Hello again. It is no small secret that one of my favourite genres is fantasy. Anyone who follows me on Goodreads will easily see that my fantasy shelf is twice the size of any other. It makes me sad that there are lots of people who look down on this genre, but I also know there are plenty of fantasy nerds out there like me. Well, this one’s for you guys.
Here are my favourite adult fantasy series, as opposed to my favourite young adult series which is a whole other blog post:
Nevernight - Jay Kristoff
If you’ve been in the shop in the last six months you might know that this has been my ‘pick’ off and on all year. This is a fantastic series (number two is out - Godsgrave - and number three will be out next year!) about a girl called Mia, who is determined to avenge her family who were murdered in front of her when she was a child. It is dark (like, really dark), full of murder and betrayal and set in an amazing world. Kristoff’s catch phrase for this book on social media is ‘stab, stab, stab. (if you loved this series you might also enjoy Mark Lawrence’s Red Sister.)
A Darker Shade of Magic - V. E. Schwab
From one of my favourite authors of all time, this series is packed full of magic, action and fantastic characters. Imagine there are three Londons: Grey London, the world we know, Red London, a world rich with magic, and White London, a world of savage bloodshed. There are a few who have the power to walk between worlds, the Antari, and Kell is one of them. When he accidentally brings a piece of the long lost Black London into his world he unleashes hell, with deadly consequences. (The whole series is out now and Schwab is also writing a new series set in the same world for any fans of the original books)
Uprooted - Naomi Nivok
t is rare to find a really good fantasy stand alone story. There is a real talent in being able to take a reader through a satisfying story arch in just one book when following the rules of the fantasy genre, and Nivok does this seamlessly. The story follows Agnieszka, a simple girl from a simple village that stands near the border of the corrupted Wood. Her people rely on the protection of a wizard known only as the Dragon, who takes a young woman to serve him every ten years. What I loved most about this story was the incredibly creepy forest and the way in which a place stood in the role of evil antagonist to the story. (Novik has also just released Spinning Silver, another stand alone which is next on my TBR pile!)
The Name of The Wind - Patrick Rothfuss
It surprises me how many fantasy lovers who come into the shop haven’t heard of or read this series. For fans of more traditional ‘epic’ fantasy, like The Lord of the Rings, Robin Hobb or Game of Thrones, Rothfuss presents a very detailed world and scope of story. The series follows the life of Kvothe, a legend known as the Kingkiller. The story is told in two time periods, the first is of Kvothe as a grown man telling his life story to a scribe, and the second is that retelling of his life. Book two is out - The Wise Man’s Fear - and we are all eagerly awaiting book three…
The Golem and the Djinni - Helene Wecker
This is the only urban fantasy on this list, meaning that it is set in our world but with magical elements included. The story is of two creatures, a Golem created by a disgraced rabbi who is relocating to New York, and a Djinni who is awoken from his lamp by an unwitting tinsmith living in Little Syria. The two find each other and become friends, figuring out what it means to be in this new country and in their new lives of freedom, but not freedom. This story draws many parallels to immigration and has great subtextual observations about ‘otherness’.