of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror including those he believes may become the stars of tomorrow.
Whether you want to join Jonathan Strange on the magic-haunted streets of London or Jon Snow and the rest of the Night’s Watch on the wall Fantasy is the genre for you. Authors from Joe Abercrombie to Zen Cho have turned the modern fantasy genre into one of the most exciting and imaginative genres around. They’ve brought magic and wonder, heroes, heroines and people like you and me, together in stories that will delight, scare and mystify you. Whether you want the romance and deceit of court, the shadows of a great city’s alleyways, the clear air of a mountain range, the terrors of a bloody field let fantasy take you to new realities.
There are characters for everyone; Scott Lynch’s charming conmen, Liz William’s artful magicians. Fantasy has worlds for all; Ursula le Guin’s Earthsea, George RR Martin’s brutal Westeros, Ben Aaronovitch’s contemporary London, Naomi Novik’s dragon haunted version of our 19th century. And the genre has a style for each and every reader; whether the playful literary trickery of Angela Carter or the imaginative epic adventures of Peter Brett. Somewhere here there is a story for everyone, so follow us and let your imagination run wild.
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A selection of authors who will feature in this Lovereading category include: