The following are my favorite science fiction and fantasy series. The majority of these are fantasy. This will hopefully change soon!
Lord of the Rings (The Fellowship of The Ring) by J.R.R. Tolkien:
The one book to rule them all, Lord of the Rings, this ultimate classic of the fantasy genre really needs no introduction. It’s about a bunch of unlikely and some rather likely heroes who save their world of Middle Earth. This book although, rather cliche still remains one of my ultimate favorites it certainly led to the fantasy genre as we know it today. So many things make this book fantastic. The world building is complex and interesting. The unique cultures that have their own language and culture is fascinating. The reader sees the characters grow to be the heroic and self assured characters that we know and love.
The Farseer Trilogy (Assassins Apprentice) by Robin Hobb:
This is the first trilogy of Robin Hobb’s set in the Realm of the Elderlings. This book series follows Fitz the illegitimate child of the heir to the throne. Fitz eventually becomes the King’s man and does pretty much all the jobs that no one else wants. Through Fitz you discover the two magic systems of the world which are definitely some of the best parts of the series. The two magic systems are the wit and the skill. The skill allows you to communicate with other skilled users and lets you subtly influence other people into doing what you want. But there is a definite cost to this magic, it’s addictive. The wit is by far my favorite magic in this world it allows the person to communicate with animals and to become bonded to one animal. This book series is filled with adventure and Fitz is definitely confronted with some heartbreaking decisions. Robin Hobbs writing is beautiful and her characters are drawn so well. This series is one that I recommend to everybody no matter if they are fantasy readers or not. The Farseer Trilogy has something for everyone.
Gentleman Bastard Series (The Lies of Locke Lamora) by Scott Lynch: This book series follows the group of thieves, The Gentleman Bastards, through their childhood and how they were introduced to each other to adulthood planning their own heists. Locke is the leader of the thieves and his love of dramatics and thievery gets the group and himself into many problems. Locke and another member of the group Jean have a wonderful friendship filled with hilarious banter, loyalty, and trust. It’s a wonderful friendship. (Bromance lol). This relationship is what really sold this series for me and is why it is on this list. I can’t wait to see this relationship continue to develop in the next book as soon as it comes out.
Riyria Revelations (Theft of Swords) by Michael J Sullivan: Thieves with a heart of gold describes the two main characters Royce and Hadrian to a T (although, perhaps slightly more Hadrian than Royce) This book series follows the two thieves on their various adventures. The two of them start out caught up in larger events then generally they find out that they might be more significant than either one imagined. The best part of this book series is… yep you guessed it the friendship between Royce and Hadrian. Their banter is hilarious and this book series is rather more lighthearted than the other series on this list. But it is still just as wonderful as the others. The prequel series is also good, The Riyria Chronicles is all about the start of Royce and Hadrian’s friendship. As a bonus the author Michael J Sullivan is very active on social media and is very personable and friendly.
The Kingkiller Chronicles (The Name of the Wind) by Patrick Rothfuss: This book series is very popular and for good reason. This series chronicles the life of Kvothe. Adult Kvothe narrates his life story from childhood to his adventures in school and out of school. The magic system is interesting without getting too complex and overwhelming. Kvothe also grows immensely throughout the series. On a personal note the descriptions of what music means to Kvothe resonated deeply with me. The writing is beautiful without losing any of its forward motion. Many of the supporting characters are just as interesting as Kvothe and deserve their own book series aka my personal favorite Elodin a teacher at the school.
The Chronicles of St. Mary’s (Just One Damned Thing After Another) by Jodi Taylor: As my lone science fiction pick this book answers the question what would happen if you gave a group of eccentric historians and scientists access to time travel. The main character in this book is Max a historian recently recruited to the institute of St Mary’s and begins training to travel in time. This book will have you crying with laughter and then crying tears of sadness. The different characters are all equally hilarious and their banter is hysterical. The relationships that are built within the series are beautiful and emotional and are definitely the biggest strength within this series. Another one of this series’ strengths is the descriptions of the historical events far from boring they often ignited my interest into that event and made me want to read more about it like the emotional scene in the second book describing the murder of Thomas Beckett.
Lord of the Rings
The Lies of Locke Lamora
Theft of Swords
The Name of the Wind
Just One Damned Thing After Another