Saturday, April 05, 2008

CHALLENGE | Once Upon a Time II Updated

It is here! Carl's breathlessly awaited Once Upon a Time reading challenge!

For this year, I'll just start easy by aiming for Quest the First:

Read at least 5 books that fit somewhere within the Once Upon a Time II criteria. They might all be fantasy, or folklore, or fairy tales, or mythology…or your five books might be a combination from the four genres.


Since I finished all 5 books of The Chronicles of Prydain, technically I am done with Quest the First. Heedless of the perils of over-commitment, I shall now move on to Quest the Second, which will be to read at least 1 book each from the 4 genres: fantasy, folklore, fairy tale, and mythology. As such, I had to reorganise and expand (slightly) my previous reading list.

Here goes, Dark Orpheus's Once Upon a Time II Aspirational List 2.0:


  1. The Book of Three (Chronicles of Prydain, Book I) • Lloyd Alexander
  2. The Black Cauldron (Chronicles of Prydain, Book II) • Lloyd Alexander
  3. The Castle of Llyr (Chronicles of Prydain, Book III) • Lloyd Alexander
  4. Taran Wanderer (Chronicles of Prydain, Book IV) • Lloyd Alexander
  5. The High King (Chronicles of Prydain, Book V) • Lloyd Alexander
  6. The Riddle-Master's Game • Patricia A. McKillip
  7. Assassin's Apprentice (The Farseer Trilogy, Book I) • Robin Hobb
  8. Royal Assassin (The Farseer Trilogy, Book II) • Robin Hobb
  9. Assassin's Quest (The Farseer Trilogy, Book III) • Robin Hobb
  10. The Little Prince • Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  11. The Neverending Story • Michael Ende
  12. Fledgling • Octavia E. Butler


  1. The Wood Wife • Terri Windling
  2. The Stress of Her Regard • Tim Powers
  3. Rusalka • C.J. Cherryh
  4. Chernevog • C.J. Cherryh
  5. Yvgenie • C.J. Cherryh
  6. The Looking Glass Wars • Frank Beddor
  7. The Tree of Swords and Jewels • C.J. Cherryh


  1. The Once and Future King • T.H. White
  2. Weight • Jeanette Winterson
  3. Girl Meets Boy • Ali Smith
  4. Medea • Euripides
  5. The Drawing of the Three • Tim Powers

** Titles in purple indicates completed


Ana S. said...

Breathlessly awaited describes it well, yup :P

You have some wonderful books on that list. I hope you enjoy Prydain as much as I did. While it's not as complex a fantasy world as, say, Discworld or the world of His Dark Materials, I still had so much fun reading those books. Plus all the references to Welsh mythology make it extra cool.

I was going to put Girl Meets Boy on my list and then totally forgot. Ah well, maybe as an extra.

Carl V. Anderson said...

I'm so excited that you are in! What a great list. I haven't read the Riddlemaster series since I was a kid, but that series is my first remembrance of getting into fantasy and turned me into a huge Patricia McKillip fan. I think some of her more recent stuff is better, but I have fond memories of loving this series. I've got to go back and read it again.

darkorpheus said...

Nymeth I'm looking forward to the Prydain too. I was also looking at Tain, the Welsh myth of the Bull -- but decided to put it aside for now.

I think there should be no problem throwing in Ali Smith. Just go back and add it in. No problem at all. :)

Carl I really hope I can get to Riddlemaster too. I keep reading all these great reviews from bloggers who have read it. Wish me luck!

Anonymous said...

What a cool list. The Farseer Trilogy came highly recommended to me and I read it but didn't really like it. I will give the Tawny Man series a go at some point and see if I change my mind. I want to read The Once and Future King as well and I have Weight on my list too. The Neverending Story was a book I read as a kid, I must dig out my copy if I still have it and give it a re-read.

chrisa511 said...

What an awesome list! I haven't heard of most of these, so I'm really excited to read your thoughts on them...and a little scared too because I really don't need to be adding to the TBR list. The Little Prince is a great choice! I have that one on my TBR pile as well. I may read it during the challenge too.

Ana S. said...

Dark Orpheus, I should add it, but then I'd have 3 books for every other category and 4 for mythology... I like my numbers neat :P Unless I replaced one of the others I listed, but I already own copies of them...I realize how obsessive compulsive this sounds, though, so I'll shut up. I will probably read the book as an extra, and that's what matters :P

Anonymous said...

I've been so looking forward to the challenge but I don't think I will have time to participate. Sigh. Your list looks good. I look forward to hearing about what you read.

Anonymous said...

wow, thats loads!

whats this robin hobb bloke like? i've always fancied the look of his books...

darkorpheus said...

Rhinoa I have a few friends who are in love with Robin Hobb -- esp. the Tawny Man series. And it's getting to a point where I need to read it because WE MUST DISCUSS THE BOOKS! :)

Ah, I loved the first Neverending Story movie.

Chris I'm fascinated by how The Little Prince is such a well loved classics. One of my colleague even has a tattoo of the Little Prince.

Nymeth LOL. You are keeping auspicious numbers for the challenge? :p

Stefanie Pick very thin books and join us! Come on!

JP Shh... aspirational list means just read a many as you can, even if it's you can only manage 1 book.

And, I think Robin Hobb's real name is Megan Lindholm. ;p

jenclair said...

I loved The Farseer Trilogy. Seriously, loved it. Maybe it was when I read them and something just struck the right chord, but I still treasure my copies.

When I was in high school, there was a copy of the Little Prince passed around. It started with one of my best friend's older sister's crowd who graduated several years before we did. The "rule" was that you couldn't keep the book; you had to pass it on. When Tim gave it to me, I fell in love with it and had a difficult time giving it to my best friend. I wonder if that book is still making the rounds all these years later...

Iliana said...

Wow, what a list! I read an Octavia Butler book for the last challenge and loved it. I should look for the sequel. I'm still trying to come up with my list :)
Have fun!

darkorpheus said...

Jenclair I like that idea of a Little Prince that had to be passed on. There's almost a kind of legacy with it.

I know of this guy who loved The Little Prince so much he made it a life mission to collect all the different translations/versions of it.

Iliana Fledging would be my first Butler -- really hope I can get to it.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Your list simply blew me away, Dark Orpheus! All those legendary fantasy writers, Lloyd Alexander, Robin Hobb... ah, I can tell you are going to have a wonderful time with these. :] I am looking forward to hear your thoughts on the Riddlemaster series. Have fun!

Thanks for the blog visit.

darkorpheus said...

Orchidus I look forward to reading Riddlemaster too.

Thanks for dropping by.:)

chrisa511 said...

I LOVE has to be my favorite of all of the Greek tragedies. Well, along with the Oedipus cycle. I hope you enjoy truly is a tragedy....very cool!

darkorpheus said...

Chris I've always been fascinated by Medea's anguish -- to a certain extent I can imagine why she would destroy her own children.

Not that I would destroy small children of course.

Heather said...

Your list is as usual amazing. I wish I had time to join this!!! As you can see I'm not doing very well with my personal Agatha challenge! Sigh.

darkorpheus said...

Heather Thanks. I think there's still time to join, so come on, just take the plunge. And er -- I think it's okay if we can't complete the challenge. We can just try. I doubt I will be able to finish ALL the books on the list.

But one can try.

And I think you're doing just fine with your Agatha list. Just take it slowly.