As a wee ankle biter, I learned to read using the Oz books by L. Frank Baum. My dad read them to me until I got old enough to try to read to him (the fact that he napped through most of my efforts while remaining alert enough to help me sound out a word is a testament to his training as a soldier, I reckon).
Then, I went through my Horatio Hornblower (series by C.S. Forester) phase. ~waves to the Indy~ Oh, and Poe. Can't forget the guy who wrote The Bells, which I imagine is a giant FU to his critics and debt collectors.
Then, school happened with its mandatory reading lists, which, blerg.
The books that finally brought me back into the fold of SFF were anything by Morgan Llywelyn. The Lion of Ireland, Red Branch, The Bard, Epona: The Horse Goddess, Grania, etc, etc. Sure, her Celtic works are typically classified as historical fiction, but stories dealing with magic and gods on earth are also fantasy. So, yeah, I credit her historical fantasies as my gateway, a divine door that's always unlocked and ready to welcome the world-weary to the time of legends and mythology.
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