Best Epic/Fantasy Book Series of All Time
Where to start on the Lord of the Rings. Such a landmark in literary history has not had such a profound affect on the world in modern history. An entire adult life spent creating the mythical world of Middle Earth. It is this dedication to his work that led to Tolkien's brainchild to ascend past mere Epic Fantasy. A timeless classic that continues to profoundly affect millions if not billions of lives even now.
The (re) birth of fantasy was almost solely down to Tolkien and almost every author of such fiction can trace their influences directly to his work. A new world, several new languages and thousands of pages of fictional history which have captivated people since its inception. Any member of the RPG community has Tolkien to thank, the creators of D&D were inspired by the cartography of Tolkien in his books which led to the creation of the most famous RPG of all time. This also means that every board game, card game and video game inspired by D&D is, inevitably, inspired by ...more
Best books ever. No doubt about it. It has inspired so many other books and authors. Even Harry Potter took inspiration from it. The way the different characters/races interact with each other is written to stunning perfection. These books show you not only the extreme power of friendship, but also gives you insight to the main characters' personal battles and wars. These books are absolutely perfect, and if I were given the chance to revise them I wouldn't touch one word. The masterpiece that is Lord of the Rings (and The Silmarillion, and all of Tolkien's other Middle Earth books) will always remain the best of the best. I don't care about just the fantasy genre, but Lord of the Rings prevails over EVERY genre. These books are written to perfection. Why are people still comparing it to Harry Potter? While I don't deny Harry Potter is a good fantasy series, it seriously can't hold a candle to the shining light that is J.R.R Tolkien.
Lord Of The Rings is the best of the best, with it's incredible plot, heroism and morality. It's one of the most successful books in history. It's literature in my opinion has no equal. Professors at universities would obviously say that. And unlike Rowling Tolkien actually devoted his lifetime to create maps languages, etc. The movies won 17 oscars in three tries yet Harry Potter won none in eight tries. Talk to that hairy potter (and yes I wrote this on purpose). Lord Of The Rings shall always remain the best classic ever written.
Father of modern fantasy and the best of all them fantasy writers.
When it comes to the reality test Tolkien is the winner without a doubt memorized today by countless copycats who can't think of something themselves.
And one other thing:
George RR Martin may be a good writer and he may be a nice guy but stop with this foolishness of him being any better or by any chance can he surpass Tolkien, the reason so many people are suddenly his fans/worshipers is only because of "Game Of Thrones" (the series) and not because he is some new Tolkien come again...
Harry Potter is definitely #1 BY FAR. I will never forget Harry Potter and everything these books have taught me. Especially friendship, like what it means to stand by your friends. And bravery, and the decisions you have to make to benefit others.
Thank you Hedwig, for inspiring me in many ways to be someone you go to for
Support, and for being a shoulder to cry on. I cried for hours when Hedwig died, but she, like Dobby, died in the perfect way.
Thank you Luna Lovegood and Neville Longbottom, for showing me that a good friend isn't the most popular, but the most loyal and who will ALWAYS be at
Your side. I think these two demonstrate what a friend is, and that its OK to be different.
Thank you Remus Lupin, for being a role model, and someone who I hope to be when I am older.
This list of characters could go forever because all of them touched my heart. This series is without a doubt, the best read ever. This deserves to be #1.
Oops! I almost forgot! Thank you, ...more
Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings are my two all-time favorite book series, but Harry Potter just has this special place in my heart. Harry Potter just has to be my favorite of all time because anyone can read it and enjoy it and, in my opinion, it was just flawless. Every book was a treasure. Lord of the Rings is a hard read for most people but give it a try. It's flawless as well, along with The Hobbit. Both series have the best storytelling I have ever come across and kept me on edge. Action packed, heartwarming, sad moments, great detail. Just 2 incredible book series. I have more memories with Harry Potter though and it was a huge part of my childhood, so it has to be my number one vote.
Harry Potter is one of the best books I have read in my life. I believe anyone can read those books, even an adult.J.K. Rowling has taught us so many things, about love, friendship and never stop trying. Furthermore she created an amazing world that all of us would love to be a part of. The characters aren't perfect but the best thing about them. The Harry Potter Series had inspired me in many things in my life. They were amazing friends, who always have been there ready to transfer me into a new universe where I could laugh, cry and support my favourite characters at every situation they were involved. I believe they should be at the number one of this list, because I can't remember any other book, and believe me I have read lots of books in my life, that affect me this much!
Thank you, J.K Rowling,
For Harry Potter, who shows me that everyone can be a hero
For Ron Weasley, who shows me that loyalty, courage and friendship rises above all things
For Hermione Granger, who shows me that books and cleverness don't matter, as long as you've got some good friends to support you along the way.
For Ginny Weasley, who showed me that behind a strong man, stands an even stronger woman
For Luna Lovegood, who taught me that the best friend, doesn't necessarily need to be the most popular.
For Neville Longbottom, who showed me that it takes bravery to stand up to your enemies, but much more to stand up to your friends.
For Dumbledore, who I adored beyond means for the twinkle of wisdom and amusement in his eyes
I think it's DEFINITELY equal to Lord of the Rings! The characters are amazing and everyone has a different personality that develops throughout the whole series. The story is completely NOT predictable, because any character can die anytime, even if you think it's the main character, you should be afraid. The way George R.R. martin writes keeps you into the books and you're kind of not realising what's going on around you. You're just in the book. It's a completely amazing story that gets interesting more and more! One of the books you have to read! And I'm happy the T.V. series (Game of Thrones) is as enjoyable as the book and the adaptation was not ruined!
The reason why LOTR and Harry Potter are above A Song of Ice and Fire is because people are used to reading and enjoying good vs. e vil/dualistic stories. A Song of Ice and Fire is both loved and despised for the fact that it is often gritty and bizarre, and full of excessive violence, death, sex, with a seemingly realistic history. A Song of Ice and Fire is an anti-dualistic-thinking series, George R.R. Martin does not blatantly choose a main character, or a strictly good character because he knows humans are not like this. A Song of Ice and Fire plays from tons of character perspectives so we can see and experience different peoples motives and feelings. Many complain GRR adds to much death, but this is only because of his amazing characterization skills; the reason many hate that he just "randomly kills characters" is because he is the master of sympathy, A Song of Ice and Fire is an incredibly humbling read that gives people a more modest perspective of life, and I encourage any ...more
There is so much happening and still not too much so you can keep track what is going on in different places. Characters are clearly well plan out and there is clear personalities in them so some of you love and some of you hate. Story telling and describing of characters and world is well balanced. And the world that Martin have created is interesting and it haves depth in it. And not everything is black and white (good and evil), there is so much that moves in shades of gray. So brace yourself's, the winter is coming.
Ok. ASOIAF is definitely the best fantasy novel ever written! People should stop comparing it with LOTR, because they are completely different. The reason I love it is because of the characters. They are so real. No character is fully black or white. The story line is not predictable, which I absolutely love. This is a must read for every fantasy lover. Hey, what is Harry Potter doing above ASOIAF anyway? IT surely is an amazing series, but better than ASOIAF?! Oh please.
Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Olympions has to be the best series ever made. (Right next to the Hunger Games Trilogy-) Here, Riordan manages to mix mythology and the modern world together, captivating readers with details and jokes to keep the story fresh. Along with his distinctive writing, he uses in-depth characters. Even antagonists such as Medusa have their backstories. If you have not already read this, I suggest you do.
Listen, Heroes of Olympus was good, but it didn't live up to the original. In HOO they gave Percy's humor to Leo, his awkwardness to Frank, and everything else about him to Jason. HOO didn't have Grover, who is an amazing character.
PJO has great moments. It's a feel good coming of age story about a boy who gets thrown into something he never wanted but learns to love it anyway. Percy Jackson is the best fictional character ever.
Harry Potter is an extremely close second.
Again including Riordan's other series in this (heroes of olympus, kane chronicles, magnus chase, trials of apollo) because there isn't the space in the top 10
Loved the in depth characters and how perfectly mythology and the modern world are blended. it really sucks that Jason dies and these are some of the best series ever written
If only they would make a proper film for them
One of my best read fantasy novels series ever. Due to many reasons of course.E. G: The unique father-son relationship between Percy and Poseidon, Romance of Percy and Annabeth, Brotherhood of Percy and Tyson (Grover is also there). Bad-Ass Ares, Caring Chiron, Mysterious Luke and Kronos. So many characters to fall in love with. In my opinion, thos series is at the level of Harry Potter or LOTR series by every means
I have all the respect in the world for Tolkien, but Robert Jordan took the general idea that Tolkien created to write Eye of the World, and then ramped it up to a 10 in subsequent books. I know people are intimidated by the length, but even after 14 books and a prequel, I still want more.
The only fantasy series that I think could match this are ASOIAF and Stormlight Archive, which aren't completed yet. I've pretty much given up hope of ever getting The Winds of Winter, so I'm throwing my lot in with WoT and Stormlight Archive.
Amazing series, I rate it above the lord of the rings but that's personal preference, so under-rated and not as widely acknowledged as some series. Action, Adventure, Magic, Mystery, Misery and joy. Twists and plots all the way through which keeps you guessing and constantly surprises you, hilariously funny particularly Matrim Cauthon. I'm on my 4th time reading this series and I'm dead sure it wont be my last.
In sheer scale this has to be one of the densest woven stories of all time. The quality of the writing paints a detailed picture of the people, cities and lands and the world building is extremely detailed. The characters are well thought out although sadly many lost their way under Sanderson's influence.
You get submerged into the story line and eventually you start noticing things from the books in real life. Once I was at the store and the cashier looked like a Saldaean. I can't imagine life without these books, I love them to death. Once I finish the series, it might be the only time I reread books on my own will.
You know where my vote lies. GO MOIRAINE!
NARNIA VS HARRY POTTER
This book Is the best for teens and young adults, though it might have hard words for kids it's a fun fantasy book and deserves a better rate. Though it's hard to argue with Harry Potter, JK Rowling makes the books really long and makes up words hard to say and the sequence order and fantasy doesn't make sense, they say they are going to get in trouble but a teacher saves them and blah blah blah. In Narnia the books are shorter and the order makes a lot more sense. We aren't left to decide if Harry Potter leaves a life not in magic or in it. In Narnia we see the life they live and are not left in a everlasting cliffhanger. I love this book! 5 stars!
I really did enjoy all the other books on this list, however, this one really stuck out.C.S. Lewis is so brilliant and that light shines through his work. The world that he created was enormous and beautiful. He has incredibly intriguing perceptions about the world and philosophy. One of my favorite authors by far, and deserves a high honor *bows to C.S. Lewis*
The kindest and the wisest fiction books I've ever read. The world C.S. lewis creates is not only a beautiful and harmonious place, but also a school of life. The books are exciting and they set an example of what is good and what isn't. A must-read for everyone.
The best book I've ever read! Magical stories written like beautiful pale reflections of the Bible's words. A very good book for children, adults and the elderly! Truly love The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. lewis!
Percabeth. One word you will be reciting over and over and over, after you have read this series. Bob. One word you will cry over every time it is mentioned. I could go on all day, but that might waver your attention span.
This series is amazing, and I got so into it, I wrote a small, maybe just a little bit long and awesome continuation. Leo being the main character, of course. (How could it be anybody else?! )
The best series ever! I don't know why people like percy jackson series more...
Really great series through the first four books, but blood of olympus was a huge dissapointment.
I don't even know why The Hunger Games is on here, it's a futuristic sci-fi dystopian novel, but whatever cause it's still awesome! The plot is intense, you never know where the story is going to go, and you never know what's going to happen aside from Katniss and Peeta winning the first Hunger Games. Everything, especially the deaths, are unexpected. Anything can happen in the Hunger Games, and it's unpredictable. It's really amazing and great for teens.
An amazing series which I read day and night forgetting to sleep and eat. It conveys complicated human emotions other than friendships, romance and hatred. In other words it speaks of many things we don't find in other books. And the perfect fictional male character in the book was Peeta. And book didn't conclude with an epic ending but in a twist and broken down pieces...It's just great!
Possibly the best series I've ever in my opinion for several reasons. The plot is intense while maintaining a certain amount of realism if that were possible in this genre. The characters are well developed and I found myself getting attached, hoping for certain outcomes. Would be a clear number 1 series for me if I didn't feel like the conclusion was rushed...
Absolute best series I have ever read. Words can't describe how I feel now that its over, I just wish it would have never ended. It was so well written very easy to follow. This beautiful set of books will without a dought draw you in, making you want yo read more and more. I can agree with others as well I did find myself holding my breath on some parts of each book.
These books are the best fantasy books ever! I have read all of the books, and they are just simply amazing, better than any other fantasy book! I first fell in love with the series when I picked up the first book, it was just simply amazing. I have not stopped reading them since.
These are the books that got me into epics... Not only did he create a whole world but he created its future as well. To say the least this is my favorite series.
These books are well written and have a great story I love these books. Peoples say they are ripoffs of the lord of the rings but I still think they are better
Terry brooks opened up epic fantasy for me. The sword was the first book I bought and have read every book since.
One of the only book series, consisting of more than 4 books, that doesn't feel like it runs out of steam after the 3rd book. The Harry potter series was one of my favorites when I was in 5th grade but became a chore to read after the Half Blood Prince; it felt like it had a lot of filler and too much character building the second time round. I understand the kids grew up, but their actions told me everything I needed to know. The Dark Tower series never sputters, slows down, or loses touch with the reader. And no sappy tween romance drama or sparkling vampires! No cheap attention getters. Just a great sci-fi story reaching beyond the typical standards of a great sci-fi story.
So disappointed to see this peak only at number 10. When compared to Harry Potter or A Song Of Ice And Fire, the Dark Tower definitely holds overwhelmingly superior writing and dialogue - none of the clumsiness of G.R.R. M (or God forbid, Paolini. Ugh. )
The Dark Tower is an epic series of love, redemption, revenge, honor and friendship. Stephen King has managed to create a world unlike any other; a world of endless deserts, graveled mountains, desolate wastelands and ruined cities that somehow contains hints and references to our own world. The series draws you in from the very first book and doesn't let go - the immersion is definitely the series' greatest strength. Its second greatest strength is a cast of wonderful, humane characters and the extremely likable anti-hero of the series, Roland Deschain - the Gunslinger himself, who is one of King's most fascinating creations.
The Dark Tower is an intricate, compelling, mysterious and dream-like read that is unlike ...more
I could say thousands of incredible things about the dark tower... But I'll keep it short.
Read this series if you have not! It is so truly inspired, well written, captivating, and imaginative. SK nailed it, and boy am I glad he dug up that rough draft of the gunslinger way back when... Thank ya big big!
Truthfuly I would love nothing more than to forget I had ever read it, so I could embark on this journey blind of the unravelling story line, once more.
Pleasant days and pleasant nights!
"Gunslinger chasing man in black thru world that has moved on meets boy who he later kills on his way to said prey, who goes on to recruit a junkie and a cripple, but still missing a 3rd pivotal apprentice, resurrects aforementioned boy, only to quickly lose him to a leprosy infected gang member in a maze of junk and underground sewer complex, before regaining boy after much bloodshed only to put his life in peril along with traveling companions aboard an insane, high speed monorail with gender issues and a God complex, who's only weakness is a love of riddles...
This is only the first three books, and I haven't even got to the Emerald City, The Wizard's Glass, the Doctor Doom Wolves armed with Harry Potter snitches, meeting the author of your book as well as characters from other written works, Mia, Dandelo or Mordred.
This series is a must read as weird as I've made it sound. It's all true, and it's completely wonderful.
You people must be nuts! Goodkind is a well renowned plagiarist. I mean come on. Both series have magic collars that stop the user from using magic. Both have good and bad magic using sisterhood of sorceresses and both call the evil ones "sisters of the dark", both have a split derivative magic source with a male and female side, and both have a central character that began in a small village but quickly rose to power and skill, ends up with multiple wives and has magical skills and magical sword mastery. Problem is, Robert Jordan had them all first. Sword of truth is readable but if you've read anything by Jordan, Tolkien, Brooks or a few others, you will find obvious theft of content in Goodkind's books. Readable, yes, top ten in ANY list, resoundingly, NO.
Sword of Truth is so easy to read and dive into. Is it the most twisted plot or the most intricate political book? No. Is it full of grey characters that you never know who will die? Not really. Is it heart stopping, mad gallop, hold on to your pants action? YES. Is it deep and meaningful and forces you to look at yourself and where you find your truth? Yes. Is it deeply romantic, frighteningly bloody and wonderfully filled with anything and everything someone would want from an amazing series? ABSOLUTELY.
This series will make you cry, pump your fist in adulation, and chew your nails till you have none left. Start reading and buckle up, because this book starts with a bang and doesn't really stop until the series is over.
The best by far, Goodkind is a phenom all writer who knows how to evoke great emotion, and create well rounded, fully developed characters. His themes are great, and his books have made me a better person. Robert Jordan is good, and Tolkien is amazing as well, but Goodkind and the Sword of Truth is simply the best of the best.
Definitely my favorite series, I bought the 1st book on tape many years ago and I have listened to them many times over the years. Loved the characters and try to remember to "Think of the solution not the problem" when life gets rough.
I love each and every series above this one, but people, read the list title! This is by far the most imaginative and multi -dimensional series of all time. Everything is described with intimate detail, al the way down to the very laws of magic and how it manages to interweave with the laws of physics as we know them. The experience of being with Eragon through his entire journey and watching him develop as both a person and character, along with the bond between Eragon and Saphira is unrivalled by any book or series that anyone could possibly name. The sheer multitude of facets to the story provide an experience like none other when you read these books. I literally couldn't put the books down. People, you have to vote for this!
I think one of the reasons why The Inheritance Cycle has had such a huge following is because this was clearly the right fantasy series to come out at the right time. This series was sort of a backlash/rebellion against the YA (young adult) fantasy fiction overhype which was started by the success of Harry Potter that started in the late 90s and sort of continued years later. It was the point in which so many publishing labels/house wanted to do their own Harry Potter (In other words, a bunch of rip-offs of that series), but so many readers were so sick and tired of the repeated YA clichés that they just simply wanted to expand their horizons and explore more to the fantasy literary genre. The Inheritance Cycle was a series trying to make fantasy epic and genuine again, like a throwback to what J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis were each doing in their time, which is making a wholesome epic mythology with every little tiny detail of that fantasy world to explore, as well as a balance ...more
This series is as tedious and boring as the ending is unsatisfactory. I admit there are some good parts, but there are too few in between long boring segments where you want to gouge out your eyeballs. Paolini's inexperience is painfully obvious. If you're over 18 don't waste your time with this and read Tolkien or Abercrombie.
Awesome books that are hard to put down. Each page is filled with new moments that keep you reading on. This books have strong characters. The fact that the books have many pages is just good, because I love books that have many pages.
This series brings historical and fictional characters to life, while bringing the center of the readers attention to the characters lives, personalities, and characteristics along with just the storyline.
I'm so happy this is above Hunger Games. Less known it may be but a truly remarkable series
This is the best series I have read so far he should make more like this
I love how many mythologies and historical figures it has without being boring
It is the book that saved me from the "pop culture" trap. None of this teenage heartthrob an/pro-tagonist bull. A truly wonderful, expansive, enriching, and unrivaled experience. I can't say much else of what I've read holds a candle to the genius that is Brandon Sanderson.
Do keep in mind that there are many characters with many motivations. No one truly fills a role for the sake of the role. Every character is unique and will carve a special alcove in your heart.
The author just knows how to build the most fascinating worlds then fill them with the most diverse and painfully beautiful personalities. Anything by Brandon will have you begging for more.
I would ask you to kindly direct yourself to the nearest bookstore/library and pick up as many copies of as many books by this god among men as you can fit in you '02 Taurus. God knows once you clear out all of the empty redbulls and paper sacks from wendy's you'll have plenty of room.
Ah, yes. I've already started loving this series and it only just begun. I will always have a special place in my heart for The Wheel of Time, but this series is off to a great start. come on! Shally is, by far, the best. (Shally is Shallan for you people who don't give nicknames to book characters) My only problem is that I feel that I'm not given enough details. I am used to The Wheel of Time's overly detailed ways. Shally wore a blue silk dress. Well, what kind of cut? How light/deep was the color? Was there embroidery? TELL ME!
Sorry, that's just me complaining about nothing. You would love it. Now, I guess I'll just semi-patiently wait for the next book.
The best fantasy I have read, and I have read at least 100 books like this in the past 2 years. The Patrick Rothfuss and Robin Hobb books are in close contention. These three authors are at the top of this genre and release books in a timely manner unlike the great and powerful Martin.
This easily needs to be in the top three. Characters draw you in, they show amazing development, and you fall in love with them. This is going to be a massive story the likes of The Wheel of Time series and I'll be on the edge of my seat waiting for each one.
In my opinion, Warriors and wings of fire is better than Harry Potter, they should switch places, warriors is about amazing cats and has so much suspense, and books there's a lot, Warriors should be higher on the list, the cats are amazing, and everything about the books is amazing.
Warriors books are the best books ever. I am at the first series. But I already know the story! Why this fantastic series is only at the #15? Is the best!
I love this series the best out of my favorite series- the Percy Jackson series, the Heroes Of Olympus series, the Kane Chronicles series, the Trials of Apollo series, and the Magnus Chase series. They are all by Rick Riordan. I also love the Wings Of Fire series by Tut.T.Sutherland, and Of Mice and Men by John Steinback.
WHY is this 21? honestly this is the best book series mankind has ever known and probably the longest too. I love all the characters and events, feelings etc. I hope that other people see that too because if you don't see it then your as blind as Brokenstar was. (only warrior fans will know who that is).
Comment if you agree!
Should be higher on the list! This series got me into Egyptology and it's so amazing! I love how well Rick Riordan combines modern day with the past, and fact with fiction. Pure genius.
Even though I hate rick riordan, this is a good Siri's like Magnus chase.
I've read harry potter, the lord of the rings, the hunger games, started the eragon series, the dark tower series and many others. I can without question say this will be my favorite book series of all time!
This is the best book of all time! I have read the entire series 3 times and have loved even more every time! This book has given me tons of confidence because of all that Bobby had gone through.
Amazing book. This series belongs higher in the list. "That is the way it was meant to be" There's double meaning in that last sentence, if you read the books, you would know what I mean.
Best book series I have ever read. It is awesome the way it came up with an idea that not a single person had ever used before and turn it into a massive ten book series. He is on my top 5 artist list
Still one of my favorite series, right up there with Lord of the RIngs. Raymond Feist is a master author who brings his land and people to life.
This series is one of my favourites. I have never read a fantasy with an anti hero before. I found it extremely dark but found myself I love with Jorge... Characterization was good. I really felt for him.
The books are individually a bit short, but the series is great all the same. I love how it really makes you want to be a ranger and the effort Flanagan puts into building his world
Pure genius. I love this series. There are so many action scenes and the description is amazing. I've read the series twice and I can't wait to read the next and last book of the series, the royal ranger.
These books are impossible to put down, they are so good. I read the series in 2 months, and there are ten books at least. They are humorous, action packed, and are addicting also!
The best book ever! So exciting and sometimes it makes me cry! Even better than Harry Potter! I love RA. I've been scolded by my mom because I kept reading it
I seriously don't get why this is 53rd on the list. The story idea is original, the characters are realistic, and the plot is awesome. I agree with the previous person, how is Magic Tree House above WoF?
Ok, this should be WAY higher than 26th. It is probably my favourite book series EVER. Please vote for this. And if you haven't read this series, go read it now. So good.
Wings of Fire us my favorite book series. I love how the nain characters are dragons but I can still relate to them. I totally recommend this to fantasy lovers.
This used to be so underrated but it's gaining popularity! Vote Wings of Fire! If you haven't read Wings of Fire yet, I recommend it! READ WINGS OF FIRE! See, I even capitalized it, so if you're just skimming through, you'll see it. Also, how is the Magic Tree House above Wings of Fire?
I'm including her other series in the Shadowverse here too because there isn't space on the list.
Love how the characters are relatable and the plot is amazing. The romance is very well done and the movie doesn't do it justice.
Also I really liked the TV show even though it wasn't always like the books, but the alternate ending and Jonathan Morgenstern's portrayal was really good
I'm ten and I love the mortal instruments. I read all the books. My favorite one was the city of lost souls. It had such a weird twist to the tale, I mat say, Cassandra really convinced me that she's the best writer.
Clare just took urban fantasy to a whole new level. Great characters, great character development, dialogue, plot, and everything. I love the concept and execution. Cheers to her!
I don't think it's the best, I voted cause it's in my top 5
It's just amazing, breathtaking and fun
One of the best I have ever read! Peter and the starcatchers has an amazing twisting plot with a Chang of pace every few books. This amazing series deserves more readers than it gets.
Really well written
Maybe not the best series ever, but still educational with interesting plotlines
A bleak word where ash falls from skies, the world is black and soot covered, nothing is green, but red and brown and black. A dirty city ruled by a powerful villain. Innovative magic that actually makes sense and is with its powers and drawbacks, political intrique, sensible plot, endearing leads, inner conflicts of the point of view characters. Each book builds up to a powerful satisfying climax. This alongwith Stormlight archive is a series every fanatasy readers should read.
Between this and Name of the Wind. Everything else far behind.
Should be top 5!