The Best Fantasy Books of 2021
2021 has been an incredible year so far for fans of the Fantasy book genre. While many of us have been looking for a new escape, fantasy novels have the ability to transport us away to new places beyond our world. Whether it is supernatural creatures, magical realms, or mythical figures, the Fantasy genre is full of otherworldly plots and characters to escape into. Transport yourself to a new world with the best new Fantasy releases of 2021 so far.
Top Fantasy Books of 2021
by Alexandra Bracken
A breathless new twist on classic mythology, Lore is an epic fantasy that brings Greek gods to New York City. This is a story of power, revenge, and a past that you just can’t escape. Alexandra Bracken offers a new interpretation of Greek mythology with a protagonist that you’ll instantly root for.Buy on Amazon
2. Black Water Sister
by Zen Cho
Black Water Sister is a new contemporary fantasy set in Malaysia, by Malaysian-born author Zen Cho. Featuring ghosts, gods, and grandmothers, Zen Cho’s novel weaves together storylines of estranged families and mysterious deities looking for revenge. This is a must-read for readers looking for a truly unique fantasy epic.Buy on Amazon
3. The Shadow of the Gods
by John Gwynne
The Shadow of the Gods is a new epic fantasy series from bestselling author John Gwynne. Journey into a Norse-inspired fantasy series alongside three warriors who will shape the fate of the new world. Masterfully crafted and always compelling, Gwynne takes readers deep into an intricately crafted setting featuring magic, myths, and revenge.Buy on Amazon
4. For The Wolf
by Hannah Whitten
Red meets Wolf in this debut novel from Hannah Whitten. This reimagining of the classic Little Red Riding Hood mixes its subtle cleverness with just a bit of horror to create a sparkling new take on old characters. Follow along with Red on a new journey through the deep, dark woods.Buy on Amazon
5. The Helm of Midnight
by Marina Lostetter
The Helm of Midnight is a powerful combination of epic fantasy and a dark thriller. The novel features creative worldbuilding and a fully fleshed-out magical system, The mask of a legendary serial killer is stolen leading to a new killing spree and Krona Hirvath and The Regulators are the only ones who can stop the terror.Buy on Amazon
6. The Wolf and the Woodsman: A Novel
by Ava Reid
In another wolf-inspired title, The Wolf and the Woodsman draws on Hungarian folklore and Jewish mythology as it follows a young woman with hidden powers. Ava Reid’s debut work features diverse landscapes, a disgraced prince, family power struggles, and a battle for the throne and puts her on any list of exciting new fantasy novelists.Buy on Amazon
7. Witches Steeped in Gold
by Ciannon Smart
Witches Steeped in Gold tells the story of two enemy witches who come together to defeat a common enemy. Another debut novel, Ciannon Smart creates a Jamaican-inspired story centered around two witches from very different backgrounds who must enter into a fragile alliance.Buy on Amazon
8. Hall of Smoke
by H.M. Long
Hall of Smoke is a fantasy epic featuring volatile gods, warrior priestesses, and forgotten powers. The novel takes readers on a path of redemption and revenge. When Hessa, our warrior priestess, loses everything, she must go on a winding journey with new evils around every turn. H.M. Long’s first book captures the perfect blend of high-stake action and nuanced human emotions.Buy on Amazon
What makes a top Fantasy book?
Fantasy is one of the largest categories of speculative fiction, alongside Science Fiction and Horror. Top fantasy books differentiate themselves in several key ways, most importantly always taking place in a fictional universe. While many fantasy books draw on our own history, folklore, and myths to build their worlds, the settings are always different from our reality. These settings, often defined by magic or other supernatural elements, create stories and themes that are not otherwise not possible. Magical creatures, characters, and locations prominently feature in the plot and themes of these books, taking readers on new journeys without any limitations.
Fantasy stories have been an important part of literature for centuries and prominently feature on today’s bestseller lists. Popular top fantasy book authors include C.S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, and George R.R. Martin. Today, many of our most popular fantasy stories have been adapted for movies, TV, and video games, further spreading the fantasy genre to new mediums.
What Are The Popular Fantasy Subgenres?
The Fantasy genre has dozens of popular genres and subcultures, meaning that there is truly something for everyone. The most popular and common subgenres are High and Epic Fantasy, which are usually long, epic tales that take place in intricately constructed fantasy worlds. Popular examples of this genre include The Lord of the Rings and A Game of Thrones. The counterpart to these genres is Low Fantasy, which features stories taking place in a world similar to our own, with the addition of magical elements. Books such as the Harry Potter series and Twilight fall into this category.
Outside of High, Epic, and Low fantasy, other popular genres are Portal Fantasy, where characters travel from the real world to a fantasy one, Urban Fantasy, defined by city settings and supernatural underworlds, and Fantasy Romance, where the plot focuses on a romance taking place in a fantasy environment.
2021 has been a great year so far for Fantasy books, and these are just a few of our new favorites. Whether you are looking for Greek gods, ancient serial killers, or modern reimaginings of classic fairy tales, the Fantasy genre truly has something for everyone.
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