Great Fantasy Books

Fantasy Books Well Worth Reading
This list is simply a list of great fantasy books. And by great, I mean books that nearly but didn't quite make the Top 100 Fantasy List. Likely, you'll some of these are your own favorite fantasy.Note, I am currently REBUILDING this list from scratch since I reorganized a number of the lists here, so bear with me while this list comes together over the next couple weeks. That means there won't be finished descriptions and the list is missing most of the entries.
The story follows Alodar, an apprentice magician, as he discovers and masters the five paths of magic. It's an exciting adventure that's virtually unknown by the modern fantasy reader and it's probably out of print. Master of the FIve Magics has one of the most logical and complete explanations of each magic path, while keeping the rules internally consistent (unlike most fantasy worlds where magical rules are broken left and right)  if you like to read about concrete magic systems that make intuitive sense without the usual abstract wave your hand and stuff happens, this is your book. The author goes to great lengths to detail each tenant of the five magical paths  both the rules and the limitations. It brings to mind the rigid and rule-based magic system present in Rothfuss The Name of the Wind and the detailed exploration of the One Power in Jordan. The quality of the prose won't knock the socks off the best in the genre, the plot isn't anything unique, and no new fantasy grounds are broken by the author, yet it's still a very entertaining read. For sure, one of the most internally consistent and logical magical systems I've yet read  so if you are a fan of adventure heroic fantasy with some really interesting magic systems and you love the whole young man prodigy goes to magic school plot setting, this is the book for you.

Books in Magics Series (3)

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Brings to mind The Name of the Wind in that both protagonists go to a “Magical College” to learn magic. The magic system and rules bring to mind Kvothe’s study of Sympathy and Artificery magic fields in the King Killer Chronicles. If you like the boy goes to magic school conceit with detailed paths of magic studied by the protagonist, check out The Magicians

Aerin is shy, clumsy, ugly, and mistrusted by the people she is supposed to rule. She is ridiculed for being the daughter of a witch with none of her witchy powers, and even when she eventually becomes a Dragon-Killer, it is because it is a task that needs doing; the dragons are small and numerous… like rats. It isn't exactly a heroic compliment. Yet her inner strength, her determination and willingness to learn that which does not come easily make her the hero she needs to be. She is tough and proves her worth again, again, and again no matter the obstacles or jeering from the sidelines she endures. While there is romance, it is most definitely on our heroine's terms, and not because she intends to snag him as a way out of her miserable life. It is organic and complex and believable, which is so very lacking in many fantasy novels. Hero and the Crown is still one of the best fantasy novels on the shelves today.

Books in Damar Series (4)

Zelazny may be famous in the fantasy world for his Amber series, but his best work may just be his stand alone novel, Lord of Light. It's a work that's complicated yet simple -- a story that blends the medieval fantasy with the futuristic science fiction and does so remarkably well. It's a work that brings to mine great works like Dune and The Dispossessed which while can be classified as Science Fiction, also touch the fantasy sphere too.Few western works dally deep into Eastern mysticism; but Zelazny goes where few writers have gone before (or since) and digs deep into the Hindu pantheon of deities to craft a remarkable story about gods who are just as flawed as the humans who worship them.
This series is epic in every sense of the word. It takes place over many generations, its world is complex and detailed and the quest at the heart of the plot is the kind that legends are made of.Why it made this listIn a discussion of epic fantasy, it would be a sin to leave this series out. Not only are there multiple worlds and characters to keep track of, but there are also plots within subplots within plots.Considering the scope of the series, it wouldn't have been surprising for it to feel all over the place. But Wurts has managed to keep it tight – each new character, story or plot line serves to add depth to the series. There's nothing that feels gratuitous or redundant – a feat that few authors have done as well as she has.Janny Wurts doesn't simplify language. She expects the reader to keep up with her complex style of writing. The language is dense but it never loses focus and always feels precise – as if she's chosen every word carefully. Despite this, her writing is good enough that you'll never feel out of your depth, even though there are a variety of different magic systems, cultures and worlds.As for the epic nature of the series, there's a siege that could rival anything found in the fantasy genre as well as an intense encounter with black magic. There's an endless amount of people and places to keep you occupied. There's something for everyone in this series – in-depth world building, a mastery of history, legendary battles and clashes, three-dimensional characters and a plot that will keep you guessing throughout.

Books in Wars Of Light And Shadow Series (9)

Kay writes a lot of fantasy that appeals to those who enjoy a good, well thought out romance novel. While romance is not the only point of Kayâs stories (Kay is too intelligent of a writer for that sort of book), it always play an important role. His Sarantium Mosaic is a fantastic duology about a simple painter who gets caught up in empire-changing events. The bookâs told from a male perspective, but thereâs a good deal of awesome romance tossed into the book.I could really throw in a number of Kay novels here. If you are looking for some, check out Tigana, and Lions of Al-Rassan. If you want a Kay novel with a lot of romance with a female protagonist also, read A Song for Arbonne.

Books in The Sarantine Mosaic Series (1)

Gaiman is one of the biggest names in modern fantasy, and for good reason. His ability to craft fairytale-like, lyrical stories is almost unparalleled. With The Graveyard Book, he goes a little outside of that norm, presenting us with a slightly darker story. Despite being for children, the novel starts with a very macabre tone. Following a triple homicide, Nobody Owens seeks a new family in his local graveyard. Adopted by ghosts, vampires and other creatures, he makes his home among the tombstones. In a blend of creepy and sweet, the author manages to appeal to a whole spectrum of ages. Along the way, Nobody learns to use magic, the history of the ghosts, and the truth about his parents killer. More importantly, though, he struggles to gain the skill to return to the world of the living. Gaiman's book draws parallels with the same challenges children face today, raising questions about traditional upbringings and if you can truly be prepared for adulthood. Entwined in that is a brilliant exploration of death and living in spite of loss. The end result was so perfect that it won a Hugo award and Newbery medal. Read if you like: Children's fiction, paranormal elements.