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Our Series Recommendations

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Series-Recs-FEATURE.png?resize=300%2C217We recently shared our Most Anticipated  SFF Releases for 2021, and a great number of those books were second/third or even fourth books within series.

So we gathered up our contributors and asked – what’s your favourite series? This of course then posed the question: on-going or completed? We’re aware this can be Hot Topic, but here on the Hive, we’re of the stance that it’s important to support our favourite authors whether they’re at the start of a series, mired in the middle of it, or safely through the other side. So we’ll be recommending a series that’s on-going, as well as one that’s completed (for instant bingeing).


As always, a big thank you to our contributors for taking part!

On-going Series

The Calculating Stars (Lady Astronaut) by Mary Robinette Kowal“I’ll go for The Lady Astronaut Series by Mary Robinette Kowal. I love those books, so smart, such interesting characters and a lot of heart.” Shona

The Calculating Stars (2018)
The Fated Sky (2018)
The Relentless Moon (2020)
The Derivative Base (expected 2022)





Jade City (Green Bone Saga) by Fonda LeeI’d highly recommend The Green Bone saga by Fonda Lee. This is such a unique fantasy which has been likened to The Godfather but with magic and I think this is the perfect way to describe it! Two books have already been released – Jade City and Jade War, and I’m absolutely excited for the finale, Jade Legacy being released in September.” Nils

Jade City (2017)
Jade War (2019)
Jade Legacy (2021)





Senlin Ascends (Books of Babel) by Josiah BancroftOK – well as a headteacher dabbling with an alternative career there is one obvious ongoing series that I must mention.  Josiah Bancroft brings his Tower of Babel Quadrology to its conclusion with the release this year* of The Fall of Babel. I can’t wait to see how Senlin, Marya, Voleta, Edith and Iren get on in this category defying tale.  I’m particularly interested to see if, when the dust settles on his fantastic adventures, Senlin takes up the reins of being a schoolmaster again or goes on to something new. It is also interesting that book one – Senlin Ascends rose to prominence through Bancroft’s participation in the first SPFBO.” Theo

Favorite ongoing series? That would have to be Josiah Bancroft’s Books of Babel. His imagination, characters, and prose-crafting are all so brilliant. I cannot wait to see how the story winds up when Book 4 comes out later this year.” Dorian

Senlin Ascends (2013)
Arm of the Sphinx (2015)
The Hod King (2019)
The Fall of Babel (2021)


The Bone Ships (Cover) by RJ BarkerThe obvious one for me is RJ Barker’s The Tide Child (i.e. Bone Ships) Trilogy, the first two of which have been excellent (see my reviews on here), and since the second ended on quite a cliffhanger I can’t wait to find out how it resolves in The Bone Ship’s Wake. But I’ll have to wait until September, unfortunately – giving anyone who hasn’t started yet plenty of time to catch up!” James

The Bone Ships (2019)
Call of the Bone Ship (2020)
The Bone Ship’s Wake (2021)





CometWeather.jpg?resize=209%2C300&ssl=1I’m not very good with series – even with books I like it can take me a while to read the sequel. Short attention span I guess. The major exception is Liz Williams’ Comet Weather, and its sequel Blackthorn Winter. The adventures of the Fallow sisters are wonderful and life affirming, and each novel functions as a stand alone adventure whilst managing to advance the overarching plot. I can’t wait to read Ember Tide and Salt on the Midnight Fire, the remaining two books in the sequence, when they come out, hopefully in 2022 and 2023!” Jonathan

Comet Weather (2020)
Blackthorn Winter (2021)
Ember Tide (2022)
Salt on the Midnight Fire (2023)



A-Memory-Called-Empire-198x300.jpg?resiz“The absolute most excited I am about a series right now–woah, that’s a lot of qualifiers!–is Arkady Martine’s Teixcalaan series, which will see its second outing with A Desolation Called Peace later this year. Unlike many of the series my friends have recommended thus far, this one is sci-fi; but what wonderful science fiction! Easily one of the most complex novels I’ve ever read, A Memory Called Empire was my favourite science fiction work of 2018, a novel that examines many complex themes of empire, colonialism and a smorgasbord of other socio-political issues, with some of the most beautiful language I have ever experience. The linguistic efforts Martine has put into crafting the Teixcalaan culture run deeper than just about anything else in the field — and that was merely the author’s debut.” Filip

A Memory Called Empire (2019)
A Desolation Called Peace (2021)



Lord-of-Secrets-Breanna-Teintze.jpg?resiMy favourite ongoing series is probably The Empty Gods by Breanna Teintze – I like to describe it as ‘if The Mummy films had nothing to do with Egypt but were a fantasy novel instead, and Imhotep was a bi Howl Pendragon’. They’re full of puzzles, tomb raiding, fun, and one poor disaster wizard trying his very best to adult in the face of chronic pain and undead horrors.” Asha

Lord of Secrets (2019)
Lady of Shadows (2020)






The Year of the Knife (Witch of Empire) by G.D. Penman“This is a bit of a tough one for me, over the last year I’ve read lots of Book Ones in new series that all promise to be amazing (The Stone Knife by Anna Stephens, God of Gnomes by Demi Harper, Shadows of Ivory by T.L. Greylock, The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart)… But a series with a next book I’m properly looking forward to? It would have to be G. D. Penman’s Witch of Empire series. I absolutely fell in love with Sully, and Penman’s noir world that is recognisably ours but significantly isn’t is just brilliant.” Beth

The Year of the Knife (2017)
The Wounded Ones (2020)
The Last Days of Hong Kong (2021)




Dragons-Reach-JAAndrews.jpg?resize=200%2“Obviously I am unable to choose just one favourite series each, so I’ll just go with the first that comes to mind and isn’t as well known as I’d like!

For ongoing series I chose The Keeper Origins – Book one being Dragon’s Reach by JA Andrews. 

I love the young female main character who is both really good at what she does, and yet flawed. And there is no mushy romance or love triangles! Too many series about young women rely on that. Instead there’s a gang, a traveling troupe of actors, a war brewing in the background, and a cast of very unique characters I easily fell in love with. What I like most about Andrews style is the way it somehow braids grim topics and realistic human problems and behaviours into the story, which makes them feel well rounded and deep, while the book stays mostly “clean”. This is ideal for readers who don’t want YA or shallow stories, but don’t like any especially graphic violence or sex scenes.” Julia

Dragon’s Reach (2020)
Raven’s Ruin (2021)

Completed Series

Tchaikovsky-Tiger-and-Wolf.jpg?resize=19For a completed series, I’d recommend The Echoes of the Fall trilogy by Adrian Tchaikovsky. Stunning world building and great character development with some really interesting magic. I love his attention to detail and the way he works nature into his writing.” Shona

The Tiger and the Wolf (2016)
The Bear and the Serpent (2017)
The Hyena and the Hawk (2018)





Malice (Faithful and Fallen, #1) by John GwynneMy favourite completed series recommendation is… The Faithful and the Fallen series by John Gwynne. If you like magic, battles, a Tolkien-esque world and animal companions then you’ll love this.” Nils

Malice (2012)
Valour (2014)
Ruin (2015)
Wrath (2016)





Gardens of the Moon (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #1) by Steven EriksonMy favourite finished fantasy series, now that’s a tou–it’s Malazan.” Filip

Editor: Argh seriously Filip?! We recommend the fandom wiki page for full details of the series – reading order and companion books etc. The core ten novels are:

Gardens of the Moon (1999)
Deadhouse Gates (2000)
Memories of Ice (2001)
House of Chains (2002)
Midnight Tides (2004)
The Bonehunters (2006)
Reaper’s Gale (2007)
Toll the Hounds (2008)
Dust of Dreams (2009)
The Crippled God (2011)

The-fellowship-of-the-ring-J.R.R.-TolkieFavorite completed series? I suppose that would be the Riyria Reve…no, no, I’ll say the Chronicles of Pryd…wait, sorry, I meant to say the First Law Tril…sorry, hold on, I’m changing my vote to the Divine Citi…ack, no, I’ll go with the complete set of Culture Nov…Oh, who am I kidding, it has to be Fitz and Foo…

Ahem. I’ll just say Lord of the Rings and be done with it.” Dorian

The Fellowship of the Ring (1954)
The Two Towers (1954)
The Return of the King (1955)




Alanna-The-First-Adventure-Tamora-Pierce“My favourite finished series has to be the series that made me a fantasy reader (and to be honest, formed more of my personality than I’d like to admit…): The Song of the Lioness by Tamora Pierce. Wonderful coming of age fantasy with THE quintessential female knight.” Asha

Alanna: The First Adventure (1983)
In the Hand of the Goddess (1984)
The Woman Who Rides Like a Man (1986)
Lioness Rampant (1988)




Godblind by Anna Stephens“As for completed series, Jen Williams is in hot contention here with either of her trilogies, but the Dark Lady, Anna Stephens, will forever have my heart – the Godblind Trilogy.” Beth

Godblind (2017)
Darksoul (2018)
Bloodchild (2019)






A Natural History of Dragons (Memoirs of Lady Trent, #1) by Marie Brennan“For a completed series I’ll go for The Memoirs of Lady Trent by Marie Brennan – book one being A Natural history of Dragons.

This is a favourite of mine because I simply adore the main character. It’s a fictional mix of travel log and memoir, and written in such a witty tone, I was hooked right from the start. I wish I could have tea with Isabella, as she is such a remarkable person! Instead of behaving like a good woman, giving tea parties and caring for the house, she goes on expeditions and becomes a dragon specialist. In trousers! Oh the scandal! I simply love her, and the dragons. Also, the illustrations for this series are simply gorgeous!” Julia

A Natural History of Dragons (2013)
The Tropic of Serpents (2014)
Voyage of the Basilisk (2015)
In the Labyrinth of Drakes (2016)
Within the Sanctuary of Wings (2017)
Turning Darkness into Light (2019)



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