Today’s Top Ten Tuesdays prompt was all about audio, and at first I was at a loss because I don’t listen to audiobooks, so the deliberation of what to post hit hard. It’s not that I don’t like audiobooks, it’s just that I can’t concentrate listening to them – I prefer reading by sight, basically. Then the lightbulb went off. Why don’t I share some of my favourite music – music that I’m currently writing a fantasy novel to?
If you’ve ever fallen in love with fantasy novels and wished that there was an epic soundtrack to go with it, chances are the author has already got a playlist, but here’s my favourite tracks that have such a fantasy vibe you’ll be wanting to pick up a sword in no time. And if you want more than the ten (or so, because there were some I couldn’t leave out!) I’ve listed here, I’ve put my Spotify playlist down the bottom for your entertainment.
So pop in your headphones for optimum listening please and enjoy!
The Twelve Towers (Unchartered 4: A Thief’s End) – Henry Jackman
I adore this soundtrack so much! This particular track has that real jungle, caught in the middle of a forest vibe. It’s also the inspiration for the start of my own fantasy novel, especially from the 2:00 mark, where my main character free falls off the back of a dragon. Fun stuff.
For Blood, For Glory, For Honour (Elder Scrolls Original Online Game Soundtrack) – Jeremy Soule
If this piece doesn’t leave you ready to defend your kingdom from the evil sorcerer who has vowed to destroy everything you hold dear, then I don’t know what you’re doing with your life.
Flying With Mother (How To Train Your Dragon 2) – John Powell
How To Train Your Dragon is full of awesome music, but I love this piece the most. It’s so uplifting, it makes me feel like flying. In my own novel, it’s the music I listen to when writing the scene where my MC takes the King’s Seven, an elite task force of the King’s Guard, out riding their dragons for the first time.
An Toll Dubh – Runrig
Fun fact: I discovered this track because of Maggie Stiefvater. If that doesn’t give you premise to listen and love it, I don’t know what else to do. She quoted it as a track from The Scorpio Races, which is really the only Stiefvater novel I’ve really enjoyed. This is just…I don’t know how to describe it. It’s utterly beautiful and will leave you with chills.
Norwegian Pirate (Archangel) – Two Steps From Hell
This is one of my absolute favourite pieces of music from Two Steps From Hell. It’s full of pure heart racing adrenalin. The music is constantly going from crescendo to crescendo, it’s not hard to imagine that you’re battling foes on the water, fighting of pirates (or maybe you are the pirate!). It really conjures up the image of swinging from masts, Pirates of the Caribbean style.
Nero (Archangel) – Two Steps From Hell
If I haven’t convinced you about living the fantasy novel life yet, this one is sure to do it. Nero is pure magic. After reading Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch, I felt like this piece really encompassed Meira and her determination to save her Winter Kingdom. It’s just beautiful.
Heart of Courage (Invincible) – Two Steps From Hell
You’re probably sitting here going, “I’ve heard this!” That’s probably correct, there’s a 99% chance you’ve heard this piece of music, because it’s used in absolutely everything, from ABC News to The Bachelor, Heart of Courage is probably TSFH’s most recognisable piece of music. And why not? It’s insanely amazing.
El Dorado (SkyWorld) – Two Steps From Hell
Fun fact: This was the first Two Steps From Hell song I discovered (and subsequently fell in love with), and I owe it all to Susan Dennard, author of the Something Strange and Deadly series. This is the track that sprung my obsession with orchestral instrumental music and video game soundtracks, and I hope you love it just as much as I do. Definitely a great sword fighting or training scene, for sure.
Dragon Age Inquisition Theme (Dragon Age Inquisition) – Trevor Morris & Lindsey Stirling
I’ve posted two versions here, because I love the Lindsey Stirling video clip, but nothing beats the Trevor Morris original. This score is the whole theme song of my fantasy WIP, it’s just so inspirational.
Cannon in D Minor (Battlecry) – Two Steps From Hell
If you aren’t listening with two earphones in then stop what you are doing, put them both in and turn your volume up as loud as your ears will allow (just be careful, okay). This score is as badass as they come. If you want to prepare yourself for battle, listen to this. If you can’t imagine yourself fighting your way through the battlefield Jon Snow style, I don’t know if I can help you. I’ll listen to this scene when I’m writing the fight scenes (of which there are many at this stage).
Flight of the Silverbird (Battlecry) – Two Steps From Hell
If I had to choose a favourite piece of music by TSFH, it would be this. The inspiration behind my fantasy WIP. I don’t really know how to describe this piece of music, except that it is epic af. Just listening to it, my gosh. There is one particular scene in my WIP (that I can’t talk about bc spoilers), but the entire scene is based around this.
Tarzan in Camp (Tarzan) – David Newman
Last but not least, one of my new favourite tracks is from the 2014 Tarzan. It’s only a short track, but it’s full of energy. My MC is tasked with training an untrainable dragon, and this is the score I listen to when I’m writing that particular scene.
For the full list of my playlist for Fire and Ash, see below!
So there it is – my list of great tracks should you want to pretend you’re in your favourite fantasy novel! Do you have any soundtrack or music score inspiration for me? Let me know in the comments!