The 20 Best Fantasy Titles To Help You Escape The Christmas Mayhem – Part One (A Personal Selection By Guest Blogger Mark Timmony)

Christmas is coming!

Given the way the last couple of months have sped by it will be here before you know it. It’s rather easy at this time of year to see the new release books put at the top of catalogues, and piled in big displays – publishers throw fireworks around the newest blockbuster from the big name authors – and those of us with loved ones who read can easily pick up the latest release to help sate what is in fact an unquenchable thirst for the next book.

Unfortunately there is not always a big list or blinking lights over the latest thing for those loved ones who walk on the wild side and read stories of dragons and magic, swords and heroes, gods and monsters.

Well fear not gentle shopper and/or reader! Here at Booktopia we have such beasties well in hand, and a map to guide you to possible purchases that would otherwise leave you scratching your head.

Come this way…


Cold Days

by Jim Butcher

What can possibly be said about Jim Butcher and his Dresden Files that hasn’t been said before? The yard mark by which most urban fantasy is measured today, Butcher’s Dresden Files now strides into its fourteenth full-length novel and remains as fresh and as exciting as it did at book one. With consummate skill Butcher has unveiled his imagination on to the page and gifted we lucky readers with Harry Dresden, Private Detective and Wizard, whose legend now easily matches that of Gandalf the Grey and Pug of Midkemia. Weaving a series of heady adventures wedged between life and death action, and a world threatening war with the vampires of the Red Court, Butcher now turns his considerable talents to reworking his story with smarts and flare as new powers emerge to fill the vacuum left after the war, and Harry must now pay the piper.

Click here for more details or to buy


A Blink of the Screen (Collected Short Fiction)

by Terry Pratchett

One of fantasy’s most popular authors, this collection of Sir Terry Pratchett’s short stories is a must for all of his diehard fans, and for those new to his work who are looking for a good place to start. Pratchett’s wit has thrilled millions of readers around the world, and having been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s in December 2007, everything he continues to work on has become more and more precious to those who have found such joy in his writing. This is a collection that will take pride of place in the library and bring hours of reading and re-reading for years to come.

Click here for more details or to buy


Malice

by John Gwynne

Already being heralded as the next big thing, Gwynne’s debut novel is an exciting addition to the ranks of fantasy fiction. Marching forth boldly Gwynne builds his world in a medieval Europe-like setting and pushes the reader into a long conflict of good versus evil, delving into a Gods War and peppering his mythology with angels and demons. For a new voice in the field Malice moves Gwynne to stand shoulder- to-shoulder with the likes of Terry Brooks and David Eddings, marking this the debut of a writer to watch.

Click here for more details or to buy


Portlandtown

by Rob DeBorde

Rob DeBorde offers a supernatural ‘alternate western’ of dark fantasy that blends horror, magic and zombies into a rip-roaring tale and is already drawing comparisons to Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. What more could you want? Set in – you guessed it – a spookily twisted version of Portland, the first book in the Oregon Wyldes introduces an ‘olden-time’ twist on the urban fantasy market sure to please fans of steampunk and spaghetti westerns.

Click here for more details or to buy


Red Knight

by Miles Cameron

Miles Cameron’s debut novel is surely the start of big things for this author. Set in a very different yet strangely familiar England, for the most part, this is the tale of man’s battle to impose order on the Wilde. Full of knights and hermetic mysticism, which both clashes and melds with the very strong Christian faith, this is an epic first novel from an exciting new voice and perfect for those of you who like the chivalry of Martin’s Game of Thrones and Joe Abercrombie’s ‘take-no-prisoners’ approach to warfare.

Click here for more details or to buy


Tomorrow, the Killing

by Daniel Polansky

Debuting in 2011 with The Straight Razor Cure Polansky burst onto the fantasy scene introducing us to the fallen hero Warden. Once a war hero and member of the city’s elite police force he now trawls the streets of the aptly named Low Town and hides from his past glory. Shaping his style to meld the best of the noir crime novel and epic fantasy, with the Low Town being as big a part of his world as the characters themselves, Polanksy’s novels are dark and brooding yet serve as many moments for the reader to cheer a hero who doesn’t let heroics and moral ‘right action’ get in the way of getting the job done – as you might find in Mel Gibson’s Payback. An awesome book, as well as being powerfully and compellingly written, Polanksy’s Low Town series is shaping up to be an edgy spin on epic fantasy offering a fresh direction in a genre fit to bursting with well trod paths.

Click here for more details or to buy


Blood and Bone

by Ian Cameron Esslemont

Co-creator of the Malazan world with friend and bestselling author Steven Erickson, Esslemont has been quickly carving a name for himself in the same gritty fields of Malaz – though he did admittedly have a slower start. Working in tandem Esslemont is following the storylines adjacent to Erikson’s own and weaving tales that add to the Malazan Empire series and stand-alone as thrilling new adventures in ‘epicness’. Rich, detailed, complex and often confronting, Esslemont is the perfect read for someone who likes to think as much as they enjoy epic scenes of brutal battles and the clash of mortals against Gods.

Click here for more details or to buy


The Lands of Ice and Fire

by George R. R. Martin

Unfortunately we are still waiting for the next installment of GRRM’s Song of Ice and Fire, (no, he hasn’t finished the next book yet) but for those eager fans who just can wait for their next fix of the massive world of Westeros this brilliant atlas has been created by both George and artist Jonathan Roberts. Most impressively, for the first time in the history of the series, this title presents a complete map of the known world of A Game of Thrones, joining the lands of the Seven Kingdoms and those across the Narrow Sea. I can’t wait to get my hands on this one!

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Devil Said Bang

by Richard Kadrey

Grit in fantasy, urban or otherwise, is the new black. And one writer making a name for himself with his no-holds barred depiction of a hero who’s been to hell and back – literally – is Richard Kadrey. The Sandman Slim novels are filled with real and fallible characters in an alternate modern day earth that takes all that’s ‘hard’ in Jim Butcher, Mike Carey and Neil Gaiman, throws petrol over it and lights a match. Compelling and disturbing in equal measure, if you have had enough of sparkling vampires and heart of gold werewolves you’ve come to the right place. Here monsters are monsters, and one man battles his own demons –inside and out – to keep himself and those he cares for safe.

Click here for more details or to buy


Stone of Tymora

by R. A. Salvatore, Geno Salvatore

Teaming up with his son, bestselling author R.A. Salvatore lends his most popular character, the dark-elf ranger Drizzt Do’Urden and companions, to this swash-buckling tale aimed at younger readers. Full of Forgotten Realms lore, fast paced battles and high adventure the Salvatore team provide an entertaining tale and the perfect gift for Young Adults impatiently awaiting the next Rick Riordan novel, while also having enough content and self-possession to offer adult fans of the Drizzt books something to look forward to as well.

Click here for more details or to buy


Stay tuned for the second instalment tomorrow!

Check Mark out on twitter on @MarkTimmony

2 Responses

  1. [...] The 20 Best Fantasy Titles To Help You Escape The Christmas Mayhem – Part One [...]

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  2. Mmm, I wonder if this list was compiled by a man – given that there’s not a single woman fantasy writer included? Nor, may I add, any Australian authors. Odd, particularly given the wealth of talent in this country. I have to say that my own personal list would be very very different …a sign, I guess, that the realm of fantasy is wide and deep and filled with many things ….

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