Everyone who knows me well knows how much I love fantasy books, and live and breathe fantasy. My bookshelves have nothing but fantasy books in them. So when I found this tag at Madeline @ The Bookish Mutant, I suddenly got excited and decided to do this! The tag was originally created by Bree Hill as the Get to Know the Romance Reader Tag, and The Book Pusher made it into the fantasy version.
WHAT IS YOUR FANTASY ORIGIN STORY? (First fantasy novel you read)
Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
Despite the massive controversy and cancellation of the entire book community towards JKR for the past couple of years, no one can deny the impact of Harry Potter in everyone’s lives, including mine. I watched the first couple of movies when I was a kid, but it was my parents who were the original fans of the books while I was growing up, and I decided to start reading the books when I was around 10 years old. The rest was history after that. Although I don’t post any Harry Potter content anywhere, it’s still a massive world that affected millions.
IF YOU COULD BE THE HERO/HEROINE IN A FANTASY NOVEL, WHO WOULD WRITE IT, AND WHAT IS ONE TROPE YOU WOULD INSIST ON BEING IN THE STORY?
This is a hard question! I have a lot of favorite fantasy authors, each with unique writing styles that I adore. If I were to be a heroine in my own fantasy book, I would definitely recruit Brandon Sanderson to pretty much write everything – from the plot, characters, worldbuilding, mythology, and massive plot twists. Since Brandon Sanderson doesn’t do a lot of massive romance subplots in his books, I’d love Sarah J. Maas to inject some romanticism into my story and characters. Both authors are my auto-buy authors, and basically will buy anything they write, so I would definitely trust my story in their hands.
As for the trope, I want to be part of a very smart and savvy heist group – ala Six of Crows and The Gentleman Bastards. This is a fantasy trope I would never get tired of reading, hence I want it to be part of my own story.
WHAT IS A FANTASY YOU’VE READ THIS YEAR THAT YOU WANT MORE PEOPLE TO READ?
The Singing Hills Cycle series by Nghi Vo
The Singing Hills Cycle is something that took me by surprise this 2021. It is fantastical Asian-inspired short story series featuring a non-binary cleric named Chih and their mystical memory recording bird named Almost Brilliant as they journey all over the lands to look for and record histories and stories from different people. Both books are stand-alones, and can be read in any order, however, I would highly recommend reading The Empress of Salt and Fortune first to be able to get a grasp of the world and characters involved. It also made me very interested in reading more short stories and anthologies written by Asian authors. You can check my review on this duology here.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FANTASY SUBGENRE? WHAT SUBGENRE HAVE YOU NOT READ MUCH FROM?
There are a ton of fantasy subgenres, but my most favorite is high/epic fantasy. The Name of the Wind was the one that first introduced me to adult high fantasy, and then everything just fell into place after that, and I’ve always been picking up more of this subgenre over the years. On the opposite spectrum, the subgenre I haven’t read much of is grimdark fantasy, and I was only introduced to it by The Poppy War trilogy last year. It is just as gruesome and dark as I expected it to be, but it more than enough sparked my curiosity to explore this subgenre more. I’m already eyeing Joe Abercrombie and Mark Lawrence’s books for this one.
WHO IS ONE OF YOUR AUTO-BUY FANTASY AUTHORS?
My original auto-buy fantasy authors over the years are composed of Cassandra Clare, Sarah J. Maas, and Leigh Bardugo. But 2020 has introduced me to a great fantasy author that I’ve practically bought majority of all his backlog Cosmere books in a span of months and is now one of my most favorite authors ever – Brandon Sanderson. This man knows how to write fantasy stories, and I would gladly spend my money on anything he releases. I’m currently on the quest in acquiring and reading his non-Cosmere books this such as Calamity and Skyward.
HOW DO YOU TYPICALLY FIND FANTASY RECOMMENDATIONS? (Goodreads, YouTube, Podcasts, Instagram, etc.)
My top fantasy recommendation sources are my trusted fantasy nerd friends and Goodreads. These are the first ones I go to if I am looking for any fantasy book I’m currently in the mood for. It’s also a plus for me because my friends know my particular tastes and their recommendations are so spot-on that they have never failed me yet.
While I’m pretty active on Bookstagram, I don’t typically pick up the books I see on my feed there instantly. Books over social media tend to be very hyped, but it wouldn’t meet my expectations. I usually do a lot of research first before reading any book recommended within the social media circles of the book community. Booktube isn’t something I watch often of, since I gravitate towards content creators who mostly feature fantasy books. My go-to booktubers are Peruse Project, Daniel Greene, and Merphy Napier – I’ve been following them for years and not once have their fantasy recommendations failed me.
WHAT IS AN UPCOMING FANTASY RELEASE YOU’RE EXCITED FOR?
She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan
Ever since being introduced to adult Asian fantasy in 2020, I’ve always been looking for more of these kinds of books that help represent the Asian authors within the fantasy genre. So when I first saw the cover reveal of She Who Became the Sun over at Daniel Greene’s channel a couple of months ago, my interest sparked to check this one out. The description of it being a historical fantasy novel with Mulan meets The Song of Achilles elements would definitely make anyone curious. She Who Became the Sun will come out on July 20th, 2021.
WHAT IS ONE MISCONCEPTION ABOUT FANTASY YOU WOULD LIKE TO LAY AT REST?
The main misconception about fantasy that continues to be a fought over issue is that fantasy books should always have a lot of fantastical elements, huge world-building, intricate plots, and an abundance of characters. That fantasy is reserved for epic/high fantasy alone. Sure, that may be seen in very big fantasy series names such as The Wheel of Time and A Song of Ice and Fire, but fantasy has a very broad scope, and it has a lot of subgenres that could easily be a perfect fit for anyone. It isn’t always necessary to have all those elements to create a fantasy story, and it also doesn’t have to be a big intimidating book either. Notable book examples that I can come up with that has fantasy elements without all those factors are The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune, American Gods by Neil Gaiman, Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan, and The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher.
IF SOMEONE HAD NEVER READ A FANTASY BEFORE AND ASKED YOU TO RECOMMEND THE FIRST 3 BOOKS THAT COME TO MIND AS PLACES TO START, WHAT WOULD THOSE RECOMMENDATIONS BE?
It’s always a bit hard for me to recommend books to first time fantasy readers. I would usually ask first what their favorite books and genres are, and try to match those with books I think that they might enjoy. But as a general, I would recommend the following books to as an introduction to the fantasy genre.
WHO IS THE MOST RECENT FANTASY READING CONTENT CREATOR THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHOUT OUT?
I follow tons of fantasy content creators across all my platforms, and they are too many to mention. But in last few months, I’ve come to enjoy reading Kate’s posts over at her book blog. A fellow Filipina reader with a deep love for fantasy, I’ve already included a lot of her recommendations in my tbr list. It also helps she creates a wonderful platform to voice out her thoughts regarding different issues within the book community that are very well thought out and informative to read.
Feel free to do this tag too!
Just make sure to credit the right person and tag me into it so I could see your answers!