Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Top Ten Books I'd Give to High Fantasy Newbies

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
I'm operating under the categorization that high fantasy means set in another fictional world completely. So here are the YA fantasy novels I'd recommend to a reader who is usually more comfortable here in the real world! Or at least the fictional real world.


Poison by Bridget Zinn
This cute, fluffy fantasy is high on adorableness and low on taxing worldbuilding.

Graceling (Graceling Realm, #1)9394691

Graceling by Kristin Cashore
It's a "ladies kick butt" classic with an easy-to-follow plot and a bad-ass, easty-to-root-for heroine.

The Song of the Lioness quartet by Tamora Pierce 
You know I LOVE LOVE LOVE TP and read Alanna during my formative years and it changed my life and all that jazz. While I love Alanna, and I totally recommend TP newbies to start with her, I actually don't think it's Tamora's strongest series, but probably the easiest for fantasy neophites to get into.

Incarnate (Newsoul, #1)17332556

The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski
The rare fantasy without any actual technical magic at all.

The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo.
Hot boys. Hot boys simply everywhere.

Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas

The Girl of Fire and Thorns series by Rae Carson
One of those rare series that gets better as it goes along. Stick with it until book two, when the Hector becomes Hectorly Hector and Hector fully Hectors.


The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas
This bind up of the Throne of Glass novellas is where I recommend you start if you want to get into that series. It gives you a really good foundation in the world and with Celaena, the main character. Plus there is a TON of assassining. 


Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

I know that's more than ten, but whaaaaaatever.


  1. I love your description of Shadow & Bone. Sold. Also this list is fantastic (pun intended) because I tend to be a bit shy/put off/skeptical about fantasy (the world building has to be well-written and consistent, and it so often just... isn't) so I will definitely bookmark this post for reference so I'll know where to start. Awesome.

  2. Oh I have seen Poison on a couple of other blogs, and I so want to read it. It really does sound adorable. I need to find me a copy of it pronto. Also, can I just say that I love the way your set up this post? Those section headings are amazing!

  3. I haven't read The Assassin's Blade yet, though I love the first two books in the series. I'm definitely intrigued! I loved The Girl of Fire and Thorns and think Shadow and Bone will have to be my next fantasy series to try.Thanks for the awesome recs!

  4. I've always wanted to read Incarnate, Kiss of Deception, and Shadow and Bone!!! I can't wait to actually read them. Love your list :)

  5. Brilliant list! I really need to read some of these books. I can't wait to read Cruel Beauty! :-)

  6. Love this set up! And you listed many of my favorite books on this list. Everyone keeps telling me to stick with Girl of Fire and Thorns, I need to suck it up and just read book two already. Great list!

    Nicole @ The Quiet Concert

  7. EXCELLENT RECS. Also, it amuses me that your romanticals section is 3x the rest of them because of course it is because you are Gillian, Queen of Ships lol

  8. I haven't read anything on your list! A lot of them are on my TBR shelf though. Thanks for sharing!

    Here are my Top Ten!

  9. Great list! I love love loved Girl of Fire and Thorns! I really like how you did your list, it's different from how I did mine!

  10. This list is fantastic...and your description of Shadow and Bone is spot on! LOVE IT! ;-) Oh more thing....HECTORRRRR!!!!

  11. You have so many of my favorites on this list! POISON is so much fun, and I just love love LOVE GRACELING and GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS. I desperately need to read the Song of the Lionness quartet (I bought the first one a year ago and just haven't gotten around to it)

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      Oops. Sorry

  13. Pretty much all of these are on my read list or in my TBR pile - great recommendations!

  14. Although I really like fantasy, I don't read that much high fantasy. I've read Graceling and The Girl of Fire and Thorns, but that's it on your list. I do really, really want to read some Tamora Pierce books, though. I can't believe I STILL haven't read any of her books.

  15. Hot boys - EVERYWHERE. I think that about sums up Shadow and Bone xD

    Totally agree about The Assassin’s Blade; though I read the novellas afterward. I wish I could read them all over again for the first time and see if that affects how I enjoy the books.

  16. Thank goodness- knowing your excellent taste, I was prepared to add a bajillion amazing-sounding books to my book wishlist...but thankfully, those are all already on there. Phew!

  17. Yay for high fantasy! I definitely agree with all you've listed that I've read - and those that I haven't read are ones I've been meaning to for years now.
    I think Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith is another fairly accessible fantasy.

  18. I love that you put out a wide range and tied it to other genres! Also, WONDERFUL choices!! I really need to read Kiss of Deception.


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