Fantasy book series worth reading?

mid83

Member
Mar 4, 2014
1,518
196
380
So all of the talk about the end of Game of Thrones has me interested in diving into some fantasy series. The only fantasy books I’ve read are The Hobbit, the original Mistborn trilogy, and the Dragonlance Chronicles trilogy that I read back in middle school during the 90s.

I’m considering reading ASOIAF, but am hesitant with no ending in site. Otherwise I’m open to whatever suggestions people have. I don’t really mind ongoing series assuming there isn’t a decade long break with no signs of things changing like with George RR Martin.

Thanks everybody for any recommendations you make.
 

RedVIper

Member
Jun 13, 2017
1,253
1,369
220
The Malazan book of the fallen.

It's my favorite fantasy series(And arguably the best) and I thoroughly recommend it, it is a fairly hard and long series to get trough though.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: EviLore

#Phonepunk#

Gold Member
Sep 4, 2018
3,288
3,787
365
i found a hardcover copy of The Silmarillion in a free library recently and am super excited to read it. from the jacket it sounds maybe more interesting than the main LOTR books. which are still amazing and i def plan on re-reading one of these days...

my favorite fantasy is the classic stuff, The Once and Future King, or Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. 1001 Nights is a classic and there are many English translations of the legendary Arabian fantasy compilation.

also: have you seen the 1981 film Excalibur? because if not then you need to see it ASAP.
 
Last edited:

Threeshotgamer

Gold Member
Dec 8, 2018
613
1,121
380
Kentucky
The few that come to mind:
The Drizzt Do'Urden series from R.A Salvatore is a great read
The Clerics Quintet by R.A Salvatore
Elminster series by Ed Greenwood
The Black Sword by Larry Correia
The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher (not a traditional fantasy novel but has a lot of influences from it)
The Codex Alera by Jim Butcher
The Iron Druid Series by Kevin Hearne (again not a traditional fantasy but still a great read)
 

O-N-E

Member
Jul 11, 2018
160
184
220
The two best contemporary series are incomplete. ASoIaF and Kingkiller Chronicle. Both haven't released a followup since 2011.

Another great one is Bloodsong, but unfortunately, the rest of the trilogy doesn't quite match its quality.

I'd also heartily recommend Long Price Quartet which is complete, and written by Daniel Abraham, a close friend of GRRM.
 

Duellist

Member
Sep 6, 2018
338
601
190
The Malazan book of the fallen.

It's my favorite fantasy series(And arguably the best) and I thoroughly recommend it, it is a fairly hard and long series to get trough though.
Ya I so wanted to enjoy that series but for some reason I could not get through the first book. I think I started and stopped about 3 times on that one.
 

EviLore

Expansive Ellipses
Staff Member
May 30, 2004
21,332
10,022
1,465
Ya I so wanted to enjoy that series but for some reason I could not get through the first book. I think I started and stopped about 3 times on that one.
I fizzled out on it a couple times too, but once I got through it and moved onward to Deadhouse Gates and the rest I appreciated it more in hindsight for all the ways Erikson ties the lore and worldbuilding together and includes smart callbacks and intertwined threads. Gardens was written significantly earlier than the rest of the books and was originally a pen and paper RPG campaign, so the prose can be tough at times. The rest of the books have no such issues. It's worth it though and Malazan is on the short list of best fantasy series ever.
 

Duellist

Member
Sep 6, 2018
338
601
190
I fizzled out on it a couple times too, but once I got through it and moved onward to Deadhouse Gates and the rest I appreciated it more in hindsight for all the ways Erikson ties the lore and worldbuilding together and includes smart callbacks and intertwined threads. Gardens was written significantly earlier than the rest of the books and was originally a pen and paper RPG campaign, so the prose can be tough at times. The rest of the books have no such issues. It's worth it though and Malazan is on the short list of best fantasy series ever.
Well maybe I will give it another shot then. Thanks!
 
  • Like
Reactions: EviLore

RedVIper

Member
Jun 13, 2017
1,253
1,369
220
Ya I so wanted to enjoy that series but for some reason I could not get through the first book. I think I started and stopped about 3 times on that one.
Well I can only recommend giving it another shot, when you have the time just bunker down to read a big chunk of it, the books have long term payoffs, if you're stuck reading just bits at a time it might never hook you.
 

Hudo

Member
Jul 26, 2018
1,438
1,172
235
I like Michael Moorcock's Elric of Melniboné books. They are basically the antithesis of Tolkien-style stories. Written to the point (which is a given since they emerged as novellas first) , kinda lika pulp fiction style sword & sorcery. But there are also people who don't like Moorcock's writing at all, which I can understand as well.

I also think that some dudes at Blizzard must have read those books as well because Arthas' story (in WarCraft 3 and Frozen Throne) reminds me of Elric.
 

Sqorin Hammerfarf

Gold Member
Dec 3, 2018
2,862
5,372
340
I unequivocally recommend Robert E. Howard's Conan and Solomon Kane stories.

I’m considering reading ASOIAF, but am hesitant with no ending in site.
Think of the books as being about the journey, rather than the destination. These are some of the most dense books filled with the most detailed world building (maybe more than Tolkien), and the history is filled with lots of little stories that you pick up on as background noise. For instance, there's a the Dunk and Egg stories. Reading through ASOIAF proper, you can actually see the fates of these characters, as well as clues about how their adventures affected the world a hundred years later. There's even several characters who are direct descendants (though rarely explicitly stated as such). And this is all gleamed from maybe a handful of sentences. The books are extremely subtle and stand up to multiple readings because of it.

It's a good thing they never made a tv series out these books, because it would lose the true value of the stories that Martin has written, favoring the sequence of events over the color and texture of an amazing world and history.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Khalid M.
Feb 9, 2018
1,405
1,804
240
I will also add the original Powdermage Trilogy by Brian McClellan .

The Faithful and the Fallen series by John Gwynne.

The Steelhaven trilogy by Richard Ford.

The Lies of Locke Lamora trilogy by Scott Lynch.

The Broken Empire trilogy by Mark Lawrence.

The Grim Company trilogy by Luke Scull (formerly of Bioware, I believe).

The Iron Age trilogy by Angus Watson.



That should keep you occupied for a while.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: DunDunDunpachi

Shelbutt

Gold Member
Apr 20, 2019
136
208
325
27
North Carolina
A few people like to tease me because I love Nancy Farmer's work, and "she's for kids" but idgaf she does amazing work.

A sea of Trolls: Norse centered (mythology as well) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000FCK6SE/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

This isn't like, super high fantasy but it's my absolute favorite book (I'm due for a re-reading tho) and I think it's a great read (also by Nancy. I'm not biased at all)
 

DunDunDunpachi

Patient MembeR
Apr 18, 2018
9,754
16,725
690
USA
dunpachi.com
Try the Acacia trilogy by David Anthony Durham. My wife's interest in ASOIAF began to wane after book 4, and so she read these three to take a break. She never bothered going back to the other books and says that Acacia does everything she liked about ASOIAF but with better writing and less wasted time.
 

Fbh

Member
Dec 6, 2013
10,625
2,670
580
I read the Broken Empire trilogy not so long ago.
Found it really enjoyable and I loved the twist to its fantasy setting
The ending was a bit disappointing though. There's this big buildup for this big event but then the outcome is rather underwhelming (at least IMO
 

PaddyOCanager

Member
Apr 26, 2010
489
8
630
Ohio
I just started the Malazan series. I knew going in that Book 1 is slow, and it is. I definitely plan on finishing it and moving on to the next book as I'm told the series is one of the best.
 
Feb 9, 2018
1,405
1,804
240
I just started the Malazan series. I knew going in that Book 1 is slow, and it is. I definitely plan on finishing it and moving on to the next book as I'm told the series is one of the best.
There are certainly people who believe that. That said, there is also a sizable percentage of readers who consider it to be incomprehensible garbage.

It wouldn't be something I'd recommend to someone trying to get into the genre.
 

RedVIper

Member
Jun 13, 2017
1,253
1,369
220
There are certainly people who believe that. That said, there is also a sizable percentage of readers who consider it to be incomprehensible garbage.

It wouldn't be something I'd recommend to someone trying to get into the genre.
I'm a big fan of the series but I have to agree, trying to introduce someone to fantasy with this series would just scare them off.
 
  • Like
Reactions: The Bloody-Nine
Dec 22, 2007
3,942
235
895
Malazan is the greatest thing I've ever read, period:

"The most significant work of epic fantasy..."
"...The best fantasy series of recent times."
"...Compared [the author] to the likes of Joseph Conrad, Henry James, William Faulkner, and Fyodor Dostoevsky."
"...One of the best authors in the fantasy genre"
"...Called the series a masterwork of the imagination that may be the high water mark of the epic fantasy genre"


If you want something a bit easier to read, though,
I highly suggest anything from R.A. Salvatore, The Licanius Trilogy, The Kingkiller Chronicles, The Book of the New Sun (for relatively realistic fantasy), and The Black Company series.


EDIT: How the hell could I forget Wheel of Time?????
It has its own fair-share of flaws, just like many series, but God dayum if it's not fantastic.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: EviLore

Malakhov

Member
Jun 6, 2004
6,385
194
1,370
I was thinking about getting audio books to listen to while I work. Any good fantasy book series in audio format to recommend?
 
Feb 9, 2018
1,405
1,804
240
Malazan is the greatest thing I've ever read, period:

"The most significant work of epic fantasy..."
""...The best fantasy series of recent times."
"...Compared [the author] to the likes of Joseph Conrad, Henry James, William Faulkner, and Fyodor Dostoevsky."
"...One of the best authors in the fantasy genre"
"...Called the series a masterwork of the imagination that may be the high water mark of the epic fantasy genre"


If you want something a bit easier to read, though,
I highly suggest anything from R.A. Salvatore, The Licanius Trilogy, The Kingkiller Chronicles, The Book of the New Sun (for relatively realistic fantasy), and The Black Company series.
But you accept that Malazan isn't for everyone, right? It's the definition of a love or hate it series.

An interesting thread for anyone who is on the fence.

https://www.sffworld.com/forum/threads/malazan-book-of-the-fallen-overrated.19555/
 
Last edited:

Gashtronomy

Member
Apr 19, 2019
577
548
190
I was thinking about getting audio books to listen to while I work. Any good fantasy book series in audio format to recommend?
I second Audible. Fantastic website, cheap as owt audiobooks and you can sample them to see if you like the narrator.

Funnily enough, Derek Perkins, who narrates Sapiens, also narrates a lot of fantasy series.

Definitely worth the money.
 

Malakhov

Member
Jun 6, 2004
6,385
194
1,370
Audible has pretty much everything. If you can't find a series on there, chances are there isn't an audio-form of the series.
I second Audible. Fantastic website, cheap as owt audiobooks and you can sample them to see if you like the narrator.

Funnily enough, Derek Perkins, who narrates Sapiens, also narrates a lot of fantasy series.

Definitely worth the money.
Oh I think I worded my question poorly. I know about audible, it is great. I was actually looking for book series :)
 

dionysus

Yaldog
May 12, 2007
6,469
284
1,105
Texaa
Read Warbreaker by Sanderson. Warbreaker is significantly better than the first Mistborn and better representative of his current quality. If you like that one, then move to the Wax and Wayne series and Stormlight Archive.

Trying to think of some off the beaten path recommendations. I like the Will Wight Cradle series and Traveler's Gate series. Both are like wuxia fantasy especially Cradle.

For really obscure (only 27 amazon reviews for the first book), but I think is excellent, try William Richards Aggadeh Chronicles books. How this dude isn't picked up by a publisher is beyond me.
 
Dec 22, 2007
3,942
235
895
  • Like
Reactions: The Bloody-Nine

Valonquar

Member
Jun 27, 2013
1,691
204
385
Winston Salem, NC
The Incarnations of Immortality books by Piers Anthony. Just the first 5 though.
The Cat Who Walks Through Walls by Heinlein is fun. Really, all of Heinlein's stuff is semi-connected in spirit and some character crossover type things.
 

VysePSU

Neo Member
May 9, 2019
87
104
105
Mortal Engines (Hungry City Chronicles) by Philip Reeve. Ignore the movie.

I guess it's more steampunk than fantasy but whatever.
 
Last edited:

-hal-

Member
Jun 23, 2012
135
66
405
www.beyondunreal.com
One of the first fantasy series I ever read was Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian. Try to stick mostly to his work because a lot of it was heavily edited and some are not even his work and are of varying quality. It's a fascinating universe.
 

Pagusas

Member
Jun 9, 2006
10,622
844
1,145
Prosper, Tx
Im excited to read the Malazan books on my commute, but I'm waiting for Audible to redo them. The ones on there right now switch narrators at book 4, which is a huge NO for me if I'm going to be invested in them. Hopefully someone like RC Bray jumps in and gets a chance to redo all of them.
 

ColdToffee

Member
Oct 24, 2017
1,518
1,290
260
Portugal
The Black Magician trilogy by Trudi Canavan
Old Kingdom trilogy by Garth Nix
The Earthsea quartet by Ursula K. Le Guin
 
Last edited:

DodgerSan

Member
Dec 6, 2008
1,718
0
770
I like Michael Moorcock's Elric of Melniboné books. They are basically the antithesis of Tolkien-style stories. Written to the point (which is a given since they emerged as novellas first) , kinda lika pulp fiction style sword & sorcery. But there are also people who don't like Moorcock's writing at all, which I can understand as well.

I also think that some dudes at Blizzard must have read those books as well because Arthas' story (in WarCraft 3 and Frozen Throne) reminds me of Elric.
Seconded. In fact expand this to Hawkmoon, Corum & the main Eternal Champion stuff. It's somewhat of its time, but still great from an imaginative point of view.

I also have a question, which might suit the crowd in this thread. I remember reading a book many years ago which re-imagined Norse mythology with the 'gods' as heroic mortals. I can't remember the title. Any ideas?