10 Epic Series I Want to Read

For today’s post I’m going to talk about the book series I most want to read. These aren’t in any particular order, but I’ve broken them down into series I already own and will be trying to prioritise, and series I don’t yet own but have been on my radar for a while, so I’d like to get hold of them at some point (as if I don’t own enough books already!)

So, onto the series that I own and would like to be reading soon:

1)      The Dark Tower by Stephen King. This is a bit of a cheat because I’ve actually already started reading the first book, The Gunslinger, and really enjoying it. The Gunslinger is only a couple of hundred pages, but it’s the shortest in the series by far. It’s a fantasy series consisting of seven novels, with an eighth novel (The Wind Through the Keyhole) written a few years after the series finished, and inserted between novels 4 (Wizard and Glass) and 5 (Wolves of the Calla).

2)      A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin. This probably doesn’t come as any surprise, but so many of my friends have read this series and insist that I’ll love it, so I really want to give it a go. I started reading the first book, A Games of Thrones, several years ago now, and I got to around page 200 before I got distracted by something else. I was enjoying it while I was reading it, however I did find that once I’d put it down I wasn’t massively motivated to pick it up again. I had watched the first series of the TV adaptation though, and I think the fact that I knew what was going to happen meant I wasn’t as motivated to push through the 700 odd pages of the book. It’s a long time since I watched series one though, and I haven’t watched any more of the TV show because I want to read the books first, so I’m hoping that second time around I should fly through them like all of my friends did. I’m sure you all know the deal for this one, but there are seven novels planned in total, and five have been published so far. Novels 3 and 5 have been split into two parts in most editions though, because they’re just so damn huge, meaning there are currently seven books/five novels that have already been published, alongside a few novellas.

3)      The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss. These books are forever catching my eye on my bookshelves, because they’re just so damn pretty. Again, this is a really popular fantasy series which friends have been recommending to me. It’s planned to be a trilogy, but so far only the first two books The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear) plus a couple of novellas have been released. I’m a bit torn with this one, I don’t know whether to read the first two books now, or wait until the trilogy has been completed so I can read all of the books together. There’s no planned release date as of yet though, and the books so far have all been huge, so it could be years before it’s published.

4)      The Gentleman Bastard Sequence by Scott Lynch. This is another fantasy series which is only half completed. There are seven novels planned, but only three have been published so far. I own the first book, The Lies of Locke Lamora, and I also gave it as a present to my sister’s boyfriend. He’s been really enjoying it, and it sounds like the kind of story that’s right up my street as well.

5)      The Realm of the Elderlings by Robin Hobb. This is another gorgeous looking fantasy series which keeps leaping out at me from the library shelves. There are an awful lot of books which make up this series, which is one of the reasons why I’ve been putting it off because it’s such an investment, but at the same time it sounds really rewarding and the shallow part of me would also like to see these lovely books all lined up on my bookshelves. The series comprises of five cycles: The Farseer Trilogy, The Liveship Traders Trilogy, The Tawny Man Trilogy, The Rain Wild Chronicles, and The Fitz and the Fool trilogy. They are all set in the same world, and I believe the same characters reoccur in different trilogies at different periods of their lives. It is intimidating because there are 16 novels to get through, but they are SO loved by the people I know who’ve read them, and I think it could be a very worthwhile way to spend my time. I’ve got the ball rolling by buying Assassin’s Apprentice, the first book in the Farseer trilogy, but this might be one which needs to be spread out over a period of time, if only for the sake of my bank balance.

6)      The Cosmere Universe by Brandon Sanderson. This is another epic fantasy series which will need to be spread out somewhat. The Cosmere is a universe created by Brandon Sanderson, and he has a variety of different books and series which are all based within this universe. There are loads more different series which have been planned but not written yet, but as it stands the currently published series/trilogies/cycles include: the Elantris series (one novel so far with more planned); the Mistborn series (which includes the Mistborn trilogy and the Wax and Wayne series); The Stormlight Archive (there are ten books planned, two have been released and the third is due later this year); and the Warbreaker series (one novel has been released, more are planned). A number of these series also have various short stories and novellas which have been published too. Again, this is one that I’ve been putting off because it’s a bit intimidating and some of the books are really huge. Like A Song of Ice and Fire, the books in The Stormlight Archive have been split into two books because they’re so hefty. What puts me off most though is not knowing where I should start. The Realm of the Elderlings has numerous series underneath its overarching umbrella, but there’s a rough chronology to follow and it’s fairly straightforward to work out the order. The Cosmere seems so jumbled though, and it doesn’t help that Sanderson’s working on multiple series at the same time. I don’t think it matters too much in terms of story where you start, but I have heard that there are better (or easier) starting places than others. I picked up the Mistborn trilogy because I’ve heard that’s one of the best places to begin, and then I’ll just have to see which of the series appeals to me next. I think it might be a bit tricky trying to keep all of the different storylines in my head though, but I won’t know until I try!

7)      The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels by Philippa Gregory. This series used to be broken down into two separate series, The Cousins’ War and The Tudor Court series, however because of the way the timelines interact and overlap, they have now been rolled into one. I read a fair few of Philippa Gregory’s novels when I was a teenager and always enjoyed them, but now I want to read the series in its entirety, in the order that it was set (rather than the order that it was written), as the most recently published book The Last Tudor was announced to be the final book in the series. Again, this is going to be quite a mammoth task because there are 15 books in the series, but I think it’s one that I’ll really enjoy. I love a bit of historical fiction, and I love watching dramas like The Tudors and Versailles, so I’m sure I’ll fly through these. I own The Cousins’ War series in its entirety and a couple of The Tudor Court series, but there are a few more which I’ll need to buy to complete the set.

Now, onto the series I don’t own (yet):

8)      The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan. This is another huge fantasy series, consisting of 15 (very hefty) books, including a prequel. It was Robert Jordan’s life’s work, but sadly he died before finishing the series, and it was completed by Brandon Sanderson using the very extensive notes he left behind. Again, this is another series which has been highly recommended to me, and there are some really gorgeous editions available too, which I’m dying to get my hands on. This is going to be another project to spread out for the sake of my bank balance, but it’s one that I’d really love to read at some point. I have heard that a couple of the books dip in terms of quality or enjoyment factor in the middle of the series, but that it picks up again afterwards.

9)      Poldark by Winston Graham. Like many, I started watching the TV series with the lovely Aidan Turner, and now want to give the book series a go. There are twelve novels in total, although they were written in two separate cycles of seven and five. While the first seven feature the same characters/families, the last five are set in a slightly later time period and focus on the original characters’ descendants (I think). I haven’t seen the most recent TV series, but there was an awful lot going on in the second season from what I remember, so I’d like to see just how well the series represents the books.

10)   Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. I know the TV series has made these books really popular, although I haven’t seen it myself. I have heard a lot of good things about it though, and I always like to start with the books first if possible. These books have all been catching my eye as well lately, mainly because they’re kind of enormous and have quite a striking font on the cover. From what I can gather of the plot, it sounds like a historical fiction mixed with fantastical/sci-fi elements, so I think it’s something that I would really enjoy. I believe there are eight books already published, with another forthcoming.

Have you read any of these books? Which are your favourites, and which do you think I should prioritise to read first? Are there any series I’m missing from this list which you think I need to read? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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