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McCaffrey did just that though with Dragonflight , a science fiction novel with fantasy elements set on the world of Pern. The Dreaming Tree presents a gorgeous, tragic view of the Faery realm and the relationships between men, elves, and the Sidhe. Tolkien is commonly credited with the birth of modern fantasy literature, but he never would have gotten there without Lord Dunsany. A Game of Thrones is the novel that brought fantasy to the bookshelves — and television screens — of an audience that may have never considered themselves fans of the genre.

No list would be compete with His Dark Materials, one of the finest young adult fantasies perfect for adults. Lyra lives in Oxford with her daemon familiar friend Pan. But when her friend Roger is stolen away, she must confront the evils of those in power while growing up in a world tied to multiple dimensions. A magical story for everyone. Three male sociologist stumble upon a utopian hidden society composed entirely of women, and what they find there changes their perception of femininity and gender constructs forever.

The nine-part series is a wonderful sweeping alternate fantasy, both well-researched and gorgeously written. The Hobbit. The Shire. The Wizard. The Ring. The Dragon. And Gollum.

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While Lord of the Rings is one of the most important books of the fantasy genre, it all began with The Hobbit , a book that proved to children that magic really does exist and sometimes the most unassuming of characters can carry it in their pocket. This enchanting tale will continue enchanting for centuries to come.

Robert E. Howard wrote many short stories featuring this wandering warrior, but only one novel: The Hour of the Dragon.


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This tale finds Conan, now middle-aged and the king of a great empire, threatened with a conspiracy to depose him — one that involves an ancient demonic presence. The grande dame of vampire fiction.

by George Orwell

Anne Rice has been inventing and reinventing vampires for decades now, but Interview With the Vampire remains unparalleled in its imagination, its danger, and its thrills. If you like mafia stories, and love good guys who are more than a little bad, then Jhereg belongs on your shelf.

You need to read it. Beagle has written a classic, perfect for all ages. This was, hands down, my favorite novel of The story tracks Carolyn, once human, now a student of the being known as Father, who oversees the library of creation. When Father disappears, his students turn on each other, and the consequences are earth-shaking. Widely considered as one of the finest fantasies alongside The Name of the Wind and A Game of Thrones , Lynch has created one of the most complex characters in Locke Lamora.

It is more than that, though. The author uses poetic language and has created a brilliantly-wrought world beside Locke. A must read. A foundational book in epic fantasy but one also featuring one of the first great anti-heroes. Thomas Covenant is a divorced leper living a life of seclusion. But when he is pulled into the Land as the reincarnation of its savior, he must decide what is real and what is not as he goes up against the evil Lord Foul.

Raymond E. This tale of a lowly orphan with a great magical destiny is as classic a fantasy tale as it gets, and is the gateway to a sprawling universe of Midkemia novels.

Imagine if Harry Potter and his fellow students were college-aged city kids who partied hard in between their lessons in thaumaturgy. If you think you know the story, then prepare to be surprised. But with power like his, his path is destined to be perilous no matter which one he chooses. The Arthur legend has always been fertile ground for modern day storytellers but Bradley managed to write arguably the most important chapter in its two thousand years—the tale told through the eyes of the powerful women behind the throne. It is a remarkable achievement, a necessary read like Dune or The Lord of the Rings.

When young Elmer hears the tale of a baby dragon imprisoned on a faraway island, he undertakes a journey to free the dragon, and encounters incredible sights and creatures along the way. The book is unsurpassably charming, and the illustrations iconic. While the story itself has all of the cliches and tropes that make up high fantasy, Rothfuss has managed to write an engaging tale with beautiful prose and musical words.

Orphaned when his parents are killed by the Chandrian, Kvothe tells the tale of his rise from the streets of Tarbean to the University and beyond as he hunts for the ways of revenge. One of the most important books of the last quarter century. A mysterious circus serves as the backdrop of a years-long duel between two magicians, who have always known they must compete against one another, despite not knowing their competitor or the reason behind the competition.

The classic tale by T. The book that began the TV series phenomonon. Complex characters. Great storytelling. And all set amidst historical backgrounds that the reader becomes swept away within. Claire Randall is a former British combat nurse who finds herself pulled into a past that threatens her life even as it threatens the love in her heart.

An amazing story of time travel and romance. The illuminated manuscript that Sam manages to save from the Viking invasion on the Island of Iona around AD really exists. Likewise, Corporal Chartrel, whom Sam helps during the battle of Verdun, really was wounded in the way I describe. The strike of the workers of Thebes that Sam joins actually happened. And each time these are central plot elements. Tightly linking history and fiction was at the heart of this project! As for actual research, I suppose I'm only doing my job, if not as a historian, at least as a history teacher.

That's a job enriched by my own taste for traveling: I have thoroughly enjoyed wandering around Iona and Bruges, in particular. Q: Sam's time travels are incredibly dramatic and exciting, thus bringing the past to life in a very real way for readers. As a history teacher, how do you engage your students? Are you able to bring history to life for your students in the same way that you do in The Book of Time? A: So far, the French national education system does not allow the Stone Statue to be used in class!

But like all teachers, I feel there is a theatrical side to teaching and that the spoken word can be as evocative as the written one, even within a fairly structured program. When talking to my students I tried to stress the human side of history, to help them understand, for example, that the Greeks who invented democracy in Athens were in some ways different from us, but in many others, very similar. That's what makes them close to us, and important and useful to know: They still have things to tell us today. And that approach isn't so different from that of The Book of Time.

A: It is not an accident that no one is allowed to enter my secret cave! Everything is there: the Stone Statue, the coins with holes, the Book of Time Except that this cave is somewhere deep in my brain, so there is no danger I will lose the key to it.

Seriously, though, one of the first things I had to do when I dreamed up this story was to take a piece of paper and sketch the Stone Statue, so as to fully understand its mechanism and its potential. Today I keep that drawing carefully hidden, because it has caused a lot of laughter from the people around me. Q: So often, aspiring writers are advised to write what they know. Are there elements in The Book of Time from your own life?

The Book of Time Discussion Guide | Scholastic

And do you have any advice for young authors? A: There are certainly parts of the book that are taken from my own life. In particular I am lucky enough to have a son and a daughter who share some character traits with Sam and his cousin Lily. Also, like Sam, I have done some judo without winning any major trophies, alas! In other words, there is a part of me that is still fourteen years old. As for advice to young writers, I'm probably not the best person to give it.

But I will say this: On a daily basis, I think writing is more a matter of willpower than talent. Pretty encouraging, don't you think? Q: The plot of The Book of Time is extremely intricate and the characters vivid. Can you share some of your influences as a writer? Where do your inspirations come from? Were you a reader as a child? What are some of the books you enjoyed reading? Do you think they influence your writing as an adult? A: I was very influenced by what I read when I was young.

I was a big reader, because I never found any other activity that so deliciously took me out of the world while teaching me so much about it. Isn't the desire to dive into a book that you are reading one of the strongest of feelings? It was probably the desire to make that feeling last that I always wanted to be a writer. Among the authors who influenced me growing up, Jules Verne was the first to make me passionate about adventure. Nothing should be accidental; everything should mean something.

This has almost become a way of thinking, and my children now forbid me from saying anything when we're watching a mystery on TV or at the movies, because I tend to quickly spot the guilty party, his motive, and methods. A professional deformity, in some ways. That's related to my desire to invent stories that go beyond a purely rational framework. Add to this a precocious interest in history, and I would say that The Book of Time was probably mainly written to appeal to the child I once was. What role did you play in its translation? Did you work with William Rodarmor, the translator, directly, or through Scholastic, your American publisher?

Can you tell us a little about the process? A: My grown-up novels have been translated into several languages, but my relationship with my translators was limited to a few e-mails to clear up some point or other. With William Rodarmor, all that changed! He started by telephoning me to introduce himself, and we very quickly built a relationship of trust.

And he got passionately involved with the text, wanting to know everything about everything, including somewhat remote elements of the historical context that would better enable him to understand this or that detail. He literally bombarded me with messages and sometimes tracked me to my lair, because he wound up knowing the book better than I did! And all this with great good humor.

In short, the translation was a novel and enriching experience, and it should continue with the next volumes. We then went over the final version with editor Cheryl Klein of Arthur A. Levine Books, and I was struck by her intelligent reading of the text. So I have been part of the translation process from beginning to end, which is a wonderful piece of luck for the writer, but also, I hope, for the book!

Q: Lastly, can you give us any hints about what's to come for Sam, Lily, and Allan? We can't wait to read more about them! A: Hmm Volume 2 has many revelations for Sam about his father and his family's story, and Lily may wind up more involved in her cousin's quest than she might like. And as in Volume 1, I can promise you a real surprise at the end! He knew from the age of six that he wanted to be a writer, but hardly wrote anything until he was in his mid-twenties for fear that it wouldn't be very good. Instead, he studied literature and history. After contributing to the Histoire television series and writing various specialized works, he turned to literature, producing a series of well-crafted adult historical detective novels, before writing The Book of Time.

William Rodarmor is an award-winning French translator, writer, and editor. Rodarmor lives in Berkeley, California. Create a List. List Name Save. Rename this List. Rename this list. List Name Delete from selected List. Save to. Save to:. Save Create a List.

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Create a list. Save Back. The Teacher Store Cart. Checkout Now. Teach This Lesson. About the Book This time travel adventure—filled with history and heart—takes readers around the globe and through diverse cultures, bringing history to life with vibrancy and intrigue. Q: Is the Stone Statue based on an historical artifact, or is it purely of your imagination?

Discussion Points Characters Is Sam brave because he is willing to risk his own life in order to save his father, or is he a coward because he doesn't want to face Monk? Can a person be both brave and afraid? Even though Sam's father is missing, there is no shortage of adults to care for Sam. Who would you respect more? How does Sam's behavior toward the four differ?

How does Sam feel about his Aunt and Rudolf's opinions of his father? While Allan Faulkner has not appeared in the story yet, he feels very present. What stories and events have brought him to life? Describe your impression of Allan Faulkner's personality, from his fingernail clipping collection to his Egyptian travels to how he rates as a dad and a businessman.

How does Sam's relationship with Lily change over the course of the novel? Sam makes many references to his life prior to his mother's death three years ago. How have his life, his relationships, his schoolwork, and his environment changed in those three years? Has his life changed since his discovery of the Stone Statue?