Summary of “The 50 Best Fantasy Books of the 21st Century :: Books :: Lists :: fantasy books :: Page 1 :: Paste”

The 21st century has been a particularly fruitful time of fantasy literature, with J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series ushering in an era of both publishers willing to take a chance on new fantasy writers and readers opening themselves up to worlds of magic.
Many readers have worked their way back from movies like the Lord of the Rings franchise or TV series like Game of Thrones to their fantasy novel origins, seeking out new authors after devouring J.R.R. Tolkien and G.R.R. Martin’s books.
We’ve gathered Paste editors and writers to compile a list of our favorite books in the genre, ranging from high fantasy worlds with distinct systems of magic to simple fantastical fables to urban fantasies filled with characters ripped right out of own realities.
Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett The Discworld books manage to satirize nearly every topic under the sun while also presenting a fully formed and innovative fantasy world la Middle Earth or Westeros.
“If one believes there is truth in art-and I do-then it’s troubling how similar the skill of performing is to lying. Maybe lying is itself a kind of art. I think about that more than I should.” Dragons are a mainstay of fantasy as a genre, but rarely as complex, thinking beings integral to a story’s interpersonal dramas, which is how Rachel Hartman frames her coolly calculating shape-shifting dragons in Seraphina and its companion books.
Want to read about a grand scheme, involving magic, fighting, and all the joys of fantasy? These books are for you.
Grace of Kings by Ken Liu Game of Thrones comparisons abound in epic fantasy, and are often more burden than boon, but Ken Liu’s Grace of Kings may be one of the few fantasy tomes to earn that comparison favorably.
Joe Abercrombie’s fantasy world may feel like an amalgamation of places you’ve visited in your reading before, but the characters feel fully realized and the storytelling is taut, avoiding an over-reliance on fantasy trappings and delivering a gritty, gripping tale.

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