Top Ten Tuesday | All-Time Favorite Fantasy Books

toptentuesdayAnother Tuesday, another Top Ten Tuesday. For those who don’t know, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the book bloggers and list lovers, The Broke and the Bookish, and each week they post a topic for bloggers to respond to. This week’s theme is a tough one if you’re as indecisive as myself, it is: Top Ten ALL TIME Favourite Books Of X Genre and my chosen genre is Fantasy. Now, I’m sure I’ve missed something obvious here, but something has to be said for any book/series that immediately jumps to mind when faced with this theme.

Without further ado, let’s see this list…

10. The Infernal Devices trilogy by Cassandra Clare

I can’t stand the author or The Mortal Instruments series, the writing isn’t the most masterful thing ever, and I cringe at times, but I adored the world-building, setting, and character development throughout Clockwork Angel, Clockwork Prince, and, especially, Clockwork Princess. If you’re into books set in Victorian London but would like a little bit of supernatural creatures too, then these are definitely worth a read. I can forgive occasionally terrible writing when Jem Carstairs exists.

9. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

It’s Neil Gaiman so obviously it comes highly recommended. If that isn’t enough of a reason then let me just say this: it might be a children’s book, technically, but the story of Nobody Owens being raised in a graveyard by its resident ghosts is eccentric, is charming, is chilling, but most of all is beautiful.

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March TBR

I don’t do well with TBRs – for proof see any posts allegedly labelled Monthly TBR which were not ever read in that specified month, and in fact probably are still on my bookshelves untouched to this very day. However, every so often I get on a roll with a series of books and I feel the need to hoover up every word of the currently published books as I can, before the next inevitable book is released. In moments like this, then, TBRs are vaguely feasible for every the most impulsive of readers, of which I am one. So… March TBR… let’s do it, let’s play the fun game of seeing how many of these I have actually read come 1st April. It’ll be a surprise for all if I have read even half of these as intended.

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1. Crown of Midnight – Sarah J. Maas (x)
I re-read Throne of Glass in February in preparation for finally breaking out the rest of the series, since it has been sitting on my bookshelf for far too long looking pretty and untouched. The general consensus seems to be that even if Throne of Glass was just a so-so book, try the second novel in the series as it picks up and develops tenfold compared to its predecessor. I’m hoping that’s the case since I enjoyed Throne of Glass but I do have a bugbear or two.

2. Heir of Fire – Sarah J. Maas (x)
If I’m enjoying Crown of Midnight, I’ll be trying to capitalise on that roll
and continue onwards with the series into the third book: Heir of Fire.

3. Queen of Shadows – Sarah J. Maas (x)
See above for reasoning.

4. The Assassin’s Blade – Sarah J. Maas (x)
Not sure if I’m really too fussed if I don’t get around to this book right away since it’s a bind-up of novellas which, I believe, follow Celaena right up until the events of Throne of Glass. It’s not that I’m not interested in that (quite the contrary), but I’m just not a huge fan of prequel novellas since they seem a bit redundant and, if I’m brutally honest, basically only written for the sake of money. I hope this isn’t the case with this lot but we’ll see.

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5. Clockwork Prince – Cassandra Clare (x)
I read Clockwork Angel in February and found myself pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it, especially given my rocky experience with Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series in the past (I’ve never been able to even finish City of Bones because I got so annoyed with it), but I’m giving the Infernal Devices a go because the Victorian London setting seems much more my speed. In fact, you might start to notice something of a theme of sorts in that vein…

6. Clockwork Princess – Cassandra Clare (x)
See above

7. Soulless – Gail Carriger (x)
That theme I mentioned? Hopefully you’ve spotted it by this point. I’ve read Soulless previously when I borrowed it from my local library whilst on vacation from university. Because vacation ended and I moved back into university I didn’t ever pursue the book series further but I really should have since I found it, as I believe I termed it in my review, “a jolly good romp”. When I’m in the mood for a fun and light read, this is probably what I’ll pick up since I’ve now bought used copies of the entire series – there’s that theme I mentioned.

8. Changeless – Gail Carriger (x)
See above.

9. Blameless – Gail Carriger (x)
You know the drill.

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10. The Dark Days Club – Alison Goodman (x)
Someone described this as Regency meets X-Men which, I mean, how could you pass up something like that? I pre-ordered this book specially because of that blurb but I still haven’t touched it since I got it. So I should probably/definitely correct that grievous error – see, I am already comfortable with the vernacular one might expect in such a novel.

11. The Establishment and How They Get Away With It – Owen Jones (x)
In my wildly hopeful 2016 Bookish Resolutions post, I mentioned a desire to read more non-fiction this year. I figured since I seem to be making good on another resolution mentioned there (to catch-up with/finish more series I’ve previously begun) I might as well call March ‘the month of actually paying attention to my resolutions’ – or, at least, I would do if that wasn’t a mouthful of a title. Speaking of titles, this book by Owen Jones has a title that immediately appeals to my political interests so perhaps I can make good on my read more non-fiction resolution and start this in March. (I have read 4 non-fiction/memoir books already this year so technically I’m good until April but I don’t want to get into this habit of blitzing non-fiction one month and then abandoning thought of it for the next three months, so I’d prefer to stick to at least one book every month.)


As you can see, the majority of these books rely on me getting on a roll with a series I’ve started, and that roll not stopping for the entirety of the month. So we’ll see how that goes, shall we? You and I both.

What books are you planning to read in March? Have you read any of those I’m planning to read this month? Comment below!

 

Teaser Tuesday | 16th February

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme created at A Daily Rhythm that I discovered today via Heather from Bits & Books. Its simplicity greatly appeals to me since all that you need to do is grab your current read, open to a random page and share two “teaser” sentences, being careful about spoilers.

This week I’m reading Cassandra Clare’s Clockwork Angel, the first book in her The Infernal Devices trilogy. Set in 1878, it tells the story of Tessa Gray who arrives in England, hopeful to find her brother Nate, only to become embroiled in the supernatural underworld of London after meeting Shadowhunters, Jem and Will, whilst escaping from the clutches of the mysterious Dark Sisters. Together, they dig deeper only to come up against the mysterious organisation “The Pandemonium Club”, with its vampire, demon, warlock and human members – and their odd clockwork creations. My teaser relates to that clockwork:

“[Leonardo da Vinci] was the first to suggest that human beings are only complex machines, that our insides are like cogs and pistons and cams made of muscle and flesh. So why could they not be replaced with copper and iron?” (p.160)

Confession time: I’m not especially a Cassandra Clare fan due to the multiple accusations over her writing career regarding plagiarism. I could never buy a Cassandra Clare book, I’m afraid, knowing I was in some small way condoning what could (potentially) be, at worst, plagiarism and, at best, a complete lack of creativity. You see, I tried to read City of Bones on three separate occasions and couldn’t get past how annoying the world building process was, along with an annoying narrative voice, but I did decide to give Clockwork Angel a chance when I saw it at my local library.

It’s very different to what I was reading last Teaser Tuesday but it’s a fun romp so far and I’m enjoying the characters in The Infernal Devices much much more than their Mortal Instruments counterparts. The author still doesn’t sit entirely right with me but separating the author and their work is a common occurrence in the arts so I guess I can manage that for something that turns out to be a lot of fun and enjoyable to read, even if it isn’t the greatest literary masterpiece. Plus my NaNoWriMo attempt in 2015 was set in a Victorian, steampunk-ish London, so it will be useful for me to get a feel for what else is already out there in this setting.


Do you have a Teaser Tuesday? Please do share/comment below!