Quick Fire Fantasy Book Tag

I saw this over at Bookstooge’s Reviews on the Road, and it seemed like a fun way to revisit some Fantasy Favorites, and indulge in a bit of nostalgia while I was at it.

Play along, will ya?


  • Thank the person who tagged you and link back to their post
  • Link to the creator’s blog (thebookwormdreamer.wordpress.com) in your post
  • Answer the prompts below – all fantasy books!
  • Tag 5 others to take part
  • Enjoy!


5 star book

The Lies of Locke LamoraThe Lies of Locke Lamora
I’ve read this at least 4 times and love it more each time. A Con Novel, a Heist Novel, a story of Found Family and vengence gone wrong (and, right, if you think that’s possible). I can’t get enough of Book I of the Gentleman Bastard Sequence. It’s fun, it’s suspenseful, good fight scenes, and characters you want to spend more time with.

Oh, and the fantasy world is pretty cool, too 🙂

(I have a very short post about it here)

Always going to recommend

The Chronicles of PrydainThe Chronicles of Prydain

The Chronicles of Narnia made me a Lewis fan. The Chronicls of Prydain turned me into a Fantasy fan (which is why I had to use the covers I owned as a kid). Yeah, it’s written for what we’d call today a Middle Grade audience, but when I listened to the audiobooks a year or two ago (or when I read them to my kids a decade ago), I thought it was just about as effective as you could hope. A little bit of fun, a dash of romance, a hero quest straight out of Campbell, a decent amount of magic (but not too much), a good mythic basis—and a oracular pig! It’s also probably the series that taught me that you’ll end up having emotional attachments to characters to the extent you may get teary about when they die and/or say good-bye to each other (and, yeah, did as an adult).

(my posts about the audiobook series)

Own it but haven’t read it yet

Bloody RoseBloody Rose

I tried to read this last year, and failed. I’m hoping to read it this year, and am likely to fail. I less-than-three’d Kings of the Wyld (in print and audio) so much, I don’t know why I haven’t made the time for the sequel.

Would read again

The Brothers ThreeThe Brothers Three

The first of The Blackwood Saga is everything I loved about portal fantasies as a kid—but it’s written for adults. Some good characters, a good amount of growth (especially in the later books in the series), good fight scenes and a pretty cool world to explore. This worked for me in ways I didn’t expect—and the sequels have done a good job building on this one. I’ve yet to read the newest in the series, but this one feels like a good comfort-read if I needed one.

(my post about this one)

In another world

The Warlock in Spite of HimselfThe Warlock in Spite of Himself

(I probably would’ve gone with Brooks’ The Magic Kingdom for Sale, but Bookstooge beat me to it in his post).

I honestly remember very little about this novel, despite having read it several times. But the last time was probably in 1990-91. I was able to find a couple of the later novels in the series, too—just not enough for me at the time (I probably could now—yay, Internet). Still, somehow this is what sprang to mind when I thought of a fantasy on another world. A cool combination of SF and fantasy, as I recall.

Back on Earth

The Hum and the ShiverThe Hum and the Shiver

(and the rest of the series, too, but this is good enough—as good as many series hope to be in itself)

A magical people with amazing musical talent in the Smoky Mountains, dealing with modernization, an Iraqi war vet, and a feud going back generations. I’m not a believer in magic, but Bledsoe makes me want to with these books—this is the best of a great series, and thinking about it now has got me thinking it might be time for read #4 of this one.

As for the tagging . . . nah, I’ll just leave this open to all my readers, I’d love to see what you all would put here. (W&S Book Club, here’s another chance to talk about The Dragonlance Chronicles—you’re welcome)

My Favorite Non-Crime Fiction of 2018

When I was trying to come up with a Top 10 this year, I ran into a small problem (at least for me). With 44 percent of my fiction, Crime/Thriller/Mystery novels so dominated the candidates, it’s like I read nothing else. So, I decided to split them into 2 lists — one for Crime Fiction and one for Everything Else. Not the catchiest title, I grant you, but you get what you pay for.

I do think I read some books that were technically superior than some of these — but they didn’t entertain me, or grab me emotionally the way these did. And I kinda feel bad about leaving them off. But only kind of. These are my favorites, the things that have stuck with me in a way others haven’t — not the best things I read (but there’s a good deal of overlap, too). I know I read books that are worse, too — I don’t feel bad about leaving them off.

Anyway…I say this every year, but . . . Most people do this in mid-December or so, but a few years ago (before this blog), the best novel I read that year was also the last. Ever since then, I just can’t pull the trigger until January 1. Also, none of these are re-reads, I can’t have everyone losing to my re-reading books that I’ve loved for 2 decades.

Enough blather…on to the list.

(in alphabetical order by author)

Lies SleepingLies Sleeping

by Ben Aaronovitch

My original post
I’ve read all the comics (at least collected in paperback), listened to all the audiobooks, read the books at least once . . . I’m a Rivers of London/Peter Grant fan. Period. Which means two things — 1. I’m in the bag already for this series and 2. When I say that this is the best of the bunch, I know what I’m talking about. Aaronovitch writes fantastic Urban Fantasy and this is his best yet. The series has been building to this for a while, and I honestly don’t know what to expect next. Great fight/action scenes, some genuine laughs, some solid emotional moments . . . this has it all. Everything you’ve come to expect and more.


5 Stars

The Fairies of SadievilleThe Fairies of Sadieville

by Alex Bledsoe

My original post
I was very excited about this book when Bledsoe announced it was the last Tufa novel. Then I never wanted it to come out — I didn’t want to say goodbye to this wonderful world he’d created. But if I have to — this is how the series should’ve gone out. It’s the best installment since the first novel — we get almost every question we had about the Tufa answered (including ones you didn’t realize you had), along with a great story. It’s just special and I’m glad I got to read this magical series.


5 Stars

Dragon RoadDragon Road

by Joseph Brassey

I haven’t been able to get a post written about this — I’m not sure why. It’s superior in almost every way to the wonderful Skyfarer — the idea behind the caravan, the scope of the ship and it’s culture are more than you might think anyone has done before. A fantasy novel about wizards and warriors (and warrior wizards) in a SF setting. I had a blast reading this and I think you will, too.


4 1/2 Stars

Kill the Farm BoyKill the Farm Boy

by Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne

My original post
Probably the best comedic/parody/satire fantasy since Peter David’s Sir Apropos of Nothing. The characters are fun, well-developed and pretty strange. This is a great fantasy story, it’s a great bunch of laughs, but there’s real humans and real human reactions — it’s not all laughs but enough of it is that you won’t have to work hard to thoroughly enjoy the book.


4 Stars

Kings of the WyldKings of the Wyld

by Nicholas Eames
Like Dragon Road, I’ve been trying to write a post about this book for months. An epic story about brotherhood, about family, about heroism, about integrity — but at its core, it’s a story about Clay Cooper. Clay’s a good man trying to stay one. He worked really hard to get to where he is, but he has to get back on the road to help his friends’ daughter. It’s a fantastic concept and set up, with an even better follow-through by Eames. Possibly the best book I read last year — and I don’t say that lightly.


5 Stars

All Those Explosions Were Someone Else's FaultAll Those Explosions Were Someone Else’s Fault

by James Alan Gardner

My original post
A Superhero story, a SF story, an Urban Fantasy, a story about friendship and destiny told with just enough of a light touch to fool yourself into this being a comedy. From the great title, all the way through to the end this book delivers.


4 Stars

Smoke EatersSmoke Eaters

by Sean Grigsby

My original post
I started my original post about the book like this: Really, the case for you (or anyone) reading this book is simply and convincingly made in 13 words:

Firefighters vs. Dragons in an Urban Fantasy novel set in a futuristic dystopia.

That could’ve been my entire post, and it’s all I’m going to say now.


4 1/2 Stars

Dark QueenDark Queen

by Faith Hunter

My original post
This could have been the series finale and I’d have been satisfied. I’m thrilled that it’s not. Hunter’s been building to this for a few books now — and it absolutely pays off the work she’s been doing. Better yet, there’s something else she’s been building toward that doesn’t get the attention it needed — and it’s devastating. The series will be different from here on out. Hunter’s as good as the genre has, and this book demonstrates it.


5 Stars

Jimbo YojimboJimbo Yojimbo

by David W. Barbee

My original post
I don’t have words for this. I really don’t know how to say anything about this book — especially not in a paragraph. Click on the original post and know that even then I fail to do the book justice. It’s strange, gross, funny, exciting and thrilling.


4 Stars

Beneath the Sugar SkyBeneath the Sugar Sky

by Seanan McGuire

My original post
As much as I appreciate McGuire’s Toby Daye, Indexing and InCryptid series, her Wayward Children books are possibly the best things she’d done. This allows us to spend time with characters I didn’t think we’d see again and the family — and world — of my favorite character in the series. It’s like McGuire wrote this one specifically for me. But it’s okay for you to read it, too. I’m generous like that.


5 Stars