The following are six lesser known or forgotten fantasy series that I consider to be particularly noteworthy (in no particular order):
- The DragonRealm Series by Richard A. Knaak
Knaak was one of the first writers to get me into fantasy. I started reading fantasy with his Dragonlance books and, some years later, discovered he had his own fantasy series. After reading the first book, I was hooked. It's been a while since I've read the books, but I remember them being quite entertaining, with a mage who changes from good to evil (and vice versa) every time he dies (and is resurrected) and a complex dragon society.
- The Duncton Wood Series by William Horwood
I suspect this is one of those lesser known fantasy series. Horwood's fantasy series is a mixture of Richard Adams' Watership Down and Brian Jacque's animal fantasies, only a million times more elaborate and epic. Each novel follows a series of moles in an enormous mole society, richly developed and conceived as if it actually existed today, with mythology and more interweaved into the storylines. Truly the cream of the crop as far as animal fantasies are concerned. Even if you don't like books with animals as the central characters, you should try Horwood's books. They're amazing.
- The Iron Dragon Series by Paul Genesse
I don't know if you would say that Genesse's Iron Dragon series is forgotten, but it is certainly lesser known. Part of this is due to Genesse's publisher, Five Star, being particularly small. Regardless, Genesse has written an intense, action-packed series that will continue to be developed ever the next three books. His work is relatively new, too, so get into them while you still can!
- The Godslayer Chronicles by James Clemens
The series is apparently incomplete, but the Godslayer Chronicles, beginning with Shadowfall, is one of the my favorite fantasy series in existence. I wish he would write the third book already, but as it is, Shadowfall is richly developed and uses gods and magic in a fairly unique way--to my knowledge. Even the main character has one heck of a special ability! Definitely worth reading.
- The Remin Chronicles by Nick Ruth
One of two young adult fantasy series on this list, The Remin Chronicles, starting with The Dark Dreamweaver, is a fantastic quirky series in the vein of Leven Thumps. One of the main characters is a magic-weilding caterpillar! I'm fond of quirky fantasy, and if you are too, then check out the first book.
- The Young Wizards Series by Diane Duane
I'm not sure if Duane's young adult fantasy series is lesser known or forgotten, but I'm assuming it's the former as I don't hear much about it these days. Her Young Wizards books follow a duo of, well, young wizards as they learn and use their newfound magic abilities to combat various foes within the wizarding world. Her novels came well before Harry Potter flooded the market, and one should not compare her work to Rowling's. The Young Wizards series is intricate, well written, and fascinating.