Five Bingeworthy Fantasy Series to Read This Summer

boneWhat’s better than finding a good book? Finding a book that is part of a really strong, consistent series. Knowing you can lose yourself in that world for weeks or months as you gallop through book after book.

If you’re looking for that kind of read this spring or summer, here’s five good recommendations. These are all mature fantasy series that have a strong narrative from beginning to end (as opposed to really excellent series like Her Royal Spyness, which have the same set of characters but not necessarily a continuous storyline.)

  1. The Tawny Man trilogy by Robin Hobb – A slow-starting, but totally worth it, series about a 30-something man who has retreated into the forest to live in anonymity. He possesses a rare combination of magical skills and slowly is called back into service for his kingdom. This is a continuation of the Farseer trilogy, but I picked up with Fool’s Errand, no problem.
  2. The Tamir Triad by Lynn Flewelling – A princess trades places with her twin brother at birth by use of magic, to hide her true self until she can come into her own as future Queen. A beautiful story about gender and identity.
  3. Graceling by Kristin Cashore – Katsa was born with a special skill, or Grace, for killing. In service as the king’s assassin, she learns the true nature of her gift and finds friendship and her true place in the world. This was remarkable as YA for avoiding stupid love triangles and focusing instead on a strong female protagonist.
  4. All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness – A scholar in Oxford’s Bodleian Library finds a long-lost and magical manuscript that has the potential to unite – or undo – a complicated secret underworld of daemons, vampires and witches. For some reason this series reminds me of Outlander, if only in scope and romantic awesomeness.
  5. Small Change by Jo Walton – in an alternate 1949, postwar Britain has an uneasy truce with the Nazis and is feeling their influence. A few heroes fight to rescue Jews, homosexuals, and other ‘undesirables’ from persecution, and maybe save British society from themselves at the same time.

Readers: Now I need a new bingeworthy series for summer. What are some of your favorites?

Countdown to 2014’s Top Ten Books: Five Great Series Continuations

wispAs I work on my Top Ten list for 2014, I have some categories of books that may not make the top ten, but deserve special recognition anyway. Today’s category is series continuations.

As a reader, it is hard finding a new series … but it’s even harder keeping one. These five books were published in 2014, and made great additions to existing series.

5. Night Broken (Mercy Thompson #8) by Patricia Briggs

4. The Caller (Shadowfell #3) by Juliet Marillier

3. The Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy, #3) by Deborah Harkness

2. Ruin and Rising (The Grisha, #3) by Leigh Bardugo

1. Wisp of a Thing  (Tufa, #2) by Alex Bledsoe

Readers: What were your favorite series in 2014? Did you start any new ones?