The best epic fantasy books about the hero’s journey

T.C. Crawford Author Of David Bishop and the Legend of the Orb
By T.C. Crawford

Who am I?

Why did I choose to write an epic fantasy novel? The same reason I choose to read them! Nothing captures the imagination more than a fantasy novel. And the epic fantasies are simply the most exquisite, magical, grand adventures one could ever hope to go onfrom the safety of your own bedroom (or car, or hammock, or wherever!). I read to escape and explore worlds that I can never see except in my dreams, to go where I simply cannot go, and to experience struggles and hopes and dreams of friends I otherwise couldn’t meet. Reading is a journey—and fantasy settings are simply the best of them. 


I wrote...

David Bishop and the Legend of the Orb

By T.C. Crawford,

Book cover of David Bishop and the Legend of the Orb

What is my book about?

David Bishop and the Legend of the Orb is the first book in a young-adult epic fantasy two-part series written by T.C. Crawford. It tells the story of David Bishop as he grapples with the incredible power granted to him by a mysterious orb and the prophetic conflict that ensuesa conflict that began ages ago between the most powerful beings in existence, the mystics. As David and his allies fight to prevent the release of an ancient evil that will reign destruction on their world, time is running out.

The books I picked & why

Shepherd is reader supported. We may earn an affiliate commission when you buy through links on our website. This is how we fund this project for readers and authors (learn more).

The Furies of Calderon

By Jim Butcher,

Book cover of The Furies of Calderon

Why this book?

This book is an excellent read for lovers of fantasy, especially coming-of-age fantasy focused on the hero’s journey. The novel is the first in a series, the Codex Alera, and is the author’s first fantasy series and one of his life-long passion projects. It was written after a bet was made by another writer that he couldn’t write a series based on a lame idea. He upped the ante and based it on two lame ideas: the Lost Roman Legion and Pokémon. This series has a fantastic magic system, believable characters who make mistakes, learn, and grow, and an unforgettable journey. This is one of my favorite fantasy series. 


Wizard's First Rule

By Terry Goodkind,

Book cover of Wizard's First Rule

Why this book?

I recommend this book because of the incredible journey the main protagonist takes across the vast series (11 books in the main story). This is an underdog and hero’s journey epic fantasy book. The magic system, characters, and setting are all fantastic and unforgettable. I absolutely loved the main character and his two closest allies (one is his grandfather; the other is his love interest who is powerful and intelligent, not a damsel in distress). Again, the characters are humanthey make mistakes, sometimes catastrophic, but they learn and grow and are better because of it. I can’t recommend this series enough!


Mistborn: The Final Empire

By Brandon Sanderson,

Book cover of Mistborn: The Final Empire

Why this book?

I started reading this book because of a recommendation on an online fantasy book community and I absolutely loved it! This series follows a female protagonist in a world so vastly different than anything I’ve ever read. The magic system is complex with strict rules and is the most unique magic system I’ve ever encountered in a series (hard system, not soft). This makes the read a bit challenging sometimes to follow at first during some fight scenes, but once you understand the mechanics, it’s extremely fun and mesmerizing how detailed the author writes and just simply amazing how he came up with it! The characters again are flawed, but grow with time and experience, making them believable. The story follows the underdog, hero’s journey archetypewith a major twist!


The Hobbit

By J.R.R. Tolkien,

Book cover of The Hobbit

Why this book?

I recommend this book because it was the first fantasy book that I ever read and really set me off on the journey that ultimately led to me writing my first fantasy book. It’s fun, lively, at times scary and suspenseful, and leaves the reader with a sense of awe and wonder because of the wonderful characters, magic, and setting. The protagonist is, of course, a Hobbit—someone so unthreatening it’s hard to believe he’s the hero of the story, which of course makes it all the better to read! And what an incredible journey this little fellow finds himself in—a journey that kick starts a series of events that lead into The Lord of the Rings by the same author.


The Fellowship of the Ring: The Lord of the Rings: Part One

By J.R.R. Tolkien,

Book cover of The Fellowship of the Ring: The Lord of the Rings: Part One

Why this book?

I recommend this book because you can’t read The Hobbit and not read the follow-on series The Lord of the Rings. This book kick starts the journey of Frodo Baggins, the nephew of Bilbo Bagginsthe protagonist in The Hobbit. He’s forced into a journey because of a particular heirloom his uncle leaves him upon his departure to Rivendell. This gift ends up becoming, strangely, a character in and of itself throughout the series. The ensuing adventure is filled with friendship, bonding, fright, action, and suspense enough to keep you reading until the end. The writing is just simply beautiful, and the world is so magical it will stay with you for the rest of your life. 


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in wizards, quests, and magic-supernatural?

5,810 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about wizards, quests, and magic-supernatural.

Wizards Explore 68 books about wizards
Quests Explore 31 books about quests
Magic-Supernatural Explore 345 books about magic-supernatural

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like On the Road, The Lord of the Rings, and World War Z if you like this list.