Young Adult Books – 3 Fantasy Epics For Everyone

Young Adult Books – 3 Fantasy Epics For Everyone

“Young Adult” is not a genre, but simply a marketing niche. Young adult books tend to be fast paced, frequently first person and feature teen protagonists (although the villain is likely to be adult).Young adult novels cover all genres, from space opera to serial killers, high school romance to epic fantasy. One popular genre in young adult fiction is of course dystopia. This genre has given us great books and movies such as Hunger Games and Divergent.  Another popular young adult genre is fantasy and science fiction.

Research is showing that over half young adult books are being read by those over 18.  So put away any hang ups at reading ‘children’s books’ as we review some young adult novels that we believe should reach fantasy epic status.  And who knows, maybe even a movie or tv series.

1. The Name of the WindPatrick Rothfuss

The first book of the Kingkiller Chronicle tells the story of the Kvothe, from his childhood and his rise to notoriety as a wizard. Fans of fantasy looking for an epic that could restore their faith in the genre can look no further than Name of the Wind. The storytelling is magical with solid character development from the start. Masterfully handled, the story is told from the protagonist’s first person point of view, with interludes in third person omniscient to give readers a clearer impression of other characters. Name of the Wind could easily be described as Harry Potter for slightly older readers. Rothfuss creates a detailed, believable world of academic magic; youthful exploits; love; humor; and revenge.

The Wise Man’s Fear: The Kingkiller Chronicle: Day Two is already released and we eagerly await the book 3 in what will surely be an epic series.

(Patrick has just announced  that he is in discussions for a possible  movie, TV series and video game.  We can hardly wait!)

2. Mistborn: The Final Empire Brandon Sanderson

Fantasy readers looking for something that goes a little bit beyond the genre’s familiar archetypes will enjoy the Mistborn trilogy.  Not only is its mist and ash-laden apocalyptic world intriguing, The Final Empire introduces an original magic system unlike any sorcery centric novel. The premise is also rather unique; it explores the question of what if the prophesied hero fails and the world fall into the rule of a Dark Lord? Despite its dark setting, the novel is face-paced and filled with likable characters that will leave readers engrossed in the adventure and looking forward to the two sequels.

For more in the Mistborn world, recently released is the The Alloy of Law: A Mistborn Novel set a long time after the events of the original trilogy.

3. The Way of Shadows: The Night Angel Trilogy: Book 1 Brent Weeks

If you ever wish the Assassin’s Creed video game franchise was an action-packed novel series, The Way of Shadows will be the closest you could ever come to that wish. Follow the tale of Azoth who – in order to escape the treacherous life in the slums – apprenticed to the legendary assassin, Durzo Blint. Under his apprenticeship as a Night Angel, Azoth is given a new identity, forced to turn his back on loved ones, and develop an appetite for taking lives. Readers are set for a fast-paced and fun to read, although brutal at times, adventure filled with fantasy archetypes. Despite the archetypal character types – assassins, masters and disciples, unconquerable enemies – there are some brilliant and surprisingly believable characterizations that will endear readers to them.   An intriguing beginning to this young adult trilogy.

For other Young Adult recommendations, see our earlier list  6 Young Adult Books That Are Worth Reading

Best Sci-Fi Books: 7 Mind Blowing And Frightening Sci-Fi Books

Best Sci-Fi Books: 7 Mind Blowing And Frightening Sci-Fi Books

The Best Sci-Fi Books

Science fiction is made up of imaginative content about the future, space travel, time travel, parallel universes and extraterrestrial life. It can be mind blowing, fear inducing and inspiring. There aren’t that many genres as diverse and enjoyable as Sci-Fi, and in this post, we’ve compiled a list of the best Sci-Fi books ever written.

1. Hyperion – Dan Simmons

Best Sci-Fi Books

‘Hyperion’ is centered on the six pilgrims’ tales, their pasts and the terrible needs which drive them to confront what is almost certain death–or worse. Each of the tales is written in a unique style, and each introduces a new element to bind the story as a whole.

2. Childhood’s End – Arthur C. Clarke

Best Sci-Fi Books

This book begins one day when numerous spaceships suddenly appear in the sky above Earth, flown by an alien species referred to as the Overlords.  These aliens seem to be a benevolent race that only wants to help humanity. In fifty years, these Overlords will end ignorance, poverty, war, and disease,but to what end do they do this?

3. Sphere – Michael Crichton

Best Sci-Fi Books

The story touches on a number of aspects of the human personality while mixing in some profound science fiction narratives in the process. This is a fast-paced thriller that definitely registers impressively on the suspense meter, particularly during the late chapters.

4. Lord of Light – Roger Zelazny

Best Sci-Fi Books

Lord of Light” reads much more like fantasy than science fiction, and like Frank Herbert’s classic “Dune,” it’s an example of a science-fiction novel deeply concerned with spirituality and metaphysics.

5. Solaris – Stanislaw Lem

Best Sci-Fi Books

This novel explores the theme of communication. Scientists explore a curious planet, Solaris, whose ocean appears to be an intelligent life-form. Scientists are sent to live on the planet and to try and establish contact with it.

6. Rendezvous with Rama – Arthur C. Clarke

Best Sci-Fi Books

A very large cylinder appears in our solar system and an expedition is sent out to investigate it. They enter the cylinder and watch it slowly “wake up” from the inside. The alien technology they encounter is highly advanced and awe inspiring but still possible to understand.

7. Stranger in a Strange Land – Robert A. Heinlein

Best Sci-Fi Books

A child born to the first Martian expedition and is raised by the Martians and brought back to Earth as a young man, where he receives an education into the ways of man. Once he feels that he understands humanity, he undertakes to educate humans in the philosophy of “Thou art God” in such a way that the truth of that statement is a provable tautology. As such, he becomes a self-proclaimed messiah, enduring the usual fate of messiahs by upsetting everyone’s idea of what is ‘right’.

 

Best Fantasy Books: 10 Greatest Fantasy Books

Best Fantasy Books: 10 Greatest Fantasy Books

The Best Fantasy Books

This list includes fantasy book favorites. If you’re a fan of  science fiction & fantasy books, the best epic fantasy, urban fantasy, or fantasy series books, this list is for you.

If there are any fantasy books you think should be on the list, share them in the comments below. The best fantasy books were recommended by readers from Reddit, Goodreads and Amazon as the best fantasy books ever written.

10 Best Fantasy Books Ever Written

1. A Game of Thrones – George R.R. Martin

Best Fantasy Books

This series by George R.R. Martin is one of the best fantasy series out there. He has a compelling writing style, and his decision to write about dynasties instead of a certain group of heroes makes this much more interesting than the standard fantasy book plot.

2. The Hobbit; or, There and Back Again –  J. R. R. Tolkien

Best Fantasy Books

Not only is this a great piece of fantasy literature, its one of the best books ever written. J. R. R. Tolkien has created an entire world, along with maps, a variety of races and languages. The Hobbit is truly an epic.

3. The Name of the Wind – Patrick Rothfuss

Best Fantasy Books

The Name of the Wind is very well written. The characters are real, the action is convincing and it has a compelling story to tell.

One of the best things about this book is that the magic is absolutely rooted in the book’s world. Nothing seems contrived; the consistency is excellent and the world is believable.

4. The Belgariad – David Eddings

Best Fantasy Books

The Belgariad by David Eddings is one of the best classic coming of age and epic quest fantasy books ever written. It has everything, from prophecy, wise cracking allies, a lofty princess, a dash of politics, the old wizard, great battles, and an awakening ancient evil.

5. Mistborn – Brandon Sanderson

Best Fantasy Books

Mistborn has the best, most well-thought-out, most original magic system ever written. Nothing comes anywhere close to its intricacy and intelligence. Despite its complexity, Sanderson has such a firm grasp on his magic system and is so clearly enjoying himself when he writes it that it comes off the page so beautifully, so fluidly. A great fantasy book.

6. The Eye of the World – Robert Jordan

Best Fantasy Books

The Wheel of Time is probably the best-known and most widely read fantasy book series other than The Lord of the Rings. Robert Jordan has created a landscape of magnificent proportions. Accents, legends, superstitions, politics…His amazing attention to detail allows you to become fully immersed in the story. Even more surprising is that the quality of his writing is consistent throughout the entire book.

7. The Way of Kings – Brandon Sanderson

Best Fantasy Books

This massive tome is the first of a 10-part epic fantasy series. The book tells three separate stories. There’s Dalinar and his son Adolin, two nobles embroiled in a six-year old war. There’s Shallan, a young woman who’s doing her best to save her family from ruin. There’s Kaladin, the one-time war hero and current slave, battling inner demons.

These are roles we’ve seen before in fantasy, yes, but Sanderson breathes new life into them. A fantasy books series which isn’t due to end until 2020.

8. The Lord of the Rings – J. R. R. Tolkien

Best Fantasy Books

There is absolutely no way to produce a fantasy books list without J.R.R. Tolkiens fantasy epic 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 them”.

This book will be the only fantasy book you’ll ever need to read, if you only read one.

9. Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch – Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett

Best Fantasy Books

The Antichrist is coming. The world’s about to end. The only problem is the “rank and file” angels and demons (who’ve begun to enjoy each other’s company and understand each other over the eons) aren’t so sure they want Armageddon to come. This is a hysterically funny book, full of satire and parody.

10. The Once and Future King – Terence Hanbury White

Best Fantasy Books

The Once and Future King” is children’s fantasy book which is a delightful read for both kids and adults. Author T. H. White manages to mingle the humorous and the sad portions of the King Arthur story successfully, and he never talks down to his audience or tries to oversimplify the events. The result is a wonderfully entertaining fantasy book that never slows down.

7 Best Books To Read In One Sitting

7 Best Books To Read In One Sitting

A book doesn’t have to take months to finish like the colossus War and Peace or even The Count of Monte Cristo. Some books just can’t be put down and this list is about those books. So call you family and friends and tell them you’re going awol for a while.

7 Best Books To Read In One Sitting

1. The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins

best books to read

You won’t be able to put this down after the first few pages get you hooked. Suzanne Collins narrative here has an immediacy to it that, when combined with the very dramatic life-or-death plot, is incredibly compelling. It’s entertaining, and incredibly disturbing all at once.

2. I Am Legend – Richard Matheson

best books to read

I am Legend is arguably the greatest short horror novel ever written, and its influence on the horror genre has been profound. Stephen King and many other of today’s masters rank this book highly in their personal top ten lists of favorites. It is a short novel that can be read in one sitting; it is hard to put down, building in intensity from start to finish. Matheson creates an entirely new type of vampire fiction herein.

3. The Name of the Wind: The Kingkiller Chronicle: Day One – Patrick Rothfuss

best books to read

This is the kind of novel that fantasy readers dream of reading. It’s the kind of novel would-be writers dream of writing. Excellent writing, deeply complex characters, careful revelations and wonderful plot twists.

4. World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War – Max Brooks

best books to read

World War Z is a fictional account of a worldwide outbreak of the living dead in the near future and judging from some of the descriptions of places and events in the beginning of the book it won’t be too far in the future. It had absolutely nothing to do with the mediocre movie.

5. Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck

best books to read

This is the story of a two lonely and alienated men who work as farm laborers, drifting from job to job in California. Lennie is gentle giant, physically strong but mentally retarded. George guides and protects Lennie but also depends on him for companionship. Together, they have a dream to someday buy a little farm where they can grow crops and raise rabbits and live happily ever after. The fact that it’s a short book and it’s a very good story make it a great, quick read.

6. The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde

best books to read

This sophisticated but crude novel is the story of man’s eternal desire for perennial youth, of our vanity and frivolity, of the dangers of messing with the laws of life. When Dorian’s angelic face is captured flawlessly in paint he wishes that it was the painting which would age and that he could stay forever the same, which it does, leading to a series of tragic events.

7. The Book Thief  Markus Zusak

best books to read

Liesel Meminger is a Book Thief, living with a foster family in Germany during World War Two. Torn from everything she’s known, her foster father shows her the power of words as the two of them share late night reading sessions of The Grave Digger’s Handbook. Her love of books ties her to others, including the mayor’s wife and Max, the Jew the family hides in the basement.

5 Best Fantasy Books of the Last Decade

5 Best Fantasy Books of the Last Decade

Below are the top 5 fantasy books of the last decade based on sales volume and customer rankings. Be sure to share your favorites in the comments below.

1. Pines – Blake Crouch

fantasy books

The Pines is not what you expect in any way, shape or form. A bit of horror, a bit of sci-fi, some action, lots of suspense, some mystery, a bit of intrigue all thrown together that works oh so well together.

2. A Shade of Vampire – Bella Forrest

fantasy books

Derek Novak is the Prince of The Shade, which is an island hidden from humans, and its inhabitants are Vampires and their slaves. Sofia gets captured on her 18th birthday and taken to The Shade, because of a prophecy that was made when Derek was put into an enchanted sleep 400 years ago! Are the Vampires at The Shade pure monsters or can Sofia tame them?

3. Outlander – Diana Gabaldon

fantasy books

The year is 1945. Claire Randall is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon — when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient stone circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach — an “outlander” — in a Scotland torn by war and raiding Highland clans in the year of Our Lord … 1743.

4. Written in My Own Heart’s Blood: A Novel – Diana Gabaldon

fantasy books

This is the eighth novel in the world-famous OUTLANDER series. In June of 1778, the world turns upside-down. The British army withdraws from Philadelphia, George Washington prepares to move from Valley Forge in pursuit, and Jamie Fraser comes back from the dead to discover that his best friend has married Jamie’s wife.

5. George R. R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones – George R.R. Martin

fantasy books

Not much needs to be said about Game of Thrones. This is one of the best series in the history of fantasy books.