Ok, I’m a little bit late to the virtual party, but I’ve been browsing the prompts over at Meeghan Reads’ “Top 5 Tuesday” meme, and there are some fab ones I’d like to tackle even though they featured last month, or maybe even earlier. What caught my eye tonight was one from mid February – Top 5 series that I *still* haven’t finished. I’ve tweaked this a bit, partly because if I’m completely honest not finishing series is kind of an ongoing issue for me so there will be plenty of other series I could post about another time, but also we know I love an excuse to talk about some of the many amazing Australian fantasy authors out out there. Each of the fantasy series I’ve mentioned here is finished now, and not only are all of the books in each available but I actually have them all on my shelves because I enjoyed the first books so much! I wanted to include a mix of Australian YA fantasy books as well as adult fantasy series. Read on below to find out more about each series – you can click on the title to go to the goodreads page, and the author name for their website.
4 book series I’m reading by Australian Fantasy Authors
I’m a big fan of Noni’s Medoran Chronicles (although I have to admit to not having quite finished that one either!) – I think it sits perfectly between middlegrade and YA, and is a great recommendation for kids who are ready to move out of middlegrade but not quite up for some of the more intense themes and content that can come up in YA fantasy. I read Whisper soon after it came out, and thought it was a really exciting premise, and a great step into writing for a more mature audience by Noni. I understand that she has followed the darker themes with her latest series, The Prison Healer, which has been one of the biggest Aussie YA fantasy series over the past few years. I also enjoyed the fact that the setting of the story was firmly in our real world, and that it edged a bit towards science fiction, as well as fantasy. This series is YA and as noted above, this is the first book in a duology – I’m definitely keen to read the second book, Weapon.
Another YA fantasy series, The Rose Chronicles is a trilogy written by Canberra author Alysha King. Book one in the series, The Order of the Rose is packed with adventure and mystery, and when I read it I thought it had really set the scene for a great story to unfold in the following books. I’m also interested to see how King’s writing style has developed since The Order of the Rose, which was her debut novel and she started writing as a teen. I have to mention that the covers on these are stunning – I often admire them on my #LoveOzYA bookshelf, but I just seem to always have other books that I prioritise over picking them up. I know King has some more projects in the works, and as well as finishing this series, I’m super excited to see what she comes out with next!
Verity Fassbinder by Angela Slatter
Vigil, the first book in the Verity Fassbinder series by Angela Slatter is an absolute cracker. It’s Australian urban fantasy at it’s best. Set in a version of Brisbane where a supernatural world simmers away just out of sight of most humans. Verity Fassbinder is one of the exceptions – she has a foot in each world, and is responsible for helping keep the peace between the two. I loved this smart and gritty adult urban fantasy novel, and I have no idea why I haven’t made time for the other two books yet.
This one is a bit unusual in that I entered the series – and got completely hooked – midway through. I’ve read two of Maria Lewis’ Supernatural Sisters novels, The Wailing Woman and The Rose Daughter, which are books #5 and #7 in the 8 book series (final book Her Fierce Creatures was released this month). A bit like Angela Slatter’s books, these are urban fantasy with a mostly Australian setting. I’ve seen them marketed both as YA and as adult, and not having read the earlier books in the series I’m not quite sure if this varies a bit depending on the character that is at the centre of each book. In terms of the two I’ve read, I’d lean towards labelling them adult urban fantasy, but with the acknowledgement that they are probably going to be appropriate for a lot of YA readers to pick up too. As I’ve mentioned, the final book in this series has just been released, and I’m planning to read through all 8 books in order, starting hopefully soon (perhaps over the Easter long-weekend).
Another adult fantasy series, Poison Wars is a duology by Canberra author Sam Hawke, and I’d describe it as adult epic fantasy. The first book, City of Lies, is a closed room murder mystery with medieval kind of vibes to the setting, packed with poison and politics, a siege, and maybe there’s magic too. And how can you not love a book that starts like this: “I was seven years old the first time my uncle poisoned me . . .” It can be read as a standalone book, but Hawke continues the story in book 2, Hollow Empire. This is one that I have probably put off a bit in part because it is quite a chonky book, and I often find I procrastinate picking up anything over 350 pages. I am sure it is going to be just as brilliant as book one though, and would love to get into it this year (for some reason it feels like a perfect winter read to me).
Let me know in the comments if you’ve read any of these series? Or if you have a series that you loved but have stalled on for one reason or another – I’d love to hear about it!