Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly book meme created by Lainey from gingerreadslainey, and is hosted by Sam from ThoughtsOnTomes. If you want to take a look at the Goodreads group, and perhaps even want to join, you can click this link.
This week’s topic is: Gateway Books to Your Favorite Genre. Well,since I don’t really have one favourite genre, I was wondering if I could pick two. Lo and behold the guidelines!: What books do you think are good to introduce people to your favorite genre? If you have more than one favorite genre, feel free to split it up to cover both. As if they were able to read my mind!
This means that in this week’s Top 5 Wednesday will be Gateway Books to Fantasy and Historical Fiction.
For some unknown reason, I have a love hate relationship with series. It is still a mystery to me. Even though I pretend not to have any love for series when I enter a bookshop, I always end up buying the first part of a series I don’t know yet, or I come home with a shopping bag filled with sequels and the like. For that reason, this Top 5 will exist out of series only! (Just to get you guys to feel like I do :’))
I will mention a couple series that I’ve already reviewed/started reviewing, in those cases I’ll also give you a link to the review ^_^ If I didn’t write a review (because…reasons?) yet, I’ll link the series to the Goodreads thingy.
- Bernard Cornwell: The Warlord Chronicles.
Everyone knows of King Arthur and his knights of the round table. All know the famous stories of brave and gorgeous Lancelot, powerful Gawain and all those other knights. And all know the Druid Merlin.
However, a different story is told here. Here is the story of how Arthur, the bastard of the High King Uther and Igraine, a man without land and with only a reputation to protect, becomes a man of legend. This series is not only about Arthur, it is also about his friends and enemies.“Once upon a time, in a land that was called Britain, these things happened. These are the tales of Arthur, the Warlord, the King that Never Was, the Enemy of God and, may the living Christ and Bishop Sansum forgive me, the best man I ever knew.”This story is written down by, at that time, an old monk called Derfel. He was asked by his queen Igraine to write down the real story of King Arthur.
Derfel will tell his own story, how he came to know Merlin and Nimue and later on met Arthur himself.
I first started this series when I was about 11 years old. Back in the day, I was still small and somewhat innocent, but this series really made an impression on me. So much so that I started to reread it about a year ago. Personally, I consider this topic to be between historical fiction and fantasy, so that is why I put this series first. In a way, it’s a gateway for new readers (and those already familiar with the two genres) to both genres.
- Bernard Cornwell: The Saxon Stories.
This is the exciting—yet little known—story of the making of England in the 9th and 10th centuries, the years in which King Alfred the Great, his son and grandson defeated the Danish Vikings who had invaded and occupied three of England’s four kingdoms. – Goodreads
More Bernard Cornwell?! WHY?! You might be uttering out loud at this point. Well, I’ll tell you why: It’s because the man is a genius, that’s why. I absolutely love his writing. Unfortunately, I don’t have any reviews for this series, because I started it before I ever thought of having a blog. So this link redirects you to the Goodreads page of the first part of this series.
All I can say, is that this series is just so awesome. Yes, it involves important people, but the story is all about the life of a man called Uthred. This series will take you on a journey, one that isn’t always that pretty, but hells there is so much humour :’)
- Steven Erikson: The Malazan Book of the Fallen.
While the empire is at war, unearthly forces are meddling. Gods descend from above to show their influence in the affairs.“The only sound in Paran’s head, that whirring hum. As if a coin was spinning, endlessly spinning.”
Talking about some hard core fantasy! I’ve only read the first two books of this series, but even thought they were thick a.f. (think about a 1000 pages) they’re so awesome and absolutely worth your time. This series put fantasy into a whole different category in my opinion. Yes, of course there are probably a lot of series like this one, but this author got my attention and was able to keep it.
If you are really in for a dive into the deep unknown of awesome fantasy, a world that has it’s own history (awesomely constructed if I may give my humble opinion), and a lot of awesome happenings, this is your gateway to the fantasy realm.
- David Eddings: The Elenium.
I have read the series, however, I didn’t write a review… shame on me, I know. I’ll just owe you guys another series review ^_^ (Poor me… reading this series again… darn…).
Sparhawk, Pandion Knight, and Queen’s Champion have returned to Elenia after ten years of exile, only to find young Queen Ehlanda trapped in a block of ensorcelled crystal. As Sparhawk sets out to find a cure for Ehlana, he discovers that only he can defeat the evil plots that threaten her rule…. – Goodreads
So there it is, the Goodreads synopsis. What more can you possibly want from a fantasy series. There is a noble knight, a damsel in distress, a quest, an evil foe… and: Faran (Sparhawk’s kickass horse) who is absolutely my undisputed favourite character in this series :’)
It is a medieval oriented fantasy series, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that here.
- Raymond E. Feist: Riftwar Cycle.
A little word of caution about this series… it is a long one. You see, this cycle is divided into smaller series that consist of about 3/4 books. I’ve read a couple of these smaller series, before knowing that it was part of a cycle, and I felt really smart when I thought to be the one to discover that the smaller series actually formed one whole… Yeah, what can I say?
Anyhooooo, this is another one of those fantasy series/cycles that just sticks. Once you’ve started, you are not able to let it go. After discovering the whole “several-form-a-whole-thing” I just kept buying books, because I simply want to know everything about this world from start to finish. This man, like the other authors in this blogpost, is an amazing writer and I think that these books will definitely open a different part of the fantasy universe for readers.
Have you read any of the series that I named above? What did you think? If not, what is your top 5 series that are a gateway to your favourite genre?