5 Fantasy Authors You Should Be Reading

I’ll admit it: I love reading fantasy stories. There’s just something about the adventure, excitement, quests, monsters, and worlds that are so fascinating and fun to read. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I grew up reading L. Frank Baum’s Oz books from the early 1900’s. Maybe it’s the 1980’s fantasy movies like The Neverending Story and Return to Oz I grew up watching. Either way, fantasy stories are undeniably a good time.

So here are five of my favorite Christian fantasy authors (in no particular order!) that you should be reading:

1. Wayne Thomas Batson

Mr. Batson has written a lot of novels, from epic high fantasy stories like his The Door Within trilogy, to high seas piratical adventures in The Isle Chronicles books, you can’t go wrong with a Batson novel. If you’re looking for rollicking good adventures, I recommend starting with Isle of Swords or Curse of the Spider King. Currently, Batson blogs regularly at Enter the Door Within.

2. Brock Eastman

Although The Quest for Truth series is technically a space opera, there is plenty of sci-fi/fantasy action to keep readers entertained with any of Brock Eastman’s books. Along with his four-part space series, Eastman is also the author of Howlsage, a super fascinating take on spiritual warfare. I couldn’t stop reading Howlsage once I had picked it up. It takes the idea of what if all these different monsters we read about in popular mythology are actually demonic? And what if a group of people were tasked with fighting those spiritual forces of wickedness? He’s also working on a series with author Travis Thrasher (one of my all-time favorite authors), so how can you go wrong?

Brock is very active on social media, and can be found on Facebook.

3. P.W. Catanese

If you’re looking for an author who’s plot twists pull no punches, then look no further than P.W. Catanese. I first read his book Happenstance Found, book one in The Books of Umber series, and I have not gasped out loud so many times in my life. There is an incredibly shocking twist near the end that left me floored and clamoring for the next two books in the trilogy. His other books also tie in loosely to the world of Umber, and I recommend his Further Tales Adventures highly.

Find out more about Mr. Catanese on Facebook.

4. Brandon Mull

One of my favorite authors, Brandon Mull is the author of multiple amazing series, including Fablehaven, Beyonders, and Five Kingdoms. Although some of his more recent books have become slightly formulaic, his earlier books are sure to please with fast-moving narratives, exciting adventures, and oftentimes some of the most aggravating situations for characters in all of fiction. So many times I have sat reading a Mull novel and asked myself, “How are these characters ever going to escape this?” And Brandon never disappoints when he does answer that question.

Mull hangs out on the Internet Webs here.

5. E.J. Patten

Okay. This last author on the list is also one of my favorites, but also is one of the most aggravating. Not because his books aren’t good. Because his books are amazing. Return to Exile still remains one of my most memorable reading journeys ever. It’s because there are not enough books from Mr. Patten! You can’t do wrong though to check out this incredible author and the crazy imagination he has. Literally. His imagination is awesomely crazy. Some of the things he has put into his novels boggled my mind with their inventiveness and sheer creativity. I know I am eagerly waiting for the day when book three releases. Did I also mention that he’s hilarious?

E.J. Patten blogs away at Patten Pending.

BOOK REVIEW: Death Weavers by Brandon Mull

A year was a long time to wait for Five Kingdoms: Book 4: Death Weavers, but, a year wait does not disappoint when it comes to Brandon Mull. Mull’s signature high stakes fantasy adventure fills the pages of this next installment, and definitely leaves a few surprises for the very end that had me gasping at the last pages.

Cole and his friends have been through three of the five kingdoms in the Outskirts: Sambria, Elloweer, and the futuristic kingdom of Zeropolis. And now, they have finally ventured over into Necronum, the land of the dead. Apparitions appear frequently with slippery deals and valuable information. Hunters lick up their trail. And a mysterious fiery horse named the Mare has been sighted roaming the vast lands. When Cole’s friends fall prey to an evil entity, Cole must travel to the land inbetween the Outskirts and death and try to rescue his friends before they are separated from him for good this time.

Death Weavers felt very different from Mull’s other books, but also very similar in some ways. At this point, we have arrived at a bit of a formula for these Five Kingdoms books: find a princess, rescue the princess, and reunite her with her run-amuck power. While that structure is truly at the heart of this fourth book, there are also some other pieces at play. We finally discover more information about some of the evils lurking throughout the Outskirts, and we also learn more about what exactly has happened to bring Cole to these kingdoms. As usual, Mull is quite innovative when it comes to twisting up the typical fantasy tropes and make them into his own creations, giving us some of the most unique places in the five kingdoms yet.

However, Cole continues to remain something of a flat character. This is something I noted from previous installments in the series, and it is definitely true here. Cole has a bit of a character arc, but he feels much more typical than Seth and Kendra from Fablehaven or even Jason from Beyonders. There is something about Cole that seems to keep him stunted in character growth. Is the story still entertaining? Yes. Is it a page-turner? Oh yes. Is Cole someone worth rooting for? Sure…?

Fans of the previous books will love Death Weavers. Newcomers will definitely feel lost entering the series here, and it is really best to go back to Sky Raiders and start from there. Mull has set up some great conflicts for the last book in the series coming in another year, and it will be interesting to see how he ends up wrapping things up.

You can purchase this book on Amazon.com.