The best epic fantasy novels with epic bromances

Who am I?

For me, “bromance'' is simply two (or more) men having a bond that extends deeper than mere friendship. It is usually not romantic (sadly, in some cases), and is often between cousins or even brothers, but I absolutely love it when a hero is willing to die for his friend/soulmate/brother/mortal enemy. Men have been discouraged from saying the dreaded “I love you,” especially to other men, so they have been forced to disclose their feelings through action. I find a special delight in bonds that develop between two people who initially dislike one another; they must first reach “like” before they can achieve real emotional connection.

I wrote...

The Gauntlet Thrown

By Cheryl Dyson,

Book cover of The Gauntlet Thrown

What is my book about?

With a varied cast of characters, bromance, and epic worldbuilding, The Gauntlet Thrown is heavily influenced by an assortment of fantasy novels that feature the same. When Brydon leaves his home to fulfill a quest that will lead to him becoming the next king, Toryn is determined to stop him. When he bungles the job and Brydon spares his life, they forge an uneasy alliance that leads them into a web of deception, magic, unexpected friends…and enemies.

The books I picked & why

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Deryni Rising

By Katherine Kurtz,

Book cover of Deryni Rising

Why this book?

Deryni Rising is my top pick for the “bromance genre” due to the strong bond between several characters. These bonds grow deeper and stronger as the characters struggle to overcome growing challenges. This book is not for the faint of heart, as the author has a special talent for putting her characters through emotional torture chambers. I particularly enjoy this series because it focuses not only on physical danger, but also on the mental and emotional aspects. The characters frequently have moral and ethical dilemmas. How the characters navigate such situations reminds me that everyone should be judged on their own merits, and not on outward appearances, titles, or by what society tells us is “wrong” or “evil”.

Theft of Swords

By Michael J. Sullivan,

Book cover of Theft of Swords

Why this book?

The bromance in this series is between two longtime friends that are also independent thieves. A running joke between them is Hadrian’s insistence on constantly doing “good deeds” instead of simply taking jobs that pay well. Despite Royce’s complaints about Hadrian’s apparent charitable streak, it becomes clear that he also has a penchant for doing the right thing. The banter between them is fluid and speaks of a shared history that keeps me reading, hoping to dig more into their past and discover how they became such a strong team. I also adore books with humor in the midst of drama or stress and this book definitely delivers.

Black Sun Rising

By C.S. Friedman,

Book cover of Black Sun Rising

Why this book?

Black Sun Rising is a book with incredible world-building. It is worth a read simply for the unique premise, and then the author populates it with Gerald Tarrant—a horrific, soulless vampire—and Damien Vryce, the priest sworn to destroy him. Through many terrifying trials, the two form a grudging respect for one another that (of course) eventually turns into friendship. This book has so many interesting settings and situations, and it is fun to grow with Damien from despising Tarrant to absolutely adoring him. Those who love vampires should be giddy with this one, as Tarrant is pretty scary and powerful.

The Amulet of Samarkand

By Jonathan Stroud,

Book cover of The Amulet of Samarkand

Why this book?

This might seem an unlikely choice for a bromance, especially as the main characters are an ancient summoned demon and a young boy, but despite the young adult genre this book has excellent character growth. Nathaniel is the boy and he starts the book with the emotional depth of a water droplet, so it’s extremely satisfying when the demon mirrors my dislike and expresses the same emotions I feel toward his young captor. It’s even more fun when the demon is wise-cracking and sarcastic. Both characters are unlikeable in the beginning, which made it more satisfying for me when they stopped being jerks and started working together. 

Pawn of Prophecy

By David Eddings,

Book cover of Pawn of Prophecy

Why this book?

This is a difficult book to get into as it begins with pages of details about Garian’s idyllic childhood as he grows up on a farm. When an old wizard finally shows up to get the story moving, readers are more than ready to embark on a quest with Garion and his party of adventurers. As a hero, Garion is a trifle boring, so it’s up to the rest of the characters to keep things interesting. The wisecracking friendship between Silk (a short, nimble, unscrupulous spy) and Barak (a huge, burly, noble warrior) delivers. Much of my enjoyment of this book comes from Silk delivering one-liners and Barak is frequently the target of Silk’s glib tongue.

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in wizards, prophecy, and thieves?

5,809 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about wizards, prophecy, and thieves.

Wizards Explore 68 books about wizards
Prophecy Explore 21 books about prophecy
Thieves Explore 18 books about thieves

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

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