Hey there, fellow fantasy fanatics! You know, there’s nothing quite like diving into a new fantastical world, meeting extraordinary creatures, and losing yourself in epic battles between good and evil. I’ve spent more hours than I can count (and let’s be honest, more hours than I probably should have) with my nose buried in the enchanting pages of fantasy fiction. Lucky for you, I’m here to share the magic! Behold, my dear adventurers, the ultimate list of epics that’ll leave you spellbound and asking for more!
You may think of things like Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, or Harry Porter? Sorry, but the below are beasts that definitively not similar names.
“The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant” by Stephen R. Donaldson
Welcome to the Land, where leprosy is the least of your worries! Thomas Covenant, a man scorned by his own world, is summoned to save another. With unbelievably immersive world-building and a deeply flawed protagonist, this series doesn’t pull any punches. Donaldson’s writing is like a majestic unicorn – stunning, elegant, and so rare that you can’t help but be entranced. Fair warning: you might want to clear your schedule for the next few weeks once you start this adventure!
“The Malazan Book of the Fallen” by Steven Erikson
Get ready to be whisked away to a world of gods, dragons, and a cast of characters so vast that you’ll need a magical scroll just to keep track of them all. Erikson’s ambitious series is like the ultimate fantasy jigsaw puzzle – each piece revealing more of the intricate and interconnected story. If you’re looking for a challenge that’ll leave you breathless and begging for mercy, look no further! But trust me, it’s worth the ride.
“The Stormlight Archive” by Brandon Sanderson
Imagine a world where storms can level cities, and mighty knights wield magical weapons to fight soul-crushing evil. Sounds epic, right? Well, buckle up, buttercup! Sanderson’s “The Stormlight Archive” delivers a masterclass in world-building, magic systems, and character development. You’ll be so invested in the characters that you’ll forget they’re fictional. Plus, with each book clocking in at around 1,000 pages, you’ll have plenty of time to savor the awesomeness.
“The Broken Empire Trilogy” by Mark Lawrence
This one’s a bit of a wild card, and that’s why I love it. “The Broken Empire Trilogy” is dark, gritty, and unapologetically twisted. Our “hero,” Prince Jorg Ancrath, is ruthless, cunning, and downright terrifying. Lawrence’s brutal tale is like a rollercoaster ride through a haunted house – it’s thrilling, chilling, and you’ll be left with an uneasy sense of exhilaration. Fair warning: this one’s not for the faint of heart, but if you’re up for the challenge, you won’t be disappointed.
“The Wheel of Time” by Robert Jordan (and Brandon Sanderson)
Last but definitely not least, we have “The Wheel of Time,” a sprawling epic that stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the likes of Tolkien and Martin. With 14 books, this series is a commitment, but the incredible journey is worth every second. Jordan’s world is rich with culture, history, and enough political intrigue to make a game of thrones look like child’s play. Dive in and witness the epic struggle between the Dragon Reborn and the forces of the Dark One.
“The Kingkiller Chronicle” by Patrick Rothfuss
Step into the world of Kvothe, an enigmatic and brilliant protagonist with a gift for storytelling. As he recounts his life’s journey to a chronicler, we learn of his escapades at the prestigious University, his struggle for survival, and his relentless quest for knowledge. Rothfuss’s lyrical prose and intricate world-building will keep you captivated as you eagerly await the highly anticipated third book in the series. Trust me, you’ll be singing the praises of “The Kingkiller Chronicle” long after you’ve turned the last page.
“The Lightbringer Series” by Brent Weeks
Imagine a world where magic is derived from the manipulation of light, and an empire is on the brink of collapse under the weight of corruption and civil war. Enter “The Lightbringer Series” – a captivating tale of intrigue, power, and the struggle for redemption. With a magic system as unique as it is enthralling, Brent Weeks weaves a story that will have you questioning everything you thought you knew about light and darkness.
“The First Law Trilogy” by Joe Abercrombie
Gritty and dark, “The First Law Trilogy” isn’t for the faint of heart. Abercrombie’s grimdark masterpiece introduces you to a colorful cast of morally gray characters, all bound together by fate and the machinations of a cunning mage. Prepare for a wild ride filled with betrayal, bloody battles, and plenty of twists and turns that’ll leave you reeling. This trilogy is a must-read for fans of dark, character-driven fantasy.
“The Inheritance Trilogy” by N.K. Jemisin
In a world where gods are enslaved by mortals, and the ruling family is rife with secrets, N.K. Jemisin’s “The Inheritance Trilogy” is a breath of fresh air. Each book follows a different protagonist, providing unique perspectives on the intricate web of power, love, and vengeance that permeates this world. Jemisin’s exquisite prose and stunning world-building will immerse you in a story that’s as rich as it is complex.
“The Powder Mage Trilogy” by Brian McClellan
The days of muskets and magic have arrived! “The Powder Mage Trilogy” is an action-packed tale set in a world where powder mages can manipulate gunpowder to deadly effect, and privileged sorcerers wield incredible power. With a healthy dose of political intrigue, war, and revolution, Brian McClellan’s series offers a unique and gripping take on the fantasy genre.
“The Books of Babel” by Josiah Bancroft
What happens when a mild-mannered headmaster embarks on a honeymoon trip to the mysterious Tower of Babel, only to lose his wife in the process? That’s the premise of “The Books of Babel,” a series that defies classification. Part steampunk, part adventure, and wholly unique, Bancroft’s enchanting tale is a testament to the power of love and determination. Prepare to be swept away by the whimsy and wonder of this unforgettable series.
“The Earthsea Cycle” by Ursula K. Le Guin
Welcome to the world of Earthsea, a vast archipelago filled with magic, dragons, and a rich history spanning centuries. Ursula K. Le Guin’s classic series follows the journey of Ged, a young wizard who must navigate a world of power, responsibility, and self-discovery. Le Guin’s lyrical prose and masterful storytelling make “The Earthsea Cycle” a timeless tale of adventure and introspection, beloved by readers of all ages.
“The Broken Empire Trilogy” by Mark Lawrence
In case you missed it in my previous article, I’m including this dark and twisted gem once again. “The Broken Empire Trilogy” is not for the squeamish or easily offended. Prince Jorg Ancrath is ruthless, cunning, and downright terrifying. Mark Lawrence’s brutal tale is like a rollercoaster ride through a haunted house – thrilling, chilling, and leaving you with an uneasy sense of exhilaration. Prepare to be disturbed and enthralled in equal measure.
There you have it, my fellow fantasy fanatics – 13 epics that will redefine the meaning of the word “epic” in your life. So, get ready to embark on adventures that’ll make you laugh, cry, and question the very fabric of reality. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler in the realms of fantasy or a newcomer eager to explore, these five masterpieces will captivate your imagination and forever hold a place in your heart.
Now, go forth and conquer these epic tales, my friends! Remember, in the immortal words of Gandalf, “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.” So, choose wisely, and may your reading journey be filled with magic, wonder, and a touch of whimsy.
Happy reading, and may the pages be ever in your favor!