Books that have inspired me
The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
This is the book that made me think: I want to do that.
It's the typical medieval-based setting. Ani is betrayed and alone in a foreign country, and has to become a goose keeper to survive. Yet the world in this Books of Bayern series feels the most real to me out of every fictional world I've read. Shannon Hale's prose makes even the mundane jump alive.
The magic, I don't really think of as magic. The "nature-speaking" and "animal-speaking" actually feel kind of plausible, not an ability so much as just another part of nature. Another plus is the simplicity of the plot. Compelling, but not a tangle of plotlines or politics.
When I write, I write for: myself, and myself at the age when I first read The goose Girl.