The Best Epic Fantasy Books

 

When we think of some of the best new fantasy books of 2019, what do we think? We often think of epic battles, dragons and mythic creatures, tales of sword and sorcery and, of course, old wizards. When it comes to the best epic fantasy books, sometimes the classic tropes are all you need. And sometimes those books also play with tropes to give you something oh-so-familiar, but also something brand new and incredibly exciting.

This is a list of epic fantasy novels. High fantasy stories that enjoy both nuances of narrative while making the most of fantasy elements we all know and love:

 

The Stormlight Archives - Brandon Sanderson

Reasons to Read:

An epic world of blisteringly large proportions, packed full of diverse cultures, extreme examples of magic and strange creatures aplenty - combined with deep and enthralling plot lines - this fantasy book series is a true example of what high-fantasy means.

Rating: 4.8

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Grace of Kings - Ken Liu

Reasons to Read:

A sprawling epic fantasy novel set in a world reminiscent of medieval era Japan, Grace of Kings is a stunning example of how simple plot structure and storytelling can result in some absolutely incredible fantasy adventures that keep you captivated from beginning to end. Those who struggle with having their attention held by some of the more detailed fantasy novel series will love the carefully crafted words of award-winning Ken Liu.

Rating: 3.7


The Demon Cycle - Peter V. Brett

Reasons to Read:

Rich characters, interesting use of magic and lore that is both effortlessly simple to understand but beautifully deep and enchanting, Demon Cycles is undeniably one of the best epic fantasy book series around. It cultivates both intense character development while simultaneously oozing classic fantasy elements we all know and love.  

Rating: 4.2

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The Lies of Locke Lamora - Scott Lynch

Reasons to Read:

Unlike some other examples of epic fantasy, The Lies of Locke Lamora - and the rest of The Gentlemen Bastard series -  is a bit more down and dirty, a bit more gritty, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t an epic fantasy worth reading. Set in a world crafted around medieval Venice, this crime-based novel is one of the best fantasy books you’ll ever find.

Rating: 4.3

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Mistborn - Brandon Sanderson

Reasons to Read:

Another addition from prolific high-fantasy author Brandon Sanderson, the Mistborn saga is, quite frankly, off the scale. Featuring seven books already with another in the pipeline, this epic fantasy series currently tallies a total of over 1 million words. Readers seeking something that will captivate them, and keep them hooked for a long, long time, will find very few fantasy books better.

Rating: 4.4

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Age of Five - Trudi Canavan

Reasons to Read:

Trudi Canavan is known for writing some of the best epic fantasy books. The Age of Five is an intoxicating series that provides a wealth of excitement and intrigue through its exploration of religion, cultural ideology and pure drama. Those readers who love to indulge themselves in books that focus on culture and beliefs will find Age of Five a perfect addition to their collection.

Rating: 4.5

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The Night Angel - Brent Weeks

Reasons to Read:

Starting with the critically acclaimed Way of Shadows, Brent Weeks’ Night Angel trilogy is a masterpiece of fantasy storytelling that takes classic fantasy concepts and intertwines them with contemporary ideas of epic adventure. A piece that is as political as it is fantastical, there is so much depth to this series that it is small wonder each novel is rated so highly by fans.

Rating: 4.4

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The KingKiller Chronicles - Patrick Rothfuss

Reasons to Read:

An ongoing trilogy by writer Patrick Rothfuss, The KingKiller Chronicles is quite unlike any other fantasy you’ll ever read; and that is entirely by the author’s design. Set across different timelines, this fantasy series features one of the most complex narrative structures you’ll find in the genre. This is one for those who really like to think about what is going on, and digest what they are reading.

Rating: 4.6

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The Black Magician - Trudi Canavan

Reasons to Read:

Another epic fantasy series by author Trudi Canavan, The Black Magician offers a new foray into a wealth of diverse themes true to real life. This time, Canavan’s words don’t reflect on religion but society instead, taking a closer look at topics such as segregation and societal differences, told through the use of magic and other classic fantasy elements.

Rating: 4.5

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The Farseer Trilogy - Robin Hobb

Reasons to Read:

The Farseer trilogy is the epic fantasy book series that launched author Robin Hobb’s career. G.R.R Martin himself has described her work as ‘diamonds in a sea of zircons.’ The trilogy introduces Hobb’s high-fantasy world known as The Realm of Elderlings, which is now covered by a complex and diverse mythos of sixteen novels. Anyone looking to explore a deep and fleshed out world will find Hobb’s work is a gift that just keeps on giving.

Rating: 4.2

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Rebel of the Sands - Alwyn Hamilton

Reasons to Read:

Described as Arabian Nights meeting the Old West in a young adult fantasy book series that features all the classic genre elements you’d expect, including magic, mythology, epic world-building and much more, The Rebel of the Sands trilogy is not to be overlooked. Receiving rave reviews for everything from its romance and atmosphere to its action and adventure, this series really does have a lot to offer.

Rating: 4.0

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Children of Blood and Bone - Tomi Adeyemi

Reasons to Read:

Children of Blood and Bone has accomplished a lot in its short existence, even more impressive as the novel is author Tomi Adeyemi’s debut. Since it was released in early 2018, it has achieved the title of New York Times best-seller for young adult books, received a highly positive critical response and featured heavily on the American late-night chat show hosted by Jimmy Fallon. Covering deep subject matters including race, sexism and societal intolerances, this is one of the best epic fantasy books of the past few years, and has made a real name for itself in just a short space of time.

Rating: 4.6

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Master Assassins - Robert V.S Redrick

Reasons to Read:

Described as clean and crisp, with characters that really live and breathe, Master Assassins is a new epic fantasy novel brought to you by well-established author Robert V.S Redrick. Packed with religious ideology, beautifully envisioned settings and intense character relationships, this jaunt into a desert-based epic fantasy world promises a lot and delivers more.

Rating: 4.2

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Looking for more of the best fantasy books?


From The Azrian Portal:

Azrian Anthology - James Speyer

Enter the world of Azra with The Azrian Anthology: Volume #1 and experience a series of fantasy short stories. Explore the depths of sacred forests, witness horrors of both monsters and man, and follow uncertain and unhinged figures as they navigate the tough Azrian landscape. The Azrian Anthology takes some of the elements you’ll find in the best epic fantasy books and hones in on them in the form of shorter tales. Perfect for all fans of the genre. Looking for stories of magic and mythical creatures? There is something here for you. Prefer a story wrapped in character detail and internal struggle? Then you're in luck! Now available as a fantasy eBook. Don’t want to download an eBook? You can read short stories online right here instead.