And I’m going to give you a story and explanation as to why I am asking for your input (as if you really cared :P)
I quite enjoy fantasy. What got me reading as a kid was high fantasy books. Books where I am thrusted into the unknown soils of foreign and alien lands, where magic exists, where there are princes and princesses, knights and mages, monsters and creatures, to keep me entertained and invested. While I was younger I found that books that were in this genre for children were too lite for my tastes and by the time I was ten I was already delving into the Adult section of the fantasy section. Books in the Forgotten Realms and Dragon Lance kept me happy. Although there were things that completely soared over my head and understanding at the time (I was also reading Piers Anthony books, which where highly sexual, in which those scenes I had no recollection of ever reading as a kid but rereading these books have opened my eyes – like this part was NOT here at this part, no – there was no nakedness here!) I did understand the overall plot and themes of the story.
Children’s and young adult fantasy books are just too dull for me. Too tamed that I didn’t quite like them. But adult fantasies, they were unrestictive and imaginative, it seemed. There were memorable things to me as a kid, which made those books so dear to me at the time.
I remember Piers Anothny books quite fondly and the last time I read his books was when I was 16 ( I started his books when I was 12 or so)… I remember loving the talking horse in his Mode series and a talking alien-like squid.
Or his unicorn/robot/human hybreds in his Apprentice Adept series. And the pearl button for a replacement for a horn.
Now my tastes has changed some. Rarely do I reread books now. There’s just too much to read. And yet, I still find myself in a dilemma of finding that perfect YA high fantasy book for me – for my tastes. There are countless books out there in this genre and yet, I haven’t found my match yet. There are some I enjoyed but not completely think I can’t live without. Books such as:
Then there are those I have read that I found were interesting but weren’t quite to my personal tastes. Such as:
If you like Arthurian Legends you should check out DJ Hale’s book. It should be right up your alley.
I have found that dragon books in the YA market tetters closest to what I’m looking for, but the dragons take precedent in the plot and theme and thus isn’t quite what I’m looking for in this post. Books such as:
I am aware of new titles. But I feel like these new titles lack a certain something for me. Either the something being magic, creatures awe-inspring or fear inducing, or characters. But most likely the epic factor. Books such as:
Is a noble attempt but just didn’t do it for me. There are also those infused with Eastern influences that I’m sure many others would enjoy and I would recommend but isn’t quite IT for me still. Such as:
There are books I enjoyed that had high fantasy elements to it, but didn’t quite match the epicness I associated with High Fantasy. These books I recommend whole heartedly, if you are looking for a good fantasy (medium done – meaning not too heavy):
Anything by Maria V. Snyder, but I enjoyed her Poison study series the most.
There are elements that meets High Fantasy, such as the magic and sword fighting, but there isn’t that epic quality to it. What is this epic quality? That deciding factor that tells or suggests to readers that there is more at stake than the lives of the main characters in the book. That if the main characters fails, the world will end. Not just maybe, not just the bad guys will rule the world, the world WILL END. Epic factor.
That is where YA High Fantasy falls when I consider them. I have not met a series or book that gave me this feeling. In the Lord of the Rings series you get this punch in the stomach knowing the bad guys will raze the world into the ground and Middle Earth will never have the chance to return to normal. In most adult books, this doom is noted consistently, YA tends to go off course focusing solely on our heroes and their personal issues. And yet, in adult books personal issues are also touched upon and treaded and explored. I almost feel like YA High Fantasy are dumded down, thinking teens are too ignorant or are less abled readers than adults to understand an epic story. Which probably isn’t the case, but it just feels that way.
There has to be something out there for the YA audience in High Fantasy that’s comparable to the adult markets. I just don’t know it. Do you know of a book? Give me a name and author and I would love to check out the books.