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As with the rest of the books in the trilogy a reasonably rich world is created, but most of all the mysteries kept me turning pages. The occasional breakthroughs are tantalizing.

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One of the most readable Fantasy trilogies out there. A few holes in it, but enjoyable none-the-less. I first read this series in cough at the age of 14 or so and it gripped me and scared me witless in equal measures. Rereading it as an adult, it doesn't scare me quite as much, but it's still a wonderful series with well drawn characters including one of the best gandalf-type wizards in contemporary fantasy, all the better because he is NOT infallible.

I think one of the best dynamics in this particular world is the uneasy relationship between the church and the wizard community and the wa I first read this series in cough at the age of 14 or so and it gripped me and scared me witless in equal measures. I think one of the best dynamics in this particular world is the uneasy relationship between the church and the wizard community and the way that the state falls between the two.

None of your Harry Potter-type back-room government shenanigans here as the wizards are considered to be the agents of the devil by the church, yet they are not condemned by the state. The Dark of the title are a protoplasmic being that have "risen" from their lairs. The whole of this series asks the question why?

Why did the Dark rise and what can be done. The way that Hambly deals with this is fascinating as it's not just a "humans good, unpleasant people-killing protoplasmic beast bad" situation. Despite the "real-world" sections of this book being very obviously set in the s, the series does not suffer from feeling too dated by this. I highly recommend the series. Sep 04, morbidflight rated it really liked it Shelves: It's a great world, a great cultural setting, a great set of supporting characters, a great Big Bad although I have to confess I keep thinking the Dark Ones are just Nocturne from the game League of Legends.

The best part, though? Hambly absolutely nails the women characters in this book. I am so used to high fantasy that depicts the go-to stereotypes of the shieldmaiden or the sorceress or the noble woman with pretty dresses. This book actually makes an effort to express the women in it as pe It's a great world, a great cultural setting, a great set of supporting characters, a great Big Bad although I have to confess I keep thinking the Dark Ones are just Nocturne from the game League of Legends.

This book actually makes an effort to express the women in it as people and it's kind of pathetic that as soon as I came across such a characterization I had to double-check the author info and see that it was a woman author. It's so rare, and so welcome. I need to dig up the rest of this series and finish it. Aug 21, Mel rated it it was amazing Shelves: I just finished reading this for what must be the tenth time. I purchased this now well worn paperback when it was first published in I bought it for two reasons - the cover of a wizard sitting at a modern day kitchen table and the blurb on the back which described two ordinary people from Earth being swept into another world of medieval and magic.

I loved it the first time I read it and I was pleased to discover that I still love it all these years later. It is book one of The Dar I just finished reading this for what must be the tenth time. All three books must be read in order to reach the conclusion of Ms. I went looking for a 'better' or re-issued edition of the paperback and discovered that in March , nearly all my favorite Barbara Hambly novels were released as ebooks! I'll be buying this one when I get home tonight. I'm a bit disappointed in the coverart for the ebook editions, but it's the content that I'm most interested in.

View all 3 comments. Jan 02, Nenya rated it liked it. Fun, simple read seems like. Story woven around Gandalf Ingold and Balrog? The Keeps are fortresses, safe for the most part from the Dark, but limited in scope. To retreat into them will fracture the Realm beyond hope of repair and destroy thousands of years of human civilization. Such a fate is inevitable, in an isolated society, where transportation and communication are limited to the duration of the daylight; culture will wane, narrow-mindedness set in; the human outlook will shrink from urbane tolerance of all human needs to a kind of petty parochialism that cannot see beyond the bounds of its own fields.

Decentralized, the Church will degenerate, its priests and theologians degraded into sanctified scribes and passers-out of the sacraments to a squabbling, superstitious peasantry. I fear that wizardry, too, will suffer, becoming more and more polluted with little magics, losing sight of the mainstream of its teachings. Anything that requires an organized body of knowledge will vanish—the universities, medicine, training in any form of the arts.

Alwir and Govannin see it coming, and know that once they let their hold on centralized power slip, nothing can get it back. While I do not disagree with the first argument petty parochialism of isolated society , I take issue with Decentralization.

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For one thing, universities for knowledge, medicine or training are were usually isolated from main society anyway and not integrated in the point in time, though the people who attend are expected to do so afterwards. And any argument that contends it is more important to maintain hold on power, and 'civilization', over simply saving human life at such a junction as this, where people are dying is simply unacceptable.

DNF for now might as well go read Tolkien. Feb 01, M. Kropp rated it liked it. Mainly because I had the last two of the initial trilogy and was waiting until I found the first one to read them. I eventually found it, but by then my to-read shelf had grown a life of its own and I just never pulled this one out. And I was not disappointed.

Hambly spins a darn good tale, with action and suspense a-plenty. Though most of the book is set in an alternate world o Much as I have always loved Barbara Hambly's work, I've not read the Dawarth books until now. Though most of the book is set in an alternate world of kings, castles, wizards and creatures of the dark, it begins in modern day well, modern to the time the book was published in the early 's California, where Gil Patterson, a graduate student in history has been having dreams of a land far removed from her own.

One evening, she wakes to find the wizard Ingold Inglorion in her kitchen. He has traveled from the alternate world, seeking a refuge against the day he must bring the only heir to the throne of his land through the Void between the worlds to escape the attacking Dark, an evil force which had lain dormant for thousands of years and was now waking to attack. Gil agrees and when the final attack commences, Ingold brings the baby Prince with him across the Void. They meet a young drifter, Rudy Solis and he and Gil are drawn back with Ingold to the wizard's world, where they will be trapped unless they and the survivors of the Prince's devastated realm can figure out a way to defeat the Dark.

One of my favorite things about Ms. Hambly's books has always been the characters, and they don't disappoint here.

Rudy is likable, despite his somewhat flip attitude at times, Gil develops in character along with her newly found ability with a sword, Ingold is at once mysterious and powerful as well as gentle and shows a true sense of humor. Even the lesser characters leave their mark: There are times where the story seems put on temporary hold for some background filling and building, but that's not unusual in a first of a trilogy story, and the lags are never too long before the action picks up again.

The main conflict of this story is nicely resolved at the end, but leaves much to be told before the bigger story is done. And it leaves me eager to press on and read more. I saw this trilogy has been bundled for the Kindle and realized just how many years it had been since I'd read this book, which I used to reread all the time. It begins with a wonderful premise. What if you've been having a series of recurring dreams, set in a strange world, where you're in the middle of a panicking crowd all running from an ineffable horror?

Then, one night, you wake up and you are in the middle of the city. That's what happens to medieval scholar Gil Pa I saw this trilogy has been bundled for the Kindle and realized just how many years it had been since I'd read this book, which I used to reread all the time.

That's what happens to medieval scholar Gil Patterson. Where Barbara Hambly takes the adventure from there is a great ride. You wouldn't normally think of a comfort book as one where you are fleeing with refugees from amorphous enemies the Dark in a parallel universe, where it is always freezing and there is never enough food, where you may never get home again because that might let the Dark into your own world This is a much loved story that I fell back into last night, thinking "why has it been so long?

This, as I just discovered, was her first. Gil, Rudy, Ingold, the Ice Falcoln, are all well drawn characters. They are realistic, imperfect heroes, just as the villains are sometimes people we can understand and relate to, despite the fact that one loves to hate them. My mind is smoothed to the contours of their world and their struggles. I am really enjoying rediscovering the bits I'd forgotten, such as seeing just how Hambly built in the the underlying story logic through tiny details that show up very early int he book.

Overall this is really a great adventure and world to visit. I'm glad the Kindle reminded me that these actual books were waiting on my shelf. Oct 21, Douglas Cook rated it really liked it Shelves: Reading this book makes me want to read the next one. I got quite attached to the characters as they developed. There was no reason for her to feel fear—she knew that the danger, the chaos, the blind, sickening nightmare terror that filled the screaming night were not real; this city with its dark, unfamiliar architecture, these fleeing crowds of panic-stricken men and women who shoved her aside, unseeing, were only the vivid dregs of an overloa Reading this book makes me want to read the next one.

There was no reason for her to feel fear—she knew that the danger, the chaos, the blind, sickening nightmare terror that filled the screaming night were not real; this city with its dark, unfamiliar architecture, these fleeing crowds of panic-stricken men and women who shoved her aside, unseeing, were only the vivid dregs of an overloaded subconscious, wraiths that would melt with daylight.

She knew all this; nevertheless, she was afraid. She seemed to be standing at the foot of a flight of green marble stairs, facing into a square courtyard surrounded by tall peak-roofed buildings. Fleeing people were shoving past her, jostling her back against the gigantic pedestal of a malachite statue, without seeming to be aware of her presence at all; gasping, wild-eyed people, terrified faces bleached to corpses by the brilliance of the cold quarter moon. They were pouring out of the gabled houses, the men clutching chests or bags of money, the women jewels, lap-dogs, or children crying in uncomprehending terror.

Their hair was wild from sleep, for it was deep night; some of them were dressed but many were naked, or tripping over bedclothes hastily snatched, and Gil could smell the rank terror-sweat of their bodies as they brushed against her. None of them saw her, none of them stopped; they stumbled frantically up those vast steps of moonlit marble, through the dark arch of the gates at the top, and out into the clamoring streets of the stricken city beyond.

Feb 13, Liana added it Shelves: The plot was pretty straightforward. What's evil is evil, and what's good, is good. That's the impression I got out of it, anyway. It was alright, but not exactly engaging. That don't mean it bad though.

Sep 13, Dave Packard rated it really liked it. Interesting first of the series book. Overall little grim, but kinda nerdy like me. Jun 25, Nathaniel Lee rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Fans of fantasy, apocalyptic fiction, and writers. Barbara Hambly remains one of my favorite authors of all time. She has a real flair for language. When I read, I am always subconsciously editing the book, examining the writing for strengths and weaknesses, things I can use in my own writing.

Hambly is one of the few authors where I will pause and think to myself, "Wow, that was a really well-phrased sentence. I like this trilogy better than most because it avoids al Barbara Hambly remains one of my favorite authors of all time. I like this trilogy better than most because it avoids almost every cliche, and presents a well-balanced mixture of world-shaking events and quiet personal touches. I wanted to put some qualifying statements here to show I'm being unbiased, but I really can't say anything bad about this book or its sequels except Icefalcon's Quest, which is slightly worse than the original trilogy and the first post-trilogy sequel, partly due to Hambly giving in to her bizarre obsession with Native American type cultures instead of sticking with the characters she'd already established.

Time of the Dark is rad. Nov 26, Cheryl rated it really liked it. Barbara Hambly always writes good books. This one is no exception. Take a couple of ordinary people--one a graduate student, another a motorcycle rider--and have them come face to face with a wizard from an alternate universe.

The wizard is out to keep his promise to a dead king to save his baby heir, and he needs help. Of course the student and biker cross back over with him. Of course the student turns out to be a whiz at weaponry and the biker The biker falls in love with the baby's mother, Barbara Hambly always writes good books.

The biker falls in love with the baby's mother, the widowed queen. And through it all, The Dark hovers. The ungodly creatures devour humans or take their souls and leave the bodies mindless husks. And everyone is at risk. When their cities are destroyed, there's no place to retreat except a keep long abandoned. Since the King was from a line of rememberers, he had the keep prepared because of his vague memories of The Dark from his ancestors.

Now his son is the only hope for human survival. But the wizard and his other world helpers will have to keep the baby alive till he grows big enough to remember. There are three books in this series; apparently, it's called the Darwath Trilogy. Not the best sci-fi series I've ever read, but it has elements that I loved at that adolescent time of my life, specifically main characters from our world who never quite fit in getting called upon to save a distant world where they are exactly what is needed.

The fantasy world is post-apocalyptic, with vaguely medieval people living among the remnants of a long-gone, great civilization. The monsters threatening them are pretty damn scary, and the plot and relationships kept my attention. Another fast, enjoyable read. I may need to re-read this one, just for kicks.

YA book with the Dark, giant flying tadpoles that drop on people and suck them [s] 4 16 Jan 01, Her twisty plots involve memorable characters, lavish descriptions, scads of novel words, and interesting devices. Her work spans the Star Wars universe, antebellum New Orleans, and various fantasy worlds, sometimes linked with our own.

He's flawed, and if you didn't like Rothfuss' character, you'll probably like this one. Where his immersion is next-level, Ryan's storms ahead with his intensity. Intricate subplots weave together, atmosphere overwhelms, and you always wonder how it will end. Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne. Staveley's Unhewn Throne series presents an intelligent mash-up of three simultaneous coming of age stories. Separated for eight years, three royal children must face the fallout of the Emperor's assassination and learn to deal with their complex new duties.

It's a simple premise, but it's hard to describe how complex and weaving Stavely manages to make it. Each of the children has a feeling of relatability, trapped by their obligations yet likable and down-to-earth. They present an entirely different viewpoint on the same world the view of a soldier, a monk, and a finance minister. With the touch of a true master, Stavely manipulates these plot threads, expanding some, abandoning others, giving glimpses at a grand design. Then, with sweeping grandeur, he manages to tie them all together in a rush of revelations and satisfaction.

It ends with a real sense of development, the characters undeniably shaped by their roles and experiences. Nobody writes coming of age quite like Garth Nix, and this quickly became clear with Sabriel in In this world, the dead refuse to stay that way, and the Abhorsen are needed to keep them in check.

With her father missing, that job falls down to Sabriel, and she has a lot to learn. Nix writes his female protagonist, not as a whiny girl, or ridiculously strong, but somewhere in between. Sabriel is flawed, yet her worries feel real and acceptable. Her thoughts and motives feel intensely human, as do her sidekicks a magic bound cat and a royal guard that was frozen in time. Incredible attention to detail transports readers straight into the Old Kingdom, blending zombies, swordplay, and a unique and detailed magic system. Nix is a master of selecting the right information at the right time, forgoing info dumps and forging understanding through action and lyrical prose.

As Sabriel grows into her role, the story reaches a dark crescendo of action and emotion. Though Sanderson's main criticism is a lack of character depth, it's hard to deny the satisfying coming of age stories in Mistborn. The novel describes a classic rags-to-riches story, Vin progressing from street scammer to metal ingesting magician. However, Vin's development and the scope of the story goes much further than that. Sanderson raises many important questions through the protagonist and lets her grow as she comes to her own conclusions. There's an exploration of class, religion, moral ambiguity, and, most importantly, trust.

Rather just presenting a story of powerless to powerful, the author explores how one so exploited can come to form meaningful relationships. While some would be content to leave it there, this tale contains similar progression in other characters. The latter books focus on the growth of Elend from an intellectual to a leader, while a minor character plot explores the quest to find meaning among powerful friends.

These plot arches combine with an incredible magic system, detailed worldbuilding, and intense action sequences to create an easy and entertaining read. Flewelling's series takes place in the medieval country of Skala and presents a near-perfect sword and sorcery experience. It details the growth of Alec, saved from prison by Seregil, a hired thief and member of a secretive group called 'The Watchers'. Flewelling has always written strong characters, and this series is no exception.

The bond between the two men is the defining feature of these novels, with Seregil acting as both mentor and friend. Where Alec is naive, Seregil is sharp and witty, creating a perfect contrast in morals and personality. However, at its base level, Nightrunner is a coming of age story. It's about Alec learning to accept his new profession, but also to trust. He's thrown into a tight-knit group, so ready to accept him that it almost feels suspect. He comes to respect them and believe in himself, meeting wizards, learning, and discovering his sexuality. Flewelling manages to write bisexual characters while keeping it incredibly natural.

There's no dwelling, and if there is a clear message in Alec's growth, it's of loyalty and acceptance. Abercrombie kicked off his Shattered Sea series with the award-winning Half a King , but his second novel approaches true mastery. Half the World picks up many years after the first, featuring some crossover characters but working perfectly as a standalone. Thorn Bathu is the new protagonist, and she presents a familiar dilemma. She was born to be a warrior, but she was also born female. Though she can train with the rest of the boys, she will never be one of them, and that's only made worse when she's branded a murderer.

Abercrombie's foray into YA is a slightly more lighthearted take than his usual taste. Thorn's story is one of failure, learning to accept infallibility, accepting she isn't perfect. There's a deep exploration of morals through Brand, a naive warrior who tries not to kill. It's a divergence from the usual gore and killing off main characters, but that somehow makes it feel more intelligent. Together, Thorn and Brand must travel the world, convince allies, and start a war.

The Deed of Paksenarrion. The Paksenarrion trilogy introduces another female warrior lead, but that doesn't mean its protagonist is ordinary. Paks doesn't start out a strong, brooding hero. She's not particularly intelligent, she doesn't question orders, she doesn't want children. It's loyalty that holds her together, and it's what eventually leads her to change. The pure scope of Moon's trilogy makes the number of books feel warranted, and that's partly thanks to the huge character development. It's not just a case of sheep farmer to paladin Paks changes right down to her very core.

Her morality, psychology, and religion are all influenced by the events in the series, leaving a feeling of real change, rather than an afterthought. There's a sense of a classic chronicle to the book, a medieval world complete with elves and dwarves. It's high fantasy, but also very clearly an epic adventure.

Its battle scenes are littered with Moon's experience as a marine, complete with gory scenes and the ambiguity of hero or tool. A lot of novels on this list are either children's stories or young adult. While they make for great stories, there are some great coming of age stories that feature very mature content. Primarily, Phedre's Trilogy is a fantasy series.

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Top 50 Best Coming of Age Fantasy Books

It features a medieval world in Terre d'Ange, a mirror of France. It's complete with angelic powers, myths, and warriors. It also contains some BDSM. In the hands of a novice writer, this could become a Fifty Shades sleaze-fest.

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And though this is Carey's debut, she's far more subtle than that. Sexuality is tied into the very fabric of the world, feeling like an extension of it rather than being thrown in randomly. It's a fantasy book first, and a romance one second. Still, Carey realizes that the discovery of sex is an important role in coming of age.

She doesn't linger on it unnecessarily, but it does tie naturally into the thread of the story. We follow Phedre from her roots as a courtesan, where a red mote in her eye makes her undesirable. However, it's more than just a blemish. According to her new patron, it's a mark from the heavens. What follows is an education surpassing her humble beginning.

She learns not just language and history but to observe and influence. It's a telling that's epic in scale, stretching across three large books as Phedre uses her knowledge to combat conspiracies and save the ones she loves. Her flawless writing skill brings something really special to the YA genre and won her Newbery Honor in McKinley's country of Damar takes readers away from the popular medieval setting and into a sandy world. There's stunning detail here, not just in vivid description but the cultures of each group.

When Harry is captured by the nomadic Hillfolk, things only get better. Finding she has kelar in her blood, she slowly comes to terms with her heritage and magical ability. She quickly takes to the Hillfolk, feeling at home for the first time with the horses and language. But there's a war coming from the north, and Harry has a lot of growing up to do before she can face it. She learns to become unbeholden to the wills of others, control her kelar, and become a hero.

While some of the books on this list offer a fresh take on the classics, Jim Butcher creates something entirely new. It began on a writer's workshop board during an argument, where he was challenged to write a book out of two central ideas the lost roman legion and Pokmon. Despite its source material, the result is surprisingly unique. Butcher details a world in which aggressive races are complemented by elemental creatures called furies. Tavi from the rome-like Alera, and at fifteen years old he still can't furycraft.

Butcher manages to flip expectations by creating a protagonist who doesn't come into great power. In fact, Tavi seems to be the only one without magic, and for once that makes things more interesting.

Beware of Dragons (Or Not): 50 Best Epic Fantasy Series | Book Riot

As their next door neighbors prepare to declare war, Tavi has to rely on his wits to survive. As the series progresses, he learns his lack of magic doesn't make him worthless, facing emotional turmoil and coming out a strong, well-trained man. The Amber Chronicles is a complex blend of genres and plot. It starts like a murder mystery, drawing the reader in, then it moves on to a mixture of sci-fi and fantasy. However, while Zelanzy's tension-building goes a long way, it's the character that keeps the reader invested throughout this ten book series.

The book is from the perspective of Corwin, a hospitalized amnesiac trying to remember his true identity. We follow along as he tries to unravel his thoughts with the hard resourcefulness. But then Corwin learns that he's not in his home world but has been banished to shadowland that is earth. More than that, he has a claim to the throne, and his siblings are all too happy to kill him to take it.

In an inspiring change, Zelazny details Corwin's growth as he comes to remember little details about himself and his personality changes as a result. It's a subtle beginning, opening to flood as he both realizes himself and is altered by the events of the series. Throughout it all, he remains intensely lovable, human, and eloquent.

The Chronicles of Prydain. Alexander's Wales-inspired epic fantasy offers little in the way of originality when compared to the novels of today. It's a simple tale of Taran, a pig farmer who has always wanted more, and gets more than he's bargained for. But as is common in these stories, execution is the key, and this author has it down to a tee.

The Chronicles of Prydain is an adventure novel at its core, detailing the fight and journey a band of heroes against evil. There are some incredibly strong characters, from half animals to princesses and soulless warriors. There's no Mary Sue characters in this book, each defined as much by their flaws as their weaknesses. But that doesn't mean they have no redeemable qualities, and many of their internal journeys are about finding those. Despite this, none of them reach the depth of Taran, which is where Alexander's true mastery shows.

He manages to create a feeling of care for the character despite his clumsiness and irritability. Taran is not a stalwart warrior with no emotion, he's fragile and still learning. Still, he has such a strong presence that Alexander never has to describe his face. Every now and then, a book comes along that reinvigorates your love for a genre. They bring something new to the table unique ideas that prove innovation isn't dead. Brett's The Warded Man is one of those novels, but it's also much more. In this world, the author creates a feeling of constant tension and danger.

Demons skulk in the night, ready to kill anybody caught outside when the sun sets. The only thing that holds them back are wards, but they also confine society to a small area. Arlen believes his people should not trade safety for freedom and seeks to end the threat one and for all.

In a society confined both physically and by its thinking, he's an outside thinker. There's the regular journey from a nobody to a hero, but Brett also gives Arlen a feeling of morality and bravery without a lack of intelligence. Tying it together is a perfect pace that keeps you turning page after page. Before you know it, the word novel is over, and Arlen is almost a man. Most of you will have read it already, some of you will be sick of it, but you can't do a coming of age list without mentioning it.

Harry Potter is one of the most influential stories of this generation, and at its heart is a story of growth, friendship, and learning. The first book presents a typical orphan-to-legend trope as Harry slowly discovers who his parents were and the wizarding world he's been sheltered from. His affinity for magic and thwarting Voldemort quickly turns him into a legend, and his character matures into that role as the series continues. However, things get more interesting when you consider the other characters in the story.

Rowling manages to create incredible depth in every single one of her characters, evolving them organically from book to book. Ron, for example, learns to get over his disdain for Harry's fame, while Hermione ditches the know-it-all attitude and becomes more compassionate. Neville has a great transformation from a clumsy, self-hating child to a competent and loyal resistance leader. The same attention is paid to the story's antagonists. Malfoy begins a spiteful child and progresses into something far more dangerous.

Working in tandem with some truly amazing world building, this character progression makes Harry Potter well worth the praise it receives.

Editorial Reviews

The Chronicles of Narnia. At this point, there's very little to be said about Narnia that hasn't been put better already. But I have to justify this list somehow, so I may as well try. Lewis remains one of the most influential figures of the last century, and he will continue to be for years to come.

It starts when four children step through a wardrobe and into a fantasy world. A world full of talking animals, centaurs, and fauns. Humans are a rarity, and Susan, Edmund, Lucy, and Peter particularly so. They're the children of prophecy, destined to sit on the throne. Throughout the novel, each of the children deals with their own challenges and comes out changed. Lucy struggles to be believed, Edmund with jealousy, Susan with death, and Peter to control his younger siblings.

In this intensely Christian story, Lewis tells of a battle between good versus evil, sacrifice, and maturity. The children live out fifteen years in the world, returning the same age, yet forever changed. Gavriel Kay's Fionavar is an ode to J. Tolkien, building on his life as an editorial assistant to his son, Christopher.

Kay was instrumental in the publication of the legend's posthumous works, and the echoes of those themes shine through in this series. It carries many of the elements of classic heroic fantasy, complete with a rising evil and an unlikely hero. Kay's execution, though, is entirely different. The series follows five students from the university of Toronto as they find themselves in a magic world. While Tolkien blends many mythologies, this setting has a Celtic style that makes it feel incredibly unique. Kay keeps the lengthy, lyrical prose, but surpasses many in his characters and plot.

It's not a journey to Mordor it's complex, winding, linked and intricate. That describes his characters too, to an extent. The series has a huge number of them, yet they manage to promote real depth and emotion. The five each have their own flaws which they must overcome, and that makes for a great story of power, forgiveness and free will. This novel is dark fantasy down to the core, bringing a refreshing tone and plenty of room for development. It's told not from the eyes of the protagonist but the scribe Arki, unfolding the story with a feeling of instant legend. The scribe follows a man called Captain Killcoin, a mercenary leader who wants someone to tell his journey.

The story, however, is as much about Arki as it is Killcoin, and that's where the real coming of age lies. Integrating into the band of rough warriors, he is taught to survive, but also to live fully. Through this narrative perspective, Salyards shows not just growth but the depth of his world and characters. Arki's questioning nature allows for expert world-building without pages of infodumps, immersing the reader completely in a medieval world. Likewise, his interaction with new characters shows the human nature of their relationships and makes action heavy with the fear of loss.

If you're fed up with books that take themselves too seriously, Jonathan Stroud's debut series is a great place to find a break. His style is of a casual, comedic tone, with heavy doses of cynicism and sarcasm. It's less of a world-shaking fight against evil and more of an adventure, infused with memorable characters and rule-breaking. This isn't your regular coming of age, either. Nathaniel doesn't learn to accept people for who they are or become a better person.

If anything, he becomes more of a snarky dick.

Beware of Dragons (Or Not): 50 Of The Best Epic Fantasy Series

That may not make for the most likable protagonist, but there's plenty of growth in the area of magic, and the other characters more than make up for it. The second PoV from Bartimaeus, a sarcastic Djinn, brings the whole story together and creates plenty of funny moments. In the end, though, the feeling of growth is still key in this story. Nathaniel's penchant for vengeance is marred slightly by a small conscience deep inside, and he eventually feels the need for redemption. Stroud's subversion ultimately makes the series stand out above the competition, and makes for a wildly entertaining read.

The Brother's Grimm have inspired countless adaptations and retellings, but Marillier's Sevenwaters is perhaps the best yet. She doesn't twist the story, accepting that the original is already a masterpiece. Instead, she expands on the world and hones in on the characters. For those familiar with fairy tales, this book is based on The Six Swans but takes place in a medieval Celtic world. The protagonist takes on the name of Sorcha, who follows her six brothers around on their adventures, largely a supporter rather than a doer.

That all changes when her brothers are put under a spell that only Sorcha can end. In a beautiful tale of love and hardship, Mariller paints a less than pleasant view of the world. It steps away from the trope of a universally happy ending, and pushes the thought that characters can come out stronger, but also broken in some way. This book makes the list for its unique focus on psychology inside of the sub-genre. Connolly tells the story of a child so lost in books and darkness that he can no longer tell the difference between the real world and fantasy.

There's no doubt that this is a character-driven novel, and David is the perfect conduit. Instead of the fairy tale world that's often present, his thoughts are marred by his depression, turning his fantasy into a terrifying, malice-filled world. As he develops from the age of twelve, he begins to mature, learn the meaning of morality, and the pain of love. More than that though, it's a story of overcoming monsters.

The ones in David's world, and therefore the ones in his head. It's a touching, dark journey that mirrors the difficult process of grief. Harry Potter did the English magician story very well, but it also overshadowed some incredible books with similar settings. Will is a chosen one of sorts, one of the few that can battle the powers. His mentor is an old, kind wizard, seeking to end the cycle of light and dark. It sounds quite familiar, but other than the setting, that's really where the similarity ends.

Arguably, Cooper is a better writer than Rowling, stepping away from a cheery style and into a darker tone. Where JK's story is a mashup of different myths, Cooper's is a careful construct of Celtic and Arthurian legends. That makes for some very clear imagery and some fantastic conflicts. Will narrates the story from two perspectives, his young, content self, and his wise, magical self.

As a narrative tool, it highlights the cost of power and the changes of adulthood. Saraykeht, though, has always been too strong for the Galts to attack, but now they see an opportunity. With secret forces inside the city, the Galts prepare to enact their terrible plan. In the middle is Otah, a simple laborer with a complex past. Otah finds himself as the sole hope of Saraykeht, either he stops the Galts, or the whole city and everyone in it perishes forever.

Since its original British publication in , the saga has entranced readers of all ages. It is at once a classic myth and a modern fairy tale. Barr compared it to Beowulf, C. Lewis to Orlando Furioso, W. Auden to The Thirty-nine Steps. In fact the saga is sui generis — a triumph of imagination which springs to life within its own framework and on its own terms. Before he redeems his birthright, he must pass the breadth of Hybras Isle as prisoner, vagabond, and slave, an acquaintance of faeries, wizards, and errant knights, and lover to a sad and beautiful girl whose fate sets his undying hatred for her tyrannical father—Casmir, King of Lyonesse.

Once a young sorcerer-bookbinder, Vella was transformed into a useful tool by one of the greatest sorcerers of history. But not everything is as Tyen and Rielle have been raised to believe. Not the nature of magic, nor the laws of their lands… and not even the people they trust. Perdido Street Station though I actually read these completely out of order the first time and had no problem.

The air and rivers are thick with factory pollutants and the strange effluents of alchemy, and the ghettos contain a vast mix of workers, artists, spies, junkies, and whores. In New Crobuzon, the unsavory deal is stranger to none—not even to Isaac, a brilliant scientist with a penchant for Crisis Theory. Servant of the Underworld there are several prequels, but this is book 1. Human sacrifice and the magic of the living blood are the only things keeping the sun in the sky and the earth fertile.

A Priestess disappears from an empty room drenched in blood. A Stranger in Olondria. A Stranger in Olondria was written while the author taught in South Sudan. It is a rich and heady brew which pulls the reader in deeper and still deeper with twists and turns that hearken back to the Gormenghast novels while being as immersive as George R. And so her adventure begins—the adventure that transforms her into a hero remembered in songs, chosen by the gods to restore a lost ruler to his throne. They are an epic feat of language, an ironic analysis of the foundations of civilization, and a reminder that no weapon is more powerful than a well-honed legend.

The Riddle-Master of Hed. Morgon, prince of the simple farmers of Hed, proved himself a master of such riddles when he staked his life to win a crown from the dead Lord of Aum. But now ancient, evil forces were threatening him. Shape changers began replacing friends until no man could be trusted. So Morgon was forced to flee to hostile kingdoms, seeking the High One who ruled from mysterious Erlenstar Mountain.

Ahead lay strange encounters and terrifying adventures. And with him always was the greatest of unsolved riddles — the nature of the three stars on his forehead that seemed to drive him toward his ultimate destiny. Daughter of the Forest. Bereft of a mother, she is comforted by her six brothers who love and protect her.

Sorcha is the light in their lives, they are determined that she know only contentment. If she speaks before she completes the quest set to her by the Fair Folk and their queen, the Lady of the Forest, she will lose her brothers forever. When Sorcha is kidnapped by the enemies of Sevenwaters and taken to a foreign land, she is torn between the desire to save her beloved brothers, and a love that comes only once. A Game of Thrones. Here an enigmatic band of warriors bear swords of no human metal; a tribe of fierce wildlings carry men off into madness; a cruel young dragon prince barters his sister to win back his throne; a child is lost in the twilight between life and death; and a determined woman undertakes a treacherous journey to protect all she holds dear.

Amid plots and counter-plots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, allies and enemies, the fate of the Starks hangs perilously in the balance, as each side endeavors to win that deadliest of conflicts: The Sorcerer of Wildeeps. Two so far, both stand-alone novellas in the same universe. Will there be more? We can only hope. The two of them are the descendants of the gods who abandoned the Earth for Heaven, and they will need all the gifts those divine ancestors left to them to keep their caravan brothers alive. The one safe road between the northern oasis and southern kingdom is stalked by a necromantic terror.

Demane may have to master his wild powers and trade humanity for godhood if he is to keep his brothers and his beloved captain alive. The Way of Kings. Men trade kingdoms for Shardblades. Wars were fought for them, and won by them. One such war rages on a ruined landscape called the Shattered Plains. There, Kaladin, who traded his medical apprenticeship for a spear to protect his little brother, has been reduced to slavery.

In a war that makes no sense, where ten armies fight separately against a single foe, he struggles to save his men and to fathom the leaders who consider them expendable…. As she plans a daring theft, her research for Jasnah hints at secrets of the Knights Radiant and the true cause of the war. Orphaned at a young age, Hitomi has learned to hide her magical aptitude and who her parents really were.

Most of all, she must conceal her role in the Shadow League, an underground movement working to undermine the powerful and corrupt Arch Mage Wilhelm Blackflame. When the League gets word that Blackflame intends to detain—and execute—a leading political family, Hitomi volunteers to help the family escape. When Hitomi finds herself captured along with her charges, it will take everything she can summon to escape with her life.

I think he plans to continuously add books to this series forever. She seeks his help…and more. His world, his very beliefs, are shattered when ancient debts come due with thundering violence. In their darkest hour, Kahlan calls upon Richard to reach beyond his sword—to invoke within himself something more noble. Neither knows that the rules of battle have just changed…or that their time has run out. This is the beginning. Witness the birth of a legend. For three centuries a divine prophecy and a line of warrior queens protected Skala. While Mokoya developed her strange prophetic gift, Akeha was always the one who could see the strings that moved adults to action.

While Mokoya received visions of what would be, Akeha realized what could be. A rebellion is growing. The Machinists discover new levers to move the world every day, while the Tensors fight to put them down and preserve the power of the state. But every step Akeha takes towards the Machinists is a step away from Mokoya. Can Akeha find peace without shattering the bond they share with their twin?

Will Laurence from his seafaring life into an uncertain future—and an unexpected kinship with a most extraordinary creature. Thrust into the rarified world of the Aerial Corps as master of the dragon Temeraire, he will face a crash course in the daring tactics of airborne battle. The Eye of the World. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow. When The Two Rivers is attacked by Trollocs—a savage tribe of half-men, half-beasts— five villagers flee that night into a world they barely imagined, with new dangers waiting in the shadows and in the light.

In the frozen kingdom of Saiduan, invaders from another realm are decimating whole cities, leaving behind nothing but ash and ruin.

Left Horse Black (Adventure Fantasy) (Sorcerers Twilight Book 1) Left Horse Black (Adventure Fantasy) (Sorcerers Twilight Book 1)
Left Horse Black (Adventure Fantasy) (Sorcerers Twilight Book 1) Left Horse Black (Adventure Fantasy) (Sorcerers Twilight Book 1)
Left Horse Black (Adventure Fantasy) (Sorcerers Twilight Book 1) Left Horse Black (Adventure Fantasy) (Sorcerers Twilight Book 1)
Left Horse Black (Adventure Fantasy) (Sorcerers Twilight Book 1) Left Horse Black (Adventure Fantasy) (Sorcerers Twilight Book 1)
Left Horse Black (Adventure Fantasy) (Sorcerers Twilight Book 1) Left Horse Black (Adventure Fantasy) (Sorcerers Twilight Book 1)
Left Horse Black (Adventure Fantasy) (Sorcerers Twilight Book 1) Left Horse Black (Adventure Fantasy) (Sorcerers Twilight Book 1)

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