Lavinia Collins, author of Arthurian #1 bestselling fantasy romance The Warrior Queen, picks her top ten must-read fantasy novels. Expect Part 2 at the same time next week!
I have to recommend this one. It’s like my moral duty. Oddly enough this book was something of a sexual awakening moment for me. I was only eleven when I read it, which probably goes some way to explaining why I have ended up writing in the genre that I’m in…
If you didn’t read this as a child, read it now! Seriously, go away now and read it. It’s dark, it’s engrossing, it’s perfect in every single way.
A great young adult fantasy, from before when YA was zeitgeisty. A necromancer’s daughter has to step into his shoes when he dies unexpectedly, helped only by a talking cat, and a naked man who has forgotten his name. Wonderful; a whole world to fall into, and the right mix of gritty “real life” YA drama along with the magic.
Ghosts and ghouls and everything in between in a fantasy Victorian London. Sure, it’s a tune we’ve heard before, but The Haunting of Alaizazbel Cray is a particularly fine version of that tune.
No one has ever heard of this book. As a child, I read it in one day on a camping holiday. It is, truly, one of the best books I have ever read. There’s a world we go to when we dream, and the dream wizards have to keep the nightmare people out. So far, so pedestrian. But enter the hero: Leanan Kite accidentally defeated the Lord of Nightmare as a young man, but now he’s getting older, and he wants to be left alone. When dark forces begin to threaten again, suddenly the pressure is on him to repeat what he miraculously managed before. It’s a subtle, skilful narrative of an unlikely hero who’s crippled by other people’s expectations. It’s touching, the magic world is immersive and I am so so sad that it seems to be out of print now. It is one of the best novels I have ever read.