10 Must-Read Fantasy Series

The world seems like a strange place these days, and with the lockdown in full effect, now is the perfect time to catch up on your backlist of books. Fantasy might be an intimidating genre, but it’s one that makes the impossible seem possible. Whether you’re new to the genre, or a lifelong fan, there is something for everyone in this list of 10 must-read fantasy novels.

The Shattered Sea by Joe Abercrombie

Half a King | Half the World | Half a War

Kicking things off is The Shattered Sea series. Perfect for fans of the Last Kingdom, Abercrombie’s novels takes all the themes familiar in fantasy such as betrayal, vengeance, and survival, but adds a layer of depth to them that makes the book all the more engaging. Our characters are flawed and complex, and throughout the book, we explore the varying degrees of strength that push our characters to their very limits. Continue reading

Discussion: The Best Scenes From Return of the King

In the final instalment of this series, we are looking at the best moments from the Return of the King. In the epic conclusion to this saga, the fellowship are faced with their biggest challenge yet as Frodo, Sam, and the villainous Gollum march closer to Mordor, and the spotlight falls on Minas Tirith, the last stronghold of Gondor. It’s a breathtaking final, one that is grounded in the last strength of the free people of Middle-earth. The Return of the King is a testament to all the hard work that went into creating this epic fantasy adventure. It’s a culmination of all the work that has gone into proving that epic fantasy is equally as compelling as any other movie genre. It paved the way for other fantasy franchises on the big and small screen and rightfully deserved the 11 Academy Awards it received in 2003. In a film that runs over 250 minutes (Extended Edition), here are the best scenes from Return of the King.

The Palantír

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In a brief reprieve following the Battle of Helms Deep, members of the fellowship are reunited with Merry and Pippin. Before departing for Edoras, Gandalf and company seek out a powerless Saurman for information on the upcoming battle. In this confrontation, we get a glimpse of the Palantir, Saruman’s direct link to Sauron. Pippin’s fixation on the Palantir would lead to the confrontational moment when he succumbs to the will of the Palantir, getting a glimpse of Sauron’s plan. This moment was so effective in luring the fellowship into a false sense of security while they regroup. Yet, with Legolas’ keen sense, that looming threat of danger slowly builds leading to Pippin succumbing to the will of the Palantir effectively crushes this lull, reminding us that they may have won the battle, but the war has yet to be resolved. Continue reading

Discussion: The Best Scenes from the Two Towers

The second instalment to the Lord of the Rings franchise, The Two Towers defies the middle movie slump as viewers are treated to an expanding universe, raised stakes, and one of the greatest battles in cinematic history. The Two Towers is an easy favourite in the franchise, as the scattered fellowship finds themselves at the heart of the conflict, and their journey becomes more perilous as they draw closer to enemy territory. Here are some of the best scenes from The Two Towers.

The Fate of Merry and Pippin

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A friendly reminder that Viggo Mortensen actually broke two toes when filming this scene. This moment showcases Aragorn’s skills as a ranger as it reveals the fate of the captured Merry and Pippin. The way the scene cuts from Aragorn’s shrewd tracking skills to Merry and Pippin’s escape was brilliant in heightening the sense of anticipation in hearing the fates of these Hobbits. Continue reading

Discussion: The Best Scenes from The Fellowship of the Ring

There is no denying the influence the Lord of the Rings franchise has had on cinema. This franchise paved the way for fantasy on both the small screen and the big screen. It proved to the world that a fantasy adventure can be both visually striking and engaging in its narrative. With a strong cast of characters and a dedicated production team, the Lord of the Rings captures the spirit of this beloved book series. The Fellowship of the Ring kick starts this journey, and these are the most memorable scenes from the first instalment of this epic franchise.

Prologue: One Ring to Rule Them All…

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The opening sequence of The Fellowship of the Ring does everything it can to successfully hook a viewer. Establishing the history and power of the one ring and his master, we are given a glimpse into the despair and destruction that once beheld Middle-Earth. The dramatic shots of war and the corruption of men did a phenomenal job at establishing a lingering threatening presence from the enemy. Pair that with the almost ethereal narration from Galadriel, and we have an opening that instantly captivates the viewers. Continue reading

Reasons To Read Lord of the Rings: A Trilogy Review

The Lord of the Rings has had an incredible influence in the world of literature and film. The film franchise paved the way for fantasy films, proving that epic fantasy can be visually and emotionally engaging, building a franchise that has a lasting legacy on the industry. None of this would have been possible without J.R.R. Tolkien. This post highlights the many reasons you should read the Lord of the Rings.

Characterisation

The most distinctive difference between the book and the film is in the characters. The changes in the film, especially with Aragorn’s reluctant leader persona, benefitted the dramatic tension in the film. However, the book sees him assert his role quite early on in the series with a clear understanding of his destiny. The dynamic between the fellowship was particularly compelling as the bonds that bound them were tested and loyalty wavered under the influence and threat of the one ring. Continue reading

Top Ten Tuesday: Autumn TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and Bookish and hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl where we get a new topic for a top 10 list.

I can confirm that 2019 has quite possibly been the worst reading year yet. In 9 months I’ve succeeded in reading a staggering 5 books in total. This might be my new normal now since I’ve long accepted the fact that I can’t do massive reading spree’s like I use to, but I am determined to at least read a couple more books before the year is out. So, here is my short but hopeful to-read pile for autumn.

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Discussion: The Benefits of Book Adaptations

Book adaptations have taken Hollywood by storm recently. From well-loved classics to comic book blockbusters, and Young Adult coming of age stories, books are a crutial source for the entertainment industry. With Netflix buying the rights to 50 literary projects we can expect a lot more adaptations in the near future. Now, while some may complain about the sheer number of book adaptations in the making, you cannot deny the impact they’ve had on the industry. In most cases, the books are always better, and some films should not be called adaptations – Percy Jackson – but there are so many reasons as to why we shouldn’t shun book adaptations. Here are some of the benefits that come from book adaptations.

1. A Wider Audience

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The fact is, book adaptations are going to appeal to the masses and that’s not a bad thing because while the book adaptation draws readers to the film, the film simultaneously introduces non-readers to the book. With every book adaptation, the film takes its concept from the source material, but given the time restraint given to films, elements of the book won’t make it to the screen. Therefore, characters or themes movie-goers feel are cast aside have the chance to gain a deeper insight into those elements through reading the book. Of course, that is not always the case, but book adaptations are additional publicity for the book, especially if its an adaptation of a lesser known book. There are also multiple ways to promote the book alongside the film with tie-in covers or special editions being released, satisfying both the movie-goers and the readers.
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