#1 in the "Song of Ice & Fire" series
          I have a weakness for epic fantasy of the Medieval kind.  Kingdoms at war, court intrigue, all of that.  Of course I LOVE George R. R. Martin's Song of Ice & Fire, but since the next book in that series is taking FOREVER to be completed, I've been on the hunt for other big honkin' door-stopper dark Medieval fantasy novels.
#1 in "Kingdoms of Thorn & Bone" series
          Gregory Keyes' Kingdoms of Thorn & Bone had me on the edge of my seat.  I read all 4 books in the series one after the other.  Then I discovered Tad Williams' Shadowmarch, and read the first 2 books, now waiting eagerly for the 3rd in paperback.
#1 in "Shadowmarch" series
          I'm such a sucker for stories that begin with brutal royal assassinations, followed by the heirs of the kingdom having to go on the run as fugitives.  All the better if one of the princesses, not some douchebag prince, reveals herself to be tough as nails and most fit to eventually rule the kingdom.  The antithesis of the Disney Princess syndrome.  And I like magic in SMALL doses, thank you.  Nothing crass or hokey, please.
#1 in the "Acacia" trilogy
          Which brings me to Anthony Durham's Acacia trilogy.  Probably the closest thing I've found to Martin's Song of Ice and Fire, and I don't mean that it's a rip-off.  It's epic and masterful and I can't wait to get my hands on the 2nd book, The Other Lands.  By the way, each of the books I'm talking about here average 800 pages, which is a requirement for me when it comes to dark fantasy epics. 
#2 in the "Eyes of God" series, but the BEST cover illustration ever, right?
          Now I'm totally engrossed in John Marco's trilogy: The Eyes of God, The Devil's Armor, and The Sword of Angels.  I've finished the first two, and will have to obtain the last one soon.  I know it's super nerdy, but I find it really awesome that the focal point of the kingdom in Marco's series is a giant LIBRARY.  Wars are fought over it, partially because of what a library stands for, and partially because of a mysterious and revolutionary "cataloging machine" built by the Librarian.  (It just figures that even in fantasy fiction people only get pro-active about the library when technology is involved.)  Plus there's a magic city across the desert where the crippled and deformed obtain miraculous powers from long-dead spirits with the help of a midget called The Witch of Grimhold.  How cool is that?  Well, I mean it's cool if you're a fantasy nerd like me.
          Toward the end of the second book in the series I ran across the following line that sells the whole thing, as far as I'm concerned.
          "I think you've brought poison into my library, Baron Glass."
          That one line is all I need to be totally hooked.  And I wish MY name was "Baron Glass."