If you enjoy reading fantasy, you might enjoy reading Mercedes Lackey's various series set in the world of Valdemar. I won't review the books individually, but I will list the books in the order of publication (the order in which I recommend anyone read the books), but I will point out some of my favorites (and why they are favorites). As with most fantasy, there are magical creatures and people with special abilities. Unlike some fantasy authors, Mercedes Lackey writes what I call "light fantasy" - entertaining and easy reads - no lengthy, convoluted plots and archaic dialog here... In most of the series, the storylines center on Heralds, people "chosen" by intelligent white horse-like creatures called "Companions" (who have the ability to communicate with their "Chosen"). Heralds, both men and women, are in the service the monarch of Valdemar, who must also be a Herald. Heralds are "the good guys", protecting Valdemar and administering justice throughout the land. And, of course, the stories involve the struggles between good and evil.
So, if you are interested in reading these books, here's the order in which I recommend you read them (with the caveat that you could read most all of the books within a series first, for those series which are not all written "together" - the exceptions being last three books on the list, which come more than ten years after the previous books in the series):
Arrows of the Queen (1987)(Heralds of Valdemar series)
Arrow's Flight (1987)(Heralds of Valdemar series)
Arrow's Fall (1988)(Heralds of Valdemar series)
The Oathbound (1988)(Vows & Honor Trilogy)
Magic's Pawn (1989)(The Last Herald Mage Trilogy)
Magic's Promise (1989)(The Last Herald Mage Trilogy)
Oathbreakers (1989)(Vows & Honor Trilogy)
Magic's Price (1990)(The Last Herald Mage Trilogy)
By The Sword (1991)(Kerowyn's Tale)
Winds of Fate (1991)(The Mage Winds Trilogy)
Winds of Change (1992)(The Mage Winds Trilogy)
The Black Gryphon (1993)(The Mage Wars Trilogy)
Winds of Fury (1993)(The Mage Winds Trilogy)
Storm Warning (1994)(The Mage Storms Trilogy)
The White Gryphon (1994)(The Mage Wars Trilogy)
Storm Rising (1995)(The Mage Storms Trilogy)
The Silver Gryphon (1996)(The Mage Wars Trilogy)
Storm Breaking (1996)(The Mage Storms Trilogy)
Owlflight (1997)(The Owl Mage Trilogy)
Owlsight (1998)(The Owl Mage Trilogy)
Oathblood (1998)(Vows & Honor Trilogy)
Owlknight (1999)(The Owl Mage Trilogy)
Brightly Burning (2000)
Take A Thief (2001)(Heralds of Valdemar series)
Exile's Honor (2002)(Heralds of Valdemar series)
Exile's Valor (2003)(Heralds of Valdemar series)
There are a few other Valdemar books, collections of short stories, not on the list above. Not all the short stories are written by Mercedes Lackey, but they are authorized publications. I have read Sword of Ice (1997) and Sun in Glory and other tales of Valdemar (2003), but I have not read Crossroads and Other Tales of Valdemar (2005) or Valdemar Companion (2006), as most of my Barnes & Noble purchases over the last two and a half years have been children's books for my future classroom library.
I will be up front about these books: they aren't for everyone. There are homosexual characters in some of the books. I didn't start reading these books until I was in my 20s, but I would not recommend these books to students (I'm a certified elementary school teacher), and I would only recommend these titles to teens when their parents were okay with it (with the foreknowledge of some of the potentially objectionable content - extramarital sex and homosexuality). All this being said, these books aren't really about the characters' sexuality (although it does figure more prominently in The Last Herald Mage Trilogy). As an adult reader of these books, I understand that while I might not agree with the morality of some characters, underneath some of the character flaws I see, these are people fighting for what is right for Valdemar. These books tell stories, in the context of a fantasy world that could never exist, of flawed people trying to do what is best to safeguard good people against threats rooted in the actions of evil people.
My favorites out of all twenty-six books are the most recent: Take a Thief, Exile's Honor and Exile's Valor.
Take a Thief tells the backstory Skif, a character from the first Valdemar book, Arrows of the Queen. Skif is an orphan, abused by his uncle and his cousin, and running with a gang of pickpockets. Then, Skif is "chosen", although he starts out thinking he has stolen a horse... Skif is mentored by the Collegium's weaponsmaster, Alberich. Between Skif's life experiences prior to being chosen and his tutelage under Alberich, Skif is uniquely skilled for covert missions within Valdemar's capital city, Haven.
Exile's Honor tells the backstory of Alberich, the mysterious weaponsmaster at the Herald's Collegium (someone "seen" throughout many of these novels, as all Heralds are required to receive weapons training - archery, swords, and even knives in some cases). Alberich is not a native of Valdemar. In fact, he is a native of Valdemar's sworn enemy, Karse. As a young boy, Alberich was taken from his home to be trained as a soldier in the service of Karse, a theocratic (and dare I say "fascist"?) state. Karse regularly "sacrifices" children to their god, and when Alberich, a captain in the Karsite army, runs afoul of the priests during one of these "sacrificial fires", he becomes their next target. When he is trapped in a burning shed, his recently captured "horse" comes to his rescue. Only this "horse" isn't what is seems, and Kantor takes Alberich to Haven. Although most all Heralds are "chosen" as children, and Companions are not known for making wrong choices, Alberich is not so easily trusted. Alberich is a soldier and honor and duty are important to him. He must prove himself at a time when the nation of his birth is at war with the country of his exile.
Exile's Valor continues Alberich's story, picking up pretty much right where Exile's Honor left off. There is a new queen, young and untested, and there are those who seek to usurp her power. Can Alberich, as the young queen's personal bodyguard, protect her and discover those behind the plot?
On a side note, when I was first reading Alberich's story, I was corresponding with Major Pain (then "Capt. B") and his XO (through AnySoldier.com), who were in Afghanistan at the time with 1/6 Marines. I couldn't help but think Alberich would have made an excellent Marine...