World Fantasy Award Winners

The Prestigious World Fantasy Awards for Best Novel
A list of all the books that have won the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel, from the first (1975) to the newest 2014.The award is given out for the year of publishing but presented the following year.The World Fantasy Award (WFA) along with the Hugo and the Nebula award is one of the three most prestigious awards given out to Fantasy and Science Fiction books every year.The World Fantasy Award nominees and winners are always choosen by both judges and attendees at the World Fantasy Convention held annually. The attendees select two nominees while a panel (usually consisting of fantasy authors) select 3 or more nominees. The panel of judges then votes on the final winner. 
A stranger in Olondria follows Jevick the 2nd son of an influential trader from the city of Tyom. Even though he was born and grew up in the Tea Islands, Jevick is captivated by the tales of faraway Olondria, the remote country where his father trades his goods. When Jevick has the chance to participate in the spice trade and travel there, he discovers a country that seems similar but also, at the same time, entirely foreign. Olondria is in the midst of a complicated religious conflict over whether or not ghosts exist —and when Jevick lands up haunted by an actual ghost, Olondria enfolds him into its' darkest betrayals, intrigues and mysteries.Why it's on the listThis book is pure elegant poetry. Samatar's imagery is invigorating and mesmerizing. The side characters are particularly enchanting and riveting.The whole book is, essentially, an ode to the joys (and perils) of reading (and writing). You'd expect other book addicts to be appreciative of this! The world of Olondria is interesting and well-drawn, and very different from any other fictional world.The language is dense and beautiful, and the reader will be rewarded for sticking with it to the sad yet disquieting ending.Read it if you likeStrange lands and faraway cultures
Alif is the screen name of a hacker in an unnamed totalitarian Middle Eastern state. Alif's clients are a diverse group of rebels -- pornographers, bloggers, Islamists, activists -- who challenge authority by using the anonymity of the internet. Alif's life takes a sudden and dramatic turn when his upper-class girlfriend dumps him. He writes a computer program to ensure he becomes completely untraceable. She will never be able to find him online. The program is a work of brilliance and, due to a host of circumstances, it ends up in the states' control. Just like that, Alif is on the run. Besides his challenges with the government, thanks to a gift of his ex-girlfriend – a rather unusual book called the Thousand and One Days – his life becomes a magnet for the bizarre and unexplainable too. This book could just have the power to undo reality -- or totally rebuild it.Why it's on the listThe plot is an excellent blend of cyber thriller and modern urban fantasy. Wilson's prose is spare but wonderfully lyrical and descriptive at the same time, and there's not a page in this book that you can call boring. It's also frequently funny. In short, this novel is vastly entertaining, full of ideas and action, and highly recommended.Wilson has created a story that has a little bit of everything: totalitarian police, demons, imprisonment, politics, religions, hackers, jinn, a mysterious and powerful medieval book, a coming-of-age story, pure love… all taking place in the daily life of a modern Middle Eastern nation.Read if you likeTechnology/magic mashups, or learning about the possibilities of the meanings of words.
Joe is a typically average private investigator who lives in Southeast Asia. The only real difference is that Joe's world, terrorist attacks like 9-11 never actually happened. Instead, they're simply key pieces in a popular series of fiction books titled "Osama bin Laden, Vigilante". These books have become so popular that they even have an annual fan convention dedicated to them. When Joe is hired to find the creator of these pulp novels, his life takes a decidedly strange turn. Very quickly Joe finds himself traveling the world and interacting with people who seem more than a little out of place. Next, he finds people who don't want him asking any more questions. Why it's on the list Tidhar is an Israeli writer and has written a beautiful and haunting book. It is exceptionally well-written and brilliantly evokes each of the places it takes place: Vientiane, Laos; Paris; New York; and finally, Kabul. She has created the ultimate in escapist fiction, a universe where Osama Bin Laden is merely a character in a book, and the acts of terror and destruction he was responsible for are only fictional events. In Tidhar's world, these acts are so inconceivable that people can only imagine them as over the top fiction. Osama lets its readers step back and consider what was lost since the war on terror began. We become acutely aware of the comforts we once had and the gradual erosion of the freedom we used to take for granted. Read if you like Alternate History.
In a post-apocalyptic Sudan, technology has fallen and sorcery flourishes. But the hatred between peoples and cultures still exists. Onyesonwu was a child conceived from a brutal rape. Her mother is a member of the dark-skinned Okeke tribe who was victimized by a cruel man from her tribe's enemies - the light-skinned Nuru. These two tribes have a long, violent and complicated history and Onyesonwu's experience are merely the latest atrocity. As Onyesonwu grows older, she learns more about her history and also discovers that she has magical powers. Together with some trusted friends she accepts a quest to find and defeat the man who is responsible for the awful genocide against her people – her father. Why it's on the list The story of Onyesonwu is beautifully written, with many twists and turns. The characters fight to further their personal ends and you will find yourself cheering for them the entire time. This is a remarkable book with so many different and complex layers. At one level it's a brilliant post-apocalyptic dystopia, set in a far future Sudan. It's filled with magic, mysticism, and myth, but at a deeper level it also brilliantly addresses the same issues that plague not just the current day region of the African continent, but the world as well. Onyesonwu is a heroine who is at once utterly unique and brilliantly relatable. She is empowered but vulnerable, full of hope and love but also anger and confusion. She's the fierce female heroine you feel like you spent your whole adolescence waiting for. For all its complexity – at its core, the novel is very similar to a classic fantasy quest. Following along with Onyesonwu, we share travels with a band of trusted companions, magical apprenticeship, prophecies, and an all-encompassing quest to fight evil. It's the details around these set pieces that make the experience so very different and utterly enjoyable. Read if you like Female Heroines, Deeper issues reimagined through a Fantasy lens.

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Imagine two cities that share the exact same geographic space, but do not interact with one another under any circumstances. Unless the government authorities grant permission, that is. If citizens of one city interact with the other city at without getting that approval, it is referred to as a "breach". When a murder happens in one city, the detective assigned to the case is convinced that a breach is involved. Usually, the entity that oversees the governments of both cities--itself called Breach--takes over. But there are, of course, complications that are factual, political and, potentially, supernatural.Why it's on the listChina Mieville's books are always fabulous experiences for a reader's imagination. The idea of the dual city is a fascinating premise, and the way Mieville builds a police procedural that successfully takes place within a dual city is a massive feat that he executes with great style.The City & The City is a crime novel at its heart with just enough glimpses of fantastical elements. This story is full of unexpected details and diversions, while being beautifully told, as the focus spreads from a simple crime story to an exploration of meanings. The reader starts to truly consider how deliberate choices limit our knowledge and cause us to miss out on the potential of what's in front of our noses and all around us.Read if you likePolice Procedural. Imaginative and Unique Fantasy settings.
Ned is Fifteen, and spending the year with his father in France. He just met a cute girl named Kate. He really should be having a real good time. Unfortunately, he isn't. Kate and him have just seen a scary, mysterious man in a church who confides in them that he has killed children in the past. And so begins a whirlwind of an adventure. Ned and Kate seem to have front row tickets as modern France collides violently with the France of 2,500 years ago.Now, to rescue a friend who has been taken over by the spirit of a women who lived more than 2 000 years ago, Ned will need to unravel the past. What is the connection between his family and this woman? What is the relationship between a Celtic Chieftain and a Roman? Ned must somehow figure out the answers to these questions. Fast.Why it's on the listGuy Gavriel Kay manages to blend historical fiction with fantasy in this fun and easy to read novel. The book is dramatic without being over the top, and is tense but not scary. Ysabel captures the essential elements of any outstanding speculative fiction novel - a weave of believable characters, fantasy, and history.The story line is filled with historical depth but is still fast-paced and exciting.Read if you likeHistorical Fiction
This is the third book of Gene Wolfe's Soldier series. The story continues the story of the life of Latro, a soldier who forgets every day, and is forced to write his memories down onto a scroll. We re-join Latro and discover that he found his way home to Italy. Latro realizes that he is not happy with his new, home-bound lifestyle, and finds himself still desperately trying to ‘remember as other men do'. Latro has no choice but to leave his home, and his wife, and travel to Egypt in search of answers.Why it's on the listWhat makes this novel so enjoyable is how you get numerous snapshots of each character. Because Latro always forgets his peers, he is always introducing them again. While it can sometimes be confusing, most fo the time these introductions are enlightening. The reader sees the development of the relationships in the book, since each introduction is always new and based on "yesterday's" experiences.The writing is fairly candid and straightforward. Soldier of Sidon is perfect for any reader who enjoys accurate history and good writing.
This remarkable book tells the story of Kafka Tamura and Nakata. Kafka is a tough fifteen-year-old who, after running away from his father in Tokyo, begins a journey to a new life. He yearns to find his mother and sister who left when he was little, while at the same time he is inexorably, and unexplainably drawn to the island of Shikoku. Nakata is very different to Kafka. He is an old man who was injured during World War II. This injury left Nakata with a strange, and possibly useful gift: he can communicate with cats. The two characters are brought together as the mysteries behind Nakata's past, Kafka's family, and the history of a beautiful and tragic librarian, Ms. Saeki, are slowly revealed.Why it's on the listThe strengths of Kafka on the Shore lies in the wealth of characters that Murakami creates. They are all unique. Murakami creates them all distinctly, but binds them closer and closer together. It is the human connections in the book that help solve the mysteries of Kafka and Nakata. Even when these connections are not conventional, Murakami finds the beauty in these relationships.Kafka on the Shore is quite enigmatic, and the story is such an original tale with enormous seductive powers. It is a modern Oedipus story mixed with unexpected and surreal twists that build to a nail-biting climax.
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell is an epic tale of the rebirth of magic in nineteenth-century England. Taking place among the regular historical occurrences of the time, the main difference between this world and ours is that magic is real and works. Rather – it did work, until everyone began to study the theory of magic instead of doing magic.But then, to everyone's great surprise, emerges Mr. Norrell, a magician who can do magic. He takes society by storm when he brings a young woman back from the dead and becomes one of the main reasons Napoleon hasn't overrun the British navy. Then, Jonathan Strange shows up. Another gentleman, who also practices real magic, he becomes the pupil of Mr. Norrell. Magic is disputed, and two great magical minds fight against a background of evil fairies, high kings, and the spirit of sorcery in England.Why it's on the listSusanna Clark managed to write an entirely enjoyable novel. Her expert use of diction helped create a unique tone that makes any reader consume the book as fast as possible.Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell has it all: memorable and richly drawn characters, vivid setting, poignant atmosphere, action, adventure, humor, horror, and writing that is pitch perfect on every page. You will also like the fact that it's long - when a story is this enchanting you want the experience to last a while.This novel defies comparison to any other novels; it's in a class by itself. But if someone was to compare it to something else it'd probably be most accurate to compare it to something written in the 19th century, like Dickens. The story ends in a satisfying way and in one that's true to its internal logic, but Clarke leaves just enough unfinished to provide the perfect premise for a future novel.

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Fantasy about Magicians and Magic Schools...

The Night Circus

For a poignant story about competing magicians with a similar feel to it in tone and writing, read The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Fantastic book and perhaps the CLOSEST similar read to Susanna Clarke's work that I've found. Definitely literary in tone and style. 

The Magicians 

A remarkable trilogy by Lev Grossman that subverts many of the fantasy tropes. It also features a precise and detailed breakdown of a magic system that's internally consistent. If you like the emphasis on learning magic following consistent rules, with a captivating story, awesome prose, and many deep themes explored, then The Magician is the best you are going to find. Arguably labeled as literary fantasy, though not so high brow that you can't enjoy it if you like more low-brow style fantasy (i.e. Sanderson books).

Moontide Magic Rise

Want more good books about 'magicians'? You may also find that you like Sean Russell's Moontide Magic Rise duology. It's kind of the same premise: magic has vanished from the world, a couple of people are trying to bring magic back to the world, etc. In my opinion, this is the closest book/series that you'll find to Susanna Clarke's work. 


Magician by Raymond E. Feist. If you want to forego all the literary aspects of fantasy and just opt to a straightforward classic style fantasy about a coming of age with a young boy becoming a powerful magician, then you could also read the standard epic village boy to might magician in Feist's Magician.

Literary Fantasy (fantasy with deep themes and beautiful writing):

The Golem and the Jinni

The Golem and the Jinni. Another book you may just enjoy if you like fantastical tales that are touching and incredibly well written. Definitely considered literary fantasy. 

Tooth & Claw

TOOTH & CLAW by Joe Walton. Dragons living in a Victorian Society? I dare you to try it! Read if you like the rich Victorian fantasy setting present int Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.


For an epic fantasy series about fairies, you could read Shadowmarch by Tad Williams. There's lots of little folklore tales about fairies and elder creatures scattered throughout the story -- something that Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell has in abundance.

Good Omens

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchet. There's a lot of Brtitishness to this novel that you might just like if you liked Clarke's work.


If you like the slow pedantic pace of Clarke's work, the intense focus on characters and descriptions which almost seem to the point of excess but (finally) a fully realized magical world and with a gripping plot by the end of it, look no further than the majestic Gormenghast books.

Lord Dunsany

For the rich use of the English language, read Lord Dunsany's magnificent The King of Elfland's Daughter. This is one of those proto-fanasy classics in the genre that few have read.

Dying Earth

Jack Vance Dying Earth series. Science Fantasy, but oh god the use of the English language.

The Stolen Child

Are you a fan of fairies in a fantasy tale? Another book that deals with old fairy folk tales is Keith Donohue's The Stolen Child. A novel about the search for identity, The Stolen Child makes for a compelling read. The Stolen Child, like Susanna Clarke's work, is very well written. These books are sort of your "out of the box" fantasy. It's quite refreshing to see the fantasy genre has more to it than epic fantasy.

Ombria is an ancient city. Its history lies buried underground among layers of buildings and previous manifestations of a town cloaked in darkness. Aboveground, the city is in trouble. The prince is dead, which means that his five-year-old son, Kyel Greve, under the control of Domina Pearl. This on its own wouldn't be a problem, except it seems like Domina is deliberately ruining Ombria for her own purposes. Doing their best to stop her is a team of different heroes; The Princes mistress, his illegitimate nephew, an artist and a mere servant. Throw in the host of nobles who have no idea about the magical forces within Ombria, and you have a Political story that is perfectly woven b the myths and legends of this fantastical city.Why it's on the listMcKillip's has actually surpassed her previous works with this book. The book covers deeply sympathetic themes of parents letting go as their children grow up. The characters are vibrant, lifelike, and diverse and the book grows from a few leading figures to several fully developed personalities. McKillip's talent for blending numerous unconnected threads into one superlative tapestry makes the book an immensely satisfying read.Magic is something that characters in her novel deal with every day, and is the breath and life of her characters and her world. Mckillip doesn't fail to instill wonder and beauty into this facet of the beautiful story. The characters are all very dissimilar, and, as you read more about them, you come to care about them. The city of Ombria is, of course, a character all on its own.Read if you likeRecommended to fans of fantasy who would like to expand their horizons beyond the traditional Sword and Sorcery type tale. It is truly magical.
Like the previous Earthsea stories, this book seems to be centred around Ged, the sorcerer who is most often recognised by his common name, Sparrowhawk. But, like all except the first bool, this one is in fact focused on the journey of a completly different character. Alder, the local village mage, is mourning his recently departed wife. Full of grief and against his wishes, he is probing for her through the boundary that separates the realms of the living and the dead. This barrier is of such a nature that usually, only mages can safely cross it. Unable to reconcile himself with this loss, Alder journeys to find Ged. Why it's on the list The Other Wind deals in a more mature way with themes that appeared in the previous four Earthsea novels: death, loss, greed, intelligence vs. wisdom, middle age and earthly vs. epic fears. This novel is, like Le Guin's previous books, a well-constructed and thoughtful fantasy. Unlike Tolkien, she is less troubled with epic battles and occurrences, and way more interested in the personal tribulations experienced by the characters. The Other Wind is perfect in that it reintroduces us to the major characters from the previous books and it perfectly closes some open-ended questions. Those who've enjoyed the Earthsea saga as well as Ursula K. Le Guin's writing will enjoy every moment of this tale. Read if you like High Fantasy

Books in The Earthsea Cycle Series (5)

In a dystopian future, the last vestiges of civilization is holding out the the tiny island of Galveston. While the rich, high-class citizens enjoy the last remains of what life was before the Flood, all others are left to suffer and to live as best they can. When medicine runs out, all the miracles, the nightmares, the horrifying shamanistic dreams and realities of magic start to run in.Why it's on the list"Galveston" is a gorgeously written portrayal of a post-apocalyptic world. The island has been separated from the modern worlds and is a fantastical place overrun by magic. Stewarts characters are likable, a little complicated and wonderfully imagined. The book has a little bit of everything we have come to expect from a post-apocalyptic narrative: weird creatures, humor, heroes who get banished from Galveston Island only to be confronted with cannibals, and numerous plot twists. The writing gives you a flavor of the land, the sky, the sea. You can almost smell it and taste it.Read if you likeA sophisticated look at magic realism with a Southern twist.
Welcome to the Well-Built City where Cley is the perfect judge and jury. He is a reliable mediator between life and death because he has been extensively trained in physiognomy – a science (or art?) where every facial feature, body shape and aspect of a personality exposes every secret and can even predict the future. Convinced that he is doing good work, Cley is continually committing atrocities. While his mentor is grooming Cley for greater things, he soon starts to clash with the powerful leaders of his dictatorial society. Cley's quickly realizes that his battles are not only between the attitudes of his colleagues, they are also with himself and the dark, corrupt soul of the city he calls home. Why it's on the list Jeffrey Ford is a master of the evocatively strange and peculiar. This book, together with the two others in the Well-Built City trilogy, has a steampunk feel to them, except steampunk filtered through Faery or Alice's Wonderland. What you seem to think you see may not be there, or may even be something else altogether. The story is fast moving and attention grabbing while at the same time providing intriguing possibilities for future books. The characterizations, settings, and dialogue are excellent. The characters are quite often even more strange than their surroundings. The book is told in a style that is so sparse, yet the story has a strong, mythic feel.
Cory Mackenson is 11 years old and growing up in innocence in a picturesque small southern town during the racially torn 1960s. He and his friends enjoy bikes, baseball, and monster movies at the town cinema on Saturdays. Things change early one morning just before daylight when Cory and his Dad watch a car and its occupant careen off a lonely country road into the dark abyss of a rural lake. Upon attempting a rescue, Cory's dad finds the driver unconscious and handcuffed to the steering wheel with a wire wrapped around his neck. This launches Cory and his father on a search for the murderer who is living as a longtime respected citizen in this small rural community. Who is the man in the car, and what about the tattoo? Can a mysterious black lady who lives on the other side of the tracks in this racially tense time hold one of the keys to unraveling the mystery before it unravels the sanity of Cory's father? Why it's on the list An amazing story filled with the twists of fantasy and reality in a boy's life. What sets it apart from anything else is the unabashed presentation of fiction in lockstep with reality. This book gives you a piece of what it's like to be a boy; a sense of magic that you've always had, which you've always found valuable to hold onto. The world is amazing, even when it isn't. This book is filled with strange and creepy and scary and crazy things, and then it has this sense of wonder woven through it all. In addition to the suspense of a father and son trying to solve this mystery, Boy's Life also captures the wonder of being an eleven-year-old boy in much the same way Mark Twain did with Tom Sawyer. This book is simply a precious jewel of inspiring prose. Each of Cory's multiple adventures brings you back to the first time you experienced those things yourself Read if you like Nostalgic Fantasy, Murder Mystery
At the age of 43, Jeff Winston has a heart attack in his office... and wakes up to discover that he is 18 and a college student again. It's 1963, he is a young man and begins to appreciate that he can live those 25 years over again. He does this with sheer passion, using his knowledge of the future to build a vast financial fortune. And then he dies again. And wakes up, once again, back in 1963....It is only at this moment that Jeff's real journey begins. He discoveries abandonment, money, betrayal, loss and love. Each life he lives is a new revelation to himself. He explores different possibilities and experiences different paths of his life and learns and grows each time.Why it's on the listKen Grimwood provides an unbelievably well thought out storyline. Each replay of the protagonists story allows him to explore new possibilities. Repetitive most definitely does not mean boring, since as Jeff grows and evolves, his options change. This is a positive story about cherishing life and love and the absolute miracle of existence.As a character, Jeff rises and falls by as he searches for some sort of meaning in his endless cycle of life. While the story focusses on beauty and hope, it also fully embraces the R-rated options that a person with never-ending time and no concerns about repercussions would enjoy. Sometimes we admire him. Sometimes his actions are despicable. But whatever reaction we experience lands up being an interesting mirror for our own lives. We will all start to wonder what we would change about our own lives, if we could do it all again.This is not a children's fantasy book. Replay is thoroughly thought-provoking and, ultimately, it serves up a hopeful lesson. The book should open your eyes to different possibilities and leave you treasuring each new moment and experience.Read if you likeTime Travel, Speculative Fantasy
Master Li and Ox â the main characters in this work â are easily some of the most loveable characters in fantasy. Aside from these charming protagonists, the book is a lot of fun to read.Why it made the listHughart's writing is never too flowery or too simple. This book is like a Thai food dish, every element is balanced so that none of them are overpowering, take away from the overall taste or from the eating experience. In Bridge of Birds, the ingredients â action, description, character development and humor â come together in a satisfying literary version of delicious pho.Watching the action through Ox's naïve eyes means that the reader can experience the wide-eyed wonder that he does, when he does. It's a refreshing departure from the more serious titles of the 80s. Hughart is a master of humor. He's not obvious about it like Pratchett, but it is as effective as anything you'll read in the Discworld series.There aren't many fantasy titles where the end feels right. Mostly, they fall flat and leave you disappointed. The conclusion is just like that bowl of pho â it fills you up, warms you up and leaves you with the desire for more like it.

Books in The Chronicles Of Master Li And Number Ten Ox Series (2)

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This series of 4 short novelettes shadow the escapades of Nifft the Lean, an expert thief whose criminal skills will guide you through Stygian realms to places where an endless succession of harm, horror, and unnerving calms flow past each traveler. Nifft the Lean begins with the promise of high-intensity, hard-edged dark fantasy. It delivers this promise in four perfect novels. Taking place in a garish and bizarre world, these stories narrate how Nifft and his team risk not just their lives, but their very souls in the pursuit of their darkest passions.Why it's on the listNifft is a character that like Conan, Fafhrd and other literary ‘barbarians', is the type of man who shows scorn for riches by pilfering untold fortunes and then choosing to drink and gamble everything away. Nifft's universe is suggestive of what can be read in the earliest epics of Homer or Gilgamesh, one in which a man should endeavor to live confidently and well - because there is no paradise waiting for any of us after death. Shea's abilities truly shine when, with horrific detail he describes the way Nifft, and his troupe traipse through a frenzied and untidy world. Michael Shea also truly understands the power of perspective: each story is different with one being recounted by Nifft, another is entirely in the 3rd person. Sometimes the story is continued by Nifft's friends, who are actually masquerading as Nifft… This book allows us to enjoy a multitude of differing narrative styles.Read if you likeConan, Sword and Sourcery
The story revolves around Smoky Barnable, a nebulous sort of bloke, who falls in love with a tall and delicate woman. Completely besotted, he chooses to suspend his beliefs in order to follow her. He considers himself the luckiest man alive when he marries her and enters her enchanted home in the woods. The narration drifts backward and forward in time to eventually include six generations of the Bramble, Drinkwater, Cloud, Mouse, Hawksquill, and Barnable families. What becomes evident is that the fairy kingdom is manipulating the entire family. Some believe this more than others, but no-one knows how this fantastical tale will end.Why it's on the listLittle, Big is more of an experience than a book. It feels slow at first, but it certainly rewards you for your patience. You will fall in love with Barnable and his extraordinary marriage into a unique family. Beneath the surface of this gentle lark beats the heart of a magically amazing story that is part parable for how to enjoy a healthy and fulfilled life. This is one of those timeless, eternal, stories that take on new meanings each time you read it. From the first word, you are caught up in the oddly modern yet nostalgic feeling that Little, Big brings - a wonderful sense of timelessness. John Crowley has managed to create a story that doesn't feel like fantasy – it is truly literary fiction that happens to have fantastical elements.Read if you likeModern Fantasy, Fairie Tales.
Our Lady of Darkness tells the story of Franz, a recovering alcoholic and accomplished horror writer in San Francisco. Franz discovers an old journal of weird metaphysical writings and his life takes a bizarre turn. While gazing out his apartment window, he spies a strangely robed figure dancing on Corona Heights. This catches his interest, and he resolves to take a hike out there to discover more. When he gets there, he takes out his binoculars and enjoys the view, but when he looks at his apartment building, he sees the same strangely robed figure waving back at him from his window. Why it's on the list An excellent example of urban horror fantasy, Fritz Leiber was one of the great fantasy writers of the 50-70s. The book is so well-written, and the characters (especially Westen) are so compelling that it is sure to keep you in its spell right to the end. The enticing, slow pace of this story sucks you in and keeps you on the edge of your seat until the final culmination of the tale. Fritz Leiber was brilliant at using disparate objects to create strange and meaningful synchronicities. Without a doubt, he is one of the greatest writers of all time. Read if you like Urban Horror, Fantasy in modern settings.
Understandably, some readers prefer series more epic in their nature, and Sanderson also has that covered. Though it’s magic systemsaren’t quite as compelling as in Mistborn, The Stormlight Archive is stillup there with the best. Stormlight, a magical energy, comes from a huge storm that circles the Earth in the same direction.  That energy is absorbed by gemstones, fought over by armies and able to power almost indestructible armor that enhances the user’s strength. However, also able to harness Stormlight are those known as Surgebinders. With an intake of breath, they can channel the energy, but need a constant source as fuel. Because of this, gemstones become even more important, allowing them to breathe in stored Stormlight at any time. Users gain not only supernatural strength and speed, but the ability to ‘lash’. By doing so, they can adjust gravity, burn, manipulation friction, create illusions, and more. The system is incredibly complex, but Sanderson walks readers through, introducing elements as and when required. As a result, his world is a joy to explore, and it’s joined by some science and engineering, too. Fabrials are complex devices that use gemstones to serve a purpose. Augmenters, for example, can create heat or movement, while diminishers can reduce pain or wind. All of the magic systems are tied together by overarching concepts, which slowly unfold and impress as the story continues.

Books in The Stormlight Archive Series (4)