Best Non-English Fantasy Books

The Best Fantasy Books by Foreign Authors Translated into English

English literature has many great works of fantasy -- Lord of the Rings, A Game of Thrones, The Chronicles of Narnia. But there's an entire body of literature -- and modern fantasy -- that's written in other languages that English speakers don't have any access to. 

However, there are a number of outstanding foreign fantasy books that have been translated into English. Some of these translated fantasy books have gained some serious steam -- attracting millions of readers and in some cases, even seeping into video games and movies.

Regrettably, has many many recommendations for English works of fantasy, but very little in the way of recommendations for fantasy written outside of the English language, even though there is an abundance of such in other (non-English speaking) countries. 

Why Does Non-English Fantasy Matter to English Speakers?

Some of the greatest science fiction (and fantasy)  have come from foreign authors. To ignore it is to ignore some of the greatest works in the genre.

Works like We by Yevgeny Zamyatin are the grandfather of Dystopian novels, helping influence such greats like Orwell's 1981. Works like R.U.R. by Czech writer Karel Čapek  who in his story, pioneered the idea of robots and by doing so, actually coined the term 'Robot'. 

And of course there's French novelist Jules Verne, the grandfather of modern Science Fiction and with his 'The Voyages extraordinaires' series of books, practically founded the modern idea of science fiction and adventure novels. 

And let's not leave out the great Ukrainian novelist and philosopher Stanislaw Lem who's created some of the greatest science fiction masterpieces ever put to paper (Solaris). Lem was himself influenced by Polish literature through the writings of Cyprian Norwid and Stanisław Witkiewicz.

So you see, English is not the only language out there and there's more to 'fantasy' what's written in English. 

Far more in fact.

The State of Non-English Fantasy in the West Today

Without a doubt, foreign fantasy books are gaining steam in the English world. 

Russian, Polish, French, and Japanese fantasy have particularly made waves in the English marketplace as translated science fiction & fantasy have been hailed by critics and enjoyed by readers. 

Last year (2015), the Hugo Award for Best Novel was awarded to The Three-Body Problem -- a translated Chinese science fiction book.

And of course there are The Witcher books by Andrzej Sapkowski -- a series that have taken the world by storm, inspiring no less than a highly regarded video game series, a TV series, comics, and even a movie. 

Indeed, The Witcher books have been (mostly) translated into English and are widely regarded as some of the best sword and sorcery fantasy. More than a few fantasy readers would place these Polish-translated-to-English fantasy books as some of the best fantasy period, every bit as good as any work by English fantasy authors.

What Makes a Foreign Fantasy Good?

Two things:

1) A great source story

2) The skill of the translator

Obviously, if the source story is mediocre, it's highly unlikely a translated-to-English version is going to be any better. Typically, the translated version of a story is always LESS than the original non-translated version. Each language has unique idioms, expressions, poetic meanings, and cultural viewpoints that are encoded into the very structure of the language. Many of these are often stripped away when the source text is translated into English. Languages such as Chinese, for example, often have no equivalent expressions that can be translated into English. And there is that whole semantic relationship between the written and phonetic versions -- sometimes there may be additional meaning or relationship between how a word or character in the language is written, how it sounds, and what it means (Japanese, German, and Chinese for example).

Which brings us to the importance of the translator. Arguably, the translator is just as important as the author. If the translator mucks up the translation, well, the book just won't be good. Translating fiction from another language into English is particularly difficult because as a translator you don't just have to KNOW both languages fluently, you also have to be able to write a compelling novel to boot. Thus you must be 1) an excellent translator who is completely fluent in both languages (and also well versed in the literature of both) and 2) be able to craft an excellent piece of English fiction.

It probably goes without saying that the best translator are also excellent writers of fiction. For example, the 2015 Hugo was given to Cixin Liu's Three-Body Problem. And while the novel is full of refreshing ideas and a compelling story, it took the skill of Ken Liu -- winner of the Hugo, Nebula and World Fantasy Award for his own story -- to translate Cixin Liu's story in such a way that it captivates English readers.

So, long point made short: the translator can make or break a foreign novel.

Why Read Non-English Fantasy?

I'm a big fan of non-English fantasy because such works often bring a new, refreshing perspective to an often stagnant genre. Non-English fantasy books that are translated into English can often bring us completely new ideas, different cultural notions, exotic mythology, and unique stories to us. 

In fact, some very popular non-English fantasy books such as 'The Witcher' have done just this, bringing us a refreshed perspectives on some of the classic fairy tale tropes, wrapped about with a different cultural perspective. 

About My List of the Best Non-English Fantasy Books

This is a list of the 'Best Fantasy Books by Foreign Authors' (or you might also call it 'Best Fantasy Books Translated into English) -- outstanding works that have been translated from their source language into English -- and still being accessible and entertaining to the English audience. 

So don't ignore these outstanding books on this list. If you are hungry for new ideas and arguably some of the most entertaining fantasy on the planet, read these books. 

It's a shame that these picks are only a small selection of the vast and deep foreign fantasy that have not yet been translated into English, but as such, these will have to do for now.

Note that I've drawn from primary the fantasy genre (with a couple exceptions). If I were to extend the list to cover Science Fiction, there would be a lot more books added. 

Expect this list to be expanded in the future as more foreign fantasy books are translated into English. 

If you have your own picks for great fantasy that's been translated into English -- stuff that really stands out -- please share in the comments.

Anyone who plays fantasy video games will be familiar with Andrzej Sapkowski's The Witcher books, and the RPGs developer CD Projekt Red based on them. The titular 'witcher' (mutated, sorcerously-powered professional monster hunter – cool, I know) is Geralt of Rivia, the White Wolf, lover of women, slayer of monsters, and kicker of asses. He's just about the coolest protagonist a reader could ask for, and the stories he finds himself in are as horrifying as you'd expect from books based on eastern European fairytales and monster legends. The monsters Geralt hunts are the real deal. These are the sorts of nightmare-fuel that could only be generated from hundreds of years of stories told by the fire in Sapkowski's native Eastern Europe. Forget Sleeping Beauty, the princess Geralt encounters turns into a flesh-eating horror every night. Despite this, the true monsters Geralt encounters are always human ones, and he considers his mission of 'killing monsters' to include the all-too human variation. He fights with a combination of swords, potions and sorcery, and he's just plain cool. I feel like I'm gushing, am I gushing? I'll stop now. Read this book if: you want to join to throngs of fantasy fans who idolize Geralt of Rivia, the White Wolf.

Books in Saga O Wied?minie Series (7)

If you are looking for an introduction to the best Chinese science fiction, look no further than Lui Cixin's stunning and much celebrated award-winning trilogy which has sold nearly half a million copies so far. Not bad for a simple power-plant worker living remote part of China turned best-selling, award-winning science fiction writer.Yes, Three Body Problem is Hard Science fiction and not 'Fantasy' but it's such an outstanding work and an example of a foreign speculative fiction novel that even took the English world by storm, a feat that's rarely ever achieved by a translated-into-English fantasy novel. Even more, this is the first time any Chinese work has penetrated so deeply and so successfully into the western market The Three Body Problem, originally written in Chinese, has been lovingly translated into English by none other than Ken Liu, the only author ever to win the Nebula, the Hugo, and the World Fantasy Awards for a single work of fiction "The Paper Menagerie". Ken Liu also recently debuted his 2015 fantasy novel The Grace of Kings to high acclaim. Lui Cixin is China's most popular science fiction writer and China's vanguard of a new, burgeoning modern speculative fiction movement. The Three Body Problem won the 2015 HUGO Award for Best Novel. So as far as "translated science fiction" by foreign authors go, The Three Body Problem is one of the most critically praised speculative fiction books of the past decade. As such, this book should top your reading list if you are interested to see what else is out there outside the English sphere in terms of science fiction & fantasy literature. Hell, by winning the HUGO award any by being translated by a Hugo-Award winning author, this book is an absolute must-read anyways. While it may be part of the Hard Science Fiction subgenre, the Three Body Problem is, besides it's science fiction setting, fundamentally a story about the human condition. Liu said of his book that he 'wrote about the worst of all possible universes in Three Body out of hope that we can strive for the best of all possible Earths.' indeed, and that's exactly what Three Body sets out to do. It's an easy to read, utterly captivating novel about humanity -- the darkness, the light, and the hope that lies in our future.Three-Body Problem is part of a trilogy with book 2 The Dark Forest released in August 2015 and the final concluding  volume coming out August 2016.

Books in Three Body Series Series (2)

The unusual Moscow setting of Night Watch is echoed by its magic system. Lukyanenko’s contemporary world is inhabited by both humans and ‘Others’, supernatural beings who can attune to Dark or Light. These beings keep watch, one group during the day, the other at night, using their powers to maintain the balance. They exist in a magical realm known as the Twilight and began long ago as shamans and wisemen. Their attuenment depends on their emotional state when they entered it, and this also determines which powers they can access. Thus, Lukyanenko creates a world filled with sorcerers and vampires, healers and magicians. Each side recharges its powers through human emotion; dark through the negative ones, and light through the positive. Feeding on bad emotions heightens them, while positive emotions are dulled, creating a system where light is forever overshadowed by darkness. Lukyanenko’s strength is in the detail he renders each power, but he also uses it as a tool. His magic system exists not just for excitement, but to explore concepts of good and evil, and that makes it one of the best around.

Books in Watch Series (5)

The Scar is the story of a man with a self-destructive drive to find redemption at all costs, the woman who just might be able to save him, and a senseless murder that both brings them together, forever changing their lives for the good and the bad. Itâs the story of grief, and pride, and the ultimately, the forgiveness that leads to healing. It's a dark and complex sword and sorcery tale about crime, punishment and forgiveness.This is a work of writing that channels the emotional connection of a Robin Hobb novel with the wild and dark imagination of Michael Moorcock, lathered in the rich yet gloomy perspective that seemingly underlies the Russian perspective, leaking between the cracks of the story, in the conversation between characters, and the subtext of the words.If you want an introduction to Russian fantasy, there are few books better than The Scar that will do that, and do it in such a way that the world, setting, and characters make sense to your western notions. The Scar, however, takes your hand and leads you through and in the process, makes you really think about the world and morality.Russian fantasy, if youâve read any, tends to dwell in the dour and dark, exploring the lows of the human condition, yet also at times, revealing the highs at which humans can still yet achieve.The Scar is some of the best modern foreign fantasy and wildly under-appreciated due to it being a Russian fantasy translated into English. For a complex Sword and Sorcery tale that reaches beyond the boundaries Sword and Sorcery for something grander, read this utterly compelling work of Russian fantasy.

The Neverending Story is a perfect example of how badly a film version of a beloved book can go. For people who hadn't read the book, the film was probably enchanting. For everyone else, it's confusing. (Can we please talk about the luck dragon that was less dragon and more a flying puppy?) But the book is a complex exploration of power and how it corrupts even those with the best intentions. Why it made the list It's not often that you'll read a book where the integrity of the character you root the most for is as annihilated as it is in The Neverending Story. You'll have read about characters that fall from grace, but more often than not, it's a result of an external force. In this book, it's Bastians' good intentions that drag him down. And that's what will get you. Because we assume that, should we be given the power to change things, we'd do it for the better. But when you have that power and can have anything, how do you keep your moral compass intact? It's translated from a German Text, so the language isn't always the smoothest, but the creatures you encounter as you're reading are full of life. Ende has an imagination that could rival Green Lantern's, and it's clear on every page.

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If you are

a fan of The Neverending Story (you know, those sort of magical books you loved as a "kid" that were full of adventures where heroes always win and the boy always saves the girl and the unfairness of life is eventually balanced out by the end of the novel; that is,until you grew up and got a job and realized that never really happens), The Princess Bride would appeal to you. The Chronicles of Narnia, though not a standalone, are another set of books that delight the inner child. Shall I also mention the obvious Harry Potter series? And let's throw out The Hobbit while we're at it.

When it comes to Japanese fantasy, there's a number of both older fantasy and modern works available. One novel that bridges the two is Dragon Sword and Wind Child by Noriko Ogiwara. The Dragon Sword and Wind tells a world steeped in myth, where gods and magic rule, where a boy and girl desperately fight to save their people and who, in the process, learn what it means to grow up.  It's a novel of imagination, of poetic beauty, and powerful emotions. Between the first and last page, deep themes of good, bad, and the many shades between are expertly explored. It's also a novel that's easy to digest for fantasy readers who are interested in exploring real Japanese culture and the mindset of the Japanese without the impingement of western ideas and ideals.  Too many fantasy books that 'explore the Far East' are in fact written by authors who are not of that culture, who bring an inherent western ideology, cultural morays and ideals into the setting and story. Not so with The Dragon Sword and Wind which is and remains quintessentially Japanese. Yet, despite the cultural differences, all those elements that make a captivating story for all cultures and peoples, are bound into the story. If you want to read some of the best and most acclaimed Japanese fantasy that's been rightly translated into English, The Dragon Sword and Wind is a classic and a good introduction to the greater body of Japanese fantasy that's available.
A strange, weird, and wholly wonderful Hebrew novel that was translated into English and received a fair deal of critical acclaim. TOR, the fantasy publishing powerhouse, published it and a number of award winning fantasy authors praised it. The World of the End novel about the afterlife in which a man named Ben searches for long-lost wife. In the eternal afterlife, everyone who’s ever lived exists, but finding someone specific is nearly an impossible task. But it’s a quest that Ben sets upon himself to take up, even if it takes an eternity to do so. But things are not so simple, the afterlife is not what it seems to be, and it turns out, Ben's wife just still might be alive.It’s the story of the end that just turns out to be the beginning...where death is not the end of the mysteries, but rather, the beginning of even greater mysteries to solve. This twisty novel sets out with a simple plot and uncomplicated premise, but becomes anything but once you get into it. It’s also an interesting look into Hebrew mythology, offering a unique perspective of the world as seen through the Hebrew culture (this being written by an Israeli author).The World of the End is all in all a strange yet remarkably deep novel that requires some effort to push into, but the rewards are worth the effort. It’s a love story, an ode to a love story, a detective story, a whodunit, and adventure, a fantasy tale,  a story about the afterlife, and a book about finding lost things. Yet at the core, it’s the story about a man who will do anything to find and reunite with his wife. Don’t pass up this unforgettable novel. The story and characters will stay with you long after you finish the last page. It’s an awesome blend of fantasy, adventure, mystery, and a sweetly compelling romantic tale to boot.
A re-imagined version of the Indian classic poem, The Ramayana, The Prince of Ayodhya is a lush tale full of imaginative settings, enticing characters, and captivating landscapes. It brings elements of the epic poem into that of a modern fantasy tale.It’s an easily accessible story for those who are not familiar with the heaps of great Indian literature and can be enjoyed by anyone who wants to lose themselves in a fantastical fantasy world set in an an Indian landscape and teeming with Indian mythology and culture.If you've never been exposed to the wider world of Indian literature, you are missing out indeed as this ancient land has an illustrious literary movement that's spans hundreds -- even thousands -- of years.Prince of Ayodhya is an easily digestible  means of experiencing the richness of Indian mythology. There’s a landscape steeped in magic. Check. There’s swashbuckling adventure. Check. There’s larger than life heroes and monstrous villains. Check. There's an epic quest and a cast of heroes. Check. The Prince of Ayaodhya brings the exotic and rich Indian stories – if you dream of magical landscapes  somewhat reminiscent of A Thousand and One Nights, this is a great (and enjoyable) book that will give you a solid taste of Indian folklore.
Banned in China and often hailed as the Chinese version of ‘A Brave New World’ the Fat Years is a compelling philosophical novel of ideas, wrapped in a Chinese perspective of the world as seen from within China, but a brutal totalitarian China that’s morally bankrupt. It’s a chilling look at a world – and China – that could be. The Fat Years is a novel that works better as a novel of ideas than a compelling narrative tale. Oh there’s a love story, there's a political thriller in there, there's an astute economic examination of China, but the strength of the book is not about the characters and story, but rather the stark dystopian portrayal of a fictional China that's in fact remarkably zeitgeist (a fact that did not go noticed by the Chinese powers that be who banned the novel in China). With the rise of China, The Fat Years is a compelling novel that looks at the absurdity of the Chinese system with a perspective of one who lives as part of the system.  And while many key elements are lost in translation between Chinese and English, The Fat Years is a good introduction to Chinese culture, China-West relations, and perhaps a cautionary tale of a country and government gone awry because the citizens – and country – fail to learn the lesson of past mistakes so as to change the future.It's a warning and a message and a novel that should be read if you want to understand the Chinese conundrum as through a literary tale of action, intrigue, and mystery.
Pretty much everything you might want in a high fantasy novel: political intrigue, serious monster slaying, heroes and villains galore, and a number of complex, very well written heroines who lead the show.Japan has long had a strong literary past. They also produce some of the best stories through the medium of anime and manga (see our site for anime recommendations). As such, you can find a remarkable amount of strong, character driven narratives in Japanese literature, especially their science fiction and fantasy works. The Japanese have a tendency to know how to tell a damn good story – full of complex characters, intricate plots, hard choices, and surreal situations. The same goes for Fuyumi Ono's wonderful Twelve Kingdoms (which an outstanding anime series by the same name Twelve Kingdoms used as the source material)And Fuyumi Ono’s marvelous Twelve Kingdoms is an outstanding and thoroughly entertaining novel to read if you want to breach the body of compelling Japanese work that’s finally being translated into English. This one is perfect for the young adult audience with a sassy heroine who takes destiny into her own hands, navigating the dark landscape of an ancient fantasy landscape that's as foreign to her as it is to you.Twelve Kingdoms is a story that uses fantasy to tell an epic tale of the human condition. While the lead character may be a teenage girl, this is a complex story with complex themes, and it's absolutely entertaining the whole way through -- regardless of your age or genre.Most interesting though is that this is fundamentally a Japanese novel and retains that essential 'Japanese' feeling to it (if you've ever watched anime or read manga, you will understand what I am talking about). As such, it's a good fantasy novel to familiarize yourself with Japanese literature and culture -- fantasy tale though it may be. 
Take the baroque period of French history during the time of Cardinal Richelieu -- a time of political upheaval, religious conflict, deadly court intrigue, and brutal war between the great European powers and add Dragons to the mix and you get the swashbuckling fantasy of The Cardinal's Blades by Pierre Pevel.  Pierre Pevel is one of France's most acclaimed fantasy authors. He's won a pile of french awards for his writing and his books are some of the best (and most exciting) foreign fantasy to land in the west. The books are written in such a way that if you love the swashbuckling action, you'll practically be eating the pages This action heavy, political complex novel is followed by two sequels. The Cardinal's Blades imagines a world where the elite French spies mount magnificent dragons and seek to derail plots by the Spanish and Italians to destabilize France. The Cardinal's Blades books are an action-heavy, magic-heavy fantasy trilogy with complex characters, swashbuckling heroes, and political scheming. If you enjoy The Three Musketeers, Dave Duncan's King's Blades, or Sebastien de Casell's Traitor's Blades, you'll absolutely eat up this swashbuckling series that gives any of those mentioned a run for their money.
Thereâs the Odyssey, thereâs the Iliad, thereâs Beowulf, and then thereâs The Romance of the Three Kingdoms Ã¢ an ancient sweeping epic Chinese work of literature thatâs influenced a score of generations since it was first published in 14th century China.The Romance of the Three Kingdoms is one of the great Chinese literary classics â considering one of the four pillars of Chinese literature. Many of the themes seen in western fantasy literature are present here in this grand story: hateful villains, powerful heroes, beautiful maidens, reclusive wizards, noble lords, all powerful empires, capricious gods.This is not only a great work of Chinese literature, but of world literature too. Mentioning great works of foreign fantasy would be incomplete if Romance of the Three Kingdoms was not mentioned.While this reads as more of a literary poem perhaps than a modern fantasy story like some of the other entries on this list, it's still one of the great works of fantasy literature in the world.If you want to explore the deep crevasses of Chinese culture, mythology, and history, The Romance of the Three Kingdoms is a required reading.

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Pierre Grimbert is on the rise with the fabulous The Secret of Ji, a fantasy that imagines a sprawling world of telepathic animals, magicians, mortals, and capricious gods. It’s a chaotic landscape steeped in magic, ruled by mortals, watched over by gods and controlled by shadowy thieve guilds. Some of the books our our Best Non-English Fantasy Books list may be on the esoteric side, or ancient fiction, or some grand literary work, or even from a western perspective, somewhat odd. Six Heirs: The Secret of Ji, however, is eminently readable, digestible, and enjoyable by an English audience. Many of the fantasy trappings are fully present in the novel as are the expected fantasy story elements that we all expect from modern fantasy in 2016.With the author citing himself as a big fan of Jack Vance, Fritz Leiber, and Michael Moorcock, it's no surprise that you find elements of each of these authors in his Secret of Ji books.Yet, being a French fantasy, there are refreshing differences that absolutely make this a gem to read, especially if you are used to standard epic fantasy.Indeed, Grimbert takes on the western fantasy genre with both guns loaded, borrowing familiar western fantasy tropes yet injecting the story, characters, and world with his own unique cultural spin. So if you want to read some French-translated fantasy that rings the same familiar tones you are used to with Western fantasy, yet contains a spark of something ineffably different, give The Secret of Ji a read. The book is a great example of how well foreign fantasy can integrate into the English fantasy market, yet still retain that essential cultural difference when you look hard between the pages.Thoroughly, and utterly enjoyable by any modern fantasy fan. I absolutely recommend Six Heirs: The Secret of Ji for fans who love Sanderson, Gemmell, or Brent Weeks. It's ones of the easiest foreign fantasy books to read...and love.

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Bulgakovâs highly regarded work has been around for nearly a century written during the Stalin-occupied era of Soviet history. Itâs a grand work of immense literary value and a devastating satire of the Soviet way of life in which Satan is pitted against the lunacy of the Soviet Bureaucracy. The Master and Margarita is one of the great literary satires of the 21st century, written during a time of turbulence and instability under the iron hand of the Stalin soviet regime. Itâs a work that Bulgakov paid dearly for, suffering shame and humiliation from Stalinâs personal attentions (his work was deemed insulting to the Soviets). It's a work that ultimately cost him his career and ended his life in shame and disgrace. Is it a work that's worth your career and life? The answer is absolutely, yes. Master and Margarita goes beyond genre fiction and dwells solidly in the realm of world literature. Yet there is also something deeply personal about the story and it comes off as easily readable as a simple and entertaining supernatural tale. This is one of the greatest Russian classics and is widely regarded as the same in English circles. And while itâs an allegorical work, itâs a fantastic fantasy work in itâs own right and deserves to be read by those looking to sample the greatness of Russian literature.
Jonathan Wells and his young family moves to a Paris flat, inherited from an Uncle with a single mysterious warning included: to never go down into the cellar. But when the family dog goes missing, Jonathan, his wife, and child venture down into the cellar and vanish into a strange world.  Empire of Ants is brilliant novel that explores the mysteries of another civilization -- as foreign to us as we are to them. Empire of Ants is often compared to Watership Down and the comparison is apt -- the civilization of ants envisioned by Bernard Werber is intricately detailed, fascinating, and absolutely real.  Werber alternates between the human story and ant story seamlessly. While lesser authors would struggle with how to capture this story and express it in a digestible manner, Werber handles it with ease. The ants come off as so utterly real that you can barely distinguish the ant tale from the human tale. It's a story that forces you to look at yourself -- and the human race -- in a new, unique way -- as an outsider looking at the strange, lumbering mammals, the nonsensical rules that bind us and control us.  Some of the richness of language and poetry is lost in the translation from French to English, but the core gist of the story comes off well and the translation mostly works. Your perception of the world and of ants will never be the same after you finish this novel. Indeed, you will never, ever look at an ant the same way again.
Cold Skin is an atmospheric horror novel that imagines what might happen if a two people are trapped on a savage island full of mysterious and deadly dangers. Thrown into these horrors, and woefully unprepared for them, is a young man who arrives on an Antarctic island for a year of isolated weather research. Except that, as it turns out, he's not alone on the island -- monsters also dwell there. And an unlikely ally -- another man who's sour moods make him the most unwanted of company. Yet there is nothing like the threat of a horrific death at the hands of monsters that forces both men to rely on each other.  Cold Skin is a dark novel that channels the supernatural terror of Stephen King, the Gothic moodiness of Lovecraft, and the existential alien terror found in an HG Wells book. This fantasy horror (or sci-fi horror, or pure horror, depending how you look at it) is packed with horrific action, macabre violence, and a truck-full of psychological drama. But beyond this simple horror story, there is something deeper going on. It's horror yes, but it's also an exploration of what humans will do -- to themselves and each other -- when faced with terror, stress, certain death, and the uncanny.  So while this story can double as science fiction, fantasy, or horror, Cold Skin is also a strong psychological thriller that pits man against an uncaring, hostile and uncanny environment as he attempts to dominate it -- and utterly failing to do so. With each failure, stress accrues, panic sets in, and the realization that control of the environment -- and fate -- is ultimately just a thin illusion.  One of the best foreign fantasy novels that explores human nature under the guise of a horror story. Cold Skin is bizarre, creepy, and genuinely scary while also a very personal study what it means to be alone and of the fear of the unknown. This novel represents the best of what foreign fantasy authors can bring to the table in the West. Something unique, something unflinching in how bizarre and crazy it is, something that's strange if compared to English works, yet despite the oddities, still wildly satisfying. And scary.