All Genres Books

Justin’s Book List

Shadow & Claw – Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe

Very little needs to be said here. One of the best series ever written, bar none.

Gormenghast by Mervyn Peake

I’ve been wanting to read Peake for years and finally acquired the Gormenghast trilogy recently. Having read it: I can only say that Peake is a farking incredible writer and this is one of the best works of fantasy, let alone literature that I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading.

Perdido Street Station by China Mieville

Dark, challenging and altogether incredible. I’ve never been this drawn into a depiction of a locale before, with the exception of Mervyn Peake. Peake’s influence is very noticeable, but Mieville’s style is undoubtedly his own
Memory, Sorrow and Thorn by Tad Williams

A wonderful trilogy that takes all the old familiar elements of fantasy, but makes something very new and fresh out of them.
Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay

One of my particular favorite works of fantasy. Definitely Kay’s best work, IMHO. Something about the prose, to say nothing of his characters and dialogue never fails to captivate me when I re-read Tigana.

The Saga of Recluce by L.E. Modesitt

Admittedly, not every book in the Recluce universe has been outstanding and they do tend to be somewhat formulaic (the coming-of-age story gets re-used a bit), but his depiction of the eternal struggle between order and chaos is fascinating, in particular the later books that depict the perspective of chaos-users.
Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin

Again, little needs to be said here. A fantastic series that’s only gotten better.

The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb

Definitely one of the best first-person fantasies ever written. Perhaps the best thing about the trilogy is that Fitz is far from being a perfect hero.
The River Into Darkness by Sean Russell

Russell seems to be a lesser-known voice in fantasy, but not deservedly so IMHO. Excellent writer who’s not falling into the same cliches that plague fantasy these days. I would put his "Swan’s War" trilogy on this list as well, but I have yet to read the third book so I’ll wait till I read the complete trilogy before final judgment.

The Riddle-Master of Hed by Patricia

For such a short trilogy (each book barely clears 300 pages in paperback form), this is an incredibly deep and well-written classic of fantasy. If nothing else, this should get the prize for having one of the most incredibly unpronouncable names I’ve ever heard.
The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant by
Stephen R. Donaldson

Of course, this has to be on my list. The first fantasy series that really struck a deep chord with me emotionally. Simply magnificent.

Sword of Shadows Trilogy by J.V. Jones

Still waiting for the 3rd book to be published, but the first two are excellent. The best comparison I can think of would be Song of Ice and Fire, in that it’s
very dark and gritty.