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Staying in Reality // Five Fall Favourites Day 2

IT’S DAY TWO, CUPCAKES!!! Are you excited??!! This is just so much funnnnn and today will be simply epic. I am loving scrolling through all the book recommendations and adding them to my TBR and answering everyone’s comments and generally glorying in the bookishness of the week. 😄

Without further ado, sling on your shields and grip your swords as we enter the perilous world of…


We don’t create a fantasy world to escape reality.
We create it to be able to stay.

Lynda Barry

My top 5 fantasy books of the year! There’s been a lot of great new fantasy books pouring into the Christian market lately, so it was hard to pick. But here we go:

1. Redwall by Brian Jacques.

A quest to recover a legendary lost weapon by bumbling young apprentice monk, mouse Matthias.
Redwall Abbey, tranquil home to a community of peace-loving mice, is threatened by Cluny the Scourge savage bilge rat warlord and his battle-hardened horde. But the Redwall mice and their loyal woodland friends combine their courage and strength.

This is the only one on the list that isn’t Christian or indie-published, but it’s one of my favs. I absolutely love medieval kingdom adventure, and this one is phenomenally well done—language, actions, and all. I absolutely adore how simple it is, and what an epic battle between good and evil it showcases in so many ways!!

Full review here | Find on Archive here

2. The King’s Stilts by Dr. Seuss.

What is King Birtram to do when his beloved old red stilts get stolen?
Celebrate the 75th birthday of Dr. Seuss’s classic treatise on the importance of a balanced life with our Anniversary Edition featuring cover art from the book’s original publication! A Seussian spin on a conventional fairy tale, ‘The King’s Stilts’ is as topical today as when it was first published in 1939. It’s the story of a devoted king who works hard and plays hard—and whose entire kingdom is threatened when his beloved stilts are stolen and he is too distraught to do his job.
Written in prose instead of rhyme (unlike Seuss’s later works), ‘The King’s Stilts’ nevertheless addresses subjects that we know Dr. Seuss was passionate about throughout his life: duty (as in ‘Horton Hears a Who’ (1954) and ‘Horton Hatches the Egg’ (1940)); the abuse of power (as in ‘The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins’ (1938) and ‘Yertle the Turtle’ (1958)); deceit (as in ‘The Bippolo Seed’ (1951) and ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas!’ (1957))—and even cats (as in ‘The Cat in the Hat’ (1957) and ‘I Can Lick 30 Tigers Today!’ (1969)! Follow the Good Doctor’s advice: After a hard day of work, have fun with a great book like ‘The King’s Stilts’!

I was just as surprised to discover this book as you probably are! My littlest siblings and I have begun a tradition where I sit down one afternoon and read them a couple Dr. Seuss books, working our way through his works. In the process, we came across this one and when we read it, we all fell in love. It’s such a great and fun story, and as the synopsis points out, it has some epic messages. (also, most of the books mentioned up there are epic…)

Full review here | Read on Archive here

3. Once I Knew by Victoria Lynn.

Violet lives her quiet little life in her sleepy village. Trying to remain as dead to the politics that are threatening their world as possible. She follows the rules, stays out of trouble and does her best to remain out of sight of the dreaded and overbearing Kingsmen.
With the new regent on the throne, the country has been thrown into a turmoil. Unlike the kindly king before him, the new ruler is overbearing, frightening and tyrannical in his rule. Taxes are bleeding the people dry and without the money or goods to pay, they have been forced into penal servitude and imprisonment by the Kingsmen, who know no mercy. The despair and fear that has taken over their lives has ruled out any level of hope.
When Violet stumbles upon an unconscious and injured Kingsman in the woods, despite the consequences, she cannot help but take care of the injured man. When he wakes and has no memory of who he is, she takes the only precaution that will keep her and her grandmother safe; she destroys the evidence of his past life.
If Violet’s lowly Kingsman regains his memory, will she be able to live with the consequences? And will the Kingsman be able to live with his past life?

I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about this book but I ended up just loving it—which is great, because I spent like 5 years of waiting for it. 😛 This book is a great mixture of calm and adventure, happiness and sorrow. The worldbuilding is awesome and I love the characters… and it’s just such a good, strong story… very cathartic to read right now.

Full review here | Purchase print copies from the author here (ebook can be purchased on Amazon)

4. Deceived by Madisyn Carlin.

In a land built upon lies and deception, uncovering the truth can be deadly.
Therese Westa is sick of death, but taking lives is what provides for her younger sisters. When a client approaches her with an unusual request, Therese takes the job offer, which includes the condition of “no questions asked”. As Therese uncovers the reason for the request, she is faced with a choice: kill an innocent man or save her sisters.
Therese’s hesitation to carry out the assassination thrusts her into the aftermath of a dangerous chain of events. Caught between security and truth, Therese must choose where her loyalties lie, for the answer will determine who survives.

This book took me five days to finish, but it’s not because I wanted it to. It’s phenomenal. The worldbuilding here was the best I’ve ever read, and I could not help but love ALL the MCs—they were all so amazing. The theme/message was so on point, and the plot…. well, just read the review and then the book and then you can sit on tenterhooks with me for book 2. 😇

Full review here

5. The Tales of Tarsurella by Olivia Lynn Jarmusch.

I know this is a series, and it’s contemporary fantasy, but but it still counts. This is the story of an old-fashioned (imaginary) little kingdom in Europe and the large, loving family that rules it. As new king Addison and his many siblings face changes within their families, revolution within their country, and challenges within their personal lives, they must learn to keep trusting the Master Author and keep choosing to do the right thing as they wait for their life’s purpose, their significant other, or the answers they seek… I don’t love it quite as much as my fangirly little 18-year-old self did, but I still love them and mostly, I appreciated them way more. There are some seriously epic messages in here!

Full reviews here: The Coronation | The Rebellion | The Wedding | The Revolution

And now, off with you to join Kate’s quest and discover another freebie + everyone else’s posts… and don’t forget to enter the giveaway!!

And that wraps up day 2, y’all! I would love to give a couple shoutouts to some other great fantasies I read this year but you can only name 5, so… 😝 I’d love to know if you recognize any of these books and what your favourite fantasies are!

Published by Katja L.

Hello! :) I'm Katja. I'm a Canadian bibliophile, book reviewer, writer, and child of God. I love too many things to name, but among them are chocolate, heirlooms, history, fancy handwriting, grammar & punctuation, laughter, tearjerking books, lists, organized bookshelves, pink roses, flowing skirts, hymns, and pretty much anything old-fashioned, beautiful, & classy.

30 thoughts on “Staying in Reality // Five Fall Favourites Day 2

  1. I was a little disappointed to see today’s category was Fantasy … but then I perked up when you mentioned Redwall! I really enjoyed the first few books in the series. Should really read the next book sometime …


    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m not a huge fantasy girl (My sibs can attest to this fact…) Er, at least, not medieval or prince-and-princess kind of fantasy, I guess. Oh, that Dr. Seuss one sounds like a fun book! Maybe I’ll check it out!

    There’s one series I like that is more sci-fi than fantasy, and that’s the Bungo Stray Dogs light novels, especially “55 Minutes”. Tho I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone because it can get a bit gore-y in places, and there’s a little mild language in there. (I wrote a review on my GR with the content guide) The characters are very funny tho, and so unpredictable!

    My FAVORITE fantasy is The Phantom Tollbooth— I love it so much, I can’t stop talking about it. It’s adorable! I love all the plays on words and puns in there, it’s so clever. I certainly recommend it!

    Haha, this is fun talking about favorite books… I wish I had a blog to officially participate, but alas I must observe from afar, lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, now that’s interesting! I think you’ll like the Dr. Seuss one—it’s barely fantasy at all 🙂

      That sounds like a good series! Thanks for sharing about it and The Phantom Tollbooth—I gotta look that up now 😀

      So glad you can join us in the comments, Riley!! Hopefully someday you can participate 🙂 I’d love to see your posts!


  3. *stares at the screen* Woooah, now, hold up, a Dr. Suess I’ve never heard of?! Pfft, where have I been my entire life! *immediately adds to TBR* Ooh, you read Once I Knew?? I’ve been debating giving it a try, as well as the Tales of Tarsurella. I’m definitely checking out your reviews. They’re the first thing I look for when trying out a new book. 😉 Fun list girl! Even if you exploited the only Dr. Suess book I’ve never even heard of. 🤣

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I saw the King’s Stilts on my kindle, and it looks hilarious! Definitely going to have to find it! For some reason, it kinda gives me the vibes of The Duchess Bakes a Cake picture book; funny, sweet, and hilarious.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love Redwall! I didn’t really think I’d like today’s prompt, but I realized that there are more fantasy books I like than I thought.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, I’ve been reading a lot of fantasy lately so I was dismayed I only had 5 spaces. XD

      Yay, another Redwaller!! I thought I was the only one and y’all are popping up out of everywhere!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah! I realized I have more favorites than I thought when I was making my list but it was kinda hard to pick since I have like ten favorites that are the best of the best for fantasy.

        Liked by 1 person

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