Life can be too busy to spend hours looking for a book. That’s why Larkable has complied a list of the 5 most captivating young adult fantasy book series right here.
Sometimes it’s hard to find something to read. There’s so much going in on life–school, work, after-school stuff, TV–but sometimes you just have to settle down with a good book, and where do you find one of those? No worries: we have a list of the 5 most captivating young adult fantasy book series right here.
When I was younger, I couldn’t find enough to read about dragons. Dragons are the oldest mythical creatures and there was practically nothing written them. That is, until Christopher Paolini came along with the Inheritance Cycle. The Inheritance Cycle series follows fifteen year old Eragon who discovers he’s a Dragon Rider when a dragon egg hatches while in his care. Together he and his dragon Saphira, the last free dragon, must do what they can to defeat the evil Emperor Galbatorix. Set in the fantasy land of Alagaësia, Eragon interacts with other humans, elves, dwarves, and magicians in his quest to bring down the Dragon Rider who ended all other Dragon Riders, Galbatorix, with the rebel alliance, the Varden. The series is complete, however Paolini has commented that we can expect to see another book set in Alagaësia. Told in third person, the four book saga follows Eragon, his cousin Roran, and the Varden leader Nasuada in their fight against the empire. Paolini commands incredible control over the English language and his flare for creating new languages, races, and histories is incredibly impressive. The characters are memorable, the emotions run high, and the tension is haunting. Inheritance Cycle should be a part of any fantasy buff’s collection without doubt.
The Hunger Games is a hot topic right now. Currently in production as major motion pictures, The Hunger Games is set in a futuristic, dystopian society. The population–the “Districts”–that have made it this long struggle to survive, and the Capitol keeps all the Districts under tight control with the Hunger Games. Two teenagers from each district–minus the Capitol–are chosen to fight to the death in a yearly tournament. The Hunger Games trilogy is told in first person present tense from Katniss Everdeen’s point of view. It takes some getting used to, as that is a very strange style, but it works as it gives a very suspenseful delivery since even Katniss doesn’t know what’s around the corner; she tells it as it happens. Katniss plays everything close to the vest. She’s naturally a reserved person and the emotional trauma she suffers from the Hunger Games socially cripples her even more. PTSD aside, she’s fierce. Her heart is in the right place and she knows what needs to be done, she just doesn’t know how to express it, and that makes her a very unique heroine. While the notion of children killing each other has been out there for decades, The Hunger Games is an incredible, unique and proactive way of regarding our future and what it could bring.
Possibly the most unknown series on the list, The Seven Realms Series follows the lives of the young gang lord Han Alister, the princess Raisa’ana’Marianna, and the Captain of the Princess’ Guard Amon Byrne, as they fight against the corruption of the powerful wizards who slowly seize control of the seven realms. There’s action, treachery, violence, murder, tested loyalty, and romance in this fast paced saga. Cinda Williams Chima spins this tale in a captivating and page-turning manner that leaves the reader bleary eyed and dreaming of what’s going to come next. History affects the present and ties the lives of Han, Raisa, and Amon together in order to prevent the world from tumbling into chaos again. A little unlike the other series, the romantic tension in this is thick: Princess Raisa grows closer to the age of marriage every day, and protecting her kingdom from the cruelty of corrupt wizards is at the top of her priorities. Raisa is a heroine that all girls can look to for following their heart, following their sense of duty, believing in herself, and not putting their self-worth into others. She’s no Katniss, she’s no Arya, but that’s what make Raisa memorable. Han “Cuffs” Alister will haunt you for months to come. As the most oppressed of the three, his personal journey is one for the ages and an inspiration to all. The Seven Realms Series is undoubtedly one of the most captivating young adult book series you could ever pick up.
There’s remarkable potential in dystopian fiction such as The Hunger Games, but most people want a more relatable heroine. Divergent opens on 16 year old Tris Prior, a member of the Abnegation faction. In Tris’ world, society is divided into five factions based on personality strengths. Abnegation, for the selfless; Candor, for the honest; Dauntless, for the brave; Erudite, for the intelligent; and Amity, for the peaceful. Children grow up in the faction they were born into and at sixteen, they take a test to determine their personality type and which faction would best suit them. Tris takes her test and the results come back inconclusive, rendering her Divergent — a virtual death sentence. The proctor of Tris’ test is sympathetic and burns the results, and warns Tris to hide herself within a faction; having grown up selfless, Tris chooses to become Dauntless, to make herself brave. This choice, however, changes the course of her entire life. Certainly, one of the most interesting facets of the series is Tris Prior’s relationship with Four/Tobias Eaton. For this writer, it was refreshing to read about a romantic relationship in young adult fiction which wasn’t marked by the dramatic “will they, won’t they/ on again- off again” tension. Veronica Roth has created a brilliant heroine who is sharpened by her choices, who struggles with her identity in a society of strict personality guidelines and who treads the line between selfish and self-sacrificing. The plot is relatively fast paced — there’s a mystery the reader will want to get to the bottom of. Divergent, the movie adaptation, starring Shailene Woodley and Theo James, comes out in March 2014.
1. Harry Potter
Most people in the fandom have read this series, but there are some people holding out on principle. If you’re one of those people, you need to knock that pride off. Knock that off immediately. I was an avid reader when the first Potter book came out and I hated it. As a self-identifying reader I stuck with it and the third book in the series, The Prisoner of Azkaban, is one of my all time favorite books to this day; fifteen years later. By the fifth book my emotions ran so high that I refused to read them going forward. It wasn’t until the seventh book was released (I still went to the releases, don’t think I didn’t) that I sucked it up and bulldozed through them. All of them. This series needs to be read quickly. Harry Potter isn’t just popular because the media told us it was popular–Harry Potter is popular because it is actually really good. If you’re a well versed reader, the first book is a little painful, but practice makes perfect and Rowling’s work is no exception. As the books progress, the story improves, morals are questioned, parallels are drawn, characters develop, and an entire magical universe emerges. Yes, it’s about wizards and witches, but Harry Potter goes deeper. The intertwining J.K. Rowling does between our own history and this magical world makes us reflect on our values, our methods, and our standards of freedom, oppression, tolerance, and suffrage. Prejudices are held; expected, even. Bad people are tolerated, good people are abused, and the young are called upon because the old’s hands are tied. Harry Potter isn’t the most fascinating character, but Harry Potter is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating series you could ever have the privilege of reading. If you’re a Potterhead, be proud. If you haven’t read them, I challenge you to do so, and ask yourself what really bothers you about it. You don’t have to like Harry; personally, I’m a Sirius fan (it’s all coming together, isn’t it, Potterheads?), I’m a Hermoine fan, and I’m a Snape fan. Harry kind of rubs me the wrong way. But my life is better for knowing all of them, even the one’s I don’t care for. Harry Potter isn’t just a fantasy. Harry Potter is a fantastic reflection of this world and a representation of the many different kinds of people in it. This isn’t just the most captivating young adult fantasy book series, it’s most arguably the best book series period.