Rasmira is the daughter of a chieftain for whom honor is everything—and who loses hers, as well as her chance to become a warrior and leader, following the sabotage of her coming of age ceremony. After all four are murdered, two very different Quadaran citizens find themselves embroiled in the chaos surrounding the assassinations and resulting power vacuum.
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Keralie is a skilled thief working on behalf of a dangerous man. Varin is her latest mark, who faces dark consequences after she steals from him a package worth more than his life. The two band together to solve the mystery of the four dead queens, as well as their own skins. His new gifts usher him into the magical upper crust and into the confidence of the minister of defense, who promises to teach him how to use his magic—which Noam secretly plans to use against the government, which has worked ruthlessly to deport immigrants, like his own family, who seek refuge from magical threats.
But her consuming desire is to acquire a shadowglass, which will allow her to make the one she loves most immortal…but achieving it may be at the cost of her own heart. Rich worldbuilding and high stakes make this one a must-read. The Everlasting Rose , by Dhonielle Clayton March 5 Fallen Belle Camellia, on the run from a sadistic queen and the price on her head, searches for the true heir to the throne in this sequel to bestseller The Belles. The Waking Forest , by Alyssa Wees March 12 Rhea has a pack of uncanny sisters, a feral animal companion, and a nightmare that plagues her: of someone, or something, waiting for her in the attic above her bedroom.
Meanwhile, a witch waits in the forest, granting wishes to children who dare visit her in their dreams. Their stories will collide in dangerous ways in this atmospheric fantasy debut. And then the bodies start turning up, setting the five teens on a twisting journey into the woods. Wicked Saints , by Emily A. Duncan April 2 April 2 is going to be a reeeally good day for Gothic darkness.
Early rave reviews have warned us: here there be villainous love interests, dark enchantments, perilous plot twists, and some seriously untrustworthy saints. Descendant of the Crane , by Joan He April 2 In this Chinese-inspired fantasy debut, a reluctant princess takes the throne under dark circumstances. She turns first to a soothsayer to guide her in finding his killer—though magic was long ago outlawed—then to a prickly investigator with his own criminal past. We Rule the Night , by Claire Eliza Bartlett April 2 A factory worker and the daughter of a general, each facing punishment for defiant acts, team up in order to escape punishment.
Pooling their magic, the two instant enemies set off on dangerous after-dark flights across enemy lines, learning to rely on each other in time of war. Except the prince becomes an unexpected ally, sharing his own power—to summon fire—and teaching her how to control and celebrate hers. But enemies are approaching the walls of Kiev, and the pair will soon learn whether fire and ice combined will be enough to turn them away. Just kidding: things start to go south—like, straight to hell south—in Paris, where they learn about the Crimson Hand, an anarchy-sowing demon-worshipping cult…that appears to have grown out of a years-old joke made by Magnus.
Her Poe is seventeen years old, intellectually hungry, and counting down the days until he can trade in his wealthy foster family for university and married life. But his life falls apart with the arrival of a Muse named Lenore. Muses are fearsome harbingers of disgrace, that lead artists to misery and ruin. But once Lenore starts making demands of Poe, he has little choice but to heed her…. The Tiger at Midnight , by Swati Teerdhala April 23 In this trilogy starter inspired by Hindu mythology and Indian history, the fates of a soldier and a rebel collide, changing the course of their world.
Esha is the infamous Viper, committing acts of revenge on the wicked and the powerful—and her next target is the general. Levi tries his hand at empire-building, while Enne balances her twin identities as fine lady and lord of the streets. The stakes climb, dangerous new figures enter from the wings, and the two find themselves balanced between utter ruin and unimaginable greatness.
Her only way out? Infiltrating the palace and stealing a treasure out of legend. In the palace, younger Prince Alfie is still reeling from the murder of his brother, and his own ascension to first in line for the throne. Dark Shores , Danielle L. Jensen May 7 In a world where the Goddess of the Seas decides who lives and dies on her waters, Teriana is one of a waveborn people, second mate on the Quincense and at home only at sea. A power-mad eastern ruler blackmails both into helping him conquer the wilds of the western lands, forcing the two into an uneasy alliance that offers their only hope at protecting their families, but will drive them to extremes.
In a country on the verge of war, both find themselves on the trail of an object of great power: Zafira wants to use it to stop the war and restore magic to her world, while Nasir wants to find it first and kill Zafira. The Candle and the Flame , by Nafiza Azad May 14 Fatima lives in the city of Noor, which rose from the ashes of a horrific djinn slaughter that left just three survivors—one of them Fatima.
The revived city is protected by ifrit from the threat of further attack, until the death of the most powerful ifrit shifts the balance. One is the long-awaited Sun Queen, the other the era-ending queen of blood. In sequel Kingsbane , Rielle has survived the trials and been anointed Sun Queen, and must now call on her powers to repair the Gate holding the wicked angels at bay—while maintaining a connection with angel Corien, whom we know from the opening pages of Furyborn is destined to speed her downfall.
One thousand years later, bounty hunter Eliana grapples with the new understanding that she is the true Sun Queen, who must defend against becoming power-corrupted as Rielle was before her. The Wise and the Wicked , by Rebecca Podos May 28 Ruby comes from a long line of powerful women whose power has diminished almost to nothing in the years since they left their Russian homeland.
But the costs of fighting fate may be steeper than Ruby knows. Foundling Elizabeth is an apprentice at the Great Library of Summershall, who dreams of one day serving as a warden to these grimoires. The mysterious intervention of a secretive young sorcerer saves her from imprisonment, but her trials are only beginning, as she discovers the Summershall attack is part of a far greater plot.
With the above cast of writers either deceased or getting on in years may you live long and prosper G.
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Which he completed to critical and fanboy acclaim. Mistborn being the current crowning jewel in a rapidly expanding portfolio. He named himself the Lord Ruler, enslaved mankind and established the Final Empire. The Lord Ruler gave the Nobility the power of Allomancy in the beginning.
As a result, cross breeding between Skaa and the Nobility has been strictly forbidden lest these powers make their way into the slave population and dilute the power of the Noble bloodlines. But after several generations of indiscretions and brutal oppression, a new kind of slave rebellion is coming. The Final Empire is a mix between heist thriller and epic fantasy. A thieving crew comprised of geniuses and Skaa Mistings take on an impossible job: overthrowing an everlasting empire, and killing a god.
Lead by the indomitable Kelsier — an incredibly rare Skaa Mistborn who came into his abilities late in life — the crew attempts to con, kill, or otherwise sabotage the Nobility, the Lord Ruler, and his most dangerous minions. Hoping to collapse the Final Empire and liberate the Skaa. The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson. The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson.
The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson. Unknown standalone novels and two other trilogies — one set in present day and one in the distant future — still to come. The series also contains many metafictional stories-within-stories from varying perspectives, most of which are recounted by Kvothe, having been heard from other characters in his past. This series is similar to Mistborn in that it came on to the scene somewhat unexpectedly and garnered almost instant popularity. This is the riveting first-person narrative of Kvothe, a young man who grows to be one of the most notorious magicians his world has ever seen.
From his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, to years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-riddled city, to his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, The Name of the Wind is a masterpiece that transports readers into the body and mind of a wizard. The Name of the Wind Description via Amazon. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. Demon Cycle by Peter V. Brett is the newest of these essential fantasy series, and it came to my attention late in December But the impression it has made on me in the short time between then and now is immense.
Every night when the sun goes down, demons rise from the core of the earth with one mission. To kill anything that lives above. Now imagine that this struggle has been going on for centuries and the forces of human-kind have lost their only weapons against the demons. Meaning that every night their numbers dwindle while the demons grow stronger. As darkness falls after sunset, the corelings rise—demons who possess supernatural powers and burn with a consuming hatred of humanity.
For hundreds of years the demons have terrorized the night, slowly culling the human herd that shelters behind magical wards—symbols of power whose origins are lost in myth and whose protection is terrifyingly fragile. It was not always this way. Once, men and women battled the corelings on equal terms, but those days are gone. Night by night the demons grow stronger, while human numbers dwindle under their relentless assault.
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Now, with hope for the future fading, three young survivors of vicious demon attacks will dare the impossible, stepping beyond the crumbling safety of the wards to risk everything in a desperate quest to regain the secrets of the past. Together, they will stand against the night. The Warded Man Description via Amazon. The Warded Man by Peter V. The Desert Spear by Peter V. The Daylight War by Peter V.
I know that inevitably there will be some readers out there who disagree with my list of essential fantasy series. Which is totally fine! I just ask that you please leave your picks in the comments below so I can read them too! Ah, but Dresden Files is not epic fantasy. I am suprised not to see R.
Salvatore on this list. I plan on creating an updated version of this post for :. They were the bridge from J. Tolkien to Robert Jordan for me! Realm of the Elderlings by Robin Hobb should be on any list of best fantasy series! But great list nonetheless. But I loved the Dresden series, and the Wheel of Time was an absolute fave.
I like that comedy drama fantasy. Lynn Flewelling-Night Runner series is great. Luck in the Shadows well done. Odd Thomas is great, but I guess also gets filed with Dresden. Thanks for the recommendations.
Read the rest. Looking for the stories on the lighter side, like Piers Anthony and all his puns. You should consider this self published author. Ben Galley.. The emaneska series is just astonishing.. I say this having read more than half of whats suggested above. Fun story! I was about to say the same. The show is shite compared to the books. One of the best fantasy series of all time imo- get it in your life! Definitely going to make it into the next update of this post. Malayan book of the fallen HAS to be there! It rated much higher than many of the books in this list..
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The only exception is The Hobbit for the reasons I stated in the post. I would suggest adding Brent Weeks to your reading list since both the Lightbringer and the Night Angel series show him to be an amazing writer. Thanks for the recommendations! Made me want to stay in my car even after the trip was done. Thanks for the recommendation! Man the Stormlight Archive is some outstanding reading.
While good this series so far blows Mistborn away. Man is that series spectacular this far. Those were my first fantasy novels and I would recommend them before the oblique Gunslinger series, although I am piqued by that recommendation. I enjoyed the Raymond Feist Series as well…the Magician trilogy…which I believe is to be made into a tv series in the near future.
Melanie Rawn — Sunrunners fire two trilogies. Imho best character creation and political drama of all fantasy. My favorite read since Warded Man or Name of the Wind.
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A trilogy is NOT a trilogy when it contains only two novels. Patrick has become well known for yelling at his fans and showing them no respect and literally cussing at them simply because they ask when his trilogy he promised was already finished in will finally be finished. He is a lazy writer and undeserved of his many praises, and basically an all-around jerk of a human being. Hi, i read all the replys of suggestions of epic Fantasy i ahve read them all. Esslemont writes the sides stories that fil in the parts that are not of the main story, but has had huge effect on why things are as they are..
Great list. I am always looking for something new to read, and this gave me a few ideas. If you do ever check this, I would like to know if you did end up reading the Malazan series that everyone has been talking about. If so, what are your thoughts? I put that in quotation because he wrote all three books as one, long book and had them split. If you read the paperback edition, the final book is actually split in two parts as well because it was too long to fit in paperback format. The Riftwar Saga by Raymond Fiest is one of my all time favorites.
I would put him at number four on your list as the top three are locked in. The First Law trilogy by Joe Abercrombie is great. All of his novels are top notch. The Heroes may be my favorite fantasy book of all time. He is the best. I agree about the Riftwar saga—it was exceptional.
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