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What's the best fantasy novel series of all time?
  • Have to include 3 more in adults fantasy

    1. The Swords trilogy by Michael Moorcock
    2. Wind on fire series by William Nicholson.
    3. Earthsea series by Usrula Leguin

    And one that I did not like

    1. Dark Tower Series by Stephen King

    If we include animal fantasy:-
    1. Duncton Chronices by William Horwood
    2. Wolfs of time by William Horwood
  • @The_Fool: Those are surely a lot of recommendations!

    I've read most of them, but I didn't think they would stand up to the final battle for best series of all time.

    The Inheritance Cycle is purely derivative. The Belgariad, which is incidentally the first fantasy series I ever read, is brilliant but sugar-coated (even though I re-read it every couple of years). Artemis Fowl paled after the first couple of books.

    I consider Ramayana as fantasy because of the nature of the retelling. Ditto Discworld - it's fantasy, but in a lighter vein. And most of the books are brilliant.

    Michael A. Stackpole's Dragoncrown War is another fantastic series I did not include.

    What do I look for in a fantasy series?

    1. Far-ranging in scope and vision.
    2. Showcasing a deep understanding of human behaviour.
    3. Have a construct for magic that you can plausibly suspend disbelief for.
    4. Provide a different take on the typical hero's quest that makes good fantasy.

    I recently did a series review of Wheel of Time, which is my pick. Here's the link: http://www.keyboardandink.com/2012/09/series-review-robert-jordans-wheel-of.html

  • Nice article, JediByKnight. I actually started wheel of time when I was relatively new to fantasy and gave up after 3 books. Need to start again. Good to discover a hardcore fantasy fan. I just added most I liked just for choice. Other than choosing the best, hardcore fans need recommendations for newer ones to try as well as we would have finished off all the usual ones. Will check out Ramayana also if you recommend. I have been overlooking it thinking it is the same old story we have already known.

    Haven't read DragonCrown War. Will check that out as well. By the way suddenly I remembered I missed a very strong recommendation for the best ever which satisfies all your criteria

    Chronicles of Thomas Covenant by Stephen Donaldson.

    Another I missed which people appreciate a lot but I didn't like much is His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
  • By the way have you read Magic Kingdom series by Terry Brooks. I somehow liked that more than Shannara.
  • I didn't enjoy His Dark Materials either. Got bored halfway through book one.

    I must read Stephen Donaldson then. Adding it to the download list.

    I have read and loved Magic Kingdom. Very different from Shannara, definitely more likeable. However, Shannara links up with Brooks' The Word and the Void series - read that if you can. And is a very sci-fi take on fantasy, spanning eons. Hence the nomination.

    You will thoroughly enjoy Wheel of Time. Don't miss it for anything!
  • I have read Word and Void series. I saw the book linking the two at the stores - The Gypsy Morp I think. But I thought it might be artificial and skipped it. I did not even like how Asimov linked Robots and Foundation in case you are a Science Fiction Fan.
  • I am a sci-fi fan. Grew up on Asimov and quite love the entire series.
  • By the way, If you had included science fiction here, I would have said Dune Series wins hands down. Full stop.
  • My favorite honestly is Harry Potter, but I consider the Lord of the Rings the greatest of all fantasy stories. Tolkien has built a whole new parallel universe which seems completely real and believable. Harry Potter is way simpler than the complex Lord of the Rings. I see the Inheritance cycle mentioned in here too. I started off with liking it, but it finally became one big Bollywood melodrama as the tomes became heavier. I haven't really read most of the others from your list, so thanks for the names!
  • From comments here, I am getting a feeling Harry Potter did not really create an interest in Fantasy genre in general.

    I for one started with Harry Potter and then moved on to hard core fantasy during the interim period waiting for every next Harry Potter. But most other it seems read Harry Potter only and moved back to whatever genres they have been reading before.

    So if we go by votes, seems like Harry Potter only will win.

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