The list author says: "I love when the first book in a series completely captures me. Those books tend to have great protagonists - not perfect ones, but ones I understand and like - and also a very strong sense of time and place. I like to feel as if I've entered another world when I read a novel - and I try to create that same sense in my own books."
"This is first in a series of mysteries, in the present day. The books are set in Venice, though, and the setting is so beautifully done. It makes you feel as if you're there. Plus I enjoy the moral challenges Brunetti faces - little is black and white in his world."
"This was one of the first YA books I read, and MM hooked me from the first page. Her description of the fae was wonderful, and gave such a strong sense that they answered to different rules than we mortals (or maybe none at all.)"
"My own first YA and first in a new trilogy featuring the only female dragon shifter in the Dragonfire world and her coming of age. I dipped into a lot of Norse mythology for this series, and had a lot of fun with it."
"Here's a book you can fall into and not emerge for a week. I like to revisit this one every couple of years, and lose myself in MZB's magic all over again. I think this is the best retelling of the Arthurian legend."