Contemporary Art Week!
I think a lot of fans of Epic or High Fantasy tend to have a series that’s “their” series…the one the ends up setting the bar for the rest of their fandom adventures. For me, it was always Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time. I read the first book, The Eye of the World, sometime in 1991 and that was pretty much it for me.
Although it has plenty of flaws, it stands apart from a lot of medieval fantasy settings in that it’s a loosely medieval-ish world, not an endless Europe that goes on and on for thousands of miles. There are very specific nations and cultures at work in the main setting continent (as well as the “other” continent), and there are also in-universe races and cultures associated with nations, with aspects of various historical world fashions, social mores, myths, and even bric-a-brac chosen from a world setting, rather than creating a dichotomy of red-haired white people versus blonde-haired white people and other common fantasy tropes.
Although many of the characters can be read ambiguously in regard to appearance, Gallagher’s character designs are among my favorites, and generally faithful to the text descriptions.