Wow. Today is it. The release date. Be kind to me, world! Thank you so much for having me, Kristen. To celebrate the release, I’d like to give away a copy of The Sevenfold Spell. To enter, either leave a comment, or email me at tia @ tianevitt . com (remove the spaces) and please mention that you saw this at The Fantasy Café.
For today’s post, I’d like to discuss the books that have touched me over the years. They are all works of fiction, listed (roughly) in the order in which I read them over the years. Most are fantasy or science fiction—but not all.
2001 by Arthur C. Clarke
This is the first speculative fiction novel I ever read. For a long time, it was the standard by which all others were judged. It had to be hard science fiction—no space opera for me! However, it also had to have wonder in it. And the Jupiter approach scene is just about the most wondrous scene I have ever read.
Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel
I learned a great deal about character development from this novel, which I read when I was in high school, and before I entertained any serious desire to become a writer. I have since reread it many times.
The Once and Future King by T. H. White
Simply put, this novel made writing look so fun that I just had to try it for myself.
Crystal Singer by Anne McCaffrey
My husband had this lying around and I picked it up out of boredom. It was my first space opera. It touched me because of the music. I loved reading about a musician who goes off and finds a lucrative and exclusive line of work because … she has perfect pitch. And because she had to pass a rigorous physical, mental and intellectual exam to get in. I so wanted to be a crystal singer.
Dragonlance Chronicles by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman
I loved this series because the authors did their damnedest to include wonder in every chapter. You just don’t get a shot of wonder like this when you read today’s gritty fantasies. If you disagree, I’d love for you to recommend some titles.
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
I learned a great deal about point-of-view while I was reading it, as it alternates between omnipresent to third person as it goes from chapter to chapter. I also learned that you can take an unpleasant character and make them compelling.
Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
This book showed me that a novel can take on a serious subject and still make the reader howl with laughter.
Sentenced to Prism by Alan Dean Foster
I was blown away by this novel. Initially, I didn’t want to read it because I didn’t like the punny title. A friend convinced me to give it a try. It was totally not what I expected and when I name my favorite science fiction novels, this one always makes the list.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
This novel taught me the importance of bringing out a character through dialog. It also made me fall in love with romance again.
And to round out this list, a recent one:
The Sword-Edged Blonde by Alex Bledsoe
I just reread the review of this novel, and it made me wonder why I have not bought the second novel—I certainly intended to, and now I think I’ll get it for my nook. I loved Eddie LaCrosse, and while it was drenched in blood and gore, it had unexpected wonder, redemption and soul.
Ok, I have obeyed the blogger’s rule of THERE MUST BE TEN, so I’ll leave it at that.
Which novels would make your top-ten list, and why?
Thank you, Tia. That's an intriguing list of books! I'm going to have to think about my top ten list; that's a tough question to answer.
Here's some more information on The Sevenfold Spell, which was released today as an e-book from Carina Press:
Have you ever wondered what happens to the other people in the fairy tale?
Things look grim for Talia and her mother. By royal proclamation, the constables and those annoying “good” fairies have taken away their livelihood by confiscating their spinning wheel. Something to do with a curse on the princess, they said.
Not every young lady has a fairy godmother rushing to her rescue.
Without the promise of an income from spinning, Talia’s prospects for marriage disappear, and she and her mother face destitution. Past caring about breaking an arbitrary and cruel law, rebellious Talia determines to build a new spinning wheel, the only one in the nation, which plays right into the evil fairy’s diabolical plan. Talia discovers that finding a happy ending requires sacrifice. But is it a sacrifice she’s willing to make?
Good luck to those entering to win a copy of The Sevenfold Spell! To enter, email Tia at the address she provided or leave a comment with your top 10 favorite books - we'd love to hear about which books you love the most and why!