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Day three of the Five Days of Fiction! We’re halfway through the celebration of ten years since the publication of my first novel. And In the Labyrinth of Drakes comes out in just two days!

Today’s question is: what’s a favorite book or series of yours? Note that I say a favorite, not the favorite; I couldn’t single out one above all others if you paid me. So just pick whichever one you most feel like squeeing about right now. :-)

Me, I’ll go with Dorothy Dunnett’s Lymond Chronicles, and especially the first book, The Game of Kings. (Not to be confused with A Game of Thrones.) It’s brilliant historical fantasy with amazing characters and complex plotting and holy crap her prose and THAT DUEL and I could keep raving but I won’t.

Instead, I will give away a copy! Tell me a favorite book or series of yours, and you may be the lucky respondent who wins a lovely trade paperback of The Game of Kings.

Let’s see what our guest bloggers had to say . . . .


~ Iain M Banks’ Culture novels. They’re beautifully realised, fun, and witty. — Jaine Fenn, author of the Hidden Empire series

~ The Sparrow, by Mary Doria Russell. Its impact reminded me of what fiction can be. Many authors say they are inspired by a bad book to think “I could do better than that.” The Sparrow gives me something to aspire to instead. — E. C. Ambrose, author of Elisha Barber

~ The Discworld books. If I had to pick, I’d go with the Watch books. But it’s a difficult choice. I love the Witches and Death books almost as much. — Alex Gordon, author of Jericho (coming out on Tuesday!)

~ God, so many, but if I have to pick just one, I would say that Tanith Lee’s The Silver-Metal Lover is perhaps one of my ‘just about perfect’ books. It hits pretty much everything I love: an unconventional romance, philosophical complexity presented in a stunningly clear and simple way, gorgeous prose, an ending that is ‘right’ for the story being told. Just… unf. I love that book. It destroys me every time I read it.

A close runner up would be Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Justice. Everyone focuses on the gender pronoun thing, which is an interesting bit of culture-building, and yet that completely overlooks what I think of as the meaty brilliance of that book, which gives the reader the experience of a multi-perspective non-human consciousness in a way that the reader can still relate with and connect to. Fucking genius. She manages to balance multiple high-concept themes – colonialism/post-colonialsm, diffused consciousness, artificial consciousness, gender identity, sub-altern identity – without skimping on any of them, and unlike a lot of high concept books that can be plodding, she does it via a ripping action tale with some really fun ‘tagonists. — Alyc Helms, author of The Dragons of Heaven

~ The Long Price Quartet, by Daniel Abraham — Tim Akers, author of The Pagan Night

~ That’s tough, but I have to go with Lord of the Rings, which changed my life when I was 10. It shifted my brain in ways I had never imagined. — John Pitts, author of Night Terrors (due out on April 11th!)

~ Ah, the impossible question. Sorry, I can never come up with an answer to that. I can offer you two excellent recent reads – Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho, and Down Station by Simon Morden. Both offer me things that I’ve loved in books ever since I started reading – vivid, believable characters and compelling narrative with twists and surprises. — Juliet McKenna, author of The Tales of Einarinn and The Aldabreshin Compass

~ There’s a level on which that changes from month to month, but the book that is my soul, the book that’s woven into my bones, is Peter Beagle’s The Last Unicorn. I read it the first time when I was exceptionally young, and reread it about once a year; every time I open it, it feels like a wild, beautiful, terrible wind blowing in. — Leah Bobet, author of An Inheritance of Ashes

~ I’m not one for picking a single favorite above all others, but The Chronicles of Prydain and Red Harvest were pretty influential for me. — Harry Connolly, author of The Great Way

~ This is utterly impossible to answer, but I will just randomly say Jo Walton’s Thessaly books, because Plato’s Republic meets the real world is just such a rich concept and she does it with so much style, grace, humor, and pure weirdness. — Pamela Dean, author of Owlswater (due out later this month!)

~ *rolls mental dice* A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K Le Guin, another fave from my youth. — Sean Williams, author of Hollowgirl

~ How about the whole Tolkien oeuvre? The Amber series? The Lyonesse series by Vance? And how about something like Guy Gavriel Kay’s “Tigana” which is not part of a series but which tears my heart out and gives it back into my hands still trembling like a bird?… — Alma Alexander, author of Empress

~ If “favourite” means “read most often over a lifetime”, that would be Tolkien again, LotR: how predictable is that? But actually now my favourite series for revisiting is Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey/Maturin books, which I can read on a yearly basis. — Chaz Brenchley, author of Bitter Waters

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

Day 3 question: Squee-worthy books

Date: 2016-04-03 11:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] margo-lea hurwicz (from livejournal.com)
I like a lot of the guest blogger picks. But I think I'll add something that I didn't see already mentioned. I really liked Nora Jemisin's Dreamblood duology. The Killing Moon & The Shadowed Sun both are on my squee-worthy list.

Date: 2016-04-04 12:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alessandriana.livejournal.com
Narnia. It's one of those series I've read over and over and over again.

Date: 2016-04-04 01:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ashnistrike.livejournal.com
Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan series. Most books about maturation focus on the transition from adolescence to adulthood, at latest. The Miles books start there.

Date: 2016-04-04 10:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] falcon21893.livejournal.com
I think I have to say Tamora Pierce's Alanna series. Hugely influential to me growing up.

Date: 2016-04-04 07:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] swan-tower.livejournal.com
The books is yours! Email your address to me (marie dot brennan at gmail), and I'll get it sent as soon as I can.

Date: 2016-04-05 12:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] falcon21893.livejournal.com
Ahhh! Yay! Thank you! Message on its way.

Date: 2016-04-04 11:00 am (UTC)
ext_3965: (I Prefer Reading)
From: [identity profile] persiflage-1.livejournal.com
*snorts* How long have you got?

Terry Pratchett's Discworld - particularly the Witches (including the 5 Tiffany Aching titles) and the Watch arcs; Juliet McKenna's Aldebreshin Compass series; Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan Saga (so immensely rich and full of varied characters, especially the variety of women); David Weber's Honor Harrington series (Hornblower meets Star Trek: Voyager); Rachel Aaron's Paradox Trilogy; Naomi Novik's Temeraire series; Elizabeth May's Falconer series (the second book (The Vanishing Throne) is outstandingly good!)... I could go on, but I won't!

But probably the single most significant book I've read (and endlessly re-read) is Tolkien's Lord of the Rings

Date: 2016-04-04 04:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] findabair.livejournal.com
The first that springs to mind right now is CJ Cherryh's Foreigner series, and especially the first book. Wonderfully tense throughout and I love the attention she pays to language as a part of the experience of being alien.

Date: 2016-04-04 05:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] starlady38.livejournal.com
I just reread Megan Whalen Turner's Queen's Thief books, and from what I've heard of Dunnett they compare favorably. They're certainly wonderful in their own right.

Date: 2016-04-05 03:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aulus-poliutos.livejournal.com
How many can I pick? :-)

Well, LOTR, of course, and A Song of Ice and Fire, Tad William's Memory, Sorrow and Thorn, Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen. Colleen McCullough's Rome series; McMaster Bujold's Curse of Chalion and the other books in that world (write the last two already, dangit, lol). To name just a few.

Date: 2016-04-06 10:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] libris-leonis.livejournal.com
I know I'm late to the giveaway, but I just wanted to chip in and say... Discworld. Asking what my favourite novel is gets a complicated answer; asking what one of them is gets something of a pause and then a list; but asking for my favourite *series* elicits an instant, instinctual reaction: Discworld. Also, oddly, the first adult fantasy series I think I read, in my pre-teen years, I think.

I still can't think about The Shepherd's Crown without it hurting a bit...


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