Fantasy comes in various levels of intensity and can be difficult for new readers to get into. All the terminology that is mundane-speak for the veteran, the concepts, and the tropes. Therefore I'm starting a new little series here on the blog that I'll call Fantasy - Where to Begin, for the sake of simplicity.
This post is as simple as providing you with a few different book suggestions.
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling.
An easy read that still manages to capture the attention of readers of all ages. My age suggestion: 0-25.
Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones.
One of my all-time favourites. Can be a bit trippy sometimes but still an excellent and easy book to read. Don't confuse with the animation by the same name, although they are based on the same story the book and the film are entirely different. My age suggestion: 12-30.
The Cry of the Icemark by Stuart Hill.
Highly allegorical high fantasy, which makes it easy to understand even for those not familiar with the fantasy genre. My age suggestion: 14-25.
The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett.
These two are connected, so I didn't feel comfortable mentioning only one of them. All of Terry Pratchett's Discworld Series is recommended really. The reason these aren't in the Gateway category is that to appreciate them you should have at least a basic grasp of the tropes of the genre. My age suggestion: 15+.
The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini.
Aka. Eragon. Dragons, good vs evil, fighting, and good characters. My age suggestion: 13-2000.
Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare.
Urban fantasy with nicely written chemistry between characters. The story is also quite nice, although the monsters in the story need work. It's a good read though. My age suggestion: 15-25.
Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien.
I don't think this needs a description.
Black Magician by Trudi Canavan.
Another one of my all-time favourites. Intrigue, magic, battles, the ever beloved underdog situation, and fantastic characters. Absolutely wonderful characters. I hold grudges about some of those fights though. My age suggestion: 15+.
Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey.
Easy to read and contain a lot of tropes and terminology of fantasy. Not my favourite but still good. My age suggestion: 10-20.
The Redemption of Althalus by the awesome Eddings.
This is a long and sometimes trippy story. Bitter professional thieves and sassy goddesses. All you need. My age suggestion: 16+.
Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan.
Long story, multiple of interesting characters, intricate storylines, magic, battles. This series contains almost everything one can want from a fantasy series. My age suggestion: 15+.
Tales of the Otori by Lian Hearn.
One of the best stories out there. Based on Japanese society but in a fantasy setting. The writing is terrific, the characters are great, and the world is just... Yas. Gimme more.