Top Ten Tuesday | Classic fantasy I wish I’d read as a child


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 ‘Books for My Younger Self’, so this week I thought I’d talk about the classic fantasy authors or books I wish I’d read when I was younger that I’d like to now read as an adult!

I know so many readers who discovered the high fantasy genre while they were still in primary school, or managed to get through Tolkien’s prose before they were ten-years-old, but I wasn’t that child. I was very basic, I’m afraid; I loved animal books, I loved Jacqueline Wilson, and I loved Harry Potter. I can’t be that sorry for it, though, because that was what I loved to read at the time, and it’s only really in the past few years I’ve jumped into the world of high fantasy and loved it.

Now unfortunately the list below is a very white list. One of the things I love about fantasy now is how diverse it is, and how much choice there is, but even though these fantasy books don’t necessarily reflect the world as we know it now, they’re still classics of the genre that I’d really like to have under my belt.


The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien: I adore the films, but I’ve never been able to get through the books. I’d love to be able to say I’ve read Tolkien, so one of these days I need to prioritise this damn trilogy and read it.

The Earthsea Quartet by Ursula Le Guin: Hi there, I’m your local fantasy fan who’s yet to read any Ursula Le Guin. Please don’t throw me out of the club. I’ve heard enough about this classic fantasy series to know I probably won’t be a big fan of it, but it still feels like a must-read to me.

First Test by Tamora Pierce: Yet another very famous female fantasy author I’ve yet to read. I used to go to the library all the time growing up, but the more I think about it the more I wonder if the libraries were putting books like this in the adult fantasy section where little me wouldn’t go looking for them because I loved the children’s section of the library so much. A work friend recommended this one to me after I mentioned I’m seeking fantasy with aroace protagonists!

The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander: The Black Cauldron is one of Disney’s most underrated films and I loved it so much growing up, so it’d be nice to give the original series a try.

Daggerspell by Katharine Kerr: I’d never heard of this book or this author before until I discovered that Within Temptation wrote a song inspired by it. I love Within Temptation, so I’d like to give this series a try and find out what inspire them so much!


Spindle’s End by Robin McKinley: Yet another very famous female fantasy author I’ve yet to read… are you sensing a theme? I’m planning to borrow the audiobook of this from the library; it comes very highly recommended by Natalie @ Too Short to Read and I need to read it for a little project the two of us are working on.

The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle: I know. I have the cheek to call myself a unicorn enthusiast when I haven’t even read the most famous unicorn book of all time. I simply don’t remember coming across this one in the library as a child, which is a real shame.

The Magicians’ Guild by Trudi Canavan: I don’t really have an excuse when it comes to Trudi Canavan, because I can remember her books being on bookshelves when I was a teenager. Unfortunately I’m a bit of a late bloomer when it comes to fantasy books; I found the genre very intimidating for a long time and had absolutely no idea where to start, which meant I just read a lot of books set on Earth instead. I’d still really like to try this one, though!

Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey: This beast of a novel sounds fascinating, but it’s probably a good thing I never came across it and tried it as a child considering it’s a very sexy book. Luckily for me, imyril is hosting a read-a-long for this book this autumn so I’ll finally be able to get to it!

The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia A. McKillip: McKillip is yet another fantasy author I’ve heard plenty of good things about, I’ve simply never read any of her work. Considering this book features a heroine whose closest companions are a bunch of animals I’m hoping it’ll speak to the inner child in me who adored animal books.

Which books made your list this week?

21 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday | Classic fantasy I wish I’d read as a child

  1. Catherine@basedonthebook says:

    I remember seeing a film of the last unicorn as a kid and crying my eyes out. Don’t remember why though! Not read any other Tamara Pierce but I loved the Alana books (very feminist and sex positive if I‘m remembering right) Spindle’s End has one of my favourite female friendships in any book and I liked the first Earthsea book a lot (and it has a non white hero!) although I never read the others. Great list!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. trinkenitsa says:

    You know…I’m *pretty* sure I read The Last Unicorn as soon as I was old enough to look up the name of that unicorn movie that had enchanted and terrified me in equal parts as a kid, but weirdly, I cannot remember it! I vaguely have the sense I enjoyed it? I should give it another go. I don’t read much fantasy, but I will always read unicorns. Why are there so few unicorn books for adults? (or so it seems)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jenna @ Falling Letters says:

    A few of these titles are ones I’ve read in recent years because I also felt I was ‘missing out’ on some classics. I still haven’t read Pierce, though. I tried when I was young but couldn’t get into her work. I would like to give her another chance, maybe… The Forgotten Beasts of Eld wasn’t my first McKillip book but I read it just a few months ago and enjoyed it a lot. I love her style. (Also Within Temptation! It’s been awhile since I listed to them! But I loved that song haha.)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. dianthaa says:

    “Yet another very famous female fantasy author I’ve yet to read” that’s a mood. I keep trying to catch up, but dammit then I read one book by them and I love it and I want to read more. Will the books never end? (Please let the books never end)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Beans Fox says:

    I also wish I had read the LOTR series. I’ve always seen books not too nice to look at or too big or too small but I had found a nice set I liked and figured I’d finally read them. They got stolen before I could. Lol. It sucked so bad!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Jaime says:

    I’ve only read the first Earthsea book by Le Guin and it was for school. I really should reread it and the rest of the series one of these days!

    This is a fun interpretation of this week’s prompt!


  7. Tooshorttooread says:

    Katherine Kerr… I’m having one of those moments where I KNOW I’ve read something by an author but can’t for the life of me remember what! I hope you really enjoy Spindle’s End and Tamara Pierce and I fully admit to never having read The Magician’s Guild books either! You’ve articulated very well that realisation of the lack of diversity in our childhood reading, the need to recognise what we loved/want to tick off our lists whilst moving forwards towards a future of increased diversity in publishing.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. dinipandareads says:

    Great list! I think I re-discovered my love for fantasy when I was at uni and discovered Trudi Canavan’s books in the public library. It was magical 😍 I don’t think I could imagine younger me reading Tolkien or Le Guin, as you said, I was pretty basic too 😂 But I wonder if I would’ve loved it more… Esp. Tolkien’s work!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Louise says:

    Tamora Pierce was my absolutely favourite growing up. I really liked Spindles End but I read it older. It has that very old school, meandering fantasy feel to it. Kushiel’s Dart and Daggerspell are both (hopefully) on my TBR for this month! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Annemieke says:

    I really do still want to read the Earthsea Quartet and Canavan as well.

    I read a short story by Peter S. Beagle but wasn’t really taken by it so I have lost my interest in reading his unicorn book. I hope you will like it though.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s