Regular Guy Book Review: Titus Groan by Mervyn Peake

Titus Groan is completely different from any fantasy book I’ve ever read. It’s surreal, poetic, brutal, and brilliant. Its characters, who have all wrapped themselves in different kinds of madness, plod and scramble their way through the seemingly endless sprawl of Gormenghast Castle. They vie for power, plot vengeance, and engage in long-followed but nonsensical rituals.

Author Peake’s wild, weird imagination puts this book in the echelon of The Lord of the Rings, while being completely different from it in every way. There is no quest here, no magic to speak of, no curious non-humans, and not even an obvious protagonist.

Titus Groan is engaging and wonderful, if you don’t mind your fantasy a little dark and twisted. It’s also the first book of a series.

Recommendation: Buy it. This is an odd sort of masterpiece every fantasy reader (and writer) should expose themselves to.

Regular Guy Book Review: City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett

I’m seeing a trend in fantasy stories with extensive world-building. While many of them reveal the world through the usual quest for the Magical Thingamajig, the more recent trend is to reveal this strange world via the investigation of a murder. A detective must visit a number of dangerous places and confront strange characters (just like the folks on a quest).

I love this trend, and City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett is the best example I’ve come across.

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29 Best Fantasy Series

series

Fantasy has more book series than any other genre. Science fiction is in second place with hundreds of series, but fantasy is at the top. Once we fantasy readers find a world and characters we like, we seem to want to go back again and again.

The longest fantasy series out there is Conan, with almost eighty books. Second is (my personal favorite) Terry Pratchett’s Discworld with forty-five books.

Discovering a new book series is a fantastic feeling. Here’s hoping you find something new below.

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