Recent Reads: Favourite Top 5 Fantasy Series

As some of you might know, over the past few years I’ve rediscovered my love for fantasy and fantasy series. I’ve fallen in love with the addiction nature of series, and the emotional turmoil of staying with the same characters through an epic, extended journey.

 

fantasy Series

 

I love (and hate) the countdown to the next book. It reminds me of waking up early to line up at the bookshop for the latest Harry Potter. And then there’s the fandoms. There’s something incredibly special about being part of a fandom. The fan art, the “shipping”, the social media accounts dedicated to love of a favourite character – it’s so much fun, and it often brings a certain lightness to a challenging day.

So with all those wonderful things in mind, I wanted to share with you some of my favourite fantasy series that I’ve discovered in the last year or so. I’ve been a little late to the party on some of these (nothing new there), but it doesn’t make them any less incredible.

So here they are…

 

1. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

 

ember in the ashes - fantasy series

 

What a stunning series this has been so far! Comprising of An Ember in the Ashes and A Torch Against the Night, the books follow the story of young Laia as she tries to save her brother who’s been taken prisoner by the empire.

I soared through these two books, which means I’m dying to read the next one. Since I finished Torch, I’ve discovered that there will be not one, but two more books in this series. Usually this kind of surprise annoys me – it means waiting longer to find out how the story ends. However, this announcement brought relief for me – I wouldn’t be saying goodbye to Laia and Elias just yet.

Not only were the stakes high and the characters relate-able, but the writing itself was absolutely breathtaking. I can’t recommend this series enough, and I have to thank the lovely Claire Bradshaw for her recommendation.

 

2. The Kingfountain Series by Jeff Wheeler

 

 

Comprising of The Queen’s PoisonerThe Thief’s Daughter and The King’s TraitorThe Kingfountain Series follows the journey of young Owen Kiskaddon, who is taken hostage by the king, and must learn to navigate the court.

What I loved about this series was that we grew up with Owen. In book one, he was a scared eight-year-old boy, in book two he was a teenager, and then in the final book, he was a grown man. It was such an effective way of getting the reader emotionally invested in the main character.

Not only does Owen face the wrath of the king, but he also experiences what we all do at some point or another – first love, heartache, loneliness and the yearning to find his place in the world.

 

3. Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat

 

captive prince fantasy series

 

Ahhhhh, this was a guilty pleasure and a half… I binge read this trilogy in about two weeks or so: Captive PrincePrince’s Gambit and Kings Rising.

Damen is a warrior hero to his people, and the rightful heir to the throne of Akielos, but when his half brother seizes power, Damen is captured, stripped of his identity, and sent to serve the prince of an enemy nation as a pleasure slave.

The power games, the intrigue and the sexual tension between Damen and Laurent can only be described as purely addictive.

Although this series is rife with erotic moments, it never crosses that line between the erotic and smut. Pacat’s writing is subtle, sparse and powerful, and the relationship she builds between Damen and Laurent is breathtaking.

 

4. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

 

a darker shade of magic fantasy series

 

This is a very recent discovery of mine, with the third book A Conjuring of Light having only been released just recently.

I read both A Darker Shade of Magic and A Gathering of Shadows in about a week, and I was kicking myself that I’d left it so long to read this series. I can’t tell you how gorgeous the writing is, and how memorable Kell and Lila are.

Schwab has done a remarkable job of world building not one, but several parallel Londons through which Kell travels.

 

5. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

 

throne of glass fantasy series

 

Maas’ Throne of Glass series includes: Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, Heir of Fire, and Empire of Storms, with a collection of prequel novellas, The Assassin’s Blade, and two more novels in the pipeline.

Maas’ books are action-packed, and are brimming with romance and superb plotting. These books have been the starting point for so many conversations over the last few years, both in terms of their characters and plot, but also about fantasy itself, world building and writing a series.

These books aren’t perfect, by any stretch of the imagination, but they’re fun, they’re addictive and even more importantly, they invite conversation and discussion.

It was actually these books that reignited my love of the genre, and got me back into reading fantasy.

 

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There are so many more fantasy series on my TBR list, including Claire’s copy of The Name of the Wind that’s been on my shelf for far too long now.

I’m sure there’ll be another ‘Recent Reads’ post soon!

Until next time,

Helen Scheuerer