I saw this over on Way Too Fantasy for Wyrd & Wonder, and I am always down to talk about my life as a fantasy reader. It was originally created by Bree Hill and later adapted to be a fantasy tag by The Book Pusher. Let’s get to it!
What is your fantasy origin story? (the first fantasy novel you read)
I’m a Harry Potter child.
In 1999, my dad bought me the first three books for Christmas. I was so excited. He’d read me tons of books growing up, and, when I was little, I almost always saw him with a book in his hand. Like any little girl, I wanted to be just like my dad, so I begged and begged. He started reading my brother and me the books, and we’d do one chapter a night even though I desperately wanted to stay up the entire night reading.
About halfway through the fourth book, when I was in the fifth grade, I asked him if I could start reading them on my own. From there, magic happened. It was as though I’d asked a secret question. He quickly handed me Goblet of Fire, told me to read the rest out loud to him, and, when that was through, he handed me my first DragonLance book. From there, it was Lord of the Rings, and then we were attending midnight book releases for Harry Potter and waiting in line for hours at the theater to see the movies.
If you could be the hero/heroine in a fantasy novel, who would be the author and what’s one trope you’d insist be in the story?
Oh gosh, for a second, this sounded like the hardest question ever, and then I remembered that Margaret Rogerson exists as a person in this universe, that were are that blessed, so it’s actually pretty easy.
Like, hell yeah, Margaret Rogerson can definitely write me as a heroine in one of her stories, her women are always badass. Also, I’d just, uh, well. I’d have the trope she’s already got in both of hers. Tall, sad, brooding man who thinks he’s too broken for love. I’m predictable, what can I say.
What is a fantasy you’ve read this year, that you want more people to read?
Oh gosh, I’ve read a lot of hyped books so far this year, so that doesn’t really work for wanting more people to read them since a lot of people already are. But, there is definitely one that I read right at the beginning of the year, and I haven’t seen a lot of people talking about it, and that’s just not right.
Nocturna by Maya Motayne was the Spanish door magic fantasy of my dreams, and I really need y’all to hop on this band wagon with me.
What is your favorite fantasy subgenre? What subgenre have you not read much from?
I’m a huge urban fantasy fiend. I primarily write it, and though I definitely read more high fantasy (I have an ENTIRE bookcase dedicated to it), urban fantasy is where my heart lives. There’s just something so satisfying about seeing magic in the real world, particularly when it’s hidden away like
yes I’m going to talk about it shut up in Shadowhunters. I just love the idea of glamoured buildings and demon hunters hiding in plain sight.
Who is one of your auto-buy fantasy authors?
Hm, that’s a good question. Normally, I just throw Maggie Stiefvater out for the auto-buy question, but she’s not really a fantasy author to me. I mean, she is, she’s got magic in all of her books, but when I think fantasy, I think dragons, so. I don’t know, this is hard because I’m being weird. I’m going to separate it. My auto-buy urban fantasy is probably either Cassandra Clare or VE Schwab, and my auto-buy high fantasy is Laini Taylor or Leigh Bardugo.
How do you typically find fantasy recommendations? (Goodreads, Youtube, podcasts, Instagram, etc.)
Book blogs and bookstagram! I follow a lot of people (on both) that read the same kind of things that I do, so I find a lot of my favorite fantasy books either through blog posts or Insta pictures.
What is an upcoming fantasy release you’re excited for?
Okay, we all know that everyone in the world is excited for Empire of Gold, so another fantasy release that I’m really excited for is The Faithless Hawk by Margaret Owen.
I just read The Merciful Crow last month, and it was absolutely incredible. I had to really force myself to go to bed and not stay up until 3AM to finish it, which of course meant that I woke up the next day and just did nothing, including eat breakfast, until I got to the end.
What is one misconception about fantasy you would like to lay to rest?
That it’s not all white men! There are so many good fantasy books written by incredible women of all backgrounds, and I just wish that when someone asked what my favorite fantasy books are, they actually knew who I was talking about.
If someone had never read a fantasy before and asked you to recommend the first three books that come to mind as places to start, what would those recommendations be?
Oh boy. Okay. We’re going to do this. It’s going to be hard, but we’re going to do this.
In that order, too! Okay, The Ten Thousand Doors of January is such a good starting book for the world of fantasy. A solid portion of it takes place on regular ole Earth, and door magic is also just such a good metaphor for stepping into a new world of reading. Then, Isle of Blood and Stone has got excellent characters, a lot of really well done tropes, and a very, very cool plot. It’s your standard adventure story, and it’ll really get this new fantasy reader going hm okay I could like this genre. Finally, we’ll end things with Onyx & Ivory, which, to me, feels like a very modern day version of the fantasy books everyone thinks of when they say, “I like fantasy.” We’re thinking of the Rohirrim barreling down the hill into Helm’s Deep and the Dothraki storming King’s Landing. And this duology has a lot of those classic elements while also adding in some new twists and turns, so I love it a lot as the final plunge into the fantasy world.
Who is the most recent fantasy reading content creator you came across that you’d like to shoutout?
Okay, this is probably cheating because I saw this tag on Lisa’s blog and she’s not exactly a recent find for me, but she reads more fantasy than I’ve ever seen another person read, and they span so many subgenres that I didn’t even know existed, and it’s just incredible. I’m always stumbling across new reads that I would have never heard of otherwise, and her blog is just fantastic.