The best books to explore new fantasy worlds

The Books I Picked & Why

Small Gods

By Terry Pratchett

Small Gods

Why this book?

This is a book that I can reread again and again. It’s easy to read but it explores a deep topic in a fun, satirical way with diverse characters who keep a reader engaged. It definitely doesn’t have the typical fantasy hero protagonist, which makes for new ways of approaching problems. The characters clash with each other and grow in an unexpected but hilarious ways.


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Avatar, the Last Airbender: The Rise of Kyoshi (the Kyoshi Novels Book 1)

By F.C. Yee, Michael Dante DiMartino

Avatar, the Last Airbender: The Rise of Kyoshi (the Kyoshi Novels Book 1)

Why this book?

I really like that this story doesn’t start with someone who’s already noble and true with a great destiny thrust upon them, it’s about someone who must learn the traits of becoming a hero. It’s got good action and fun characters who will keep you entertained, and set in a world you probably already know well.


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The Horse King

By Richard A. Knaak

The Horse King

Why this book?

While hungry for really any fantasy book, I got into the Dragonrealm series just after it had gone out of print, so I had a lot of fun and rushes of victory scouring all the secondhand bookstores to find any book I could, even out of order. It’s a little dated and cheesy now, considering that the main character’s name is Bedlam, but if you can find a copy, it’s a fun trip down memory lane.


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The Last Wish: Introducing the Witcher

By Andrzej Sapkowski

The Last Wish: Introducing the Witcher

Why this book?

The book that launched a gaming and now TV empire! And it’s a deliciously dark read, but not your typical fantasy narrative, and instead follows the hero through short stories that build a fun, amazing realm to experience. I really enjoy stories about broken heroes as they struggle to do good in their world, and this series offers this in spades.


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The Deed Of Paksenarrion: The Deed of Paksenarrion Omnibus

By Elizabeth Moon

The Deed Of Paksenarrion: The Deed of Paksenarrion Omnibus

Why this book?

I stole time out of math class to read this epic fantasy. It was huge and I finished it in 2 days. This is a true hero’s journey story from farmer to powerful earn, with all heavy-hitting emotional beats earned. It also presents a true crisis of faith to the main character and earning one’s courage back.


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