So I got the idea for this from a post made over on a friends blog, Dark Mondays;

The idea was that I would post a picture of the top shelf of my bookcase and a short piece about each book/series up there. This will be a four part series as only the books that I really enjoy go on my shelves, due to the limited space.

I’ll start off with the decorations in front, to  get them out of the way. The little truck you can see is a toy my grandmother bought for me when she took me and my twin sister to the Aviation Museum Hendon when we were nine. The Lego spaceship is something I made when I was eleven and has always stayed there. The block of dice are from my Warhammer days, long live the Emperor! The Ezio Auditore da Firenze action figure was a present from a mate for my… fifteenth birthday I think. And the picture, in the lovely blue sailing boat frame, is of my first dog Rufus with my uncle at Skegness.

The first set of books you can see is the Black Magician trilogy by Trudi Canavan. The story is set in a fantasy universe where Magicians are only recruited from the noble classes, leading to a sense of elitism among the magic users of the world. Their assumption that the lower classes do not posses such skills is shattered when a young street girl, Sonea, destroys a magical shield with a stone. Sending the Magicians on a frenzied hunt for her and those who help her hide.

Lord of the Rings by J.R.R.Tolkien, you know what LotR is, no point explaining.

Next are Michael J Sullivans first six books. Split into two separate trilogies they follow the lives of Hadrian Blackwater and Royce Melborn, the first a deadly mercenary with a conscience and the second a ruthless and cold hearted thief. Both characters are extensively fleshed out through the two trilogies and take on a life of their own in the pages. I can’t recommend these books highly enough, to newbie fantasy readers to grizzled veterans. The plot of each novel may seem stereotypic and predictable from a glance at the blurb, but nothing prepares you for the twists and turns the story takes.

Next along is Patrick Rothfuss’ Kingkiller books, two novels and a novella make up the line up of these superb books. Rothfuss is the master of ambience and storytelling in modern fantasy. An expert at detail and character building. His prose and plot are thick with a rich history to his world. To convince you of the brilliance of Rothfuss’ writing here is an extract from the very first page, the prologue:

It was night again. The Waystone Inn lay in silence, and it was a silence of three parts.
The most obvious part was a hollow, echoing quiet, made by things that were lacking. If there had been a wind it would have sighed through the trees, set the inns sign creaking on its hooks, and brushed the silence down the road like trailing Autumn leaves. 

It reads like poetry, its an experience to simply read this book and be engulfed by its vast breadth. It can’t be stated just how brilliant it is. Currently there is a TV series in the early stages of development along with apparent ideas for films and video games.

The last books that I’ll mention are the first three books in Robin Hobbs brilliant world, these books being Assassins Apprentice, Royal Assassin and Assassins Quest. A truly brilliant trilogy that follows the years in which FitzChivalry, bastard born son of the king to be, is accepted by his grandfather into his household and trained from the age of six to be his tool. A truly human story of a boy that becomes a man, forced into a line of work that was devised for him upon his discovery by his uncle Verity. And whilst I have yet to dive into the next trilogy in the books chronology I dearly want to, just to return to the world that lives and breathes on those pages.

Thanks for reading, next part should be along soon