Read on for our pick of the best fantasy novels published in 2019, and a look ahead to the new books we can't wait to get our hands on in 2020. From debuts to adventures through epic worlds and much-anticipated series conclusions, there's a fantasy book on this list for every type of reader.
The best fantasy books of 2019
The Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons
The hugely anticipated debut by Jenn Lyons is the first book in the A Chorus of Dragons series. Brim-full of big ideas – body-swapping, prophecy, rich worldbuilding and grim commentaries on many aspects of empire – to name but a few, this is the tale of Kihrin, a young prince cursed with bad luck and worse prophecy. The Ruin of Kings is fantastically complex and multi-layered, and characters like Doc and Galen, Kihrin's own well-balanced set of talents and flaws make this a promising new fantasy series.
What an extraordinary book . . . enthralling and deeply, deeply satisfying. I loved it.
Buy The Ruin of Kings
The Name of All Things by Jenn Lyons
The Name of All Things is the second book in the A Chorus of Dragons series. After killing the Emperor of Quur, Kihrin D'Mon is a wanted man. So he heads to Jorat where he comes into direct opposition to his old enemy Relos Var. Var owns one of the world's most powerful objects, The Name of All Things, and he uses it to get what he wants most in the world – Kihrin . . .
Buy The Name of All Things
The Secret Chapter by Genevieve Cogman
The sixth book in The Invisible Library series, The Secret Chapter sees Irene and Kai team up with an unlikely band of misfits to pull off an amazing art heist. They must steal a painting from Vienna in exchange for a book held by the secretive Fae villain Mr Nemo – a book which is needed to save the world where Irene grew up.
Buy The Secret Chapter
A Time of Blood by John Gwynne
The second book in John Gwynne's epic Of Blood and Bone series, A Time of Blood sees Riv, Drem and the Bright Star battling to save their land, as demonic forces gather to destroy their enemies and the rule of man.
This book is so damned good . . . John Gwynne writes fantasy with the heart of a hero and the inventiveness of a master mage
Sebastien de Castell
Buy A Time of Blood
The True Queen by Zen Cho
Set between Regency London, Fairyland and the Malay Archipelago, The True Queen is the second volume in Zen Cho's award-winning The Sorcerer to the Crown series. When Muna and her sister Sakti wake on the shores of Janda Baik (long the home of witches), they discover that they've been struck by a curse that has stolen their memories. They must head to Britain, where their only hope lies in the academy for female magicians. But they must travel through the Fairy Queen's realm, where Sakti disappears without a trace . . .
I sat up all night racing to finish it (again). Another magnificent outing from Zen Cho . . . Clever, funny, and compulsively readable - I loved it!
Buy The True Queen
Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard
After the epic world-building and fast-paced adventures in Susan Dennard's previous books, Truthwitch and Windwitch, existing fans won't need much persuading to be very excited about Bloodwitch, the third novel in the Witchland series.
Find out more about these epic fantasy novels in our introduction to the world of the Witchlands here.
The Dragon Republic by R. F. Kuang
The follow up to R. F Kuang's 2018 debut The Poppy War, The Dragon Republic sees protagonist Rin on the run and out for revenge against the traitorous Empress who sold her homeland to her enemies. Expect copious amounts of opium, vengeful gods, disloyal rulers and a deepening of protagonist Rin's compelling moral complexity and powers in the second novel in this epic fantasy series.
Buy The Dragon Republic
The best new fantasy books to come in 2020
The Unspoken Name by A. K. Larkwood
If you're looking for a new fantasy series to get excited about, A. K. Larkwood's The Serpents Gates is it. In The Unspoken Name (which publishes in February 2020), expect an epic coming-of-age tale set in a world of death cults, hungry gods, ancient tombs, and rival sorcerers. Inspired by the author's longstanding fascination with villainous sidekicks and the question 'what might it take to stay loyal to a boss who is bad news?'
An astounding debut, written with skill and stunning assurance . . . From its flawless first page to its bittersweet last, The Unspoken Name is unlike anything I’ve read before.
Buy The Unspoken Name
A Time of Courage by John Gwynne
No list of the top fantasy books would be complete without a John Gwynne novel. One of the most anticipated publications of 2020, in A Time of Courage, The King of the Otherworld is finally free and angels, demons and heroes face their ultimate fight for the Banished Lands. A Time of Courage, the epic conclusion to the Of Blood and Bone series publishes in April 2020.
Buy A Time of Courage
Blood of an Exile by Brian Naslund
In Brian Naslund's debut novel we meet Bershad, an adventurer sentenced to kill dragons for a living after being caught trying to assassinate a fellow noble. When the king who sentenced Bershad offers him a way out of his forced occupation and exile, Bershad sees a way to earn redemption, but it won't be easy. Blood of an Exile, the first book in the Dragons of Terra series is packed with adventure and of course, lots of dragons.
Buy Blood of an Exile
If you're still looking for your next read, find our full selection of fantasy books here.
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