Helen’s Recommended Reading List

  1. Small Gods- Terry Pratchett
    1. Useful for its perspective on the nature of the relationship between man and god, which is a core part of many D&D stories. Also damned funny.
  2. Guards! Guards!- Terry Pratchett
    1. Full of analyses of the cliches and tropes of classic fantasy stories- and thus provides an engaging framework for how to avoid the old tropes.
  3. Hogfather- Terry Pratchett
    1. Seasonally appropriate exploration of Christmas, but more importantly on the nature of belief in gods and in ideals.
  4. The Princess Bride- William Goldman
    1. A very amusing satire of old fairy tale cliches, much less earnest than the film adapted from it.
  5. The Sandman- Neil Gaiman
    1. A long comic book series that you might not have the time or inclination to read, but I had to recommend it. This is one of the most deep and evocative comics ever written, that tells stories spanning time, space, and fantasy. It examines the nature of stories- and afterall what is D&D, but a living story?
  6. Goods Omens- Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
    1. Sarah basically outlined my reasons for recommending this, and she’s pretty sharp so you should take her word for it. To list what I think she left out is a story about how not necessarily doing anything to save the day doesn’t mean your story is irrelevant, and that a little irreverence goes a long way.
  7. The Dark is Rising- Susan Cooper
    1. Bit of a dark horse pick for this list. While intended as Children’s literature, like Neil Gaiman Cooper manages to create a tale of old folklore and eldritch imagery that is engaging even for an adult audience.
  8. The Witcher Series- Andrzej Sapkowski
    1. I have to recommend the entire series, though really you only need to read the first two books for a fun and exciting read and some clever (And transparent) deconstructions of classic fairy tales. The later books also have in my opinion one of the best demonstrations of the composition and dynamic an adventuring party should have- and the way they can all meet their ends. (Spoiler)
  9. The William Marshall Series- Elizabeth Chadwick
    1. Historical fiction, not fantasy. I recommend this series both out of my own love for the famed Earl of Pembroke (the title character) but also for its depiction of life in the High Middle Ages, showing how to tell a story in Medieval setting that is both accurate and relatable.
  10. The Children of Hurin- JRR Tolkien
    1. I had to work in some Tolkien in here. This story is a perfect guide for how to torment your players. It’s also quite good- I recommend the audiobook version read by the late, great Christopher Lee.
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