Everybody knows I love fantasy and I think everybody would love fantasy as much as I do if they just gave it a chance. I think that in a world that gets too much at times, it is amazing to be able to escape to a world where nothing is real and everything is dreamed up. Worlds where dragons exists, emperors rule, people have superpowers, and whole new worlds are built for your reading pleasure. Also I know most of you enjoyed The Harry potter series so what are you waiting for?
My journey into being a fantasy reader was a slow one, I started with dystopian novels till I thought I had read all the good ones, then I went into fantasy lite and then epic fantasies. This is the same formula I use whenever I want to lure someone into my fantasy world. I recommend a dystopian novel then scale it up from there.
So this is a recommendation of sorts for anyone who’s thought about venturing into the fantasy genre but not sure where to start:
If you enjoy fiction – I think the dystopian novel to start with is “Station Eleven“. Station Eleven is a book about the break down of civilization as we know it, an airborne viral diseases hits America and everything crumbles, we’re left with a generation of people who know next to nothing about the world before the apocalypse and we are told the stories of survivors and non-survivors alike, through a band of traveling performers.
Honorary pick – Never let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
If you enjoy(ed) Station Eleven – and are feeling brave enough to climb the ladder, Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson is my pick for you. A weird sun appears in the sky and suddenly gives people superpowers and the world as we know it changes. The people with superpowers called epics now rule the commoners brutally and the only way to kill these people is to find out their weaknesses but they guard their achilles heel with their lives. When David was 8, he witnessed the brutal killing of his father by one of the epics called Steelheart and vows to one day bring him down.
If you enjoy romance or Young Adult fiction – the dystopian novel for you to start with is Divergent by Veronica Roth. Society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all 16-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between choosing her family’s virtue and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself. You also have probably heard of the movie franchise.
Honorary pick – Delirium by Lauren Oliver
If you enjoy(ed) Divergent – you’d like A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas. Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jeweled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre’s presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.
Honorary pick – Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
If you enjoy children’s literature – the dystopian book for you is The Giver by Lois Lowry. Twelve-year-old Jonas lives in a seemingly ideal world. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver does he begin to understand the dark secrets behind this fragile community.
If you enjoy(ed) The Giver – you’d enjoy The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson. As the son of a lowly chalk maker at Armedius Academy, Joel can only watch as Rithmatist students learn the magical art that he would do anything to practice. Then students start disappearing—kidnapped from their rooms at night, leaving trails of blood. Assigned to help the professor who is investigating the crimes, Joel and his friend Melody find themselves on the trail of an unexpected discovery—one that will change Rithmatics—and their world—forever.
Honorary pick – The Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowlings
If you enjoy thrillers – the dystopian novel for you is The Girl With All the Gifts by M. R. Carey. In a world in the process of being destroyed by a kind of zombie making virus, an infected girl, Melanie, her beloved teacher, a crazy scientist and a couple of soldiers must survive in a mostly destroyed England. There’s also a movie about this.
If you enjoy(ed) The Girl With All the Gifts – Red Sisters by Mark Lawrence. Stolen from the shadow of the noose, Nona is sought by powerful enemies, and for good reason. Despite the security and isolation of the convent her secret and violent past will find her out. Beneath a dying sun that shines upon a crumbling empire, Nona Grey must come to terms with her demons and learn to become a deadly assassin if she is to survive
Check out these book recommendations and tell me what you think. Is there any you are interested in? Have you read any books on the list? Do you have any book recommendations for me? I’m always interested in increasing my TBR list!!
P.S – While I have read all the books on this list, I did not enjoy all of them. I do believe in finding the books that are right for you and books that you personally enjoy so just because a book was not right for me does not mean it will not be right for you.
P.S2 – I tried not to include epic fantasies that span years, I think this is a suitable entry into the genre regardless and I will make a separate list of epic fantasies another time.
5 thoughts on “A Personal Guide to Fantasy Books [with recommendations]”
As a fantasy binge reader I’d like to add a few not well talked about books and those that caught me by surprise.
The girl who drank the moon – Kelly Barnhill
Sabriel – Garth Nix
The fifth season – N.K Jemisin
Monster Hunter Series – Larry Correia
Age of Myth – Michael J. Sullivan
I did not enjoy The fifth Season, I found it quite hard to get into it from the beginning but I think i’m going to reread it this year and rethink my opinion because a lot of the people I trust loved it. I’ve read Age of Myth, really enjoyed that one. Have you read The Way of Kings? I think you’ll enjoy it. I’m going to check out these recommendations!! thank you!
I have read pretty much all the series by Brandon Sanderson, I didn’t include him because he has a cult following, if you google fantasy books his are almost always one of the first to pop up. It’s like recommending George RR Martin or Tolkein. I listened to The fifth season, the narrator was brilliant so that made it easy to get into it and the story was not what i was expecting and felt refreshing from the fantasy norm. I often wonder how much of the books I love that I consumed via audiobooks I’d have liked less if I’d simply read, a lot of times narrators can make or break a book. Most of the books I’ve read that have an audiobook available was because the narrators were complete crap.
I have read everything by Brandon as well! I’m going to take your advice and tackle the fifth season again via audio. You’re right, narrators do change the way a book is enjoyed and i have wondered about that as well.