Hello and welcome to The Pigeon! Today I humbly bring you this tag 😌
The rules are as follows:
- Make sure you give credit to the original creators of this tag – this tag was originally the “Get to Know the Romance Reader” tag by Bree Hill, and was adapted for fantasy readers by the book pusher!
- If you want to, pingback to the post where you first saw this tag! I first saw this from jordyn @ jordyn reads 💕
- Have fun!
1. What is your fantasy origin story? (The first fantasy you read)
I distinctly remember there being fairy chapter books somewhere in my history, but the book that flipped the fantasy switch for me was The Hobbit. At the time, I was in fifth grade, the first movie was just about to come out, and my parents, who both love Tolkien, had been trying for years to get me to read it. I loved the humor, I loved Middle-Earth, and it became my personality almost instantly. I have no regrets.
2. If you could be the protagonist in a fantasy novel, who would be the author, and what’s one trope you’d insist be in the story?
As much as I love danger on the page, I’d want the comfort of knowing I have a Shannon Hale-certified happy ending to look forward to. Her worlds are comfortingly magical places that never lose their fairy-tale rosiness, where total sincerity always wins. And speaking of total sincerity always winning––I want whatever villain I have to contend with redeemed, dammit! There’s only going to be hope in this house if I have to live in it 😤
3. What is a fantasy series you’ve read this year that you want more people to read?
I always take it upon myself to hawk the classics, and Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea Cycle is no exception. The first three books, published in the 60s and 70s, are standouts in classic fantasy, with gorgeous, sweeping worldbuilding, conflicts that don’t play out in battle, and intricate prose that reads like ancient, spoken storytelling. While I don’t necessarily think these books are perfect, I’d love to see more people talking about them. They really challenge the notion that all pre-2010 fantasy marches to the same medieval-European-inspired, war-heavy drum. (Not that that’s always a bad thing––I just want people to be aware that fantasy has variety that goes all the way back to its early decades!)
4. What is your favorite fantasy subgenre?
Seeing as I’m a science major now (eek!), I have to say that I’m so down for science fantasy, in all its forms. Anything that fuses sci-fi––especially sci-fi grounded in a real scientific discipline––with magic has my attention. My standout example of this is the His Dark Materials trilogy, but I also love how it’s done in Darcie Little Badger’s Elatsoe, the recent Netflix series Arcane, and Josephine Angelini’s Trial by Fire.
5. What subgenre have you not read much from?
One thing I hope to get more into is fantasy gothic! I love a regular gothic (of the 19th-century, ghosts-in-country-houses variety) and I’m all for the idea of bringing magic or unique worldbuilding into the mix!
6. Who is one of your auto-buy fantasy authors?
I’ve read and loved two of Erin A. Craig’s entrancing works of fantasy horror, and I’m chomping at the bit for a chance to do so again. I love her atmosphere and suspense-building, and her romantic subplots, be they sweet, sinister, or some combination of both, are such a treat.
7. How do you typically find fantasy recommendations?
I’m always pleased with myself when I’m early enough to catch a publishing deal announcement for a forthcoming release, but for the most part, I:
- listen to my friends when they yell at me to read things
- follow book blogs!
- pluck the occasional title off the shelf at the bookstore or library for a touch of spontaneity 👀
8. What is an upcoming fantasy release you’re excited for?
Just this summer we have The Song That Moves the Sun by Anna Bright, Violet Made of Thorns by Gina Chen, and The Darkening by Sunya Mara! All three of these concepts have me absolutely frothing at the mouth.
9. What is one misconception about fantasy you would like to lay to rest?
That all fantasy writers can churn out a book a year or more, ad infinitum. Audiences, publishers, and aspiring writers alike are guilty of thinking this, though they’re not all equally guilty of making it the book world’s burnout-inducing norm (ahem, publishing!!!). In YA and middle grade especially, SFF writers are expected to publish constantly in order to stay visible––but literary and prestige writers, and the odd SFF bestseller, are given the room to take what books generally need: time! So many series have been rushed out at a book a year in a mistaken attempt to ‘keep up,’ and besides having a pronounced affect on quality, the workload can really exhaust an author with other responsibilities. If we want speculative writers to have long fruitful careers (and an industry that doesn’t further marginalize them if they don’t happen to come from privilege), we have to consider whether our expectations as readers and consumers are conducive to that, and this situation, um…isn’t.
10. If someone had never read a fantasy before and asked you to recommend the first 3 books that came to mind as places to start, what would those recommendations be?
Six of Crows, Legendborn, and Daughter of Smoke and Bone, in my opinion, all make wonderful introductions to what fantasy can do. They’re all YA, with pretty approachable prose and an emphasis on pacing. They’re also very different from each other and have unique approaches to magic, with plenty of crossover appeal for people coming from other genres. (Historical, hard-hitting contemporary, and romance, respectively!)
11. Who is the most recent fantasy reading content creator you came across that you’d like to shoutout?
I’ve been loving M.T. Wilson @ The Last Book On The Left’s blog recently! She has a great mix of titles and her reviews are so detailed and thoughtful.
- jan @ Inkspun Tales
- M. T. Wilson @ The Last Book On The Left
- Aria @ Snow White Hates Apples
- And if you fancy doing this tag but aren’t on the list, consider yourself tagged!