10 Memorable Fantasy Books and Series: Top Ten Tuesday

The great folks at The Broke and The Bookish have a feature they call Top Ten Tuesdays. I’ve wanted to join in for a couple of weeks, and since today’s theme is “Choose Your Own Topic,” I decided to whip something up. These are the ten fantasy books/series that I find most memorable.


J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Silmarillion. Hands-down my favorite fantasy book of all time.  It’s packed with beauty, tragedy, altruism, and hubris. It’s the book that made me want to write fantasy.

Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series.  It’s a series of stories about Dream of the Endless, known to some cultures as Morpheus 😉 Dream has six siblings: Destiny, Death, Destruction, Despair, Desire and Delirium. Destiny’s as old as the universe, and the rest are only slightly younger. As you might imagine, their family dramas can be intense.

George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire doesn’t need much of an introduction. I’m eagerly awaiting the next installment. I like the intrigue and the elements of realism he brings in, such as having a lot of maimed and disfigured characters. You’d totally expect that in a world that’s wracked by war and plague, but not all fantasy is this well-drawn.

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Penny Dreadful “Resurrection” Review

No Dorian this week, but we did get to some interesting moments with Frankenstein’s

The Guiginol Revealed

The Guiginol Revealed

firstborn. We also got our first view of the Guiginol (where they’re performing Sweeney Todd), which, given that the last episode of the season is to be titled “The Grand Guiginol,” is a significant moment. And we went to the London Zoo.

Much like the weeks before, the pacing of the show lingers in some places, speeds up in others. We’ve a scene longer than the seance scene, this one a 15 minute look at the Creature’s back-story. While that long-scene format worked, and worked well for the first two episodes, the pacing of this episode seemed off, somehow, not as well crafted as the previous two episodes. That 15 minute scene was a wonderful one, but it dwarfed other scenes in a not altogether positive way. Perhaps it was the length of time spent on a story that follows the Shelley novel fairly closely.

We still get the fairly gruesome death of a young, beautiful woman early into the show, though this time it isn’t at the hands of a monster. We open with a young Frankenstein looking for his dog, whom he discovers is dead;  the shot of the dog, whose corpse must’ve been there for a while, is probably one of the grosser shots in this episode, but there’s also a terrible beauty there, surrounded by green grass and life. We then move to a scene between Frankenstein and his mother. During a goodnight kiss and their recitation of Romantic poetry, she throws up quite a lot of blood. She lingers and dies presumably very shortly after. But at least the death doesn’t seem so pointless this time, story-wise: we now know why Frankenstein is so invested in finding that moment that separates life and death. We know he’s got mommy issues.

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