I have always been torn between contemporary and fantasy novels, but lately, my current reads have all been fantasy books. Therefore, this weeks topic will spotlight my recommended fantasy novels. These books are perfect for longtime fans of the genre and for those new to fantasy.
1. To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo: One of the few books I read last year and it was brilliant. As a debut, To Kill a Kingdom has already cemented Christo as a formidable fantasy writer. This book, with all of its morally twisted characters, is a fast-paced, banter-filled, action-packed fantasy that is perfect for anyone looking to get into fantasy.
2. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo: There is no way you can write about the best fantasy books without mentioning Six of Crows. It is an intricately crafted world, with brilliant three-dimensional characters, and a whole lot of treachery. This band of outsiders are the most unlikely allies, but they proved time and time again that they are the most formidable team in the Grishaverse.
3. Invictus by Ryan Graudin: It would have been easy to spotlight Graudin’s Wolf by Wolf duology, but Invictus is also a brilliant sci-fi/fantasy book and perfect for those looking for a standalone fantasy novel. Invictus showcases Graudin’s versatility as an author as this books take the concept of time travel and explores the dangers of becoming an observer and an influencer, a line our main character, Farway toes the line between.
4. This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab: Schwab’s Shades of Magic series is arguably her most popular series, but This Savage Song should not be cast aside so lightly. Once again, Schwab demonstrates her skills in creating this monster-inhabited universe whilst grounding our characters, monsters included, in their humanity. This duology was a beautiful exploration of identity in a fantasy setting.
5. The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski: This series is a journey of betrayal, pain, and a desperate search for hope. It reads like a historical fantasy and its focus on political manipulation highlights the influence intellect and strategy has in this world. It’s not an easy journey, but the ending makes you appreciate everything these characters went through.
6. Elantris by Brandon Sanderson: Sanderson is a master storyteller. That is a fact. However, the sheer size of his books can be intimidating. At the moment, Elantris has the benefit of being standalone. Elantris is a brilliant example of an all-encompassing fantasy novel. Within his universe, Sanderson explores the relationship between magic, politics, and religion, and through our characters experiences, we get to understand the conflict that arises when one targets the other.
7. The Bird and the Sword by Amy Harmon: This book is richly imaginative, making it easy to immerse yourself in this fantasy world. Harmon’s stunning writing makes the reading experience feel like stepping to a fairytale. The emphasis of this book is on the characters more than the magical system, and it’s through them we get to see the joys and the brutality of magic.
8. Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta: Everyone must be sick of me shoving this book in your face at every possible moment, but when it comes to fantasy, Finnikin of the Rock is phenomenal. It’s a story that has all the fantasy elements you love, but it also has the benefit of being grounded by its flawed characters. You cannot pass up an opportunity to read this book.
9. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh: An immersive re-telling of the A Thousand and One Nights tale, The Wrath and the Dawn is perfect for fans of hate to love relationships and misguided vengeance.
10. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor: Admittedly, I’ve not finished reading this book, but what I’ve read so far is magical, just what you would expect from Laini Taylor. It’s richly imaginative and evocative, with neither side of the battle truly good nor evil.
What are your favourite fantasy novels?