Fantasy books aren’t just for kids- they’re for everyone. In fact, some of the best and most complex stories are found within the pages of adult fantasy novels. With magic, mythical creatures, and worlds beyond our imagination – it’s no wonder why adults find themselves entranced in the genre. In this article, we’ll explore why fantasy books are so appealing to adults, and highlight the top fantasy book series worth reading.
Why Fantasy Books Appeal to Adults
Escapism and Imagination
As adults, we have to deal with the stresses of real life- work, bills, and all sorts of responsibilities. Sometimes, we just need an escape- a way to immerse ourselves in a world free from the constraints of reality. Fantasy books provide that outlet, transporting us to worlds filled with magic and wonder, where we can lose ourselves in the story.
For instance, imagine being able to travel through time, or having the ability to fly. These are just some of the many possibilities that fantasy books offer. They allow us to experience things that we could never experience in real life, making them all the more exciting and captivating.
Furthermore, these books allow our imagination to run wild. They spark the creativity within us, encouraging us to picture vivid landscapes, intricate magic systems, and unique cultures. This allows us to express ourselves in unique and exciting ways. It’s no wonder that so many adults find themselves drawn to these fantastical worlds.
Complex Themes and Characters
While simple stories can be great, there’s something incredibly fulfilling about a complex, multi-layered narrative. Fantasy books are capable of tackling themes that are often too abstract for other genres, dealing with issues such as politics, morality, and the human condition.
For example, the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling explores the themes of love, loss, and sacrifice. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien delves into the themes of power, corruption, and the struggle between good and evil. These are just a few examples of how fantasy books can tackle complex themes in a way that is both engaging and thought-provoking.
Furthermore, the characters within these books are often some of the most well-rounded and interesting in literature. They can be flawed, complex, and filled with nuance- making them feel all the more real and relatable. For instance, the character of Tyrion Lannister from George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series is a fan favorite due to his wit, intelligence, and moral ambiguity.
The Power of World-Building
Perhaps one of the most impressive aspects of fantasy books is their ability to create entirely new worlds from scratch. These worlds are often filled with intricate lore, unique cultures, and fascinating magic systems. This attention to detail makes the world feel alive, drawing readers in and making them feel as if they’re a part of that world.
For instance, the world of Middle-earth in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings is filled with a rich history, complete with its own languages and mythology. The world of Westeros in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series is similarly detailed, with its own complex political system and unique cultures.
Overall, fantasy books offer a unique and immersive reading experience that appeals to adults in a way that few other genres can. Whether it’s the escapism and imagination, the complex themes and characters, or the power of world-building, there’s something for everyone in the world of fantasy literature.
Top Fantasy Book Series for Adults
Fantasy literature has always been a popular genre, with its ability to transport readers to other worlds and introduce them to fascinating characters and creatures. Here are some of the best fantasy book series for adults that you should definitely check out:
A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin
Arguably one of the most popular and beloved series in modern fantasy literature, A Song of Ice and Fire (ASOIAF) has earned its place as a masterpiece of the genre. Set in the fictional world of Westeros, this series is famous for its political intrigue, complex characters, and shocking twists. With dragons, sorcery, and a cast of hundreds, ASOIAF is an absolute must-read for any fan of the genre.
What makes ASOIAF so special is its realistic portrayal of human nature. The characters are neither wholly good nor wholly evil, but rather complex individuals with their own motivations and flaws. Martin’s writing is also incredibly descriptive, bringing the world of Westeros to life with vivid detail.
The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan
The Wheel of Time is a massive, epic series that spans fourteen books. Set in a world where magic is real and the fate of the universe hangs in the balance, this incredibly detailed story is a tale of prophecy, destiny, and the struggle for power. With richly-drawn characters and a sprawling world, The Wheel of Time is an incredible journey that any fantasy fan will love.
One of the most impressive aspects of The Wheel of Time is its world-building. Jordan has created a fully-realized universe with its own history, cultures, and languages. The magic system is also incredibly intricate, with different types of magic and their own rules and limitations.
The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson
A relative newcomer to the fantasy genre, The Stormlight Archive is a masterpiece in its own right. With a unique magic system, complex characters, and intricate world-building, this series follows the lives of a group of individuals as they try to save their world from destruction. This series is a perfect example of how modern fantasy can be balanced, combining action, drama, and political intrigue in equal measure.
Sanderson’s writing is incredibly immersive, and readers will find themselves fully invested in the characters and their struggles. The magic system is also incredibly inventive, with each character having their own unique abilities that are tied to their personalities and experiences.
The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss
The Kingkiller Chronicle is a two-book series that follows the story of Kvothe, an incredibly talented musician who is also a wizard. With storytelling as one of its central themes, this series uses its lyrical prose to great effect, weaving an intricate story filled with mystery and intrigue. Rothfuss has a gift for crafting realistic, relatable characters that leap off the page and stick with readers long after they’ve finished the books.
One of the most impressive things about The Kingkiller Chronicle is its attention to detail. Rothfuss has created a fully-realized world with its own history, mythology, and culture. The characters are also incredibly well-developed, with their own unique personalities and motivations.
The First Law Trilogy by Joe Abercrombie
Joe Abercrombie’s The First Law Trilogy is a dark and gritty fantasy series that follows a group of characters as they navigate a world that’s closer to our own than most fantasy settings. With themes of betrayal, violence, and morality, this series is a refreshing break from the more trope-heavy aspects of the genre. The characters are complex and well-written, and their journeys are both emotional and fulfilling.
Abercrombie’s writing is incredibly visceral, with vivid descriptions of violence and gore. But despite the dark subject matter, The First Law Trilogy is ultimately a story about redemption and the struggle to do what’s right in a world that’s often cruel and unforgiving.
These fantasy book series for adults are just a few examples of the incredible stories that the genre has to offer. Whether you’re a longtime fan or a newcomer to fantasy literature, these books are sure to captivate and entertain you.
Underrated Fantasy Series Worth Exploring
Are you tired of the same old fantasy tropes? Looking for something fresh and exciting to sink your teeth into? Look no further than these underrated fantasy series that are well worth exploring!
The Broken Empire Trilogy by Mark Lawrence
The Broken Empire Trilogy is a dark and gritty series that follows the life of Jorg Ancrath, a young man seeking revenge on those who wronged him. But this series is so much more than just a revenge story. Lawrence’s writing has a poetic quality that elevates the books beyond their gritty origins, making them a joy to read. The world-building is strong, with detailed descriptions of the various kingdoms and their political machinations. And the characters are memorable, with Jorg being a particularly complex and fascinating protagonist. If you’re looking for a series that will keep you on the edge of your seat, The Broken Empire Trilogy is a must-read.
The Lightbringer Series by Brent Weeks
The Lightbringer Series is a unique take on the fantasy genre, using magic based on the manipulation of light to great effect. But this series is more than just a gimmick. With themes of politics, religion, and the nature of power, this series is both thought-provoking and action-packed. The characters are well-drawn and complex, with each one having their own motivations and secrets. And the world-building is intricate without being overwhelming, with detailed descriptions of the various countries and their customs. If you’re looking for a series that will challenge your assumptions about fantasy, The Lightbringer Series is a must-read.
The Powder Mage Trilogy by Brian McClellan
The Powder Mage Trilogy is a fast-paced, action-packed series that follows a group of characters navigating a world threatened by war. With elements of magic, steampunk, and politics, this series is incredibly engaging, with twists and turns that keep readers on their toes. The characters are memorable, with each one having their own unique backstory and motivations. And the world-building is unique, with a fascinating magic system based on the manipulation of gunpowder. If you’re looking for a series that will keep you on the edge of your seat, The Powder Mage Trilogy is a must-read.
The Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson
The Malazan Book of the Fallen is a massive, epic series that spans ten books. Set in a world filled with gods, magic, and ancient empires, this series is both complex and engaging. The characters are well-drawn, with each one having their own unique backstory and motivations. And the story is full of unexpected twists and turns, with each book building upon the last to create a truly epic tale. But be warned- this series is not for the faint of heart. With its complex plot and large cast of characters, it can be a challenging, but ultimately rewarding read for fans of the genre.
So there you have it- four underrated fantasy series that are well worth exploring. Whether you’re looking for a dark and gritty revenge tale, a unique take on magic, a fast-paced action-packed adventure, or an epic tale of gods and empires, these series have something for everyone. So why not give them a try and see what all the fuss is about?
Whether you’re a die-hard fantasy fan or someone looking to escape the stresses of everyday life, there’s no denying the appeal of a good fantasy book series. From the sprawling epics of Robert Jordan and George R.R. Martin to the more personal tales of Patrick Rothfuss and Joe Abercrombie, there’s something for everyone in the genre. So why not pick up a book, lose yourself in a new world, and discover the best fantasy book series for adults?
Is A Game of Thrones only suitable for adults?
Yes, the stories in George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones series are very mature. They frequently include themes of violence, death, and sex, which would be unsuitable for child or YA readers.
Is The Lord of the Rings hard to read?
While The Lord of the Rings is one of the most famous and adored series of all time, it can be hard to read. Tolkien was well-known for his descriptive narration and the many different languages, concepts, and ethnicities that run throughout can be confusing.