... Leads to awesome talks. I really enjoyed being able to sit around with a group of like-minded book-worms and writers and just talk about random stuff that we like to read and write. Inspired by that, I'm going to post up here a list of my favourite books, ones which I think other people should read if they are into the genre. Or even if they are not. Expand your horizons! Though I do know now that a load of the creative writers seem to like fantasy, so these will be good for you!
First and foremost would be anything and everything by Raymond E. Feist. He is an epic fantasy author (and I don't just mean that he's awesome, epic as in the genre. Well, he's awesome too, clearly) and has written about a million books in total. The one to start with would be Magician, and everything follows in order from there (Silverthorn, Darkness at Sethanon etc...)
Second would have to be Juliet Marillier (I still don't truly know who comes first out of these two...) She is more of a romantic historical fantasy author (mouthful much?) and one of the only authors who has managed to make me cry in just about all of her books. A book that can make you cry (or, make me cry anyway) must be really sad, and, as such, well written to evoke such emotions. The Sevenwaters trilogy is the one I started with, and somewhat more traditional than her other books, basing the first on the German folk tale of the six brothers who were turned into swans and their sister had to keep a vow of silence and weave six vests from thorny weeds to break the curse. It is truly brilliant and extremely sad. I definitely recommend anything that she has written, though.
Speaking of tears, I think I'm going to end on Malorie Blackman. I know that a lot of people have already read her Noughts and Crosses, and so there is little more I can do to advertise her. However, I do believe that this is one of the most amazing books; trilogies, in fact. The first one was devastating, and though the others are sad, I do find a sense of satisfaction with how they end.
I shall leave it at that for now because I have written more than I expected. More updates on brilliant authors to come later. Please put the ones you love most so that I can find their work and read it; I need some recommendations (despite the heavy reading load as it is...)