Riot Headline The Best Hardcover and Paperback Deals of the Amazon Book Sale (UPDATED May 17, 2024)

25 Must-Read Series and Duologies That Ended in 2019

This content contains affiliate links. When you buy through these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Kate Krug


Kate is a 2011 Drake University grad, where she received her BA in magazine journalism. A hopeless romantic with a cynical heart, Kate will read anything that comes with a content warning, a love triangle, and a major plot twist. Twitter: @katekrug Blog:

Reading series can be hard. You read the first book. It pulls you in. And then you wait for the sequel. Then when the sequel does come out, you can’t remember for the life of you what happened. Personally, I could love a book to bits but unless I take notes and character map, there is a good chance that I will not remember the details by the time the next book comes out. A way to bypass this is to wait until all of the books are out before beginning, that way you can just skip on through the entire series. Here are 25 recently completed series that you can add to your TBR!

The Lightbringer series by Brent Weeks

This series originally started out as a trilogy but blossomed into a quintet of wordy fantasy novels with excellent world-building and character development. Lightbringer takes place in a world where different frequencies of light are used to create the magical substance luxin. These people are referred to as “drafters.” In this world, aka the Chromerian Empire, supreme power is split between The White and The Prism, with the former covering the political aspects and the latter in charge of maintaining the balance between the seven kingdoms, all of which are organized around the seven primary colors. Start here: The Black Prism

The Asiana duology by Rati Mehrotra

Markswoman by Rati MehrotraThis is an #ownvoices fantasy duology, where our main character Kyra is the youngest Markswoman in the Order of Kali, a group of elite warriors. As a Markswoman, Kyra has pledged to protect her people—but she also harbors a secret mission to avenge her family, who were all brutally murdered. After a stunning turn of events forced Kyra to flee her sisterhood, she finds herself stranded in the desert that is home to the Order of Khur, aka the only order composed solely of men. Start with: Markswoman

Stalking Jack the Ripper series by Kerri Maniscalco

Our story starts with Audrey Rose Wadsworth, who bucks societal norms in London and loves to study forensic science in her uncle’s lab. When her uncle starts getting an influx of bodies, they begin to suspect they have a serial killer in their midst. Also along for the ride is the ever-charming Thomas Cresswell (seriously, get ready to swoon). Their many adventures lead them to Romania and eventually across the ocean to Chicago, all the while not being able to escape their pasts. Start with: Stalking Jack the Ripper

The Folk of the Air series by Holly Black

the cruel princeThe final book, Queen of Nothing, wasn’t slated to be released until 2020, but then Actual Queen Holly Black surprised everyone with an expedited November release. This much hyped series tells the adventures of Jude, a human girl, who is whisked away to the land of the fae at a young age but has always experienced prejudice at the hands of the fae folk, who aren’t the biggest fans of humans. In spite of this, Jude is determined to her earn place at the court and be respected by the fae. However, this involves standing up to the evil Prince Cardan, the Cruel Prince if you will. And let’s just say, the sparks will fly. There’s political intrigue, romance, fae-fantasy, what else could you want?! Start with: The Cruel Prince

The Winternight trilogy by Katherine Arden

the bear and the nightingaleThis trilogy is beautifully atmospheric and based off of a Russian folktale. Vasilisa “Vasya” grew hearing stories about the blue eyed Frost demon who appears on freezing nights to take unwary souls back to his ice kingdom. But she was never fearful before of the spirits that live in their house who are sworn to protect them. After Vasya’s mother dies and her father remarries a devoutly religious woman, the spirits become restless and Vasya becomes scared that Frost will be able to enter the house. All books in this trilogy have wonderfully lyrical writing and perfectly give you the feels of a crisp, winter day. Start with: The Bear and the Nightingale

The Nevernight Chronicle by Jay Kristoff

When Mia Corvere’s father is executed, she becomes hellbent on revenge for the three powerful men responsible. She infiltrates the Red Church, the deadliest group of assassins within the Republic of Itreya. This entire series is brutal, graphic and filled with so many twists and turns your head will hurt in the very best way. You will also fall in love with Mia’s sidekick (although he would hate to be called that), Mr. Kindly, a shadowcat whose snark adds much needed “comic relief” amidst all the blood. Start with: Nevernight

The Caraval trilogy by Stephanie Garber

Garber’s magical trilogy centers on sisters Scarlett and Donatella “Tella” Dragna, who grow up hearing about the traveling performance show, Caraval, and dreaming (Scarlett at least) of participating. Our story starts when Scarlett finally receives her ticket and sets off with Tella to join the show. Add in the wickedly mysterious Caraval master, Legend and the equally charming Julian, this Caraval is bound to be one to remember. Start with: Caraval


Three Dark Crowns quartet by Kendare Blake

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare BlakeOn the island of Fennbirn, every generation a set of triplets is born. All are princesses with an equal shot at the throne. We meet sisters Katharine, Arsinoe, and Mirabella: Katharine is a poisoner, Arsinoe is a naturalist, and Mirabella can control the elements. All three sisters have lived apart, knowing that the fight to the throne will get deadly. Only one of them can become queen and the time has come to start picking each other off. Start with: Three Dark Crowns


The Nyxia Triad by Scott Reintgen

Emmett Atwater is given the opportunity of a lifetime: the chance to board a spaceship owned by the conglomerate, Babel Communications, set for the remote planet of Eden where he will be mining the mysterious substance known as nyxia, the most valuable material in existence. Along with the other nine recruits, Emmett begins the rigorous training process to prepare them for Eden. But soon Emmett starts to suspect that mining nyxia isn’t the only reason why recruits were needed and why he, in particular, was chosen. Start with: Nyxia

Royal Bastards series by Andrew Schvart

Tilla is the bastard daughter of Lord Kent of the Western Province. Once loved and given attention from her father, she was soon cast aside when he had children of his own. Nowadays, Tilla has been cast aside to sit at the Bastards’ Table at feasts, where she must gather with the rest of the bastard children from the across the nation. When Tilla and a ragtag group of friends witness a crime, they unknowingly trigger a civil war and at the center are the Bastards, who must band together to save the people who cast them out. Start with: Royal Bastards.

Dance of Thieves duology by Mary E. Pearson

This duology is set in the same universe as the Pearson’s other success series, The Remnant Chronicles, but stands on its own enough that you can read without reading the prior series. The books are told in dual perspective from Jase, the heir of the Ballenger outlaw empire, and Kazi, a street thief who is sent to the Ballengers to investigate their crimes. As you can imagine, sparks fly and politics threaten to tear them apart. Start with: Dance of Thieves.

The Raging Ones duology by Krista Richie and Becca Ritchie

In this world, every one knows the day that they are going to die. Meet Franny, Court and Mykal: three teens who have somehow done the impossible and survived their death day. They, of course, must hide their secret and attempt to flee the planet by applying for a mission to space.  Start with: The Raging Ones

Arc of a Scythe series by Neal Shusterman

Death has been conquered. Everyone has the potential of living forever, but of course, Earth can only handle so much. Enter scythes, “chosen ones” who have the duty of gleaning people to keep the human population level manageable by “gleaning,” aka executing, people who fit certain categories. Our main characters are Citra and Rowan, both who are summoned to become scythes in training. The series is a little morbid, pretty dark, and full of conspiracy and creepy surveillance (the all-knowing Thunderhead). Start with: Scythe

Last Star Burning series by Caitlin Sangster

Facing a mysterious and deadly Sleeping Sickness, the City is desperate for a cure. But instead of saving the people, Sev’s mother sets the Sickness loose and betrays the entire nation. Sev is branded with the mark of a criminal and forced to live a life of excruciatingly hard labor in order to prove she is not like her mother. So when a horrific bombing occurs within the city, Sev is immediately blamed and found guilty. To escape execution, Sev flees the city walls and runs into the chairman’s son, Howl, who becomes her only ally. Start with: Last Star Burning

Fallen Isles series by Jodi Meadows

If you’re looking to fill the dragon void that Games of Thrones left, this series is a good start. Mira Minkoba has always been told that she is “special.” Named for a peace agreement that ultimately united the seven isles against the mainland, Mira is known across the nation for her beauty and hope she brings to all. After Mira is betrayed and sentences to life in the deadliest prison, she must uncover some truths about herself and maybe partner with the people she once hated to regain her rightful place. Start with: Before She Ignites

Renegades series by Marissa Meyer

Our world is one where people with X-Menlike abilities, aka prodigies, historically were forced to keep their powers a secret and live underground. Enter Ace Anarchy, who rose to be a prominent figure fighting for acceptance of prodigies. In response, several “villain” gangs formed, leading to the formation of OG “hero” organization, the Renegades, who overthrew Ace and ushered in the age of the Renegades.  Nova Artino is our main gal. Nova is determined to bring down the Renegades after her family was brutally murdered by a villain gang and the Renegades failed to intervene. So she infiltrates the Renegades to bring them down from the inside. Start with: Renegades

Shattered Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima

Set in the same world as the Seven Realms series, but 20 year after the events that conspired in those books, we meet Ash, a powerful healer but who also is hellbent on revenge for the people responsible for the overthrow of the kingdom. Then there’s Jenna, who is a victim of a birth-based blood curse, making her highly valuable to the King of Arden who, surprise surprise, is the man Ash is also looking for. Start with: Flamecaster

The Licanius Trilogy by James Islington

When this series opens, it’s been 20 years since the godlike Augurs were overthrown from power. Nowadays, the Gifted are only spared because they have accepted the rebellion’s belief of the Four Tenets, a way of life that severely limits their powers. Davian is a Gifted, but begins showing signs that he actually wields the same powers as the Augurs. As Davian goes searching for answers, way across the country, a young man wakes covered in blood with no memory of who he is. Oh, and he’s somehow tethered to Davian. Start here: The Shadow of What Was Lost

The House War series by Michelle West

Ok, so this one is a bit complicated. The House War series is a series on its own, but it connects to main Essalieyan saga by Michelle West. There are also two other series that fit into the overall Essalieyan saga, check out Goodreads for more info on the order to read the books. But the House War Series focuses on House Terafin and the battle for control that ensues when Jay and Rath meet and form an alliance that begins to stir the demons who once nearly destroyed the Essalieyan Empire and are looking for another chance. Start with: The Hidden City

Their Bright Ascendency series by K. Arsenault Rivera

After the bitter defeat of the Qorin, the Hokkaran Empire took complete power but failed to control its citizens. Inside they began festering a darkness that slowly spurns a rebellion. Barsalayaa Shefali is an infamous warrior of the nomadic Qorin tribe, who grew up side-by-side with O-Shizuka, a warrior empress of the Hokkaran empire. It’s been prophesied that the two of them will save the world. And now that the Qorin have been defeated, they are needed more than ever to spur the revolution. Start with: The Tiger’s Daughter

The Bone Witch series by Rin Chupeco

When Tea’s brother dies, she resurrects him with no knowledge of how she did it. In doing so she learns that she is a Bone Witch. A necromancer. With this new knowledge that Tea is different than the rest of her family of “regular” witches, she is immediately outcast and ostracized from her community. She turns for support and solace to an older and experienced bone witch who agrees to train her in the art of necromancy. All the while, dark forces are closing in around Tea. Start with: The Bone Witch

The Custard Protocol Series by Gail Carriger

This series combines new adult romance with steampunk British history and throws in some vampires and werewolves for good measure. Okay, don’t freak out—it’s an amazing combo. Taking place in the same world as Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series but several decades later, and this time stars the daughter of main character Alexia Tarabotti: Prudence, aka Rue. Start with: Prudence


Ascension series by K.A. Linde

Cyrene Strohm’s life is changed forever when she is chosen to be an Affiliate to the Queen, a prestigious position within the Byern Court. But she soon learns that there’s more to this job than she expected. And not only is it not as luxurious as it seems, there are dangerous political scandals and forbidden magic stirring that become a life or death situation. Oh, and there’s that little factor that Cyrene falls in love with King Edric. You know, the ONE man she can’t have. Start with: The Affiliate

Titan’s Forest series by Thoraiya Dyer

Within Titan’s Forest, 13 kingdoms come together to form the city of Canopy. The gods and goddesses of Canopy have ruled since the beginning, continuously being reincarnated into different bodies. While Canopy looks shiny from the outside, their opulence is only made possible by the existence of slaves and within the other two realms of Titan’s Forest, Understorey and Floor, they are deeply jealous of Canopy’s fruitfulness and inside a deep resentment begins to threaten a change of power. Start with: Crossroads of Canopy

Iskari series by Kristen Ciccarelli

Legends speak of two blessed children who become the light and the darkness of the world. There’s the Namsara, the child who brings joy to all; and then there’s the Iskari, the bringer of death. Our heroine, Asha, is the daughter of the king of Firgaard and has long been whispered to have dark powers. She becomes the fiercest dragon slayer in the land and properly takes on the role she was meant to have, the Iskari. But where there’s darkness there must also be light—so where is the Namsara to her Iskari? Start with: The Last Namsara