Readers can find plenty of great science fiction and fantasy book series; Nobody can deny that. From the timeless epic trilogy of The Lord of the Rings to the more youthful style of the Harry Potter novels, there are a multitude of options for readers to choose from. However, the wide selection can be overwhelming, and seriously, some of these options are not for the faint of heart and require a pretty significant time commitment just to get to the end of the story.
Take for example, the wheel of time Robert Jordan books. The series spans fourteen volumes, some of which are approaching 1,000 pages! You can see how someone can get stuck along the way… or even before they start. For those readers who love fantasy, adventure, and sci-fi stories but might not want to commit to a long series, here are ten shorter (and some grossly underrated) but no less exceptional options to add to your list. They are not arranged in any particular order.
Related: Top 10 Fantasy Places That Would Suck In Real Life
10 Duel for the crown of Sherwood Smith
In this gem of a novel, the young Countess Meliara and her brother Branaric must do everything possible to free the country from the reign of a tyrannical king, as was their father’s last wish. A brave but raw Meliara must learn to fight both on the battlefield and in the courtroom, where discernment and tact are paramount. Magic, mystery and romance prevail everywhere.
crown duel was initially published as two shorter novels, crown duel and court duel, but then it was condensed into a solitary work known as Crown Duel. Although it’s technically classified as young adult fiction, it’s a great read for adults and has a similar feel to mistborn by Brandon Sanderson, although the plot may not be as complex since it is a shorter book and not a series.
9 Elantris by Brandon Sanderson
Speaking of Brandon Sandersona famous award-winning author of several epic fantasy series, including the mistborn saga, wrote Elantris as a stand-alone novel, and it’s quite extraordinary. It was Sanderson’s first published work.
It tells the story of the once glorious and magical city, Elantris, which holds a dark secret. Now, Princess Sarene, after a change in her state when she is informed that Prince Raoden of Arelon, her betrothed, is dead, must protect the capital from corruption and the presence of evil. Full of intrigue and secrecy, this book is sure to captivate lovers of fantasy and science fiction, especially those who are already fans of Sanderson.
8 Lloyd Alexander’s rope trick
From the author of the famous Chronicles of Prydain comes the story of Lidi, a talented young magician who travels with her teacher and father figure named Jericho. As they travel and perform their magic, they meet others who eventually join her group, including the handsome fugitive Julian.
Lidi’s cruel and abusive father once told her that she was “the best at anything.” This inspires her to search for Ferramondo, the master of the rope trick, which is even said by some to be impossible. This charming and utterly charming story told in the classic and timeless style of alexander lloyd Worth reading for adults young and old.
7 Eoin Colfer’s The Supernaturalist
Cosmo Hill is a fourteen-year-old orphan who manages to escape the confines of the Clarissa Frayne Institute for Children with Parental Difficulties, a facility that uses its teenage occupants as human guinea pigs. In this cyberpunk sci-fi novel set in the futuristic Satellite City, Cosmo meets a group of teenagers calling themselves Supernaturalists and joins their gang after saving his life.
In this world, it is revealed that near-death experiences or traumatic events will allow someone to see strange blue creatures, nicknamed Parasites, that seem to drain the life force from their dying victims. The Supernaturalists’ mission is to rid the world of the Parasites, saving as many people as possible from them. The author of the popular series Artemis Fowl creates another compelling narrative with a Matrix-like charisma.
6 JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit
An oldie but goodie The Hobbit It is a book that everyone should read at least once in their life. With The Lord of the rings trilogy, remains one of the best-selling novels of all time, and with good reason. Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit from the beautiful, quiet Shire where nobody has adventures, and they like it that way. He is recruited by a wizard named Gandalf the Gray to be a thief for a company of dwarves led by Thorin Oakenshield, who seek to reclaim his homeland of the Lonely Mountain and defeat the monstrous dragon, Smaug, who rules over it.
Along their journey, they encounter trolls, goblins, and elves, among other dangers, and Bilbo discovers a mysterious and powerful ring. It’s worth taking the time to delve into this timeless classic that has captivated audiences of all ages for decades.
5 Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Winner of the Nebula Award for Best Novel in 2015, rootless is the enchanting story in the style of the Grimms’ fairy tales about Agnieszka, a girl who lives in her peaceful village next to the dark forest tainted by evil. A wizard named Dragon protects them from corruption, but requires a terrifyingly high price to be paid for his services.
Every ten years, he takes a young woman from the village to be at his service. Assuming, as everyone has, that the Dragon will take her beautiful friend Kasia, Agnieszka is unprepared for what happens next. When she is chosen over Kasia, she realizes it is because of her aptitude for her magic. This magical and mysterious tale is a remarkable candidate that may become one of her new favorite fairy tales.
4 The Year of the Reaper by Makiia Lucier
From the refreshing new author, Makiia Lucier, comes the gripping story of Cassia, a young lord of Oliveras. A war has been raging between Oliveras and the neighboring enemy kingdom of Brisa for fifty long years. Amidst the chaos, a deadly plague rears its ugly head on him, claiming countless victims as Princess Jehan of Brisa sets out on the journey to marry King Rayan de Oliveras so that the war finally comes to an end. Three years later, Lord Cassia makes his own journey home after enduring many hardships, enslaved in a Brisan prison. Upon his arrival home, Cas and historian Lena, the king’s sister, begin to uncover a plot to assassinate those closest to the king and queen.
Filled with mystery, intrigue, and unexpected twists, this book is sure to captivate you from start to finish. The authentic and relatable characters, especially Cas with his complicated past, are a tremendous part of what makes this story brilliant.
3 Watership Down by Richard Adams
An endearing classic loved by readers of all ages, Sunken ship is one of the best-selling books of all time and winner of the Carnegie Medal and the Guardian Award. This 1972 book, written by British author Richard Adams, tells the story of a rabbit hole coping with the impending human development of her home.
Fiver is a peculiar rabbit with the uncanny ability to see events that will happen in the future. Undeniably feeling his burrow is in danger, he and Hazel warn the chief and his companions of the impending destruction, but most of them don’t listen. A handful of rabbits join them on their flight to safety, unknowingly leaving the rest behind to meet their deaths in a tragic incident. The brave little band of rabbits make their way across the countryside, facing various dangers and learning to fend for themselves until they come to a place to make their home.
Realizing that there are no women among them, they search the surroundings and discover that there are many in a neighboring labyrinth forcibly kept there by the savage General Woundwort. They hatch a plan to free them that will require everyone to work bravely together, along with their new friend Kehaar, a black-headed gull. The novel is interspersed with his own rabbit folktales, which make a charming and entertaining addition.
2 The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle
Perhaps one of the most fascinating and unique fantasy stories of all time is the story of a unicorn and her mission to save her kind. Worried that she may be the last of the unicorns, she sets out to find out the truth for herself, learning that Red Bull may have taken other unicorns. Along the way, she is captured by a witch named Mami Fortuna and her traveling carnival.
Strangely, humans seem not to recognize the unicorn for what it is, thinking it’s just a horse. She escapes with the help of a wizard named Schmendrick, who is able to see what she really is. They are joined by Molly Grue, a woman dedicated to saving unicorns, and arrive at King Haggard’s castle, where Red Bull lives and where they believe the other unicorns have been imprisoned. This fascinating and original story filled with a plethora of different magical creatures is worth reading over and over again.
1 Brandon Sanderson’s Warbreaker
Sanderson is such a legendary author that two of his novels have made it to this list. His second stand-alone novel tells the story of princesses Vivenna and Siri of Idris. Vivenna must fulfill a treaty negotiated before she was born, to marry the God King, ruler of a rival kingdom.
Despite this, King Dedelin decides to send his younger sister Siri in his place. What follows is the discovery of a conspiracy that could threaten the security of Idris, despite the treaty. Filled with strong female characters, magic, and mystery, Warbreaker is an adventure you won’t want to miss.
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