It tried to paint charity, compassion and mercy as evil. Not Goodkind by nature! Your disappointment is misplaced as I would assume are the examples of other missing series you could easily have included. But to be fair, there are others missing I could easily include. I thought they were real page turners.
Are they considered too light — or are they young adult? Just a thought. Needs to be on the list! This is clearly stated as a list of favourites that includes more than three books. The Lord of the Rings you will find, hopefully to your pleasure at number one on the trilogy top list. Have you taken Joe Abercrombie off this list??
I can understand including authors because there is a lot of people enjoying their books. Very entertaining! Great authors all of them but wrong criteria for this list. Thank you so much for this list. I get tired of falling in love with a world or character only to have the adventure end all too abruptly for me. I will have tour start looking at some of these. I might add that the Belgariad is a wonderful series by David Eddings and his wife. Easy reading but very enjoyable.
Wheres Terry Brooks ermagerd! Where is The Lord of the Rings? Any real fantasy-lover should read LOTR. I agree with the mckillop recommendation. As an older teenager this series fired my now 45 year old love for fantasy fiction that and Tolkien. It is a great tale of self discovery. Quit trolling. Goodkind is definitely in the top five of all time. This is something that needs to be rectified so you should see reviews appear over the coming weeks and then hopefully we can add the Dragonlance series to this page. Thanks for your comment.
Sword of Truth does have its fans although it is not for everyone. But it has I believe given thousands of readers a lot of enjoyment, and that is why it is listed on this page. Sword of Truth has got to go. Predictable and truly not in league with the other series noted here. These are recommendations after-all, and here is mine, Whispers by Aram Keledjian.
My new favorite of the year by faaaaaaar. No Dragonlance?
This is criminal. A quarter of those series are nothing more than Dragonlance knock offs anyway. Goodkind is the worst author ever. The fact that this series is on your best list makes me question your judgement about all the other books on this list. Thanks for the list. I am going to check out Duncton Wood. The series that got me into fantasy writing to begin with was Brian Jacques Redwall series. Granted they did get a little repetitive and predictable, but the first 5 books were great. I feel like Michael Moorcock should be on this list somewhere.
Elric of Melnibone series is one of my all-time favorites. Yes dragon spindle is pretty good for a self published book I recon it will be picked up by a publisher soon then probably get ruined by big business! I absolutely loved that list… Quick question though: Should the novels by Anne Rice not be included as well? I liked a new book and fantasy series which is Dragon Spindle book 1 in the Ningazia Balance series.
Definatly worth a look if you like fast paced dragon fantasy with dragons, elfs , orcs and loads of magic. The first book is indeed awesome, but after that, the entire thing goes down the drain. Zero innovation, bullshit character development He might has well had an alien parasite take over Leesha , inconsistent pacing….
Dresden files up but got to say Codex Alera has me coming back for more. Mazan Book of the Fallen is so epic, intelligent and unpredictable, near all other fantasy seems childlike in comparison. Good call for having it in the list. Thanks Matt. I actually have the Rangers Apprentice books on my to-be-read pile and — following your recommendation — will move them up the list and read them soon. A book series that I highly recommend is Rangers Apprentice. It is not your average fantasy novel, it takes place in a world much like middle age England and does not include magic surprisingly.
You follow the adventures of Will Treaty becoming a Ranger, a legendary warrior using the tools of stealth and archery to guard the crown. This list cannot be considered complete without the Chronicles of Pern! I would also mention The Saga of Recluce by L. Modesitt Jr as being worthy of inclusion, certainly well above the risible Sword of Truth series.
The Dredsen Files is the best fantasy book written by the best author — Jim Bucher. You would definitely agree that The Dredsen Files is the Best Fantasy Series around I have read each book 3 times over just to fully understand the characters and the plot of the series. Hi Lynette, great recommendations! Some we have yet to read and review on the site but I have added them to our to-read list and hope to remedy that very soon.
I think Inheritance Cycle should be on the list. It is an awesome read and its characters are very deep too. Glen Cook wrote an earlier book that has been one of my favorites since my teenage years. The Dragon Never Sleeps. I had to re-purchase the Duncton Chronicles about 5 years ago due to my originals being lost somewhere in the midst of time. But I treasure them as much as any other books, they have character and history.
The first Duncton book is a real gem, a worthy companion to Watership Down. Interesting what you say about inconsistencies in the Hyddenworld series. I have to admit a few elements of the story did not piece together perfectly, especially the legend of the Peace Weaver and Beormund, but I am very, very forgiving of the authors I hold dearest!
Thanks for the nice answer Lee! I found it quite enjoyable — few fresh ideas there! Only thing that bugged me was that there was rather a lot of inconsistencies throughout. Guess the author must be even more forgetful than I am! Now, The Name of the Wind and Mr. Read it when it first came out. By the second book it gets a whole lot better though, in my opinion. I want to see Gregor the Overlander on this list. Thanks Milotius, this is exactly the type of comment that provides real value.
We have reviewed Lukyanenko, Pehov and Sapkowski on the site, but not enough of a series to get them onto this page. I think the advancement in the standard of translation will open up these books to a wider audience. I have read several translated books recently and they have lost nothing in the translation. Now this might be a new series to add. So far, wonderful story, wonderfully told.
Great list! There are some amazing books out there once you start exploring! Svetlana Martynchik. Kind of an urban fantasy, modern day, Russian version of Narnia if you will. But with so much dark humour, strangeness and sometimes creepiness it should definitely not be recommended for kids. Yet again an urban fantasy and I suppose hope well known.
Yet again for its mix of lightheartedness and angst! My only negative note on this list: Wheels of Time… Why, oh why are people so in to it? Could not stomach more after book 6. He seems to have had only two categories for females — evil or annoying or possibly both. If not, do it now! Thank you. Mistborn is on our recommended fantasy trilogies pages. I know it is 4 books now but it just seemed a better fit on there. I understand having Tolkien on the list but I have never been able to read his books. They just bore me and seem to spend too much energy in building the world and races that it is nearly a biography of a fantasy world and less a good fantasy story.
Though I would have to say that without LoTR fantasy would still be decades behind where it is now. Really, not a single Brandon Sanderson, I just wanna see one of them although I think they all deserve a spot , Mistborn was an amazing series. I am listening to The Dragonbone Chair at this very moment — I first read it decades ago and hope to enjoy it every bit as much second time around! The Dwarves 2. The War of the Dwarves 3. The Revenge of the Dwarves 4. The Fate of the Dwarves 5. The Dragonbone Chair 2.
Stone of Farewell 3. Otherland: 1. City of Golden Shadow 2. River of Blue Fire 3.
Mountain of Black Glass 4. Shadowmarch 2. Shadowplay 3. Shadowrise 4. The Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss!! It is simply amazing. An unbelievable achievement. Self published at first, and has become a best-seller on word of mouth alone. I think that most people who like these other series would enjoy these.
The WOT situation: The first three books were fantastic, interesting world, characters with room to grow and a story to tell. Somewhere though it got off track. It seemed to require story lines that were way to separate and did not seem to come together much. Great series but after starting out to be the best ever, it never quite lived up to that. Well told.
Interesting story and characters. Interesting form of magic. My ESL teacher recommended it to me when I was in high school and I have been in love with it ever since. A good call for Mists of Avalon Luiz and I have been delighted to add it. I should just note that Diana L. Paxson co-wrote and independently wrote the later novels. One author completely missing from this list and the comments is Peter V Brett — His Demon Cycle series it is now over 3 books so can be included is a fantastic new take on the fantasy genre.
Some wonderful characters in a gripping story line. Four have been published and I can hardly wait for the fifth and concluding novel. Otherwise, all the comments and remarks are very acurate, and although I am a fan of Terry Goodkind, some of the books did stink… Wheel of Time is epic! Great books! He loves reading. In fact, he just finished reading the first novel by Jim West called Libellus de Numeros The Book of Math that makes math and science relevant and fun in a story of magic and danger.
The story is about Alex, a young precocious girl, who mysteriously gets transported to a strange world where Latin and Math combine in formulas and equations with magical effects. With a cruel council leading the only safe city of its kind in this world, she will have to prove her worth to stay as well as help this city as it is the target for two evil wizards who seek to destroy the city and its ruling council.
To help the city and also get back home, she will need the help of the greatest mathematician of all time, Archimedes. In a world where math is magic, Alex wishes she paid more attention in math class. Search for the book on Goodreads for reviews. Nice list, glad NOT to see junk like Twilight on it. Hey LuvD, the trilogy list which is a work in progress can be found here : Happy reading!
Is it out as yet? If so, can you post a link? This thread has been opened since Great choices presented. Gonna finally give WoT a try way too many of you have suggested it. Was probably looking for something new to try out and voila. The story managed to completely draw me in after a couple of chapters. Hi all! That is one great list of beloved series you got there, so I felt compelled to express a concern and immediately suggest an entry. I am not Polish myself so I had to wait for translation but his work is truely masterful and entertaining, for lack of a better word.
The subtle references to classic pieces are simply genius while the series follows its own engaging story. Believe me, I would never look at Cinderella or the Beauty and the Beast the same way as I did before! Definitely a recommended read! Thanks for that David, it made me smile, a lot. Very close to my own personal opinions on many points. Would love to know what you think about Wheel of Time though — if you could reply with an answer that would be great. Good call on Saga of the Recluce — we have very positive reviews for it already on the site, so added to this list it shall be!
Those are great. After Days of Air and Darkness, it sinks to somewhere between pretty good and so-so. Twilight stinks too. Salvatore is so-so. No I take it back. The Belgariad is okay. The Malloreon is so-so. The Elenium is blah. The Tamuli is just plain bad. I really wish that Guy Gavriel Kay would write a series with each book being as good as Tigana was.
Farseer by Robin Hobb is great. You have to like a book authored by a liberal where the hero is a guy who murders people for a living. Way to go, Margaret. Do it again! Mistborn was great-minus, with flashes of great here and there. The Saga of Recluce is another great-minus series, with some of the books being marginally great and others being just pretty good. The repetitive use of the boy-from-the-sticks-grows-up-and-does-well theme holds it down half a notch. The real atrocity is that neither Mistborn nor the Stormlight Archives are listed. Hi James, great books but a trilogy.
But if enough people think they should be on the list I would be happy to add them. Thanks for the good list. I agreed with most of the picks and got ideas for future reads from the rest. I do feel the need to award kudos not only for the Gemmell nods but specifically for the Rigante series. Rarely does a list acknowledge Gemmel and this is the first one to do that and go farther. The Drenai series may be simplistic but the tale of the Rigante is a whole different level of story telling in my opinion, and well worthy of mention. Wheel of Time series has to be in 2nd place after the story of the Middle Earth by J.
I have read many of the authors in the list and are all great in different ways. One of my favourites however is Robin Hobb, I would urge anyone whose is looking for a great read to consider these.
I think when you look at all from a distance, J. Tolkien is the author of all these books and they are all set in the same world. So I now think they should be included. Hi Unojoe, thank you for your comment. The Kingkiller Chronicles is — as you say — fantastic. But at the moment the criteria for inclusion on this page is a series consisting of at least 4 books. Great comments. Good call.
Thank you for the original list. I used to read lots of fantasy but what with my career and children etc have only recently got back into it. Erikson next. Just finished WoT after a 7 year break- agree it lost its way in the middle at times and I despaired of it ever finishing; great finale though, a really good fight! I probably ought to re-read them now! I know he writes more stand alone novels, but would like to recommend Guy Gavriel Kay. Interesting comments Batto and Lawler, I tend to agree. Cheers everyone, have a good Christmas! I read fantasy fiction to escape and I enjoy it for that purpose, but I have to admit that very little of it is high-quality literature, and I find that the longer series are little more than endless plot, with little substance.
Good literature makes you reflect on and better understand something, whether it be history, current events, human nature, love, friendship, pyschology, politics, etc. Fantasy fiction is often heavy on interpersonal relationships and emotions like love and courage, but it often has a very simplistic understanding of society in general. Maybe that is why we read it. What I enjoy about fiction fiction as a genre is its world building. I delight in the way the authors construct language, culture, history and myth.
Hi Kenneth, great shout on the Green Rider series — deserves to be added and it is reviewed very favourably on the site. I will add it now. Unfortunately we have no Piers Anthony reviews at all at this moment in time so it will be difficult to add the Xanth series but I will look at getting it reviewed as soon as possible — and then hopefully adding to this list. Sadly she is a very slow writer! I will add Keys to the Kingdom to this list within the next 2 weeks. Although it is considered youth fiction the Keys to The Kingdom series by Garth Nix is definitely worth the read. Thank you sor your recommendation.
David, thanks for backing up many of the selections, it is appreciated. And the Barclay Raven series definitely deserves to be on this list, being more than 3 books and very favourably reviewed on the site. I will add it at the next available opportunity. I must admit I have read through many of the above series and while I will always fondly remember the Gemmell series as one of my favourite if a little basic I would also recommend the James Barclay Raven series books for all out action fantasy as well.
But my all time favourite series is the Malazan series by Steven Erikson.
Although a very quick read it can be consumed in under an hour , the story is so convoluted - and to be honest - NOT that interesting, that my enthusiasm for the film has somewhat waned. What I didn't like as much was the breezy art style. Errol Spence is "awake and responding" after his terrifying Ferrari crash -- and somehow managed to escape with no broken bones! He spoke to them as if it were a sermon and engaged the people. He adds In Girl, Stop Apologizing, 1 New York Times bestselling author and founder of a multimillion-dollar media company, Rachel Hollis sounds a wake-up call.
While not for the fainthearted as it can be hard work and at times grim I have never read a series with such scope and imagination. For all the people who are wondering where The Wheel of Time is on the list… The Eye of the World is listed and the first book in the series.
The Wheel of Time series is on the list. I think you have to re-do this list…. Hi Tob, for the purposes of this list I decided to include only series of 4 and more books. So no trilogies. My thoughts on the trilogy is that the first two books are excellent but book three left me very disappointed. Book 3 was rather preachy and confusing from what I remember.
Still my best fantasy read yet. I would say Eddings Sparhawk character is one of the best heroes. Eddings also sprinkles his work with something a lot of fantasy writers struggle to do well… humour. David Gemmell is quite easily the best heroic fantasy writer. His characters are easily likeable and identifiable and his stories are action packed and to the point.
Jon Shannow trilogy is one of the best characters ever written! If you are after a quick enjoyable read between or to break up a larger series then Gemmell is the man for the job. Also I can never understand the criticism of Terry Goodkind. So what if people think his writing is simplistic. I found his books engrossing and very hard to put down. As much as I hate to admit it, the David Eddings books have not aged very well. We should definitely acknowledge the importance of his books in making the fantasy genre what it is today — Pawn of Prophecy was one of the first fantasy books I ever read and was a gateway novel to fantasy for many of my friends — but the problem with writing one of the first popular fantasy series to come after Tolkien is that his books will always be talked about in comparison to Tolkien, while everything that came after his books will talk about they learnt from his mistakes.
A Top 10 of Important Authors would be a very interesting one. I would almost definitely include Eddings in that list, but probably as a conglomerate addition with Raymond E. Martin for finally bringing fantasy into the mainstream, H. Lovecraft for creating a mythology that continues to haunt us you would almost lump him together with guys like Robert E. Rowling for getting children and adults to read again, and maybe you would include the likes of Amanda Hocking and Michael J.
Sullivan for ushering in this new era of high quality self publishing. Oh and Sir Pterry Pratchett. Salvatore, N. Ah, Eddings. I loved the Belgarion and Sparhawk books and always have a hankering to re-read them every year. Unfortunately I rarely have the time to re-read for pleasure and have so far only managed The Diamond Throne, which I found to be a great little read. Quite a lot of people are quite dismissive of Eddings but I think they are doing him a great disservice, his books are great fantasy and lovely to lose yourself within. Is is Shakespeare or Tolstoy?
Yes, it has racial stereotypes but not in a way that I found offensive. I grew up with The Belgariad and The Mallorean, I must have read these two series a handful of times in high school. The dark tower series is awesome. No Drizzt the dark elf? I got bored with the Wheel of Time, stopped reading at book 9.
I am looking for a trilogy about a girl who must either master or understand each race on the planet to stop something form happening. If anyone knows what this series is could you let me know, I read the books about 8 years ago while on holidays with friends I borrowed them from the library but cannot remember what they were called or who wrote them. This is a newer series, not a lot of people know about it yet.
I think the whole Darkover universe is pretty cool, but there are better written works out there. It promised to be a complex dark fantasy, but it quickly devolved into a boring quest novel with a protagonist who the author made pains to point out was a woman almost every page. Empire could have gone on there, I think it is the best of the Feist trilogies, but which series would you replace?
Where is Darkover! Where is the Diplomacy of Wolves — a very under appreciated saga? And of Course Wheel of time? Flawed: As in nearly, but not quite perfect. I think there is a subtle difference between simplicity and simplistic. Some writers can do amazing things with some very simple concepts, while other writers take a concept that should be complex but give it a very simplistic treatment. A series like Harry Potter would qualify because it has more than three novels in the series, but a series like Mistborn with only three novels would not qualify, despite being longer in total word count than the entire Harry Potter series.
Ah, you see I hold simplicity very dear to my heart! This page really needs some serious attention and a bit of a spruce up, some images at the very least. There is nothing I love more than people leaving suggestions the criteria is a series consisting of more than 3 books — so this will mean the removal of His Dark Materials, The Lord of the Rings and the Duncton Wood books and expanding the Robin Hobb and Stephen Donaldson entries to encompass all in the series.
I will also attempt to put some voting mechanism so that the masses can have their say! I like Gemmell and Eddings, but for me they are good entry level fantasy. As you start to mature your tastes in fantasy and read some of the better works out there, it becomes hard to go back to Eddings and Gemmell without feeling like they are just a bit to simplistic.
Oh, and to add to an earlier post. I have just begun reading The Wheel of Time. I know, I am a little behind on this one. I will happily add both Gemmell and Eddings to the list, but which series. You see, I loved the Jon Shannow novels and the Belgariad… do these two showcase the best of these great authors?
Or would the Rigante novels and The Tamuli be a better choice…. Hawkwise — both Gemmell Rigante and Eddings Belgariad are now listed. The Harpist in the Wind series? A wonderful 3 book series about personal power with a fab ending…. You have to listen to the audio book. The reader breaths life into it. I generally agree with the original list. Good call Jeremy, the Dresden Files are an excellent series. I have to admit that this list is flawed but hopefully one day it will be in better shape.
The only question: will he rise to the challenge? Example of the Call to Adventure: Apollo Creed, the undisputed World Heavyweight Champion, decides to make a big fight interesting by giving a no-name a chance to challenge him. Not so fast. The Hero might first refuse the call to action. They're much too inexperienced at this point and we don't want them to do a fabulous belly-flop off the cliff. Enter the mentor: someone who helps the Hero, so that they doesn't make a total fool of themselves or get themselves killed.
The mentor provides practical training, profound wisdom, a kick up the posterior, or something abstract like grit and self-confidence. Wise old wizards seem to like being mentors. But mentors take many forms, from witches to hermits and suburban karate instructors. They might literally give weapons to prepare for the trials ahead, like Q in the James Bond series.
Or perhaps the mentor is an object, such as a map. In all cases, they prepare the Hero for the next step. Now the Hero is ready — and committed — to the journey. This marks the end of the Departure stage and is when the adventure really kicks into the next gear. Like our Hero, you should think of this stage as a checkpoint for your story. Pause and re-assess your bearings before you continue into unfamiliar territory. Have you:. When we step into the Special World, we notice a definite shift. The Hero might be discombobulated by this unfamiliar reality and its new rules.
This is generally one of the longest stages in the story, as our protagonist gets to grips with this new world. This makes a prime hunting ground for the series of tests to pass! Luckily, there are many ways for the Hero to get into trouble:. This stage often expands the cast of characters. Once the protagonist is in the Special World, he will meet allies and enemies — or foes that turn out to be friends, and vice versa. He will learn a new set of rules from them. Saloons and seedy bars are popular places for these transactions, as Vogler points out so long as the Hero survives them.
Example of Tests, Allies, Enemies: Rocky continues to try and win over Adrian while making a dubious friend in Paulie. Almost always, it is where the ultimate goal of the quest is located. This stage is all about the approach to it. It covers all the prepwork that's needed in order to defeat the villain. Of all the tests the Hero has faced, none have made them hit rock bottom — until now. The protagonist must now confront their greatest fear. If they survive it, they will emerge transformed. The Ordeal is sometimes not the climax of the story.
He pushes through it until he glimpses hope ahead while running up the museum steps. However, the fruits of their labor are now at hand — if they can just reach out and grab them! Once the protagonist has it in their possession, it generally has greater ramifications for the story. Vogler offers a few examples of it in action:. He regains the self-esteem to realize that he has the stuff to take on Apollo Creed — win or lose. In which the light at the end of the tunnel might be a little further than the Hero thought. The story's not over just yet, as this phase marks the beginning of Act Three.
Now that he's seized the reward, the Hero tries to return to the Ordinary World, but more dangers inconveniently arise on the road back from the Inmost Cave. Or perhaps the opposing army gathers to pursue the Hero across a crowded battlefield. All further obstacles for the Hero, who must face them down before they can return home. Rocky realizes the challenge that lies before him in the first few rounds, in which both men are more or less equally matched. Here is the true climax of the story.
Everything that happened prior to this stage culminates in a crowning test for the Hero, as the Dark Side gets one last chance to triumph over the Hero. If the Hero survives, they can start looking forward to a sweet ending.