It would be pretty presumptuous of me to claim that I am the ultimate authority on the Sci-Fi/Fantasy genre. However, I definitely have my favorite books. I thought that I would share those here. As with my previous list of my top 5 Sci-Fi/Fantasy authors, this list is limited to more recent releases.
The Demon Awakens by R. A. Salvatore is probably my favorite book out of any genre - not just fantasy novels. This is the 1st book of The Demonwars Saga. It follows the adventures of Elbryan and Jilseponie.
I admit that I was already friends with Bob when this book came out, so I might be more than a little biased. That said, I was really impressed with the way the characters developed from young, impressionable kids to the defenders of the realm.
L. E. Modesitt, Jr.'s first installment of the Saga of Recluce hooked me from the very beginning. I liked that the book was primarily written from the 1st person point of view. As well, it was a new take on the good v. evil aspect of fantasy novels. Rather than good magic v. evil magic, Modesitt used order v. chaos. While it isn't evident in this volume, order does not always equate to good and chaos is not always evil.
Book 4 of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series was my favorite book of this series. I felt that the characters had some really good development in it, especially Perrin. While I liked all of the books, this one really stood out for me.
R. A. Salvatore's The Woods Out Back has a different appeal for me. Bob and I grew up in the same town. The 'woods' really exist. The story takes a present-day man who lives in our town and transports him to a fantasy realm where he is asked to be a hero. Bob mentions a cemetery in the 'real' world which is the same cemetery where my grandfather is buried. It was fun for me to read this book and recognize some of the places.
I would have enjoyed the book without that aspect, but that certainly moves it up on my list.
Jim Butcher's Grave Peril didn't have much trouble finding a place in my top 5. It was not the first of his books that I read, but it is my current favorite of the Dresden Files. Harry, the main character, is one of the most unique that I have seen. I am not entirely sure why Grave Peril ranks above any of the others in the series - mind you, I have only read four of them so far. I think that it has to do with the interaction between Harry and his friend Michael. Michael appears to some degree in all of the books that I have read to this point, but he is considerably more prevalent in Grave Peril. Michael is essentially a modern-day, sword-wielding paladin.
select one here...