Westeros Is Not The Only Realm…

Ah, Game of Thrones! We’re planning on heading round to some friends who have subscription TV on Monday evening, to catch the opening of Season Four. Meantime I’ve now read the books as far as they correspond (mostly) to the end of Season Three. One of the things I enjoy most about watching the series is I don’t know what’s going to happen! So I read a chunk of the books after each season, to fill in the omissions and alternations necessary when adapting from text to screen. So yes, I am a fan.

However… I see yet again that bookstore fantasy fiction promotions remain focused on Westeros and a narrow selection of fantasy books by pretty much the same few authors as last year and the year before that and the year before that. Don’t get me wrong – these chaps work hard, I’ve met a good number of them in person and they’re excellent company, interesting writers and absolutely deserve their success.

However… there are so many other fine fantasy worlds out there that deserve their share of attention. I’ve just written my Spring review column for Albedo One magazine, and I really was spoiled for choice. The books I picked to review were Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen, Drakenfeld by Mark Charan Newton, Irenicon by Aiden Harte and Songs of the Earth by Elspeth Cooper. All well worth seeking out.

I could just have easily reviewed the latest books by Freya Robertson, Helen Lowe, Stephen Deas, Gail Z Martin, Evie Manieri, Tom Lloyd, M.D.Lachlan… and many more besides.

So what are your favourite fantasy worlds you’d like introduce new folk to?

Old or new. For instance I’m delighted to see Barbara Hambly’s back list is now available in ebook. If you’ve never read The Darwath Trilogy do check it out. any other classics of the genre you’d care to recommend?

Author: Juliet

Juliet E McKenna is a British fantasy author living in the Cotswolds, UK. Loving history, myth and other worlds since she first learned to read, she has written fifteen epic fantasy novels so far. Her debut, The Thief’s Gamble, began The Tales of Einarinn in 1999, followed by The Aldabreshin Compass sequence, The Chronicles of the Lescari Revolution, and The Hadrumal Crisis trilogy. The Green Man’s Heir was her first modern fantasy inspired by British folklore in 2018, and The Green Man’s Quarry in 2023 is the sixth title in this ongoing series. Her 2023 novel The Cleaving is a female-centred retelling of the story of King Arthur, while her shorter stories include forays into dark fantasy, steampunk and science fiction. She promotes SF&Fantasy by reviewing, by blogging on book trade issues, attending conventions and teaching creative writing. She has served as a judge for major genre awards. As J M Alvey, she has written historical murder mysteries set in ancient Greece.

6 thoughts on “Westeros Is Not The Only Realm…

  1. So many to choose from,though with some of them I feel its the ideas that are invested in them, whilst in others its the way the author brings them to life with a deft touch.

    I love Earthsea and the Low Lands from Shadows of the Apt, Ostern Ard from Memory Sorrow and Thorn, Deverry and China Mieville’s Bas Lag. The city in Rats and Gargoyles* feels pleasantly topsy turvey and your own world and Robin Hobbs’ setting are nuanced and well drawn, in part because you both bring it to life via the characters.

    From older fantasy, Lankhmar and the Young Kingdoms in the Elric stories are great, but feel more piecemeal, as if they were created as the writer’s went along whereas.

    * I wish someone would pick this up for the screen, its wonderful and weird; I feel it really cries out for adaptation.

  2. I love the way Charles de Lint erases the line between fantasy and reality. I think _Moonheart_ and _The Little Country_ are his best.

    I wish Bujold would write more away from the Miles Vorkorsigan saga. I love both the Sharing Knife and Curse of Chalion series.

    I thought Kate Elliott’s Spirit Walker trilogy was a blast.

    I love your Einarinn series. I am still waiting on eBook versions for the last of those.

    Mary Robinette Kowal’s Glamour series is a delight.

    Martha Wells Il Rein series. I don’t know how many times I’ve reread those.

    Wen Spencer’s Tinker series. It’s a good thing ePages don’t get tattered, or my copies of those would be falling apart.

    Carol Berg. I love all of her stuff. Her Collegia Magica series is my favorite.

    Julie Czerneda’s _Beholder’s Eye_. But all of her work is beautiful and fascinating.

    And I love Linnea Sinclair’s space operas. I wish she would write more.

    Ah yes. And I don’t want to forget Kristen Britain, whose new book is on preorder, and Lynn Flewelling, who’s just released the last of the Nightrunner’s series.

  3. Love the authors mentioned above, plus Greg Keyes whose fantasy books seemed to be a little overlooked compared to his series tie-ins.
    Shadows of the Apt by Adrian Tchaikovsky finishes this year which I’m very excited about.
    I took a while to warm to Stephen Deas but am now a big fan.
    I’m enjoying Rachel Bach’s SF so will read her as fantasy and Rachel Aaron after I finish the current series – her new urban fantasy later this year sounds right up my street.
    Looking forward to Kit Kerr revisiting a regency Deverry via Kickstarter soon.
    So many books to read!

  4. See all these great suggestions? A bookstore could so easily offer a different monthly selection, boosting a wide range of authors and making it worth a reader’s while to check back in to see what was new and different – all of which would surely boost sales for the shop? Everyone would be a winner!

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