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This week's list is a genre choice. While dystopia and paranormal romances seem to be flooding the market, I've decided to go with fantasy and look back over ALL (or at least as many as I can remember) the fantasy books I've read since I began reading! Fantasy is where my slight obsession with reading began and it's been my bread and butter since. I may leave it for a time but I always come back...
Top 10 Fantasy Books of My Life
1. Redwall by Brian Jacques ~ Probably the book that started my love of fantasy. Talking animals, adventure galore, ancient riddles, good vs. evil, a wonderfully bad villain and a brave underdog hero make this book a must read!
2. Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson ~ I just read this series last year and I already can't wait to go back an reread it. Sanderson has created not one, but two absolutely imaginative new forms of magic. The Steel Inquisitors rock my socks visually and terrify me at the same time. The Kandra's mythology is fantastic. All in all the world building is epically enthralling. You can't leave the world till the very last page and then you are dying to get back.
3. Arrows of the Queen by Mercedes Lackey ~ While this isn't the first book set in the world of Valdemar, it is the first book I read and I was hooked from the very beginning. I love the idea of companions and watching Talia grow into my favorite kick-butt kind of heroine will always bring me back for rereads. Plus it opens the door to all of Valdemar.
4. Dealing With Dragons by Patricia Wrede - Warning: this book has an obstinate princess, witty dragons, annoying princes, magic and evil wizards that will make you laugh out loud. Cimorene will always be my favorite princess for turning the world of ideas of a "classic" princess upside down.
5. Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta ~ All I can say is if my copy of the sequel, Froi of the Exiles, doesn't show up in my mailbox soon, there will be much pain and suffering...
6. Sabriel by Garth Nix ~ This is a very different type of fantasy. Sabriel is a necromancer. Using her magic bells she sends the undead back where they belong. I adore this book and almost squealed when I heard he is writing a fourth...
7. Graceling by Kristin Cashore ~ Katsa literally kicks every butt that comes her way, love it.
8. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine ~ I adore retold fairy tales and this version of Cinderella is the best. If you have seen the movie and liked it, you have to read the book because it's even better. If you have seen the movie and hated it, you have to read the book because it is so much better!
9. Song of the Lioness Series by Tamora Pierce ~ Pierce probably shaped many of my views on women and their ability to do anything that they dedicate themselves to and work hard for. The world of Tortall is a wonderful escape but easy to connect to and full of mostly positive messages and role models (especially for teenage girls).
10. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling ~ The entire series should be read by all, but it was the fourth book where I went from like to head over heels in love. Pretty sure my mom realized I was insane when she found me sobbing in the car over it...
I wish I could keep going and I'm sure I have missed some of my favorites but these have been staples for me and if you are looking to hook a student and turn them into a reader, give one of these a try!