Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Guest Post: What Catches Your Eye in Fantasy?

I'd like to welcome Melissa, who runs My World, another great review blog! You can visit her blog HERE. Thank you very much, Mellissa!

What catches your eye in fantasy books? The characters, the world, the magic system, or the journey...
I seem to fall in all categories, depending on my mood and the author I'm reading. I read a wide variety in the fantasy genre, stretching into Urban Fantasy too. I have to say the premises of the book has to catch me first, to get me to pick it up. The journey the characters are going to be taking has to sound interesting along with the plot to get the book in my hands. But when I get reading a book I have different areas that catch my attention and stay with me, depending on the book and author's style in relaying. I have a hard time picking which is my favorite area.
I do like to have characters I can relate with, in the world they are in. And by relate I mean to sympathize with or feel connected to or understand in some way. But the secondary characters help make this connection as well. The characters all need to relate well with each other and the world they are in. Even on the hatred level between enemies, as well as the friends level. This helps me get to know the characters inside and out and to
care one way or another for them.

But I have found books that I am so drawn into the world. The characters are enjoyable but the world is what makes the book for me. And the story line runs a perfect parallel with the world created. This is another style I have found I have come to love. I started the series by Glenda Larke named Watergivers, first book The Last Stormlord reviewed here { }. This series has created a water deprived world and the descriptions through the book have made a perfect visual of the world for me, along with the cultures of the people who live here.

Now, the Magic Systems... this is something I love to get lost in. I have found I love when there is a magic system that I can chart and the limits are solid. Not a system that anything can happen for any reason. I love how there are worlds where the system has different degrees or levels of the magic system yet it is all related. And then pushing the limits to the system. Just a slight tweck to the thinking of what "we know" the limits to be and there is a small turn in the system that opens a huge door to another angle of the magic. There is one author I have been loving his magic systems lately, Brandon Sanderson. His system in the Mistborn trilogy and then in his stand alone Warbreaker where wonderfully done. Now he is starting an epic series, The Stormlight Archive, and I am only 160 pages into this 1000 page book and just mesmerized by the systems he is starting to create.
So, I have left a lot out, as I could go on forever with these categories. What are your thoughts on these categories or what would you add? What keeps you going in the books and coming back for more? What is your favorite part of the book? Or are you like me and love it all depending...


  1. I agree. I love the worlds the fantasy realm provides. Great guest spot!

  2. Hi Melissa (Books & Things) :) Thank you for stopping over. It is aways amazing to visit another persons world. And when they make it so vivid and alive I find I can easily get lost there. :)

  3. Hi Jacob.... ***Waves big to Melissa*** I wanted to come over to show my support to ya hon!!!
    Now... I know I am not a huge fantasy reader, but I will tell you that I do love Warbreaker's cover!
    But if you consider what I read... the paranormal, the romance, the HEA books... those are fantasy... because they are what I consider a fantasy!
    Well... I just wanted to pop over to shout out to you hon! Hugs to you!!!

    And nice to meet you Jacob.

  4. Thank you very much for such a great guest post, Melissa! For me, it's often the setting or magic system - as long as the rest is good, of course. I particularly liked K.J Parker's Engineer trilogy, and especially the Mezentine Republic's rise. The whole idea of deviation from "Specification" as a capital crime... I've got Warbreaker to read soon as well. And hi to both Melissa and Cecile, welcome to the blog. :)

  5. Cecile! You are such a doll! I am soooo glad you stopped over. Thank you! And I think those fall into the broad genre of Fantasy. They are the great things that suck us into the stories. :) Hugs to you for stopping by! Thank you again.

    Jacob - Thank you for the chance to do a guest blog. I really enjoyed it. I had to go look up the Engineer trilogy after reading your comment. I have heard of these, but it was with the second book that I first heard of it. It really sounds interesting, almost a steampunk feel with the machines. Sounds like an interesting world to visit.

    Thank you again!

  6. Hi Jacob, thanks for allowing us to stop by to see our friend! You have a great little place here!

  7. Oh Melissa, when a friends says they are guest blogging... I try my hardest to get there! Hugs to you honey!!!

  8. Cecile, thank you. :) You really do make one feel great. Thank you. Hugs to you!

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