At the beginning of the year, I made a list of all the book series I wanted to continue and/or finish in 2020, and I’m happy to say that as of July, I have finished nine book series and am up-to-date on quite a few!
I’ve talked about it in the past, but the thing is, I have a hate/love relationship with finales: more often than not, they disappoint me, in part because I have a lot of expectations, in part because writing a great finale can be really tough. Either way, finishing book series is a struggle for me, but this year, I am determined to get better at it, and so far, I am killing it. I even enjoyed reading every book in a series back to back, so I’m hoping to do more of that in the future.
Out of all the series I have finished so far this year, my favourites have all been adult fantasy series written by women, which makes me really happy, and I really wanted to recommend them, so that’s what I’ll do today!
The only two series I have yet to catch up on are the Sevenwaters series by Juliet Marillier, and the A Song of Ice and Fire series by G.R.R. Martin, so I’m pretty pleased with myself! I’m hoping to catch up with them soon, but we’ll see.
So, without further ado, here are five adult fantasy series I have finished this year, and really recommend:
I started making my way through Robin Hobb’s books in 2018, and I adore them so much. The Liveship Traders is the second trilogy in her long Realm of the Elderlings series; it is basically the pirate book series of my dreams, and while I finished this series in January, I’m still not over how much I loved it!
This fantasy series is one of pirates, talking ships, magic, sea serpents, politics, bloody battles, and it’s fantastic! It’s also a family saga, as it mainly follows the Vestrit family, whose liveship is about to wake, and I adored following all of them, as their plotlines were very different from one another. There’s also a pirate who lusts for a liveship and has plans of his own… This trilogy is amazing and I can’t recommend Robin Hobb’s books enough!
I was so engrossed in the Winternight Trilogy that I read it entirely in two weeks without taking any breaks, and it was so worth it! This trilogy is set in Rus’ and follows Vasilisa, who grows up listening to fairy tales and honouring the household spirits… until her mother dies and her father marries a devout woman, who forbids the family from honouring the spirits, which leads the crops to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune in the village.
The Winternight Trilogy is an enchanting and character-driven series based on Russian folklore, and I couldn’t get enough out of it. I adored Vasya, the main character, as well as Morozko, they both have my heart. I also loved the way folklore and magic were intertwined in the story. It’s a perfect winter read, and I’m hoping to reread it next winter!
Juliet Marillier is one of my favourite authors, and what I really love about her books is that she has such a very evocative writing style, magic is in the air with every page you read, and each of her books feels like a fairy tale. The Blackthorn and Grim series is a slow-paced and character-driven book series inspired by Irish folklore, set in medieval Ireland, and it was so enchanting to read.
This series follows Blackthorn, a healer, who was wrongly imprisoned and has to make a deal with the Fair Folk to get out. Followed by Grim, a former prison mate, she settles on the fringe of a mysterious forest, duty bound for seven years to assist anyone who asks for her help. Each book has a different mystery woven in folklore, so they’re mostly self-contained, but they all have spectacular character development for Blackthorn and Grim, so I became quite fond of their characters. I can’t recommend Juliet Marillier’s books enough!
This duology was such an amazing surprise to me! Empire of Sand is set in a Mughal India-inspired world, where the Amrithi are nomads descended of desert spirits, who are coveted and persecuted throughout the Empire for the power in their blood. This book follows Mehr, a nobleman’s daughter, who is an Amrithi, and has such power; she has no choice, but to go to the Emperor’s mystics and resist their cruel agenda… or the gods themselves may awaken seeking vengeance. Realm of Ash, the second book, set ten years after the events of the first book, follows Arwa, who is Mehr’s sister, and I loved it even more than the first one!
This duology has amazing world-building and characters, slow-burn romances, as well as spectacular endings, in my opinion (I cried so much because I adored the ending of both books). Both books are very engaging, so if you want to get more into adult fantasy, you should definitely check them out!
Last, but certainly not least, I finished The Daevabad Trilogy this month, and I’m still thinking about it every single day. This trilogy is about Nahri, a con woman living in 18th century Cairo, who doesn’t believe in magic, until she accidentally summons a mysterious djinn warrior, who then takes her to Daevabad, the legendary City of Brass.
The Daevabad trilogy has it all: it’s a Middle-East inspired fantasy series, it has complex grey characters, fascinating world-building, intricate politics, and so much more. I rated every book in this trilogy 5 stars, which I hadn’t done for any book series since 2016. I often mention that I got into a year-long fantasy reading slump after reading The City of Brass at the beginning of 2018, and honestly, this series shaped me as a fantasy reader. It is my favourite fantasy series, and I’m so glad it has gotten a lot of hype again, as the last book in the trilogy came out last month. If you haven’t read this trilogy yet, please do, it’s amazing! ❤️
Now that I’m caught up on quite a few adult fantasy series, I’m really excited to start new ones, so I might do a follow-up post to this one to talk about the ones I’m hoping to start as soon as I can!
How do you feel about book series: do you binge-read them, or struggle to finish them? What was the last book series/book finale that you really loved?