Genre: Fantasy

I love fantasy. I always have, really. Being able to read about another world with people who go through similar or more difficult trials than we do in real life is always fun, and reading about the creatures that are often placed into fantasy books always draws me in, as well.

Fantasy isn’t just constricted to high fantasy though, a term that means that it’s set in a whole other universe that there are few similarities to our world, and can include magic, mythical beings, sorcery, etc.

There is also low fantasy, which includes a tale written in our own world, but includes some form of magic or some other telling aspect that makes it fantasy.

There are more sub-genres of fantasy, but let me focus on those two for now.

High fantasy is my preferred story to read. Not only do I get to read about the characters in that setting, I get to imagine that world that the author created and built from the ground up in their minds. It’s incredible to think about. Imagine having to come up with your own system of magic, landscape, society, culture, etc. It’s mind blowing and it makes me feel kind of giddy inside.

Some books that I would recommend that involve high fantasy are:

  • The “Throne of Glass” series by Sarah J Maas. This is a six book YA fantasy series in which the first three books are out. It involves a kickass female assassin named Celaena Sardothian, an evil king, the king’s son, a royal guard, and lot of forbidden elements that fit into this world of no magic. “What? No magic?” It was banished by the king and as you read you find out why it was banished and how. It’s my favorite series to date, so why would I mention it?
  • The Ice Dragon” & “A Song of Ice and Fire” series by George R.R. Martin. As very popular books, it only fits to mention this series and a companion novel. Set in a world of royals, peasants, kings, and lots of blood and sex, this series is definitely high fantasy. Not only does it include swords, political intrigue, lots of fighting, etc, it includes creatures that are only seen in nightmares, and dragons. Can’t forget the dragons. It’s a very long series, but it’s engaging. I haven’t finished it yet as I’m still working on the first book. I have read and done a review on “The Ice Dragon.”
  • The Lord of the Rings” series by J.R.R. Tolkien. As a modern classic this trilogy is an epic fantasy adventure with hobbits, wizards, elves, dwarves, ogres, men, etc. Though I haven’t read the books in their entirety yet, I do plan to this year. I have seen the movies, though, so yay for references!

There are plenty more series I could list, but those give just an example of what high fantasy can be considered as.

Now for low fantasy, I personally think more of these exist than high fantasy, especially in YA. There are plenty of adult high fantasy novels, but there are also low fantasy ones. A few examples are:

  • The Iron Fey” series by Julie Kagawa. Though the setting mostly takes place in faerie, parts of the story take place in the real world, especially when it gets to the second and third book. It’s a story about faeries, a girl who discovers the truth about herself, love, danger, and more.
  • The “Firelight” trilogy by Sophie Jordan. This is a trilogy about dragons and love and the dangers of being a dragon in our world. With the magical aspect of dragons that can change into humans, but are being hunted by humans, it makes for a great low fantasy trilogy to read.
  • The “Vampire Academy” series by Richelle Mead. This series is about vampires (duh) that live in our world, but their society is set apart from ours. There are different classifications of vampires and humans and it includes romance, action, and danger. I haven’t finished this whole series, but I figured I’d still list it.

So those are a few examples of low fantasy books, but there are obviously many more books that include many different situations and everything other than what I’ve listed above.

Now I didn’t include sci-fi in this list because I believe that it deserves its own post, which will be coming soon!

I also didn’t include graphic novels or manga in these lists because there are so many different kinds that I wouldn’t know where to begin… Well, except with some of my favorites, but that’s for another post.

Fantasy is one of those genres that I believe will always flourish because there seems to be a need to escape the real world and reach out to ones that don’t (or might) exist.

What are some of your favorite fantasy books? Do you prefer high fantasy or low fantasy? Series, standalones, trilogies? Let me know in the comments!

Book Unhaul September 2014

So as I was staring at the books on my shelf I realized that I have several series and stand-alones that I haven’t gotten around to reading or finishing in years for various reasons, and to make room on my shelf for my ever growing collection of books that I do read, I decided to take them off of my shelf and pack them away for a later time.

These books have been on my shelf for a while now just collecting dust, and since I know that I’m not in that phase anymore (most are vampire books), I wanted to make room for books that I know I’ll read and potentially reread.

The books that I unhauled are:

  • The Vampire Academy series (1-6) by Richelle Mead. I started reading these books after the Twilight craze, and I found that as I read them, they got slow and boring and I couldn’t make it through book three. So they’ve just been sitting there on my shelf (all six) and I haven’t gotten around to them in years. So they’re being put away so I don’t have to keep staring at them and wondering if I’ll ever get around to reading them.
  • The Blue Bloods series (1-6 + extras) by Melissa De La Cruz. I started these around the same time as Vampire Academy for the same reasons, and I felt that it was a compelling story, but I put book three down and I lost it… So I can’t continue it even if I wanted to.
  • Vampire Crush by A.M. Robinson. I remember this book being really cute and funny, and I only had about 100 pages left when I put it down and never picked it up again. Again, I’m not really in the vampire mood, so I don’t think I’ll be getting around to finishing it even though I was so close before.
  • Fire Bringer by David Clement-Davies. This is a middle grade book that I picked up in high school and tried to read, and I found that though it was really cool to read from the perspective of a deer, that the plot just kept dragging on and on. I also have The Sight by the same author and I don’t think I’ll be reading either anytime soon.
  • Tiger’s Curse by Colleen Houck. I actually didn’t realize when I bought the hard copy that I already had an e-book version, so I’m going to be giving this to my friend since she was interested in reading it. Whoops.
  • The Host by Stephenie Meyer. Right after Twilight, this book came out, and I just had to get it at the time. I read only about 100 pages but it just didn’t hold my interest. So I’m putting it away.

The next few books that I’ll be unhauling from my shelf weren’t included in my video, but I have read one; I just want to put them away for now:

  • If I Should Die Before I Wake by Han Nolan. This is a book I had to read for summer reading one year, and it was a very intense book for someone who was younger to read. I did enjoy the book, though, but I’m going to pack it away as I know I probably won’t be rereading it anytime soon.
  • Red Riding Hood by Sarah Blakley-Cartwright. This was based on a screenplay, which was then turned into a movie. I have the movie, haven’t read the book, but I did enjoy the movie. I’m just going to pack this away because it’s been on my shelf for years and I never read it, so… yeah.

And that is it for my unhaul. It’s a lot of books, yes, but I have a lot more room on my shelf, which is nice, and I’ll be able to include more books that I know I’ll be reading.

Accompanying video: Book Unhaul 1

Have you ever done an unhaul? What books did you unhaul, and how many? Did you give them to charity or just pack them away like I did? Let me know in the comments!