Category Archives: Fantasy

9 of My Favorite Fantasy Stories

TrollWhen people hear the words “fantasy stories,” their thoughts leap to J.R.R. Tolkien and his works. These may be among the most popular fantasy books, but there’s a lot more out there than Tolkien (and his imitators). Here, in no particular order, are some of my personal favorite fantasy books:

  • Bleach – I’ll admit it: I’m a manga/anime fan. This is one I enjoy a lot.
  • War in Heaven – Charles Williams is probably the least known of the Inklings, the group that also included Tokien and C.S. Lewis. To be honest, even though I like Tolkien a lot, Williams is probably my favorite. War in Heaven is a modern-day Grail romance/murder story. If you haven’t read it, I recommend you give it a try. $0.99 on Kindle, what have you got to lose?
  • Animal Farm – This is truly a classic. A cautionary tale about what happens when a class of citizens gets greedy for power and “stuff.” Not a children’s tale, but one every adult should read at least once.
  • Xanth – Start with A Spell for Chameleon, and then just keep going. A funny (punny?) but seriously good fantasy series set in an analogue of Florida, where magic works.
  • The Worm Ouroboros – A strange story, and a precursor to Tolkien. Anthony Boucher considered it to be one of the greatest imaginative works of the 20th century. I would have to agree.
  • Rhinegold – If you like the northern myths, then you’ll enjoy Stephan Grundy’s retelling of the Volsunga Saga. It’s out of print, but you may find it in a library or a used bookstore. If you do, grab it!
  • Troll: A Love Story – Here’s an odd one: Johanna Sinisalo tells the story of a man who finds a young troll near his apartment and takes it into his life. I enjoyed this book quite a lot.
  • A Princess of Mars – The first of Edgar Rice Burrough’s John Carter of Mars series. It seems a little dated today, but it is a classic and a must read for any fantasy fan. It’s also much better than the recent movie.
  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon – Not a book, but an excellent movie, that easily qualifies as a modern classic. This is the film that popularized fantastic martial arts in the USA. If you like fantasy films, you’ve got to watch this one!

The Unscratchables by Cornelius Kane

The Unscratchables The Unscratchables by Cornelius Kane

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This was a surprisingly good book. The author, Australian Cornelius Kane, has an impressive understanding of the noir genre. He has the ability to write a noir story with cats and dogs as the main characters, and write it as well as Dashiell Hammett or Raymond Chandler.

The Unscratchables is the story of a dog (a former POW and veteran of the Siamese war) who has to team up with a Siamese cat in order to capture a feral cat on a murderous rampage in the Kennels of Kathattan island. I don’t want to give away the ending, so I won’t say more than that. If you enjoy a good story filled with plot twists, you’ll like The Unscratchables. If you like your books a little deeper, then you’ll really enjoy the ongoing political, social and media commentary Mr. Kane weaves into the book.

I read it in less than twelve hours. It’s that good.

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