Top 10 Best Epic Fantasy Books To Read if You Love The Fantasy Genre
If you’re a fan of fantasy books, you’ve probably encountered the term “epic fantasy” at some point. What does it mean, though? Well, the term is used to describe a subgenre of fantasy which typically features a main character of noble birth, who follows a path of adventure and magic, seeking to restore order to the world. It is similar to the traditional heroic fantasy subgenre, but with somewhat less emphasis on magic and more on politics, heroism, and individual quests.
Table Of Contents
- The Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson
- A Game Of Throne by George R. R. Martin
- The Way Of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
- Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
- The Dagger and the Coin by Daniel Abraham
- The Prince Of Nothing by R Scott Bakker
- A Land Fit For Heroes by Richard K Morgan
- The Lightbringer Series by Brent Weeks
- The Long Price Quartet by Daniel Abraham
- The Gentleman Bastards by Scott Lynch
1. The Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson
The Malazan Book of the Fallen is a series of high-fantasy books written by Canadian author Steven Erikson. The series is published by Bantam and Del Rey in the United States and Canada, and by Voyager in the United Kingdom.
The 10 books that make up the series go back to the beginning of time, when gods and mortals mingle freely and live in harmony. Then, the Fall occurs, and chaos takes over. The books tell the epic story of life after the Fall, and the fate of the world. The books are filled to the brim with amazing heroes and villains, heroes who are not always good, and villains who are not always bad.
The series draws on several elements of the fantasy genre, most notably the mythologies of the Malazan world itself, as well as on a number of non-fantasy literary genres, including historical fiction, espionage, and police procedural fiction. The books are also filled with impossible battles, incredible magic, and plenty of betrayals. If you’re looking for a long saga that will keep you enthralled for years, then The Malazan Book of the Fallen is the series for you.
2. A Game Of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
“A Game of Thrones” by George R. R. Martin is the first book of the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series, which has since been adapted into the #1 show on television, “Game of Thrones.” Martin has a knack for taking classic fantasy tropes and adding a twist, which he does with the series’ first book. He also manages to create a large cast of memorable characters, each with their own motivations and desires.
The books have introduced us to a truly unforgettable cast of characters — Daenerys Targaryen, Jon Snow, Tyrion Lannister, and more — and set them against the backdrop of the fight for the Iron Throne. The series has been the subject of much criticism (it is the most popular form of entertainment in the world, after all) and is often thought of as a showcase for sex and violence. But if you look past these elements, the series is actually a celebration of the human spirit.
3. The Way Of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
The Way of Kings is an epic fantasy novel written by Brandon Sanderson, first published on August 31, 2010. It was nominated for the 2011 Hugo Award for Best Novel. The Way of Kings is the first installment of The Stormlight Archive, which is planned as a ten-novel series. The second, Words of Radiance, was published on March 4, 2014. The Way of Kings takes place in a world where thousand-foot-tall stone spikes called Shardblades can be used to fight wars, and where men who carry a magic source inside themselves called Stormlight can fight and protect.
If you’re interested in getting into the series, but are daunted by the 1000+ page length of the first two books, don’t worry—Oathbringer is a manageable doorstopper at just over 500 pages, and the first two books are now available in a combined volume.
4. Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
For some, the great fantasy romance books of the world are the Lord of the Rings books by J. R. R. Tolkien. The first book in the series focuses on Frodo, a young hobbit who inherits a magic ring from his uncle, Bilbo Baggins. Frodo must leave his home in Hobbiton and journey across Middle-Earth to the Cracks of Doom, where he must destroy the ring. Along the way, he must battle evil forces as he tries to complete his quest.
The story is told through the eyes of Frodo Baggins, who inherits a ring from his uncle Bilbo that is far more powerful than it seems. Soon Frodo is dragged into an epic adventure to protect the Ring and destroy it in the fires of Mordor.
5. The Dagger and the Coin by Daniel Abraham
For fans of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire epic saga, this one’s for you. Set in an alternate reality of the same medieval period, The Dagger and the Coin series by Daniel Abraham follows a pair of unlikely comrades as they embark on a series of daring exploits in a world of magic and intrigue.
The first book, The Dragon’s Path , introduces the two main characters of the series: Cithrin bel Sarcour and Marcus Wester. Bel is the lone surviving member of the disgraced banking house of her homeland, while Wester is a former Westerland soldier and one of the few honest men in town. (They both have a strong moral compass.)
6. The Prince Of Nothing by R Scott Bakker
A novel written by the American writer R. Scott Bakker, the Prince of Nothing trilogy is an epic fantasy series called a “masterpiece of the imagination” by Stephen R. Donaldson. The Prince of Nothing novels are set in a world where the First God was betrayed by his own sons, and the ensuing war has thrown the world into chaos. The novels follow the story of a man named Anasûrimbor Kellhus, who seeks to restore order by uniting the human nations with his philosophical ideals and military might.
7. A Land Fit For Heroes by Richard K Morgan
A Land Fit For Heroes is the second book in the Wounded Land duology, and it’s another winner from Richard K Morgan, the genius mind behind the Takeshi Kovacs books. (If you’ve never read a Kovacs book, you absolutely must. Start with Altered Carbon or Broken Angels , then read either Woken Furies or A Land Fit For Heroes , and then finally try the Broken Angels and Woken Furies sequels, Steel Rain and The Line of Polity . You won’t regret it.)
8. The Lightbringer Series by Brent Weeks
The Lightbringer Series by Brent Weeks is a great choice for those looking for a fantasy series that does not involve elves, dwarves, or some other popular fantasy race, but rather focuses on human characters and the political intrigue, supernatural magic, and fighting that they engage in.
The first book of the series “The Black Prism” introduces three main characters: Gavin Guile is the Prism, the most powerful man in the world, who has lost his mind; he is also a powerful sorcerer, but his powers are dark, and destroying him completely is he one of the main goals of the other characters. Gavin’s son Kip is a young man with a pure heart, but not a lot of experience, who finds himself in the middle of the fight.
9. The Long Price Quartet by Daniel Abraham
The Long Price Quartet is an award-winning series of fantasy books by Daniel Abraham, an American science fiction and fantasy author. The series won the Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel in 2007, the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2008, the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel in 2009, and the Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel in 2010.
10. The Gentleman Bastards by Scott Lynch
The Gentleman Bastard series” has been on every fantasy lover’s “must read” list for a long time, and now that there are three books out, we think it’s time you got to know it.
The series takes place in a fantasy world where crime is organized and there’s a class of criminals who are masterfully talented; while outside the city walls, the world is bleak and divided by a deep hatred between the nobility and the poor. One day, Locke Lamora, the greatest thief of his generation, is betrayed by his criminal partner, and his life is changed forever.