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  1. #1

    Cool Rank your top 3 fantasy series

    Name your top 3 fantasy series which you really really loved.

    Also state the reason why those series are in your top 3 list.

  2. #2
    Webmaster, Great SF&F owlcroft's Avatar
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    I suggest that answers would be facilitated by some definition of "series". Do two books a series make? (For example, Carroll's "Alice" books.) Do a set of volumes of short stories set in more or less the same mythos count? (As with Dunsany's "Time and the Gods" works.)

    I also think that a "top three" is terribly stringent. Cutting down to a "top ten" would be hard enough.

    That said, and omitting the two examples I already mentioned as possibly being outside the wanted category, I might, with many caveats concerning other worthy candidates, suggest Pratchett's "Discworld" series, Peake's "Titus" series (more commonly, if erroneously, known as "Gormenghast"), and Eddison's "Zimiamvia" trilogy.

    (Close runners-up were Bramah's "Kai Lung" tales and Cabell's monumental "Biography of Manuel" cycle.)

    In every case, the desiderata are much the same: interesting characters doing interesting things in an interesting world as portrayed in satisfactory or better prose by a writer of skill and power.

  3. #3


    From the word "series", i mean the whole series like song
    of ice and fire, malazan etc.

    i do not want you to pick books from a single series. you can rank your top 3 whole series.

  4. #4
    Wirt's Fourth Leg Cirias's Avatar
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    May 2010
    England, UK
    The First Law Trilogy by Joe Abercrombie

    Easily the best modern fantasy books I've read so far. The characters were great and seemed to affect the writing style each time a switch happened and the story was intriguing.

    The Old Kingdom Trilogy by Garth Nix

    A brilliant childrens fantasy trilogy. Some fantastic ideas and a real sense of foreboding throughout the series.

    Redwall Series by Brian Jacques

    One of the first series of books I ever read and still my favourite. It's a kids series, fair enough, but it was exceptionally well written and the whole world that Mr. Jacques created was unforgettable. I only hope the afterlife is like Mossflower Country!

  5. #5
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    1. Wheel of Time

    2. Lord of the Rings

    3. Malazan: Book of the Fallen

    HM: A Song of Ice and Fire

  6. #6
    Damn fool idealist DailyRich's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
    Orlando, FL
    [/snarkyoldman]Lord of the Rings is NOT A SERIES.[/snarkyoldman]

  7. #7
    Because I'm not well versed in fantasy, I will pick the ones that I have read which is: The Dark Tower, Wheel of Time, and The Belgariad.
    Last edited by Bob Gray; July 12th, 2012 at 09:47 AM.

  8. #8
    The top three is actually pretty easy for me. After that it gets difficult though, so I appreciate the constraint.

    Prince of Nothing/The Aspect-Emperor by Bakker
    Malazan Book of the Fallen by Erikson
    The Wars of Light and Shadow by Wurts

    There are a variety of reasons I love these series, but the one they have in common is that they provide, in some way, a challenge. Bakker is challenging with his philosophical themes, Erikson with the sheer complexity of his world and Wurts with her dense writing style.
    Last edited by Obtuse; July 11th, 2012 at 12:28 PM. Reason: Bacon

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by DailyRich View Post
    [/snarkyoldman]Lord of the Rings is NOT A SERIES.[/snarkyoldman]
    I try to be flexible. When people ask me what my favorite stand-alones are, I'll include LOTR, "You know it was split into three by the publisher, right, but intended as a single novel by Tolkein?"

    But here, I'll declare it's one of my favorite series and bolster the declaration by adding to it The Hobbit and The Silmarillion. Why? The landscape of Middle Earth seems real to me, as did the characters and their the journey through Middle Earth awed me. LOTR as a whole has a majesty that enveloped me as I read, and the other two books add rather than detract from that sense of a whole world well-developed.

    My other favorite series would be the Lovecraft mythos, which only includes one novel (and that's arguably not part of the mythos) and several short stories and novellas, and Zothique by Clark Ashton Smith, though it's only one volume and a series of short stories.

    Randy M.

  10. #10
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    1. Jin Yong's Condor Trilogy (Legend of the Condor Heroes, Return of the Condor Heroes, Heaven Sword & Dragon Sabre)
    2. The Dresden Files
    3. Ilona Andrews' Kate Daniels series

    I felt a compulsion to include an epic or high fantasy, like ASoIaF or WoT, but these are really the three I think of when I remind myself that I love to read fantasy.

  11. #11
    Unreasonable reasoner
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    Abilene, Tx.
    "A Song of Ice and Fire" - GRRM

    If we're considering a duology to be a series, "The Sarantine Mosaic" - GGK

    And if it's fair to count a series I've only read half of, "Acts of Caine" - Stover.

  12. #12
    I can't believe it has taken me over half an hour to think of my top 3. The list is definitely way too short. My initial list before I shorten it down already has over 10.

    Codex Alera by Jim Butcher - Epic battles, crazy powerful characters, and lots of political intrigues. What's not to love?

    Another series by Jim Butcher, The Dresden Files. I can't even read this series outside anymore. People always give me the weirdest look as I am constantly giggling or having the oddest smirk.

    And then there is Raymond Feist's Riftwar Saga. It was my introductory into the fantasy genre, and it holds a special place in me. I end up rereading this series once every year.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by cpsingh_88 View Post
    From the word "series", i mean the whole series like song
    of ice and fire, malazan etc.

    i do not want you to pick books from a single series. you can rank your top 3 whole series.
    This doesn't answer Owlcroft's question. He didn't ask whether he could pick one book from a series. He asked whether a loose collection of short stories set in the same world would count as a series, and how many books are necessary to constitute a series. Consider Guy Gavriel Kay's The Sarantine Mosaic, which is a duology. Is that a series? That's (part of) Owlcroft's question. He's not asking whether he could include either Sailing to Sarantium or Lord of Emperors (the first and second books of the duology, respectively), in his list. He wants to know whether a duology is a series.

    That said, I'm inclined to say:

    1. A Song of Ice and Fire - George R.R. Martin
    2. The Farseer Trilogy - Robin Hobb
    3. The Sarantine Mosaic - Guy Gavriel Kay

    Honorable Mentions: The First Law by Joe Abercrombie (because I read GGK's more recently, and because Abercrombie's Best Served Cold is better than The First Law), Discworld by Terry Pratchett (because I've only read 6 or 7, and that's a small fraction of the series), The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (which I left off my list because it's science fiction, not fantasy), and The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien (because it's technically not a series).
    Last edited by Chrysippus; July 11th, 2012 at 04:29 PM.

  14. #14
    Magical Ninja TheIELighten's Avatar
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    1. His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman.

    I loved the language and the worlds created, as well as the dark theology throughout. Favorite characters: Lyra, Mrs. Coulter, and Iorek Byrnison

    2. Madeleine L'engle's Quintet series beginning with "A Wrinkle in Time"

    I loved the concepts, the travelling, the deeper messages, and the strong characterizations of all.

    3. Chronicles of Narnia Series -all except for "the horse and his boy because I haven't read it" C.S. Lewis

    I liked them originally because I used to be a christian and so it delighted me to open them up and to see all of the Biblical pictures and comparisons. After my sort of reverse redemption I have decided I still adore them simply because I love Aslan, and Reepicheep, and Caspian, and yes, even Edmund.

    The only fantasy I have truly read so far has been children's fantasy because when I was a kid I read everything in site and then when I grew up I kind of stopped. And now I don't have access to a library and am poorer than a churchmouse. But as soon as I move and hopefully have access to a library again I want to start reading adult fantasy.

    Out of the adult fantasy I have read :
    A song of Ice and Fire - first 2 books
    About 5 books out of the Anita Blake series
    3 books from the Mercy Jackson? She's a shapeshifting coyote mechanic who was raised by wolves?

  15. #15
    Registered User MoonDoggie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheIELighten View Post
    Out of the adult fantasy I have read :
    A song of Ice and Fire - first 2 books
    About 5 books out of the Anita Blake series
    3 books from the Mercy Jackson? She's a shapeshifting coyote mechanic who was raised by wolves?
    That would be Mercy Thompson. I really like that series and the Alpha & Omega series by Patricia Briggs.

    Since LOTR is not being considered a series I won't include it.

    1. The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher - I like the humor which is often from my generation, the magic, and the characters.

    2. The Hollows by Kim Harrison - Again, the humor, characters, and action.

    3. The Necroscope Series by Brian Lumley - Okay, more horror than fantasy but I've re-read this series at least 3 times. This series set the bar for me concerning vampires and I love the whole E-branch ESPionage angle.

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