1. The Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson.
This series is my Current favourite fantasy series, as it introduces so many elements that are different from most stories. The whole thing is wonderfully written, and surprising and inventive. The characters are believable and rather layered, which is very important to me.
2. The Old Kingdom Series by Garth Nix
I loved Sabriel dearly when it first crossed my path a long time ago, but Lirael was the book that really got to me. It starts very sad, and is one of those books that actually made me cry before things gets better. It is a very well written series, again with new inventive magical twists. I don’t normally like necromancers, but in these books I loved them. And It is very relate-able for anyone who has ever felt a bit awkward and different.
3. The Witcher: The Last Wish and Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapowski
As a big fan of the PC-game “The Witcher”, this was a must read for me. The translations are not the best writing ever, but the stories are really fun and interesting. The first book is basically many short stories which often include fun elements of known mythology and folktales. I love how The Witcher travels to hunt down beasts, a view not often seen in fantasy books. Only drawback is that not enough of the Witcher books have been translated from Polish yet.
5. A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin
Hard to write a list without these books nowadays. I love the subtle touch of magic, plus it’s got dragons. The thing I love about these books are the complexity of the characters. I was recommended the books by so many because of my preference for believability - and it was a perfect match. That is when they’re not using too much time on the Greyjoys and Boltons, which I find to be less interesting and a bit too long. I’m looking forward to seeing where this series is going!
6. High Druid of Shannara by Terry Brooks
I started reading all the different The Shannara Series when I was 10. I have read all his books, which are of variable quality. But in the High Druid Trilogy he really scores. The characters are interesting, some twists unexpected, and I really like the book Straken. The universe is not very innovative, but I love the creation of the Forbidding and the separation from a demonic world.
7. The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
Every list need these. They are after all the source of all epicness. I first read these books when I was 12-15 years old, and although I loved the stories, I remember thinking the language was way too heavy and the descriptions and name-listings a bit over the top. And still I loved its complexity and universe a bit too much. I just re-read the books this year, and suddenly realized they are quite easy to read and appreciated the stories so much more.
8. The Wind on Fire Trilogy by William Nicholson
I don’t really want to know how many times I read The Wind Singer, but I practically worshipped these books when I was younger. I loved Nicholson’s descriptions of different societies and was looking on for more and more layers. It is a good trilogy, but it is intended for a bit younger audience, which gets more obvious when you get a bit older.
9. Harry Potter 1, 2, 3 and 4 by J.K. Rowling
The first 4 books are so good, and I blame them for teaching me a lot of English, and for inspiring me to do such things as online RPG’s, fanfictions, fanart and fangirling. Yes, I loved these books tremendously. But then. Then Rowling had to go ruin it by slowly making the books too long and uninteresting, and turning believable characters into superheroes and dark, evil villains. Plus I read a couple of fanfics back in those days that were actually a lot better than Rowling’s edition - which sort of ruined it a bit for me. Loved The Fairy tale collection tho (Tales of Beedle the Bard)!
10. The Noble Warriors Triology by William Nicholson
I had a hard time choosing which series to give the 10th spot, and I’m not quite sure if this one was the right choice. But it was an interesting series that left me completely confused before I got that aha-feeling. I like it when you suddenly understand everything and things starts making sense. Also intended for a younger audience, but still a decent and quite philosophical read. It’s a shame the author started writing love stories and grown up books, because they are not nearly as good as these fantasy inspired works.
(All Photos/Old Drawings are my own)