Hey everyone, Jodi here. Today I have a special guest post for you from Desiree Villena all about our favorite topic, fantasy book series. Without further ado, here’s her post –
10 Must-Read Fantasy Series You’ve Probably Never Heard of Before
No matter where you go, readers will find each other. Every social media platform has its own bookish community, from “booktube” to “bookstagram”. There’s just something irresistible about talking to fellow bookworms, whether we’re stacking our already towering TBR with even more titles, showing off our favorite book cover designs, or trying to get everyone within shouting distance to read this amazing book we just finished because we’ll burst if we don’t share it.
Unfortunately, “bookish” social media is subject to the same flaws as all social media. Chief among those is the echo chamber. Once you find your little corner of like-minded readers, it’s all too easy to get swept up into reading the same books that everyone else keeps gushing over.
But what about all the books that don’t get the hype? From those telling a marginalized story to those by authors who haven’t managed to strike it big yet, you’d be surprised how many amazing books fly right under the radar. Today we’re going to be highlighting ten of my favorite fantasy series that, in all likelihood, you’ve probably never even heard of!
The Mangoverse series by Shira Glassman
Indie author Shira Glassman doesn’t write books to fit mainstream tastes — and that’s exactly what makes her work so delicious. Full of rich, real-world diversity and focusing on characters who are often overlooked, Glassman’s stories are always a delight.
The Mangoverse series, starting with The Second Mango, follows the story of Queen Shulamit and the warrior Rivka. What starts out as a simple quest for a royal girlfriend becomes an adventure when they discover a temple full of women who’ve been turned to stone. Packed with characters you’ll love, the land of Perach will make you want to linger.
The Legacy of Flames series by Emma L. Adams
If urban fantasy is your thing, strap in for an unending adventure, because Emma L. Adams cranks out rip-roaring fantasy books like nobody’s business. From dragon shifters to faeries, there’s a series for everyone in her interconnected universe. Each series can be read in any order, but to get the full effect (and to really be able to appreciate Adams’ expansive imagination), readers should start with Alight and work their way on from there. These books are sure to delight anyone who wants plenty of sass, humor, and excitement.
The Second Sentinels series by Lee Brontide
Formerly published under the name Lee Blauersouth, this one is perhaps a bit of a cheat, since there’s technically only one book out so far — but I like to think of it as getting in on the ground floor of a great new series. (Plus, the author is hard at work editing book two, so I’m sure it’ll be here soon enough.)
This emotionally charged series follows four teens through the whirlwind of solving a superpowered mystery, but it’s about much more than just flashy tech and special abilities. Where Secondhand Origin Stories really shines is in its character development: each of the central teens deals with the world of superheroes in fresh and interesting ways. Come for the pizzazz, stay for the finely drawn world and in-depth relationships.
The Emperor’s Edge series by Lindsay Buroker
Okay, it’s possible that you’ve heard of this one. After failing to land a literary agent, Buroker became a powerhouse in the indie publishing world. Still, she’s shockingly unknown in the larger realm of fantasy fans — so I think we’re safe to include her.
The Emperor’s Edge is the book that put her on the map, and it’s a solid entry into the world of steampunk fantasy adventure. Centering on Amaranthe, an ex-law enforcement officer who’s been wrongly accused of a crime, and Sicarius, an assassin who’s guilty of pretty much every crime they pin on him, these books are just plain fun. The banter between all of the characters is top-notch, as is the slowly developing feelings that unfold over the course of the books. The best part? The first book is free!
The Harrietta Lee series by Stephanie Ahn
If hard-boiled detectives are up your alley, look no further than the urban-fantasy adventure that starts in Deadline. Described as a female-led Dresden files, the series stars Harrietta Lee, a paranormal investigator in New York City. Or at least she was, until a blood magic ritual goes horribly awry. Now she’s struggling to make rent and scrounging for odd jobs.
When an opportunity to work for a powerful corporate family falls into her lap, she doesn’t feel like she can turn it down — even if it’s a family she once had ties to, and solving this case will mean digging into her own uncomfortable past. If you want film noir, but with magic, you’ll tear through this series in no time.
The Eve Williams series by Ashley Beasley
Who doesn’t love a good story about necromancers?
In Bramble and Blood, Eve Williams is tasked with finding a woman who may already be dead. Working with a Druid Enforcer and contending with a wide range of magical creatures along the way, Eve will need to dig deep into this mystery — even if it means she may end up as the next victim. Full of excellent worldbuilding, strong characters, and perfect pacing, this book will have your heart racing as you rush to the end.
The Tales of Inthya series by Effie Calvin
If you’re looking for princesses and fairy-tale romance mixed into your fantasy series, The Queen of Ieflaria may just be for you.
What starts off as a tale full of ballgowns and royal betrothals quickly sets itself apart. Princess Esofi’s kingdom has a dragon problem, and a marriage to the prince of Ieflaria was supposed to fix it — until his tragic demise leaves her with a broken engagement and no means of making the alliance she so desperately needs. Or does she? An unexpected solution keeps the story fresh. Throw in dragon fights and ass-kicking princesses, and I’m even willing to overlook the names that read like the author let her cat walk across the keyboard.
The Order of the Dragon series by Tina Glasneck
Vampires and dragons taking center stage in a rollicking urban fantasy series? Sign me up, please!
Once Bitten introduces us to an utterly unique world where dragon’s blood creates day-walking vampires. Yes, you read that right. As if that isn’t enough, the star of our tale is a romance author who gets quite literally swept up in adventure when she falls overboard on a cruise ship, only to be rescued by a dragon. This series has plenty of bite, taking us on a journey full of mystery, prophecy, and romance.
The Tomes of Kaleria series by Honor Raconteur
In Tomes Apprentice, titular apprentice Mei Li has a problem: her Master has gone missing in a shipwreck, along with ninety tomes that detail how to prevent approaching disasters that could easily end the world. You know, no big deal.
Now everyone is turning to Mei Li for answers, but without the tomes, there’s little she can do. But that’s not going to stop her from trying. This rich, Asian-inspired fantasy series features 5,000-year-old demons, enchanted flutes, deities, and time travel. Add in a thrilling plot and a world populated with richly drawn side characters, and you have a series that shouldn’t be missed.
The Paranormal Worlds series by CC Solomon
Featuring another unusual premise for an urban fantasy, Mystic Bonds brings us to a version of Earth ruined by the apocalypse. In a world where most of the population was wiped out, those who remain either have sudden magical powers… or will do almost anything to get them. Magically-gifted Anima and her brother are on the run, searching for a hidden city and a man that Amina’s seen only in her dreams.
Full of rich worldbuilding and a compelling mystery that will enchant readers to the end, this book will stick with you long after you finish.
Desiree Villena is a writer with Reedsy, a marketplace that connects self-publishing authors with the world’s best editors, designers, marketers, and book reviewers. In her spare time, Desiree enjoys writing short stories and reading everything from cosmic horror to contemporary romance.