I'm nearly finished with Brandon Sanderson's Elantris and ever since I picked it up I haven't been able to put it down - that being said, it's taken me quite a while to read it because wooooorrrrkkkk :c I notice I always feel this way when I read a high (epic?) fantasy book with lots of magic - Throne of Glass, A Court of Thorns and Roses (duh), Uprooted, any of Brandon Sanderson's books. I don't ever really feel as happy when I read a contemporary and I wondered why.
The thing with contemporaries for me is this - they deal with common problems set in my world. Yes this makes them relatable. But it also makes me feel exhausted emotionally because I deal with a lot of problems in everyday life and reading a contemporary is just like stepping out my door into real life. And a lot of the time I don't want to deal with real life (something personal about me: dealing with people actually really exhausts me which is why I basically never go out on weekends). I want to escape my problems but reading a contemporary usually makes me think about these.
This is also why post-apocalyptic/sci-fi doesn't always appeal to me too. Most settings resemble our world to some degree but it's a dystopia. These books remind me of all the ways the world can go wrong. It brings to light what humanity can become, how when stripped bare we are mainly selfish and self-preserving. Sure it also brings to light hope but we have enough disasters/issues in the world right now so I don't want to be reading about what else can go wrong.
That being said I do enjoy my share of contemporaries and post-apocalyptic - some of my favourite books are in these genres.
But then there's high fantasy...
High/epic fantasy is 100% my favourite genre without a doubt, Here is a wholly imagined world with no rules or boundaries. My problems seem small compared to the characters in these books. There's limitless possibilities and my favourite ones have complex magic systems which really make the world something I can barely fathom. I love that this world is born from someone's mind and the settings are intricate and lush. I won't know what will happen next so I'm kept guessing until the last page. (This also why I love Final Fantasy/Kingdom Hearts - magic and complex story lines in beautiful worlds.) When I escape into a high fantasy world, I become the character and I'm in that world and real life just fades away into something insignificant - I feel like I've become part of something epic? Wow that sounds weird. Anyway yes MAGIC. Funnily enough I don't like high fantasies that lack magic (shhh but I'm struggling to get through Game of Thrones and An Ember in the Ashes).
Do you have a particular genre? Any particular reason why?
Some of my favourite high fantasy:
- Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas - I love Sarah's lush writing in this and the magic becomes more and more intense as the books progress
- A Court of Thorns and Roses - Beauty and Beast retelling but with fey folklore
- Uprooted - the magic in this is lovely I don't know just read it
- Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson - metals magic system is so well thought out and complex THIS TRILOGY <3
- Fire and Thorns trilogy by Rae Carson - this one has amazing character development with very unique magic
- Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson - while one of the characters pissed me off too much to make me love this, the magic system is fabulous in this. It uses COLOUR. Love love love.
- Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo - this series went downhill for me but I still love it and the first book is wonderful. Very mysterious and I love the villain and the magic classes are cool
- Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers - assassins and serving Death and poisons yesyesyes
- Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge - another Beauty and the Beast retelling but with slight Greek influences and this one has magic and there's this really epic feel to it
- Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta - the first in her Lumatere Chronicles it's not extremely magic focused but there's a Tempest and prophecies and I love it. I still need to finish this trilogy off ahhh
Not all high fantasy but has amazing world building and fabulous paranormal/magic systems and settings to get lost in
- The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon - clairvoyants like you've never read them before in a dystopian world. Phenomenal world building.
- The Iron Fey by Julie Kagawa - I adored the romance in this actually and I love the way Julie's written the Nevernever.
- A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab - I could lope this in with high fantasy but this one is parallel worlds and one is based off 19th century England. Either way PARALLEL WORLDS that are SO well thought out and the magic to travel through these wow
- Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy by Laini Taylor - angels and demons but not as we know them. Laini's beautiful writing set against the backdrop of Prague. THIS SERIES UGH.
- The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh - a retelling of A Thousand and One Nights it's got curses and not so much magic but it's so angsty and beautifully written