It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these. So I figured I’d post a second list of my favorite fantasy novels! Some of these are new reads that I haven’t finished, and some are older ones I’ve read every page of every book. Hope you pick up a few of these to read and enjoy!
1.Lies of Locke Lamora- Scott Lynch
Scott Lynch is a literary Genius in my opinion. He does amazing things with timeline and foreshadowing and withholding information from the reader just to reveal it at just the right moment. This series is a ride to say the least and every time I read it I am reminded of how I wish I could write like him. Locke is a semi-likable character with glaring flaws and yet, you root for him. My favorite character hands down is Jean Tannen. He reminds me of a stronger, more bad ass version of Samwise Gamgee. The eternal sidekick who would do anything for their friend.
2. Name of the Wind- Patrick Ruthfuss
This book guys, well this series. Seriously. He is another author that I aspire to be (but probably never will). His prose reminds me of George RR Martin’s Game of Thrones but with only one protagonist and a romp of an adventure. He also has mastered the flashback story telling like Scott Lynch and if you like one of these authors you will certainly like the other. Kvothe is a mystery just waiting to be solved and learning about this man of many talents so far has been a pleasure. Definitely check these books out if you haven’t yet.
3. A Darker Shade of Magic- V.E. Schwab
I have only read the first book admittedly but this series was suggested by a friend and I have fallen in love (it’s next on the TBR). I have read this first one though (well, listened to on audio book with my husband) and I am so incredibly excited to read the rest. It’s set in such a unique world with great characters, none of whom are conventionally pretty or perfect. Love the chemistry between the characters and Victoria does an amazing job of building suspense and making your heart race with anticipation!
4. Eragon- Christopher Paolini
It’s amazing to think that Christopher Paolini started writing these books when he was a teenager! I still struggle with keeping all the details in my head for one book let alone four (a fact I’m struggling with myself for this new series I’m writing about dragons as well). This series has it all: dragons, sword fighting, romance, political intrigue, dwarves, elves, magic, other magical creatures, and war. Seriously. If ever there was a book written with all the tropes we love in fantasy, this series is it. Definitely worth checking out if you haven’t yet.
5. Alanna, the First Adventure- Tamora Pierce
If you never read these books as a kid, then you need to NOW. Tamora Pierce is basically the queen of YA fantasy. Honestly, she was a little bit of an influence for me with Secrets & Swords. I always love the whole girl disguised as a boy, fighting for her country trope. This is the first series within the world of Tortall and all her series about Tortall continue with the same characters which is lovely. My favorite series of all time of hers is actually Tricksters Choice and Tricksters Queen. This duology is about Alanna’s daughter and is yet another series that influenced parts of my first book. I just love Tamora Pierce with all my heart.
6. Kushiel’s Dart- Jacqueline Carey
This series is different from the rest. It is a lovely mixture of erotica/romance with epic fantasy. There is magic and sex and bondage and political intrigue, slavery and romance, wars and sword fighting and BDSM. And the third book in the first series has a surprising amount of trauma, so if you are easily triggered, this is a series to stay away from (quite graphic). But, this series gives me life. All her books do. I have read this series so many times I can’t even count. Strong female characters who are survivors and overcome every single hardship thrown their way that truly inspire. This book will make you unbelievably happy and then just utterly destroy you. Such a roller coaster. It’s a bit of a slow start but trust me, it’s necessary to gear you up for the craziness that is this series.
7. Throne of Glass- Sarah J Maas
I know these books are all over…everywhere. And while I sometimes struggle with Maas’ writing style, I love her plot lines and characters. I also struggle with her sex scenes, mainly because I don’t feel they are necessary (she seems to randomly throw them in during Heir of Fire out of nowhere and it took me by surprise) but also because I feel they perpetuate an inaccurate view of sex and relationships. I worry, since these books are listed as YA (who the heck knows why), that young women are assuming that all sex and love is like it’s portrayed in the book. GRANTED- I have literally never read just a regular romance/erotica novel. Not my thing. So for all I know this is how romance/love/sex is always portrayed. It took me like two years to read any of her books and I’m glad that I finally did because I finished the series just before Kingdom of Ash came out. Once I finally started reading though, I never put it down until the end. It made me cry and laugh in equal measure. If you’ve been putting it off because the hype is too much, I would say, don’t. It lives up to the hype. So does ACOTAR. Both series are great.
8. Girl of Fire and Thorns- Rae Carson
This series is just stunning. The main character is overweight and unhappy and being married off to a man she thinks could never want her. She soon learns that beauty isn’t only skin deep and that she can absolutely have a fulfilling relationship that’s about more than that. She also learns to love herself and take care of herself. She finds out that what she is/has been doesn’t define her. I just love Elisa and her story so much. This series is definitely worth a read if you are longing for a strong female character who is not your typical beauty.
9. Maggie Stiefvater- the person yes.
I have read many of her books and all of them have been great. Not all of them are fantasy, more Paranormal YA but still makes the list. My favorite is Scorpio Races, but I enjoyed the romp that is the Shiver, Linger, and Forever series. And I have begun reading the Raven Boys Series and man, the first book was original and stunning. I plan to read the entire series. Scorpio Races is one of the best stand alone fantasy books I’ve read in a while. I so rarely read stand alones, but this one was great. Original to say the least and just well told. And who doesn’t love horses and sea horses that are dangerous? And the first in the Raven Boys series just makes me want to visit the south and immerse myself in the magical lore of New Orleans, Louisiana, and Georgia. It has more supernatural elements, much like her other series but this series is so much better.
10. Auralia’s Colors- Jeffrey Overstreet
This series is not well known. And I haven’t read it in years, but I remember being floored by the beautiful descriptions, the imagery, and the main character Auralia is different from any main character I’ve ever read. She is strong and independent and reminds me slightly of Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter: she’s a bit eccentric. The whole series is lovely and it’s back on my TBR pile since it’s been so long since I’ve read it. Definitely worth checking out!