Why this book?
Probably the most traditional book on this list, I am starting with The Elvenbane because it is my measuring stick for other fantasy. I read it first as a preteen, and I have revisited it many years since, always to be delighted by the world Norton and Lackey created. The detailed illusions, varied settings, the disparate magics, and the mischievous dragons all kept me guessing and in a haze of delight. There was so much that was familiar but with fresh twists that made it new again. It might not be as novel as the other books on my list, but a fantasy has hit the spot if it brings me back to the wonder I felt reading The Elvenbane.