Political Fantasy Books

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Fantasy books with a heavy dose of politics and intrigue. Often, the entire focus of the story might take place in a royal court setting and feature politicking and maneuvering by the various parties. Other stories may incorporate politics and social struggles between various parties (it doesn't always have to be in a court setting).
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Medalon

by Jennifer Fallon

According to legend, the last king of the Harshini sired a half-human child, known as the Demon Child, born to destroy a god . . .

The Sisterhood of the Blade rules Medalon with an iron fist--an iron fist within the steel gauntlet of the Defenders, elite warriors sworn to uphold the sisters and keep Medalon free of heathen influence.

R'shiel, daughter of the First Sister of the Blade, has pulled against the short leash of her mother ever since she was a child. Her half-brother, Tarja, is the dutiful son who serves as a Captain in the Defenders. But when they run afoul of their mother's machinations, they must flee for their lives. They soon find themselves caught up in the rebellion against the Sisterhood, though they revile their fellow conspirators heathen belief in the Harshini--a fabled race of magical beings thought long extinct.

But then Tarja & R'shiel encounter Brak, an Harshini outcast, who forces them to face the most shocking fact of all: the Demon Child, thought to be nothing more than legend, may have been loosed in Medalon.
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The Darkness That Comes Before

by R. Scott Bakker

Strikingly original in its conception, ambitious in scope, with characters engrossingly and vividly drawn, the first book in R. Scott Bakker's Prince of Nothing series creates a remarkable world from whole cloth-its language and classes of people, its cities, religions, mysteries, taboos, and rituals-the kind of all-embracing universe Tolkien and Herbert created unforgettably in the epic fantasies The Lord of the Rings and Dune. It's a world scarred by an apocalyptic past, evoking a time both two thousand years past and two thousand years into the future, as untold thousands gather for a crusade. Among them, two men and two women are ensnared by a mysterious traveler, Anasûrimbor Kellhus-part warrior, part philosopher, part sorcerous, charismatic presence-from lands long thought dead. The Darkness That Comes Before is a history of this great holy war, and like all histories, the survivors write its conclusion.

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Empire In Black And Gold

by Adrian Tchaikovsky

The city states of the Lowlands have lived in peace for decades, bastions of civilization, prosperity and sophistication, protected by treaties, trade and a belief in the reasonable nature of their neighbors.

But meanwhile, in far-off corners, the Wasp Empire has been devouring city after city with its highly trained armies, its machines, it killing Art . . . And now its hunger for conquest and war has become insatiable.

Only the aging Stenwold Maker, spymaster, artificer and statesman, can see that the long days of peace are over. It falls upon his shoulders to open the eyes of his people, before a black-and-gold tide sweeps down over the Lowlands and burns away everything in its path.

But first he must stop himself from becoming the Empire's latest victim.

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The Twelve Kingdoms Sea Of Shadow

by Fuyumi Ono

After normal high-schooler Yoko is whisked away to another world by Keiki, a holy man who claims she is the heir to the kingdom of Kei, she is left only with a magical sword, a gem, and questions about her destiny as she fights for her throne.
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Zimiamvian Trilogy

by E.R. Eddison

DIMENSION TO DIMENSION... WORLD TO WORLD ~ A lady strays from a garden path and enters a different realm. A castle harbors a secret cabinet and a golden key. A king wages dynastic war for control of three kingdoms. Thus, a saga that rivals the wondrous worlds of Middle Earth, Dune, and the hitchhiker's galaxy, sweeps us into a fabulous cosmos of pure imagination. Here, villains plotting to take control of an alternate world and a mysterious, magical woman seeking her destiny are catalysts. They ignite a splendid pageantry of battles and quests, poisonous love and triumphant passion, doomed loyalties and unsurpassed courage in this "lost" classic by one of the fathers of modern fantasy. ~ THE ZIMIAMVIAN TRILOGY ~ Each of the books in this unique trilogy is an epic complete in itself. Read together, they form one of the greatest imagined worlds in fantasy literature. This new Dell edition contains recently discovered fragments of The Mezentian Gate, printed here for the first time, along with illuminating notes by E. R. Eddison scholar Paul Edmund Thomas, making this the most complete edition of Zimiamvia ever published.
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The Privilege Of The Sword

by Ellen Kushner

BSFA
Nebula
World Fantasy
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Islandia

by Austin Tappan Wright

Published 11 years after the author's death, this classic of utopian fiction tells the story of American consul John Lang. He visits the isolated and alien country of Islandia and is soon seduced by the ways of a compelling and fascinating world.
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The Goblin Emperor

by Katherine Addison

A vividly imagined debut fantasy of court intrigue in a steampunk-inflected magical world from Katherine Addison.

Unbound Worlds 100 Best Fantasy Novels of All Time

The youngest, half-goblin son of the Emperor has lived his entire life in exile, distant from the Imperial Court and the deadly intrigue that suffuses it. But when his father and three older sons in line for the throne are killed in an "accident," he has no choice but to take his place on the Untheileneise Throne.


The Goblin Emperor, set against the pageantry and color of a fascinating, unique world, is a memorable debut for a great new talent.

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The Red Wolf Conspiracy

by Robert V. S. Redick

5 avg rating
Six hundred years old, the Imperial Merchant Ship Chathrand is a massive floating outpost of the Empire of Arqual. And it is on its most vital mission yet: to deliver a young woman whose marriage will seal the peace between Arqual and its mortal enemy, the Mzithrin Empire. But Thasha, the young noblewoman in question, may be bringing her swords to the altar.

For the ship’s true mission is not peace but war—a war that threatens to rekindle an ancient power long thought lost. As the Chathrand navigates treacherous waters, Thasha must seek unlikely allies—including a magic-cursed deckhand, a stowaway tribe of foot-high warriors, and a singularly heroic rat—and enter a treacherous web of intrigue to uncover the secret of the legendary Red Wolf.
 
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