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Why You Need to Read: Underrated Speculative Fiction Series

So, I decided to compile another list of recommendations. There have been A LOT of speculative fiction series, and it seems whenever one series comes to an end, there are around 15 more to choose from. This means some series do not get as many readers and are not as “popular” as the other series. Yet, this does NOT mean they are NOT worth reading. Many of these underrated series are hidden gems in which few readers realize their worth within the genre. Then again, these series, while complete, tend to be overlooked for the next new series. I’m stressing to fans and to readers of the genre to consider the following books on this list because they do NOT get the recognition each one deserves.

A Chorus of Dragons by Jenn Lyons (2019-22)

Recently, I finished reading the last book in this series, and it was a mind-blowing experience. And yet, not too many people have read past the first two books in this series. Yes, the multiple P.O.V. chapters and the numerous plots can be either overwhelming or confusing at times, but many of us readers are used to these types of narratives and should consider giving this series a chance.

What’s it about?

A young thief, raised by a single father in a brothel, learns he is the “missing heir” to one of the royal families. The young man believes his luck has changed, until he realizes that his life is NOT like it is in the stories. On top of that, he learns he may or may not be the figure mentioned in a prophecy to bring about the end of the world. With forces tracking him down to use him for their gain, he finds allies among them, and they all try to find a way to stop the prophecies from coming true. Unfortunately, their adversaries are working against them to bring about the end of the world. And yes, there are dragons.

Tensorate Series by Neon Yang (2017-19)

This series was my introduction to the “silkpunk” subgenre. Now, you can get the entire series in one book (see the image on the far right); but, some of us read each book as they were released (the first two books in the series were released simultaneously), which allowed us time to become familiar with the setting and its culture, the protagonists, and the conflict.

What’s it about?

A set of twins–born of the Queen–are taken to a monastery to be raised there per an agreement. One of them is a seer, but both of them are agender(?) because they haven’t chosen their sex and gender yet. This series delves into gender fluidity, a growing rebellion, family turmoil, betrayal, and political conspiracies. If you enjoyed The Jade Bone Saga and The Poppy War Trilogy, then you should make time to read these books.

The Protectorate Trilogy by Megan E. O’Keefe (2019-21)

I said before this series reignited my love for space operas. This series has some of everything fans have come to expect from the subgenre: A.I.s, space pirates, found family, space battles, etc. If you’re looking for an entertaining series, then make sure you read this series.

What’s it about?

A brother and a sister–a politician and a soldier–have worked hard to become elite members of their space colony. However, on the day of the the brother’s commencement and “induction,” their colony’s fleet is attacked and defend the colony, only for the sister to go missing. When the sister regains consciousness, she is alone on the enemy’s ship with an A.I. controlling it. On top of that, she learns over 300 years have passed since the battle, and she’s a lone survivor. What happened after the battle?

Molly Southbourne Series by Tade Thompson (2017-22)

I tend to be cautious when it comes to reading horror. The cover for The Murders of Molly Southbourne piqued my interest and I dove into the book knowing I might not be able to sleep for the next few nights (I slept just fine). This story is more than a sci-fi thriller, but I cannot say too much without spoiling the first book. That being said, the first book ends on a cliffhanger, and you’re forced to read the rest of the books in this series.

What’s it about?

For as long as she can remember, whenever Molly Southbourne bleeds, a clone is born. If that were not strange enough, then you should also know these clones attack and try to kill Molly. Homeschooled and trained by her parents who have secrets of their own, Molly tries to find a way to live life to the best of her abilities, but will it be enough? How can she stop her clones, the “Mollys” from trying to kill her and to destroy her life?

The Legacy of Molly Southbourne was just released and I’m anxious to learn about how Molly Southbourne’s story will end.

Blood and Gold Series by Kim Wilkins (2014-19)

This series was an interesting experience for two reasons. One, I read the first book in this series, Daughters of the Storm (I reviewed this series on Goodreads), right before I read Nevernight. In other words, I had a VERY interesting introduction to Australian fantasy. Two, the last book in this series, Queens of the Sea, was never released in the U.S. (only the eARC, which I did NOT receive). So, I had to purchase the book from an online store in Australia and had it shipped to me internationally (the book arrived right before the COVID Lockdown). It’s a shame this series didn’t get the attention it deserved in the U.S. because this series is a gritty fantasy story about 5 royals sisters who are in conflict with each other. In other words, this series should be read by readers and by fans of similar series (i.e. Tamora Pierce, Juliet Marillier).

What’s it about?

A new faith is taking over the kingdoms of the world, where women are submissive to men instead of equal. One king has 5 daughters–different in their own way–who will play a role in the future of their world. The warrior, the mother, the seer, the catalyst, and the rebel soon find themselves at odds with their families, their faiths, and each other.

These are some of the many completed speculative fiction series you should consider reading. If you have not read any of these series, then please consider adding them to your TBR lists. If you have read any of these series, then let us know what you think of each one. And yes, some time in the future, I’ll be compiling second list.

11 thoughts on “Why You Need to Read: Underrated Speculative Fiction Series

  1. I own the first book in the Jenn Lyons series but haven’t read it. But I always hear such great things about it! One of these days…

    1. Once you get used to the style of the narrative, you’ll grasp the story and you’ll be sucked in until the end. And then, you’ll want to read the rest of the series!

  2. Holy crap, I didn’t even realize all the books in the A Chorus of Dragons series were out. I remember reading the first book when it came out which didn’t seem like that long ago! How time flies 😀

  3. I’m more than a little jealous about the fact that you’ve already finished A Chorus of Dragons. I absolutely LOVE that series, but I’m still waiting on hold for the final book. T_T I haven’t read any of the other series you’ve highlighted here, but now I’m curious about them and I’ll have to check them out!

  4. I can’t believe I haven’t read any of these, well, I did read the first Jenn Lyons and really loved it – so why! *headdesk*
    Lynn 😀

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