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A Game of Fantasy Tag

Welcome back to the second week of Fantasy Month! There are bloggers and fantasy fans all over social media getting in on this celebration, and you can, too just by checking out the hashtag #FantasyMonth on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and probably even Pinterest!

This week’s delve into the fantasticness of fantasy is made possible by the amazing writer and blogger Jenelle Leanne Schmidt, and you can check out her blog and her books here.

So, what’s today’s post? Part interview, part game of tag, all fantasy ─ it’s time to reveal some favorites from this expansive and extraordinary genre. I’m actually quivering a little in my boots (at least I would be, if I were wearing any), because picking favorites is so hard! SO HARD! But we’re going to give it a go anyway; you ready?

What is your favorite fantasy book?

And it’s a challenge right out of the gate. Why do we do this to ourselves? How on Earth and all the worlds beyond am I supposed to be able to chose that? There are so many! So many places I love, so many people I’d like to meet (or at least look at while hiding behind a tree or street corner, because they’re so awesome I might not have to courage to walk up and say ‘hi’).

Hrm . . .  Well, I suppose, if I ABSOLUTELY HAD to chose before the end of the next century, I would go with The Thief, by Megan Whalen Turner. It was such a fun read, and it taught me a lot about writing, too, so it was two for two.

However, close behind are The Door Within by Wayne Thomas Batson, Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones, and The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss (plus a whole bunch of others, but I guess it’s time to move on, huh?)

What is your favorite fantasy movie or TV show (or both!)?

Can I just confess right now and get it out that I don’t watch a lot of American TV?

Okay. Now that that’s out there, let’s focus on movies. Running through all the movies I’ve seen, three stick out in my mind, largely because I have seen these three several times over and have not yet gotten bored with them – The Seeker (based off The Dark is Rising sequence by Susan Cooper), The Princess Bride, and Avatar. But I guess Avatar is technically more science fiction, and of the other two The Seeker has more fantasy elements, what with curses and magical powers and all.

So I guess my favorite fantasy move is The Seeker. (Now I just have to get my hands on those books!)

Who is your favorite fantasy hero/heroine?

Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III, from the books by Cressida Cowell. That boy is a model of loyalty, devotion, courage, humility, strength, and a bunch of all the other good stuff. His is such a powerful story, heartwarming and heartbreaking and I love him he’s the best.

Who is your favorite fantasy side-kick?

Ooh . . . Would it be cliché to say Samwise Gamgee? Because I think he’s the companion every hero needs.

” ‘Don’t you leave him, Samwise Gamgee’, and I don’t mean to.”

All the feels, right there . . .

Anywho, a close second would be Pete the Sock Man from Andrew Peterson’s Wingfeather Saga, and Bree from Lewis’s The Horse and His Boy.

Who is your favorite fantasy villain? (the one you most love to hate?)

My initial answer would be Alex from the Reaper trilogy by Bryan Davis, because I’m reading it right now and my loathing is fresh, but I’m not finished with the story and there’s reason to believe she’s not as villainous as we’ve been lead to believe, so I suppose I can’t pick her. Bummer, because I really wanted to strangle her . . . and shake her hand, for being such a good bad guy. Is that strange?

In any event, I have to say that this is a pretty hard one, because most of the villains I read aren’t sole individuals, but maybe a collaboration or a corrupted system or what have you. Truth be told, I don’t think I’ve had such a strong reaction to a villain as I have to Alex, so I guess, for now, as far as book one of the trilogy is concerned, she is my favorite villain. No one else has made me feel quite so frustrated.

What is your favorite fantasy sub-genre?

Well, taking a glance at my bookshelves, I guess the answer would be high-fantasy ─ that grand adventure of epic proportions, thoroughly entrenched in the fiction-verse. Lore is another one, particularly if it’s Celtic/Gaelic or Norse. Stephen R. Lawhead is my go-to author for that one.

What is your favorite thing about fantasy?

Thinking about it, my answer is a thing more abstract than anything else. I love how broad the scope of it is, how it allows ─ invites ─ any and everyone to explore their imagination and dream big. With fantasy, the sky is not even the limit. I spoke a bit on this subject in last week’s post, and I think it’s true that fantasy gives us power to live countless lives, to take us outside of ourselves and experience what it’s like ─ or what it could be like ─ to be a part of something greater than ourselves.

What is your favorite fantasy realm?

The Shire. Easy.

Maybe Redwall Abbey.

What is your favorite fantasy magic system?

To be honest, I don’t pay that much attention to magic systems, it’s not a big deal to me how much sense it makes or how it works. That said, I will admit that I love the concept Patrick Rothfuss uses in his Kingkiller Chronicle for one of his magic systems, which is based on names. Knowing the name of a thing gives you the power to use it (and I guess that holds a similar vein with Paolini’s Inheritance Cycle). But I just love the idea that names have power, and a magic system that utilizes that concept gets a thumbs up from me.

Sell me a fantasy book! Have you written a fantasy book? Give me your best pitch for it! Have you read an exceptionally great fantasy book recently? Convince me to make it my next read!

Lovely, the one thing I’m most terrible at ─ selling people things.

But I suppose there’s nothing much for it, eh? And since I’m in the middle of writing one of my own I suppose this would be good practice for pitching (although I’ve never been particularly good at throwing things, either ). So, here goes!

From the author of The Journey Taken comes brand new fantasy adventure Falconsbane:

Nestled in the foothills of the Black Mountains, Phen has been a nation embroiled in wars since its conception, but now that its druyds and their powers have disappeared in droves, a certain young warrior is about to discover just how vulnerable the land has become. Roscha always knew he would be a part of protecting his country, but he never imagined his role would be quite so instrumental as facing off against an invasion abetted by dragons. Haunted by fears and failures, Roscha must find the courage to overcome his past if he ever wants a chance at saving the future.


And there’s that! Geeze, I’m a little out of breath now . . . This has been some game to tag, and guess what? Now YOU’RE it! I challenge all of you to answer one ─ or all! ─ of these great questions. For a clean list of questions go here, and don’t forget to tag others! A game is only fun if you can make others suffer with you everyone gets involved!

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5 Comments

  1. You did the tag!!! And I LOVE YOUR ANSWERS!!!!

    (seriously, whose ridiculous idea was it to make this year’s Fantasy Month all about favorites? like it’s even POSSIBLE to pick a favorite when so much of it is epically awesome!!!) LOL

    The Seeker was such a good movie, and the first book is really good… but the rest of the series just kinda gets… weird… and convoluted, and … weird. By the time I got to the final book, I had NO idea what was going on, and I like things that are complex… so… yeah… just a head’s up. Book 1 = epic. Books the rest… not so much.

    STEPHEN R LAWHEAD IS MY FAVORITE!!!!!!!! So fun to happen across other people who have read him!

    The names have power thing is also in Ursula K LeGuin’s Earthsea trilogy, you might enjoy that!

    Loved your pitch!!! Looking forward to reading it when it’s published!

    Thanks for participating in the tag!!!

    • reynwood reynwood

      Thanks for the heads up about the Seeker books! It is frustrating when things get weird and confusing – it’s such a bummer when I run into those. And yes, Lawhead is one of my top favorite authors ever, his writing and his stories are so awesome! I love, love, love his King Raven trilogy.

      • The King Raven trilogy is fabulous! That’s my second favorite of his behind Song of Albion. And Pendragon Cycle comes in at a very close third.

        • reynwood reynwood

          Me, too! Of all I’ve read of him so far, King Raven is my top pick, and the Song of Albion is my second as well. I’m not sure, though, where the Pendragon Cycle goes in regards to The Dream Thief, Patrick, Son of Ireland, and The Tale Of Timothy Mallard (which is an adorable little story). Have you read the Dragon King trilogy? That one’s been on my to-read list for a while.

  2. An interesting event—I did not know about this until today! I’ll have to post my answers at some point since I’m trying to write and edit my own science fantasy. It’ll show up on my blog.

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