The best fantasy books that transport you into other worlds

The Books I Picked & Why

Daughter of the Empire

By Raymond E. Feist, Janny Wurts

Book cover of Daughter of the Empire

Why this book?

This is the first of a trilogy, which involves the struggle of a woman who finds herself as sole heir and Ruling Lady of her family, facing against rival houses, and the Assembly of Magicians, who see her as a threat to their ancient power. Mara is a brilliant female main character and is a splendid example of how to write one. I still take inspiration from her when writing my own female leads. Both Wurts and Feist have melded the magical story of her struggles into a backdrop of stunning descriptions of the landscape and class system, transporting you into the story to be fully immersed and invested in Mara’s fate. It is very much unlike any other series I have read.


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Magician

By Raymond E. Feist

Book cover of Magician

Why this book?

Magician takes place at the same time as my first pick. It shows the world of Midkemia and the almost Arthurian tale that is woven into it. The rift between the two worlds is open and the invading armies must be kept at bay. It has epic battles and heartbreaking moments. It follows the character of Pug, who is growing up in a keep a long way from the court. But life is not meant to be commonplace for this boy. He is plunged into matters he cannot hope to understand, just yet, and we follow his story as he comes into his own. I highly recommend it as a must-read if you are thinking of writing fantasy, or just want to get lost for hours on end.


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The Dragonbone Chair

By Tad Williams

Book cover of The Dragonbone Chair

Why this book?

This series follows Simon, a lowly kitchen boy who has the habit of daydreaming while he should be working. Little knowing that some of those daydreams would become waking nightmares that sees him travelling the world searching for the lost swords of power. It is set in the world of Osten Ard and the king is dead. A long-dormant evil is unleashed into the world which seeks dominion overall. Tad Williams is a brilliant storyteller and I have learned a lot from his writing. The series is well worth diving into and immersing yourself in this amazing tale. I have read it quite a few times now, and each time I do I find something I had forgotten. I can’t recommend it enough!


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Assassin's Apprentice: The Farseer Trilogy Book 1

By Robin Hobb

Book cover of Assassin's Apprentice: The Farseer Trilogy Book 1

Why this book?

If you have never read this series or all the others that are based in this world then you are missing out. The main character of Fitz is one we follow from childhood and as he grows up as the bastard of the court. His life is not his own to follow and must bow down to the will of his uncle, the king. He is taken from the stables where he has grown up to become the royal assassin’s apprentice and all the perils that come with it, both physical and ethical. Hobb’s writing is one that keeps inspiring me in my own. She crafts each scene so well, you can smell the sea that batters the cliff the castle sits on and gives her characters such wonderful flaws. 


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The Redemption of Althalus

By David Eddings, Leigh Eddings

Book cover of The Redemption of Althalus

Why this book?

A simple explanation of this book is Althalas is a thief and lives his life looking for the next heist he can pull off, until the Goddess Dweia hires him to save the world from the desolations of her evil brother Daeva and his henchman Ghend. The telling of this tale is anything but simple. The authors have drawn on past civilisations that can be easily recognised to the reader, such as the Roman and Viking, adding their own lore and history to it. It is richly described and draws the reader to become invested in Althalas’s troubles and successes, along with all of his personable and flawed companions. It is an enjoyable read, and I dare you not to fall in love with Emmy.


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