Delos and I do a fair amount of reading, and we figure that most of you do a decent amount, too. So we decided to give you guys a list of books that we highly recommend so that you never run out of things to read.
Jacob’s Book List
You’ll likely notice that all but Steelheart and Harry Potter are Medieval Fantasy books (Harry Potter is close enough to it, though). Medieval Fantasy is easily my favorite genre, so I’m sorry if that’s not really your cup of tea 🙂
Anything by Brandon Sanderson, but especially Warbreaker and Steelheart. My buddy also highly recommends the Mistborn series. If you’ve never read anything by Brandon Sanderson, the big thing you need to know is that he comes up with VERY different worlds and somehow makes them work. Warbreaker has a magic system that deals with color. Steelheart is a “superhero” story, except that all of the supers are bad, and Sanderson gives a very good reason why (eventually).
Harry Potter series. Everyone knows what this is.
Wheel of Time series. You’ve probably noticed me mentioning this quite a bit in my articles. That’s because it’s the richest set of stories I’ve ever read (and I’m only half done. I’m on #8 of 14 fat books). Unfortunately, the author died before finishing it, but Sanderson (mentioned above) stepped in and, using Jordan’s notes, son, and agents, was able to finish the series. (Suggestion: keep a notepad handy when reading this and write down who everyone is as you meet them in the book; there are so many characters in the book and many semi-similar names that it can get very confusing)
Eragon series (properly known as the Inheritance Saga). I think this is popular enough that most of you will at least know OF this. Many people claim that his stuff is a combination of several other books out there. While I agree that he took a lot of elements from other books, the story is original enough to make up for it.
Sword of Truth series. I, unfortunately stopped reading this while I was on the third book and haven’t picked it back up yet, but it’s another awesome series. Much like the Wheel of Time series, it’s very rich (read “lots of big fat books”). It is a 12-part series (one is a novella), and each of them (other than the novella) has a stated “Wizard’s Rule” that strongly guides what is happening in the book. These rules are just as useful in our real lives as they are to the story.
- Inkheart trilogy. This is a great series that takes place in modern times as well as a medieval fantasy world, thanks to the ability of some characters to read people and things in and out of books. The first book starts slow and dry, but about a third of the way through it, the author hits her stride and it’s all great from there.
Delos’ Book List
My list is a bit different from that of Jake’s. I’ll agree that the books he listed are good, but they are not my cup of tea. I would suggest…
- R.A. Salvatore for younger readers. He is famous for the Drizzt series, but my favorite series of his is “The Cleric Quintet”. It makes librarians look like a bunch of bad mama jammas.
- For the older audience you can’t go wrong with George R. R. Martin’s “Song of Fire and Ice” series. Best part is if you read it you’ll be about 5 years ahead of HBO and can always threaten spoilers to your heathen friends that would rather watch the show than read. This series has taught me it’s ok to kill off characters.
- All time favorite is done by Jim Butcher. I’m talking about the “Dresden Files”. Jim knows how to keep the book interesting and make a situation worse and worse before the hero pulls off a victory. If you want to get ideas about failing forward and keeping a story going even when bad things happen, then this is for you.