#2 - Dragonlance Series by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman
And my love of fantasy books and reading in general was shocked back into life.
Sure, I'd read the Hobbit, Lord of the Rings and perhaps one or two other fantasy books before then, but I never really found them that interesting. LotR has always been a tough read for me. Conversely, Dragons of Autumn Twilight was wonderfully fresh and easy to read. It's full of adventure, magic, combat, dragons (etc) and reads like a dramatised account of an actual gaming campaign (even if it wasn't). It was like a breath of fresh air amongst the stuffy, cloying atmosphere of the other novels I was reading.
Since then I've read the Chronicles, Legends, War of Souls, and Lost Chronicles trilogies (ah, fantasy novels and their trilogies!). I've read some of the short story collections and other bits and pieces. But, it should be stressed, only the stuff by Weis and Hickman; the other Dragonlance authors never seemed to do much for me.
I've also read some of the others non-DL works by Weis and Hickman like the Deaths Gate Cycle, Rose of the Prophet, and Darksword series but they were never quite as good as Dragonlance. Tanis, Sturm, Caramon, Flint, Tasslehoff, Goldmoon, Riverwind, Raistlin and the rest will always be my favourite group of typical fantasy characters - and it's amazing how they got us to 'care' for an evil character like Raistlin!