winged reviews
Features / July 26, 2016

Fantasy has long been my favorite genre, and while I have dozens of favorite individual books, I wanted to give some focus to overall favorite authors in the genre. People who I have read and loved more than one book/series and from whom I am always wanting the next story! 🙂

  1. Juliet Marillier: My absolute favorite out of all Marillier’s work is the multi-generational Sevenwaters Trilogy, which kicks off with Daughter of the Forest, a beautiful retelling of the fairy tale The Wild Swans. The second book in the trilogy is Son of the Shadows and features one of my all time top book boyfriends (BRAN)! The entire series is gorgeous. She also has a beautiful beauty and the beast style retelling titled Heart’s Blood that I adore. Her current series is Blackthorn & Grim, featuring the journey of two prison mates, the healer woman Blackthorn and her devoted shadow Grim, after their escape. These all read like historical novels with magic/mysticism woven in.
  2. Patricia McKillip: I am a huge fan of books that feature faeries. To me, no one does this better than McKillip. Frequently the fay are written as little more than what humans would be like if they were immortal, deadly beautiful, and possessed magic powers. It doesn’t seem to be easy for an author to capture that necessary alien quality they should have. At the end of the day I feel these beings should be incomprehensible and totally other. Mckillip gets this. Part of her success comes in that she does not over-expose them, her books are not set in fay worlds. When they influence the story it is always with that distinct and chilling feeling of how remote and unknowable they and their world are. The Book of Atrix Wolfe and Winter Rose are two favorites.
  3. Brandon Sanderson: Prolific and consistently good. I feel The Stormlight Archives are the best even if it is not necessarily the best series for a newbie to his universe. There are plenty of worthy starting places though, his Mistborn series being the most famous.
  4. Scott Lynch: Okay so he is still in the midst of his first series, so I can’t point towards a diverse body of work yet. But seeing as The Lies of Locke Lamora is one of my absolute favorite books of all time and I continue to devour The Gentlemen Bastards series, I could not leave it out.  Stories set around thievery and heists are one of my favorite themes as they inevitably feature the intelligent and morally grey characters I adore (warriors often get away with being thick as mud) and there is no character I love more than Locke.
  5. Laini Taylor: I loved both her Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy and the lesser known Dreamdark series (which I desperately hope she will one day finish!). She maintains a wonderful balance between consistent characters that are easy to invest in, unique world building, and a heart centered plot. In all her works there is something so unique in the manner which she weaves all three.

Honorable mention for fantasy stories by other authors I have loved over the past year: Uprooted by Naomi Novik, Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, and The Winners Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski.



2 Responses to Five of My Favorite Fantasy Authors

  1. Greg says:

    I agree about the fae and I haven’t read much McKillip but knowing that makes me want to read her stuff more. And I haven’t read brandon Sanderson yet either but one of these days I need to start, maybe with Stormlight.
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    • Diane says:

      Hi Greg, Stormlight is so good! Although a lot of the cosmere world building aspects are clearer if you read Mistborn first. However if you are used to reading large epic fantasies then you won’t likely have an issue jumping in. Me and three other family members started with Stormlight first.

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