The Best Completed Fantasy Trilogies

Looking for a fantastic fantasy trilogy to immerse yourself in? Here are 28 that we recommend very highly. If you have any great suggestions, please leave a comment.

Also in this series:

Age of Misrule by Mark Chadbourn

The Age of Misrule: World’s End (1999), Darkest Hour (2000) and Always Forever (2001)

A sparkling read, weaving multiple Celtic myths together to reopen a Britain that has much of its folklore in mistier times. Providing a new future for the island nation and bringing together some peculiarly British characters it is a magisterial tour de force from this author that any fantasy fan will enjoy.

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Book of the Ancestor by Mark Lawrence

Book of the Ancestor book covers
Book of the Ancestor: Red Sister (2017), Grey Sister (2018) and Holy Sister (2019).

Read it. Find yourself immersed within vivid worldbuilding. Have your emotions ravaged by the most gorgeous prose. Love these characters with your whole being. I cannot recommend a series higher!

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The Books of Babel by Josiah Bancroft

The Books of Babel book covers
The Books of Babel: Senlin Ascends (2013), Arm of the Sphinx (2015) and The Hod King (2019).

There is a pulsating veraciousness about Bancroft’s writing. Almost as if magic explodes from his brain onto the page. Magic that feels real and genuine and magnetic. Layer after layer is stripped away, revealing such gorgeous bones underneath.

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The Broken Earth by N. K. Jemisin

The Broken Earth Trilogy book covers.
The Broken Earth: The Fifth Season (2015), The Obelisk Gate (2016) and The Stone Sky (2017).

This is the way the world ends… The Broken Earth books are unique and intelligent, featuring complex characters and skilled world building, all based upon a fascinating concept. Jemisin’s Hugo Award winning books are gravitational and you can’t help reading further, wanting to know more.

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The Broken Empire by Mark Lawrence

The Broken Empire Trilogy book covers
The Broken Empire: Prince of Thorns (2011), King of Thorns (2012) and Emperor of Thorns (2013).

Mark Lawrence’s The Broken Empire is an unpredictable, ruthless and poetic masterpiece. A brilliantly written and carefully crafted trilogy that dares to take a chance and shine a light on controversial subject matters; it is an important milestone in the modern fantasy landscape.

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The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever by Stephen R. Donaldson

The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever book covers
The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever: Lord Foul’s Bane (1977), The Illearth War (1978) and The Power That Preserves (1979).

The Thomas Covenant Chronicles are deep, sophisticated novels written in a very complex yet beautiful way. It was a trilogy that was very important for the fantasy genre, being the most complex work since J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and a series that kick-started a new era and a new wave of fantasy authors. A must-read for a fantasy fan; but be warned! These three books will not be the easiest you have read, but the reward is substantial.

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The Divine Cities Trilogy by Robert Jackson Bennett

The Divine Cities Trilogy: City of Stairs (2014), City of Blades (2015) and City of Miracles (2017).

The Divine Cities trilogy treats its audience with the same respect and consideration as it shares with its cast. It is a rich, lovingly-crafted world that is both thematically complex and wonderfully entertaining. If you’re looking to discover something new, something original, and something memorable, then this is the series you’re looking for.

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The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb

The Farseer Trilogy book covers
The Farseer Trilogy: Assassin’s Apprentice (1995), Royal Assassin (1996) and Assassin’s Quest (1997).

Characters so complex and so real you can feel their emotions. The story of Fitz, the Royal bastard is often moving but yet sometimes brutal and with it Robin Hobb delivers a masterpiece in captivating storytelling.

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The First Law by Joe Abercrombie

The First Law book covers
The First Law Trilogy: The Blade Itself (2006), Before They Are Hanged (2007) and Last Argument of Kings (2008).

A gamechanger and a breath of fresh air badly needed within the fantasy genre mainly because Abercrombie’s characters are so brilliant and so different to the usual typecast heroes and villains found. But the trilogy’s tour-de-force is that it is very, very funny and has a superb plot plus sparkling dialogue. Many readers have found it unlike anything they had previously read in fantasy.

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The Gentlemen Bastard Sequence by Scott Lynch

The Gentlemen Bastard Sequence book covers
The Gentleman Bastard Sequence: The Lies of Locke Lamora (2006), Red Seas Under Red Skies (2007) and The Republic of Thieves (2013).

Filled with thievery goodness, hilarious turns of phrase and description, and some truly harebrained schemes, The Gentlemen Bastard Sequence belongs on any fantasy fans bookshelf. You’ll laugh, you might cry, but you’ll have a lot of fun as well.

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The Gormenghast Trilogy by Mervyn Peake

The Gormenghast Trilogy book covers
The Gormenghast Trilogy: Titus Groan (1946), Gormenghast (1950) and Titus Alone (1957).

Deliciously dark. The quality of the hauntingly beautiful prose is amongst the best you will read in fantasy. In Gormenghast Mervyn Peake created a gothic masterpiece, a work of art.

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The Inheritance Trilogy by N. K. Jemisin

The Inheritance Trilogy book covers
The Inheritance Trilogy: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (2009), The Broken Kingdoms (2010) and The Kingdom of Gods (2011).

N. K. Jemisin has won the Hugo Award for Best Novel, Nebula Award for Best Novel, Audie Award for Science Fiction and the Crawford Award. Enough said. You want more? Okay, every now and again books comes out that deserves all the hype they get. The Inheritance Trilogy is at times smart, at times funny, and at times downright heartbreaking, all wrapped up in the the most original stories. A must for your bookshelf, a flat out 10 out of 10.

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Kushiel’s Legacy by Jacqueline Carey

Kushiel's Legacy book covers
Kushiel’s Legacy: Kushiel’s Dart (2001), Kushiel’s Chosen (2002) and Kushiel’s Avatar (2003).

Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel’s Legacy is a stunning, spellbinding fantasy trilogy featuring an enormous, yet vibrantly characterised cast. The books, led by a wonderfully realised heroine, are full to the brim with magic, history, politics, and intrigue.

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The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien

The Lord of the Rings book covers
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (1954), The Two Towers (1954) and The Return of the King (1955).

The Lord of the Rings is both beautiful and perfect, charting Frodo’s journey from Hobbiton to the slopes of Mount Doom and finally, the Grey Havens. Written with tremendous skill and love by Tolkien and the books are timeless classics. Born from an overwhelming fondness for dead languages, myth and story it is an all-embracing tale for the ages.

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The Liveship Traders by Robin Hobb

The Liveship Traders trilogy book covers
The Liveship Traders Trilogy: Ship of Magic (1998), The Mad Ship (1999) and Ship of Destiny (2000).

Described by Orson Scott Card as a ‘masterclass in writing’ The Liveship Traders trilogy is spell-binding story full of wonderful characters and intrigue. A nautical tale set in the same world as Hobb’s previous trilogy another complement comes from none other that George R. R. Martin: “Even better than the Farseer books. I didn’t think that was possible”.

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The Magicians Trilogy by Lev Grossman

The Magicians Trilogy book covers
The Magicians Trilogy: The Magicians (2009), The Magician King (2011) and The Magician’s Land (2014).

Think Harry Potter meets Narnia but with apathy, depression, sex, drugs and the pursuit of happiness. The Magicians books are a rousing, perceptive and multifaceted coming of age story featuring characters that are very flawed, and very real.

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Memory, Sorrow and Thorn by Tad Williams

Memory, Sorrow and Thorn book covers
Memory, Sorrow and Thorn: The Dragonbone Chair (1988), The Stone of Farewell (1990) and To Green Angel Tower (1993).

In Memory, Sorrow and Thorn Tad Williams captures the essence of what a good fantasy story should be – the tale of a hero rising from lowly beginnings replete with mystical swords, magic, dragons and fairy creatures. Certainly an engaging and enveloping story set in a world struggling to survive.

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The Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson

The Mistborn Trilogy book covers
The Mistborn Trilogy: The Final Empire (2006), The Well of Ascension (2007) and The Hero of Ages (2008).

Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn books feature intriguing magical systems and are as compelling and as flawlessly executed as could be wished for. The imagination on show here is breath-taking and deals with themes like religion and death, power and helplessness, corruption and goodness. Weaved together like a master basket maker, these books let you grow attached too, love, and also lose, characters that you never thought would be lost.

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The Nevernight Chronicle by Jay Kristoff

The Nevernight Chronicle book covers
The Nevernight Chronicle: Nevernight (2016), Godsgrave (2017) and Darkdawn (2018).

Jay Kristoff is a skilled and meticulous writer and an expert on the fantasy genre. The Nevernight Chronicle is imaginative, original and contains a rich world, conflicted characters, assassins, dark magic and a protagonist that is strong, clever and necessarily brutal.

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New Crobuzon by China Mieville

New Crobuzon trilogy book covers
New Crobuzon: Perdido Street Station (2000), The Scar (2002) and Iron Council (2004)

The New Crobuzon trilogy is a work of art. At times horrific, beautiful, tragic, comic and even uplifting, with a plot which takes unexpected turns and twists and revelations, one of the most unique settings imaginable and above all a style of dark poetry that is truly exceptional.

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The Night Angel Trilogy by Brent Weeks

The Night Angel Trilogy book covers
The Night Angel Trilogy: The Way of Shadows (2008), Shadow’s Edge (2008) and Beyond the Shadows (2008).

Brent Weeks’ Night Angel trilogy is a tale of magic, violence and revenge. Featuring wonderful characters within a complex narrative set in an immersive world. Kylar is one of the very best fantasy characters and the reader will be captivated as he navigates an assassins’ world of dangerous politics and strange magics.

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Of Blood and Bone by John Gwynne

Of Blood and Bone book covers
Of Blood and Bone: A Time of Dread (2018), A Time of Blood (2019) and A Time of Courage (2020).

Gwynne is a master of his craft and one of the best fantasy writers around right now. With likeable characters, Of Blood and Bone hits so much harder should bad things happen to them but unfortunately, they do. This is a majestic tale of Good vs Evil. Epic, unpredictable and exhilarating with action galore and characters worth rooting for.

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The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang

The Poppy War: The Poppy War (2018), The Dragon Republic (2019) and The Burning God (2020).

This is a story of self-worth and determination, of finding value in life when your strengths are stripped away. It shines a light on some of the worst aspects of humanity which are sadly still reflective of our current society. It is a story of tragedy and loss, of anger and hypocrisy, of perseverance and triumph. Kuang excels at wreaking emotional havoc while delivering a powerful meditation on war and survival.

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The Powder Mage Trilogy by Brian McClellan

The Powder Mage Trilogy book covers
The Powder Mage Trilogy: Promise of Blood (2013), The Crimson Campaign (2014) and The Autumn Republic (2015).

Love, betrayal, swords, magic and muskets lie at the heart of Brian McClellan’s trilogy. The characterisation in this series is impeccable, giving the reader some of the most interesting characters they will ever meet. However, be warned, you may find yourself crying as you near the end.

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Prince of Nothing by R. Scott Bakker

Prince of Nothing book covers
Prince of Nothing: The Darkness That Comes Before (2003), The Warrior Prophet (2004) and The Thousandfold Thought (2006).

The Prince of Nothing trilogy is made of up of much commonly found in the fantasy genre: a sorcerer, a warrior, a powerful demon-god threatening the world, but what lifts Bakker’s books above the majority of similar titles is that the writing is of the highest quality and the profundity of the content. A work of great complexity.

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Raven’s Shadow by Anthony Ryan

Raven's Shadow book covers
Raven’s Shadow: Blood Song (2013), Tower Lord (2014) and Queen of Fire (2015).

The characters that inhabit Anthony Ryan’s Raven’s Shadow trilogy are second to none, each and every one captivating, and not one untouched by war or loss. A beautifully written, powerful and wonderfully cast fantasy epic.

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The Seven Kingdoms by Kristin Cashore

The Seven Kingdoms book covers
The Seven Kingdoms: Graceling (2008), Fire (2009) and Bitterblue (2012).

There is something truly refreshing about reading Cashore’s work and how this talented author creates fully rounded, understandable and, above all, likeable characters. Featuring political intrigues, and mesmerising scenes of violence.

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Spiritwalker by Kate Elliott

Spiritwalker book covers
Spiritwalker: Cold Magic (2010), Cold Fire (2011) and Cold Steel (2013).

The Spiritwalker books have something for everybody, from alternate history and romance to steampunk and intrigue, all wrapped up in a swashbuckling adventure. Add captivating world-building, sparkling characters, and an enthralling, rewarding story and you are left with a very fine fantasy trilogy indeed.

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The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson

The Stormlight Archive book covers
The Stormlight Archive: The Way of Kings (2010), Words of Radiance (2014) and Oathbringer (2017).

If big action set pieces of extraordinary people doing extraordinary things is exactly what you want from your fantasy then Brandon Sanderson is the master of the “Hollywood” style of epic. The Stormlight Archive is a refreshing new take on fantasy and magic and is chalk full of intelligence.

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The War Eternal by Rob J. Hayes

The War Eternal book covers
The War Eternal: Along the Razor’s Edge (2020), The Lessons Never Learned (2020) and From Cold Ashes Risen (2020).

The characters and world-building are fantastic even for Hayes’ standard of work, the prose is especially tight, and highlighted quotes are abound. The War Eternal is simply essential reading.

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The Winnowing Flame by Jen Williams

The Winnowing Flame book covers
The Winnowing Flame: The Ninth Rain (2017), The Bitter Twins (2018) and The Poison Song (2020).

Easily one of the best fantasy trilogies in recent times. I might be sounding like a broken record by now, but Jen Williams’ writing has won me over, time and time again. She writes with a distinctive, fresh voice, giving us exciting new tales teeming with love, hope, diversity, friendship, family – things that are always worth fighting for in the face of adversity. Every time I think I cannot love it more, she surprises me. What more can I say? I’m all about fantasy. I adore it.

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32 thoughts on “The Best Completed Fantasy Trilogies”

  1. Thanks for compiling these lists. I’ve read and enjoyed enough of them to trust the other recommendations. I’ve never heard of the Age of Misrule before, but I just ordered the first book.

  2. Really good list although the storm light archive is two sequences of 5 and definitely not a finished trilogy.
    Although there is a second set of mistborn books I certainly agree that the first three are very much a complete trilogy.
    Also, thank you for all your reviews this site has been great for helping me find great books to read.

  3. hi, The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson is not a complete trilogy if im not wrong, i read those 3 books and there is a 4th released in 2020. if remember correct there goingt to be 10 books for the series

  4. Thanks for your comment Reece, appreciate it. You’re absolutely correct, when The Thorn of Emberlain is published in August this year, the Gentlemen Bastards becomes a series. I’ll remove it from here and add it to the ongoing series page. Thanks again, Lee.

  5. Great list. My only query is The Gentleman Bastard Sequence isn’t a complete trilogy. It should be listed under the ongoing series list as the story isn’t complete and we are eagerly awaiting its fourth entry.

  6. NK Jemisin is only activism if you consider Lord of the Rings activism for white dudes.
    Guy Gavriel Kay could find a nice home on this list as well.

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