Epic Fantasy books for fans of The Wheel of Time
Since we’ll be between Wheel of Time seasons for a while, here are our picks for epic fantasy book series to tide you over!
Grab your coziest blanket, a warm drink, and make sure you’re settled in, because these long reads will transport you to another world.
Why not peek ahead by reading the series the show is based on? This series is truly enthralling, and full of clever details that you might only find upon rereading. It is wonderfully multilayered, and a tale excellently told. “There are neither beginnings nor endings to the turning of the Wheel of Time. But it was a beginning.”
Also known as Game of Thrones, thanks to the HBO series. We know, we know… it’s not complete yet. Why not join in with everyone else who’s been waiting for 10 years? It’s a well-crafted story from multiple viewpoints, with incredible characters, some who are terribly flawed, who also might die just as you pick your favourite… don’t get too attached!
The Mistborn Saga is a blend of heist story and fantasy epic, with a straightforward “overthrow the empire” plot. Where the series shines though, is in the characters. They’re believable, relatable, and it’s fulfilling to experience their development over the course of the series.
Sanderson also had the honour of completing the final books of The Wheel of Time.
The Stormlight Archive series, also by Sanderson, is a fantastically built world. It begins with The Way of Kings, and is set in Roshar, a rocky, stormy, wasteland. We rotate between the intricately plotted, intertwining journeys of multiple characters, primarily those of a slave, a prince, and a scholar.
Erikson throws you into a fully-fleshed out world in the middle of a war, and there’s so much to process at first… but don’t worry, you’ll quickly be immersed. This is a series to savour as you journey through the richly imagined backdrop of the Empire. This epic fantasy spans thousands of years and is about the history of the Malazan Empire, consisting of several intertwined storylines.
Battles galore, a twist on the dragon mythos, an unrelenting protagonist, and African (Xhosa) influences. What more can we ask of an epic fantasy? We’ve recommended The Rage of Dragons before, and that recommendation stands strong!
With 41 books published over 32 years, Discworld is such an expansive universe that fans have pieced together a reading guide for beginners. Sir Terry Pratchett’s storytelling prowess is truly unmatched; readers can begin anywhere in the series and immediately feel invested in the characters, captivated by the plot, and overcome with laughter.
You can go ahead and start with the first novel, about Rincewind the spectacularly inept wizard, in The Colour of Magic, or try any of the other storylines.
If you’re looking for an escape into an elaborate fantasy world, this is the one for you. Innkeeper Kote tells us the tale of his past as the notorious magician Kvothe, starting from his childhood, to his adolescent days at magic school. It’s a story within a story, alternating between past and present, and the prose is infused with a poetic style, making for an indulgent reading experience.
Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn is a series with a slow build up, as it begins with an orphaned kitchen boy named Simon, who eventually stumbles into a hidden dungeon, and that’s when the real story starts. The world of Osten Ard is richly written, the character arcs satisfying, and the ending of the first book will leave you wanting more.
An epic fantasy that steps out of the medieval style, European box. This unique trilogy takes places in an Aztec, Mesoamerican based universe, following Acatl, High Priest of the Dead, who is tasked with solving abductions and murder mysteries. Definitely not the usual fare when it comes to fantasy novels! You can start the trilogy with Servant of the Underworld.
The one epic fantasy to rule them all… LotR is cemented in pop culture, especially after being brought to life by the film adaptations. Before the movies, though, the original trilogy had an immense impact on all fantasy written afterwards. If you enjoyed The Wheel of Time, you can thank Tolkien for setting the wheels in motion.
Originally published at https://www.kobo.com on December 2, 2021.