1. Thank you for all your hard work. This site is an amazing resource!

  2. Christian says:

    The Lord of the Rings
    The Silmarillion – Some very interesting stories but an incredibly dry and difficult read. I’ve found I don’t really care for elvish history (ha!)
    The Hobbit
    Unfinished Tales – Some parts were interesting but mostly too much detail

    C.S. LEWIS
    The Chronicles of Narnia – Life-changing, faith and imagination-building books
    The Cosmic Trilogy – Don’t care much for the first book; love the latter two
    The Screwtape Letters/Screwtape Proposes a Toast
    The Great Divorce
    The Dark Tower – Intriguing as all else but unfinished…
    Boxen – Clever for a young child but seriously dull
    Mere Christianity
    The Abolition of Man – An incredibly difficult and dry read; some interest
    Surprised by Joy – Truthfully, mostly incredibly boring

    A Wrinkle in Time – Some great ideas marred by basic writing and a few non-Christian ideas (not the witches)
    The Song of Albion
    Taliesin – Gorey but incredible.

    Favourite Tolkien works? The Lord of the Rings, parts of The Silmarillion

    Favourite C.S. Lewis works? Most of them but particularly The Chronicles of Narnia, The Great Divorce, The Dark Tower, Perelandra and That Hideous Strength. In terms of non-fiction – Mere Christianity
    I plan on reading the rest of The Pendragon Cycle sometime soon

    Favourite Stephen Lawhead works? Haven’t read many of them. The Song of Albion is very good though.

    I hope to read more C.S. Lewis books, especially Till We Have Faces (I tried it some years ago and grew bored very early on. I wish to give it another try).

    I hope to read the rest of the Wrinkle in Time series because the concept was interesting but not properly developed enough for my liking.

    I hope to read the rest of Stephen Lawhead’s Pendragon Cycle and maybe some other books by him.

    But my current reading list is already rather long, so these may have to wait a little.


    • I hope to read more C.S. Lewis books, especially Till We Have Faces (I tried it some years ago and grew bored very early on. I wish to give it another try).

      Give it another try! It was an exhilarating experience, just months ago. It also helped me to have heard exultant recommendations by my wife, and many NarniaWeb members, and an introduction to the basic Cupid-and-Psyche myth by my wife.

      So far I have only read one Lawhead book, the first of The Song of Albion series. I’m not sure why I didn’t go after the next two. I do recall the writing being very “high,” and either that didn’t work so well or I wasn’t able to climb that far at the time. What struck me most was Lawhead’s very strong presentation of a dull, plodding, weak sort of life, in offices and wordiness and dry books, compared with the strength and luster of life in a Celtic/medieval fantasy world, with all its power and dirt and blood and weariness and masculinity. It’s a theme I’d like to explore more.

      • Kessie says:

        Book 1 of Albion is great. Book 2 is pretty good. Book 3, he forgot everything that happened in books 1 and 2, along with all of the character development. I kept going, “But, but wait! What about such and such in book 2??” Also I get so sick of Lawhead’s voice after a while. The only book of his I’ve ever really, really enjoyed was Byzantium. (I tried to read a World of Warcraft novel right after, and I couldn’t figure out why the head-chopping seemed so mild. Then I realized I was comparing it to Lawhead’s lovingly graphic depictions of spraying blood and splattering entrails.)
        Don’t ever read Dream Thief by Lawhead. It’s like he published his first draft and all the editor did was spell check it. When the villagers killed the aliens with pitchforks and hoes, I was finished.

        • Leanna says:

          Stephen Lawhead might be the author who has the most bizarre combination of inspiring/dull books in my opinion.

          Taliesin and Merlin are near perfect books in my mind. I enjoy them to the point of not being able to articulate why. I also like the first two of his Robin Hood trilogy (haven’t read the third yet) and have read the Pendragon series several times (vastly entertaining even if it strikes me as a bit amateur now).

          On the other hand, I couldn’t get past the first few pages of Avalon, the first Song of Albion book or series-I-can’t-remember-the-name-of. They did not engage my interest at all. I downloaded a sample for Dream Thief and ended up deleting it mostly unread.
          Skin Map was okay but I’m not particularly interested in reading the rest of the series.

  3. Kessie says:

    I’m trying to read more Christian fiction, and I post my reviews all over the place once I’ve read them. Spiritfilledkindle.com tracks what ebooks go on sale or free on Amazon, and I’ve scooped up quite a few free Christian spec fic books.
    I notice there’s a huge dearth of modern/urban fantasy, especially in the YA genre. Everybody seems to produce high fantasy instead, and that’s not what’s popular. I’m looking forward to more urban fantasy (Rift jump is a step in the right direction, though!)

    • Everybody seems to produce high fantasy instead, and that’s not what’s popular.

      So far I haven’t seen much real Christian high fantasy, not on the level of Tolkien. (I am not saying this is a problem, necessarily.) What I see instead are imitations that seem to aim for some point between the true “high fantasy” of The Lord of the Rings and “simpler fantasy” such as The Chronicles of Narnia. Rather than achieving exact balance, to switch metaphors, such works seem lukewarm to me. Switching again, they reflect the shortcomings, not the strengths, of either story type.

      I’m with you in that more original fantasies/speculations/hybrids would be welcome. The standard medieval/royalty/lost princes/knights approach doesn’t appeal to me. Yet that is only my opinion, likely because I had my “medieval” story “quota” already filled by Middle-earth and Narnia, without much room for more!

      But consider this: not even those classics are purely medieval. Does Narnia have “knights”? Yes — and the most famous is a talking mouse. What about Middle-earth? Yes, but they are of Gondor, a unique and almost non-medieval culture; other warriors, of other cultures, could hardly be called medieval. Middle-earth is a wholly realized and wondrous creation, not merely another place of castles and moats and dragons and knights and jousts and things. Its diversity hardly recalls a “medieval” setting; medieval icons and values are merely a subset of the whole.

  4. Kessie says:

    By “high fantasy”, I mean the medieval setting with knights and lords and possibly elves and dragons. Dragonlance and the like falls into high fantasy. It’s just a genre classification.
    A lot of secular YA and middle-grade books are modern fantasy, and I luffs them. Harry Potter, Fablehaven, Twilight, the Wednesday Tales, the Ashtown Burials, Inkheart, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, and the list goes on. They take place in our modern day, with a fantastic twist (the divine lineage, the hidden preserve for magical creatures, the hidden city for imprisoning immortals, the hidden school for wizards, the vegetarian vampires).
    Yet I’m not seeing a lot of that sort of thing coming from Christian authors. They’re all stuck writing Dragonlance. I keep wanting to grab people and shake them. “Don’t you READ??”

    • Actually, there are quite a few modern fantasies out by Christian Authors:

      The Bright Empire series by Stephen Lawhead

      The Earth Painter by Melissa Turner Lee

      The Faery Rebels books by R.J. Anderson

      An upcoming series by Jill Williamson through Zondervan 

      Shades and Powers by John Olson

      The Berinfell Prophecy Series by Wayne Batson and Christopher Hopper

      The Door Within Series by Wayne Batson

      Dragons in our Midst by Bryan Davis

      I’m sure there are more, but those are the ones that come to mind at the moment.

  5. It seems to me that those who love speculative fiction are a very diverse group: one wanting science fiction, another fantasy, another high fantasy, another steampunk, another YA, another space opera. Whew! I don’t think those who love Amish fiction are quite so diverse lol.

What do you think?