My Top Five Favorite Fantasy Novelists

This post finishes up the trifecta of entries on my favorite novelists. If you haven’t read about my favorite Romance and Science Fiction novelists, please follow the links. And read the books! They’re all fantastic.

1. Kelley Armstrong. The friend who recommended Armstrong to me called the Otherworld series “paranormal superfriends” and the label has stuck in my head ever since. I very much enjoyed this series, most especially the prominent role many female characters play in the plot such as Elena, the main character of the first novel, and Paige, Savannah and Eve.

2. Patricia Keneally-Morrison. This author seems to be better known for being married to Jim Morrison than for her Keltria series, but I found her books to be captivating. In the Keltria universe the Celts left Earth and populated several planets in another star system, a planet devoted to each of the main Celtic cultures: Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Brittany. If nothing else, this is an interesting “what if” scenario on how these cultures might have advanced in isolation and it’s written by someone who really knows her Celtic stuff. While the series does involve space travel, I think of Keneally-Morrison’s books as Fantasy because of the rich world-building.

3. Ann Marston. Marston’s Rune Blade and Sword in Exile trilogies are another set of “what ifs” based on Celtic mythology and archeology, specifically the topography of the books are based on the European continent and islands of the UK. I very much enjoyed these books as a pleasant escape into lush world-building.

4. Diana Paxson. When I discovered Paxon’s character Cridilla in The Serpent’s Tooth, her version of the King Llyr myth, it was the first time I consciously recognized how kick-ass heroines fundamentally differ from what I had read previously. Cridilla’s sense of self-determination mattered more to me than success at reaching the goal. I also enjoyed Paxson’s Hallowed Isle series.

5. Marion Zimmer Bradley. If you haven’t noticed it yet, after High Fantasy like a Tolkein, I prefer Celtic Fantasy, specifically that of King Arthur. Zimmer Bradley’s Avalon books rank right up there for me.

Other Notables: Liz Williams, Mary Stewart, Terry Pratchett