Author Kim Harrison's Favorite Fantasy Series

Posted by Cybil on July 29, 2017

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Author Kim Harrison thought she'd said goodbye to her best-selling Hollows series with the publication of The Witch With No Name, but found she missed writing about magic so much she returned to it this year with a prequel, The Turn. In her latest novel, the familiar characters of the Hollows emerge from the shadows to save humanity in the wake of a world-wide, tomato-born pandemic.

Harrison took a break from the paranormal genre for several years to write a Bond-meets-Jason Borne thriller series, the Peri Reed Chronicles. Now she's back to writing urban fantasy, and plans on juggling several series since having fallen in love with her new work featuring older characters fighting age, the system, and those annoying "new hires" in order to get the job done.

Harrison's pleasure reading is a scatter shot within the wider scope of fantasy. Here are the debut books of five of her favorite character-driven, binge-worthy, series that have stuck with her.


Skinwalker (Jane Yellowrock) by Faith Hunter
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"Saddled with a past she doesn't remember, Jane can pull on her native American heritage to shift into a mountain lion—which comes in handy when she's trying to both survive and work with the New Orleans' vampire families. The big cat's soul vying with Jane's for control makes for surprising reading. This series sits at eleven, and has spawned a sister series, allowing for binge reading at its finest."


Scent of Shadows (Signs of the Zodiac) by Vicki Pettersson
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"The superhero mythology superimposed on a zodiac backbone all amid the lights of modern Las Vegas: What's not to love? Not your usual urban fantasy, but that's what I liked about it. Joanna Archer is one tough woman, and I enjoyed watching her make the hard decisions. The series run six books."


Sandman Slim (Sandman Slim) by Richard Kadery
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"Nicotine and octane in equal parts might come close to the high-energy buzz that seeps through Richard's writing. Crisp world building, recognizable and fully-realized characters, and a refreshingly unique storytelling style make for an absorbing read. If you like your urban fantasy gritty, this might be for you. And it just keeps getting better with the series standing at nine books."


Moon Called (Mercy Thompson) by Patricia Briggs
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"Shapeshifting urban fantasy with weres and vampires in modern America. Lots to love here, with a strong female lead and plenty of angst. The series stands at ten books."


Dragonsong (Harper Hall of Pern series) by Anne McCaffery
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"A blast from the past, and not urban fantasy, but urban fantasy wasn't a thing when I was ten. Thanks to Anne, I have been dreaming of dragons for a very long time, and when they show up again in my writing, I know I have Anna to blame. Menolly was my hero, and the idea of a small, winged protector sitting on my shoulder has haunted my own work—you don't have to look close to see it. Dragonsong is an offshoot series from the Dragonriders of Pern, which has been out for ages and spawned many side series, but my favorites are the first six or so."


What's your favorite urban fantasy novel? Share it with us in the comments.

See the complete coverage of Sci-Fi & Fantasy Week including:
Top 50 Favorite Fantasy Novels on Goodreads
Top 10 YA Fantasy Books
Author Terry Brooks' Guide for Fantasy Readers


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Comments Showing 1-41 of 41 (41 new)

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message 1: by Veronica (new)

Veronica Molina Mistborn is a must-read in this section!! Greatest girl hero ever.


message 2: by AlwaysV (new)

AlwaysV Wildfire (Hidden Legacy, #3) by Ilona Andrews is definitely standing all alone at the very top. I do have many favorite UF novels!


message 3: by Charlotte (new)

Charlotte Wildflower I love The Dresden Files Storm Front (The Dresden Files, #1) by Jim Butcher


Erin *Proud Book Hoarder* Love Kim's work - the recommendations are solid, need to check more of these out.


message 5: by Tomasz Kieniewicz (last edited Jul 29, 2017 04:00PM) (new)

Tomasz Kieniewicz Well, why is no1 mentioning Guilty Pleasures and the series? My favourite tho is Halfway to the Grave. The best series I've ever read. Magic Bites comes close, but... Frost is really damn good.


message 6: by Pauline (new)

Pauline Wow, what a list!


message 7: by Christina (new)

Christina Winton Sandman Slim, Mercy Thompson, and the signs of the zodiac series are some of my favorites, as well as Kim's hollows series, the Dresden files and Magic Bites. The night huntress series (halfway to the grave) is outstanding. No one mentioned the Charley Davidson series by Darynda Jones yet? It's so good. I also really enjoyed the Cassandra Palmer Series by Karen Chance, I'm anxiously awaiting the next book.


message 8: by Deborah (new)

Deborah Barragan The Dresden Files!


message 9: by Random (new)

Random Thoughts Don't forget Nalini Singh's Psy-Changelings. Murcy is awesome, as is the Alpha and Omega series. Anything by Ilona Andrews. Shelly Laurenston / G.A. Aikens is just funny. C.E. Murphy is also really good. Kim is always on my hit parade.


Erin *Proud Book Hoarder* Tomasz Kieniewicz wrote: "Well, why is no1 mentioning Guilty Pleasures and the series? "

Because the author is listing her personal favorites


message 11: by Izzy (last edited Jul 30, 2017 01:21AM) (new)

Izzy Tomasz Kieniewicz wrote: "Well, why is no1 mentioning Guilty Pleasures and the series? My favourite tho is Halfway to the Grave. The best series I've ever read. Magic Bites comes clo..."

Tomasz, I don't think the Anita Blake series would be considered urban fantasy any more - a lot of people still recommend the earlier books in the series, though.
The series has evolved into a new genre with a different audience. Not many fantasy readers have forgiven LKH for that.

Looking at reviews, it seems quality dramatically drops with every instalment. There are lots of other fantastic fantasy series that are consistent in quality so the Anita Blake series has been mostly forgotten.
(Izzy says, always having love for before the ardeur Jean-Claude)


message 12: by Izzy (last edited Jul 30, 2017 11:09AM) (new)

Izzy There have been so many great series that have been mentioned and I thought I'd share a few others.
Below are some popular fantasy series that are a little different:

Dirty Magic (Prospero's War, #1) by Jaye Wells Once Bitten, Twice Shy (Jaz Parks, #1) by Jennifer Rardin Ill Wind (Weather Warden, #1) by Rachel Caine Unholy Ghosts (Downside Ghosts, #1) by Stacia Kane


message 13: by Msilver (new)

Msilver The Sandman Slim books (Richard Kadery) are excellent! My favorite series (With all due respect to Kim) is The Dresden Files, by Jim Butcher! They're amazing! Charlaine Harris new Midnight series is good . . . And the Trailer Park Faerie books by, Lilly, (I can't remember her her last name, but I've read all the books in this series, so far). Jim Hines' books are good as well.


message 14: by William (last edited Jul 30, 2017 04:06AM) (new)

William Wilbie The Esther Diamond series by Laura Resnick is great and the White Thrash Zombie series by Diana Rowland is great as well. Both are Urban Fantasy series.
Edit: Heroine Complex Series by Sarah Kuhn.


message 15: by Katy (new)

Katy My top 5 fantasy series needs to be a top 6.
Along with the Hollows, Mercy Thompson, Jane Yellowrock and the Dragonriders of Pern (first fantasy books I ever read, and have defined what makes a good book/series for me ever since), I add two more great series:
Michael J Sullivan - Riyria books
Kevin Hearne - Iron Druid Chronicles, there are 8 IDC books now, but the first 3 are my favorites


message 16: by Amber (new)

Amber I like the Libriomancer series by Jim C. Hines and have started on the Dresden files too which are both pretty good series.


message 17: by Michele (new)

Michele Crouch I love the book Paper Journey by Faye D Raine. Paper Journey


Erin *Proud Book Hoarder* Izzy wrote: "Looking at reviews, it seems quality dramatically drops with every instalment. There are lots of other fantastic fantasy series that are consistent in quality so the Anita Blake series has been mostly forgotten."

*shudders* Truer words are rarely spoken. The first 9 books were some of the greatest UF of all time and I read them like four times. Now? I can't even go near the newer ones


message 19: by Izzy (new)

Izzy Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder* wrote: "Izzy wrote: "Looking at reviews, it seems quality dramatically drops with every instalment. There are lots of other fantastic fantasy series that are consistent in quality so the Anita Blake series..."

Erin, I agree!
It's funny (yet sad) that lately, whenever an ARC review is posted of the latest Anita Blake book, they start with, "The real Anita Blake is back!" Uh, no, she isn't. Lol. Everyone knows Anita Blake is LKH and the series is one big fat wish fulfilment.


Tomasz Kieniewicz Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder* wrote: "Izzy wrote: "Looking at reviews, it seems quality dramatically drops with every instalment. There are lots of other fantastic fantasy series that are consistent in quality so the Anita Blake series..."
okay, I was overoptimistic and wrote the review before reading the books where there seems to be a new lead character, since she shares barely any qualities from the first books.


Erin *Proud Book Hoarder* Izzy wrote: "Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder* wrote: "Izzy wrote: "Looking at reviews, it seems quality dramatically drops with every instalment. There are lots of other fantastic fantasy series that are consistent ..."

I agree - there is no way to undo damage at this point. The last few books I had read (and they were high up there), even the other characters were cardboard cut-outs of themselves

There was so much more she could have done with Anita's awesome brand of powerful necromancy too, but... sigh.


message 22: by Bill (new)

Bill G. For High Fantasy fans, there is Elizabeth Moon's The Deed of Paksenarrion: Sheepfarmer's Daughter / Divided Allegiance / Oath of Gold.


message 23: by Chrystal (new)

Chrystal Jachymek So tough to pick a few when there are so many but my top 5 are
Dark Hunters by Sherrilyn Kenyon
The Hollows by Kim Harrison
Otherworld/Sisters of the Moon by Yasmine Galenorn
Charlie Davidson Series by Darynda Jones
And my flash back.
Valerian series by Linda Lael Miller


message 24: by Janet (new)

Janet Martin Veronica wrote: "Mistborn is a must-read in this section!! Greatest girl hero ever."
Great book, but this list is composed of a particular person's favorites--maybe she didn't read it; maybe she didn't like it.


message 25: by Betty (new)

Betty AlwaysV wrote: "Wildfire (Hidden Legacy, #3) by Ilona Andrews is definitely standing all alone at the very top. I do have many favorite UF novels!"

AGREED! I love all of Ilona and Gordon's books, but Wildfire was just pure literary perfection!


message 26: by Moon (new)

Moon I am so happy Anne McCaffrey and Patricia Briggs are in the list, shame Charles de Lint isn't in it since he is the father of urban fantasy.


Erin *Proud Book Hoarder* I just bought Wildfire when it came out last week - can't wait to read it. Let's hear it for Mag Rogan and Nevada <3


message 28: by Erin *Proud Book Hoarder* (last edited Aug 01, 2017 09:42AM) (new)

Erin *Proud Book Hoarder* Moon wrote: "I am so happy Anne McCaffrey and Patricia Briggs are in the list, shame Charles de Lint isn't in it since he is the father of urban fantasy."

Again this is an author's personal favorites. If Charles wasn't on her top five, then that means it's not in her top five favorites. He wouldn't be in mine either.


message 29: by Wynn (new)

Wynn William wrote: "The Esther Diamond series by Laura Resnick is great and the White Thrash Zombie series by Diana Rowland is great as well. Both are Urban Fantasy series.
Edit: Heroine Complex Series by Sarah Kuhn."


I love both those series you mentioned. Laura Resnick infuses a great sense of humour into a likable cast of characters and interesting plots. Diana Rowland created a really unique anti-heroine that is completely flawed but genuine and lovable.

No one here has mentioned Seanan McGuire on here yet, especially the October Daye series, and I highly recommend it to anyone, including Kim Harrison herself.


message 30: by Hemet (new)

Hemet Neter I like Jane Yellowrock, too!


message 31: by Rachael (new)

Rachael Moon wrote: "I am so happy Anne McCaffrey and Patricia Briggs are in the list, shame Charles de Lint isn't in it since he is the father of urban fantasy."

Yes! Thank you for mentioning him. Though, if you're going to mention him, you also ought to bring up Bordertown and Borderland and Elsewhere and Nevernever, too.


Heather Codename: ♕Dutchess♕ Tomasz Kieniewicz wrote: "Well, why is no1 mentioning Guilty Pleasures and the series? My favourite tho is Halfway to the Grave. The best series I've ever read. Magic Bites comes clo..."

Probably because she read Antia Blake and discovered the writing was shit.


Heather Codename: ♕Dutchess♕ Moon wrote: "I am so happy Anne McCaffrey and Patricia Briggs are in the list, shame Charles de Lint isn't in it since he is the father of urban fantasy."

Create your own list. This isn't about your preference, this is about Kim's.


message 34: by Laura (new)

Laura Lee Christina wrote: "Sandman Slim, Mercy Thompson, and the signs of the zodiac series are some of my favorites, as well as Kim's hollows series, the Dresden files and Magic Bites. The night huntress series (halfway to ..."


LOVE the Cassie Palmer books!


message 35: by Danica (new)


message 36: by Belhor (new)

Belhor wow. The reader community has hit a new low!
I weep for the future of humanity.


message 37: by Marina (last edited Aug 05, 2017 07:29PM) (new)

Marina This is my list =0p
Pern series by Anne McCaffrey
Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost
Psy-Changelings series by Nalini Singh
Otherworld/Sisters of the Moon by Yasmine Galenorn
Jane Yellowrock series by Faith Hunter
Mercy Thompson by Patricia Briggs
Dark Hunters by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Pride Series & Magnus Pack Series & Call of Crows Series by Shelly Laurenston/Dragon Kin series by G.A. Aikens
The Hollows by Kim Harrison
Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews
Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series by Laurell K. Hamilton
Newford series by Charles de Lint
etc.


message 38: by Caroline (last edited Aug 05, 2017 07:58PM) (new)

Caroline Msilver wrote: "And the Trailer Park Faerie books by, Lilly, (I can't remember her her last name, but I've read all the books in this series, so far). "

The series is Gallow and Ragged, by Lilith Saintcrow, the first book of which is Trailer Park Fae.

Trailer Park Fae


message 39: by Caroline (new)

Caroline What we were actually asked was: "What's your favorite urban fantasy novel? Share it with us in the comments."

I find that a very difficult question to answer, as there are some very close contenders for the top spot. At the moment, the answer is:

Wildfire


message 40: by Kelly (new)

Kelly Martin I agree with Charlotte. I love The Dresden Files. My new read I'd Midnight Crossroad. Saw the TV show and I need to read the book.


message 41: by Aries (new)

Aries Faeries The Felix Castor Series. - The Dresden Files. - Alastair Stone Chronicles. - The Marnie Baranuik Files. - Alex Verus series.


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