Fantasy Works That 'Blew Your Mind'

Danica

Queen of the boards!
Staff member
#21
Tigana. I cry all the time in books and it in tv shows. This is the one that currently makes me tear up. Anyway, point being I normally cry in books. Tigana ... I cried a river, pretty much literally. People say it is boring. I say it is one of the greatest books I've ever read.
 

moonspawn

Journeyed there and back again
#23
Ok I'll answer this thread with a few more words, Perdido Street Station and The Scar. Then more recently Clark Ashton Smith and Mervyn Peake really blew me away with their stuff. It was the writing alone that blew me away. And several of Robin Hobb's books have had me crying like @Danica, especially Tawny Man. So while the other books I've mentioned blew my mind in an intellectual since, Robin Hobb's blew me out emotionally like none other I've read.
 

Shorty

Philosophizes with Kellhus
#24
I can't pin it down on a simple book that changed reading for me entirely. For me there were two significant Auhtors that made me the fatntasy reader I'm today.
In my teen years I was not reading that much at all and even if I was reading back then I never thought of Fantasy. I enjoyed mostly fiction stories and Horror by Grisham and King and alike. But it was the famous Horror Author who brought me to fantasy in the first place. Some Steven King books had already a "fantasy touch", even if I did not think about it then. But books like firestarter were my first encounter with worlds full of magic and mistery. But it was an other book/series of Steven King that had had the big impact on me. With his Dark Tower epos, he made me realise: "Es gibt andere Welten als diese." = "There are other worlds than this" (Should be s.th. like this in English) I was awed by the concept of fantastic worlds, of reference to other books (mostly other King Books in that case) and parallels to other storys (e.g. King Arthur). All was connected and miraculous, it was magic. After that, I took my first steps into the "real" fantasy genre - mostly German authors like Heitz and Hennen. But that was it for that time. I read 2-3 fantasy books a year and everything was fine.
The next big change came in a holliday in Spain. I had read all the books I brought with me and went to a local library. My Englsh was even worse than it is now, and I was not sure if I could read a fantasy book in a foreign language, so I was happy to see that they even had German Fantasy books. I picked one up and it brought the second change to my fantasy reading. It was Patrick Rothfuss with the best book I read so far (and that did not change 'till toady), The Name of the Wind. It was better then everything I read before and something brought reading to a new level for me. Sounds a little bit cheesy, but what it actually did was making me read at least 5 times the books a year then I did before. I guess those were the books that blew my mind.
 

João Ribeiro

Journeyed there and back again
#25
Here is another one. It didn't really blow my mind (nor is it spectacular by any means) but I was really taken in the "The Runelords" and the sucking physical traits from other humans system. I actually ended up re-reading them and I still like them but this was before I was "exposed" to this forum and picked up other recommendations :)

I still think fondly of the series though.
 

ralfy

Got in a fistfight with Dresden
#26
From what I've experienced, just reading the work will not do. One has to look at its form and intricacies concerning that, such as the rhyming scheme and the fact that it is sustained across thousands of lines, the elaborate manner by which the structure of the three-part poem is connected, the multi-layered allegories, connections to dozens of philosophical arguments, word plays, and the impressive manner by which denizens of the three words are described. On top of that, there are connections between the poem and a whole body of works across multiple genres, from Dore's, Blake's, and Dali's visual art to Tchaikovsky's tone poems to Coppola's Apocalypse Now. One can even see Dante's journey in light of an incredible body of myths discussed in Campbell and others.

The same applies to impressive fantasies by authors ranging from Kafka to modern marvelous realism of the Latin American boom.
 

Hand of Fear

Journeyed there and back again
#27
For me the two that come to mind are PSS and The Name of the Wind, and the reasons would be for the sheer enjoyment I have from reading them, I'm sure there will be a others but these are the two that came to mind (Malazan will no doubt be in there as well).
 

Anti_Quated

Journeyed there and back again
#28
Tolkien, for the obvious breadth and quality of his work.

And while perhaps not strictly 'fantasy', The Iliad and The Odyssey. Few books have moved me so much, capturing both the senseless waste of war, and the vibrant richness of this fleeting life when men offer it up so fervently upon the shores of some far-spun foreign land. Something powerfully stirring to the heart, or at least mine - that call to adventure, to arms. To know but a breath of glorious ruin before the futility of such a petty, mortal thing bears down, yielding but another ignominious death in countless billions; where all but the brightest flames pass forgotten into shades that lament ever after. So gorgeously self-destructive and conceited, and I cannot but help pine and keen for those towering colossi of the ancient Aegean.
 

TomTB

Super Moderator
Staff member
#29
Tolkien, for the obvious breadth and quality of his work.

And while perhaps not strictly 'fantasy', The Iliad and The Odyssey. Few books have moved me so much, capturing both the senseless waste of war, and the vibrant richness of this fleeting life when men offer it up so fervently upon the shores of some far-spun foreign land. Something powerfully stirring to the heart, or at least mine - that call to adventure, to arms. To know but a breath of glorious ruin before the futility of such a petty, mortal thing bears down, yielding but another ignominious death in countless billions; where all but the brightest flames pass forgotten into shades that lament ever after. So gorgeously self-destructive and conceited, and I cannot but help pine and keen for those towering colossi of the ancient Aegean.
I think you've become my favourite poster on this forum. I love reading everything you write .. please stick around :)
 
#32
The Lies of Locke Lamora. Hands down. I think mostly because it is the only one I really didn't know what to expect. With Lord of the Rings, Wheel of Time, and Game of Thrones, it was all pretty obvious. I knew what to expect. Also when it comes to Lamora, I love how truly creative the schemes and plans are in the book.
 

rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#33
I didn't start reading fantasy books until about the last 5 years. I've really enjoyed quite a few of them but The Name of the Wind blew me away. Maybe it's because it's one of the first sets of books I read but it was so different and beautifully written with a strong connection to the main character that I absolutely loved it.

(I loved the Wool Omnibus for sci-fi).
 

Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
#37
There's a small number of fantasy works that blew my mind. I'll list them below:

- LOTR: I first read the book during my early adolescence. It absolutely blew me away. I had never read anything before with this scale and with a comparable heavy, breathing history. It was my gateway into the realm of fantasy books.
- ASOIAF: By far the best series I've ever read. As a history aficionado, I love the down to earth realism of this series. Even when GRRM writes about dragons and white walkers, it just seems so real. Game of Thrones was the first major work in the fantasy genre that had morally grey characters, driven by realistic motivations. It has been copied and/or used by subsequent fantasy authors, but GRRM did it first and (in my opinion) best.
- Malazan Book of the Fallen: amazingly intricate and epic in scope. It also has some great characters. I sometimes had to put the book down out of sheer excitement. During some chapters I would actually limit myself to reading a certain number of pages a day, just because I didn't want to finish it and lose the epicness.
 

dunebuggy

Knows the real name of Lower Corte
#38
One of the first fantasy books that made my tuny mind go Boom! I was 5,and it was a tale about a giant strawberry sandwich,to trap flies in an infested village. But from there on,The Lord Of The Rings,I even said that aloud as I typed that. Its like a warm blanket,that I reread when I need to get my Middle Earth on. Gormenghast is also close to my heart,tied up with my youth and its so unique,beautiful,melancholy,funny..I could go on. Imajica by Clive Barker,made me punch the air as well,so strange and sensual,brilliant. Mistborn has to get a mention,made me see coins in my pocket as a secret source of power and not just small change for a packet of crisps.The latest mindblown series(it will never be the farseer trilogy,yes..just had to reiterate my boredom factor!) Was the monster blood tattoo series,its YA but it was so much fun and read it,when I had the flu,so the fever just hyped up the story so much more in my head.
 
#39
Well, first of all, hello everyone! This is my very first post in here (and I hope I'm not breaking a rule for introducing me here lol)

It's been a month since I've got the "required courage" to start LoTR, and man, "The Fellowship..." made it worthwhile. It's true that in the end I was so tired of details as the chars were tired of travel :p but the few action scenes are still in my mind. Can't wait for The Two Towers!