Jump to content
Black Chicken Studios Forums

The Registry of Fantasy - Books to check out

Sabin Stargem

Recommended Posts

There is all kind of fantasy books and series out there, and they can lend the developers and players insight to how a fantasy world might be like. Let's list some of the ones we like!


The Dresden Files: Based in modern New York, a detective for hire is also a mage, who investigates "spooky" cases. Often involving demons, the faeries, and many conflicts from without and within, this series is an adult and serious take of magic in the "real world" if it were secret. Quite different from Harry Potter, but no less relevant.

-Book 1: Storm Front



The Bartimaeus Trilogy: Nathaniel is eleven years old and a magician's apprentice, learning the traditional arts of magic. All is well until he has a life-changing encounter with Simon Lovelace, a magician of unrivaled ruthlessness and ambition. When Lovelace brutally humiliates Nathaniel in public, Nathaniel decides to speed up his education, teaching himself spells way beyond his years. With revenge on his mind, he masters one of the toughest spells of all and summons Bartimaeus, a five-thousand-year-old djinni, to assist him. But summoning Bartimaeus and controlling him are two different things entirely, and when Nathaniel sends the djinni out to steal Lovelace's greatest treasure, the Amulet of Samarkand, he finds himself caught up in a whirlwind of magical espionage, murder, and rebellion. (Cover Sleeve, Book 1)

-Book 1: The Amulet of Samarkand

-Book 2: The Golem's Eye

-Book 3: Ptolemy's Eye



Harry Potter: Following the story of a young boy who is trapped in a house of underachieving and trollish people, he wants out. Fortunately for him, he receives an invitation to the prestigious academy of magic, Hogwarts. Embarking on seven years of education, he will make friends and foes while learning the arts of magic.

-Book 1: The Philosopher's Stone

-Book 2: The Chamber of Secrets

-Book 3: The Prisoner of Azkaban

-Book 4: The Goblet of Fire

-Book 5: The Order of Phoenix

-Book 6: The Half-Blood Prince

-Book 7: The Deathly Hollows



J.R.R. Tolkien: The old master of myth and tales.

-Book 0: The Hobbit, "There and Back Again"

-Book 1: The Fellowship of the Rings

-Book 2: The Two Towers

-Book 3: The Return of the King

-Book 4: The Silmarillion




Xanth: The Earth and the world of Xanth are ruled by two demons, one is a cold and logical master of the Earth, while the other is an oddball who enjoys watching the troubles and trials of that his people go through. Xanth is very different from Earth, where not only Dragons, Fauns, Unicorns exist, but puns are literal and the world is actively influenced by the thoughts and beliefs of the people who walk it.



The Name of the Wind: Magical university








The Midkemia-Saga

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dont foget Harry Potter the masterpiece of J.K.Rowling because we have something similiar now in form of a game with academagica.

The Midkemia-Saga from Raymond Feist is also a great Fantasy reading.

And Lord of the Rings I dont think need to even be mentioned here because there so many fantasy romans that uses this books as theyr inspiration for theyr own writings.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Anything by Lois BuJold is wonderful. She as two fantasy series, the Chalion books (Curse of Chailion, Paladin of Souls, The Hallowed Hunt) and the Sharing Knife series (Beguilement, Legacy, Passage, Horizon) as well as a stand alone fantasy novel called The Spirit ring. All of them are well worth reading. The Sharing Knife series in particular is very original.


The Ethshar books by Lawrence Watts-Evans are good explorations of different types of magic with "The Night of Madness" in particular being by far the most in-depth and interesting exploration of the purposes and methods of a mages guild I've ever read.


And while it's not a book I can't resist recommending "Spirited Away", a wonderful fantasy film by the inestimable Hayao Miyazaki which is an interesting mix of western and eastern fantasy tropes and just good fun. Come to think "KiKi's delivery service", another film by Miyazaki and his Studio Ghibli, is actually a very good fit for Academagia being an adventurous year in the life of a 13 year old witch and her familiar trying to make her way in the world.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Song of Ice & Fire series by George RR Martin - The most original, enthralling fantasy series I have read since Tolkien. He'll make you hate a character and then love it. Do not read if you want everyone to live. I'd rate it as late teen or above (above if you're my kid :) ) simply for some very descriptive medieval violence and some of that S word. It's coming to HBO next season as Winter is Coming.


A Game of Thrones

A Clash of Kings

A Storm of Swords

A Feast of Crows

A Dance with Dragons


Lloyd Alexander's Prydain Chronicles:


The Book of Three

The Black Cauldron

The Castle of Llyr

Taran Wanderer

The High King


Man, I wish Peter Jackson would do these with as much love as he did the LOTR trilogy. Do not begin to think that Alexander's Black Cauldron is anywhere close to the horrible Disney-ized mockery of it.


The Earthsea Trilogy by Ursula K. LeGuin. The creators have already said this influenced them a lot. The first book (A Wizard of Earthsea) takes place in a magical college.


Diana Wynne Jones:


Howl's Moving Castle (even better than the movie!)


Cart & Cwidder

A Tough Guide to Fantastyland

Dark Lord of Derkholm


There are so many I'm not mentioning. I definitely second anything by Bujold (be it her SF or her fantasy)--she's one of the finest writers I've read--the Dresden books by Jim Butcher and all of Robin Hobb.


Try the Deed of Paksenarrion, the Herald series by Mercedes Lackey, the Deverry series by Katherine Kerr and...


...and I'd better stop before I start adding more! ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lloyd Alexander's Prydain Chronicles:


The Book of Three

The Black Cauldron

The Castle of Llyr

Taran Wanderer

The High King


When I was young (late elementary school/early middle school?), these were my favorite books ever. The last one, in particular, could be guaranteed to make me cry at the drop of the hat (it's not depressing!- maybe a bit bittersweet, though). I, um, actually remember using that to get out of PE class once. I started reading the book during the period before, and by the time the class came, I was a bawling pitiful wreck just babbling. They let me sit out that day. I sort of feel guilty about it now, ten years later, though. Heh.



I also have to strongly recommend the Song of Ice and & Fire, but it's definitely a late teens or higher, and if you're a sensitive person, be careful: the books could be painted "TRIGGERS EVERY OTHER CHAPTER" and be utterly truthful. Good books, but fairly horrific.



I grew up on four different fantasy authors- David Eddings, RA Salvatore, and the Tracy Hickmen/Margrain Weis pair. In truth, though, I can't really recommend any of their books for anything but light turning-off-the-mind thinking: they're amusing enough, but not exactly stand-outs. Some people are absolutely fanatical about the Dragonlance books, though, so maybe someone will rec them as a whole.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Steven J Brust's "Vlad the Assassin" series was as huge an influence on my teen years as Robert Jordan's "Wheel of Time" series.


Heh. I started to read the Vlad Taltos books in order. I read the first one and went "Wow! That was awesome!" I read the second and said "Wow! That was even better!" I read the third and said "Even better! If this keepss up this will be the greatest series of all time!" I read the fourth book and said "Wow. ... He just had a really horrible divorce." I read the fifth book and said "And because of that horrible divorce he really needed the money."


I stopped reading at that point although I understand things picked back up again, I just haven't got around to revisiting the series.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Song of Ice & Fire series by George RR Martin - The most original, enthralling fantasy series I have read since Tolkien.


Seconded. These books are truly excellent. I worry, though, that Martin won't ever finish the series. He's taking a long, long time writing each book, and he's not getting any younger.


edit: btw, there are also two short stories by GRRM, set in the same universe, about 100 years or so earlier, iirc. They're called The Hedge Knight and The Sworn Sword. I haven't actually read the short stories, but both have been adapted into comic books, both of which I did read, and they are definitely recommended for any fan of A Song of Ice and Fire.


I've been reading Glen Cook's Black Company books. I'm only on the third one, and while it isn't quite as good as the two first (so far, anyway), I'd say that the series is good, and I recommend it. It follows a mercenary company, and their exploits in a larger conflict, and in some ways it's reminiscent of Martin's books, mainly in that the good guys aren't really that good, there's blood and rape, and main characters die.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some recommendations, just off the top of my head:


Patricia A. McKillip: Riddle Master of Hed, Heir of Sea and Fire, Harpist in the Wind

A good trilogy, and one I'd recommend to people who enjoyed Earthsea.


Jack Vance: The Dying Earth quartet and the Lyonesse trilogy

Vance has a very distinctive style of writing. The fourth book of the Dying Earth series (Rihalto the Marvelous), follows the adventures of a decadent archmage.


Roger Zelazny: The Chronicles of Amber

Zelazny wrote some brilliant books, and the chronicles of amber are probably the easiest to find. Lord of Light is better, but is technically science fiction. It's just written like fantasy. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 10 months later...

To resurrect this from the dead, Colin Donahue (one of the Academagia authors) has just recently co-authored his first book, 'Blood and Honor: Enemies Within'. It's a great read, and quite an accomplishment, too!


Here's the Amazon link:



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hmm must have missed this originally..


Ian Irvine:

The View from the Mirror series, as well as The Well of Echoes Trilogy (also four books - don't ask me why it is said to be a trilogy)


I absolutely LOVE these books, as a mix of magic and tech(ish). The character development is very well done too. You will see the same event from several angles and I found myself being a bit sad but understanding of how and why the characters acted the way they did to eachother. A great read all in all.


He's written some more and newer, but in my oppenion the quality has fallen a bit in those <_<



Another auther:

Alma Alexander with "The secrets of Jin-Shei" sent in an alternate version of China I believe. I found this book when I was... 12 or so, and I could barely read it. At 14 when my english was better I read it in less than a week - for a paperbag book of 500 pages - that was a feat for me and should say something about the book as well.


As the title suggest everything ties into jin-shei, the sisterhood circles that these women make as they go through life. You follow several young women as they make their choices in life - some commoners and some more noble. From seamstress to empress. I hoped to find a passage I still recall, but failed. So here is it as I recall, albeit likely incorrectly so bear with me.


Yuet weighed the golden pin in her hands. It was used to symbolize the girls transformation into womanhood. This one was massive gold though, and it was heavy. Heavier than her own had been, heavy enough to make Yuet think of the real meaning behind it. It was the weight of an empire - nothing less. By placing the pin in Luidan's hair she would be crowning her empress.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Terry Pratchett's Johnny Maxwell trilogy is sadly underrated. Not a fantasy world, exactly, yet not real either. Watching the lives of kids in odd situations is very entertaining.


Anything by Neil Gaiman, especially The Graveyard Book, Neverwhere and Coraline.

Christopher Moore's "A Dirty Job" is odd and amusing in a Pratchett-esque fashion and adds an interesting view on Death.

The Wardstone Chronicles (The Last Apprentice in the US, I think) by Joseph Delaney is also an interesting read with some unique views on monsters, magic and general fantasy.


Also for the weirder side of fantasy "The Poison Eaters and Other Stories" by Holly Black (The Spiderwick Chronicles)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...