Good morning everyone and welcome to the first edition of DeerTales top 5 series! I thought this would be a great weekly addition to the blog schematic, to not only throw in a bit more variety to reviews, but to also help flex those creative muscles.
For some reason, I get the overwhelming urge to read contemporary and high fantasy books during the summer. (well, if I am being honest with myself here, I just really love fantasy….) So, I wanted to start this series off by talking about my five favorite fantasy series. Some of these are incomplete, meaning we are waiting on the next book (looking at you George RR Martin!) and some of them I haven’t yet finished, but they are all unique and amazing.
So, without further ado, my personal favorites, Top 5 Fantasy Series!
1. Harry Potter
I think this goes without saying. Not only does JK Rowling build this totally immersive, addictive and amazing world, but the fan base following is without question the most loyal and passionate one out there. The Golden Trio is one of the truest and greatest examples of friendship. There is love, loss, hate, evil and goodness all battling each other at the same time. I grew up with these books, I went to the midnight party every year they were released. I felt like my life evolved with Harry’s, and for that reason these books will always be near and dear to my heart. There aren’t enough articulate words for me to describe how much I love Harry Potter, so instead I will reread these books once a year/every other year for the rest of my life.
2. A Song of Ice and Fire
Or more commonly referred to as Game of Thrones (guilty!), The A Song of Ice and Fire Series has really become a standard for what other fantasy novels are based off of. Yes, there are dragons, and magic, and queens and kings, but the biggest characteristic of these books that set them aside from other fantasy series is that there is a whole lot of political intrigue too. Also, as most of us know from watching the show, George RR Martin has no qualms about killing off well liked characters, minor characters, big characters, mean characters, nice characters etc. He has repeatedly told his audience that he conveys the real tragedy of war, in that heroes die. While many of us patiently (and not so patiently) wait for Winds of Winter to be released, there are literally thousands of theories flying around the internet about what is going to happen at the end of the story. And THAT is when you know you have written a fantastic series.
3. Lord of the Rings
Honestly, this series is simply classic. I remember reading these probably way younger than I ought to have, but the epic-ness of this series will never be topped. While the original three books may be a little long and wordy, The Hobbit (which yes I do include as being a part of this series) is one of my favorite books of all time. The world building is amazing, the creatures are unique, the ‘bad guys’ are truly evil, and the characters are so well constructed. Also, it should be noted that these movies may be the best book to movie adaptations out there.
This is a series I have yet to finish; however, I am reading the second book now. I think the Mistborn trilogy deserves a spot on my top 5, simply because it is one of the most unusual magic systems I have read about. Sure, there are a lot of over used fantasy elements: oppressive empire, lower class rebellions, secret meetings, a truly gifted hero, etc. but Brandon Sanderson is a fantastic writer, and I didn’t feel like this book was trope-y at all. Also this is considered one of his YA fantasy series, but I thought the only thing that seemed YA was that the main character was 16ish. The violence is certainly not YA, and the magic system is a bit complicated and takes a little while to get used to. Thank goodness there were not only maps included, but guides on the different powers. Thanks Sanderson for that! Overall, a great read, and I cannot wait to finish the series.
This is more of a middle grade fantasy series, but I am including it because these were the books that tied me over when Harry Potter wasn’t around. The Redwall books cover an expansive world filled with animals both good and evil. These were the books that really opened my eyes to how massive the book world was. Every time I finished one book, another would come out. Brian Jacques fed my insatiable appetite for animal justice, not to mention tempted me with amazing descriptions of badger and fox feasts etc. (Seriously though, now that I am thinking about this, I am going to look into the Redwall cookbook…) I am sure that if I were to reread these as an adult, I would find some great lessons in these books other than the standard good vs. evil, but I don’t think I want to dedicate the time honestly. So in that case, they will be preserved in my memory as the books that really got me into fantasy.
Bonus Round! Throne of Glass
I didn’t think it was fair to finish off this list and not put the up and coming Queen of Fantasy herself on here, Sarah J. Maas. I debated for a while whether I liked the Throne of Glass or The ACOTAR series more, but decided that throne of glass, at least for the moment, is one of my favorite fantasy series out there. I love how each book expands upon not only the overall plot for the series, but the world in general. As the characters grow and learn, so do their knowledge of the surrounding world. I think there are great themes of friendship, of loss, of perseverance, and potentially love. I look forward to each of these books being released with almost the same fervor as waiting for Harry Potter back in the day, and I cannot wait to see where this series takes Aelin & Co. next.