It’s time for another tag! This time, I thought I’d talk a bit more about the genre I probably read most of, since you can never have enough fantasy recommendations. While browsing the internet for a possible tag, I came across this one: the Fantasy Book Tag, which was originally created by Just Hannah Talking on BookTube (original video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDpdDkviEmM). So that’s what I’m going to do here. And just so you know – I really did try to include things other than Harry Potter – why else do you think I gave multiple answers to almost everything? Still, the way my answers look, I guess one might as well call this the Harry Potter Tag…
1. What is the longest fantasy series you’ve ever read?
Ooh – this is hard. That depends on how you define longest. If it’s the number of books in a series, that probably goes to Tamora Pierce’s Tortall books: I’ve read 18 of them by now and the current series is still ongoing. However, strictly speaking, these books are actually part of six different series all set in the same world. The same thing could be said of Rick Riordan’s books, which are the fantasy books that take up the most space on my bookshelf. I have even more than 18 of those, but I do think that the Kane Chronicles and Magnus Chase books are a lot less interrelated with Percy Jackson than all the Tortall books are, so I think Tortall beats this one – see how I said it would get complicated? Also, I remember reading tons of Brian Jacques’ Redwall books in elementary school. They might well number more than even the Rick Riordan ones, but I can’t say for sure since I no longer know how many I actually read. However, if you go by total word count in an actual single series, I have absolutely no clue. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas and Brent Weeks’ Lightbringer series are probably up there. Let’s just say I don’t really know and move on…
2. Favorite fantastical setting or world?
(Picture from: https://www.pottermore.com/collection/places-around-hogwarts)
Hogwarts, definitely! I’m still waiting for that letter – honestly, with all the times we’ve moved, it probably just got lost in the mail… However, if you absolutely need me to pick something else, I also wouldn’t mind living in the castle, more specifically the wizard tower, from the Septimus Heap series. There are also numerous fantasy worlds that are really cool but deadly dangerous, so I decided to go with ones that I’d genuinely love to experience myself in order to narrow down the choices.
3. Besides Harry Potter, what is your favorite fantasy book/series?
Ha, I like the phrasing of this question – we obviously know what everyone’s all-time favorite is 😉 This is probably a tie between Kristin Cashore’s Graceling Realm books (especially Bitterblue), Tamora Pierce’s Song of the Lioness Quartet, and Patrick Rothfuss’ Kingkiller Chronicle.
4. What fantasy book do you wish was more popular?
I’m going with three book series here: First, the Children of the Red King (Charlie Bone) books by Jenny Nimmo. I never hear anyone talk about them, but I was absolutely obsessed with them as a kid. The books are set at a Welsh boarding school and some of the kids there have inherited special powers from their mysterious ancestor, the Red King. I still love the books to this day, and I don’t understand why no one ever mentions them! Second, I have to give another shoutout to Angie Sage’s Septimus Heap series. Just like Charlie Bone, this is an excellent middle grade fantasy series with a really unique and loveable world. And finally, I have yet to find anyone else (except my sister, who I forced to read the books) who has read Kathryn Lasky’s Guardians of Ga’Hoole series. It’s a fantasy series all about owls and has an amazingly rich world filled with mythology, while also being rooted in scientific fact. It’s awesome.
5. Your favorite villain?
Dolores Umbridge. She’s just the most evil, twisted person you could imagine and so sickly sweet while she does her evil deeds. I hate her with a passion. But, to shake things up a bit, another villain I really love to hate is Leck from Kristin Cashore’s Graceling books. In this case, the villain is actually the books’ common feature, which is such a cool concept! Also, the Lord Ruler from Brandon Sanderson’s original Mistborn trilogy. I just love how your entire opinion of him changes the more you read. If you’ve read these books, you know what I mean…
6. What’s the worst fantasy book you’ve ever read?
The Book-That-Must-Not-Be-Named that came out in 2016. From a writing standpoint, it probably wasn’t the worst, but if you regard it as canon (which you definitely shouldn’t), it ruins so much of the real thing! And to anyone who thinks it was good, let me just remind you of some key words: blanket, trolley witch, not-my-son, candy ban, Delphi, Death Eater Diggory, Slytherins without Slytherin traits, watching-parents-die-“party”, the forgotten wedding – I think you get the point.
However, in order to stray away from my go-to answers, I suppose I’ll have to mention another one. I have no idea if it’s really the worst fantasy book I ever read (probably there were a lot of even more terrible ones that I’ve just forgotten by now), but I absolutely hated The White Rose by Amy Ewing (the sequel to The Jewel). Though The Jewel was okay, The White Rose bored me so much that I never ended up reading the final book in the trilogy and can’t actually remember much of what happened. I just remember that the writing was full of cliché phrases found in every other YA book and that barely anything happened, apart from the characters sitting in this safe house and making flowers bloom. Ugh…
7. Your favorite Harry Potter book!
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix 🙂 It’s so wonderful and has everything I could ever want. It has DA meetings, Umbridge, Luna, the repressive ministry and Daily Prophet, Hogsmeade, dealing with Voldemort’s return, the Order, Hermione knitting elf hats and Dobby taking them all, occlumency lessons, St. Mungo’s, Professor McGonagall speaking up for her students, the cool things in the Department of Mysteries, decluttering Grimauld Place, a devastating climax, the prophecy, thestrals – I could go on and on forever! I relate to Harry so much in this book and it’s my favorite for so many more reasons than I could name. And because it’s the longest book in the series, it has that much more room for all the awesomeness!
8. What is your favorite mythical creature?
I don’t think I have a definite one? But I certainly think that anything big enough to ride and obviously magical does the trick. Like dragons (even if they’re the unrideable evil kind like Smaug, I think they make pretty awesome characters, too). Or griffins. Pegasi not so much, they’re not fierce enough for my liking. But give me something that can fly and has claws, and I’ll think it’s cool.
9. Favorite female protagonist from a fantasy book?
Basically, if I loved the book, then I loved the protagonist too. So Bitterblue from Bitterblue and Alanna from Song of the Lioness are definitely among my favorites. So is Vin from Mistborn. Inej from Six of Crows is pretty cool. I also love Kestrel from The Winner’s Curse trilogy. Lucy from Narnia. Kelsea from Queen of the Tearling. I don’t think I have a definite favorite here, either, but these are just a few that I love.
10. Favorite male protagonist from a fantasy book?
Harry, obviously. Aragorn from Lord of the Rings. Kvothe (though he can also be extremely irritating) from the Kingkiller Chronicle. Percy from Percy Jackson. Lazlo from Strange the Dreamer. Locke from the Gentlemen Bastards Series. It’s the same thing as with the female protagonists – if I liked the book, there’s a good chance I liked the protagonist, too.
11. Who do you tag?
Anyone who wants to do this! Let me know what your answers are, I’m genuinely curious!