Sometimes, the best thing is a long story. You might really love a particular character, want to spend more time in a fantastic world or you’re just a sucker for a good cliffhanger. A great series allows room for real development, epic scope, and true adventure. Below are a few series that I’ve found particularly fun to spend lots of time exploring.
Robin Hobb really blew me away with The Farseer Trilogy. It takes place in a medieval world with just a smidge of magic. Fitz Chivalry is the bastard son of a disgraced prince and you’ll meet him when he is a young boy. Life is neither easy nor kind to Fitz as he grows up, despite being taken in and groomed by his royal family and their servants. This series, especially the second book, is filled with tragic betrayal, painful lessons, brief glimpses of hope, and possibly dragons. The Liveship Traders series by Hobb is also good (but not quite as good in my opinion) and takes place in the same world.
As I write this, I’m working my way through Stephen King’s Dark Tower series (I’m on Wizard and Glass). This series is especially fun if you’re a fan of King’s work. I’d describe it as part western, part fantasy, part horror, with a dash of romance. Add to this, all of King’s magnificent ability to bring characters to life, back them into a corner, and force them to survive. The first book is a little dry, but it’s well worth sticking it out.
The Dark Tower
- The Gunslinger
- The Drawing of the Three
- The Waste Lands
- Wizard and Glass
- The Wind Through the Keyhole (Described by King as book 4.5)
- Wolves of the Calla
- Song of Susannah
- The Dark Tower VII
The Gentlemen Bastards series by Scott Lynch starts off with a strong first book. It’s by far the best in my opinion, but the others were fun as well. Locke Lamora and his orphan band of “Gentlemen Bastards” run cons and schemes on the wealthy in the beautifully realized Victorianish, Venetianish, magicalish city of Camorr - a den of ambitious thieves, bosses, degenerates, and magicians. Unfortunately, Locke is trapped by a deadly enemy who seems to always be several steps ahead of him and eager to destroy everything The Bastards hold dear.
The Gentlemen Bastards
- The Lies of Locke Lamora
- Red Seas Under Red Skies
- The Republic of Thieves
- The Thorn of Emberlain (Not yet released)
The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson is off to a promising start. The first book was slow to get moving, but once it did I was completely hooked. The world building is quite impressive, the characters are well realized, very human, and have to struggle to adhere to their codes and morals - even when it seems impossible.
The Stormlight Archive