I read a LOT of fantasy, of all levels and brands, and flavors, and honestly, picking favorites isn't easy. So I'm going to go with books that have had a lot of effect on my own writing.
Despite my initial misgivings on this book, once my mother made me sit down and watch the BBC videos, it was love at first sight. You can't find a more enchanting fantasy world, or delightful Christian messages, and I blame this book for my current career as a writer. Honestly, if it weren't for the fact that the new movies got a few things wrong, I may still be piddling around with my Tiger Lilly stories. Which brings me to my next favorite.
No, I don't know why this wants to be on this side of the screen. Anyways, while Narnia is where I go to learn how to build a fun world, I study Middle Earth to know how to build it deep. My introduction to this world was the opposite of Narnia. My mom and dad were going to go see one of the movies as a date, and my sister and I begged my mom to tell us the whole story. After she gave us a very condensed version, she later got the books on tape from the library and we went to bed listening to them every night. Good memories. Also, my sister's desire to write about hobbits led to our Elvings, which gave me my first taste of world building.
Fairy Tale retelling at its best. This book taught me that just because you are retelling a fairy tale doesn't mean that you have to rely on the plot. I'm not sure I even realized that this was a retelling of Cinderella until I was almost done with it. There are few books that I reread, but this is one of them.
Xanth is my guilty pleasure reading. It's not quite as clean as I would like it to be, but the humor and worldbuilding are delicious. It's responsible for the Punch Line and other such things in Bookania.
Despite all the books I had read, it had never occurred to me that magic wasn't necessary for a fantasy novel until I read Molly's Makilien Trilogy. And while I'm not going to go through and edit out the magic from every book I'm writing, I have decided to cut it on a few of my books. (Won't tell you which, though!)
I can't tell you for certain what exact influence this has had on my writing, but I've read it so many times, it has colored my writing, in particular The Trilogy of Secrets, and possibly The Faerie Realm. I've never encountered a book quite like it.
While again, I can't tell you exactly what influence Oz has had on my writing, it's another book that I've read so many times, it can't help but bleed into my own words. For instance, his Sea Fairies, (which, while isn't strictly part of the series, does tie into it and shed light onto a small plot element in The Lost Princess), is the book that taught me that mermaids can be modest.
This series, and its two sequel series, deal with a topic similar to the one that I mess with in Half-Hidden. I had my premise for Half-Hidden long before I even heard of these books, but reading them has caused me to refine and seriously look at the side effects of my premise.
And there we go. Not so painful after all. I may actually be missing some, but that's another issue. I can't wait for the reveal tomorrow, and just a heads up, tomorrow is also the last day to submit a review of The Ankulen for the giveaway! Currently, you have only two competitors, and the odds are seriously in Kiri's favor - and I can't have her win ALL of my giveaways, now can I?
And on another issue, I discovered yesterday that Kew, Arthur's cousin, had been one of Robin's suitors ...