Flights of Fantasy 2017 Reading Challenge Wrap-up

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The Flights of Fantasy Reading Challenge motivated me to read some books that had been on my TBR list for many years, and it also enabled me to re-read some of my favorites. Fantasy was my first favorite genre, but I haven’t read a lot of it lately because it seems to have lost its magic, as I wrote about several weeks ago. In fact, all of the fantasy I read this year was written before 1993.

My year in fantasy fiction began with a fantastically original series of three books by Barry Hughart collected in an omnibus edition known as The Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox. You can read my review of the entire series, but the quick rundown is this is a series not to be missed.

The fantasy reading soared along with a re-reading of The Hobbit for Brona’s Hobbit/Lord of the Rings Read-along. The read-along continued at a leisurely pace for the next seven months as I read the Millennium Edition of The Lord of the Rings, and it was enjoyable to revisit Middle-earth, as always.

I also revisited a well-loved book from my youth, Empire of the East, by Fred Saberhagen. It was just as good as I remembered.

One of the best things about the Flights of Fantasy challenge was that I finally read three books that I bought well over twenty years ago, a series known as The Elenium by David Eddings. The Diamond Throne, The Ruby Knight, and The Sapphire Rose were a bit of a disappointment, but I’m glad I finally read them all.

Finally, there were two books that were completely new to me, one of which is a new favorite; the other…not so much. Ghost Stories of an Antiquary is a wonderfully ghoulish collection of ghost stories by M.R. James that I will definitely re-read. I had a few issues with The Worm Ouroboros by E.R. Eddison, but in the end I was glad I read it.

The Flights of Fantasy Reading Challenge reignited my interest in reading fantasy fiction, especially books that I read in my youth that are now available as ebooks. I look forward to reading more fantasy next year, and I hope there’s a Flights of Fantasy 2018.

The Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten OxEmpire of the East by Fred Saberhagen

The Diamond Throne by David EddingsThe Ruby Knight by David EddingsThe Sapphire Rose by David Eddings

Ghost Stories of an AntiquaryThe Worm Ouroboros by E.R. Eddison

Deacon Nick

Nick Senger is a husband, a father of four, and a Catholic school teacher, vice principal and technology coordinator. He taught junior high literature and writing for over 25 years, and has been a Catholic school educator since 1990. In 2001 he was named a Distinguished Teacher of the Year by the National Catholic Education Association.

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