10 Fantasy Series That Should Be Movies Instead Of Another Narnia Adaptation
Another year, another Narnia adaptation. On Oct. 3, Netflix announced they would be resurrecting C. S. Lewis' beloved book collection in a parcel of films and a series. It's hardly the first time a big screen (er, in this case, small-er screen) adaptation has been attempted. There's the BBC miniseries, which ran from 1988 to 1990 (and which I checked out countless times on VHS from the Cuyahoga County Public Library growing up). There were the Disney-fied versions that hit theaters beginning in 2005. And now, there's the Netflix version. But if you're ready for some uncharted fantasy plots, check out these 10 fantasy series that should be made into movies.
Our contenders offer epic battles and internal conflicts, seedy cultural underbellies and high school drama. Witches and vampires and shamans and even a few "superheroes." Dragons, too. But each series excels at one of the key characteristics of fantasy writing: world building. Oh, If you've been wondering this whole time what the difference between fantasy and science fiction is, take acclaimed sci-fi writer Isaac Asimov's succinct definition: science fiction, based in science, lives within the realm of reality. That is, it could happen. Fantasy can...not. Please don't come for me arguing that werewolves are real.
The point is that the best of the fantasy whisks you into a world with entirely new dimensions. There are new rules and new histories to learn. But it's like embarking on a journey into uncharted waters. There's excitement in the unknown, and these books are your guides for all that's brand new.
Caraval Series by Stephanie Garber
Currently a duet of books, Stephanie Garber's Caraval series revolves around Scarlett and Tella, sisters kept isolated on a small island by their cruel father. Both sisters long for the opportunity to attend Caraval, an annual performance which casts the audience as participants. But when Tella and Scarlett manage to sneak away, and Tella is first kidnapped and then made the star of the show, Scarlett falls down a rabbit hole of dark magic and twisted passion as she searches for her sister.
The Poppy War Series by R.F. Kuang
A new military fantasy series inspired by China's bloody 20th century, The Poppy War begins as Rin, a poor war orphan, a girl, aces the Keju, the test created to identify the empire's brightest students. Even more shocking: Rin discovers "near-mythical" shamanism powers and is accepted into the most elite military academy, Sinegard. But the battle is just beginning for Rin, as she faces cruelty from her classmates and an impending war from outsiders.
Heroine Complex Series by Sarah Kuhn
Even superheroes need personal assistants — and that's exactly what Evie Tanaka is for her best friend and San Francisco's premier lifesaver, Aveda Jupiter. But when Aveda is injured one night, Evie must take up the mantle of superhero — and discover within herself a well of powers she never knew existed.
Dragonriders of Pern Series by Anne McCaffrey
Decades before George R. R. Martin created Daenerys Targaryen, Anne McCaffrey brought us Lessa, a young woman robbed of her birthright, whose parents were murdered, who has lived the life of a social outcast, dreaming of revenge and a way out. And when Lessa meets a queen dragon, and finds they have a telepathic connection, she becomes her country's only hope for survival after they're set upon by an ancient threat.
The Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson
Exceptionally prolific fantasy writer Brandon Sanderson brings to life a seething, action-packed plot of political intrigue, seedy underbelly and yes, a lot of fighting. For a thousand years, the Skaa lived imprisoned in fear and grief. But when two half-Skaa orphans, each with their own traumatic histories, find one another, they discover endless potential — and endless opportunities to fail.
Abhorsen Trilogy by Garth Nix
Sure, J.K. Rowling may have cornered the market in the "young wizard goes to school" genre, but Garth Nix's Abhorsen trilogy explores the line between the living and the dead and between good and evil when Sabriel leaves her magical boarding school and crosses into a world of unknown power after her father goes missing.
Spectacle Series by Megan Rose Gedris
Anna and Kat are sisters and performers in the Samson Brothers Circus. Kat — beautiful and beloved — is a star knife thrower. Anna is, at heart, an engineer, though she masks her abilities with the title of "fortune teller." But when Kat is found murdered, and Anna realizes she can suddenly see ghosts, she sets off to figure out who killed Kat — and whether another performer is next.
Glamourist Histories by Mary Robinette Kowal
Often described as "Jane Austen doused in magic," Mary Robinette Kowal's Glamourist Histories exists in a world not unlike Pride and Prejudice, except for one detail: in addition to the sewing and portrait drawing and dancing, high-class women are expected to deftly manipulate "glamour" (magic). And when Jane Ellsworth's family comes under attack, she must step up — and accept the full range of her powers.
Jackaby Series by William Ritter
1892, New Fiddleham, New England. Abigail Rock is newly arrived in the port city and in desperate need of a job, when she meets R.F. Jackaby. Abigail has an extraordinary ability to notice - and remember - the most minute of details. Her skills match perfectly with that of Jackaby, a detective whose keen eye extends into the world of the supernatural. A murderer is on the loose. You can guess what happens next.
The Song of the Lioness Series by Tamora Pierce
Unwilling to follow tradition and head to a convent to be trained in magic, Alanna disguises herself as a boy and embarks on the journey towards knighthood. But as she gains her knight's shield and title (while her brother, Thom, grows to be a powerful sorcerer inside the convent walls), Alanna finds she must contend with the magical part of herself she's always hated.