We’ve been talking A LOT about pandemics and viruses and I think it’s time to take a break. In fact, I think it’s time to escape. However, since we can’t escape staying at home #socialdistanceplease, we’re here to recommend the next best thing… Escapist reads!
For our first edition of Escapist Reads we will be recommending adult fantasy series. Each series is complete so you can binge the whole series and won’t have to wait for more books to come out. Also, as per all our COVID-19 content, we’ve linked to e-resources so you can get these books from the comfort of your own home. In this post we direct you to WorldCat, where you can borrow books through your local library using Overdrive. After clicking on your book of interest, follow the Overdrive link under “find a copy online”.
The Broken Earth Trilogy by N.K. Jemison
The broken earth trilogy is one of the most unique fantasy trilogies in recent literature, perhaps of all time. Set in an apocalyptic world where seasons are determined by catastrophic disasters and the magic system is rooted in geology, Jemison creates a rich brutal world in which communities struggle for survival. The series starts out centered around a woman whose son is found murdered and daughter is missing and only grows larger in scope from there. The books have won a tremendous amount of critical acclaim and each book in the series won the Hugo award for fiction.
Book 1: The Fifth Season
Book 2: The Obelisk Gate
Book 3: The Stone Sky
Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson
From fantasy powerhouse Brandon Sanderson, this fantasy trilogy is perfect for those new to the fantasy genre looking to immerse themselves in a complex yet accessible world. The Mistborn trilogy explores a world in which the hero, fated to save the world, is defeated and the villain reigns for a thousand years. But, chaos is brewing and we follow a rag-tag group of characters trying to overthrow the tyrant. If that isn’t enough for you, this trilogy also includes a fascinating magic system (where people use and consume metals to power their magic) and characters full of heart and depth.
Book 1: The Final Empire
Book 2: The Well of Ascension
Book 3: The Hero of Ages
The Dandelion Dynasty Duology by Ken Liu
In the dandelion dynasty we follow a bandit and a deposed duke who may have warring personalities but end up joining together to overthrow the emperor. However, building anew once they have fulfilled their mission becomes more complex than anticipated. While it’s light on magic, the presence of gods and mythical beasts offers the necessary punch of fantasy. The welcome deviation from typical fantasy settings by using Chinese-inspired historical elements is riveting. Full of adventure, politics, and war, this is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat!
Book 1: The Grace of Kings
Book 2: The Wall of Storms
Shades of Magic Trilogy by V.E. Schwab
Welcome to a world with three parallel Londons: red, grey, white, and black, each with its own history and varying levels of magic. However, in this world only a select few can travel between the Londons. The series follows one such traveler, a smuggler, as he tries to fix the disastrous consequences of a trip between Londons gone awry. In many ways, the less you know going into this the better because plot twists abound in this thrilling fantasy series!
Book 1: A Darker Shade of Magic
Book 2: A Gathering of Shadows
Book 3: A Conjuring of Light
The Witcher Series by Andrzej Sapkowski
You may have heard of this Polish series because it is the source material behind the popular Netflix TV show of the same name! Though it is the longest series we are featuring, it is worth the time investment because it is truly a fun and imaginative story. The series follows the Witcher, Geralt, a superhuman being, as he travels the land hunting beasts. There is a lot to love in these stories, from witches and spells to potions and court intrigue, as well as a surprising dose of romance. You also eventually get the perspective of Ciri, whose destiny is linked with Geralt’s. Because the books were not published in the order of the events they depict in the fictional world, it can be difficult to determine reading order. We have suggested that you read in order of publication date (see below) which ensures you aren’t spoiled for any big plot twists. Make sure to read the short story collections because they are just as critical to the story as the novels!
Prequel 1: The Last Wish
Prequel 2: Sword of Destiny
Book 1: Blood of Elves
Book 2: The Time of Contempt
Book 3: Baptism of Fire
Book 4: The Tower of the Swallow
Book 5: Lady of the Lake
Prequel 3: Season of Storms
See the full list of online resources, such as eBooks, audiobooks, videos, and newspapers.