Books I Like

Malazan Book of the Fallen - Steven Erikson

This is probably the best ‘character-driven narrative’ series I have read. Gardens of the Moon is a bit of a struggle around 1/4th the way in, but after that it is smooth sailing until book 5 (I think) or so, where the narrative changes. I highly recommend the series, as well as other books in the universe by both Erikson and Ian Esslemont.

Guy Gavriel Kay

Yes, it’s not just one book, but read everything the man has touched. All of his books are fantastic reads, and he reads a lot and lists his sources for research done on the books. A good start would be A Brightness Long Ago followed by books set in the same universe, Children of Earth and Sky, All the Seas in the World, as well as The Sarantine Mosaic duology, and Lions of Al-Rassan. You can safely ignore Tigana. That one is…alright.

Suneater - Christopher Ruocchio

Probably the only other contender alongside GGK’s stuff above to snatch the first place from Malazan so far. It’s an ongoing science fiction series, with two more books planned. However, the last book(Ashes of Man) was pretty bleh.

Cradle - Will Wight

Another fantasy book series, with 11 books so far with one more to go. Good progression fantasy, but last couple of books have been fairly ‘eh.’ Friends and I have a feeling that it’s moving too fast after 5-6 books of steady progress.

The Black Company - Glenn Cook

It’s an absolutely fantastic fantasy read, and even better narration by Marc Vietor. It’s gritty, dark, and equally cozy to listen to during late nights. I will only however, recommend ‘Books of the North,’ up until 4th book or so. After that, the narrator(s) change, and further narration is…questionable. (I tend not to like people pretending what a South Asian accent sounds like - looking at you, Rachel Butera).

Codex Alera - Jim Butcher

Absolutely fantastic progression fantasy novels that just keep going. Pokemon meets the lost legion of the Roman empire (he wrote it as a dare after challenged that you can’t just mix any settings together - funny dude).

The Farseer books - Robin Hobb

Another exceptional fantasy series where you follow a man from barely a babe to his old age, and see everything from conflicts of loyalty to struggles of childhood and paternity. Heavily recommended.

Hyperion - Dan Simmons

…I should re-read this, as I last read it close to a decade ago. However, I remember it being exceptionally brilliant science fiction. Some cool ideas too with death and reincarnation in FTL ships.

Sword of Truth - Terry Goodkind

Yes yes, I know, “Save me, brave strong Richard” trope is pretty prevalent in this series but they are still good books, with some neat ideas (Also it disses commies - collectivists deserve to be bullied- so it automagically goes on here).

The Queen’s Thief - Megan Whalen Turner

Decent read. Some tropes are present but it is a good story.

Wax & Wayne series - Brandon Sanderson

Set after the original Mistborn trilogy, the goofy steampunkish series is pretty decent read.

A Deepness In the Sky - Vernor Vinge

Fantastic science fiction. I actually don’t like A fire upon the deep but this one is great.

Ciaphas Cain - Sandy Mitchell

In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only war. War, and well, comedy. Plenty of comedy. The entire mishmash of a series is arguably probably the most chuckleworthy series of the entire list here. Grim? Yes. Funny? Also yes.

Remembrance of Earth’s Past - Liu Cixin

I went into this blind, and while I did not have many hopes - it broke all my expectations. This has to be one of the absolute gems of hard science fiction out there. It is brilliantly written.

I had to hesitate for a moment while compiling the above list, because I really wanted to include the Kingkiller Chronicle, by Patrick Rothfuss, but I will not. Not only has the man not written a single word in close to a decade, but he doesn’t seem to have any motivation in finishing the series. Mind you, the two books written have beautiful prose, but I cannot in my good conscience recommend a series that will never get finished.