Beyond Bestsellers: Epic Fantasy, Part 2

by Jocelyn R.

Welcome back, fantasy readers! The month is half gone already, and I wanted to check in. How goes the epic fantasy challenge? Have you fallen for any new authors or series? Or done a re-read of an old favorite?

In my post at the beginning of the month, I mentioned that Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series introduced me to epic fantasy. And that’s accurate as far as it goes, since it was the first epic fantasy I read. But it was really my dad who kindled my love of epic fantasy. He would read a book, hand it to me to read, and then we’d have a grand time discussing the novel and the series. After Robert Jordan, we moved on to Dragonlance, beginning with Dragons of Autumn Twilight, and then tackled Terry Brooks’ Shannara series.

I still enjoy suggesting titles to my dad, and spending time together discussing the series. My newer favorites (and recommendations to Dad) include Red Sister by Mark Lawrence, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin, and Elantris by Brandon Sanderson. And one that I haven’t suggested to my dad since it’s probably a bit too dark for him, was a book I was shocked to discover I enjoyed – Godblind by Anna Stephens. This was an extremely grimdark epic fantasy, with brutal violence and completely unexpected twists and turns and betrayals. It kept me on the edge of my seat (and gasping in shock) and I am now anxiously awaiting the next installment.

Do you recommend epic fantasy to anyone in particular? How did you discover this wonderful genre? Let us know in the comments below! And don’t forget to share your favorite epic fantasy novels with us by creating a Beyond Bestsellers book list.

Happy reading!

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4 responses to “Beyond Bestsellers: Epic Fantasy, Part 2”

  1. Ann says:

    First ever EF series I read was, of course, LOTR. My sister had read it and passed it along to me, I was 19. As an adult I would go to the book store and pick out the thickest books I could find and usually they were fantasy. I read Dune, suffered through the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant by Stephen R. Donaldson, most of the Shannara books, the first 4 in the Dark Tower series, Battlefield Earth, George RR Martin’s Song of Fire and Ice series, first 3 Robin Hobb’s Farseer series, all 13 of the WOT books (the first one 13 times, the second 12 times, the third 11 times, etc.), the Riverworld books by Philip Jose’ Farmer, S.M. Stirling’s Island in the Sea of Time, the last two may not be Epic Fantasy, but are Epic in their own ways. I have been on both sides of the recommendations, with family, co-workers and friends. My nephew’s friend gave him Game of Thrones, he passed it to my sister, she to my husband, him to me, me to my son and a friend, the friend to his brother.
    I’m sure there are others I read in my 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s I don’t recall. I now pretty much do Audiobooks exclusively.
    I have started a list of “to be read” from your postings, and look forward to finding my next favorite book.

  2. Ann says:

    I hate to disappoint you, but I haven’t stumbled upon anything no one else knows about! I have read the Artemis Fowl books by Eoin Coffer. Lots of magic, elves, demos, etc. I also have read a lot of Terry Pratchett’s Disc World books, I am purposely not reading anymore for a while, because since no more new ones are going to be written, I want to save the unread, cause, once they’re gone (read) they’re gone (read). Yes, I know I can reread, and I have reread some, but I want to savor the unread one. Don’t blame me if that doesn’t make any sense!
    You can look online, as I have done, for epic fantasy, looking through the lists, I realize I have read more than I thought.
    Good luck finding your next big read!

  3. Erin L. says:

    I would chime in here with the “Temeraire” series by Naomi Novik if nobody already has. Excellent blend of fantasy and historical fiction. Anything with dragons gets my heart but this was above anything I have read. I love that the dragons all have complete personalities and emotional journeys of their own. They are certainly attached to their human companions/captians but have minds of their own.

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