I will assume that most of you who frequent this site have been readers for quite sometime. More than likely for most of your life. I began reading a little later than most. I learned to read in the 1st grade, but never really fully grasped “books” till the 3rd grade. I was lucky in that I was diagnosed dyslexic fairly early and had a string of amazing teachers who went the extra mile for me. I’m glad they did, because in the 3rd grade something happened. I read my first real “book”. I had finished Stuart Little on my own time with no lessons or guidance from teachers. It was an amazing experience for me and changed my life forever. I demolished E.B. White in just a short while. Then on to Judy Blume and those Choose Your Own Adventure books.

science fiction, fantasy, horror, YA, and comic book and audiobook reviewsI quickly outgrew my own demographic and by the 4th and 5th grade I was consuming more and more mature stuff. I was still reading Choose Your Own Adventures (What can I say? They were awesome). I had an older brother who I was quite sure was the king of all things awesome. He was way into fantasy. He loved Conan, Gor and, of course, Lord of the Rings. After I finished his Conan Magazine collection, he told me I should read The Hobbit. I finished The Hobbit in the 4th grade, and my reading life once again took a major turn.

Seeking more like The Hobbit, I finished the rest of LOTR and attempted The Silmarillion and it was there that I had finally met my match. A little humbled by my attempt on The Silmarillion, I decided to go back to reading things in my own age group while I slowly devoured my local library’s Fantasy catalog. I dabbled in SciFi and Horror a bit, too. I read some Non-Fiction and Mystery, but Fantasy was home and has remained that way ever since.

That’s the story of how I grew into Fantasy. I would like to know how you discovered Fantasy. Was it a family influence? Was it by accident? Maybe, like me, a little bit of both? With my brother being a Fantasy fan and my voracious reading habits, I was destined to cross paths with Fantasy at some point, but maybe your path wasn’t quite so direct as mine. I’d like to hear about it. My favorite will get a copy of Devon Monk‘s newest Steampunk novel Dead Iron, the start of a new series. Compliments of Roc Books. (US only.)

From Roc Books:fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews

“Dead Iron is Devon Monk’s foray into the mesmerizing, up-and-coming steampunk genre. Known for her popular Allie Beckstrom series that takes place in an alternate Portland where magic, ghosts, and other supernatural beings rule, Devon is a master of weaving romance and adventure into one exciting story!”


  • Justin Blazier

    JUSTIN BLAZIER (on FanLit's staff since September 2009) is a Cyber-Security Analyst/Network Engineer located in Northern Kentucky. Like many fantasy enthusiasts, Justin cut his teeth on authors like Tolkien, Anthony, and Lewis. Due to lack of space, his small public library would often give him their donated SFF books. When he is not reading books he is likely playing board games or Tabletop RPGs. Justin lives in a quiet neighborhood with his wife, their daughter, and Norman the dog.

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