Best Epic Fantasy Books

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1

The Stormlight Archive

by Brandon Sanderson

4.6 avg rating
Brandon Sanderson, widely acclaimed for his work completing Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time saga,  begins a grand cycle of his own, with The Way of Kings, Book One of the Stormlight Archive.

Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soilless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter.

It has been centuries since the fall of the ten consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor that transform ordinary men into near-invincible warriors. Men trade kingdoms for Shardblades. Wars were fought for them, and won by them.

One such war rages on a ruined landscape called the Shattered Plains. There, Kaladin, who traded his medical apprenticeship for a spear to protect his little brother, has been reduced to slavery. In a war that makes no sense, where ten armies fight separately against a single foe, he struggles to save his men and to fathom the leaders who consider them expendable.

Brightlord Dalinar Kholin commands one of those other armies. Like his brother, the late king, he is fascinated by an ancient text called The Way of Kings. Troubled by over-powering visions of ancient times and the Knights Radiant, he has begun to doubt his own sanity.

Across the ocean, an untried young woman named Shallan seeks to train under an eminent scholar and notorious heretic, Dalinar’s niece, Jasnah. Though she genuinely loves learning, Shallan’s motives are less than pure. As she plans a daring theft, her research for Jasnah hints at secrets of the Knights Radiant and the true cause of the war.

The result of over ten years of planning, writing, and world-building, The Way of Kings is but the opening movement of the Stormlight Archive, a bold masterpiece in the making.

Speak again the ancient oaths,

Life before death.
Strength before weakness.
Journey before Destination.

and return to men the Shards they once bore.

The Knights Radiant must stand again.
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The Kingkiller Chronicle

by Patrick Rothfuss

1 avg rating
This is the riveting first-person narrative of Kvothe, a young man who grows to be one of the most notorious magicians his world has ever seen. From his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, to years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-riddled city, to his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, The Name of the Wind is a masterpiece that transports readers into the body and mind of a wizard.

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Lord Of The Rings

by J.R.R. Tolkien

4.38 avg rating
The 50th anniversary one-volume edition of J.R.R. Tolkien's epic
 
"An extraordinary work -- pure excitement." -- New York Times Book Review
 
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them

In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell by chance into the hands of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins.

From Sauron's fastness in the Dark Tower of Mordor, his power spread far and wide. Sauron gathered all the Great Rings, but always he searched for the One Ring that would complete his dominion.

When Bilbo reached his eleventy-first birthday he disappeared, bequeathing to his young cousin Frodo the Ruling Ring and a perilous quest: to journey across Middle-earth, deep into the shadow of the Dark Lord, and destroy the Ring by casting it into the Cracks of Doom.

The Lord of the Rings tells of the great quest undertaken by Frodo and the Fellowship of the Ring: Gandalf the Wizard; the hobbits Merry, Pippin, and Sam; Gimli the Dwarf; Legolas the Elf; Boromir of Gondor; and a tall, mysterious stranger called Strider.

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The Wheel Of Time

by Robert Jordan

3.72 avg rating

The Eye of the World is book one of The Wheel of Time®, Robert Jordan’s internationally bestselling fantasy series. This edition features cover art by David Grove. The art, which originally debuted on the e-book, will grace bookstores for the first time on this handsome trade paperback edition.

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Song Of Ice And Fire

by George R.R. Martin

3 avg rating
George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series has become, in many ways, the gold standard for modern epic fantasy. Martin--dubbed the "American Tolkien" by Time magazine--has created a world that is as rich and vital as any piece of historical fiction, set in an age of knights and chivalry and filled with a plethora of fascinating, multidimensional characters that you love, hate to love, or love to hate as they struggle for control of a divided kingdom. It is this very vitality that has led it to be adapted as the HBO miniseries "Game of Thrones."

This boxed set includes the following novels:
A Game of Thrones
A Clash of Kings
A Storm of Swords
A Feast for Crows
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Malazan Book Of The Fallen

by Steven Erikson

5 avg rating

The Malazan Empire simmers with discontent, bled dry by interminable warfare, bitter infighting and bloody confrontations with ancient and implacable sorcerers. Even the imperial legions, long inured to the bloodshed, yearn for some respite. Yet Empress Laseen's rule remains absolute, enforced by her dread Claw assassins. 

For Sergeant Whiskeyjack and his squad of Bridgeburners, and for Tattersail, their lone surviving mage, the aftermath of the siege of Pale should have been a time to mourn the many dead. But Darujhistan, last of the Free Cities, yet holds out. It is to this ancient citadel that Laseen turns her predatory gaze.

However, the Empire is not alone in this great game. Sinister, shadowbound forces are gathering as the gods themselves prepare to play their hand . . .

Conceived and written on a panoramic scale, Gardens of the Moon is epic fantasy of the highest order--an enthralling adventure by an outstanding voice.  

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the mistborn trilogy

by Brandon Sanderson

The New York Times bestselling series from Brandon Sanderson.

This boxed set contains:
Mistborn
The Well of Ascension
The Hero of Ages

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name of the wind

by Patrick Rothfuss

5 avg rating
This is the riveting first-person narrative of Kvothe, a young man who grows to be one of the most notorious magicians his world has ever seen. From his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, to years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-riddled city, to his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, The Name of the Wind is a masterpiece that transports readers into the body and mind of a wizard.

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The First Law

by Joe Abercrombie

3.11 avg rating
Logen Ninefingers, infamous barbarian, has finally run out of luck. Caught in one feud too many, he's on the verge of becoming a dead barbarian - leaving nothing behind him but bad songs, dead friends, and a lot of happy enemies.

Nobleman, dashing officer, and paragon of selfishness, Captain Jezal dan Luthar has nothing more dangerous in mind than fleecing his friends at cards and dreaming of glory in the fencing circle. But war is brewing, and on the battlefields of the frozen North they fight by altogether bloodier rules.

Inquisitor Glokta, cripple turned torturer, would like nothing better than to see Jezal come home in a box. But then Glokta hates everyone: cutting treason out of the Union one confession at a time leaves little room for friendship. His latest trail of corpses may lead him right to the rotten heart of government, if he can stay alive long enough to follow it.

Enter the wizard, Bayaz. A bald old man with a terrible temper and a pathetic assistant, he could be the First of the Magi, he could be a spectacular fraud, but whatever he is, he's about to make the lives of Logen, Jezal, and Glotka a whole lot more difficult.

Murderous conspiracies rise to the surface, old scores are ready to be settled, and the line between hero and villain is sharp enough to draw blood. Unpredictable, compelling, wickedly funny, and packed with unforgettable characters, The Blade Itself is noir fantasy with a real cutting edge.

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harry potter

by J.K. Rowling

4.57 avg rating
Harry Potter has no idea how famous he is. That's because he's being raised by his miserable aunt and uncle who are terrified Harry will learn that he's really a wizard, just as his parents were. But everything changes when Harry is summoned to attend an infamous school for wizards, and he begins to discover some clues about his illustrious birthright. From the surprising way he is greeted by a lovable giant, to the unique curriculum and colorful faculty at his unusual school, Harry finds himself drawn deep inside a mystical world he never knew existed and closer to his own noble destiny.

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The Farseer Trilogy

by Robin Hobb

3.75 avg rating
Young Fitz is the bastard son of the noble Prince Chivalry, raised in the shadow of the royal court by his father's gruff stableman. He is treated like an outcast by all the royalty except the devious King Shrewd, who has him sectetly tutored in the arts of the assassin. For in Fitz's blood runs the magic Skill--and the darker knowledge of a child raised with the stable hounds and rejected by his family. As barbarous raiders ravage the coasts, Fitz is growing to manhood. Soon he will face his first dangerous, soul-shattering mission. And though some regard him as a threat to the throne, he may just be the key to the survival of the kingdom.
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Magician

by Raymond Feist

4 avg rating
To the forest on the shore of the Kingdom of the Isles, the orphan Pug came to study with the master magician Kulgan. But though his courage won him a place at court and the heart of a lovely Princess, he was ill at ease with the normal ways of wizardry. Yet Pug's strange sort of magic would one day change forever the fates of two worlds. For dark beings from another world had opened a rift in the fabric of spacetime to being again the age-old battle between the forces of Order and Chaos.

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Codex Alera

by Jim Butcher

5 avg rating

For a thousand years, the people of Alera have united against the aggressive and threatening races that inhabit the world, using their unique bond with the furies - elementals of earth, air, fire, water, and metal. But now, Gaius Sextus, First Lord of Alera, grows old and lacks an heir. Ambitious High Lords plot and maneuver to place their Houses in positions of power, and a war of succession looms on the horizon." "Far from city politics in the Calderon Valley, the boy Tavi struggles with his lack of furycrafting. At fifteen, he has no wind fury to help him fly, no fire fury to light his lamps. Yet as the Alerans' most savage enemy - the Marat - return to the Valley, he will discover that his destiny is much greater than he could ever imagine." Caught in a storm of deadly wind furies, Tavi saves the life of a runaway slave named Amara. But she is actually a spy for Gaius Sextus, sent to the Valley to gather intelligence on traitors to the Crown, who may be in league with the barbaric Marat horde. And when the Valley erupts in chaos - when rebels war with loyalists and furies clash with furies - Amara will find Tavi's courage and resourcefulness to be a power greater than any fury - one that could turn the tides of war.

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The Night Angel Trilogy

by Brent Weeks

2.33 avg rating
The omnibus edition of New York Times bestselling author Brent Weeks' blockbuster NIGHT ANGEL TRILOGY. With over one million copies in print, Brent Weeks has become one of the fastest selling new fantasy authors of all time.

For Durzo Blint, assassination is an art - and he is the city's most accomplished artist.

For Azoth, survival is just the beginning. He was raised on the streets and knows an opportunity when he sees one - even when the risks are as high as working for someone like Durzo Blint.

Azoth must learn to navigate the assassins' world of dangerous politics and strange magics - and become the perfect killer.

THE NIGHT ANGEL TRILOGY, one of the most popular epic fantasy series in recent years, is compiled into one volume for the first time. Included in this omnibus edition are: The Way of Shadows, Shadow's Edge, and Beyond the Shadows.
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The Black Company

by Glen Cook

2 avg rating
Some feel the Lady, newly risen from centuries in thrall, stands between humankind and evil. Some feel she is evil itself. The hardbitten men of the Black Company take their pay and do what they must, burying their doubts with their dead.

Until the prophesy: The White Rose has been reborn, somewhere, to embody good once more.

There must be a way for the Black Company to find her...

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Prince Of Thorns

by Mark Lawrence

4 avg rating
When he was nine, he watched as his mother and brother were killed before him. At thirteen, he led a band of bloodthirsty thugs. By fifteen, he intends to be king…

It’s time for Prince Honorous Jorg Ancrath to return to the castle he turned his back on, to take what’s rightfully his. Since the day he hung pinned on the thorns of a briar patch and watched Count Renar’s men slaughter his mother and young brother, Jorg has been driven to vent his rage. Life and death are no more than a game to him—and he has nothing left to lose. But treachery awaits him in his father’s castle. Treachery and dark magic. No matter how fierce his will, can one young man conquer enemies with power beyond his imagining?

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The Warded Man

by Peter V. Brett

3 avg rating
As darkness falls after sunset, the corelings rise—demons who possess supernatural powers and burn with a consuming hatred of humanity. For hundreds of years the demons have terrorized the night, slowly culling the human herd that shelters behind magical wards—symbols of power whose origins are lost in myth and whose protection is terrifyingly fragile. It was not always this way. Once, men and women battled the corelings on equal terms, but those days are gone. Night by night the demons grow stronger, while human numbers dwindle under their relentless assault. Now, with hope for the future fading, three young survivors of vicious demon attacks will dare the impossible, stepping beyond the crumbling safety of the wards to risk everything in a desperate quest to regain the secrets of the past. Together, they will stand against the night.
 

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the belgariad series by david eddings

by David Eddings

4.63 avg rating
Millions of readers have discovered the magic of David Eddings’ New York Times bestselling series The Belgariad. Now the first three books in this monumental epic appear in a single volume. Here, long-time fans can rediscover the wonder—and the uninitiated can embark upon a thrilling new journey of fantasy and adventure.

It all begins with the theft of the Orb that for so long protected the West from an evil god. As long as the Orb was at Riva, the prophecy went, its people would be safe from this corrupting power. Garion, a simple farm boy, is familiar with the legend of the Orb, but skeptical in matters of magic. Until, through a twist of fate, he learns not only that the story of the Orb is true, but that he must set out on a quest of unparalleled magic and danger to help recover it. For Garion is a child of destiny, and fate itself is leading him far from his home, sweeping him irrevocably toward a distant tower—and a cataclysmic confrontation with a master of the darkest magic.
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dark elf trilogy r.a. salvatore

by R.A. Salvatore

Drow ranger Drizzt Do’Urden, first introduced in The Icewind Dale Trilogy, quickly became one of the fantasy genre’s standout characters. But Homeland first reveals the startling tale of how this one lone drow walked out of the shadowy depths of the Underdark, leaving behind a society of evil and a family who want him dead. It is here that the story of this amazing dark elf truly began.
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Anonymous | 2015-08-23 04:10:42
Omg there is no R. A. Salvatore or Ed Greenwood!! Apart from the Legend of Drizzt. These books are amazing.
Anonymous | 2013-11-23 05:09:24
This list is a fantastic resource. Do you plan to update it soon?
Anonymous | 2013-11-08 08:02:32
This list is such a helpful tool Now I don't need to go into beginning a series blindly.thanks to this list I've found great series such as Fionovar Tapestry, Cathrand Voyage, and Codex Alera. I would rank them higher. I also bought a couple I didn't like on the list such as Chronicles of Amber which Was boring and I absolutely hated!! I thought Hobbs Assasin series was well written but too gloomy so I didn't get past the first book. I read Sword of Truth before seeing this list. It was both good and bad ( kinky). I wasn't interested in continuing the series but Regardless I agree with people who thought it should at least been somewhere on this list. I read the entire series of Wheel of Time. Mixed feelings on that one and Lord of the Rings was a joy. Weiss' Labyrinth series is fun. Don't read Thomas Covenant unless you don't mind a disgusting " hero".
Anonymous | 2013-02-15 09:22:24
Has no one here ever read David Ediings? I don't see how you can have a serios list without including his stuff, Its a lot better than some of the things on your list.

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