Underrated Fantasy Series

I have been thinking about writing this post for a while. Fantasy is my favorite genre, and I have come across some books I feel are underrated. Books not many people/bloggers seem to talk about. So today, I am showing you some fantasy series I really enjoyed, but don’t see around enough.

THE RIYRIA REVELATIONS BY MICHAEL J. SULLIVAN

The Riyria Revelations consists of three bind-ups: Theft of Swords, Rise of Empire and Heir of Novron

I will say it time and time again: I love this series. I love these characters. I love this author. I consider him to be one of my favorite fantasy writers, yet the first bind-up of this series “only” has a bit over 25.000 ratings on Goodreads. How is that possible? I wish everyone would give this series a go. Here’s the synopsis of the first book

“There’s no ancient evil to defeat or orphan destined for greatness, just unlikely heroes and classic adventure. Royce Melborn, a skilled thief, and his mercenary partner, Hadrian Blackwater, are two enterprising rogues who end up running for their lives when they’re framed for the murder of the king. Trapped in a conspiracy that goes beyond the overthrow of a tiny kingdom, their only hope is unraveling an ancient mystery before it’s too late.”

THE RIYRIA CHRONICLES BY MICHAEL J. SULLIVAN

The Riyria Chronicles consists of three books (so far): The Crown Tower, The Rose and the Thorn and The Death of Dulgath.

This is a prequel series to the Riyria Revelations. The story of Royce and Hadrian as they first start working together. I read this series after I read the Revelations, and I would advise everyone to do so. It provides such an interesting view on the characters. To see how they were when they started out, it just shows you how years of working together has changed them. It’s incredible. Here’s the synopsis of the first book

“A warrior with nothing to fight for is paired with a thieving assassin with nothing to lose. Together they must steal a treasure that no one can reach. The Crown Tower is the impregnable remains of the grandest fortress ever built and home to the realm’s most valuable possessions. But it isn’t gold or jewels the old wizard is after, and this prize can only be obtained by the combined talents of two remarkable men. Now if Arcadius can just keep Hadrian and Royce from killing each other, they just might succeed.”

THE KANIN CHRONICLES BY AMANDA HOCKING

The Kanin Chronicles consists of Frostfire, Ice Kissed and Crystal Kingdom.

I started this series in the summer, and was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. This is a fun, action packed YA fantasy with Scandinavian influences thrown in. I enjoyed the characters, the world and the fast-paced plots. I do have to say that this series will probably spoil you for her other series a bit, the Trylle trilogy. They take place in different tribes, but the Trylle do make an appearance here. Here’s the synopsis of the first book

“Bryn Aven is determined to gain status amongst the Kanin, the most powerful of the hidden tribes. But as a half-blood, winning respect is a huge challenge. Bryn’s almost-human community distrusts people, and those from other tribes are almost as suspect. She has just one goal to get ahead: to join the elite guard protecting the Kanin royal family. And Bryn’s vowed that nothing will stand in her way, not even a forbidden romance with her boss, Ridley Dresden. But her plans are put on hold when fallen hero Konstantin starts acting dangerously. Bryn loved him once, but now he’s kidnapping Kanin children – stealing them from hidden placements within human families. She’s sent to help stop him, but will she lose her heart in the process?”

THE LEGEND OF ELI MONPRESS BY RACHEL AARON

The Legend of Eli Monpress series consists of The Spirit Thief, The Spirit Rebellion, The Spirit Eater, The Spirit War and Spirit’s End.

I read this series at the end of 2014, binged them all in one month. I absolutely loved this world, the kind of magic and especially the characters. I wish I could met Eli. It would be a glorious meeting. The first book in the series only has a little over 5.000 ratings on Goodreads, so for the others it would be even less. I think that’s such a shame! Here’s the synopsis of the first book

“Eli Monpress is talented. He’s charming. And he’s a thief. But not just any thief. He’s the greatest thief of the age – and he’s also a wizard. And with the help of his partners – a swordsman with the most powerful magic sword in the world but no magical ability of his own, and a demonseed who can step through shadows and punch through walls – he’s going to put his plan into effect. The first step is to increase the size of the bounty on his head, so he’ll need to steal some big things. But he’ll start small for now. He’ll just steal something that no one will miss – at least for a while. Like a king.”

THE BLACK MAGICIAN TRILOGY BY TRUDI CANAVAN

The Black Magician trilogy consists of The Magician’s Guild, The Novice and The High Lord

Again, I don’t understand why this isn’t mentioned more often, especially in our lovely community. This is a YA fantasy series, which is pretty high in demand now as a genre. Yet this trilogy gets overlooked most of the time. I guess because the last book in the trilogy was published in 2002/2004 which is quite a while ago. Please don’t overlook this gem! I really loved it. Here’s the synopsis of the first book

“This year, like every other, the magicians of Imardin gather to purge the city of undesirables. Cloaked in the protection of their sorcery, they move with no fear of the vagrants and miscreants who despise them and their work-—until one enraged girl, barely more than a child, hurls a stone at the hated invaders…and effortlessly penetrates their magical shield. What the Magicians’ Guild has long dreaded has finally come to pass. There is someone outside their ranks who possesses a raw power beyond imagining, an untrained mage who must be found and schooled before she destroys herself and her city with a force she cannot yet control.”

THE MALEDICTION TRILOGY BY DANIELLE L. JENSEN 

The Malediction trilogy consists of Stolen Songbird, Hidden Huntress and Warrior Witch (to be released in May 2016).

I was quite surprised by Goodreads on this one. At first, I wasn’t going to include these in my list because I have seen them around on the blogosphere. Plus, the final book isn’t released yet. But then I saw that the first book “only” has about 10.000 ratings on Goodreads! So I felt obliged to add it. This is another YA fantasy series yet it’s different from the others because the plot revolves around trolls. Actual trolls. Interesting, no? Here’s the synopsis of the first book

“For five centuries, a witch’s curse has bound the trolls to their city beneath the mountain. When Cécile de Troyes is kidnapped and taken beneath the mountain, she realises that the trolls are relying on her to break the curse. Cécile has only one thing on her mind: escape. But the trolls are clever, fast, and inhumanly strong. She will have to bide her time… But the more time she spends with the trolls, the more she understands their plight. There is a rebellion brewing. And she just might be the one the trolls were looking for…”


I wish all of these series would get far more attention than they do now. So I hope that if you haven’t read any/some of these, you’ll give them a go! Have you read any of these? What do you think constitutes a series as underrated? If you have some recommendations on underrated fantasy reads, I’d love to hear about it. 

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8 thoughts on “Underrated Fantasy Series

  1. “The Legend of Eli Monpress” is a “must-read” IMO…one of the best, most original series out there. (I tweeted this link to Rachel Aaron).

    I’ve not read anything by Michael J. Sullivan but you can add yourself to a VERY long list of people that say I should. Perhaps someday I’ll take the hint.

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  2. Agreed with you on Rachel Aaron’s The Legend of Eli Monpress series. I’ve only read the first book myself, but I really liked it and I adore her work as Rachel Bach as well as her self published Heartstriker books.

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