Top 25 Series I Want To Read in 2013

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Shadowhawk lists the top 25 series he wants to read this year.

“Lots of things I want to read this year, most of all these following book series. Let’s hope I can get a good start on all of them!” ~Shadowhawk

Finding time to read for pleasure when there are literally dozens of ARCs to get through each month is a tough task. My exposure to NetGalley in that regard definitely does not do me any favours. But this is one of my resolutions for the year, to get a start on at least 12 of the following book series. Hoping to hit above that mark, of course, but things rarely work out as intended, so we shall see how this works out by the end of the year. In no particular order, here are my picks. Some of these are books I’ve read before, some are new, so I think I’ve got a good mix here.

My goals are to read at least the first books in each series (some of the series run into 4 books and more, but I’ve only shown the first three since that’s the most in the series I want to be reading this year).

25. The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb

Genre: Fantasy | Author Blog

Why: Not really sure actually. Robin Hobb is one of those authors who comes highly recommended to me from various friends and acquaintances, plus she is meant to be one of the greats of the genre.

24. Culture by Iain M. Banks

Genre: Science Fiction | Author Blog

Why: Same as above, Iain M. Banks is one of the living greats of SF and his work comes even more recommended to me than Robin Hobb. Reviewers keep talking about his work and praise it highly, left and right. And this is one of the longest running series in SF. Worth a shot right?

23. Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds

Genre: Science Fiction | Author Blog

Why: I’ve been wanting to read some Alastair Reynolds or a long while now, but could never quite get the time regrettably. The premise of these novels has always interested me and I’m looking forward to giving them a whirl.

22. EarthSea by Ursula K. Le Guin

Genre: Fantasy | Author Blog

Why: I read the trilogy back in high school, about ten years ago, and it was a fantastic experience given what I remember. I recently found out that there is a fourth novel in the series, and that has gotten me interested all over again. Plus I’ve been reading some author-related news for a while no, about her commentaries on the state of the industry and so on, which I find to be really heartfelt and powerfully critical. So that’s added points!

21. Void Trilogy by Peter F. Hamilton

Genre: Science Fiction | Author Blog

Why: I love the covers. And Hamilton is another author I’ve been meaning to read for a while, but haven’t because his books are usually humongous in size, and I consider such long books to be rather unapproachable, one reason I have barely hit the halfway mark in my copy of A Game of Thrones, which I’ve had for close to a year and a half now. I have his Great North Road also waiting to be read as an eARC. That should be fun.

20. Songs & Swords by Elaine Cunningham

Genre: Fantasy | Author Blog

Why: Cunningham is an author well-regarded by many fans within the Wizards of the Coast/Forgotten Realms fandom and she comes highly recommended to me from my friend Stefan Gore, who is a downright Wizards crazy. So why not? Additionally, I want to be reading more novels from female authors, year-in, year-out, and I think is as good a place as any to start.

19. The Edda of Burdens by Elizabeth Bear

Genre: Fantasy | Author Blog

Why: Sarah Chorn at Bookworm Blues absolutely loves the author, and I haven’t been steered wrong by her recommendations yet. I really like the titles too. When I asked her last night which Elizabeth Bear books she’d recommend reading for someone new to her work, The Windwracked Stars was one of the first she mentioned. So here we are!

18. Theirs Not To Reason Why by Jean Johnson

Genre: Science Fiction | Author Blog

Why: I found out about these books last year in an SF Signal podcast that host Patrick Hester did with Jean Johnson. I was really taken with the premise of these novels and I immediately bought the first book in the series. I’m really looking forward to reading these books this year!

17. Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan (and Brandon Sanderson)

Genre: Fantasy | Author Blog

Why: Yep, I’m probably going to get caught up in this whole craze with the last book in the series, A Memory of Light, penned by Brandon Sanderson. I remember seeing these books on the shelves at local bookstores here in Dubai ages ago, and they were almost always prominent, with a full series placement. With all the hype surrounding A Memory of Light and recommendations from several people, not the least of which is Geek-Girl-Gamer and Celebrity-Host Kristen Nedopak (a Twitter friend), I’m looking forward to these books.

16. Books of the Raksura by Martha Wells

Genre: Fantasy | Author Blog

Why: To be honest, it was the title of the series that drew me in. Raksura bears a close resemblance to the Hindi word for demon: Rakshasa. I haven’t looked at the premise for the series as yet, but the title immediately drew me in, as did these fantastic covers. Hopefully I can get to read at least the first book this year!

15. Shadows of the Apt by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Genre: Science Fiction | Author Blog

Why: I heard about these books for the first time when Jon Sullivan, one of the BEST cover artists currently in the biz, talked about them on his Facebook. I love Jon’s work for Black Library and having seen some of the covers he’s done for the later books in this series, I’m completely taken with the books. A good cover can go a long way, folks! Plus my friend Marc is always talking about them.

14. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Genre: Young Adult | Author Blog

Why: I saw the movie based on the first book, The Hunger Games, early last year and loved it. I wanted to find out more about Katniss Everdeen and was duly pointed out the trilogy by eager Twitter friends. And Bane of Kings talks highly of the series in general, so I figured I’d give them a shot. I loved the setting anyway.

13. Sabina Kane by Jaye Wells

Genre: Urban Fantasy | Author Blog

Why: I got an eARC for the fifth book in the series, The Silver-Tongued Devil sometime last year but wasn’t able to get to it. But the title stuck with me and I’m resolved to get a start on this series this year, as part of my wider experiment with the urban fantasy genre, an experience that has been very exciting and enjoyable for me so far.

12. Chaoswar Saga by Raymond E. Feist

Genre: Fantasy | Author Blog

Why: I consider Raymond E. Feist to be an absolute master at what he does. I’ve read almost all of his Midkemian novels, as well as the Empire trilogy he did with Janny Wurts, and I’ve loved almost all these books. Magician is definitely a classic and a masterpiece as far as I’m concerned. My interest in the multiple-series has flagged of late, but I’m determined to get back in the swing of things. Will see how that works out.

11. The Outcast Chronicles by Rowena Cory Daniells

Genre: Fantasy | Author Blog

Why: I have an ARC of the first book, and my friend Mieneke at A Fantastical Librarian is all praise for the author. Plus, I like the dynamic covers, and the premise sounds fun and original to me. That’s all good right?

10. Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

Genre: Fantasy | Author Blog

Why: I’ve never read any Brandon Sanderson but this is another series and author that come highly recommended. I have the first book in the series as well, which should be quite the motivator. I’m always up for reading female protagonists in fantasy!

09. The Subterrene War by T. C. McCarthy

Genre:: Science Fiction | Author Blog

Why: These books have been making waves recently and Orbit was kind enough to send me an ARC of the third book in the series, all arranged by the author. I’ve seen the reviewer reaction to the books and it is all mostly positive, which is good enough for me. Will definitely be reading Germline this year!

08. The Lays of Anuskaya by Bradley P. Beaulieu

Genre: Fantasy | Author Blog

Why: I’ve hosted the author on my Names: A New Perspective guest post series (to be found on my blog) and I love that these books have a very Russian theme to them. It makes them immediately stand out from the rest of the books on the fantasy shelves. And what’s not to love about the cover for the first book? Nothing, I tell you! Can’t wait to dig in.

07. The Dragonlance Chronicles by Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman

Genre: Fantasy | Author Blog – Margaret Weis | Author Blog – Tracy Hickman

Why: Another series that I read while in high school, and one that I loved. These novels ignited a serious passion of fantasy novels for me, and I’ve been hooked for ages now. I consider the entire trilogy to be a classic (shame the movie was so godawfully terrible), and I’ve read it a few times since that first. Really hoping I can get the time to read these books all over again and remind me why I love Dragonlance so much.

06. Demon Cycle by Peter V. Brett

Genre: Fantasy | Author Blog

Why: My friend Brandon keeps pushing for me to read these novels, and Stefan Fergus over at the Civilian Reader blog talks highly of these books as well. And I do have an eARC of the third book (although, it is DRM-locked and is valid for a short while only so I’ll probably end up buying the book anyway), so we shall see. The series premise certainly is interesting.

05. Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss

Genre: Fantasy | Author Blog

Why: Another recommendation from Brandon, as well as my friend Tomas, who loves the author. And another series where the books are big and fat. And it bothers me somewhat that I don’t exactly follow the trends of reading the latest big-name authors. So this is part of my efforts to correct and stay current with what other people are reading. Can’t just read the latest Warhammer Fantasy or Warhammer 40,000 novel and consider myself to be up-to-date!

04. Spiritwalker by Kate Elliot

Genre: Fantasy | Author Blog

Why: I’ve been interacting with the author for a long while on social media now, and several authors whose opinion I respect recommend her work, not the least of which is this series. That’s always good enough for me, and I’ve long wanted to read this series, so this is as good a time as any I suppose.

03. The Dark Elf Trilogy by R. A. Salvatore

Genre: Fantasy | Author Blog

Why: R. A. Salvatore is a name that is extremely prominent in tie-in fiction of the Forgotten Realms variety. I’ve been distantly interested in his work up till now. I bought the first book last year as a motivator to make a start on this epic series, especially since I loved the Dark Elves/Drow in the multi-author War of the Spider Queen double trilogy (edited by R. A. Salvatore), and I’ve read the first issue of the comic based on Homeland, so this should be really fun.

02. The Hadrumal Crisis by Juliet E. McKenna

Genre: Fantasy | Author Blog

Why: I didn’t realise until I was putting the image together that the series has linked covers. It’s awesome. How many books out there can claim that really? I’ll tell you right now that in my (limited) experience, it’s the first time I’m seeing this. Plus, what I’ve seen of McKenna on social media points to an author who really gets into the deeps of her story. That can only be a damn good thing.

01. Dune Chronicles by Frank Herbert

Genre: Science Fiction

Why: I read these books in high school (yeah, that was a really good time!), and I fell in love with them. Weirdly enough, I’ve never actually read Dune Messiah since the school library never had it, but I’ve read pretty much all the books in the setting, barring some of the new ones by Brian Herbert (Frank Herbert’s son) and Kevin J. Anderson. I did listen to the first five Dune Chronicles audiobooks last year, which reignited my love for these books. If I think Raymond E. Feist is the fantasy master-man, then Frank Herbert is the same for science fiction, even more so in fact. Dune is a true classic which I think ever SFF fan should read, period.

*****

So that’s my list. What are you going to be reading this year?

Shadowhawk is a regular contributor to TFF. A resident of Dubai, Shadowhawk reads, reads and reads. His opinions are always clear and concise. His articles always worth reading.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=508866458 Robert Brewster on Facebook

    Hobbs farseer trilogy is my bench msrk for great fantasy

    • http://sonsofcorax.wordpress.com/ Shadowhawk

      Good to know!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=508866458 Robert Brewster on Facebook

    The name of the wind is epic too so you will enjoy

  • BaneofKings

    Interesting list – Iain M Banks, Brandon Sanderson, TC McCarthy, Peter V. Brett and Alastair Reynolds are excellent. Tchaikovsky’s Empire in Black and Gold is great so far as well. Regarding The Hunger Games, the first book is great, although I didn’t like the second mainly due to the fact that Katniss is really unlikable in this book and it’s basically another arena battle, only with former contestants. I’ve got the third but haven’t read it yet.

    And I thought Eye of the World was alright. I gave it a four star on Goodreads but it’s more like a 3.5. Mistborn however, along with Iain M. Banks – should be your first reads, they’re my favourite on this list with Reynolds and Brett coming close behind.

    • http://twitter.com/abhinavjain87 Abhinav Jain

      Good to know :-)

  • http://thegoodthebadtheinsulting.blogspot.co.uk/ Bellarius

    Some advice: The Earthsea series is only good up to The Farthest Shore. After that point the author started using it as something of a soapbox for her views, to the detriment of some of her stories.

    • http://twitter.com/abhinavjain87 Abhinav Jain

      It’s been over 10 years since I’ve read those books. Should be interesting to see how their meaning has changed for me over the years.

  • http://twitter.com/PaperlessRead Ken

    There are a few from your list that I will be reading this year. Dune is definitely a series that I want to re-read this year too.

    • http://twitter.com/abhinavjain87 Abhinav Jain

      Listening to the Dune audiobooks was one of the best experiences of 2012.

  • http://neversaydie555.tumblr.com/ Dave Cahill

    I just finished the Farseer trilogy recently as it happens, very good.

    Peter F Hamilton’s stuff is very good indeed, great large-scale space operas, would highly recommend his work. That Void Trilogy is actually a follow-up to the Commonwealth Saga, a two-book sequence he wrote a ways back (Pandora’s Star and Judas Unchained), I’d recommend reading them first. The trilogy is set a good ways later in the timeline and stands by itself, but it does hook back to the Commonwealth books with characters and histories and such, best read in sequence.
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Pandoras-Star-Commonwealth-Saga-1/dp/0330518917

    Read those two books in the Demon Cycle a while back, they’re great – very entertaining, very readable.

    Likewise the Kingkiller Chronicles, rather longer but also very entertaining.

    A good selection you’ve got there :)

    • http://twitter.com/abhinavjain87 Abhinav Jain

      Thanks, Dave! I actually did find out about the prequel duology but Wiki said the Void books are set 1200 years after Judas Unchained, so I’m not overly bothered by that. But I’ll definitely consider reading them first!

      I plan to read only a 100 books this year (compared to an original goal of 200 for last year, made it to about 130-135), so I’m looking at reading a few BIG books, which is where Hamilton and Rothfuss and Jordan and Sanderson and others come in.

      • http://neversaydie555.tumblr.com/ Dave Cahill

        Well, let’s just say 1,200 years isn’t as big a deal as it sounds in his universe :)

        • http://twitter.com/abhinavjain87 Abhinav Jain

          Hmmm, interesting point.

    • http://twitter.com/jonathandbeer Jonathan D. Beer

      Oo, I didn’t realise the Void trilogy followed on from the Commonwealth duology. I loved Pandora’s Star, and enjoyed Judas Unchained also (the ending let it down a bit).

      Pretty much my model for what I consider great space opera; if you have the time Abhinav you really ought to read them (although, if you really want to get through all 25 series this year, I’m pretty sure that is your 200 books for 2013…)

      Great post by the way; I will certainly be sampling some of those series with you.

      • http://sonsofcorax.wordpress.com/ Shadowhawk

        Doing 23 series only, after some reconsideration since I’m doing a creative challenge with somebody else, 23-in-13 in which we do 23 creative endeavours this year. The guy who came up with the idea, John Anealio at The Functional Nerds/SF Signal, is going to release 23 songs this year. I’m doing the series thing (first books at least). If you wanna do it, you can read 23 books this year, or do 23 short stories, or 23 blog posts or whatever it is you like :-)

  • HachiSnax

    Hadrumal #1 is currently available as a free Kindle download on Amazon. Looks interesting, yes.

    • http://sonsofcorax.wordpress.com/ Shadowhawk

      I seem to have missed the window for the promo :-(

  • http://twitter.com/TwoDudeSFF TwoDudesInAnAttic

    I will second the recommendation to start with Pandora’s Star. I’m sure you could skip it, but why miss the fun? :) I don’t know much about the fantasy stuff, save that I like Brad Beaulieu’s Strata, but I read ever Iain M. Banks and Alastair Reynolds I can get my hands on. (In fact, Blue Remembered Earth is sitting on my shelf right now, waiting its turn.)

    • http://sonsofcorax.wordpress.com/ Shadowhawk

      Hmm. I’ll keep that in mind then! And I’ve had BRE for a while too. The length has been daunting.

  • http://www.stainlessteeldroppings.com/ Carl V.

    Great choices. I recently purchased both Jean Johnson books and want to read them this year. Ditto Assassin’s Apprentice, the first of the Farseer trilogy. I have books two and three of Mistborn (plus the next book) that I would like to get to, all but the first two Dresden books, A Wise Man’s Fear, Reynold’s Revelation Space trilogy (plus other books set in that universe) and I’m really interested in trying out Ian Banks. So much to read, so little of which I’ll actually get to in 2013. ha!

    • http://sonsofcorax.wordpress.com/ Shadowhawk

      Gotta read a lot myself too! Will see how it works out.