I'm somewhat of an enigma when it comes to fantasy. I am a self proclaimed fan of the genre and often navigate to various things in that setting, but if there is a specific example of one that I don't much care for it's the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I don't have much in the way of explanation for why, it's just something that never really appealed to me. (Probably not the smartest thing to say with a new Hobbit movie coming out or hobbit promotion in our Library)
In any case, there is one fantasy trilogy that I am absolutely in love with and have been since middle school, and that would be Dragonlance Chronicles by Margaret Weiss and Tracy Hickman. Since this duo is quite the prolific pair, I'd like focus on the Dragons Trilogy as it's probably the most notable story and the one where the major characters become the "Heroes of the Lance", and essentially lays the foundation for the all the stories that follow it.
The tale sets up with a group of adventurers meeting up after a 5 years to reconnect after going their separate ways. The brothers Majere: Caramon and Raistlin, Tanis Half-Elven, the knight Sturm, Tasselhoff the Kender, and Flint the Dwarf. On the eve of their reunion they find that the village is currently under the occupation of a religious organization called the Seekers, who work for the Dragon Highlords who look to conquer the continent.
They seek a blue crystal staff that supposedly has the power of the lost gods of good and has the ability to disrupt their plans for conquest. A staff that so happens to be in the possession of a Barbarian Princess, Goldmoon, who is also in the same tavern where our group has reunited. After a display of the staffs healing powers and an altercation with Goldmoon's lover (Riverwind) the group confronted by the authorities and are forced to flee.
Thus setting in motion a pursuit of a Draconian empire, as the group makes way to find out more about the old gods that and recover an ancient series of disks that will be instrumental in returning faith to the True Gods, all the while defending themselves against attacks from Draconians and the eventual return of dark dragons.
As a series of stories heavily based in the Dungeons and Dragons universe, I think what I ended up liking the most about the series is that it really is an ensemble piece. Right from the get go we have a pretty wide and diverse cast of characters that only grows as the story progresses. I find it to be a true ensemble piece because while certain points of the story focus on certain characters, there is no "Hero" of the tale. It will constantly shift focus in the group, allowing the reader to decide for themselves which hero they like instead of having one projected to you as your read.
Additionally, like a great game of D&D, many of the characters have their own motivations. One of the more popular characters and one of the primary antagonists, Raistlin Majere, is quite clearly from the onset an "evil" character. His motivations clearly are beneficial to himself, and he will often manipulate situations to further his own power under the guise of helping the group. Much to the dismay of his brother.
I really can only give such a small snippet of the story as so much takes place in these three novels, but if you are fan of the fantasy genre then this is a tale that you'll find incredibly easy to slip into. It has adventuring, fights with dragons, war, romance, splashes of comedy, and pretty much satisfies all my needs in a fantasy story. It's a series I've enjoyed as a kid and one I enjoy to this date.
Feel free to check out the CLEVNET catalog to check out these stories, and if you get as wrapped up in the universe as I have, we have a wide selection of the numerous other stories within the Dragonlance universe as well.