Some genres you just kind of roll into. Fantasy was that for me. Other genres scare you. And other genres same very appealing but you just don’t know where to start. I’ve heard this a lot with people that like Young Adult Fantasy but aren’t sure where to start with Adult Fantasy. So since I read quite a bit of fantasy I listed a few fantasy that I think can be great places to start.
Of course I haven’t read everything and I am sure there are some great other series you could start with but for now I thought I’d share a few that came to mind straight away in a few different subgenres.
Linking this up with the month long fun Wyrd and Wonder fantasy event.
High and Epic Fantasy
High or Epic Fantasy is defined by the epic nature of the setting, themes, plot or its characters.
Farseers Trilogy by Robin Hobb
Robin Hobb is one of the biggest known names in the fantasy genre. This is her first trilogy set in the Realm of Elderlings, and probably the less lengthy one. The page length in these books build up from under 500 to just over 700 in the last one. I think that makes the trilogy more approachable. Also this trilogy is so easy to read through as you don’t have to deal with many different point of views. You just follow Fitz who is a pleasure to read about. Adding onto that, Hobb is a master in worldbuilding and character relationships. I can’t imagine a better introduction to (high) fantasy.
The Riyria Chronicles by Michael J. Sullivan
A lengthier series (though these days you can only get them in the bind-ups unless you read a translated version) to start but once you start the books you fly through them. These are perhaps a bit more predictable than some other fantasy series but still a great point to start as it touches on various aspects of fantasy like polital intrigues and so on. It slowly builds out the world beyond the kingdom where everything starts. The books are also written with an easy flow that makes you fly through them. They are just super approachable. Also a great place to start if you want to make the jump from young adult to adult fantasy but worry that adult is going to be too much with many different point of views (this is something I’ve seen quite a few people say).
Contemporary and Urban Fantasy
Contemporary Fantasy is set in present time (or the present time of the author) and in our own world. Urban fantasy is the same with the difference that it is specifically set in a city or a densely populated area.
Bones and Bourbon by Dorian Graves
Bones and Bourbon is so far the only installment to the adventures of the Gallows brothers. It is a paranormal contemporary fantasy which offers some of the more unknown and less used creatures to create a gritty world. Especially if the standard creatures don’t appeal to you to try, try out this one. It has huldra, demon possessions and not so nice unicorns. Also this book has some great lgbtq+ rep, including a transgender character.
Fever by Karen Marie Moning
While I have my problems with this series, I can’t deny that this is just a very classical urban fantasy and as such it is a good point to start into this subgenre. Faeries and romance. While the series currently stands at 10 released books you can stop this series after the first 5 as that rounds up the initial arc of this series quite well. They are also easy and fly through books. Warnings for sexual assault.
Historical Fantasy are stories set in a certain time period of our past that adds a fantasy element to the world.
Witchmark (Kingston Cycle 1) by C.L. Polk
With its sequel set to be released in 2020 this one is great to start now. More of a historical fantasy, based on Edwardian England, it tackles veterans returning with PTSD in the background. It is an easy to settle in book with very loveable characters that makes it a great start to adult fantasy.
Winternight Trilogy by Katherine Arden
Historical fiction is often something I struggle with but this historical fantasy completely and easily sold me over. It is incredibly character driven combined with some great Russian folklore and belief system. For that I think this can be a great start to those that like strong and flawed characters with some introspective text.
Sorcerer Royal by Zen Cho
I think the Sorcerer Royal are great books to start historical fantasy with like how Witchmark is. Instead of stepping into the normally very white minded historical fantasies, this book features a poc main character who is amazingly soft hearted. The second book was recently released and so now is a great place to start.