Saturday, December 17, 2011

Five top fantasy novels

Lev Grossman is the author of The Magicians and The Magician King, which were both New York Times bestsellers. He also writes about books and technology for Time magazine.

One of his five favorite fantasy novels, as told to Sophie Roell at The Browser:
A Wizard of Earthsea
by Ursula K Le Guin

It was published in 1968 and it was a revelation for fantasy readers, and possibly a revolution. In Le Guin’s work you can see a predominantly Christian, patriarchal, English tradition reinvented by a writer who was not only an American woman but a Taoist-atheist. (I like to think of the map of the archipelagic Earthsea as an image of a Middle Earth without a middle, as if it had been dropped and shattered.) Both Tolkien and Lewis were devout Christians, but Le Guin – who’s still alive and in her 80s – brought fantasy back to its pagan roots. She used as the foundations of her magic system and her story the building blocks of nature and sex and language.
Read about the other novels on the list at The Browser.

Also see a top 10 list of fantasy books for children

The Page 69 Test: Lev Grossman's The Magicians.

--Marshal Zeringue