Best Adult Fantasy Series – Part 2
Welcome, Fantasy Nerds! It’s been quite a while since we posted our list of best adult fantasy books, and unsurprisingly we’ve read quite a few more since then. So, we decided that some of these books deserved to be added to this list. Here is part 2 of our list of best adult fantasy books!
Temeraire Series by Naomi Novik
This series has many things going for it: the brilliant premise, relatable and likable characters, and incredible world-building. Novik cleverly explores what dragons’ place would be in our world and how they would impact history if they existed. I was continually amazed by the thought she gave to how dragons would be used in military warfare. The ongoing conflict throughout the series between how the government views dragons – as tools – and how their riders know them to be – free-thinking beings – is perfectly used to fuel the plot in interesting ways.
It’s difficult to name a favorite thing about this series, but I love how the dragons are seen as worthy of being the main characters in their own right. Temeraire is an intelligent and unique portrayal of a dragon, and his relationship with his Captain is one of my favorites in literature.
Crescent City Series by Sarah J. Maas
If you’ve read any of our other book lists, you know Clever is a big fan of Sarah J. Maas. Of course, when the author released her first adult series, she had to read it. The two books released so far in the series did not disappoint. Similar to Maas’s other books, the world-building is incredible and the characters are some of my favorites. Even the side characters have depth and are lovable.
The differences, which I found really elevated the books, were the added elements of mystery and politics. There was a deep feeling of injustice throughout many of the events of the books, which left me rooting hard for the heroes. The villains in the books were dark and sadistic, and the added themes of slavery and sacrifice led to an emotional ride. Plus, I’m always a sucker for a good detective story, so it was awesome to see two of my favorite genres combined.
Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
Leigh Bardugo is another of Clever’s favorite YA authors who leaped into adult fantasy. This adult book is a different, and much darker, tale than Bardugo’s YA books, and I am here for it. It’s a twisted series about Yale’s secret societies, and the members of Ninth House, who are tasked with overseeing and reigning in the dark magic performed by these societies.
Alex is not your typical heroine: she is a flawed and traumatized young woman who can see ghosts, and even allow their spirits to possess her body. She’s really more of an anti-hero, but it makes her more realistic. She is relentless in pursuing the mysteries in the book and is loyal to her friends. She fits right in with the dark, intense tone of the series, and I’m looking forward to the rest of the books!
The Last Tale of the Flower Bride by Roshani Chokshi
Have you ever read one of those books that right from the first page you could tell you were going to love it? This was one of those books for me. I found it refreshing to have a tale, not of some unsuspecting person stumbling upon a magic wardrobe or some other door to another realm – don’t get me wrong, I love these stories – but of characters who believed in magic and desperately sought proof of the impossible. I found, unsurprisingly to those of you who read our blog regularly, that I could relate on a deep level. I think there is a part of most of us who read fairy tales that want to believe they could come true for us.
This book interestingly explored the questions of how far you would go to find out if magic is real, and what you would sacrifice, or ignore, for your happy ending. I loved how there were so many references to mythology and fairy tales throughout the book. As someone who grew up on these stories, it was nostalgic to have them included in an adult fantasy book. I highly recommend this book for Fantasy Nerds!
The Three-Body Problem by Liu Cixin
Now, this is classified more as a science fiction novel, but I adore this book. Science fiction is also a genre I quite love, and this series should be on this list. I was sucked into the story almost immediately! The way the author explains the scientific aspects behind this story makes it easy to understand for the reader, and it is weaved perfectly with incredible storytelling and historical events. Originally written in Chinese, the series is beautifully translated by Ken Liu.
I could not put this book down once I started reading it, it only took me about four days to finish this because I was so into it. This book is part of a trilogy and tackles the theory of the Three-Body Problem quite magnificently and uniquely tying it to the idea of an alien race far more advanced than us attempting to weave their way into our society. I implore you to read this book if you’re a fan of novels that make you think, and that keeps you on the edge of your seat. The second book in the trilogy is The Dark Forest, and the third is Death’s End.
The Night and Its Moon by Piper C.J.
I recently grabbed this book on a whim while out shopping with our brother Connor. What made me immediately take this book home was the dedication on this first page: “Can my dedication read: “To buttery chardonnay, manic episodes and every child who wished they were a fairy”? No, you can’t thank alcohol, mental illness, and encourage escapism in your dedication. Well fine, then. I don’t want one.”
Let me tell you, the novel did not disappoint. A wonderfully built world showcasing struggles for humans and Fae alike. There is certainly some sexual content, which is why this is an adult fantasy list, but it’s not too much for me. The story follows two orphans who have a strong bond, are separated, and are trying to find their way back to each other. Without too many spoilers, I love a story that includes a succubus. This was a fun and imaginative book to read. I highly recommend it! This series includes two more books I have yet to read which are: The Sun and Its Shade and The Gloom Between Stars.
What do you think of our list of top adult fantasy series? If any look interesting, click here to view our list on bookshop.org and support local bookstores! As an affiliate, we do earn if you make any purchases. Is there a series you love that you want on the list? Comment below to let us know! If you thought a book was missing from this list, you could also check out the first part of our list of the Best Adult Fantasy Series.
Thank you so much for reading!