Monday, December 31, 2007

Great Books That Do Not Have Harry Potter as Part of Their Titles

This year will forever be remembered by fantasy readers as the year in which the final Harry Potter came out. I do not expect, in my lifetime, to see the Potter phenomenon repeated. I suspect that, for better or for worse Potter will remain the pink elephant in the room whenever people talk about fantasy. In this spirit, here are some other notable pieces of fantasy literature that came out this past year. Some of these books have been discussed before on this blog, others have not.

Lady Friday: This is the fifth book in Garth Nix’s Keys to the Kingdom series. This series is, without doubt, the greatest work of allegorical fiction in modern times. And when I say this I am including Narnia. Nix has completely reinvented the traditional morality play. You will never think of the Seven Deadly Sins the same way again.

Eclipse: This is the third book in Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series. I have already devoted several long posts to these books. (See here and here) These books have, deservedly, become major bestsellers. More than any other series of books being printed right now, these have the ability to repeat Potter’s success. Meyer has not said how many books she intends to write. She is set to come out with a fourth book in the series, Breaking Dawn, this summer. Let us see what kind of publicity gets generated.

The Sweet Far Thing: This is the third and final book of Libba Bray’s Reader’s Circle series. It just came out last week. I am actually in middle of it right now. I read the first two books at the end of the summer. I had decided to wait until I have finished this one in order to write a post on the series as a whole. Stay tuned.

Fatal Revenant: This is the second book of the Final Chronicles of Thomas Covenant and the eighth book overall of the Covenant series. (See here and here for my review)

Name of the Wind: This is the first book of Patrick Rothfuss’ Kingkiller Chronicles. I saved this one for last. Fantasy, unlike science fiction, does not have a Hugo or a Nebula award for best book of the year. If it did, Name of the Wind would certainly have my vote. (See here for my review) I feel a need to say more about this work. I will probably simply wait until book two, Wiseman’s Fear, comes out.

Well I am looking forward to a wonderful year of fantasy. Considering that all but one of these books have sequels coming out, there definitely is much to be waiting in giddy anticipation for.

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