Most Unique Fantasy Novels You've Read

BAYLOR

There Are Always new Things to Learn.
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Messages
23,403
Typewriter in the Sky by L Ron Hubbard written in 1940 This is fancy novel of a man who finds himself trapped a bad pulp novel as swashbuckling character who is trying to get out before the conclusion of the tale ends his with his demise.
 

HareBrain

Smeerp of Wonder
Staff member
Supporter
Joined
Oct 13, 2008
Messages
13,526
Location
West Sussex, UK
I think Lord Foul's Bane might be another contender for me. As well as the fact that the MC suffers from leprosy, which I've not come across anywhere else, the overall feel of the created world is unlike any other I've experienced. (That said, my last two attempts at reading it haven't got very far, and I'm glad I read it back when I was more easily wowed and a lot less picky.)
 

BAYLOR

There Are Always new Things to Learn.
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Messages
23,403
I think Lord Foul's Bane might be another contender for me. As well as the fact that the MC suffers from leprosy, which I've not come across anywhere else, the overall feel of the created world is unlike any other I've experienced. (That said, my last two attempts at reading it haven't got very far, and I'm glad I read it back when I was more easily wowed and a lot less picky.)

The first time I tried to read Lord Fouls , I got halfway and fgave up. The a friend who read further in the series told me about Book two and that I should try it again . Which I did . Book one is slog but basically a good read . In book 2 , the series kicked into overdrive.
 

Elentarri

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2022
Messages
502
The Bone Key by Sarah Monette
"The Bone Key" is a collection of 10 linked, gothic, short stories revolving around shy and anti-social museum archivist Kyle Murchison Booth, who specializes in rare manuscripts. After a botched raising-the-dead ritual, Booth has attracted the attention of various supernatural entities such as ghosts, ghouls, incubi. The stories are fairly entertaining and interesting. They weren't particularly terrifying, but some were creepy.
Sarah Monette also writes under the pseudonym Katherine Addison.

Sourdough Culture: A History of Bread Making from Ancient to Modern Bakers by Eric Pallant
The narrative starts with Pallant receiving a sourdough starter and his attempts to trace the provenance of this starter, which apparently came from Cripple Creek, Colorado during the 19th century gold rush. Getting stuck with his provenance search, Pallant researches the history of leavened bread making from the "other end" of history hoping that this forwards-and-backwards methodology will meet somewhere in the middle. Doing some research with the assistance of archaeologists, archivists and master bakers, the history of sourdough bread is traced through ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece and Rome, the European Dark Ages, the French Revolution, the British Industrial Revolution, the discovery of the Americas and the gold rush in Colorado and California. Pallant also take a look at how sourdough bread influenced historical events and how commercial yeasted (i.e. non-sourdough) bread, which is more uniform and faster to produce, took over. Interwoven within the historical, detective and microbiological narrative is the author's own sourdough bread baking experience. This combination provides a compelling and fascinating story about one man's search for everything about sourdough bread. I found his attempt to make sourdough bread from scratch - including growing his own wheat - fairly entertaining. The experience was time consuming and not particularly simple. Each chapter also contains a recipe.

The Magic Circle by Donna Jo Napoli
The Magic Circle is based on the Brothers' Grimm fairy tale Hansel & Gretel, but with a twist. This story is told from the perspective of the child-eating witch, who wasn't always a witch, didn't always eat children, or live a lonely existence in a candy house in the middle of nowhere. This is a story about a single mother trying to do the best for her child, with an appearance and talents that make the rest of the village uncomfortable. Unfortunately, life doesn't always turn out as planned... especially if their are demons involved. Napoli has written a somewhat dark story, but it's beautifully told, if a bit short.
 

BAYLOR

There Are Always new Things to Learn.
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Messages
23,403
Too Long A Sacrifice by Mildred Downey Broxton

It's also a poem by William Butler Yeats
 
Last edited:

hitmouse

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2011
Messages
4,017
Sourdough Culture: A History of Bread Making from Ancient to Modern Bakers by Eric Pallant
The narrative starts with Pallant receiving a sourdough starter and his attempts to trace the provenance of this starter, which apparently came from Cripple Creek, Colorado during the 19th century gold rush. Getting stuck with his provenance search, Pallant researches the history of leavened bread making from the "other end" of history hoping that this forwards-and-backwards methodology will meet somewhere in the middle. Doing some research with the assistance of archaeologists, archivists and master bakers, the history of sourdough bread is traced through ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece and Rome, the European Dark Ages, the French Revolution, the British Industrial Revolution, the discovery of the Americas and the gold rush in Colorado and California. Pallant also take a look at how sourdough bread influenced historical events and how commercial yeasted (i.e. non-sourdough) bread, which is more uniform and faster to produce, took over. Interwoven within the historical, detective and microbiological narrative is the author's own sourdough bread baking experience. This combination provides a compelling and fascinating story about one man's search for everything about sourdough bread. I found his attempt to make sourdough bread from scratch - including growing his own wheat - fairly entertaining. The experience was time consuming and not particularly simple. Each chapter also contains a recipe.
I have number of books on bread-making, and its history (The Tassajara Bread Book, English Bread and Yeast Cookery by Elizabeth David, Short and Sweet by Dan Lepard, Bread by Daniel Stevens) and I take a journal of culinary history, Petits Propos Culinaires.
It is a delightful idea to start including these in the Fantasy genre, which is a bit stale and stodgy at times.
 

Elentarri

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2022
Messages
502
I have number of books on bread-making, and its history (The Tassajara Bread Book, English Bread and Yeast Cookery by Elizabeth David, Short and Sweet by Dan Lepard, Bread by Daniel Stevens) and I take a journal of culinary history, Petits Propos Culinaires.
It is a delightful idea to start including these in the Fantasy genre, which is a bit stale and stodgy at times.
Whoops. Sorry - was supposed to stick that in the December read thread. My bad. Will move it over.
EDIT: Grrrr - can't edit the original post. Sorry everyone.
 

Toby Frost

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Joined
Jan 22, 2008
Messages
7,644
It is a delightful idea to start including these in the Fantasy genre, which is a bit stale and stodgy at times.

I disagree- it seems like a half-baked plan to me!
 

Lostinspace

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 18, 2021
Messages
66
There is "A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking" by T. Kingfisher already in the fantasy genre, with a sourdough starter called Bob.
 
Last edited:

paranoid marvin

Run VT Erroll!
Supporter
Joined
Mar 9, 2007
Messages
5,749
I think Lord Foul's Bane might be another contender for me. As well as the fact that the MC suffers from leprosy, which I've not come across anywhere else, the overall feel of the created world is unlike any other I've experienced. (That said, my last two attempts at reading it haven't got very far, and I'm glad I read it back when I was more easily wowed and a lot less picky.)

The Thomas Covenant chronicles I love and hate in equal measure. They are a slog to read, mainly because the main characters are so dislikable (and not just for his first act in 'the Land'. His disbelief (or 'unbelief') of his reality are taken to extreme proportions, and spoil to some extent the beauty of the locations and characters that he meets - but perhaps that was an intentional act by the author.

It's the antithesis of LOTR, but what kept me reading on was the imagination of the author in the creation of this world, similar in scale (perhaps greater) to Tolkien's stories. I read the first 6 novels, but they took me the longest time to do so. I don't think that I will ever re-read them, but I would definitely recommend others to try the Chronicles to see what they think.
 

BAYLOR

There Are Always new Things to Learn.
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Messages
23,403
The Thomas Covenant chronicles I love and hate in equal measure. They are a slog to read, mainly because the main characters are so dislikable (and not just for his first act in 'the Land'. His disbelief (or 'unbelief') of his reality are taken to extreme proportions, and spoil to some extent the beauty of the locations and characters that he meets - but perhaps that was an intentional act by the author.

It's the antithesis of LOTR, but what kept me reading on was the imagination of the author in the creation of this world, similar in scale (perhaps greater) to Tolkien's stories. I read the first 6 novels, but they took me the longest time to do so. I don't think that I will ever re-read them, but I would definitely recommend others to try the Chronicles to see what they think.

Its essentially LOTR's evil twin.

I wonder what Tolkien would have thought of this series .
 

HareBrain

Smeerp of Wonder
Staff member
Supporter
Joined
Oct 13, 2008
Messages
13,526
Location
West Sussex, UK
It's the antithesis of LOTR
I think it's actually very Tolkienian except in the nature of the main character/s. Very few of the other characters are "grey": they all either stand for beauty and service to the Land, or they attack it in despite. Donaldson even doubles down on Tolkien's sub-theme of threat to nature. I was very struck with his idea of Earthpower, and his description of Andelain (far more than say Tolkien's Lothlorien). I think it could be called one of the very first environmental fantasies.
 

Similar threads


Top