Or, you know, holy text of your choice. I would’ve used ‘encyclopedia’ if the alliteration hadn’t been too tough to resist.
One benefit to completing all of these awesome end of year book surveys was the chance to review all the books I’d finished last year. When I was perusing pages on Goodreads, trying to choose the best fit by category or question, one thing immediately stood out.
I finished more awesome trilogies in 2014 than I could ever individually review or promote. Some of them I’ve recommended to friends in person, or mentioned on Twitter. Some of them are already wildly popular and widely read. Some don’t get nearly as much attention as they deserve.
So, over the course of the next week or two, I’m going to spend a couple posts talking about these trilogies. The ones I blew through in a couple days. The ones I tried my best to savor. The ones that made me laugh, or cry, or gasp.
Please check some of these out if you’re searching for a story that you can fall in love with over a series of books. No waiting required. 🙂
Come for the gorgeous covers, stay for the gorgeous writing. The series features Karou, an art student in Prague who becomes an unlikely participant in a huge celestial war. In the first book, Karou learns of her role in an ancient conflict between angels and chimaera, a race of hybrid creatures considered demonic. In the final book, Karou must attempt to stop this war from enveloping the human world, with help from her friends, her lover-in-a-past-life, and a few unexpected allies.
Dreams of Gods and Monsters is loooonnng, but you won’t notice it when you’re reading. Laini Taylor has a knack for mixing surprising twists and turns with prose that will make you–and also me–green with envy.
Read for: A new twist on paranormal fantasy, exotic locales both real and fictional, and a pair of secondary romantic characters–Zuzana and Mik!–you’ll love just as much as the main romantic pairing.
If you like your fantasy with a touch of history, then this is the series for you. Alina Starkov is an orphaned peasant girl in an alternate version of Tsarist Russia, who manifests an unexpected ability to wield light as a weapon. In the first book, she joins an army of other soldiers with supernatural powers–known as Grisha–and hones her own skills under the instruction of the Darkling, a boy who wields darkness as a weapon. In the final book, Alina and a ragged band of allies fight for the throne of Ravka after an unexpected coup leaves the entire country and all of their lives at risk.
Ruin and Rising is a super fast read, even for a fast paced series. I had to take my time in the early pages of the first few books, just to make sure I wasn’t missing anything important. Leigh Bardugo handles a ton of overlapping subplots, characters, and world-building details with an ease that doesn’t ever feel boring.
Read for: An army of highly powerful and super compelling Grisha, a believable friends to lovers romance, subtle power plays and counter-maneuvers that will make you cheer, and also, pirates.
Legend is a pseudo Les Miserables retelling that takes place in a futuristic US divided by civil war and natural disaster, instead of a pre-revolutionary France. June is a young soldier of the Republic tracking her big brother’s killer, who is believed to be a young rebel named Day. Day has plenty of reasons to hate the Republic, but he’s more focused on protecting his own family than he is on murder. In the first book, the two of them uncover a vast government conspiracy that plays a vital role in the collapse of the US. In the last book, they’re desperately trying to reunite their country without losing each other.
Also note: Champion will probably break your heart. Just a little. It will also leave you on the edge of your seat. Marie Lu doesn’t give any of her characters an easy ending, but the epilogue is still deeply satisfying.
Read for: Equally badass male and female leads, inspiring political speeches, unexpected moments of romantic sweetness, and big Blockbuster fight scenes. (The good kind.)
Under the Never Sky is simultaneously dystopian and post-apocalpytic fiction. Aria lives in a pleasure dome called Reverie, where life is perfect and lovely, and forgetting about the ravaged world outside is all too easy. Perry is an outsider, dodging ether storms and rival tribes as he wanders the wilds in search of his kidnapped nephew. In the first book, their separate worlds collide when Aria is banished from Reverie after her mother’s disappearance, and the two of them must team up to search for answers regarding their missing family members. In the last book, Aria and Perry discover that neither Reverie nor the outside is safe from the ravages of the ether storms, and that they’ll need all the allies they can muster on both sides if they’re going to reach safety.
One of the most fantastically frustrating things about Into the Still Blue is that the alliances between characters are STILL changing. Bonds are broken and reformed constantly because Veronica Rossi sets up the kind of stakes where anyone and everyone stands to lose. You might be able to predict the ending, but you won’t have a clue how the characters reach it until you pick up the book for yourself.
Read for: Subtly specialized survival skills, heart-wrenching, yet incredibly sexy romances, and the strength of familial bonds amid the constant threat of total destruction.
Have you read any of these trilogies? What did you think?