29 votes

What's the next big fantasy series?

I missed the Witcher, Harry Potter, and Game of Thrones boats-- what's the next big fantasy series that's starting right now? Like one book's been recently released and it was a shock how good it was, and all of its readers want more?

I want to hop on a train that'll take me into a fantasy land when the getting's good.

43 comments

  1. [12]
    dubteedub
    Link
    Branderson Sanderson's Stormlight Archive is the most epic fantasy series I have ever read. He has written 3 out of a 10 planned series, bit has a wide range of other smaller series that all tie...

    Branderson Sanderson's Stormlight Archive is the most epic fantasy series I have ever read.

    He has written 3 out of a 10 planned series, bit has a wide range of other smaller series that all tie into a broader fantasy universe he has written called the Cosmere.

    I honestly cant stress how amazing his Stormlight books are.

    24 votes
    1. Douglas
      Link Parent
      Oooh, sounds intriguing. I'll check it out!

      Oooh, sounds intriguing. I'll check it out!

      4 votes
    2. [3]
      Comment deleted by author
      Link Parent
      1. [2]
        dubteedub
        Link Parent
        His lore and magic systems are amazing, but my favorite parts are the epic personal triumphs of the characters. He has spent a huge amount of time thinking through not just the worldbuilding and...

        His lore and magic systems are amazing, but my favorite parts are the epic personal triumphs of the characters.

        He has spent a huge amount of time thinking through not just the worldbuilding and kore of his series, but the personal development of all the chatacters is fantastic. There are so many HOLY SHIT moments in the series where you are rooting for them

        7 votes
        1. Amarok
          Link Parent
          He has a massive number of lectures on writing available. I've been making my way through them, they are quite good at giving you clever tricks and preventing you from falling into common traps...

          He has a massive number of lectures on writing available. I've been making my way through them, they are quite good at giving you clever tricks and preventing you from falling into common traps while writing. Best writing resource I've found so far, by a long shot.

          5 votes
    3. [5]
      DesertGeo
      Link Parent
      If I really didn't like Mistborn the book, would I like Stormlight? I thought Mistborn was poor writing and horrible characters. There wasn't any deeper meaning that I could see. I didn't...

      If I really didn't like Mistborn the book, would I like Stormlight? I thought Mistborn was poor writing and horrible characters. There wasn't any deeper meaning that I could see. I didn't understand why Sanderson decided to write the book besides that he came up with an interesting magic system and wanted to tell a fun story. I know Mistborn was one of his earlier works and a lot of great authors have those problems early in their career. Did anyone here really not like Mistborn but loved Stormlight?

      3 votes
      1. [3]
        CALICO
        Link Parent
        Mistborn: The Final Empire is one of his earlier works, and it shows. The next two books in Era 1 are much better, and deal with the end of TFE in a fascinating way. They have an entirely...

        Mistborn: The Final Empire is one of his earlier works, and it shows. The next two books in Era 1 are much better, and deal with the end of TFE in a fascinating way. They have an entirely different feel. I love all the Cosmere books, but TFE is not my favorite. Stormlight fits that spot for me, easily. They're massive tomes of a novel though, and I was lost at what was going on for the first third of The Way of Kings. Eventually the lore and storylines reached a saturation point in which everything clicked into place and it was a straight roller coaster from that point until the end of Oathbringer. And the only reason it stopped there is because Book 4 has yet to be released.

        3 votes
        1. [2]
          DesertGeo
          Link Parent
          Right on, you and @dubteedub convinced me to give it a shot. But if you're wrong, oh boy there will be hell to pay in 6 months! Haha you weren't lying how long those books are.

          Right on, you and @dubteedub convinced me to give it a shot. But if you're wrong, oh boy there will be hell to pay in 6 months! Haha you weren't lying how long those books are.

          1 vote
          1. CALICO
            Link Parent
            Hold me to it. I haven't yet had anyone read through Stormlight and come out of it disappointed.

            Hold me to it. I haven't yet had anyone read through Stormlight and come out of it disappointed.

            1 vote
      2. dubteedub
        Link Parent
        I didnt particularly like Mistborn all that much. I agree the story was was mostly a vehicle to showcase a sweet magic system and world lore. Stormlight is much different. The characters are very...

        I didnt particularly like Mistborn all that much. I agree the story was was mostly a vehicle to showcase a sweet magic system and world lore.

        Stormlight is much different. The characters are very much the focus and Brandon has really developed a lot more as a writer.

        1 vote
    4. [2]
      reinier
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Agree. And don't forget the productivity Sanderson has shown over the years, the guy is churning out amazing books at a high rate. (edit: typo)

      Agree. And don't forget the productivity Sanderson has shown over the years, the guy is churning out amazing books at a high rate.

      (edit: typo)

      1 vote
      1. dubteedub
        Link Parent
        God, the fact that he is so transparent in the process is amazing too. The fact that I can go to his webaite at any time and see a percentage bar of progress on his next works is incredible.

        God, the fact that he is so transparent in the process is amazing too.

        The fact that I can go to his webaite at any time and see a percentage bar of progress on his next works is incredible.

        2 votes
    5. poopfeast6969
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I don't know if it's entirely an urge to dislike things that are popular. But every single narrator in the three and a bit Sanderson books I've read seems to have a very similar personality. That...

      I don't know if it's entirely an urge to dislike things that are popular. But every single narrator in the three and a bit Sanderson books I've read seems to have a very similar personality. That kind of quippy ironic character that rubs me the wrong way, at least in a serious fantasy book.

      Mind you I only read the first few chapters of stormlight.

  2. [6]
    culturedleftfoot
    Link
    Production's only starting this year, but Amazon is working on a series adapting Robert Jordan's (and Brandon Sanderson's) The Wheel of Time, which is considered second only to LotR in the fantasy...

    Production's only starting this year, but Amazon is working on a series adapting Robert Jordan's (and Brandon Sanderson's) The Wheel of Time, which is considered second only to LotR in the fantasy genre, as far as I understand. The books are already complete at 14(!), so at least you won't have to wait for more source material.

    16 votes
    1. [4]
      vakieh
      Link Parent
      It's debatable. There are definite weaknesses in tWoT that other series don't have. The scope of the worldbuilding it has actually beats LotR in many ways, but its narrative is weaker than in LotR...

      which is considered second only to LotR in the fantasy genre

      It's debatable. There are definite weaknesses in tWoT that other series don't have. The scope of the worldbuilding it has actually beats LotR in many ways, but its narrative is weaker than in LotR (which was LotR's weak point itself).

      Other contenders for that title come from Feist, Eddings, Erikson, (and if you count sci-fi with fantasy elements then add Herbert and Simmons) - but the arguments for that title all come from a worldbuilding perspective, because that's the only place LotR actually reigns, there's far better books out there for storytelling (by Tolkien's own admission).

      5 votes
      1. [2]
        Amarok
        Link Parent
        Honestly, Eddings is a bit repetitive. They aren't bad books by any means, but the cyclical nature of the plot even becomes a plot point in and of itself in the later books. Feist was enjoyable as...

        Honestly, Eddings is a bit repetitive. They aren't bad books by any means, but the cyclical nature of the plot even becomes a plot point in and of itself in the later books. Feist was enjoyable as hell. I never see anyone talk about Melanie Rawn in these discussions. Her books involved a lot of politics and plots and scheming, like Song of Ice & Fire does. I'd say hers are a bit more toned down and realistic, less complicated compared to George, but they are quite good.

        1. vakieh
          Link Parent
          If you just stick with the Belgariad and Mallorean series, as well as the couple of backstory prequels, it's pretty good. You only see a single repeat in the cycle, and it works quite well, sort...

          If you just stick with the Belgariad and Mallorean series, as well as the couple of backstory prequels, it's pretty good. You only see a single repeat in the cycle, and it works quite well, sort of like a fractal pattern where you see the small plot play out on the world stage. Unfortunately, Eddings had dementia that began to impact his writing as he got older, and it is really noticeable in the Dreamers series. I think it had an effect earlier than people like to admit.

      2. culturedleftfoot
        Link Parent
        By no means am I knowledgeable on the subject, so I'll take your word on it.

        By no means am I knowledgeable on the subject, so I'll take your word on it.

    2. ras
      Link Parent
      Wow, how'd I not know about this? I'm currently reading the sixth book of the series.

      Wow, how'd I not know about this? I'm currently reading the sixth book of the series.

  3. [5]
    rkcr
    Link
    My prediction is that Name of the Wind is probably going to be the next big cultural series, due to the impending TV show produced by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Then everyone can enjoy waiting for the...

    My prediction is that Name of the Wind is probably going to be the next big cultural series, due to the impending TV show produced by Lin-Manuel Miranda.

    Then everyone can enjoy waiting for the final book in the series as much as the rest of us have for the past decade...

    11 votes
    1. [3]
      Catt
      Link Parent
      Final book? Rothfuss mentioned it being a nine book series in one of his interviews! That's when I gave up waiting...

      Final book? Rothfuss mentioned it being a nine book series in one of his interviews! That's when I gave up waiting...

      2 votes
      1. rkcr
        Link Parent
        Hahaha well I'll believe that when I see it.

        Hahaha well I'll believe that when I see it.

        1 vote
      2. NaraVara
        Link Parent
        The only thing that gives me hope is that Rothfuss, in Book 2, was willing to imply a dramatic and eventful adventure at sea that barely made any sense and just handwave it away just to have...

        The only thing that gives me hope is that Rothfuss, in Book 2, was willing to imply a dramatic and eventful adventure at sea that barely made any sense and just handwave it away just to have Kvothe get a “Samus lost all her upgrades again” moment to start the next leg of his adventure.

        I don’t think he’s liable to get stuck in a Mereneese Knot type situation the way GRRM did since the unreliable narrator aspect of the story gives him latitude to just not need most of the finer detail things to be 100% sound or coherent all the time.

        Which means if he’s not done, it’s because he can’t make an ending that he thinks is any good. Which might be a different type of problem. . .

        1 vote
    2. Alfred
      Link Parent
      I had no idea LMM was producing a show for this! You just made me that much more excited for the third book and the show

      I had no idea LMM was producing a show for this! You just made me that much more excited for the third book and the show

  4. JoylessAubergine
    Link
    I don't think we can predict this until it happens. There have been so many great fantasy series released in the past 5 years that it has almost saturated the market and none are getting the sort...

    I don't think we can predict this until it happens. There have been so many great fantasy series released in the past 5 years that it has almost saturated the market and none are getting the sort of lasting nerd attention that books got 20 years ago because there is another hot release next week or next month. On top of that due to the success of GoT many are getting TV and Movie deals that we can't even say "keep an eye out for XYZ because X studio bought the rights to it" because there must be half a dozen shows in various states of production right now.

    /r/Fantasy has a good "top" list if you are just interested in popular fantasy. Any or none of them could capture the general public's attention.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/Fantasy/comments/907ty2/the_rfantasy_2018_top_novels_poll_results/

    6 votes
  5. [6]
    vakieh
    Link
    One book, eh - I've seen far too many series turn to shit after one. Here is a reading list for you if you want series that start strong, and at least continue strong for a bit even if they don't...

    One book, eh - I've seen far too many series turn to shit after one. Here is a reading list for you if you want series that start strong, and at least continue strong for a bit even if they don't all end strong.

    • Magicians, Lev Grossman (this one has a TV show associated with it already, but the TV show basically uses some names and that's about it, you could watch the show and know jack about the books). A really interesting look at the way wish fulfilment doesn't equal happiness (this being the key part the tv show misses completely)
    • Alex Verus, Benedict Jacka. Magic without the power trip. Little fish in a big pond protecting even smaller fish.
    • Dresden Files, Jim Butcher (this one had a failed TV show that was even less true to source material than Magicians got. They're supposedly doing a new one though, super hyped). Magic with the power trip, vs things with even more power.
    • The Tapestry, Henry Neff. You won't get why this is the best written story I've ever read until very late in the series. An utterly original story even though it draws all its worldbuilding from existing myths (especially old Irish)
    • Demon Cycle, Peter V Brett. Another incredibly original bit of worldbuilding and magic system.
    • Book of the Ancestor, Mark Lawrence. There's a trend here... Dark and gritty mixed with youthful naivete.
    • Spellwright, Blake Charlton. The most original magic system I've ever seen.
    • The Arinthian Line, Sever Bronny. Nothing original about this whatsoever, but a very fun read. Kinda takes its themes from isekai anime plots, though it isn't isekai.
    • Magic Ex Libris, Jim C Hines. Nerd power fantasy, very fun.
    • Bitterbynde, Cecilia Dart-Thornton. Old Scottish myths taken to the extreme.
    • Iron Druid, Kevin Hearne. If you liked the deity system in American Gods you'll find a lot to like here.
    • Death Gate Cycle, Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. A rather old one, but a classic fantasy that for some reason nobody has ever licensed for a TV show or movies.
    • Riftwar, Raymond Feist (make damn sure you read the Empire Trilogy with Janny Wurts). It's high fantasy written in a low brow way. Doesn't run away from the old DnD/Tolkien tropes, and feels natural as a result. Has the best thief character ever written, and if you want to escape as a particular class archetype there's something for everyone.
    6 votes
    1. [3]
      Kom
      Link Parent
      Throwing in for Feist and Brett. All of the books are fantastic! Have you read The night Angel trilogy by Brent Weeks? he has another series that is almost done, the final book is currently being...

      Throwing in for Feist and Brett. All of the books are fantastic!

      Have you read The night Angel trilogy by Brent Weeks? he has another series that is almost done, the final book is currently being published or in editing, I haven't jumped on his Twitter for awhile. But also amazing.

      1 vote
      1. [2]
        vakieh
        Link Parent
        I've read Night Angel, but not his second series. Good, but definitely raw - hopefully his later books were even better.

        I've read Night Angel, but not his second series. Good, but definitely raw - hopefully his later books were even better.

        1 vote
        1. Kom
          Link Parent
          I found the first took some time to find its stride, but man I can't wait for the final book now.

          I found the first took some time to find its stride, but man I can't wait for the final book now.

    2. [2]
      SunSpotter
      Link Parent
      Wow seems you really know your way around fiction. Have you read anything from Sanderson? I'm curious how his books would compare in your opinion.

      Wow seems you really know your way around fiction. Have you read anything from Sanderson? I'm curious how his books would compare in your opinion.

      1. vakieh
        Link Parent
        I read his ending to tWoT (and hated it, but I wasn't going to accept anything less than perfection from that series and likely would have been disappointed no matter what it was). His own series...

        I read his ending to tWoT (and hated it, but I wasn't going to accept anything less than perfection from that series and likely would have been disappointed no matter what it was). His own series have been on my list for ages, but have never made it to the top.

        I'm reading the Green Rider series right now, might do Mistborn after that.

  6. [3]
    NaraVara
    Link
    It’s hard to say because so much depends on execution, and going culturally mainstream basically depends on having a Tv series or movies made. So all we can go by is what’s getting buzz and has...

    It’s hard to say because so much depends on execution, and going culturally mainstream basically depends on having a Tv series or movies made. So all we can go by is what’s getting buzz and has promising talent attached to it.

    The Dark Tower was kind of a bust. Amazon has their LotR series, but I’m not sure how well it’ll do being as how the movies are already cultural touchstones. Name of the Wind might work and it has Lin Manuel Miranda attached to it. The Witcher series on Netflix may too, it has Henry Cavil so Netflix is clearly down to put some clout behind it, but Netflix also has a spotty record. But if it gets popular I’d expect translations of the Polish novels to get a surge.

    Who Fears Death might be a big one. I haven’t read it, but GRRM is attached as a producer and it might get some strong buzz, like Black Panther, since it takes place in fantasy Africa and features an African cast. That could backfire too because the world’s full of shitheads. The Broken Earth trilogy by NK Jemisen is really good too, and she has other series that are being optioned. Those might be worth watching, the books are really good.

    And then there’s the Brandon Sanderson and Robert Jordan series that others have mentioned. Also there’s a Watchmen series coming.

    Everything I’ve mentioned is worth reading, though I haven’t actually gotten around to the Wheel of Time series myself so that’s just hearsay.

    1 vote
    1. [2]
      InherentlyGloomy
      Link Parent
      I definitely want to second The Broken Earth Trilogy. The last of 3 books was released a couple of years ago and all 3 won the top Hugo award for their years. I read them at the beginning of 2018...

      I definitely want to second The Broken Earth Trilogy. The last of 3 books was released a couple of years ago and all 3 won the top Hugo award for their years. I read them at the beginning of 2018 and they absolutely lived up to the hype.

      1. NaraVara
        Link Parent
        I'm only halfway through book 2. It's stunningly good.

        I'm only halfway through book 2. It's stunningly good.

  7. [3]
    moocow1452
    Link
    @NaraVara reminded me that there's a Watchmen series coming out, and I'm going to put that in as a "the next big thing." Superheroes are an established thing in our culture, and the show seems to...

    @NaraVara reminded me that there's a Watchmen series coming out, and I'm going to put that in as a "the next big thing." Superheroes are an established thing in our culture, and the show seems to follow Rorschach's Journal and a cult that forms around it to stan Rorschach, uncover the truth about New York and/or terrorize all the things. In this era of Fake News, Protector Fantasies, and epic clashes for the fate of the world playing out inside and outside of fiction, I think it's got a better chance of hanging on than Man in the High Castle or Handmaid's Tale, because it has it's dystopian elements and parallels to our current situation, but it's not explicitly "it could happen here."

    1. [2]
      TheJorro
      Link Parent
      This Watchmen show sounds more and more like it's actually based on V for Vendetta.

      This Watchmen show sounds more and more like it's actually based on V for Vendetta.

      1 vote
      1. moocow1452
        Link Parent
        All we really have is a trailer, but possibly yeah.

        All we really have is a trailer, but possibly yeah.

  8. [2]
    The_Fad
    (edited )
    Link
    "Suffering from recurring nightmares of his own death, Chris Wallace seeks professional help and begins to uncover grim memories of a childhood he had long since buried. As Chris wrestles with...

    "Suffering from recurring nightmares of his own death, Chris Wallace seeks professional help and begins to uncover grim memories of a childhood he had long since buried. As Chris wrestles with these ominous revelations and the weird reality they portend, he slips only further into madness. He hears music where there is none, he sees an imposing black shadow watching him from his bedroom doorway every night, and he starts to hallucinate strange glyphs all over his body.

    But in the chaos there are patterns; Chris sees reason and sequence. His hallucinations begin to give him cosmic revelations about both his childhood and his father's behavior. Still, he's plagued by a question he can't stop asking: Is this real, or am I just crazy?

    Dripping with melody and psychadelic vividity, Chris' is a story that asks: What do we do when our worst fears turn out to be our destiny?"

    -Travelers, a fantasy series by Jake Sparkman, Release TBD

    I figure, hey, you're supposed to shoot for the stars, right?

    3 votes
    1. Amarok
      Link Parent
      Go big or go home. Hell yes!

      Go big or go home. Hell yes!

      1 vote
  9. [5]
    Micycle_the_Bichael
    Link
    Do you mind if I ask you why? I don't really understand the goal of scoping out tv shows to get into them before they get big? What is the gain of being able to say "I watched this before everyone...

    Do you mind if I ask you why? I don't really understand the goal of scoping out tv shows to get into them before they get big? What is the gain of being able to say "I watched this before everyone else did" or "this was on my radar before anyone else's"? I'm not trying to be rude or attack you for feeling this way, I genuinely want to know why (in my interpretation of your post) you seem to care more about what is going to be the next GoT rather than finding the next TV show that you'll enjoy and lines up with your interests.

    1. Algernon_Asimov
      Link Parent
      First up: this post is in ~books, not ~tv. I assume @Douglas is looking for a book series, not a television series. As for why... there's a lot to be said for being part of a cultural phenomenon...

      First up: this post is in ~books, not ~tv. I assume @Douglas is looking for a book series, not a television series.

      As for why... there's a lot to be said for being part of a cultural phenomenon while it's happening. To be part of the fan group who are eagerly awaiting the next book to be published. To discuss fan theories about the next book. To turn up to the special events when new books are released. To be able to discuss the books with other people because you're all reading them at the same time. I assume the OP wants to be part of the buzz.

      Or he could just be a hipster who wants to jump on to a bandwagon before it's cool. But let's assume not.

      3 votes
    2. [3]
      Douglas
      Link Parent
      Because I'm trying to read more, have a hard time getting into a book, and both Harry Potter and Game of Thrones actually make me enjoy reading. Aside from that, I'm not currently into a...

      Because I'm trying to read more, have a hard time getting into a book, and both Harry Potter and Game of Thrones actually make me enjoy reading.

      Aside from that, I'm not currently into a series/the ones I liked (that aren't all books) either all got terrible or are on pause: Mass Effect, Alien, Dead Space, The Last of Us, The Walking Dead, Area X.

      So I thought I'd ask bookreaders what they're into that I can piggyback off to get me to reading again, and seeing as how it was the big, accessible series were the ones that got me reading, I thought I'd start there.

      ...and yes, probably a huge dose of fomo.

      1 vote
      1. [2]
        TheJorro
        Link Parent
        The Last of Us 2 is coming out soon, though.

        The Last of Us 2 is coming out soon, though.

        1 vote
        1. Douglas
          Link Parent
          Oh don't I know it. Still though, not soon enough, and that's six years between installments. Daddy needs his fix between now and then!

          Oh don't I know it.

          Still though, not soon enough, and that's six years between installments. Daddy needs his fix between now and then!