I’m slightly embarrassed to say I used to really look down on fantasy series.
Yea, yea, I know. Book snob.
I can’t really explain why it was. As an adult, I was wrapped up in thinking that non-fiction fact based books were where it was at and put my childhood reading preferences on hold.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Thankfully, I’m a loud convert. Now, when I’m looking for something good to read or a book to pick me up, I turn to fantasy. Not just books, but series.
I love jumping in and finding characters I love to follow and explore through various worlds. For me, it’s really the world building that jumps out more than the story.
It’s why Harry Potter and Game of Thrones hold a special place. Of course, I love the characters, but JK Rowling and George RR Martin managed to create incredible worlds that I wanted to live in (hopefully equipped with a wand or a sword).
While I’m still relatively new to the world of fantasy in my adult years, there are a number of series I’ve read that I loved and a few more I can’t wait to tackle. I wanted to share my thoughts plus the rankings, ratings, and reviews of some of the best fantasy series out there that meant something to me.
With a year (at least) to keep us going until fantasy shows like Game of Thrones returns, it’s time to get reading.
1. Harry Potter by JK Rowling
I mean, come on, I am a Millennial, what did you expect? I don’t know anyone around my age who hasn’t been impacted by Harry Potter through the books or the movies.
Yes, I know the complaints, the characters aren’t fully developed, and a bit of editing could have helped in books 5-7 but frankly, I don’t care. Where Rowling excels is creating a magical world that you desperately want to live in. Alas, us muggles can only read about it (for now).
2. The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis
This is another set that I had fond memories of from my childhood (though way before my Harry Potter phase). I loved the first book especially and basically everything about it, including the cheesy cartoon movie.
It’s actually one of those series that I have on my list to dive into again. I know I missed much of the Christian symbolism the first time around, whoops, though it makes much more sense when you tie it in with the story of Susan.
3. A Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin
Were you scared for a minute that I waited until #3 to hit up this series? Don’t worry, these numbers aren’t in any order. So, what can we say about this series, it’s become a cultural phenomenon around the world.
And, while the HBO show Game of Thrones is great the books give you so much more insight into the characters motivations. I’m waiting for the final books to come out, whenever that will be, so we’ll know how the story truly ends.
4. The Broken Earth Series by NK Jemisin
This is the next fantasy series I’ll be digging into and I can’t wait. It’s sitting in my Kindle Paperwhite as we speak. What I do know is NK Jemisin seems like the hottest fantasy writer out there.
She’s won two Hugo Awards in a row for best novel (the first two books of this series) and the first book, The Fifth Season is being made into a tv show. The series is set on a continent in the future Earth where people face massive disasters.
5. The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien
I first dug into this series through The Hobbit. I discovered in my teens that we had this really baller version of the book in my house, it’s the 50th Anniversary Edition (with golden cover), which came out in 1987. Reading that book got me into Tolkien, which of course, means you’re on an adventure.
When the epic movie trilogy came back around, it was one of the catalysts that got me back into fantasy. You can really see where later writers like George RR Martin got some of their inspiration from.
Of course, these are only five fantasy series, there are so many more out there that I can’t wait to explore. I’ve found they are some of the best tools to get away from bad news and politics and life being annoying to just escape into an awesome story.
I mean, we’ve all been there, right?
So, here’s where I ask you for advice. Let your nerd flags fly proud and don’t hold back! If you’ve got some suggestions on the fantasy books you’ve loved, please hit me up and leave a comment.