I frequently get questions from fellow readers for fantasy book recommendations. I have well-known favorites (The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Hobbit) but then my list goes off to books that are less known, so I wanted to share the best with all of you. These have been picked based on the quality of writing, world-building, characterization, and the fact that…well, I love them all! 🙂
- Wind Rider Chronicles by Allison D. Reid. The first book, Journey to Aviad, is available to read for free and tells the story of Elowyn and her older sister, Morganne.
Their mother pushes them to work hard and work quickly, but Elowyn loves to explore the woods…until she encounters the strangest creatures, wolf-like hounds that prowl along her city, their presence an omen of evil things to come. Slowly, she and her sister are drawn into the changes in the world around them as the government changes hands and knowing who to trust becomes more and more difficult. A great blend of action, adventure, mystery, and faith, this story moves as a steady but thoughtful pace, giving you plenty of time to get to know the characters and worry about their fates.
(This last link requires readers to sign up for the author’s newsletter, but in exchange you can get Ancient Voices (Book Two) for free.)
- Turquoiseblood by Cecelia Isaac. This story is one of the first fantasy murder mysteries I’ve ever read, and it’s delightful. The author created a vibrant world with parallel storylines, and I was kept guessing until the end. And then, of course, I love a story with talking dragons. 🙂
Cecelia Isaac is also co-founder of the Feminist Book of the Month, or F-BOM, a book subscription service and online book club that features self-published women authors of Science Fiction and Fantasy, so she hasn’t written anything more yet, but when she does, I look forward to reading it.
- Penny White and the Temptation of Dragons by Chrys Cymri. This is one of my favorite fantasy series, as a whole. I love the blend of romance, humor, character interaction, and real life problems as Penny White, a female priest of the Church of England, explores Lloegyr, the parallel world to ours full of dragons, unicorns, vampires, and trouble. It’s British and all things geeky (and should be called the temptation of readers, as it’s always so hard for me to put these books down once I start them). The first book, which is on sale for $0.99, is my favorite of the series, but I haven’t had a chance to read book four…so that could change. 🙂
- Path of a Novice by R. K. Lander. If you enjoy thoughtful battles, where everything isn’t blood and gore, character interactions and intrigue and elves after Tolkien’s own heart, this is the series for you. It follows Fel’annár, an orphaned elf of mixed heritage who longs to be a captain and serve his king and country. In the process, he begins a journey of discovery that will bring him loyal friends and powerful enemies but could change his nation’s cultural divides forever.
It’s on sale this weekend, too: $0.99 on Friday and $1.99 on Saturday and Sunday (the 25th and 26th), so be sure to get your copy.
- Empire’s Daughter by Marian Thorpe. This is easily the most unique fantasy story I’ve read for a long time. Set in a world where men fight and women run the villages, taking female partners even though they mate with men when they come home to visit, it’s imaginative, consistent, and believable. It really would make a great book club selection, as it raises so many interesting questions about war, life, commitment, and love.
These involve more familiar concepts or ideas, but are still a whole lot of fun and well worth reading:
- A Flight of Marewings by Kristen S. Walker. I haven’t had a chance to read Book 2 or the prequel yet, but I thoroughly enjoyed the first one (and it’s on sale this week for $0.99). This story of a woman who must take her life into her own hands and find a new future after the death of her father reminded me slightly of Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonflight, and overall, the novel was a great mix of adventure, romance, and intrigue.
Prequel: The Duke’ s Daughter (novella)
Book 1: A Flight of MarewingsBook 2: A Pride of Gryphons
- A Merchant in Oria by David Wiley. This novella is short but full of action, telling the tale of a dwarf kingdom that is visited by Firion, a humble, hopeful merchant. But all isn’t as it seems, and soon, it’s up to Firion to try to set things right.Below are the links, and like most of the books on this list, it’s on sale for the holiday shopping week.
Enjoy and have a great week!