I love opening lines. The great ones hook, grip, and surprise you. They also evoke the mood of the book and the voice of the narrator…and if you’re really lucky, the emotion of the story. All in a line.
I’ve always worn my ‘geek hat’ when it comes to first lines. With my third novel in the USA Today bestselling REBEL ANGELS series releasing next week (VAMPIRE DEVIL), I’ll be posting the beginnings of each novel to give you a taste. Here are Two of My Favourite First Lines from my own series.
Betrayal. Death. Hope. Isn’t that how all truly great stories start?
Vampires? Angels? I hunt the bastards because they hunt me.
Here’s my pick of the 5 Best Opening Lines in Fantasy:
5. Jim Butcher Blood Rites
The building was on fire, and it wasn’t my fault.
4. Lev Grossman The Magicians:
Quentin did a magic trick. No one noticed.
3. Jacqueline Carey Kushiel’s Dart:
Lest anyone should suppose that I am a cuckoo’s child, got on the wrong side of a blanket by lusty peasant stock and sold into indenture in a shortfallen season, I may say that I am House-born and reared in the Night Court proper, for all the good it did me.
2. Mark Lawrence Prince of Fools
I’m a liar and a cheat and a coward, but I will never, ever, let a friend down. Unless of course not letting them down requires honesty, fair play, or bravery.
- Stephen King The Gunslinger
The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.
As we’re talking first lines, here’s a sneak peek at the first line of VAMPIRE DEVIL (out now on pre-order):
I reign over a valley of feathers and bones: death, the End, destroyer. Half vampire, half angel, I’m a monster amongst monsters.
What first lines would you’ve chosen?