The best fantasy books if you have an active imagination

Katrina Jack Author Of Land of Midnight Days
By Katrina Jack

Who am I?

I’ve always loved writing as an outlet for my active imagination. However, when I first embarked on writing, first short stories, then novels, I floundered a little as to what genre I should write in. Then one day, as I’ve already mentioned previously, I read the first of Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files, Storm Front. The genre was urban fantasy and relatively new at the time, but once I’d finished reading it, I knew I’d found my niche. I was born and raised in Liverpool, which is a place rich in beautiful buildings, steeped in character and atmosphere – what better inspiration did I need?

I wrote...

Land of Midnight Days

By Katrina Jack,

Book cover of Land of Midnight Days

What is my book about?

The city is a dark and dangerous place but amongst the desperation and despair there is a ray of hope, weak and insubstantial, but with the potential to light up the world.

Jeremiah Tully has a single joy in his life – the silver flute his mother left him. Mute from birth, the flute is his voice; but the mystery of why his mother abandoned him is left unanswered. Isolated because of his disability, and his mixed-race heritage, he struggles to find meaning for his existence. The metropolis is awash with demons and other horrors, can he drive them back – would that gain him acceptance?

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell

Why did I love this book?

I love this book because it’s in my favourite genre, speculative fiction. That said this is fantasy with a difference. Set in England in 1836, the time period is unusual for fantasy and this made me curious. It didn’t seem to come under the heading of “dungeons and dragons” or even urban fantasy; this is entirely in a class of its own. My curiosity led me to a book that, as a reader, I couldn’t put down. The background and characters are superbly drawn and the story is so compulsive that it kept me turning the pages; I had no difficulty in suspending my disbelief and immersing myself in the writer’s wonderful narrative.

By Susanna Clarke,

Why should I read it?

19 authors picked Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Two magicians shall appear in England. The first shall fear me; the second shall long to behold me The year is 1806. England is beleaguered by the long war with Napoleon, and centuries have passed since practical magicians faded into the nation's past. But scholars of this glorious history discover that one remains: the reclusive Mr Norrell whose displays of magic send a thrill through the country. Proceeding to London, he raises a beautiful woman from the dead and summons an army of ghostly ships to terrify the French. Yet the cautious, fussy Norrell is challenged by the emergence of…

Storm Front

By Jim Butcher,

Book cover of Storm Front

Why did I love this book?

Jim Butcher’s fabulous series, The Dresden Files, combines two of my favourite genres, fantasy, and detective stories. The combination makes for fast-paced action, coupled with mythology and overtones of horror. I stumbled across this writer when I was in the hospital. I was bored and asked a friend to bring me something to read and he brought me Storm Front. I’d never come across urban fantasy before and so I was a bit dubious as to whether I’d enjoy it or not – I needn’t have worried. This is one of the rare occasions when I’ve read a book from cover to cover in one sitting! I spent the entire day reading this novel and by the time I reached the end, felt as if I had been whisked away to a world filled with thrills, spills, and wonderful heroes and villains.

By Jim Butcher,

Why should I read it?

15 authors picked Storm Front as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the first novel in the #1 New York Times bestselling Dresden Files series, Harry Dresden’s investigation of a grisly double murder pulls him into the darkest depths of magical Chicago…

As a professional wizard, Harry Dresden knows firsthand that the “everyday” world is actually full of strange and magical things—and most of them don’t play well with humans. And those that do enjoy playing with humans far too much. He also knows he’s the best at what he does. Technically, he’s the only at what he does. But even though Harry is the only game in town, business—to put…

The Colour of Magic

By Terry Pratchett,

Book cover of The Colour of Magic

Why did I love this book?

I always seem to stumble across my best reads. I found The Colour of Magic when I was in a huge shopping precinct. A new book store had opened and I went in to browse, in the fantasy section of course, and that’s when I hit pure gold. The saying: “Never judge a book by its cover”, may or may not be true, but that’s what drew me to The Colour of Magic. Josh Kirby’s illustration of a multi-legged luggage chest, running rampant, immediately drew my attention. I read the blurb: “Somewhere on the frontier between thought and reality exists the Discworld, a parallel time and place which might sound and smell like our own, but which looks completely different...” needless to say I was hooked.

By Terry Pratchett,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Colour of Magic as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

On a world supported on the back of a giant turtle (sex unknown), a gleeful, explosive, wickedly eccentric expedition sets out. There's an avaricious buy inept wizard, a naive tourist whose luggage moves on hundreds of dear little legs, dragons who only exist if you believe in them, and of course The Edge of the planet...

Book cover of Assassin's Apprentice

Why did I love this book?

This book was recommended to me by a friend. Hobb has the knack of building a world that readers can totally immerse themselves in. She paints pictures with words, bringing the pages to vibrant life. Her characters are three-dimensional and evoke all the emotions necessary to engage with them. Adventure, love, hate, etc... all abound in a roller-coaster ride of a tale that leaves readers longing for more.

By Robin Hobb,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Assassin's Apprentice as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Voyager Classics - timeless masterworks of science fiction and fantasy.

A beautiful clothbound edition of Assassin's Apprentice, the first book in the critically acclaimed Farseer Trilogy.

In a faraway land where members of the royal family are named for the virtues they embody, one young boy will become a walking enigma.

Born on the wrong side of the sheets, Fitz, son of Chivalry Farseer, is a royal bastard cast out into the world, friendless and lonely. Only his magical link with animals - the old art known as the Wit - gives him solace and companionship. But the Wit, if…

The Magician's Nephew

By C. S. Lewis, Pauline Baynes (illustrator),

Book cover of The Magician's Nephew

Why did I love this book?

This book was my introduction to The Chronicles of Narnia. The idea of stepping into another world, peopled by humans, talking animals, fauns, and so on, engaged my always active imagination. I loved the fight between good and evil and the vivid descriptions of both the characters and their surroundings. Whilst intended for very young people, this book can be read by adults and enjoyed for what it is – pure fantasy.

By C. S. Lewis, Pauline Baynes (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Magician's Nephew as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A beautiful paperback edition of The Magician's Nephew, book one in the classic fantasy series, The Chronicles of Narnia. This edition is complete with cover and interior art by the original illustrator, Pauline Baynes.

On a daring quest to save a life, two friends are hurled into another world, where an evil sorceress seeks to enslave them. But then the lion Aslan's song weaves itself into the fabric of a new land, a land that will be known as Narnia. And in Narnia, all things are possible.

The Magician's Nephew is the first book in C. S. Lewis's classic fantasy…

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