The point of this book tag, as you could probably discern from its title, is to get to know a fantasy reader better. I first saw this tag on Aster Marie’s blog at Happy Bookish After. It looked like fun, and I hadn’t done a book tag in a while, so clearly I decided to participate! Bree Hill originally created this tag as the Get to Know the Romance Reader Tag, which appears to be a broken link now. However, The Book Pusher adapted it for fantasy readers. I pulled the questions from The Book Pusher’s YouTube listing.
Before I get started, I want to tag Caitlin @ Realms of My Mind, H.C. Newton @ The Irresponsible Reader, and Ellie @ Curiosity Killed the Bookworm. And even if I didn’t tag you, feel free to tag yourself! Onward to the questions!
What is your fantasy origin story? (How you came to read your first fantasy novel.)
Unfortunately I can’t recall which fantasy book I read first. It could have been WISE CHILD by Monica Furlong or ELLA ENCHANTED by Gail Levine Carson. Or it could have been something I just don’t remember. (If I looked through the books at my parents’ house, it might jog some memories.) What I do know is it wasn’t THE GOLDEN COMPASS by Phillip Pullman because I have a vivid memory of realizing in 6th grade that this boy, who was crushing on me, copied my reading preferences. And after that it was THE HOBBIT followed by FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING, the latter of which I gave up on because I couldn’t get past Tom Bombadil.
Anyway, I digressed a little. For the sake of this tag, let’s go with WISE CHILD. My aunt gave me this book, and its prequel, JUNIPER, for my 11th birthday. I reread it often. I think it was the first dark fantasy I read and I loved the moody, mysteriousness of the story.
If you could be the hero/heroine in a fantasy novel, who would be the author and what’s one trope you’d insist be in the story?
This is a tough one! I have a love/hate relationship with Sarah J. Maas’s writing style because I wish there were less sentence fragments and ellipses. But she writes emotions, tension, and trauma healing/processing so well. I also really like Sarah A. Parker’s writing style, which is very lyrical and metaphorical. She also writes tension really well. So, I think I choose Sarah A. Parker as the author for writing me into a fantasy novel. While I love the one bed and enemies-to-lovers tropes, I’m not sure I’d want to be in those situations? (Wow, I’m a hypocrite!) Let’s go with forced proximity to build some tension!
What is a fantasy you’ve read this year, that you want more people to read?
Definitely check out TO BLEED A CRYSTAL BLOOM by Sarah A. Parker. It’s perfect for adult readers who enjoy lyrical writing, dark fantasy, and questionable power dynamics.
What is your favorite fantasy subgenre? What subgenre have you not read much from?
I gravitate towards dark fantasy and dark romantic fantasy. I also really enjoy folk tale/mythology retellings, but I’m not sure that’s its own subgenre. Even though I’m sick of the news, I still read fantasy that has some angst. I’m not sure what that says about me, but here we are! Grimdark is a subgenre from which I haven’t read much. THE BROKEN HEART OF ARELIUM by Alex Robins might scratch the surface of that, but that’s as close as I’ve gotten. I need a little hope in my reading materials!
Who is one of your auto-buy fantasy authors?
Oh, this question again… I don’t have any auto-buy fantasy authors. At least, not yet. I prefer to choose based off of the official synopsis (and book cover, let’s be real).
How do you typically find fantasy recommendations? (Goodreads, Youtube, Podcasts, Instagram.)
Since I mostly haunt the book Twitter-verse, I find most of my recommendations through there. I personally think it’s easier to notice any escalated chatter around a particular book on Twitter than it is on Instagram. However, I definitely have saved some book recommendations from Instagram. So Instagram isn’t completely useless. (I kid…I like to use Instagram to find succinct book recommendation posts and fun bookish swag companies. I think it’s much easier to find small business on Instagram than it is on Twitter.)
What is an upcoming fantasy release you’re excited for?
I’m excited for TO SNAP A SILVER STEM by Sarah A. Parker (Kindle Unlimited), the sequel to TO BLEED A CRYSTAL BLOOM. I have absolutely no idea when I’ll get around to reading it. I need to read GLOW first by Raven Kennedy, and that’s after I’ve finished my August TBR.
What is one misconception about fantasy you would like to lay to rest?
I’m so entrenched in this genre that I don’t think I know of any misconceptions about fantasy. I suppose the one thing that comes to mind as I write this, early in the morning, is that there are plenty of other fantasy worlds to lose oneself in outside of LORD OF THE RINGS, THE WITCHER, and GAME OF THRONES. Hard world-building isn’t the only type of fantasy out there. Basically, I mean to say that there’s something out there for everyone, whether you want something as detailed as LOTR, or you want fantasy focused on romance. And, for whoever needs to see this, fantasy isn’t something that only men read. And romantic fantasy isn’t only for women.
If someone had never read a fantasy before and asked you to recommend the first 3 books that come to mind as places to start, what would those recommendations be?
Oh, another hard question! A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES by Sarah J. Maas reignited my love for reading, so I have to include that one. Next up is THE BONE SHARD DAUGHTER by Andrea Stewart, who created such a unique world for her characters. And THE LEAGUE OF GENTLEWOMEN WITCHES by India Holton, which is a light-hearted, witty, romantic, adventurous fantasy.
Who is the most recent fantasy reading content creator you came across that you’d like to shoutout?
One of the more recent blogs I started following is Leah’s Books. She puts out a lot of fantasy book reviews (I wish I could read as quickly!) and has really thoughtful and succinctly comprehensive book reviews.