Fantastic adventures: Three great series to try

Are you a fan of action-packed Adventure Fiction? Tales of pirates and mercenaries? A perilous treasure hunt? A battle of good vs. evil? Do you relish the thought of being kept up late at night because you must turn the page and continue the story?

Then I have some great new reads for you; they're full of adventure, daring escapades, and thrills and spills, and they're all fantasy adventure books.

Fantasy is a great genre and spans many styles; swords and sorcery, supernatural, horror etc. and I'd like to share with you, three series from three different authors, all of which I've loved and that you will too! These three all ride the 'adventure' side of fantasy, with two in particular being quite 'steampunk-y', a style tailor-made for adventurous storytelling.

The first is 'Tale of the Ketty Jay' by Chris Wooding. He's a British writer and was a prodigious writing talent from a young age. The 'Ketty Jay' stories are rollicking adventure tales that remind me of the old world tales of treasure hunters, pirates, and freebooters, which is pretty apt because in this world airships (rather than sea-going ships) are the transport of choice for all (due to the discovery and refinement of aerium, a new super fuel). Other than aerium there's limited technology for weapons etc. Oh, and there's pirates, mercenaries, a empirical navy, the whole lot! Add to this a smattering of 'magic' (daemonism) - a scientific approach to all things supernatural, and the hobby of the curious and intelligent - and you've got some seriously good ingredients for a thrilling story.

Retribution Falls 

The first book of the series is 'Retribution Falls' and we are introduced to our rag-tag bunch of misfit central characters. They crew the air ship 'The Ketty Jay' under the uncertain command of their captain Darius Frey. He's a bit of a rake and incidentally has a gambling addiction to a card game that is, in fact, called rake! The rest of the small crew are from vastly different backgrounds (we learn more about them as we travel along) creating a small representation of this world's society. That's where this book's strengths lie, the blend of page-turning action combined with the narrative arc concerning all members of the crew - you really find yourself right behind them, willing them on to do well. So, a good world, solid and developing characters, action-packed and a page-turning plot - ticks a lot of boxes so if you like adventure tales then this one will be your new favourite! 

Number two, in case you missed it is 'The Mortal Engines Quartet' penned by British writer Philip Reeve and starts with 'Mortal Engines'. This is a steampunk series and its world building is astonishingly inventive and vivid.

Imagine a post-apocolyptic world where technology has failed and cities have become mobilised i.e. they now roll around on tractions wheels, the larger cities eating up the smaller townships - every hamlet is in survival mode! London is one of the big ones, although it does have predators of its own, and it has a certain legendary status throughout the new world. Down in the engine room there's a young man who witnesses a crime, a crime with repercussions all the way to the top! He teams up with a broken young lady and what ensues is an adventurous mystery tale of betrayals, intrigue, and friendship. An immersive and truly imaginative world, solid characters on a dangerous journey, lots of action - good stuff! And I can't wait to see the movie version of Mortal Engines - PJ is the perfect man for the job, but do yourself a favour and immerse yourself in the books before you view the film from last year...

Mortal Engines 

Last but definitely not least is a trilogy by the best (in my humble opinion) fantasy writer going around currently. He is Joe Abercrombie and, in this instance, it's his series 'The Shattered Sea'.

Abercrombie is peerless when it comes to character depth, action/battle scenes, and perfectly timed dark wit. This series; it's the classic story of betrayal and coming of age with deadly purpose to reclaim what was once yours - that old chestnut! The story starts with 'Half a King' and follows Yarvi, a young prince who is left for dead and forced to endure a harsh reality-check as he re-positions himself to become the King he was born to be. It's got a lot in common with the classic Viking saga by Frans Gunnar Bengtsson 'The Long Ships' and certainly follows a similar path, but Abercrombie is a master of the fantastical and the result of his efforts are outstanding. There's no "Pollyannas" here either by the way - life's tough and it's a fight to just to stay alive.

Great world building, brilliant and deeply flawed characters, amazing action and battles, and outstanding use of dialogue - seriously funny in parts , Joe Abercrombie's Twitter handle is @LordGrimdark and if you're a user of the blue bird then give him a follow, he's very entertaining!

Half A King

So there's our three, have a look, borrow them from our collection, and get into some otherworldly adventure, and for more Adventurous Fiction check our our Fantasy Fiction Reading Guide.

Read on...


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