Rounding out this series is my favourite adult novels. I had a lot to choose from, but I feel like these are the ones I return to over and over again. I promise, only two are fantasy novels.
1. “Warbreaker” by Brandon Sanderson
Gods. Magic. A world where Siri, a rebellious princess, is sent to wed the God-King of the neighbouring kingdom. Where her sister Vivenna tries to save her and gets tangled up in her father’s network of spies. Where Vasher, a man with his own goals and a very important sword, wanders at will…
Out of all the Sanderson books I’ve read, this is my favourite. I adore Siri, her bold nature and quick wits. The magic system is like none I’ve ever seen, and has such clever uses. The twists are so good that rereading the book makes it all the richer an experience. My only complaint is there aren’t another 30 in this world for me to enjoy.
As always, Sanderson captures my attention by his amazingly human characters and vibrant world. He cares so much about his works, putting in so many details—it always feels like there’s something more to explore. Sanderson is one of my writing idols: I want to be able to show my dedication through words as well as he can. If you haven’t read this book, I highly recommend—along with all his other series, of course.
2. “The Southern Reach Trilogy” by Jeff VanderMeer
Area X: a mysterious, overgrown land slowly overtaking part of Florida. Every mission has ended in tragedy—from cancer, to suicide, to murder. This is the twelfth expedition, narrated by one of the members only known as the Biologist. On the expedition, surprises come from more than just Area X itself, including about the Biologist’s past.
I had no idea what to expect going into this series, other than a strong recommendation from a friend. To this day I feel haunted by the prose. I consider myself a very quick reader, but I had to take my time with this one, digging through layers of meaning in the best possible way. The Biologist remains my favourite character, for reasons I won’t spoil, of course. Her journey and life are so impactful.
Jeff VanderMeer is an artist with words. He not only transports you to the setting, he makes you live and breath it along with the characters. I hate to repeat myself, but “haunting” really is my favourite word for his style—I feel as if no matter where I go, if I’m surrounded by nature, I’ll think of his books. The first time I read it, I would sit outside in parks, and it really made the experience so much richer. If you have the chance to do the same, you’ll see what I mean.
3. “Imager’s Portfolio” by L.E. Modesitt Jr.
Rhenn’s life as a journeyman artist ends abruptly when he discovers he is an Imager: a magic wielder who can imagine things and make them real. He must life separately as he completes his training to no longer be a danger to others—or himself.
Quaeryt, an advisor to the King, attempts to escape a life of politics and set about his own idealistic goals. However, when he ends up in another country, matters are even worse than the place he left—and he’s the only one who can fix it.
The Imager’s Portfolio spans the stories of 3 different time periods in the same world (though I have only read the first 2 for now). Rhenn’s series introduces you to “modern” life with Imagers, and Quaeryt’s tells the forgotten story of their origin in society. Both their lives are filled with mishap, high stakes, and various political undercurrents. Both men are trying to make the world a better place, bit by bit.
Modesitt Jr.’s style is the most interesting, simple style I have ever read. He goes through day by day, following the protagonist’s actions, yet it’s never boring or dull. Each chapter adds to the last, always with new details for the plot or characters to keep you turning page after page. I always learn a lot about real world topics that I hadn’t known through his methodical writing. It’s always a pleasure, especially when the story reaches its climax and there’s a huge payoff.
I hope you enjoyed this little mini-series, and thank you for reading! If you have anything you’d like to see me blog about, please feel free to message or comment, and if I can, I will!