Hi guys, I hope you are all well. Coming of age stories have been core part of many fantasy books for years now and I thought it was about time to do a genre exploration and recommendations for this sub genre.
The coming of age sub genre doesn’t necessarily have to be focusing on the transition from teenager to adulthood. The key element is that it deals with defining moments in a protagonist’s life. Let’s get onto some recommendations.
The Realm of the Elderling series / Robin Hobb
Publisher / Harper Voyager
Throughout this 16 book series, we witness the defining moments of the protagonists, as well as seeing a large part of their lives. This series is full of wonderfully written characters, so if you like character driven fantasy then you should definitely check this one out.
Old Kingdom trilogy / Garth Nix
Publisher / HarperTeen
This is one of my all time favourite trilogies and it is a great example of a coming of age story. We meet Sabriel and Lirael at key moments in their lives and witness how things change for them. I’ve reread this trilogy quite a few times now and it remains a favourite of mine.
The Books of Pellinor series / Alison Croggon
Publisher / Walker Books
This series follows Maerad, a young slave who escapes after a chance encounter with a Bard. It is a traditional style fantasy and although reminiscent of authors such as Tolkien it is distinctive in its own way. This one is another all time favourite series for me.
The Goblin Emperor / Katherine Addison
Publisher / Solaris
This is a fantastic slower paced fantasy book that follows Maia, a young half goblin and half elven male, who becomes the emperor at the very start of the book. At it’s core this is a coming of age story, but there is so much more to this wonderful book.
His Dark Materials trilogy / Philip Pullman
Publisher / Everyman’s Library
Another one of my all time favourite series, this is the coming of age story of Lyra and Will. Their progression throughout the three book is so well done. It has an engaging and entertaining plot with some amazing characters and is accessible to a variety of ages.
The Faithful and the Fallen series / John Gwynne
Publisher / Tor
This is a four book epic fantasy series set in the fictional world of the Banished Land. Each book is written using multiple perspectives, although we mainly follow the events centered around one of the main characters, Corban. It has a compelling plot, wonderfully written characters and a vivid world.
The Beast Player / Nahoko Uehashi
Originally written in Japanese and published in 2006, this edition is translated by Cathy Hirano. Set in a fictional fantasy world, the story starts when a young Elin’s life is thrown into disarray when her mother is sentenced to death.
Codex Alera series / Jim Butcher
Publisher / Orbit
This is a six book coming-of-age fantasy series set in the realm of Alera, where everyone has great powers called Furies (elemental beings), except the main character Tavi. If you also enjoy fantasy with military elements then you should check out these books.
That’s it for today. There are so many fantastic coming of age stories within the fantasy genre. What are your favourite books in this sub genre? Let’s chat in the comments. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.