Top Ten Tuesday

TTT – Adult Fantasy Series To Start If You Like YA Fantasy

Top Ten Tuesday used to be a weekly post hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, but was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl. “It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.” This is definitely something I can understand and want to participate in.

Before a few years ago, I never really read any books in the fantasy genre. I started out with YA books, and then more recently, started branching out into adult fantasy as well. While there are merits to both, I want to talk about some good adult fantasy series to start reading if you’ve enjoyed YA fantasy. Here are a few of my favorites:

  1. The Green Bone Saga by Fonda Lee. Jade City is the first book in this series involving martial arts, special abilities granted to some through the wearing of jade, warring gangs, and a variety of morally gray characters you can’t help but fall in love with.
  2. The Poppy War series by R.F. Kuang. The Poppy War is the first book in a trilogy based on 20th century Chinese history, with the coolest magic system. It’s dark and brutal, so beware.
  3. The All Saints trilogy by Deborah Harkness. A Discovery of Witches is the only book in the series that i’ve read so far, but it’s amazing! It involves witches, daemons, vampires, and the uncovering of history and secrets in the most fascinating way possible.
  4. The Hell’s Library trilogy by A.J. Hackwith. The Library of the Unwritten is set in … you guessed it, a library in Hell. It’s actually really fun, focusing on what happens to unfinished books and giving life to books. Definitely a must for any book lover.
  5. The Practical Magic series by Alice Hoffman. If you’re a fan of the movie, start with Magic Lessons, like I did. It takes place in the 1600s, and follows the matriarch of the Owens family, imparting historical knowledge and feminism as it recounts her tale. 
  6. The Crown of Shards series by Jennifer Estep. Kill the Queen is probably the first adult fantasy book that I read, and absolutely fell in love with. Evie is a tough character, surviving a massacre and journeying to claim the crown that is her birthright.
  7. The Crescent City series by Sarah J. Maas. House of Earth and Blood has the same addictive feel as SJM’s other work, but with a decidedly adult twist. I loved seeing her successfully bridge the gap from YA to adult, and the next book in this series is coming out in early 2022.
  8. The Alex Stern series by Leigh Bardugo. Ninth House is another example of a successful YA author branching out into adult books, and doing so successfully. It’s got a different spin on it than her YA works, and while it’s a lot darker than her usual books, it’s intriguing. If you’re into dark academia (think college, not boarding schools), and some mystery thrown into your fantasy, this is a great choice.
  9. The Between Earth and Sky series by Rebecca Roanhorse. You know how fantasy is oversaturated with stories set in medieval Europe? Black Sun is the antidote. It takes place in Pre-Columbian America, and was absolutely fascinating — the magic system, the characters, the setting, and the story. This is a must-read.
  10. The Rivers of London series by Ben Aaronovitch. Rivers of London introduces us to a witty urban fantasy series, with a bumbling biracial Police Constable as our hero. When Peter discovers his magical powers, and is quickly recruited to a special police unit, it opens up a whole new world that is vaguely reminiscent of what HP could have been if it was wittier, more diverse, and geared towards adults. 

What are some of your favorite adult fantasy series?

42 replies »

  1. Yes to the Practical Magic series! I love Alice Hoffman! I’ve read Ninth House and that was also very, very good. Looking forward to the rest of the series.

    I’ve just started with A Court of Thorns and Roses and let me first see if I actually get through that and then I’ll try Crescent City. Doesn’t draw my attention very much at the moment.

    Happy TTT!

    Ten Books to Read if You Love X

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, some of my favorite series have been found in both YA and Adult- so hard to answer. But will try

    If you like Harry Potter- Hobbit/Lord of the Rings (share a number of similarities)

    Have found His Dark Materials in YA/Adult- if you loved Lila from Shades of Magic, you might love Lyra from this series

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I read the Practical Magic series all out of order and still need to read Magic Lessons, but I loved it, as well! Ninth House is on my tbr. Great choice this week!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love YA Fantasy. I have read Discovery of Witches and the whole All Souls Series and loved it. One of my favorite YA Fantasy series is Folk of Air. And I am reading Serpent & Dove Series now.

    I have heard good things about Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo, and Kill the Queen by Jennifer Estep sounds good.

    Liked by 1 person

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