We are thrilled that so many of our lovely members have received their September Outlaws box and we have been overwhelmed by all the kind words and ‘birthday box’ wishes. It yours hasn’t arrived yet then don’t worry; all of the boxes are out in the post and will no doubt land on your doorstep very very soon.
We are getting all geared up ready for our Quests & Legends October boxes (if you haven’t signed up already, you can do so now) and we think there is nothing like a cool autumn day to get in the mood for a bit of fantasy escapism. So we thought now was the perfect time to reminisce about some of our all time favourite epic journey reads… so make yourself a nice cosy hot chocolate and curl up ready to reacquaint yourself with these beauties…
LORD OF THE RINGS BY J. R. TOLKIEN
“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”
I think we all know the story… One hobbit vows to take a magical ring to the fires of Mordor. Probably the father of all fantasy stories and the inspiration for so many writers in the genre. I read the whole series as a teenager, after developing an unhealthy obsession with Orlando Bloom. Let’s just say… Legolas’ part really shouldn’t be the main draw here (it’s tiny); it’s a serious time investment but definitely one everyone should make.
THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA BY C.S. LEWIS
“’This is the land of Narnia,’ said the Faun, ‘where we are now; all that lies between the lamp-post and the great castle of Cair Paravel on the eastern sea.”
Both of us at Book Box Club are MASSIVE Narnia fans. I know we were not the only ones who checked the back of their wardrobes every night for snow and fir trees. I think of this magical series of books whenever I: a.) wear a fur coat, b.) eat Turkish Delight and c.) hear anyone reference the Caspian Sea. I don’t think I will ever not get goosebumps when discussing how cool Aslan is. I haven’t read any of the essays and theories about C.S. Lewis and his hidden messages about philosophy in The Chronicles of Narnia because I don’t want to spoil any of my childhood nostalgia, but maybe I should educate myself and find out more. Do any of you have any recommendations for further reading?
LETTER FOR THE KING BY TONKE DRAGT
“As long as you remember that fighting evil doesn’t necessarily make you good! Good and evil are each other’s enemies, but they are often found close together.”
This is a proper old-fashioned quest storytelling at it’s best: A secret letter must be delivered to King Unauwen across the Great Mountains – a letter upon which the fate of the entire kingdom depends. The Letter for the King is the thrilling story of one boy’s battle against evil, set in an enchanted world of chivalry, courage and true friendship. The other awesome thing about this book is it that the original Dutch edition was published in 1962 by an Indonesian survivor of WWII Japanese internment camps and is considered to be a European children’s classic. It’s a great one to curl up next to the fire with!
SABRIEL BY GARTH NIX
“Death and what came after death was no great mystery to Sabriel. She just wished it was.”
I recommend this series to EVERYONE because it has a brilliant fantasy quest, an amazing main character, some battles against demons and the undead and a sarcastic talking cat. Sabriel attends a normal-seeming boarding school when her father, the Abhorsen, goes missing, and Sabriel knows she must enter the Old Kingdom to find him. Sabriel is charged with the task of making sure the dead stay dead (which turns out to be a near impossible endeavour), The world-building is steeped in legend and the magic is suitably rich and complex. I am an uber fan – I wish there were more Abhorsen series merch, if anyone comes across any, please let me know!
BLOOD RED ROAD BY MOIRA YOUNG
“Move fast, travel light, an never tell ’em your real name.”
The gutsy heroine of this trilogy, Saba, is a real ‘chip on her shoulder’, sarky piece of work, but when four cloaked horsemen capture her twin brother, Lugh, Saba’s world is shattered, and she embarks on a quest to get him back. This series has ships that sail across a desert landscape, slavers, a ‘fight to the death’ gladiator rink and cities that get burnt to the ground. It is a brilliant mix of The Hunger Games and Game of Thrones and I wish more people had read it, so I could talk to fellow fans about it! I hope that is enough of a recommendation to go out and buy it because as far as fantasy quests go, Blood Red Road is an epic one! (Sorry, no photo of this one, I love it so much it seems to have been lent out to a friend of mine who is denying having ever seen it…).
What are your favourite fantasy quest books? We’d love to hear about them! Especially now I have finished watching Game of Thrones and I am desperate to immerse myself into other worlds.
Love, Libby and Kate xx