Magician – Raymond E. Feist
Magician is the first installment of the Riftwar Cycle. The first four books of the series were a major source of inspiration for Christopher when he was just getting into fantasy. He’s also very fond of the Empire Trilogy that Feist co-authored with Janny Wurts.
At Crydee, a frontier outpost in the tranquil Kingdom of the Isles, an orphan boy, Pug, is apprenticed to a master magician — and the destinies of two worlds are changed forever. Suddenly the peace of the Kingdom is destroyed as mysterious alien invaders swarm the land. Pug is swept up into the conflict but for him and his warrior friend, Tomas, an odyssey into the unknown has only just begun. Tomas will inherit a legacy of savage power from an ancient civilization. Pug’s destiny is to lead him through a rift in the fabric of space and time to the mastery of the unimaginable powers of a strange new magic.
Dune – Frank Herbert
Known as the world’s best-selling science fiction novel, Frank Herbert’s Dune is the first installment of the Dune Chronicles. The book influenced Christopher’s next project. He said, “Dune showed me the scope and scale that imaginative fiction could have. My favorite quote is: I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”
Set in the far future amidst a sprawling feudal interstellar empire where planetary dynasties are controlled by noble houses that owe an allegiance to the imperial House Corrino, Dune tells the story of young Paul Atreides (the heir apparent to Duke Leto Atreides and heir of House Atreides) as he and his family accept control of the desert planet Arrakis, the only source of the “spice” melange, the most important and valuable substance in the cosmos. The story explores the complex, multilayered interactions of politics, religion, ecology, technology, and human emotion, as the forces of the empire confront each other for control of Arrakis. Published in 1965, Dune won the Hugo Award in 1966 and the inaugural Nebula Award for Best Novel.
Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn – Tad Williams
Tad Williams has written over a dozen novels, including Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, a trilogy comprised of The Dragonbone Chair, Stone of Farewell, and To Green Angel Tower. The epic series, which taught Christopher about the origins of English, enjoys a permanent place on his bookshelf.
A war fueled by the dark powers of sorcery is about to engulf the peaceful land of Osten Ard—for Prester John, the High King, slayer of the dread dragon Shurakai, lies dying. And with his death, an ancient evil will at last be unleashed, as the Storm King, undead ruler of the elvishlike Siti, seeks to regain his lost realm through a pact with one of human royal blood. Then, driven by spell-inspired jealousy and hate, prince will fight prince, while around them the very land begins to die.
Only a small scattered group, the League of the Scroll, recognizes the true danger awaiting Osten Ard. And to Simon–a castle scullion unknowingly apprenticed to a member of this League–will go the task of spearheading the quest for the solution to a riddle of long-lost swords of power…and a quest that will see him fleeing and facing enemies straight out of a legend-maker’s worst nighmares!
Find more suggested reading in these articles:
Christopher Discusses Some of His Favorite Writers
Christopher Recommends The Worm Ouroboros, Titus Groan, and the Mabinogion Tetralogy