As a lifelong voracious reader, I read more than 300 books a year. At least 50% of what I read is in the fantasy fiction genre, a genre that not only sells more books than any other genre in the UK, but in many other countries too. My favorite fantasy fiction novels are fantasy fiction series ie: a story that carries on from one book to another. With so many fantasy fiction series to choose from, for a first-time reader in the genre, it’s sometimes hard to choose. That’s why I always recommend these top three best fantasy fiction book series to start with. A wonderful jumping off point for any new genre reader as well as perfect for people who are already big fans.
The Sword of Truth Series by Terry Goodkind – The first book in ‘The Sword of Truth’ series, ‘Wizard’s First Rule’ was the first fantasy fiction book I ever read, and it got me hooked on the genre. ‘The Sword of Truth’ series tells the story of Richard Cypher, a woodsman, who while out tracking one day comes across a beautiful young woman being chased by armed men trying to kill her. This begins the epic story of a fight between good and evil, featuring dragons, wizards, battles, evil emperors, magic and a whole lot more.
I recommend buying the boxed set of the first three books in the series, ‘Wizard’s First Rule’, ‘Stone of Tears’ and ‘Blood of the Fold’. There are currently 12 books out, with number 13 on the way. Terry Goodkind has already sold 25 million copies of his books and it’s not surprising – they’re wonderful.
The Memory, Sorrow and Thorn Series by Tad Williams – Another of the best fantasy fiction series is the Memory, Sorrow and Thorn series by Tad Williams. Consisting of only three books in the series, so a trilogy, ‘The Dragonbone Chair’, ‘Stone of Farewell’ and ‘To Green Angel Tower’, the Memory, Sorrow and Thorn fantasy fiction series takes place in the world of Osten Ard.
Here, a kitchen boy named Simon who is taken to be trained by the wizard Morgenes, is pulled into a world where the black magician Pyrates is seeking to gain power for himself with the aid of a crazy monarch, King Elias – no matter what the cost. Simon matures from a boy to a young man in the first book, ‘The Dragonbone Chair’, while doing everything in his power to help defeat the evil magician Pyrates and King Elias
The second and third books in the series continue with the story of Simon and several companions, who are now in the middle of a ‘Lord of the Rings’ style trek to a meeting at the Stone of Farewell to fight a war between the forces of good and evil. Battles are fought, heroes are made and, in the end, we find out if good really does win over evil.
The Discworld Series by Terry Pratchett – The United Kingdom’s most prolific writer, Terry Pratchett is the king of comedy fantasy fiction. In 1983, Terry Pratchett published his first novel in ‘The Discworld Series’. Called ‘The Color of Magic’, it was a spoof on the modern day world (similar to Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) while introducing a fantasy world of wizards, goblins, trolls, vampires, werewolves and normal folks, and borrowing extensively from classic literature and ancient history.
Terry Pratchett is a genius. His understanding of physics, astronomy, medieval history, psychology, and parody is simply incredible, yet all are used in books that are so funny you’ll laugh out loud.
There are currently 37 books in the Discworld series with more planned. Pratchett, tragically, was diagnosed with a rare form of Alzheimer’s several years ago, but still says “there’s a few books left” in him. Let’s hope so.
These three fantasy fiction book series are wonderful examples of a truly phenomenal genre. Start off with these, then move onto others. So many authors write fantasy fiction nowadays, your choices truly will never end.