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Best Epic Fantasy Books

Recommendations from 12 articles, Elon Musk, Richard Branson, Paul Krugman and 24 others.
34 books on the list
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The Eye of the World
Robert Jordan - Sep 18, 2014 (first published in 1990)
Goodreads Rating
The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again. But one truth remains, and what mortal men forget, the Aes Sedai do not ...What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the shadow....
Assassin's Apprentice
Robin Hobb - Mar 01, 1996 (first published in 1995)
Goodreads Rating
In a faraway land where members of the royal family are named for the virtues they embody, one young boy will become a walking enigma.Born on the wrong side of the sheets, Fitz, son of Chivalry Farseer, is a royal bastard, cast out into the world, friendless and lonely. Only his magical link with animals - the old art known as the Wit - gives him s...
Recommended by
Tom Critchlow
The Name of the Wind
Patrick Rothfuss - Apr 07, 2009 (first published in 2007)
Goodreads 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 o...
Recommended by
Anna AkanaChris Albon
The Lord of the Rings
50th Anniversary, One Vol. Edition
J. R. R. Tolkien - Oct 12, 2005 (first published in 1955)
Goodreads Rating
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind themIn 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 t...
A Wizard of Earthsea
Ursula K. le Guin - Sep 11, 2012 (first published in 1968)
Goodreads Rating
Ged, the greatest sorcerer in all Earthsea, was called Sparrowhawk in his reckless youth. Hungry for power and knowledge, Sparrowhawk tampered with long-held secrets and loosed a terrible shadow upon the world. This is the tale of his testing, how he mastered the mighty words of power, tamed an ancient dragon, and crossed death's threshold to resto...
Recommended by
Clara Jeffery
The Final Empire (Mistborn (1))
Brandon Sanderson - May 13, 2014 (first published in 2006)
Goodreads Rating
Where ash falls from the sky, and mist dominates the night, evil cloaks the land and stifles all life. Criminal mastermind Kelsier teaches Allomancy, the magic of metals, to another Mistborn, urchin Vin 16. The unlikely heroine is distracted by rich Venture heir Elend. Can Kelsier's thieving crew take on the tyrant Lord Ruler and bring back colour ...
A Game of Thrones
George R. R. Martin - May 28, 2002 (first published in 1996)
Goodreads Rating
Here is the first volume in George R. R. Martin’s magnificent cycle of novels that includes A Clash of Kings and A Storm of Swords. As a whole, this series comprises a genuine masterpiece of modern fantasy, bringing together the best the genre has to offer. Magic, mystery, intrigue, romance, and adventure fill these pages and transport us to a worl...
Recommended by
Elon Musk
The Fellowship of the Ring
Being the First Part of The Lord of the Rings (1)
J. R. R. Tolkien - Sep 18, 2012 (first published in 1954)
Goodreads Rating
The first volume in J.R.R. Tolkien's epic adventure THE LORD OF THE RINGS One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind themIn 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 ...
The Blade Itself
Joe Abercrombie - Sep 08, 2015 (first published in 2006)
Goodreads Rating
The first novel in the First Law Trilogy and debut novel from New York Times bestseller, Joe Abercrombie.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, das...
Recommended by
Joel McHale
Raymond E. Feist - Jan 01, 1994 (first published in 1982)
Goodreads Rating
An alternate cover edition of this ISBN can be found here.To the forest on the shore of the Kingdom of the Isles, the orphan Pug came to study with the master magician Kulgan. His courage won him a place at court and the heart of a lovely Princess, but he was ill at ease with normal wizardry. Yet his strange magic may save two worlds from dark bein...
The Dragon's Path
Daniel Abraham - Apr 07, 2011
Goodreads Rating
"Everything I look for in a fantasy." - George R. R. Martin All paths lead to war...Marcus' hero days are behind him. He knows too well that even the smallest war still means somebody's death. When his men are impressed into a doomed army, staying out of a battle he wants no part of requires some unorthodox steps.Cithrin is an orphan, ward of a ba...
The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu
Acacia by David Anthony Durham
The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone by J. K. Rowling
The First Law Trilogy by Joe Abercrombie
Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett
The Great Book of Amber by Roger Zelazny
The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin
The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
Daughter of the Empire by Raymond E. Feist
The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis
The Inheritance Trilogy by N. K. Jemisin
Sabriel by Garth Nix
Sheepfarmer's Daughter by Elizabeth Moon
Furies of Calderon by Jim Butcher
The Iron King by Maurice Druon
His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik
Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey
The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett
Perdido Street Station by China Miéville
The Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams
King's Dragon by Kate Elliott