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Off-topic: Getting off the familiar fantasy merry-go-round, and loving it

A Deadly Education.

Whenever I have a conversation with someone about fantasy fiction, we always seem to end up recommending the same things. Things like The Name of the Wind by Rothfuss (the Kingkiller Chronicles), The Lies of Locke Lamora by Lynch (Gentleman Bastard series), or the Earthsea books - I revisited these recently and books one and two are still absolute bangers - by le Guin. Tolkien is always implied, maybe Philip Pullman and George R.R. Martin too, and Sapkowski's popular now too.

And this - this merry-go-round of the same recommendations - it started to bother me. It's not because the books are rubbish; obviously they're not. But they're known. Fantasy is saturated by them. And their voices, excluding le Guin, are all quite similar. I realised I'd become a bit trapped by their influence, and I realised I wanted something new.

My partner was one step ahead of me and she ordered a selection of books written in the last couple of years by female authors. We've read two of these (three if you count one as a two-book series) so far and, my goodness me, we devoured them. It's so invigorating reading stories with current beliefs and attitudes, not to mention technological references.

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Robert Purchese avatar

Robert Purchese

Senior Staff Writer

Bertie is a long-time writer and now podcaster for Eurogamer. He loves telling a story and listening to them. @Clert

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