Classic Female Fantasy Authors

Always happy to see a list that focuses like a laser on the exact authors who were so important to me when I was growing up.

This is a post at Grey Dog Tales: TEN CLASSIC FEMALE FANTASY AUTHORS.

I bet you could guess most of the authors on this list, especially if you know my taste. Here they are:

Andre Norton

Susan Cooper

Katherine Kurtz

Joy Chant

Patricia Wrightson

CJ Cherryh

Patricia McKillip


Barbara Hambly

Sheri Tepper

The one that didn’t age as well for me: Andre Norton — but I would still suggest them for younger readers. I know, I KNOW, the ending of The Dark Is Rising series is iffy. Still a great series. Joy Chant didn’t write a lot, of course, but I’m sure we all loved Red Moon and Black Mountain, right?

I’m particularly pleased because this post specifically points to The Power of Three, one of Diana Wynne Jones’ books that I think doesn’t get enough attention.

The only author here I didn’t much care for (and didn’t read much of) was Sheri Tepper. Maybe I should give her books another try.

The only author here I’ve never heard of is Patricia Wrightson. Given the company she’s keeping here, I should *definitely* give her books a try!

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5 thoughts on “Classic Female Fantasy Authors”

  1. Hello. Nice to come across you, and thanks for the mention. “The Nargun and the Stars” by Wrightson is a haunting story, but somewhat different from the other books I rambled about – makes a change when you’re ‘fantasied out’, if that’s possible. The True Game books are lighter in some ways than a lot of Tepper’s work, by the way. Keep in touch!

  2. I didn’t care for Tepper’s Beauty either. That may be where I dropped her completely, in fact. I did like True Game sets, and Marianne – those are bizarre! – After Long Silence/Enigma Score (aka the talking rock book), and Grass . Basically early Tepper is muchly preferrable to later Tepper. But even there you can see seeds. She doesn’t seem to like men very much, for example. And better living through magic chemistry.

    I loved parts of Red Moon & Black Mountain but overall take is that it is less than the sum of its parts. She did the Oliver thread really well, though. Read the others, they made little impression.

    Definitely try Wrightson. I’ve still got her trilogy and remember it well.

    Pleased to see mention of Power of Three, a favorite Jones in this house, but often overlooked to push Chrestomance and Howl instead. (Is it because of series??)

    I too loved Norton, and occasionally revisit favorite bits, but find them difficult to reread in toto.

    Add in Jane Louise Curry for The Sleepers and Beneath the Hill . The one is Arthur is sleeping under the Eidolen hills, Merlin’s in his tree and the 13 treasures of Britain are with them. Teens and drilling companies, and the ancient bell that will wake the sleepers… I loved it. The other is set somewhere Ohio-ish, I think, with mysterious fair folk under a hill, and power waking. Oh, and Poor Tom’s Ghost ..I still want to see that performance of Hamlet. She’s got lots more, but those are the ones that made an impression on me. There were others linked to Beneath prequels sort of about the fair folk and the native Americans, but I can’t pick them out of the title list.

  3. Irina, I remember I didn’t care for When Voiha Wakes, but don’t remember much about it. I only read it once, whereas I read Red Moon and Black Mountain several times, including once just a few years ago.

    John, I’ve picked up the Song of Wirrun books now, but “haunting” is a very promising descriptor for me, so I think maybe I will go ahead and pick up The Nargun and the Stars too. Thanks!

    Elaine, I’m sure the love for Howl is because of the movie. It’s perfectly fine, but I much prefer The Power of Three

    I don’t know, I’m thinking maybe I’ll give Tepper’s Beauty a miss. Not like I’m desperate for more books to stack on top of my swaying TBR pile.

  4. I only ever read one of Tepper’s books, The Fresco, but choked on the militant political messaging and decided I could do without her work. Well written but quite offensive – unless you’re a liberal feminist who favors scorched earth rhetoric, and then I guess you might find it entertaining.

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