I realized as I looked back at my reading in 2020 that I had an abundance of Dark Fantasy and Grimdark Fantasy in my reading. While that is certainly not a bad thing because they ended up being some of my favorite books of the year, I want to try and keep this coming year a bit more light and hopeful. This list will also help me go towards my goal of reading more female authors. Without further ado, here is a list of my top priority series to start in 2021.
Green Rider by Kristen Britain
This has been on the TBR since I got the first book at a used book sale a few years back. This series has classic fantasy written all over it. Plus according to Goodreads the 7th book is supposed to come out in September 2021 so it is a great time to start!
On her long journey home from school after a fight which will surely lead to her expulsion, Karigan G’ladheon ponders her future as she trudges through the immense forest called Green Cloak. But her thoughts are interrupted by the clattering of hooves as a galloping horse bursts from the woods, the rider slumped over his mount’s neck, impaled by two black-shafted arrows. As the young man lies dying on the road, he tells Karigan that he is a Green Rider, one of the legendary messengers of the king, and that he bears a “life and death” message for King Zachary. He begs Karigan to carry his message, warning her not to read it, and when she reluctantly agrees, he makes her swear on his sword to complete his mission “for love of country.” As he bestows upon her the golden winged-horse brooch which is the symbol of his office, he whispers on his dying breath, “Beware the shadow man…”
Karigan’s promise changes her life forever. Pursued by unknown assassins, following a path only her horse seems to know, and accompanied by the silent specter of the original messenger, she herself becomes a legendary Green Rider. Caught up in a world of deadly danger and complex magic, compelled by forces she cannot understand, Karigan is hounded by dark beings bent on seeing that the message, and its reluctant carrier, never reach their destination.
Alex Verus by Benedict Jacka
“Harry Dresden would like Alex verus tremendously— and be a little nervous around him. I just added Benedict Jacka to my must-read list.” – Jim Butcher
Enough said. It seems like if you are having Harry Dresden withdrawal, this may scratch that itch. I’m really excited to start this 11 book (so far) series in 2021!
Alex Verus is part of a world hidden in plain sight, running a magic shop in London. And while Alex’s own powers aren’t as showy as some mages, he does have the advantage of foreseeing the possible future—allowing him to pull off operations that have a million-to-one-chance of success.
But when Alex is approached by multiple factions to crack open a relic from a long-ago mage war, he knows that whatever’s inside must be beyond powerful. And thanks to his abilities, Alex can predict that by taking the job, his odds of survival are about to go from slim to none…
The Legend of Eli Monpress by Sarah Aaron
This series looks like so much fun! I’ve had a few book bloggers recommend this to me and I already own the first 3 out of 4 books in an omnibus. I’m ready!
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.
Expeditionary Force by Craig Alanson
This series sounds so epic! At 11 books and counting this series is on par with The Expanse in terms of page count. More importantly, the tone of the book and the main character seem full of snark helping to keep such an epic tale at least a little light hearted.
We were fighting on the wrong side, of a war we couldn’t win. And that was the good news.
The Ruhar hit us on Columbus Day. There we were, innocently drifting along the cosmos on our little blue marble, like the native Americans in 1492. Over the horizon come ships of a technologically advanced, aggressive culture, and BAM! There go the good old days, when humans only got killed by each other. So, Columbus Day. It fits.
When the morning sky twinkled again, this time with Kristang starships jumping in to hammer the Ruhar, we thought we were saved. The UN Expeditionary Force hitched a ride on Kristang ships to fight the Ruhar, wherever our new allies thought we could be useful. So, I went from fighting with the US Army in Nigeria, to fighting in space. It was lies, all of it. We shouldn’t even be fighting the Ruhar, they aren’t our enemy, our allies are.
I’d better start at the beginning…
The Castes and the Outcastes by Davis Ashura
I read my first Davis Ashura book about a month ago and enjoyed it quite a bit. Unfortunately, that was a book 1 that doesn’t have the rest of the series out yet. However, this prequel series is set in the same world and has direct connections to the characters I just read about!
Two millennia ago She thundered into the skies of Arisa: Suwraith, a demon bent on Humanity’s extinction. Into this world is born Rukh Shektan, a peerless young warrior from a Caste of warriors, devoted to the sanctity of his home and his way of life. He is well-versed in the keen language of swords but all his courage and skills may not save him. A challenge comes, one that threatens all he once thought true and puts at risk all he holds dear. And it will enter his life in the form of one of Humanity’s greatest enemies – and perhaps its greatest allies. Worse, he will learn of Suwraith’s plans. The Sorrow Bringer has dread intentions for his home. The city of Ashoka is to be razed and her people slaughtered.
Have you ready any of these series? What are some of the series that you are most looking forward to reading in 2021?