Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week you compile a list of ten books which coincide with that week’s theme. You can find everything you need to know about joining in here!
This week’s theme is ‘Opening Lines’, and as I’m currently taking part in Wyrd & Wonder today seemed like the perfect time to share the opening lines from
ten eleven of my favourite fantasy stories. These aren’t necessarily my favourite opening lines, but they’re most certainly opening lines that invited me into stories that have stayed with me!
“Maia woke with his cousin’s cold fingers digging into his shoulder.”
– The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison
Let’s get the obvious choice over with first, because I’m sure you all know by now that this is my favourite book. When I started reading this book I was scared that I’d be intimidated by the way the dialogue’s written, but soon enough I got used to the rhythm of it and I fell in love. I re-read this story every year, and love it even more each time.
“Meche folded the magazine and finally decided to look out the window.”
– Signal to Noise by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Another of my favourite books, and a book of Moreno-Garcia’s that deserves so much more love! Meche remains one of my favourite heroines, I love her a great deal, and even though I haven’t re-read this novel in full since I first read it (although I have re-read my favourite sections) I still remember so much of it.
“Joost had two problems: the moon and his moustache.”
– Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
This is such a fun opening line that didn’t prepare me for how much I was going to end up adoring this book. I read this line and thought ‘cool, this is going to be a fun heist story’ and then the heartbreaking backstories came out of nowhere and hit me in the feelings. Well played, Leigh, well played.
“‘I believe the question, then,’ says Vasily Yaroslav, ‘is one of intent.’”
– City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett
I had no idea what to think of City of Stairs when I started it because it felt so unlike anything else I’d ever read, but by the time I finished it I realised I’d read one of the best fantasy novels I’ve ever read.
“At the height of the long wet summer of the Seventy-Seventh Year of Sendovani, the Thiefmaker of Camorr paid a sudden and unannounced visit to the Eyeless Priest at the Temple of Perelandro, desperately hoping to sell him the Lamora boy.”
– The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
I finally crossed this novel off my TBR last year and, of course, I adored it and I loved Lynch’s writing. I can’t wait to read more from this series!
“Saffron takes her customary place at the little round table on the dais of the Traitor King.”
– The Last Banquet of Temporal Confections by Tina Connolly
This novelette was shortlisted for a Hugo Award last year, which is how I ended up reading it, and I don’t know what it is about it that I loved so much but I think about it regularly. Something about it made me nostalgic for the fantasy stories I loved when I was younger.
“Three children lay on the rocks at the water’s edge.”
– Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier
This chunky novel set in medieval Ireland is a classic of the fantasy genre for a reason, and I fell in love with it when I read it. It’s got that traditional, romantic, fairy tale vibe that so many older fantasy novels do, and I loved losing myself in it.
“I suspect a percentage of my readership will see the title of this volume and expect the entirety of what is contained herein to be devoted to a certain discovery that took place in the Labyrinth of Drakes.”
– In the Labyrinth of Drakes by Marie Brennan
If you’re going to try this series, I highly, highly recommend the audiobooks narrated by Kate Reading, who is a wonderful Isabella. This was my favourite book in the series and I’m itching to listen to it again.
“The real story isn’t half as pretty as the one you’ve heard.”
– Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
I read the first page of Spinning Silver and knew immediately that I was going to love it, and I wasn’t wrong. This is the retelling of Rumpelstiltskin I didn’t know I wanted and it’s a masterpiece.
“My father was a king and the son of kings.”
– The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
Oh Patroclus, will I ever think of you and not want to weep? I love the way Madeline Miller writes – she’s like a Greek chorus all on her own – and this novel is beautifully written.
“Time grows short, my love.”
– The Stone Sky by N. K. Jemisin
Another masterpiece, and the book that made Jemisin go down in history as the first author to win the Hugo Award for Best Novel three years in a row – and all for books in the same series. This third and final book didn’t work for a few readers, but I absolutely loved it; I’m a sucker for stories about mothers and daughters.