As he writes:
“Come away, O human child: To the waters and the wild with a fairy, hand in hand, For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.”"It is that voice that beckons us to Middle-earth and Newford, that calls out from the gap in the village of Wall and from the world of London Below. It is the voice that packs so much promise into four little words…
~William Butler Yeats
“Once upon a time…”
Perhaps you too have heard that voice whispering on the spring wind, or perhaps Old Man Winter continues to drown out the sound; either way that time has come: Once Upon a Time is here!"
I am going to do Quest the Second:" Read at least one book from each of the four categories. In this quest you will be reading 4 books total: one fantasy, one folklore, one fairy tale, and one mythology. This proves to be one of the more difficult quests each year merely because of the need to classify each read and determine which books fit into which category. I am not a stickler, fear not, but I am endlessly fascinated watching how folks work to find books for each category."
I am also going to do Quest the Short Story: " This quest involves the reading of one or more short stories that fit within at least one of the four genres during the course of any weekend, or weekends, during the challenge. Ideally you would post about your short story readings on Sundays or Mondays, but this is not strictly necessary."
Doll Bones - Holly Black
The Wood Wife - Terri Windling
Dragon Haven - Robin Hobb
London Falling - Paul Cornell
Red Moon - Benjamin Percy
Frost Burned - Patricia Briggs
Moon over Soho - Ben Aaronovitch
The Wise Man's Fear - Patrick Rothfuss
The Raven Boys - Maggie Stiefvater
Under Heaven - Guy Gavriel Kay
And Blue Skies From Pain - Stina Leicht
Ironskin - Tina Connolly
Gossip from the Forest - Sara Maitland
Short stories from:
Snow White, Blood Red - ed Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling
Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm - Philip Pullman
The books are a rough list, I may add to it if I come across other books I forgot to add, or that just look interesting.
Some books I read for past OUaT challenges:
This is one of my favourite challenges. In past years, I have read such wonderful fantasy,dark fantasy, and faerie books as:
Of Blood and Honey - Stina Leicht, review here
some fairy lore from The Lore of Scotland, here;
A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray, review here
Forests of the Heart by Charles de Lint, review here;
A Madness of Angels by Kate Griffin, review here ;
The Face in the Frost - John Bellairs, The Godstalker Chronicles - P.C. Hodge, Jack the Giant Killer and Drink Down the Moon - Charles De Lint, Bone Crossed - Patricia Briggs, Tooth and Claw - Jo Walton - all reviewed here;
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, reviewed here;
I also came across a post I did in 2009, during that year's Once Upon a Time Challenge. It was for science fiction and fantasy day, and talks about why we read fantasy. I thought it would be timely to link to here. I also found a post I did on one of the essays in Ursula K LeGuin's book The Language of the Night, linked here. Her book is all about fantasy, and why we need it. Indispensible, and if you are looking for something to challenge you during this challenge, to help you sort through why you love fantasy so much (because so many people still think fantasy is a genre that is barely decent and certainly not literature), then this book will help you see how honourable fantasy books really are. We do need them.
If you read fantasy, do you have any thoughts on why you enjoy it so much? Is it the fairies that intrigue you, myths coming to life, or the incredible range of story types available? Do you like paranormal romances, vampire fiction, werewolves, derring do adventures, hobbits, elves? Magic? Trolls and goblins and dangerous things in the shadows? Fantasy has all of these. There is something in fantasy writing that reaches to our wordless selves that understand some things are beyond word knowing. We know fairy tales are true, even if we don't quite know how we do. Fantasy books enrich our imaginations, giving voice to our fears and dreams, and showing us ways to survive and avoid dangers.
I hope you have a wonderful fantasy reading challenge, my dear readers. Thank you to Carl for once again hosting it!