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Added by Fraterlucis on 7 Jun 2012 12:36
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Epic Fantasy

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J.R.R. Tolkien

I am not sure I can do justice to my admiration of his writing. There are many good writers in fantasy, and even some great ones, but I still put his work far above any other I've encountered. From the complexities of syntax and speech patterns, to the philosophy and morality explored in the novel, the amazing and detailed descriptions of the world, the immense attention to detail and consistency, to accurate passage of time and travel, his Lord of the Rings and other works are true masterpieces, worthy of being mentioned with Shakespeare, in my opinion. I am sure there are some, or many, who would disagree, but I stand by my opinion. Since I first read The Hobbit in the fourth grade, I have returned to his works for solace, pleasure, and a return to a world that feels so comfortable it's almost like coming home each time.
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The Silmarillion (Middle Earth) - J. R. R. Tolkien
For anyone who loves LOTR, who cherishes Middle-earth and its tales, this is an obvious next stop, though I should warn you, this is a dense and deep book, and the style is much more difficult than the LOTR. The beginning is not tales of ring wraiths or hobbits, but rather mythological in character. And there is much sadness in the book, much grief and heartache, if these moments are redeemed by moments of beauty and courage far surpassing many such tales. This work only touches on my favorite tale from this period, the Fall of Gondolin, though the more complete version can be found in The Book of Lost Tales 2. And of course, reading this book and then returning to LOTR gives one a much greater appreciation for the finer details and back history of LOTR.
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Beginning with this book through the twelfth book in the series, readers get the fascinating experience of exploring Tolkien's creative process through his drafts and notes, guiding at times by his son, Christopher Tolkien, whom J.R.R. shared his work with over his lifetime in a manner far closer than any biographer might. For anyone interested in the craft of writing fantasy, this series is a unique and in-depth look at one writer's process, and that one writer, a master of the genre.
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C.S.Lewis

In compiling these, I've listed them in the order that C.S. Lewis actually completed them, not in the order of actual publication, or in chronological order of the story.
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Terry Brooks

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The World of Shannara - Terry Brooks_III,Teresa Patterson
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The Sword of Shannara - Terry Brooks_III
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Here is a list of the fantasy authors books I enjoy, own, or want, as well as some authors I am considering trying or retrying. I have decided to include J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, even though I have separate lists for each of those authors. Somehow, a fantasy list without either of those felt wrong to me. This list does exclude other types of fantasy, including adventure fantasy, science fantasy, and mythological tales/faerie-tales. I have created a separate list for Faerie Tales, wherein such stories as the Poetic Edda are placed.

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