Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
Top Ten Books For Readers Who Like Character Driven Novels
1. A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1) by George R. R. Martin
But only if you don't mind your favorite characters dying. I'm only slightly kidding. Martin writes fantasy at its finest, and it's centered on political intrigue and how no one is safe. Each chapter follows a different character's (mostly main) perspective, and there are hundreds of other side characters that play major roles and get more than a little development.
2. The Iron Duke (The Iron Seas #1) by Meljean Brook
In The Iron Seas series, Meljean Brook effortlessly combines romance and steampunk with a little bit of zombies thrown in. As romance is, to me, almost always character-driven, this is even more character-driven than the other fantasy series on this list. Each book is centered around one couple in the world.
3. The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle #1) by Patrick Rothfuss
This is a sweeping epic fantasy, chronicling the life of the protagonist Kvothe, from early childhood to Harry Potter-like magic school even to a broken man in the present day.
4. Finnikin of the Rock (Lumatere Chronicles #1) by Melina Marchetta
One of my all-time favorite epic fantasy series. Melina Marchetta is a master of character-driven adventure stories. Each of the characters in the trilogy is well fleshed out and compelling, which makes any tragedy in the story that much more heartbreaking.
5. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
This was the first book that came to mind when I read "character-driven" and it's the only non-fantasy book on the list. It follows three entirely different women in different stages and walks of life in Mississippi during 1962. It's phenomenal and a great story of women who would stand for a great cause and the women who would attempt to limit them.
6. Shards of Honour (Vorkosigan Saga #1) by Lois McMaster Bujold
I have several of Bujold's books on my TBR, but this is one of her books that is recommended most. Bujold is one of THE character-drive science fiction/fantasy authors. Science fiction romance? Yes, please.
7. Royal Assassin (Farseer Trilogy #2) by Robin Hobb
Robin Hobb is another of the pivotal character-driven fantasy authors. I read the first in the trilogy, Assassin's Apprentice, and wasn't wowed. But, I've seen tons of recommendations for this trilogy, so I'm hoping I was just having a bad day and I'll like the second better.
8. The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson
The blurb states that this is "a science fiction coming-of-age story, focused on a young girl named Nell". I'm in.
9. Half a King (Shattered Sea #1) by Joe Abercrombie
I've actually seen a lot of recommendations for Abercrombie's character-driven The First Law series, but I want to read his Half a King even more.
10. The Innocent Mage (Kingmaker, Kingbreaker #1) by Karen Miller
I started The Innocent Mage on audio once, but I just wasn't in the mood for slow-starting world and character building. I wanted a more fast-paced fantasy. I'll start this again, because I've seen a lot of good recommendations for the series.