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A Wizard of Earthsea
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When I first started reading this book I did wonder what all the fuss was about. The writing is quite straightforward yet so eloquent. There are deep themes explored here and the book works on both a children's and adult level. Forget Harry Potter (written over 30 years later)- this is classic storytelling about a wizard and a powerful one too.
A Game of Thrones
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I'm surprised to see this book top a lot of fantasy favourites. It focuses less on action and more on intrigue. It must be applauded for originality and epic scope but it doesn't work for me effectively enough as a stand alone book to merit being a classic.
The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever
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Donaldson brings outstanding depth to the field of fantasy in his first trilogy - a story of an anti hero called Thomas Covenant. The protagonist is a recently diagnosed leper who is transported into another world and its inhabitants expect him to be their savior.
The whole novel is superbly written with an exciting plot and interesting characters. All the while through the story is Thomas Covenant's battle to wrestle with his own demons - of what it is good and evil in a world that is not 'real'.
I have read quite a few fantasy books from Tolkien's lord of the rings to the raymond e fiest novels, terry goodkind and phiilip pulman - all of which i really enjoyed.
I must say however this trilogy is my favourite. I find it enthralling and moving. It asks deep philosophical questions from the reader and is a much more adult take on fantasy.
I can't recommend it highly enoughLose yourself in the chronicles!