I don’t normally follow The Broke and The Bookish’s Top 10 Tuesday meme because I doubt I’d be able to keep up with it (thank you, busy writing schedule and offline life). But after reading Anya’s list at On Starships and Dragonwings, I knew I should do my own Top 10 list of science fiction and fantasy series I want to start reading. So, here we go!
NOTE: There may be a slight trend toward the fantasy side of the spectrum. 😉
1. Susan Cooper’s The Dark Is Rising Sequence (YA Dark / Contemporary Fantasy)
I like to catch up on the classics as well as more recent books. Cooper’s The Dark Is Rising was written in the 1960s and 70s, which puts it up there in age with Ursula Le Guin’s earliest Earthsea novels. The first book in the sequence, Over Sea Under Stone, has been sitting on my shelf unread for… at least a couple years *lol* This article is serving as my reminder to dive into The Dark Is Rising soon.
2. Sarah J. Maas’ Throne Of Glass Series (YA Epic Fantasy)
How did I just find about this series a few months ago, when the third book was released? *hangs her head in shame* Throne Of Glass (the first book and the series as a whole) sounds awesomely kick-ass, too. A lot of readers have dubbed it the YA version of George R.R. Martin’s Song Of Fire And Ice saga. It’s led by a female ex-assassin as the protagonist, and promises lots of action and romance. Unfortunately, the latter is the love triangle kind (which I’m getting tired of, to be honest), but I still put the Throne Of Glass on my Christmas list in hopes of reading it next year.
3. Marie Lu’s Legend Trilogy (YA Dystopian / Science Fiction)
Wow. This is the only non-fantasy series on my list. (Looks like I need to broaden my sci-fi horizons some more…) Reviews I’ve read have called this trilogy the next Hunger Games and Divergent. Since I’ve enjoyed both of those series so far (done with THG, have yet to read Allegiant), I figured I should give this one a try. I recently bought the first book Legend and am going to try to fit it in over the winter.
If I fall in love with a book cover – especially a cover for a fantasy novel – chances are I’ll read the synopsis and then buy it. Alison Goodman’s Eon is a stunning example. Look at this fire-breathing beauty! I’m especially intrigued by the Asian influences and mythology. In fact, I’m so eager for Eon, I might not wait too long to read it. And if it delivers on all the awesomeness it promises, you can bet its sequel Eona will find its way to my bookshelf.
OK, I admit this may be cheating, since Shadow Scale won’t be out until next March. However, Seraphina’s plot grabbed my attention as soon as I pulled the book from the shelf. A half-human, half-dragon heroine trying to protect her true identity – I can only imagine the challenges Seraphina will encounter as part of the story. I also adore that she’s a musician, and can’t wait to see what abilities she has in that field.
6. Lev Grossman’s Magicians Trilogy (Adult Contemporary Fantasy)
I’m starting to feel embarrassed by the number of recently released fantasy series I’m only just discovering. Lev Grossman’s Magicians trilogy is yet another one of those. It starts off with The Magicians, where modern-day magician student Quentin attends the prestigious Brakebills Academy to learn more about craft. After graduation, Quentin and his friends discover that a land they’d read about in children books does in fact exist – and needs their help. I sense the air of a dark psychological thriller with fantastical elements and complex, flawed characters when I read the synopsis and reviews. It definitely sets this series apart from other fantasy sagas, and I hope it turns out to be as fascinating as it sounds.
7. Terry Goodkind’s Sword Of Truth Series (Adult Epic Fantasy)
Talk about some serious catching up to do. Terry Goodkind has been building his Sword of Truth series since 1994. It’s now 14 books strong (yikes!). Most of the books follow lovers Richard Cypher and Kahlan Amnell and the wizard Zedd Zorander as they confront various evil forces that seek to take over their homeland. I prefer to start with the first book of a series. But when I couldn’t find Wizard’s First Rule on a Cape Cod daytrip over the summer, I settled with the second book Stone Of Tears instead. Hopefully I won’t be too confused when I finally get around to it. I’ll just have to keep in mind there’s some previous history I’ve missed. Then, if I like Stone Of Tears, I’ll go after Wizard’s First Rule and go chronologically from there.
8. Sherry Thomas’ Elemental Trilogy (YA Fantasy)
Another case of cover love here! Both The Burning Sky and The Perilous Sea have absolutely gorgeous covers that call my name and beg me to read the contents inside. And after reading Mary Weber’s Storm Siren earlier this year, I’m eager to read more about elemental magic. Sherry Thomas’ Elemental trilogy seems like an appropriate place to start. Of course, I need to get the books first!
9. Patrick Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicles (Adult Epic Fantasy)
I’ve read nothing but high praise for Patrick Rothfuss’ debut fantasy series. The premise of the Kingkiller Chronicles sounds awesome, too. A former master magician relates his life story over the course of three novels, two of which have been released so far (The Name Of The Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear). Part of the appeal for me is that these books are written from a first-person perspective – a rarity in the fantasy genre, and a huge incentive for other unpublished fantasy writers like myself who are working on first-person narratives.
10. Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel’s Legacy Series (Adult Epic Fantasy)
I almost didn’t put Kushiel’s Legacy on this list because I’ve purposely postponed reading the first book Kushiel’s Dart. Sadomasochism and sexual violence don’t interest me at all – and apparently, both topics crop up frequently in Jacqueline Carey’s landmark series about an alternate Europe where people are descended from fallen angels. Yet I’m probably judging this saga too quickly. Phèdre nó Delaunay has been hailed as one of fantasy’s most dynamic heroines. And from the reviews I’ve read, there’s also loads of political intrigue and espionage. A lot more than what meets the eye, in other words. So, I think I need to swallow my reluctance to read sexual themes and give Kushiel’s Dart a fair chance.
Have you read any of the books or series listed above? What did you think of them? And, what fantasy and science fiction series are you itching to read but haven’t gotten around to yet? Feel free to share your picks in the comments below. Even better, if you want to participate with your list and want to post it at your own blog – TAG! It’s your turn. 😉