THE MAGICIAN’S GUILD By Trudi Canavan
Description: In the city of Imardin, the magicians gather every year to carry out their annual purge. They are protected by their sorcery, but this year is different. A young woman throws a stone at the magicians, penetrating their magical shield. The Magician Guild fears the worst. The girl possesses an unprecedented and raw power. The Guild must bring her into their ranks and teach her to control her abilities before she destroys herself and everything around her.
Why Read It? This is the first book in the trilogy The Black Magician. Set in a stunning world of volatile magic and betrayal. Epic in scale, fantastic worldbuilding, a compelling magic system, and a clear, vivid writing style like the Mistborn books.
GRACELING By Kristin Cashore
Description: Graceling follows the story of Katsa who possesses a unique talent known as a Grace. Each Grace is different, but Katsa’s is killing. As the king’s niece, Katsa is compelled to serve as his brutal enforcer. However, she meets Prince Po, a fellow Grace holder with combat abilities. Through their friendship, Katsa’s perspective changes, and she discovers a new truth about her own Grace and a terrible secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with just words.
Why Read It? A riveting ride through a world with danger, magic, and romance.
SHEEPFARMER’S DAUGHTER By Elizabeth Moon
Description: Paksenarrion Dorthansdotter, the daughter of a modest sheep farmer, yearns for a life beyond her mundane existence. Rejecting her father’s insistence to marry a pig farmer, Paks joins a band of mercenaries. However, the realities of army life prove to be challenging, and her daydreams seem to be transforming into nightmares. Paks refuses to abandon her aspirations and carries out her duties with integrity and honor. Her journey is fraught with difficulties, but it will lead her to be chosen by the gods to restore a lost monarch to his rightful throne.
Why Read It? One girl’s tale of sacrifice, danger, and adventure on the epic scale.
tHE WAY OF KINGS By brandon sanderson
Description: Roshar is a world of storms and stone, where mystical Shardblades and Shardplate hold immense value. In the midst of a senseless war on the Shattered Plains, Kaladin fights to save his men, while Brightlord Dalinar Kholin questions his own sanity. Across the ocean, Shallan plans a daring theft and uncovers secrets that hint at the true cause of the war. As their paths converge, each must face difficult choices that will challenge everything they know.
Why Read It? Looking for something similar to Mistborn? This is the first book in his epic fantasy, The Stormlight Archive, a New York Times No. 1 bestseller.
THEFT OF SWORDS By Michael J. Sullivan
Description: Royce Melborn and Hadrian Blackwater, as a thief and a mercenary, respectively, have made a name for themselves. However, their latest job quickly becomes a web of deceit, as the duo is framed for regicide. As they try to clear their names, they uncover an ancient mystery that’s destroyed civilizations. Will they untangle this intricate plot before it’s too late?
Why Read It? Michael J Sullivan is a popular author of fantasy books, known for his series The Riyria Chronicles. An unlikely partnership of a noble warrior and an assassin carry a plot of political intrigue, swordfighting, and danger.
ASSASSIN’S APPRENTICE By Robin Hobb
Description: Fitz is illegitimate son of Prince Chivalry. Despite his noble blood, he’s ostracized by the royals, save for the cunning King Shrewd, who enlists him in secret to become an assassin. Fitz possesses a unique magic called the Skill, but also carries the dark burden of being rejected by his kin. As marauding invaders pillage the coasts, Fitz comes of age and must face his first perilous mission. Though some view him as a threat, he may be the key to the kingdom’s survival.
Why Read It? Robin Hobb is a writer called Margaret Ogden. Under this name, she writes rip-roaring action-filled epic fantasies. A fascinating story of power behind the throne and conspiracies threatening to trigger a kingdom collapse.
PROMISE OF BLOOD By Brian McClellan
Description: After Field Marshal Tamas stages a successful coup against his corrupt king, justice is served. However, the Nine Nations declare war against Tamas, and he must also fend off internal threats seeking power and wealth. As attacks escalate, ominous whispers of ancient legends of gods awakening. Despite educated skepticism, the growing danger demands even modern minds take heed.
Why Read It? This book is a fascinating start to the book series, the Powder Mage trilogy, combining magic, history, and fantasy. Set in an age of chaos and anarchy after a kingdom has been overthrown, this story is dark, chilling, and compelling.
THE EYE OF THE WORLD By Robert Jordan
Description: Moiraine Damodred arrives in Emond’s Field on a quest to find the one who’s prophesized to fight against The Dark One. When vicious half-men, half-beasts invade Two Rivers searching for their enemy, Moiraine convinces Rand al’Thor to enter a world beyond their wildest imagination. The dangers they’ll face in this larger-than-life world lurk in the shadows and the light.
Why Read It? Since 1990, the first book in the modern fantasy classic book series The Wheel Of Time has captivated millions. A richly detailed world of danger and scale akin to J. R. R. Tolkien.
THE BLACK PRISM By Brent Weeks
Description: Guile, the emperor, embodies power, wit, and charm that help maintain a fragile peace. However, Guile is aware his reign will eventually come to an end. He reevaluates his priorities when he learns he has a son from a distant land, born after the war that propelled him to the throne. Guile must determine the price he’s willing to pay to keep a secret that could destabilize his realm.
Why Read It? Black Prism is the first in the New York Times bestselling series is full of high stakes action. This author has earned his place among greats like J. R. R. Tolkien and George R. R. Martin (writer of A Song Of Ice And Fire.)
STORM FRONT By Jim Butcher
Description: Harry Dresden is a wizard and an expert on the peculiar and mystical happenings of the world. Despite being the only person capable of handling these issues, his business is struggling. When the Chicago Police Department invites him to assist with an investigation involving double murder by black magic, it’s a chance to make some much-needed cash. However, where there’s black magic, there’s always a black mage lurking in the shadows, and Harry is on their radar.
Why Read It? The first in the bestselling series The Dresden Files is about a private investigator from Chicago who’s also a wizard. A stellar urban fantasy mixed with noir mystery, romance, and action in this high stakes romp.
THE NAME OF THE WIND By Patrick Rothfuss
Description: I am Kvothe. I’ve rescued princesses from the clutches of sleeping barrow kings, set ablaze the town of Trebon, and emerged unscathed after a night with the seductive Felurian. Despite being expelled from the University at a young age, I have traversed treacherous paths under the moonlight most would never dare to speak of during daylight hours. I have conversed with deities, and composed songs so moving they bring even the most stoic minstrels to tears. Chances are, you have already heard of me.
Why Read It? A gripping, adventurous story about a thief assassin in the first of a bestselling series. With a poetic, lyrical writing style, this portrays one young man’s trials of becoming the person behind the legend.
WIZARD’S FIRST RULE By Terry Goodkind
Description: Richard Cypher’s peaceful forest sanctuary is shattered when Kahlan Amnell seeks his help after the brutal murder of his father. In this dark age, Richard and Kahlan must take up this challenge to avoid becoming the next victims. Their quest takes them through a bewitching land, where even the purest of hearts can be corrupted. As they are hunted, Kahlan implores Richard to invoke something more noble within himself. But their time is running out. In their darkest hour, they must stand together to face the challenges ahead.
Why Read It? This is Terry Goodkind’s debut novel, first published in 1994. Sadly, he passed away, but his epic fantasy series is a bestseller. The characters are raw and messy and the stakes are high.
THE BLADE ITSELF By Joe Abercrombie
Description: Logen Ninefingers’ incessant feuds have left him on the brink of becoming a dead barbarian. Captain Jezal dan Luthar is preoccupied with gambling with his friends and daydreaming about fencing glory. Inquisitor Glokta despises Jezal and wouldn’t mind seeing him come home in a box. As murderous conspiracies come to the surface, old scores are ready to be settled, and the line between hero and villain is sharp enough to draw blood.
Why Read It? Darkly funny and cynical, this book tells of the darker side of humanity and its fast-paced, thrilling plot. Filled with intriguing characters like Logen Ninefingers, Captain Jezal dan Luthar, and Inquisitor Glokta, it’s impossible to resist reading their dark adventures.
MAGICIAN: APPRENTICE By Raymond E. Feist
Description: In the fantasy world of Midkemia, an orphan named Pug is taken on as an apprentice by the powerful court magician, Kulgan. His bravery is put to the test when malevolent entities reignite the ancient conflict between Order and Chaos. Pug and his friend Tomas find themselves in perilous circumstances, and only Pug’s peculiar brand of magic may have the power to restore peace to Midkemia.
Why Read It? The first book in The Riftwar Saga is an epic fantasy of magic, adventure, and a war that threatens to destroy everything. The worldbuilding and prose make it a staple in fantasy fiction.