To celebrate the heritage of the genre, I’ve assembled a list of my favorite fantasy book series of all time for young adults and adults who love the adventure of new worlds, species, and magic systems.
The Galactic Mage
|Synopsis of the ‘The Galactic Mage’:||Altin Meade is a sorcerer with a curse. Seeking to avoid a looming doom, he sets his magical sights on the stars—a quest that will likely bring about the very end he’s seeking to escape.|
|My Take:||It seems to me that the author was seeking out a wide and varied audience when he wrote this book and successfully managed to write something that might in fact please them all. I feel that people who typically enjoy either space exploration genres or high fantasy genres will immensely enjoy The Galactic Mage. I also feel that those looking to try something new will be pleasantly surprised as I was, and find that they enjoy it as well.|
The Hunger Games Trilogy
|Synopsis of ‘The Hunger Games Trilogy‘:||Set in the distant future after the destruction of North America as we know it, the great nation of Panem is now all that remains of human civilization. Panem is comprised of the Capitol and its 13 surrounding districts. The Capitol is a place of excess and lavish affairs where people are concerned with fashion and frivolity while the districts suffer under the President’s oppressive rule. Within the districts people starve, are worked to the bone, and discontent is ever-present but the Capitol’s peacekeepers keep things under tight control through the use of force and fear. As a reminder to all the districts that they once lost the battle for freedom during a great uprising, the hunger games are held every year. Each year a male and female child between the ages of 12-18 are chosen at random as tributes to the games, once chosen they are thrust into an arena of the Capitol’s design that holds a host of deadly surprises for them. They must kill or be killed as only one person can win the games – the last person standing.|
The story is centered on Katniss Everdeen, who volunteered to be a tribute in the games in the place of her younger sister Primrose Everdeen. She must battle for her life against both the opposing tributes and the capitol. Her actions taken to survive and protect those she cares about are taken as a direct threat to the government and she soon finds herself in an even more dangerous game than she ever imagined.
|My Take:||I had a very hard time putting this series down! The pacing is excellent as you are always wondering what is coming and you’re never disappointed. There is both action and drama to be found as Katniss struggles to survive and dissect her emotional attachments to others. I highly recommend this series, you will be blown away!|
The Hollows Series
|Synopsis of ‘The Hollows Series’:|
Beings called “Inderlanders” (vampires, witches, werewolves, pixies, elves, and more) are out amongst humans thanks to a genetic experiment gone wrong that caused the human population to dwindle and has allowed them to come out without fear of being destroyed. Enter Rachel Morgan, a witch who makes a living bringing criminal Inderlanders to Justice. Her journey begins with a price on her head for wanting to leave the organization she works for. Teaming up with a vampire and a pixie, she starts her own agency and struggles to stay alive through the twists and turns her life makes.
|My Take:||By far this is my absolute favorite book series of all time. The characters have a realness to them that touches your heart and makes you laugh even when things are going horribly wrong for them. Rachel, Ivy, and Jenks will captivate you and have you clamoring for each book as it comes out!|
Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter Series
|Author:||Laurell K. Hamilton|
|Synopsis of the ‘Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter Series’:|
Anita Blake is a necromancer by trade who raises the dead for an insurance company and does some side work for the police on occasion. This has proven to get her into some trouble here and there and her life quickly takes a turn in a direction she never expected. When a Vampire targets her as a love interest she falls deeper and deeper into what she calls “monster” culture. Anita is forced to make sacrifices and go against her own beliefs to save those around her from the monsters that prey on humans and the people she cares about. *** It should be noted that these books have erotic scenes***
|My Take:||In the beginning, I was completely in love with this series, and to a point I still like it. The erotica of the books was not as prevalent at the beginning of the series- almost non-existent in fact. As the series has progressed the erotica seems to take over and that has hurt the story for me. It is still well written and my attachment to the characters remains strong though, so I would say it’s worth a read.|
Meredith Gentry Series
|Author:||Laurell K. Hamilton|
|Synopsis of the ‘Meredith Gentry Series’:||Meredith NicEssus is a faerie princess who has become a private investigator using the last name “Gentry” in order to hide from her family. At a young age, her family tried to kill her because she is part human and brownie, and they felt her mixed blood would pollute the throne if she were to ascend to it. Due to the repeated attempts on her life, she fled to Los Angeles where she took on the false name and P.I. profession. As it turns out, the magic of Faerie (her homeland’s essence) wants her to ascend to the throne and she must fight her way through politics and assassination attempts in order to survive long enough to bring the dyeing magic back to her people. *** This series has erotic scenes throughout***|
|My Take:||I love this series wholeheartedly! The erotic scenes in this series make sense as the princess must bear a child to ascend to the throne of her people. The characters in this series are well written and have all found a place in my heart. I highly recommend this series.|
|Synopsis of the ‘Otherworld Series’:||This series is unique in that it has multiple narrators that change from book to book. All of the books are set in the same world where werewolves, witches, necromancers, and vampires struggle to fit in amongst humans undetected. Some of the main characters include Eve Levine, Paige Winterbourne, Elena Michaels, Jeremy London, and Nick Sorrentino. The story interweaves throughout the books and you see familiar faces with each book you pick up that tie the series together.|
|My Take:||At first, this series was very odd to me as I am normally accustomed to having one character, or small set of characters, that is the main focus. This series is more of a worldview through many eyes, and after you get used to that it is an amazing story full of intricate details that keep it all connected. Another interesting thing about this series is that you don’t have to read it in order to understand everything which is very different and enjoyable.|
Sookie Stackhouse Series
|Synopsis of the ‘Sookie Stackhouse Series’:||As a telepathic waitress, Sookie Stackhouse is anything but ordinary and lives in her grandmother’s house in Bon Temps Louisiana. Her telepathy was a big problem for her in relationships and she falls for a vampire because his mind is blank to her. This relationship is the start of many problems involving supernatural beings for Sookie, and she must wiggle her way out of those problems as the series continues.|
|My Take:||Truly realistic, this series covers some topics that most writers shy away from. (I won’t spoil them for you!) It touches on a realness that few other series have managed because it shows the mundane parts of life along with the supernatural aspect, such as a bad day on the job for Sookie due to rude customers at her restaurant. This series is also a television show called True Blood nowadays, but I confess I have not watched it as of yet so I couldn’t tell you how close it is to the book series. All I can say is that the book series is definitely worth your time.|
Fantasy fiction allows for the impossible to occur—for elves to fall in love with humans and for street urchins to wield magic. Fantasy introduces book readers to adventures starring world-conquering villains and selfless heroes (or, sometimes, tender-hearted villains and amoral heroes).
In short, fantasy is a genre of epic strength and incandescent beauty.
Continue your reading to see more of my other recommendations.