Fantasy starter pack

Hallie O'Donovan hallieod at indigo.ie
Thu May 13 11:09:44 EDT 2004


On Thursday, May 13, 2004, at 12:03 PM, Rosie Hopkins wrote:

> I have a friend who used to despise fantasy somewhat (apart from
> Tolkien), but someone lent her Sabriel, Lirael and Abhorsen, and she
> loved them. Now she wants me to find her good modern fantasy. I have
> some ideas, but can anyone suggest things I might have missed? There
> must be one or two DWJs, of course, but which? I thought also one of
> Robin Mckinley's books, and perhaps A Wrinkle in Time. They need to be
> things available in the UK.

I'd definitely put in a vote for Fire and Hemlock, with all others (Deep 
Secret, Howl, etc, etc,) engaged in undignified struggles for top 
places.  Is it particularly YA fantasy?  Otherwise Bujold would also be 
top of the first-thoughts.  Pity about the UK availability, or I'd say 
Martha Wells, if not YA.  FWIW, I'm not so sure about A Wrinkle in 
Time.  I read it to the girls, and love L'Engle  (in an odd and detached 
way), but don't think I'd recommend it to a fantasy newcomer - certainly 
seemed dated at the least.  How about Amulet of Samarkand?  Or Megan 
Whalen Turner - The Thief and Queen of Attolia.

Not to forget a book with glowing cover endorsements by none other than 
DWJ (and Susan Cooper!) - The Fetch of Mardy Watt, by Charles Butler.  
(Name sounds oddly familiar, doesn't it? :)  )

In the process of thinking of my 20 favourite book list, so particularly 
all over the place atm, but HTH for starters.

Hallie.

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