Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Happy Day to SciFi & Fantasy Writers

It seems that today is Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Day. To learn more head over to this blog: Linda Ellen's Blog

I started reading Fantasy in the late 90's. Since then I have come across some wonderful books. I thought I'd share some of my favorite books in the genre.

Book Description:
Mists of Avalon is a generations-spanning retelling of the Arthurian legend. Its protagonist is Morgaine, who witnesses the rise of Uther Pendragon to the throne of Camelot. As a child, she is taken to Avalon by High Priestess Viviane, her maternal aunt, to become a priestess of the Mother Goddess and witnesses the rising tension between the old pagan and the new Christian religions. At one point, she is given in a fertility ritual to a young man she will later learn is Arthur, her half-brother. She conceives a child, Mordred.

After Uther dies, his son Arthur claims the throne. Morgaine and Viviane give him the magic sword Excalibur, and with the combined force of Avalon and Camelot, Arthur drives the invasion of the Saxons away. But when his wife Gwenhwyfar fails to produce a child, she is convinced that it is a punishment of God: firstly for the presence of pagan elements, and secondly, for her forbidden love to Arthur's finest knight Lancelet (Lancelot). She increasingly becomes a religious fanatic, and relationships between Avalon and Camelot (i.e. Morgaine and herself) become hostile.

When the knights of the Round Table of Camelot leave to search for the Holy Grail, a young man seeks to usurp the throne: Mordred, bastard son of Arthur and Morgaine. Mordred seeks to re-instate the power of Avalon at all costs. In a climactic battle, Arthur's and Mordred's armies square off, and in the end Avalon and Arthur are magically removed from the circles of the world. It is Morgaine alone who lives to tell the tale of Camelot.

Book Description:
When Dorothy triumphed over the Wicked Witch of the West in L. Frank Baum's classic tale, we heard only her side of the story. But what about her arch-nemesis, the mysterious witch? Where did she come from? How did she become so wicked? And what is the true nature of evil?

Wicked is about a land where animals talk and strive to be treated like first-class citizens, Munchkinlanders seek the comfort of middle-class stability and the Tin Man becomes a victim of domestic violence. And then there is the little green-skinned girl named Elphaba, who will grow up to be the infamous Wicked Witch of the West, a smart, prickly and misunderstood creature who challenges all our preconceived notions about the nature of good and evil.

Book Description:
Orphaned as a baby, Harry Potter has spent 11 awful years living with his mean aunt, uncle, and cousin Dudley. But everything changes for Harry when an owl delivers a mysterious letter inviting him to attend a school for wizards. At this special school, Harry finds friends, aerial sports, and magic in everything from classes to meals, as well as a great destiny that's been waiting for him...if Harry can survive the encounter.

Book Description:
Magiere has earned a reputation as the most formidable vampire slayer in the land. Villagers far and wide welcome her with both awe and disdain, grateful to her for ridding their towns of the undead menace, but finding themselves made poorer for their salvation. Magiere has always known she's dealing with simple folk who only wish to have their superstitions silenced, and she's never seen anything wrong with exploiting them for profit.

Now, tired of the game, Magiere and her partner, the half-elf Leesil, are ready to hang up their weapons and settle down in a place they can finally call home. But their new found peace will not last. For Magiere has come to the attention of a trio of powerful and dangerous vampires who recognize her true identity — even if she does not — and who fear the birthright that flows through her veins. And they will stop at nothing to keep Magiere from fulfilling her destiny.

Book Description:
About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered a reprieve. She'll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace, and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia. And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly's Dust, and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison. As Yelena tries to escape her dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and she develops magical powers she can't control. Her life’s at stake again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren’t so clear!


  1. I think the Mists of Avalon was the first fantasy book I ever read. I have reread it countless times. Great book!

    I was just researching Dhampir earlier today..have been hearing good things about it.

    Poison Study was one book I could not get into.

  2. Same here, The Mists of Avalon was the first fantasy book I read. It was a bit of a slow reader then. With it 900 some pages, it took me over a month to read it.

    Dhampir it took me a little bit to get into, but it's definitely worth it.

    Poison Study I bought when it first came out. It stayed on my shelf I think for a good year. But ended up really enjoying it.

  3. Wonderful post, Anna! Thanks for sharing too.

    I really want to read Marion Zimmer Bradley. I had looked into her before I started reading romances but never made it to her before my time in the fantasy section got cut off!

    And of course, Harry Potter is the best!

  4. I read all of them except Wicked but I think it would be fun to read. Thanks!

  5. Thanks Amy, Nicole!

    I think anyone who enjoys Fantasy and the legend of King Arthur will enjoy The Mists of Avalon, it's just a really long read.

    There is a movie of the same name, which was really good. But of course the book was much better.


  6. You'd think they'd run out of days with all these holidays like Doughnut Day and Chocolate Chip Day and now ScFi & Fantasy Day. Hmm I guess The Mists Of Avalon could have been my first. Oh wait now that I think about it I think I read Dune in the sixth grade so I guess that would be the first sci fi. And The Lord Of The Rings was probably one of the earlier books I read too. I ended up getting permission to check out adult books with my library card which is probably why I read so much YA now because I was reading adult books in elementary school and junior high.

  7. Great list. I love that you're celebrating this. Thanks for reminding me of poison study! I've been meaning to read it.

  8. WICKED and the Harry Potter books are among my favourites, too! I haven't read the others you mentioned, but I've been hearing a lot of good stuff about POISON STUDY lately. It's on my list.

  9. Hi Anna!

    Great post, thanks for sharing your wonderful reads!

    I just saw Dhampir somewhere, and thought, dang - I want to read that. Wicked is on my list as well. Poison Study looks interesting as well, you reviewed that one right? I think I liked it then.

    Harry Potter is on my re-read list, over and over again!

    Thanks Anna!

    Dottie :)

  10. I have one of the Avalon books in my to be read list. I picked it up because a friend of mine really suggested it.

    I love fantasy writers. It's a shame one of my favorites recently passed. The same friend above itnroduced David Eddings to me. I loved his Belgariad series.

    I've heard good things about Wicked too. Harry Potter is just not my cup of tea.

    Now I absolutely love Barb and JC Hendee's series!Marjorie and Liesil are such fun characters. I haven't gotten the newer books for it of late.

    Other fav fantasy authors are: Jennifer Roberson's Cheysuli (so good) and her Del and Tiger books; Jane Lindskold

  11. Aw I adore the mists of Avalon and that whole series.

    Don't remember what was my first, I haven't read Dhampir, or Poison study although its on my TBR, Harry Potter will always be on my reread list!!

    Great post and love the pictures!

  12. I have Marie's book, but I haven't read much SF before. I was introduced to it with ebooks and not too many I read so far yet. I thought about that Mists Of Avalon because I'm really interested in learning about the Arthurian legend and Camelot (which I believe is the castle's name right?) I so love Medieval so this sounds so good! Is that the first book to start with?

    By the way I never read Harry Potter!! My son has been bothering me years about reading at least the first one! I think he's read each of them 7 times, re-reads them all before each new one came out.

    I did read a good Fantasy Historical with romance last month, a Samhain book by MC Halliday called THE KING'S DAUGHTER. One thing about SF and Fantasy, I like to be able to understand and follow as I go along. This book was so wonderful! I really recommend it. It has a Druid theme too! Most fantasy i've read were shorter reads and mostly fantasy romance.

  13. Yep The Mists of Avalon is the first book. Here is the reading order:

    1. The Mists of Avalon (1979)
    2. The Forest House (1993) (with Diana L Paxson)
    aka The Forests of Avalon
    3. Lady of Avalon (1997) (with Diana L Paxson)
    4. Priestess of Avalon (2000) (with Diana L Paxson)
    5. The Ancestors of Avalon (2004) (with Diana L Paxson)
    6. Ravens of Avalon (2007) (with Diana L Paxson)
    7. Sword of Avalon (2009) (with Diana L Paxson)

  14. Anyone catch this? I found this release this morning. It’s by NY Times best-selling author Steve Alten and it’s from his new book called Hell’s Aquarium.
    Hollywood actress Lana Wood, who once played Plenty O’Toole opposite Sean Connery in the James Bond movie, Diamonds Are Forever, was attacked by what eyewitnesses say was a Megalodon, a 70-foot, 70,000 pound prehistoric cousin of the Great White shark. The attack occurred in the waters off the coast of Monterey, California. . .in the pages of New York Times best-selling author Steve Alten’s new release MEG: Hell’s Aquarium.
    Lana Wood, a former Playboy centerfold, has an extensive career in the movies, and wrote a best-selling memoir about her late sister, actress Natalie Wood, back in 1986. She contacted Steve Alten a year ago and asked him to make her a character in his new MEG book, the fourth and best story in the series.
    Lana Wood will be appearing at Comicon in San Diego July 16th – 19th as a featured guest in a special area that will house the "Women of James Bond." George Lazenby, who played 007 in “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” will also be appearing. Lana says she will offer free autographs to anyone showing up with a copy of MEG: Hell’s Aquarium.



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