Giveaways Inspirations and Influences

The Gray Wolf Throne Blog Tour & Giveaway: Cinda Williams Chima on Inspirations & Influences

Greetings, fellow readers! Today we are very excited to have Cinda Williams Chima over for a guest post about her newest release and penultimate novel in the Seven Realms Series, The Gray Wolf Throne.

Please give a warm welcome to Cinda, everyone!

It’s Not About the Idea

I often hear from young writers despairing because they can’t come up with a totally new and unique idea. All the good ideas are taken, they say.

Here’s a secret: it’s not about the idea. It’s about the execution. Really, it is. All writers stand on the shoulders of other writers. Fantasy tropes persist because they work so well in story.

Wise old wizard mentor, anyone? Think Merlin. Think Gandalf. Think Dumbledore. Think Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Vampires keep coming back (ha!) because they’re scary and primitive and hot. Stephenie Meyer achieved extraordinary success with a new take on an old premise. Though she was pilloried by some for departing from vampiric convention, resulting in hilarious debates about whether “real” vampires could be “sparkly” or go out in the daylight.

Who made the vampire rules?

J.K. Rowling was not the first author to write about wizards. It was what she did with the premise that made her books so successful. Fortunately for us, there’s no copyright on wizardry.

There, now. Pressure’s off about the idea. Pressure’s on about the execution.

So how do you make a story your own? Tolkien once said that writers find ideas in “the leaf-mold of the mind.” When I teach writing workshops, I tell my students not to worry – that each and every one of them has a unique body of experience that no one else can access. Not even their their best friend has the exact same collection of mental compost—soil in which to grow stories.

George R.R. Martin says that he based the architecture of his Song of Ice and Fire series on The Lord of the Rings. He was also influenced by history — the familial infighting during the War of the Roses. After visiting Hadrian’s wall in Scotland, he put up a wall to the north of his fantasy kingdom of Westeros.

Of course, Hadrian’s wall is 10 feet tall, and Martin’s wall is 700 feet high, and made of ice. That’s where the magic comes in.

Fellsmarch Castle from The Seven Realms Series

So whose shoulders do I stand on? Tolkien’s, of course, because he made me believe in magic. How else to explain my lying awake in my bed in the suburbs at 3 a.m. worrying that Black Riders were going to come through the door?

How did he do that? I wondered. And I set out to find out.

When I was a teen, I devoured Marion Zimmer Bradley’s and Mary Stewart’s fantasies. They built atmospheric, moody worlds I could believe in. I’ve always loved Arthurian legends, which contained an element of magic and history and pageantry but were mostly about flawed people. I learned that narrative tension comes from the reader’s relationship with the characters. If you care about the characters, you care what happens to them.

I also read David Eddings and Mercedes Lackey’s fantasies. I loved nothing more than to discover a new series, a new world I could bury myself in.

J.K. Rowling ushered in a golden age of fantasy, and changed the rules for middle grade and young adult lit. I was writing The Warrior Heir at the time and coming up on 100,000 words. And I kept reading that YA books couldn’t be more than 60,000 words long. And I knew I couldn’t tell my story in 60,000 words.

And then JKR blew that convention out of the water with Harry Potter.

Even though The Gray Wolf Throne is my sixth novel, I’m constantly learning more about writing by reading other people’s work.

My Seven Realms novels are set in a world I created for The Star-Marked Warder, an adult fantasy trilogy I began to write while looking for a publisher for The Warrior Heir. If this YA thing doesn’t work out, I thought, maybe I’ll write for adults. Sort of the opposite of what’s happening now with many mainstream authors.

SMW owed a lot to George R.R. Martin. I’d read the first three books in his Song of Ice and Fire series back in the 90’s. His world-building was terrific, but it wasn’t the magical element that intrigued me — it was the people. All of his characters are layered, complex, and alive. Protagonists, antagonists — even the characters I hated had motivations, desires, and dreams — they were believable as people.

In fact, GRRM made me hate a character, and then turned around and made me love him. How did he do that? I grumbled. I want to do that, too.

Han “Cuffs” Alister

It took three or four years to sell The Warrior Heir. By then, I had 500,000 words set in the Seven Realms — a medieval landscape with a conflicted, complicated history. I had characters I loved — even a map. I’ve never been to the Seven Realms, but it was built on my memories of visits to the Canadian Rockies, to Yellowstone, to New Zealand.

But I never finished SMW. When The Warrior Heir sold, I hustled back to YA fiction and wrote The Wizard Heir and The Dragon Heir.

After that, I knew I wanted to return to high fantasy, but keep writing for young adults – in a cinematic, pacy, accessible fashion. I don’t mean dumbed down. I mean free of unnecessary gingerbread, hand-waving, and show-off prose. For a time I had a note taped to my screen, something my then-teenage son said about a fantasy novel he couldn’t finish.

“One hundred pages, and all they did was go down the road.”

The Seven Realms world was extremely vivid to me, because, well, I’d spent so much time in it. I thought – I have a world, a magical system, a history, and characters I love. So I took several characters in the SMW books back to when they were teenagers – Han Alister, Raisa ana’Marianna, Micah Bayar, and the rest.

I was bucking the trend to a degree. There was some teen high fantasy out there — Paolini’s Inheritance series, T.A. Barron’s Avalon series, Megan Whalen Turner’s Queen’s Thief series, and Tamora Pierce’s novels. But paranormal and contemporary fantasy was getting most of the attention. My Heir Chronicles series is contemporary fantasy, so it took a bit of talking to persuade my publisher to take a chance on a high fantasy venture. But I wrote sixty pages, and I was in.

I was determined to create characters that would leap off the page. I wanted flawed, realistic protagonists who would grow and transform themselves in the course of a four-book series. As the story opens, Raisa ana’Marianna is sheltered, a bit spoiled, and fickle. Han Alister is a streetgang leader with a notorious past. I loved excavating the history that created the adults I knew they would grow up to be (some of them, anyway.)

Han and Raisa from The Demon King

I was especially concerned about my antagonists. I’m not fond of monsters—or one-dimensional villains. I want layered, complex, antagonists who have goals, motives, and a history that explains who they are.

Micah Bayar, for example, does some terrible things. But at the end of the day, I want you to understand why he does them and maybe even sympathize with the demons he faces.

You’ll have to let me know if I’ve succeeded.

The Gray Wolf Throne is the third book in the Seven Realms Tetralogy, and it goes on sale August 30, 2011. For more about writing, rants and raves, visit me at or on my website at

You can check out the official trailer for The Demon King below:

New York Times bestselling author Cinda Williams Chima grew up with talking animals and kick-butt Barbies. She began writing romance novels in junior high school. Her Heir Chronicles young adult contemporary fantasy series includes The Warrior Heir (2006), The Wizard Heir (2007), and The Dragon Heir (2008), all from Hyperion, with two more books forthcoming.

Chima’s best-selling YA high fantasy Seven Realms series launched with The Demon King (2009), followed by The Exiled Queen (September, 2010) with The Gray Wolf Throne scheduled for fall, 2011. There are four books planned.

Chima’s books have received starred reviews in Kirkus and VOYA, among others. They have been named Booksense and Indie Next picks, an International Reading Association Young Adult Choice, a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age, to the Kirkus Best YA list, and the VOYA Editors’ Choice, Best Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror, and Perfect Tens lists.

Chima was a recipient of the 2008 Lit Award for Fiction from the Cleveland Lit and was named a Cleveland Magazine Interesting Person 2009. She has been active in the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) for more than five years. She lives in Ohio with her family, and is always working on her next novel.

Giveaway Details:

We have ONE FULL SET of the first three novels in the Seven Realms books up for grabs (The Demon King, The Exiled Queen & The Gray Wolf Throne)! The contest is open to addresses in the US and will run until Saturday, September 3 at 11:59 PM (PST). In order to enter, simply leave a comment here letting us know what YOUR favorite fantasy series is! Only one entry per person, please. Multiple entries will be disqualified. Good luck!


  • Jennifer P
    August 29, 2011 at 1:38 am

    I have yet to find a fantasy series as awesome as Harry Potter. 🙂

  • Rachel
    August 29, 2011 at 4:50 am

    My favorite fantasy series is probably the His Dark Materials trilogy!

  • Rebecca
    August 29, 2011 at 4:55 am

    I am so excited to read this series now, thank you for the wonderful guest post!

    I absolutely love Trickster’s Choice and Trickster’s Queen by Tamora Pierce. Not sure if that counts as a series since it’s only two books, but they are excellent.

  • Katie
    August 29, 2011 at 5:06 am

    Ohmygosh I want these books so bad. I love this series! But like the author, I think my favorite fantasy series is The Song of Fire and Ice books.

  • Cheri H.
    August 29, 2011 at 5:29 am

    The Lord of the Rings will always be #1 for me, but Song of Ice & Fire is a close second!!! This series looks phenomenal, thanks for the giveaway!

  • C. Swift
    August 29, 2011 at 5:44 am

    Oh my goodness…so many. I have to say Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar series–I’ve read them so many times my copies are in tatters!

  • Julia
    August 29, 2011 at 6:18 am

    I will always have a fondness for the Chronicles of Narnia, as my mother read them to me as a child. THe Harry Potter books are my ‘modern’ favorite.

  • Lindsay Elizabeth
    August 29, 2011 at 6:20 am

    My favorite fantasy series has to be the Codex Alera. It’s a prime example of how the idea doesn’t matter, the execution does. Jim Butcher was challenged to write a series involving the lost Roman Legion and pokemon.

    Chima’s books are pretty high on my list though. Seriously, I love this series.

  • Tracy
    August 29, 2011 at 6:43 am

    My favorite fantasy series (does it really count as a series?) is Terry Pratchett’s Discworld — especially the Witches of Lancre and the Tiffany Aching books.

  • Serenity
    August 29, 2011 at 7:06 am

    Harry Potter, obviously – it defined my childhood and my generation and means so much more than a children’s book series.

  • Allison
    August 29, 2011 at 7:21 am

    Other than Harry Potter, I have a couple of fantasy favorites. I’m gonna cheat and give a couple of categories to sneak more books in. My favorite completed trilogy would be either the first set of 3 in the Kushiel series or Sanderson’s Mistborn, and my favorite ongoing is the Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss.

  • KayKayBay
    August 29, 2011 at 7:31 am

    Megan Whalen Turner’s Queens Thief series are among the best books I’ve read. And then there’s Harry Potter too, of course.

  • Anne doventry
    August 29, 2011 at 7:44 am

    Harry Potter is best loved, but Seven Realms is a shockingly close second. I also love all of Tamora Pierce’s books set in Tortall.

  • teressa oliver
    August 29, 2011 at 7:52 am

    My fav fantasy series is Darkover by Marion Zimmer Bradly

  • Meredith
    August 29, 2011 at 7:56 am

    I’m kind of old school, since I’m very attached to the first fantasy series I ever read – Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings – but I love that Chima mentioned Marion Zimmer Bradley. I adore her Arthurian books.

  • Ellie
    August 29, 2011 at 8:04 am

    Harry Potter, of course, but also Lord of the Rings, Queen’s Thief, and the Dalemark Quartet.

  • MarieC
    August 29, 2011 at 8:17 am

    Like many others, I love HP and LOR. Of late, I’ve been loving Glenda Larke’s “StormLord” series and Christopher Stasheff’s “Wizard in Rhyme” series.

  • Scribe Kira
    August 29, 2011 at 8:29 am

    kiresten cashore’s fire and graceling (and soon-to-be-release bitterblue)! 😀

  • Raina
    August 29, 2011 at 8:30 am

    My favorites are pretty much all of Tamora Pierce’s books: the Lioness Quartet, the Immortals, the Circle of Magic, etc. But of course, Harry Potter is an extremely close second 😀

  • Steven Mitchell
    August 29, 2011 at 8:43 am

    My favorite fantasy series is, hands down, Harry Potter. The series is what inspired me to start reading and writing, so it will always be very special to me. However, since then, I’ve read many many wonderful books/series including: The Seven Realms, Inheritance Cycle, Percy Jackson, Inkheart, TrueBlood, Septimus Heap, and more. 😀

  • Bret Wolter
    August 29, 2011 at 9:30 am

    OOO this is a TOUGH question…. It’s hard to choose but I’d have to say the Redwall Series by Brian Jacques…. Although Tamora Pierce books and the Inheritance Cycle are way up there too!!!!

  • alana
    August 29, 2011 at 9:33 am

    I love all the books mentioned so far, but I’m going to go with The Bone Doll’s Twin if only because I don’t think it gets enough love.

  • hapax
    August 29, 2011 at 9:55 am

    Brust’s Dragaera series starring Vlad Taltos, or Turner’s Wueen’s Thief. It’s a tough call.

    But the Seven Realms series is definitely in the running.

  • Heidi
    August 29, 2011 at 9:59 am

    Harry Potter is the love of my life, but if I were to select a traditional high fantasy series I’d have to go with The Kingkiller Chronicles.

  • Brigh
    August 29, 2011 at 10:15 am

    The Queen’s Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner.

  • jenmitch
    August 29, 2011 at 10:24 am

    the problem with favorites, for me, is how much they change over time! i think i’ll go with GRRM’s song of ice and fire series. i had been so disenchanted with it and ready to give up after waiting so long, but of course the recent book totally rekindled my love.

  • Katy
    August 29, 2011 at 10:54 am

    Besides my love for all things Harry Potter, I also really love the Mercy Thompson books for adults and for ya I’ve really enjoyed the Percy Jackson novels and the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare.

  • Quill2006
    August 29, 2011 at 11:06 am

    There is no way I can choose! Tamora Pierce’s books (yes, all of them!), Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar series, and of course, Harry Potter. All three have been such a big part of my life, and all three have permanent places on my bookshelf. I’ve read them so many times that I can tell myself the stories without forgetting anything, but I still pick them up and reread them again and again!

    I’ve never even heard of these books, or Cinda Williams Chima. How did I miss this?!? They sound amazing!

  • Kat (No Page Left Behind)
    August 29, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    This is a tough question to answer…so many great fantasy series out there! I guess my answer will be The Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss. Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

  • bookworm134
    August 29, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    The Circle of Magic by Tamora Pierce, of course, Harry Potter, and the first three Kushiel’s books…Oh I cant decide…

    Thanks for the great giveaway!

  • Sacrificial Lamb
    August 29, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    I really like the Codex Alera quite a bit, but the all-time favorite is the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs.

  • Kaethe
    August 29, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    I think I’m goin gto have to go with the Tiffany Aching subset of The Discworld books, but boy, is it a tough call. I love a lot of fantasy series.

  • MD
    August 29, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    My favourite fantasy series? I’d say Tolkien for the classics, and Lois McMaster Bujold Chalion books for the current author.

  • Beverly H.
    August 29, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    My favorite series, like many others, is the Harry Potter series, but Tamora Pierce’s books are a close second. Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

  • Celia
    August 29, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    I do love Harry Potter, and they were the only fiction books I took with me to college (I just couldn’t bear to leave them behind). LOTR is also high on my list, as is the Mistborn trilogy. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Natalie Aguirre
    August 29, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    I love so many series that it’s hard to pick one. Some I love are Harry Potter, The Iron Fey series, and all of Cinda’s books. I’m so glad she likes writing high fantasy. I love it.

  • meredith g
    August 29, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    Would definitely have to say Tamora Pierce’s Alanna series. And I just wanted to say that you are my brother’s favorite author. He says the Warrior Heir is his number one favorite book of all time 😀

  • Amanda Lee
    August 29, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Howl’s Moving Castle… I just got into the Song of Ice and Fire series, and I cannot wait to catch up. There are so many amazing fantasy series out there that picking a favorite is just too hard. 🙂

  • Misti
    August 29, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    The Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander. The first time I read that series as a kid, it opened up a whole new genre to me that I’ve loved ever since. Now it looks like there’s a new series I’ve got to try. These books sound fantastic.

  • Elizabeth
    August 29, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    The Lord of the Rings will always be my favorite (my copy is in tatters from all the rereads), but Megan Whalen Turner’s Thief books, Codex Alera, and Discworld are all close seconds. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • pscott
    August 29, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    I’m not sure I could pick an absolute favorite… Lord of the Rings is probably the most battered and reread book I own. Valdemar, Pern, Kushiel’s Dart, Memory, Sorrow and Thorn, Alanna books.. all high on the reread list as well.

  • Candice
    August 29, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    I really enjoyed Kristin Cashore’s Graceling and Fire. In adult fantasy, I am currently reading the fourth book in the Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • jkin
    August 29, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    I guess I would have to say Terry Pratchett’s Tiffany Aching series. I love that Terry Pratchett doesn’t try to talk down to his younger audience, and instead makes them think.

  • Becca
    August 29, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    My favorite fantasy series always has been and always will be Lord of the Rings. I even have Smaug tattooed on my back!

  • Tatiana C.
    August 29, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    My favorite YA fantasy series would have to be the Inheritance Cycle. I’m really excited for the final book coming out this year.

    I don’t really have a favorite Adult fantasy series. Instead I have a favorite author, I really like Morgan Howell and his work.

  • Caitlin
    August 29, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    Thank you so much Cinda for your helpful advice! Just hearing you talk so passionately about your the series makes me want to pick them up immeadiately!

    Also my favorite fantsy series would hands down have to be Harry Potter, but since i know that it is also a lot of other people’s other fantasies I really love are Eon & Eona, Cold Magic, and Brightly Woven <3

    Thanks so much for the giveaway!

  • Amy C
    August 29, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    The Seven Realms isn’t my favorite trilogy — I have to say the Heir Trilogy is, simply because of its characters (Jack, Jason, Seph, Ellen, Hastings, Linda) and simple problem + solution plot. Most fantasy plots, when involving war, rebellion, and reforms, go on, and on, and on, and, wait, who’s Illegitimate Princess #47 again?

    Thanks for the giveaway! My library has copies of The Demon King but not a single copy of The Exiled Queen yet, and I don’t have the money to buy any books. :'(

  • Iyana
    August 29, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    OMG!!!! I’ve been dying 2 read these books!!! My favorite fantasy book series would probably be The Darkest Powers Series 🙂

  • Julie Witt
    August 29, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    Do I have to pick just one? That’s just about impossible, you know! I love Harry Potter, that goes without saying. I also love The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I also love the Shannara books and the Wheel of Time series. So you see, it’s like Lays potato chips – I can’t pick just one!! Thanks for an awesome giveaway! These books sound right up my alley 😀

  • Courtney
    August 29, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    My favorite fantasy series is the Black Swan series by Richelle Mead.

  • Pam S (pams00)
    August 29, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    Classics like Lord of the Rings are still on my fav list, and like all I quite enjoyed and will miss Harry Potter. Am looking forward to the new series though :).

    pams00 @

  • Jill
    August 29, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    I’m NEVER going to choose just one, but for the sake of something to say, and because I’ve been exploring Pottermore all day….I’m gonna have to go with Harry Potter.

  • Evika
    August 29, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    That is such a hard question because i have so many fantasy series which I LOVE. One of my favorites is The Sword of Truth by Terry Goodkind. I also am a big Lord of the Rings fan..
    Thanks for the awesome givaway!

  • Victoria Zumbrum
    August 29, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    I loved Lord of the Rings. I would love to read this series. It sounds very good. Please enter me in contest.

  • Deserae McGlothen
    August 29, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    I don’t know if it counts, but Harry Potter. This is partly because it’s one of the only fantasy reads I’ve stuck through, but because J.K. Rowling really captivated me with characters and a world I want to revisit again and again.

    Thanks for this opportunity!
    Deserae McGlothen

  • Tia
    August 29, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    I would have to say the Harry Potter Series; those books introduced me to the fantasy world in middle school and I’ve never looked back sense. And seeing how people say the lord of the rings books inspired a lot of fantasy writers today makes me want to read those even more.

  • Vivian
    August 29, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    Wow, a very difficult question, as all ‘favorite’ questions are. I would have to say Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy. Although there are a lot of close runner-ups, like Trudi Canavan’s trilogy, Magician’s Guild, and Brent Week’s Night Angel.

    I have yet to read many of the well known fantasy authors, like Terry Goodkind or GRRM.

  • bigfoot24
    August 29, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    I would have to say that my favorite series is The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. These books will always be dear to me. A close second would have to be the Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness. He tackles some really tough subjects in an amazing way.

  • Nardeen
    August 29, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    So hard to pick a favorite! I’m torn between the “Wheel of Time” by the late Robert Jordan and “Mockingjay” by Suzanne Colluns. They’re both very different and each has their own style when it comes to world-building and the level of detail they give the reader.

    If I had to choose it would be the “Wheel of Time” simply because I enjoy epic fantasy, something with a cinematic scale.

  • Stephanie K.
    August 29, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    The Harry Potter series.

  • Lauren
    August 29, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    Wow. Talk about a pickle of a question. Favorite fantasy series? Well the very first that comes to mind is Harry Potter of course; but that’s more for nostalgic reasons. Next I’m thinking Clive Barker’s amazing Abarat series, but I’ve got a bit of a bone to pick with it, that not even it’s glorious paintings and glossy paper can redeem.

    So this leaves me to choose between Garth Nix’s wonderful Abhorsen books and NK Jemisin’s Inheritance Trilogy. Both are amazing in their own right. Both feature kick-ass female protagonists and really awesome supporting casts. Each story is intricate, and dark, and lovely, and made me read from dusk to dawn. How can I choose?

    In the end, I have to say that my favorite fantasy series is Garth Nix’s Abhorsen books. They were my first real traipse into the darker worlds of fantasy, and I still go back now and then to venture back into the Old Kingdom.

    Excellent giveaway! I love Chima’s Heir Series and have been dying to get my hands on her Seven Realms books! I’ve got my fingers crossed! Also, Chima’s post was awesome!!! As an aspiring writer it was definitely heartening to read her words.

  • Kate & Zena
    August 29, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    My favorite fantasy series is The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis or Harry Potter or Leviathan….it’s so hard to choose! I love fantasy so much!

  • Rose
    August 29, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    As cliche as this may sound, I have to say the Harry Potter series is my favorite fantasy, for very sentimental reasons. It inspired me to be the person I’ve grown to be. If it weren’t for this series, I probably would never have discovered my true passion for books and writing. I owe everything to JK Rowling, really!

    I’d absolutely love the read the Seven Realms series! It’s definitely on my immediate to-read list now!

  • Audra Holtwick
    August 30, 2011 at 12:46 am

    My favorite series is Melanie Rawn’s DRAGON PRINCE Series.

  • Emily L
    August 30, 2011 at 1:14 am

    My favorite is the Chronicles of Narnia. I loved the books and the movie!

  • Yi Ting
    August 30, 2011 at 1:47 am

    My favorite stories involve dragons so my favorite series is the Inheritance Series by Christopher Paolini.

  • Allie
    August 30, 2011 at 2:45 am

    I am a book nerd so it is hard to pick just one series. I would say that my favorite is Catherine Fisher’s Incarceron and Sappique novels. It is a very unique story. One thing that I liked about this series is that there was no love interests. It is a nice change.

  • Chumming
    August 30, 2011 at 3:04 am

    Percy Jackson and the Olympians is my favorite fantasy series. I have always been interested in gods and goddesses.

  • Sabrina
    August 30, 2011 at 6:01 am

    Ohh….this is a tough one! To make the decision easier, I limited it to series I completed. There are way too many great on-going series or series I haven’t yet completed to choose from!

    My favorite series I’ve completed is probably Joe Abercrombie’s The First Law trilogy. I loved it 🙂

    Thank you so much for the giveaway!

  • Heather (Proud Book Nerd)
    August 30, 2011 at 9:25 am

    If I had to pick, I think I’d go with The Riyria Revelations series by Michael J. Sullivan. (Although, I do LOVE The Seven Realms, too!)

  • melissa @ 1lbr
    August 30, 2011 at 9:54 am

    I’m going to have to go with my all-time favorite, Lord of the Rings. In my opinion, the best of the best. Though, Chima’s Seven Realms series is up there.

  • Lauren
    August 30, 2011 at 10:21 am

    I enjoyed the “Dealing with Dragons” series by Patricia Wrede, Harry Potter (obviously) and the Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis. ~ L

  • Tina
    August 30, 2011 at 10:56 am

    My favorite fantasy series is probably the Queen’s Thief series. Gen and Attolia are so awesome.

  • Ginny
    August 30, 2011 at 10:59 am

    My favorite fantasy series would have to be Harry Potter, although T.A. Barron’s Merlin saga is good too. Thanks for the opportunity, girls! Also, love the site’s new look! 😀

  • Jen B.
    August 30, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    My answer is going to change depending on my mood when you ask. But I think a safe bet is that anything from Patricia Briggs is great. I also love Jim Butcher’s writing. But the fantasy series that I am always recommending is Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel Series. The first three books blew me away. Jacqueline Carey might just be one of the best writers of all time. She can certainly turn a phrase!

  • Al Shan
    August 30, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    This is probably one of the common answers, but for me, my favorite fantasy series is HARRY POTTER. I don’t think I will ever get bored of re-reading the series.

  • Valerie N
    August 30, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    Hard question. Of course, Harry Potter is up there but I honestly LOVE the Seven Realms series too. The first two books were instant favorites of mine. So so good!

  • Chimney
    August 30, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    My favorite fantasy series? Well, that is a tough question to answer! A guess a few favorites would be the Harry Potter series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, and the InkHeart series. If we are talking comic (manga) books a few would be Beyond the Beyond, Pandora Hearts, and 07-Ghost.

  • Missie
    August 30, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    It’s hard to pick one, but right now I’ll probably go with Game of Thrones or Diana Peterfreund’s Killer Unicorns. I’ve never read Chima’s work, but I’ve heard good things!

  • Lexi
    August 30, 2011 at 10:48 pm

    Wow, it is hard to pick one. Recently, I have been rereading Tamora Pierce’s Tortall series so that has been a favorite since I was little.

  • Lisa Richards
    August 31, 2011 at 1:04 am

    Harry Potter all the way!

  • Justine
    August 31, 2011 at 1:21 am

    It’s a toss-up between Madeline L’Engle’s Time Quartet books and the Redwall series by Brian Jacques.

  • Sherry Roberts
    August 31, 2011 at 5:16 am

    Harry Potter had me on the first page. I loved the language, sentence structure and the way it didn’t talk down to kids. HP challenged children (and adults) to read more and to look up a word they didn’t know. It was a gift. I also am a great fan of Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files. We should all be like Harry Dresden, willing to dive into the thick of it for the sake of another.

  • Joel
    August 31, 2011 at 8:34 am

    Favorite fantasy series: I want to be somewhat original and say, like, the Bas Lag novels by China Mieville, but it’s actually probably a tie between Harry Potter and A Song of Ice and Fire.

  • Karen
    August 31, 2011 at 10:41 am

    Oof, this question was hard enough to answer and then I read through all the previous comments and I now have even more I have to sort through. I think the Wild Magic series by Tamora Pierce wins out, she is one of my very strongest influences and I really loved Daine.

  • Kaya H
    August 31, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    Ohh I have been wanting to read this series! I loved the Glass series by Maria Snyder. My kids are growing up not reading Tamora Pierces Magic and Lioness series, so I love spreading the fantasy around.

  • Teri C
    August 31, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    I have to say for fantasy it is a toss up between Sheri S Tepper, and Robin McKinley! Both of these authors have created fantastitcal fantasy worlds and series, that I can read over and over again.
    This series I have heard great things about and have wanted to read for a while now. thank you for the opportunity for the set!

  • Becky
    August 31, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis captured my interest as a little girl, so it will probably always be my favorite.

  • Debbie
    August 31, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    Lois McMaster Bujold’s series that started with The Curse of Chalion have been my favorite since I read the first book. If I had to pick a favorite YA fantasy series, it would probably be Tamora Pierce’s Immortals series. I read that to pieces when I was younger.

  • Jia
    August 31, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    As many have stated, picking a favorite fantasy series might just be the hardest decision an avid fantasy reader must make. Reading through the previous comments, I must say that I am in love with many of the fantastic fantasies listed above.

    However, I must say that my all time favorite fantasy series would have to be the Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne. I still remember the chilly winter day when I sat in my second grade classroom and my teacher decided to read to us a wonderful book where in which a brother and sister (Jack and Annie) were transported through time and space in their tree house and were thrust into exciting and fantastical adventures.

    The series started a fantasy craze like no other as I remember stopping by at the library everyday on my way home from school, hoping I would find a new book in the series, or one that I just haven’t read yet. The series turned me into a fan of fantasy and I was soon diving into Harry Potter, Chronicles of Narnia,The Chronicles of Prydain, Bartimaeus Trilogy, Artemis Fowl, The Queen’s Thief series, Warrior Heir series, and lets not forget…..THE SEVEN REALMS SERIES (woooooh!). But anyways, as wonderful as all these series are, I do not think I will ever forget the adventures found in a tree house full of magic and adventure.

  • Verityo
    August 31, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    My loyalties still lie with the Harry Potter series. However, Eragon, The Seven Realms, and the Lord of the Rings are also big time favorites of mine.

  • Hayley
    August 31, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    I’m not entering, because I live in the UK, but since you asked about fantasy series I would nominate the Bartimaeus series by Jonathon Stroud in a heartbeat.
    This trilogy sounds really interesting and I’m eager to check her work out soon (as I got a copy of ‘The Warrior Heir’ a little while ago). Maybe I’m just a sucker for character-driven stories.

  • Tsui C
    August 31, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    The Hunger Games trilogy is a great book. I think this would be my favorite for a long time.

  • Teresa N
    August 31, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    Thanks for the giveaway! Tamora Pierce and Robin McKinley were my favorite fantasy authors growing up, but I’ve also come to love the Percy Jackson series and of course Harry Potter has a permanent place on the comfort shelf. I also have enjoyed most of Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar books, but my favorite is still “Arrows of the Queen”. Garth Nix’s Abhorsen books are definite keepers as well, and I’m so excited that he’s writing more of them! All in all, too difficult to choose just one series.

  • Jen
    August 31, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    Wow… Of all the questions you could’ve asked ke, you had to ask this.
    If you’d even simply asked what my favorite fantasy book is I wouldn’t had an easy answer. Oh, well.
    Um… I have honestly no idea. But I guess honestly, I have to say Graceling and Fire (soon to be accompanied by Bitterblue) are my favorite. The reason is simple: not only are the books great, but they are part of that (sadly) small fraction of fantasy books being written and read in which writing quality and character believability wasn’t sacrificed in the writin process, whether because the writer didnt care or because they simply weren’t skilled enough to formulate a better work of art. I must say that I agree with you wholeheartedly: what makes a novel top the charts nowadays is kore about execution than originality, as it may have been decades ago.

  • Emma
    August 31, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    When I was in middle school, the books Secrets of teh Immortal Nicholas Flamel was and still is my favorite. I remember that the cover was the reason I decided to read it and I ended up with a great series to read.

  • Judy
    August 31, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    The Clockwork Angel and Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare are my favorite books. I enjoy reading books that takes place in the past (even if it is fictional), which in this case is Victorian England I believe.

  • Tiffany M.
    August 31, 2011 at 11:26 pm

    My favorite fantasy series would have to be Tamora Pierce’s Tortall followed by Harry Potter.

  • Alice
    September 1, 2011 at 12:00 am

    I think my favorite fantasy book is The Maze Runner by james Dashner. The characters are put to the test. The last book, Death Cure is coming out soon!

  • beverly
    September 1, 2011 at 1:22 am

    The Lord of the Rings is my #1 favorite fantasy series!!! And then Harry Potter and my newly discovered favorite, which I am currently reading, A Song of Ice and Fire.

    I’m definitely going to read this series. I hope I win! ^___^

  • michael
    September 1, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    i have read the first 2 books they are amazing… probably the best i have ever read. I would do n e thing to get them!! 😀 i realy hope i win

  • michael
    September 1, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    yes they are my favorie

  • Jessy
    September 1, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    The Gatekeepers series has been really good.

    Thank you for the giveaway. The books sound good.

  • Yune Lee
    September 1, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    I adore Patricia McKillip’s Riddle-Master trilogy beyond reason.

  • Emma
    September 1, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    My favorite fantasy series is “The Seven Realms” series. I can’t wait to read and review the Gray Wolf Throne on my blog! Here’s a post I wrote in anticipation of it :

    Gray Wolf Throne by Cinda Williams Chima

  • Milu
    September 1, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    For me, my favorite book is the heir series by Cinda Williams Chima. I was so excited to hear that there will be two more books coming out.

  • Elina
    September 2, 2011 at 12:11 am

    I agree with many commenters that Lord of the Ring is the greatest fantasy series EVER!!! LOL

  • Sarena
    September 2, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    I love pretty much anything Tamora Pierce writes, but my favorite series of hers is the Beka Cooper trilogy.

  • Celise Winters
    September 2, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    Really and truly the Seven Realm series, along with The Heir Chronicles, are my favorite fantasy series ever! 🙂 In second place would be the Gemma Doyle series by Libba Bray. Thank you for the amazing giveaway!

  • Josephine
    September 3, 2011 at 11:46 pm

    The Immortals quartet by Tamora Pierce.

  • Ellie
    September 9, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    Bit late here, but the Abhorsen series by Garth Nix is best, followed by Wildwood Dancing and Cybele’s secret, followed by the Heir to Sevenwaters series, followed by the Seven Realms series (liable to change quite soon as lond as I find more good books) and I’m sure there are others I’ve forgotten, I have too many favourite books!

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