This was originally posted to the You’re Never Going to Read This podcast page.
Want to get started reading fantasy but don’t know where to start? Do you fear getting caught up in a fantastical world and then discovering that the series isn’t complete yet? The fantasy genre has loads of books and subgenres to offer, as well as authors with varying writing speeds. Below are five of my favourite fantasy series that are actually complete.
The Divine Cities trilogy by Robert Jackson Bennett
Length: three books
Why I recommend it: Fantastic and fresh world building, marvelous characters (including some of the best female characters the fantasy genre has to offer), and a gripping plot in each book. These are easily the best fantasy novels I’ve read in years.
The First Law trilogy by Joe Abercrombie
Length: three books
Why I recommend it: Grimdark as it should be written. These books are simultaniously fantastically funny and bleak. Features brilliant and memorable characters and beautifully inverted tropes. One of the best endings to a trilogy ever.
Bonus: When you finish the trilogy, you can move to the standalone novels and short stories. Abercrombie is currently working on a seperate trilogy within the First Law world. There’s. So. Much. To. Love. Here.
Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan
Length: 14 books and a prequel
Reading order: Start with The Eye of the World, then read in publication order (yes, that includes the prequel).
Why I recommend it: the classic fantasy series that has influenced generations of authors. Wheel of Time has every single classic trope, but remains a thumping good read, as my mother would say. I adore these books.
Riyria Revelations by Michael J. Sullivan
Length: six books, but packaged as a trilogy with two in each volume
Why I recommend it: Riyria Revelations is a ridiculously compelling and fun fantasy series for readers of all ages that is both light and serious. This is a brilliant series to curl up with and devour on a rainy weekend. It also happens to contain one of my favourite princess characters ever.
Bonus: you can also read the prequel series, Riyria Chronicles, either before or after you read Riyria Revelations.
The Song of the Lioness by Tamora Pierce
Length: four books
Why I recommend them: Tamora Pierce is one of the best children’s fantasy authors out there. There are generations of girls and boys who discovered or maintained their love of reading with these books. No one world builds like Tamora, no one writes inspirational characters like Tamora. Can you tell I’m a fan?
Bonus: You can read The Immortals and The Protector of the Small quartets after finishing Alanna’s adventures, as well as a number of other books set in this world.