My Top 3 Fantasy Reads

Here’s an idea for today. I’ll share my top three fantasy reads and give you a good reason to go and read them yourselves. Then you tell me your top three in the comments section and we’ll see if we can find some stories we’ve not tried before. I’m not going to include obvious choices like Lord of the Rings.

The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie

Dark, gritty, bloody. Written fantastically and full of action, the characters are all hugely flawed, but likable, and the story itself is intriguing. Definitely recommended.

Sabriel by Garth Nix

Although it’s written for children, Sabriel (and its two sequels) are full of unique ideas and great worldbuilding. You’ll find yourself warming quickly to the characters and unable to put the book down.

Retribution Falls by Chris Wooding

A story based around airships, which are piloted around like something out of Star Wars. There are dogfights galore, intense ground-based skirmishes and fantastic characters to top it off.

So, what are your top three fantasy reads?

10 Fantasy Books I’d Like To Read


As it’s the weekend, I thought I’d post a simple list of the top ten fantasy books I’m really looking forward to reading. Enjoy!

  1. The Painted Man by Peter V. Brett
  2. Magician by Raymond E. Feist
  3. The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
  4. The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
  5. Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence
  6. Theft of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan
  7. A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
  8. The Gormenghast Trilogy by Mervyn Peake
  9. The Emperor’s Knife by Mazarkis Williams
  10. Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed (On its way!)

A Bullet to the Brain: Writing Like a Sniper

I read an interesting article the other day about how snipers think when they’re carrying out an assassination (linked at the bottom of this post). They interviewed the sniper with the ‘most kills’ in the world and he said that being a sniper is a very intimate job.

Camp Hansen, Okinawa, Japan (May 21, 2004) - A...
Image via Wikipedia

You spend ages watching the target, getting to know their routine, their personality, their habits. This got me thinking that writers are really not so different to snipers.

When creating/getting to know a character, a writer gets only a small scope to use to look into their life. Anything outside of that circle is pitch black and invisible. We patiently watch the character going about their daily routine, learning what motivates them, what scares them and everything else in between. Occasionally, we will leave them for a while to look around their surroundings, getting the lay of the land and understanding the local culture. Once this is done, we return to learn more about the character, their family and their friends.

I thought that this was a good analogy and it sums up how I go about creating a character. I wonder if anyone who’s reading this has other methods that work well? Are there any other ‘sniper writers’ out there?

That’s all for today. Roll on Friday and the weekend!


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