Good vs. evil. Magic. Mythical creatures. Court intrigue. Quests. Supernatural forces. Urban. Distant pasts. Dragons. Alternate histories. Swords & sorcery. Epic struggles. This is the stuff of fantasy.
The Call by Peadar O’Guilin
Half a King by Joe Abercrombie
The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
In this fast-past and complex story with a large cast of characters, six teenage criminals plan an impossible heist. Next in the series is Crooked Kingdom. And, if you liked this one, go back and read the The Grisha Trilogy.
The Lost Gate by Orson Scott Card
Danny North, long thought to be a drekka, is now on the run and desperate to escape his family. Little do they know he is the first gatemage to appear in centuries. This is book 1 of the Mither Mages series.
The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
After his parents are murdered, a baby wanders into a graveyard, where he is adopted by a ghost couple, Mr. and Ms. Owens.
The Magicians by Lev Grossman
Like everyone else, high school senior Quentin Coldwater assumes that magic isn’t real, until he finds himself admitted to a very secretive and exclusive college of magic in upstate New York. There he indulges in the joys of college—friendship, love, sex, and booze—and receives a rigorous education in modern sorcery. Harry Potter for adults? Followed by The Magician King and The Magician's Land.
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
In the kingdom of Goredd, dragons and humans live and work side by side – while below the surface, tensions and hostility simmer. When a member of the royal family is brutally murdered, Seraphina is drawn into the investigation alongside the dangerously perceptive—and dashing—Prince Lucien. But as the two uncover a sinister plot to destroy the wavering peace of the kingdom, Seraphina struggles to protect a secret. Followed by Shadow Scale.
Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin
"I am not as I once was. They have done this to me, broken me open and torn out my heart." And therein lies the tale of Yeine, an outcast from the barbarian north, who mourns the death of her mother but is summoned to the majestic city of Sky. Book 1 of The Inheritance Trilogy. The author says she "likes to write about ordinary people in extraordinary situations, preferrably in non-Earth worlds which nevertheless reflect our own concerns."
Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin
Ged was the greatest sorcerer in Earthsea, but in his youth he was the reckless Sparrowhawk. In his hunger for power and knowledge, showing off to his fellow students, he tampered with long-held secrets and loosed a terrible shadow upon the world. Book 1 of the Earthsea Cycle.
Every Day by David Levithan
Every morning A (yes, "A" is the main character's name) wakes up in the body of a different person. Kinda hard to carry on a relationship!
Egg & Spoon by Gregory Maguire
An improverished Russian country girl Elena Rudina and the aristocratic Ekatrina meet and set in motion an escapade that includes mistaken identity, a monk locked in a tower, a prince traveling incognito, and the witch Baba Yaga. By the author of the wildly popular Wicked.
Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta
During the Five Days of the Unspeakable, the royal family of Lumatere were brutally murdered, and an imposter seized the throne. Now a curse binds all who remain inside Lumatere's walls, and those who escaped roam the surrounding lands as exiles. Finnikin meets the arrogant and enigmatic novice Evanjalin, who claims that her dark dreams will lead the exiles to a surviving royal child. This is book 1 of the Lumatere Chronicles.
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Each November the Scorpio Races are held on the windswept island of Thisby. Sean is a legendary four-time winner. Puck rides for the prize money. The mounts - the wild and dangerous capaill uisce. They emerge from the black ocean and gallop the beach beneath the cliffs. Riders attempt to keep hold of the water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die. Stiefvater is the author of the Raven Cycle and The Wolves of Mercy Falls books.
Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor
Against the background of ethereal Prague, Karou, a beautiful 17-year-old art student with blue hair and mysterious tattoos, finds a connection to monstrous beings from a parallel world called Eretz. Followed by Days of Blood & Starlight, and Dreams of Gods & Monsters.
More fantastic authors
Charles De Lint | Patrick Rothfuss | Catherine Fisher | Kristin Cashore | Philip Pullman | Robin Hobb | J.R.R. Tolkien | Robin McKinley | China Miéville | Anne McCaffrey | Mercedes Lackey | Julie Kagawa | Margo Lanagan | Holly Black | Terry Pratchett