People always ask me about my philosophy on emotional living, which is that we shouldn’t reject any emotion, no matter how much we may not want to feel it at the time. That goes for anger, sadness, excitement, guilt, regret, or happiness. We should embrace them all and accept that we’re just human. If we can do this, maybe one day if I break down in the street and cry because I’m having a rough day, people will come and ask if I’m okay, rather than cross the street to avoid me because they think I’m weird. Most of this comes from my upbringing on emotional stories, which really helped me to understand that emotions are okay and they don’t make me a bad person. So, here are my picks for the top five most emotional book series I’ve ever read in the fantasy genre.
1.) City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare
What emotional fantasy book list would be complete without this entry? Cassandra Clare managed to create an action-packed, teenage romance book series that has kept people on their toes for years. It’s a massively successful book series, but this entry is different. It breaks down barriers in action-fantasy fiction by having its entire plot focus on the inner turmoil of the main characters, rather than a larger plot. While Jace is trapped to Sebastian’s soul, Clary risks everything to save him. We get to watch Clary go through something truly horrifying in this book. She’s trapped in a secret realm where the person she loves is physically incapable of loving her back, all the while being further tortured by her brother. It’s the most emotional experience I’ve been through in a series like this. Placing myself in her shoes, I don’t think I would have been as brave.
2.) Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman
The last book in His Dark Materials trilogy had most of the world weeping in true sorrow. In the entire series, you get to watch the main character, Lyra, grow from a troublesome child into a beautiful and confident young woman. She does this, as most people her age do, by finding love. They go on an incredible adventure of magic, danger, and friendship, but it wasn’t meant to last. Instead of just killing her love interest off, however, the author decided to go one step further and force them to spend the rest of their lives apart. Yep, you heard me right. We watch their story and their amazing abilities to cope so long as they’re together, but in the end, they have to live in separate worlds because of the danger opening portals creates. They sacrifice their love to save the world. It’s truly a beautiful and sorrowful ending.
3.) Allegiant by Veronica Roth
Now, although I dislike the direction this series took, I will be the first to admit I cried hard at the ending. I mean real hard. I was in the university library when I read this for the first time and wasn’t expecting it to end like it does, and cried so hard people came up to me and asked what the matter was. I had to excuse myself to the bathroom so I could cry in a toilet cubicle for twenty minutes to let out my grief. It’s not the ending itself that’s sad here, but rather how the author presents that loss. I mean, watching him scatter her ashes from the city zip line, despite his fear of heights? That’s more than my heart can bear.
4.) Skullduggery Pleasant: The Dying of the Light by Derek Landy
This is in my top five favourite book series of all time, and for good reason, it’s epic! This entry into the series has us going on another detective adventure, but we’re tricked into thinking Skullduggery is going to die. I don’t usually fall for these tricks, especially when the book is aimed and ten-year-olds, but I fell hard for this one. I truly believed for a few pages that the author was going to kill him off. I nearly put the book down out of anger and threw it across of the room. But put Skullduggery Pleasant down? NEVER! It turned out that wasn’t the ending and he lived after all, but for a minute there my heart shattered. If you haven’t checked out this hilarious and fun series, please do. It’s awesome!
5.) The Beautiful Dead by Eden Maguire
This is an entire series entry into this list because it’s the most emotional book series I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. I’m tearing up just thinking about it. The author takes us on a journey through one girl’s grief over her boyfriend’s death. In one of her anxiety and depression-led episodes, she hears his voice and sees his ghost. She follows it wanting nothing more than to be back in his arms, only to find his angel form, with three other recently departed angels, in a farm just outside of town. The entire series then has us following her detective story to find out how they all died so they can move on to heaven. And you guessed it, her boyfriend’s journey is last and it doesn’t end happily. In the end, she has to learn to let him go and move on. The entire book acts as a giant metaphor for the process of grief and is an emotional rollercoaster of a book series. I would not recommend reading this without a least a dozen boxes of tissues and maybe wait until you’re having a good day, so it doesn’t send you off the rails with sorrow.