Top 10 Fantasy Series


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Top 10 Fantasy Series

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Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 17, 2018, 11:46 pm

I know its hard to choose, but what are your top 10 fantasy series.
These can be series you've finished, series you are currently reading. No real rules, just ten series that are on the top of your list!
I'll start:

1. Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne By Brian Staveley - first book The Emperor's Blades
2. Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling - first book Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
3. The Nightrunner Series by Lynn Flewelling - first book Luck in the Shadows
4. The Symphony of Ages by Elizabeth Haydon - first book Rhapsody
5. The Sundering by Jacqueline Carey - first book Banewreaker
6. Memory, Sorrow and Thorn by Tad Williams - first book The Dragonbone Chair
7. The Kushiel Sereis by Jacqueline Carey - first book Kushiel's Dart
8. The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb - first book The Assassin's Apprentice
9. The First Law Trilogy by Joe Abercrombie - first book The Blade Itself
10. The Axis Trilogy by Sara Douglass - first book The Wayfarer Redemption

Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 18, 2018, 12:25 am

I wasn't sure I could pick out 10 series, but I managed (after cutting a couple that blur the line between fantasy and sci-fi: Matthew Stover's Acts of Caine and Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun.)

These are series I've either read all or at least a good portion of, in no particular order:

Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson
Chronicles of Thomas Covenant by Stephen R. Donaldson
Mordant's Need by Stephen R. Donaldson
The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher
The Black Company by Glen Cook
Garrett, P.I. by Glen Cook
Liveship Traders by Robin Hobb
Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
Spell/Sword by G. Derek Adams
Stone Dance of the Chameleon by Ricardo Pinto

Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 23, 2018, 11:36 am

I love lists!

1 Middle Earth (encompassing more than LOTR)
2 Malazan (overwhelming scope, and an earnest stab at literary greatness)
3 A Song of Ice and Fire (assuming quality is maintained to the end; and that it DOES end)
4 Harry Potter (considered ommitting YA from my list, but this is just too strong)
5 Mordant's Need (a duology feels like a cheat, but...)
6 Earthsea (one of the finest authors ever to write in the genre)
7 Thomas Covenant (third series excepted)
8 Memory, Sorrow and Thorn (a gamechanger when it was published)
9 Sarantine Mosaic (another duology, but ... Guy Gavriel Kay!)
10 Narnia (so culturally prevalent)

I've not read Gormenghast, but almost squeezed it on anyway. I would have added Gene Wolfe's New Sun too if I thought it fit.

Edit: feeling bad that I didn't mention "The Winter of the World" trilogy by Michael Scott Rohan, beginning with The Anvil of Ice.

heinäkuu 18, 2018, 1:12 pm

In no particular order, mine are:

The Broken Empire, Mark Lawrence
The Broken Earth, N.K. Jemisin
Malazan, Steven Erikson
The Long Price Quartet, Daniel Abraham
Dominion of the Fallen, Aliette de Bodard
The Faithful and the Fallen, John Gwynne
The Liveship Traders, Robin Hobb
The Twilight Reign, Tom Lloyd
Copper Cat, Jen Williams
Vagrant, Peter Newman

(touchstone to book 1 of the series)

It was really difficult to choose only 10!!
There were others where I really liked the first couple of books, but then the series went off the rails, so they dropped from the top 10...

Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 26, 2018, 12:49 pm

(Edited the main list to feature at least trilogies, that are available in the English language, should be more useful)

• The Malazan Book of the Fallen, Steven Erikson
• The Lyonesse trilogy, Jack Vance
• The Tales of the Flat Earth, Tanith Lee
Riverside, Ellen Kushner
• The Black Company, Glen Cook
The Gentlemen Bastards, Scott Lynch
Earthsea, Ursula K. Le Guin
• Realm of the Elderling, Robin Hobb (mostly the Fool books)
Bas-Lag universe, China Miéville
• The Books of the Raksura, Martha Wells

Odds and ends...
Duologies : A Stranger in Olondria & Winged Histories by Sofia Samatar, The Sarantine Mosaic by Guy Gavriel Kay
In French : Chien du Heaume, Justine Niogret (Dark Fantasy with a female warrior protagonist in a somewhat alternate mini-ice age Europe at the time of the early Crusades), two books out but I'll go on a limb and classify it as a probable planned trilogy, while book 2 has a resolution there's clear space in the plot for one more at least & Féerie pour les ténèbres trilogy, Jerôme Noirez (dark, wonderfully off-kilter weird/horror/urban fantasy hybrid)

Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 26, 2018, 12:18 am

In no particular order:

Chalion series by Lois McMaster Bujold
Incryptid series by Seanan McGuire
October Daye series by Seanan McGuire
Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling
Harry Dresden series by Jim Butcher
Glamour series by Mary Robinette Kowal
Peter Grant/Rivers of London series by Ben Aaronovitch
Wolves Chronicles by Joan Aiken
Asher/Vampire series by Barbara Hambly
Chrestomanci series by Diana Wynne Jones

Edited to add Discworld!! How on earth could I have forgotten that!

heinäkuu 18, 2018, 2:33 pm

No particular order, but sticking with trilogies and greater:

- Combined Fitz & Fool trilogies - Robin Hobb
- Long Price Quartet - Daniel Abraham
- Prydain Chronicles - Lloyd Alexander
- World of the Five Gods - Lois McMaster Bujold
- Stormlord books - Glenda Larke
- Outremer - Chaz Brenchley
- Riyria - Michael J. Sullivan
- Copper Cat - Jen Williams
- Inda - Sherwood Smith
- Kushiel books - Jacqueline Carey

heinäkuu 18, 2018, 3:22 pm

Not necessarily in order

Sandman by Neil Gaiman
Dresden by Jim Butcher *
Ambergris by Jeff VanderMeer
Bas-Lag by China Mieville
Riftwar by Raymond E. Feist
Myth Adventures by Robert Asprin
Gentleman Bastards by Scott Lynch *
A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin *
Felix Castor by Mike Carey *
Dragonlance Chronicles by Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman

* indicates ongoing

I tried to include mostly completed or at least those that I'm up to date with. Series such as Malazan already mentioned by a few people I haven't included as I've only read a couple of the books so far.

heinäkuu 19, 2018, 1:18 am

I am so happy to see Memory, Sorrow and Thorn on here. I hardly ever see it on top lists of fantasy series, and it's such an epic and great series!

Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 19, 2018, 7:59 am

I feel oddly pleased to see so few citations of Tolkien and Martin (and there's no Sanderson or Rothfuss at all, yet). We're not merely lemmings after all! Except for me. I put them both.

>9 Kiddboyblue:, thank you for that minor bit of redemption.

>5 Jarandel:, most intriguing-to-me list so far, some things I want to look into there.

heinäkuu 19, 2018, 8:30 am

>10 Cecrow: I think Top 10 lists look really different depending on what "sort order" we apply to our larger pool of "all favorite series" to see which ones belong at the tippy-top. :) If I was sorting by cultural relevance, Tolkien & Martin would've been in the top tier, but I opted for a pure personal enjoyment sort.

heinäkuu 19, 2018, 12:07 pm

>10 Cecrow: I figured the usual suspects would be eventually named by several anyway. LotR and ASoIaF are probably some of the series even people who don't read fantasy unless it makes it to classic status or into mainstream pop culture will have read or be somewhat familiar with already. For Sanderson while I expect to enjoy the Cosmere & Stormlight Archives books I've only read Elantris and Warbreaker so far which were "mere" 3.5*/5 book for me (which is "good, but definitely didn't blow my socks off" territory). Also no way I'm trudging through the rest of the Wheel of Time just to see if his concluding books for it are better.

heinäkuu 19, 2018, 2:59 pm

>4 ScarletBea:, by reputation I think I should have named N.K. Jemisin, though I haven't read her yet.

>12 Jarandel:, Sanderson's original Mistborn trilogy impressed me most so far by him, though it didn't make my ten.

Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 19, 2018, 4:00 pm

>13 Cecrow: I've read all her books and she gets better with every series - this latest one is truly amazing.

Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 19, 2018, 5:37 pm

>10 Cecrow: "(and there's no Sanderson or Rothfuss at all, yet)"

Yeah, as much as I love The Name of the Wind (and I did enjoy The Wise Man's Fear as well) two-thirds of an unfinished trilogy(-plus?) should never be enough to make a Top 10 list, IMHO.

heinäkuu 19, 2018, 8:57 pm

Not sure I've seen these mentioned, but I remember them fondly and they might appeal to someone:

Guy G Kay, The Fionavar Tapestry
E R Eddison, The Zimiamvian Trilogy
U K LeGuin, the Earthsea sextet
Patricia McKillip, The Riddle-Master trilogy
CS Lewis, the Space trilogy
Madeleine L'Engle, the Time quartet
Lloyd Alexander, the Chronicles of Prydain
Jasper Fforde, the Thursday Next series
Paul Park, Roumania quartet

I'm torn on Gene Wolfe's twelve * Sun books. They use lots of fantasy tropes, but I think of them as science fiction. Whatever they are, they're right up there with the best spec fic ever written.

heinäkuu 20, 2018, 5:34 am

Thanks for starting this thread I am getting lots of ideas for future reads:) Though there are a lot of ticks in the Touchstone list already.

Narrowing it down to 10 is nigh on impossible. Many of the ones I would choose are already on other people's lists

Of those already mentioned I definitely need to include

The Fionavar Tapestry;
Memory, Sorrow and Thorn

Some that are not

Discworld by Terry Pratchett. I'm not too fond of the first two but after Equal Rites he seemed to find his voice and gave me many years of pleasure looking forward to what he would come up with next.

Newford by Charles de Lint

Wars of Light and Shadow by Janny Wurts

Books of Abarat by Clive Barker

Chronicles of Magravandias by Storm Constantine

Coldfire Trilogy by C. S Friedman

Bother that takes me to 10 and I have no Robin Hobb; Sara Douglass; Jacqueline Carey; K.J Parker; Karen Miller; Jennifer Fallon; Kate Elliott; Fiona McIntosh and others who have written more than one series.

I think I would also need to add Earthsea; Mordant's Need and His Dark Materials as honourable mentions.

heinäkuu 22, 2018, 2:35 pm

I agree, this has given me some really great suggestions and places to look. I've already ordered a few books based on these lists.

I was expecting so many repeats, but I love that there aren't as many, and a lot more obscure series than I thought there would be.

heinäkuu 22, 2018, 2:41 pm

I think the most repeated series I have seen on here is Malazan. I've read the first book and it was just so ... meh....I'm curious why so many people have it listed. Is this a series I should continue with, and give another try? Does it improve as it goes? Just curious about thoughts since so many of you have it on your top 10

Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 22, 2018, 4:53 pm

>19 Kiddboyblue: The first book is sometime considered a tad weaker than the following ones, but if it didn't particularly please you the series just might not be your jam.

I love it because... huh, plenty of reasons. Memorable characters and scenes. Epic in scope with events happening over several continents and parallel dimensions with their wildly varied races, cultures and environments yet everything is deeply intertwined either through direct causes and consequences, common characters or in more subtle ways. The world feels both lived in and with an incredible sense of history.
Many usual beloved fantasy elements treated in a way that's fairly original yet still resonant with a lot of earlier fantasy (instead of, well, being used 'as is' or turned 180° just because but otherwise not given much thought) : elves, dragons, undead, mages and their magic, deities and divinity...
And while this is dark fantasy which has been sometime accused of glorifying dodgy protagonists and gratuitous grit & gore, spawning in reaction the 'noblebright' subgenre, here the darker elements really pay off to deepen characterization and highlight the stakes, and while it might not be immediately obvious when you're nose-deep in one of the books the ultimate themes and goals are rather positive : ascension, redemption, mercy...

heinäkuu 22, 2018, 11:57 pm

J.R.R.Tolkien - Hobbit, LOTR; *maybe* Silmarillion
Ursula K. LeGuin - Earthsea series
Mervyn Peake - Gormenghast
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter
Jim Butcher - Harry Dresden
George R.R. Martin - Song of Fire & Ice
Charles De Lint - Newford books (loosely a series)
P.C. Hodgell - Kencyrath series
Roger Zelazny - Chronicles of Amber
Elizabeth Moon - Paksenarrion series

Annoying to put Martin in when there's a good chance he'll never finish the series - but have to anyway.
I stuck to adult. A whole nother list could be made of children's/YA series (I don't include Earthsea in that genre). Narnia, The Dark is Rising series, Alexander's Chronicles of Prydain, etc etc.
I just realized there's a rough order (not exact) from most important to me down, just because it's the order I thought of them.

heinäkuu 23, 2018, 4:00 am

The Realm of the Elderlings Complete Series by Robin Hobb
A Song of Ice & Fire by George R.R. Martin
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
Temeraire Complete Series by Naomi Novik
The Gentleman Bastard Sequence by Scott Lynch
The Witches of Eileanan Series by Kate Forsyth
The Empire Trilogy by Raymond E. Feist
Isles of Glory Trilogy by Glenda Larke
Shattered Sea Trilogy by Joe Abercrombie
The Night Angel Trilogy by Brent Weeks

heinäkuu 23, 2018, 8:26 am

>19 Kiddboyblue:, the shortest answer I can muster is that it's one of the few fantasy series really worth reading about as much as it's worth reading itself. Very rewarding, Erikson is a deep thinker. "" has a great in-depth re-read. First book is the worst of the ten, unfortunately, lol.

heinäkuu 23, 2018, 9:19 am

>19 Kiddboyblue: I'd have to say the same reason you'll see stuff by Rowling, Hobb, Feist, and Butcher on these lists. Tastes vary. Not everyone will adore what's out there.

heinäkuu 23, 2018, 11:00 am

>24 gilroy:, that's a note I've made on topics about "name some overlooked fantasy series". It's not that you'll never find books you really like outside of the typical ones recommended; it's that those lists will be far more varied. What we're doing here is some kind of mix of the two approaches, since we didn't set any rules/objectives. But any route to another title worth looking into is a good route.

heinäkuu 23, 2018, 11:34 am

>19 Kiddboyblue: Lots of reasons to include Malazan. I adored the first book and wanted more. Probably because my tastes in fantasy tend towards the morally ambiguous. The world isn't Black and White and I prefer my fantasy to have shades of grey. Then there is the truly epic scale of the world and its history; the characters; the way the strands between the books weave together; the fact that it is now a completed series so I'm no longer waiting for the next book to be published:)

But tastes vary and there are some books on other people's lists that don't work for me.

heinäkuu 23, 2018, 11:51 am

>19 Kiddboyblue: I'm someone who was wow'd for half its run, and then have had diminishing returns for books 6/7/8 and hated book 9 so much that it's the only book I've ever rated "one-star" on goodreads. I don't know how I'm going to ever get myself to read book 10 (despite it sitting on my TBR since it was released and the whole "there's only one more book, might as well finish it" syndrome.

That said, when I was in the "loving it" camp, I was in absolute awe of the sheer audacity of scope to the thing. Each book was like a trilogy in one volume, and gave new meaning to the word "epic", and if I didn't looooove all the characters, they were all very "cool" in one way or another, and because of the scope, the moments of triumph and tragedy were just over-the-top in a really awe-inspiring sort of way. I'm not sure if it would've ever made my personal Top 10, since at the end of the day, I'm more drawn to books with a smaller cast of characters, but I think there's something to admire in Malazan as just a sheer ballsy sort of undertaking. :) It hasn't stuck the landing (or come anywhere near it) for me, but I do think back fondly to those early days and "get" why people like it so much.

heinäkuu 25, 2018, 8:09 pm

So many great picks and several I've never tried. My wishlist has just grown :)

For myself, in no particular order:

Harry Potter by JK Rowling
Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien
Malazan Universe by Steven Erikson and Ian Esslemont
Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
The Rhapsody Trilogy by Elizabeth Haydon
The Hidden Legacy by Ilona Andrews
The Belgariad & The Malloreon by David Eddings
The Realm of the Elderings (but mostly the Fitz books) by Robin Hobb
Discworld by Terry Pratchett
Abhorsen Trilogy by Garth Nix

heinäkuu 26, 2018, 12:03 am

The Mabinogion Tetralogy by Evangeline Walton
The Biography of the Life of Manuel by James Branch Cabell
The Dyson stories by Arthur Machen

and maybe
The Dolphin Ring Cycle by Rosemary Sutcliff
This latter is not strictly a fantasy sequence, rather a "Celtic/Romano-British/Arthurian/historical" sequence, but it contains fantastic elements here and there.

heinäkuu 26, 2018, 12:39 am

Narkika, I have never seen Rhapsody on anyone's fantasy list before! This was the first fantasy series I ever read and so has a special place in my heart! So happy to see it on someone else's list!

heinäkuu 26, 2018, 1:05 pm

I won't make a list here, because I'd mainly be repeating other people's nominations, but I'd like to put in a mention for T.H.White's Once and Future King, which would definitely be in my top ten.

heinäkuu 26, 2018, 2:09 pm

>29 Crypto-Willobie: Glad Arthur Machen got mentioned. I never thought of him as having a "series" but I guess they are connected -- and he's classic.

heinäkuu 26, 2018, 2:26 pm

>30 Kiddboyblue: I think Elizabeth Haydon is one of those authors that goes frequently under the radar. She went so long before finishing off the series and then the beginning books haven't been in my local book stores for years. It's too bad. She has some of the best world building I've ever read. I reread the trilogy every few years :)

heinäkuu 26, 2018, 2:37 pm

>30 Kiddboyblue: There are some really good fantasy series out there and you asked for a Top 10.

I liked the first few of The Symphony of Ages, especially the first three, but haven't read any after The Assassin King. Actually I didn't even realise their were another three books in the series until I looked at the LT page.

heinäkuu 26, 2018, 5:38 pm

>34 calm: She finally finished off the series. As a fan it was satisfying to know how it all ends. Unfortunately they weren't the same quality as the original trilogy. One day I'll read the whole thing straight through just to do it.

elokuu 1, 2018, 9:09 pm

Middle-earth by J. R. R. Tolkien
World of the Five Gods by Lois McMaster Bujold
Books of Abarat by Clive Barker
Quarters by Tanya Huff
Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier
Sevenwaters by Juliet Marillier
Dance of the Rings by Jane S. Fancher
Safe-Keeper by Sharon Shinn
Queen's Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
Valdemar by Mercedes Lackey

elokuu 5, 2018, 9:32 am

My top 10 would be:

Lord of the Rings by Tolkein
Chronicles of Thomas Covenant by Stephen Donaldson
Mordant's Need also by Donaldson
Fionavar Tapestry by Guy Gavriel Kay - pretty much anything by him but his first series is still my favourite.
Realm of the Elderlings by Robin Hobb
Nightrunner by Lynn Flewelling
Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold - her Vorkosigan books are fabulous too but more sci-fi and it was Chalion that first introduced me to her.
Blackthorn & Grim by Juliet Marillier - again pretty much anything by her is fabulous but I LOVED the Blackthorn trilogy and wish there were to be more.
Memory, Sorrow and Thorn by Tad Williams - a slow burner at first and then grabs you by the throat.

Hard to pick the final one but to go for the slightly less obvious - Windrose Chronicles by Barbara Hambly.

elokuu 8, 2018, 12:44 am

Calm: Yeah, she did finish it, and I completely agree with Narilka, the final books are not the same quality as the original trilogy. It is nice to see one of my favorite series wrapped up, but nothing compares to those first three. Such strong characterization and world building.
Still, might be fun to finish if you enjoyed the original trilogy which it sounds like you did.

elokuu 23, 2018, 5:29 pm

My ten fantasy series:

Song of Fire & Ice by George R.R. Martin
Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
The First Law Trilogy by Joe Abercrombie
The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb
Geralt of Rivia by Sapkowski
The wheel of time by Jordan
The lord of the rings by Tolkien
The Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson
Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin
Liveship Traders by Robin Hobb

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 5, 2018, 1:25 am

So hard but I've been following this thread for a while so I'll give it a go. It's entirely possible that I'll be back at some later date with a different list. In no especial order other than what memory dredges up:

Riddle-Master of Hed series - Patricia A. McKillip
Wheel of Time series - Robert Jordan
The Winter King's War series - Susan Dexter
Challion series - Lois McMaster Bujold
Kencyrath chronicles - P.C. Hodgell
Belgariad - David Eddings; one of my major fantasy reads, back in the day.
Memory, Sorrow and Thorn - Tad Williams
Graceling - Kristin Cashore
Pern - Anne McCaffrey
Sartorias-deles series - Sherwood Smith
Second Sons trilogy - Jennifer Fallon

There are others where I haven't gone beyond the first books because they are intense and deserving of time to absorb them; I'll save them for a later list once I'm further into the series (King's Dragon - Kate Elliot, Broken Crown - Michelle Sagara West)

joulukuu 5, 2018, 7:30 am

Hurrah, more support for Tad Williams! I don't find as much lustre in his work these days, but still an old favourite of mine.

The Broken Crown keeps getting mentioned all over LT, I'd never heard of it before. Going on my "watch for a copy of this one" list. And I'm ashamed to say I've never read Bujold, despite knowing her name for years now: another thing to fix.