Books I'd Give To Readers Who Have Never Read FantasySorry this is late! I'm traveling and have to use wifi just whenever we find it. But I'm really excited about this topic, so I wanted to submit mine anyway.
To Ease The New Reader In:
I was raised on fantasy, so the genre never felt that strange to me. But since I've noticed that there is a definite learning curve to reading and loving fantasy. You -can- jump into the heavy stuff, but I wouldn't recommend it for most people. Fantasy, as a whole, has very specific and pervasive tropes that take some getting used to, no matter which world you're in.
1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
The obvious. This isn't high fantasy, of course, but it's the perfect starting place. (And to my continual surprise, there are still people who have yet to read Harry Potter). Getting absorbed into this world is exactly what fantasy, as a whole, is about.
2. Throne of Glass
Personally, I think the Throne of Glass series is a wonderful way to jump into fantasy, as well. The world isn't difficult or confusing. The characters are loveable and interesting and well-written. And the plot. THE PLOT. I just have a lot of love for this series and I think it's a great representation of this particular type of fantasy, assassins, princes, and political intrigue.
3. Alanna: The First Adventure
Another fun, engaging fantasy in a world that isn't overcomplicated. This series is full of adventure and magic and, of course, Alanna, a woman knight who kicks butt constantly. This is a middle grade fantasy, which highlights the romping kind of fantasy, full of wonderful characters (*cough*cough* George *cough*cough*). And it's so easy to blow through this series in no time.
To Expand Their Experience In The Genre:
4. Shadow and Bone
When they've conquered those wonderful stories, I'd introduce them to the more complex magic systems and books with more ambiguity. The Shadow and Bone world is complex and interesting and the characters are phenomenal. There's still plenty of adventure, plenty of action, and the battle between good and evil. Enough grit and denseness for any now somewhat experienced fantasy reader to sink their teeth into.
5. The Girl of Fire and Thorns
A more complex world with a variety of settings and a very expansive plot (each book is a story to itself, really). But with freaking amazing lead characters and an intense and insanely political and action-packed plot, this series really distinguishes itself.
6. Finnikin of the Rock
This series is completely wonderful, but really, really heavy. There's a lot of misery and suffering in these books, but also a lot of hope. The characters are realistic and heart-wrenching and varied. The writing is just gorgeous as well, in a way that's not typical of most fantasy.
When They're Ready For The Heavy Stuff:
And now we come to the tomes. Thousands of pages that make up some of the most epic and amazing stories I've encountered thus far. This is fantasy at its most fantastic and its most undiluted.
7. The Fellowship of the Ring
I'm just going to go ahead and say that to fully understand the fantasy genre as a whole and its origins, The Lord of the Rings series is an absolute must read. So much of past and present fantasy is either directly or distantly inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien's brilliance. Plus this series deserves every ounce of praise it's gotten over the years, so yeah, you're going to want to read this.
8. Mistborn: The Final Empire
Epic and unique, the Mistborn series is a twist on the typical tropes of the genre. The inverted type of plot and the ragtag cast of characters is just perfect for anyone wanting to delve into a new world. And the magic system is sheer genius, just magnificent and unique.
9. The Name of the Wind
Another book that has a focus on prose that's not typical in a bulk of the fantasy genre, but the plot doesn't suffer for it one ounce. This book is slow and not plot-driven in the slightest, but I love that about it. It masters its own form of storytelling and then utilizes it. A beautiful work of fiction and a new favorite of mine.