Top 10 Tuesday: Fantasy 101 Syllabus

I am extremely late in posting this for Tuesday, but who cares, right?

Another post featuring the meme from the current week: 

Top Ten Books that would be on your Syllabus if you taught X 101 (for example YA fantasy, or feminist literature 101 or what ever..).

As you can see from my title, I was not inspired for something fun or interesting, but gone the boring route. 

I decided to do Fantasy 101, because honestly that covers a huge amount of books and so i made it easy for me. Who cares? Book recommendations!

Also i do try to cover a good range of books, to have a good overview of the different versions of fantasy. So there are the children, young adult and adult books in here. The long and the short ones. Series and stand alones. 

That is on purpose! 

If i would really make a syllabus about books, i would include different lengths, different stories and different writing styles. 

So here we go in no particular order: 

1. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

Because, well come on! 

I am talking about Fantasy, so how could i not include this series?

And really, i do try to include Potter into every list when i can, so there is that. Trying to be honest here. ;)

But really, this series is wonderful in the fantasy aspect alone.

I really enjoyed the story and the characters, but i loved the way that Rowling wrote this fantasy world. She had this fantastic way of really pulling me into the story and into this magical world. What can i say i loved it. 

Rowling writing and wonderful fantastical world that everyone wishes they could experience at least once (i mean come on! Hogwarts alone would be fantastic! Or the Weasley house? Or the actual Weasley shop?). And really it is just fantastically fantasy! (Expect a lot of that in this list! I couldn't help myself!)

2. The Dark Tower series by Stephen King

I do not understand why so few people talk about this series. 

It is really fantastic! And it is fantastic fantasy!

The world that King builds, and the creatures, and just overall .... stuff that is happening in this series. it is just extreme fantasy and really well done. 

I do have to confess that i have as of yet not finished the complete series. 

But i do love the first four books that i have read. 

And i honestly just have not yet found the time to read the other three books in this series. And there is this little act that i read this in german, but after the fourth book, they changed the cover into something completely ugly and i did not want to buy it and put those butt ugly covers next to my nice shiny ones. But i will finish this series soon. 

3. Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien

This is another series that is a well known for its well written and done fantasy aspects. 

And really if you have not yet read this series, what the heck are you doing? This is a must read. And it is really well done. The descriptions are fantastic, the characters are very well done, the entire world is really great. Or in the same words once again: fantastic fantasy! 

What i do have to say, is that the english version is not the best. Interestingly enough. I really loved the German version much more. Mostly because the "creatures" in the german version had better names then in the english version. I don't know i just enjoyed the translation more. Which is really interesting since i normally enjoy the original much more then the transitional since, the whole "lost in translation" bit is normally true. Not in this case. (also i included the rather ugly almost neon green covered german version because that is the one that i own and have read and i have no idea if the books are as good if someone else translated them, so i thought i show the ones i read.)

What i am trying to say is that if you can read german, give this series a try in that language instead of english. Might be worth it. 

4. Kingkiller Chronicals series by Patrick Rothfuss

So okay i have not even yet finished the first book -The Name of the Wind- completely and honestly i have no idea how long this series is going to be or when the books are coming out or... well anything about this series. And honestly i have no desire to look it up to tell you the details here. So i won't because i am lazy. 

BUT i love this series because it has a great fantasy aspect. The writings fantastic. Everything is put together very precisely and honestly perfectly. Did i mention the writing? My good i love the writing. I don't really know when the last time was that i enjoyed the writing itself in a story that much. Has been a while. 

If you have not yet given this book a chance: No matter what the heck you think you might have a problem with, forget it. Pick this book up. it is not as huge as it appears, because honestly the writing... it makes the book so easy and fast to get through and you will not even notice how big the book is. Not that it is that huge. It is just a little over 700 pages. There are Harry Potter books that are bigger then that! Really, just get to it and pick this book up!

And there you have no excuses! If my library has it, yours surely will! So if you don#t want to buy it, get it from your local library it read it! Now! 

And enjoy the extremely fantastic writing and the extremely good fantasy. 

And come back and thank me for forcing you to read this fantastic book. That would be fantastic. 

5. Nos4r2 by Joe Hill

This book might technically is more extreme horror then strictly fantasy. But it is also fantasy. So there is that. 

But if you like Stephen King? Read this. You will love it. 

It is horror fantasy in its fines. And sure it is another long one, but as the book before, it is once again one of those books that you don't even notice the length of it. 

The writing is wonderful. The horror is a masterpiece and the fantasy is pretty dang fantastic. 

I do have to say that i personally love a good horror/thriller extremely honest and nightmare-that-you-can't-wake-up-from writing, because well my life is boring and i do love a bit of heart-beating extreme writing that reminds me that maybe it is okay to have a boring life. You know what ever. 

But if you are a bit hesitant about reading horror/fantasy. I would not necessary recommend this one. Because honestly as far as horror goes... this is a truly scary ride! Just saying. Still fantastic writing. Fantastic horror. Fantastic fantasy. I said that already a few times in this list. Oh well. 

6. The Never-ending Story by Michael Ende

This is one that i grew up with. 

I loved the movies and the book. Which is rare for me. 

And i actually was able to ride on Falkor or Falcor or what ever writing style you're language is using. It is the Luckdragon or if that is not how you know it the big dragon in the story. I got to ride it as a child, because we live near the Bavaria Film Studio (movie studios) and one of my best friends mothers worked there, and so we got a private tour one day, and we got to be filmed sitting on that thing and put into a movie version... long story short: It was fantastic as a child to see yourself riding a dragon. And just sitting on that huge thing alone was pretty cool. 

Maybe that is were my fascination with dragon really comes from. 

Anyways... back to the actual topic of this post!

This book -and the movie!- are such a wonderful fantasy story. And the world is wonderful. And it is for both children and adults. And the book is so different from the movie- but the at the same time they both capture what is important for the story in their own way. 

I don't understand why not more people have read and/or seen this story because it is really fantastic. It should be a stable in everyones childhood as it was in mine. It really is as nice as Harry Potter from the world building and the characters are pretty fantastic too. 

And DRAGONS! Do i need to say more?

Also just to say it, this has been written in german first, but there are English translations -otherwise i wouldn't have said that everyone should read it!- but if you can understand german and read it, give it in the original version a try. See which one you like better for yourself, the translation or the original. But no matter which one you choose, give this story a read. 

7. The Stand by Stephen King

Yes another King. What can i say? This guy knows how to write good fantasy -or at least include that genre in his books in a great way. 

This is a very well known book by him. And honestly i kind of love this book because the character love in King's Dark Tower series appears here: Randall Flagg. 

This is a book that i read in one sitting more then once and enjoyed it. And while i understand that people love this book and say it is the best King, i personally love Misery more. Still. 

Stand is a fantastic fantasy, with a dystopian twist. If you have not yet read this... oh well... i will repeat myself once again: get to it!

8. 11/22/63 by Stephen King

Okay, so i have a problem. 

I have a good handful of King books that i love. And i really love recommending them. And they are fantasy books. There you go. 

This is one big book. But once you start it you won't put it down. So what you should keep in mind when you want to read this, read it when you have time to read it more or less in one sitting. Because putting this sucker down? Pretty dang hard!Or impossible, to be honest. Or hey maybe you have much better self control then I do. 

I read this book very recently. And by that i mean a few days ago. But i really enjoyed it. Which is fantastic because i was worried that i grew out of my King loving phase. But this book pulled me back in, let me tell you. 

This is a mixture of time-travel (clearly fantasy) and alternative world (once again fantasy). It is a fantastic mixture of thriller, horror, love story, in a way science fiction, fantasy and creepy story telling. 

To me this is standing somewhere between Stand and Misery -which is saying something!

But really, if you love a good alternative story to actual historical events and a fantastic spin on the whole story, this is one to try! It is King and fantasy! And really, lets be honest here: King is the actual King of fantasy, even though some people say otherwise. For me there is only one. And he already has the very fitting name that should actually be his title. 

9. Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Alright so i love this book enough to have to include it even though already talked about it a bunch of times. But honestly this is kind of on top of my list with the Potter series to include in as many series as i can, so that more people read it. And so here you are. And it fits. 

Fairies and never aging people? Clearly fantasy. 

But Anderson puts a fantastic spin on the typical Pan story. And i loved how she wrote it from Tinkerbell's point of view, but about Tiger Lily's life. And how real she wrote this fantastical world Tiger Lily lives in. It is just a fantastic book and really well written fantasy. So if you are in search of a nice easy to read and relatively short book? This is it. Give it a go. And fall it love.

10. Talon by Julie Kagawa

Another book that i talked about already. But i really loved that book!

It is a very well written story about dragons that can transform themselves into humans to try and study them and then go back to their own dragon culture world. But of course not everything goes as it should go and the female dragon -the main character in this story Ember- has to figure out if she is really the typical dragon that everyone expects her to be. Or if she is different. 

I have only read the first one for now, but i really want to read the next one. 

Mostly... because well DRAGONS! what can i say? Love that. But i have to buy the stupid book. And i want to hardcover one. Because i love the first one so much. But the hardcover version is a bit expensive. So oh well... 

But this book is fun and easy to read and a good fantasy and i have no idea why not more people read it and enjoy it. Give it a try, if you want a different and interesting dragon story. Because this is it. 

Alright so this is it. My complete top 10 fantasy books that i think people need to have read. 

And yes, sorry. I included 3 Kings. But really. that guy can write, pretty fantastic fantasy. And i had to include them. 

Also before people say it: I did not include Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series because i have not yet read that. For one. And then i have a really hard time reading that. Mostly because to me while is writing is pretty good, the story is a bit extremely long winded for me to really get into it. I prefer the first book of long series to have a bit more action that sucks me in and gets to so deep into the story that i don't have a choice but to read on. Martin did not do that. So he is not on the list. 

What are your favorite fantasy books? 

Did i include them or have not talked about them?
Have you read any of the books on my list?
Did you love them? Hate them?
Please tell me your favorite fantasy. I would love to read it and see what it is all about!

Write more later..... 


  1. Great list!! You definitely listed some of my favorites! I love Brandon Sanderson and Laini Taylor just to name a few. I really want to try Kingkiller Chronicles, Tiger Lily and the Neverending Story. I really liked the topic you choose. Fantasy is my favorite! :)

    1. You really should give those books a read :)
      And i should really finally get to Sanderson. I have the first of the mistborn series but i haven't gotten around to it yet, i will hopefully.
      Taylor on the other hand... i read her daughter of smoke and bone trilogy and have to say that i was a bit disappointed. I thought that she could have done it so much better, if she could have just written in more details and maybe had taken it a tiny bit father. I don't know i just didn't enjoy her series as much as so many others did. Oh well, not every book is for everyone :)
      But i will give her other stuff a try and see if it is more to my liking :)
      Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a comment :)

  2. Dark Tower is probably the only Stephen King series I'll consider reading (I'm not usually into suspense/horror, so ... he scares me, LOL). Dragons are always an awesome addition to a fantasy --will be looking up some of those titles and the Tiger Lily novel. Thanks for the list!

    1. You should really give the Dark Tower series a try if you love fantasy. It is great! And i understand the hesitation of picking up his stuff. But he writes a huge amount of different genres not just suspense/horror, so maybe if you really want to pick up something by him, check out a few of his things and see if you find something that fits your genre. But if you love fantasy, his Dark Tower series a fantastic start :)
      And Dragons are just awesome!
      I hope you will enjoy the books from the list when you get to them and i am so happy that you found some hat you might want to read :)
      Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a comment :)

    2. I just went to my local library today and they only have like, book 4 --good thing there's interlibrary loan, LOL.

    3. Apparently i stand corrected with my assumption that my library has the smallest selection ;)
      I do hope that you find a way to get the books you want through some kind of library system, or through another library though :)

  3. I absolutely love Tolkien, Rothfuss and of course, J.K. Rowling. Brandon Sanderson, Joe Abercrombie, Robin Hobb and Adrian Tchaikovsky are some of my other fantasy favourites. Although there are so many other amazing fantasy authors it's hard to narrow down. Rowling and Tolkien made it onto my TTT this week....couldn't go without squeezing a few in!

    My TTT

    1. I have not yet gotten around to Sanderson, even though i do own the first of his Mistborn series. And i have Abercrombie and Hobb on my list, but thank you so much for reminding me that i want to pick something up by them! I actually don't think i have heard of Tchaikovsky, but i will look into him, so thank you for that name :)
      Rowling and Tolkien are a stable in fantasy. so i am not surprised that they made your list as well :)
      Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a comment :)


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