Best Standalone Fantasy Novels
I’m really excited to be putting together and that is going to be my favorite standalone fantasy novels by far and away fantasy is my personal favorite genre. but I can also completely understand that it can be sometimes a bit of a commitment.
many fantasy stories that are beloved by the internet and myself are very very long both in page number as well as number of books. so today’s recommendations are geared if you’re looking for a fantasy recommendation perhaps without the commitment that fantasy tends to also require.
so I’ve definitely gathered a bunch of books from a variety of different fantasy sub genres i have some fantasy thriller I have some traditional high fantasy i have some historical fantasy. but I’m gonna start with my two high fantasy standalone recommendations.
Middlegame by Seanan McGuire
Free To Read Book 👇
The next Standalone Fantasy Novel option is a bit of a fantasy thriller it’s also very unusual but I promise you’ll be flipping the pages and trying to figure out what in the world is going on which in my opinion is part of the fun of the story and that is middle game by shannon mcguire.
I’m going to keep the overall synopsis and thoughts and feelings about this book brief as I do feel like kind of going into this as blind as possible is definitely the ideal experience.
and the overall premise and idea of the story is that alchemy exists and there is essentially this group the secret society of alchemists who have been working for a very long time to create god to control the very fabric of the world and reality cut to our two primary main characters roger and dodger who are twins.
roger is kind of a genius when it comes to language and dodger is a genius when it comes to mathematics. while growing up in different households on different coasts roger and dodger have a very strong relationship with one another obviously due to the fact that they are siblings but also they kind of share in their genius with one another.
This is a very intense story obviously we’re trying to prevent the end of the world it’s also told in a disjointed fashion kind of jumping between perspectives and also time periods at different points of roger and dodger’s life.
This is definitely a race to try to save the world and math and language and time is really central to that overall story and experience i really would describe this as a thriller with fantastical elements woven in it’ll absolutely keep you guessing from page one and the sort of dark alchemic component to it is so cool and gripping. i loved this so much i read it last fall and i honestly had no idea how it was going to end or even what was gonna happen in the middle of it it truly was a ride and i would highly recommend it.Show more +
The Sword of Kaigen by M. L. Wang
The Sword of Kaigen
by M. L. Wang
the sword of kaigen by m.l wang.
This is just such an excellent high fantasy standalone novel. it’s honestly incredible how much world-building and plot the author was able to compress in one single book and story this is described to be for fans of the poppy war as well as avatar the last airbender and I do feel like that description is spot on.
combat within the story is absolutely brutal it’s very emotional and it does center around elemental magic in combat and that component of the story is honestly so so cool. and this is set in the kaganese empire specifically in one location called the kunsani peninsula and there the warriors are ones of legend they essentially have been training for thousands of years to hone and master their specific set of skills. specifically in this area warriors train in ice magic in this story we center two main characters both a part of the very powerful matsuda family.
one mamamuru who’s a young boy kind of growing up in this family trying to become the most powerful warrior kind of live up to his father’s legacy and also just trained to protect his family. also follow his mother mizaki who is kind of hiding a mysterious past she’s now really focused on being a mother raising her children but growing up she kind of attended a far away boarding school and through her perspective we kind of learned about some of her antics as well as her skills that she learned while attending the school.
this story the cagney’s empire is very very isolated politics are very central to the story and there has been a long central conflict between the different colonial powers as well as a civil war within the cagney’s empire itself. at the beginning of the story mamaroo essentially meets an outsider for the first time and through this new character he begins to kind of question a lot of the history and information he has been taught his entire life which kind of draws him closer to his mother mazaki and she begins to open up to her son about her past.
on top of all of that there is a new conflict kind of threatening the shores of the kunsangi peninsula as well as the cagney’s empire itself which kind of throws the entire matsuda family and this tire peninsula into a conflict to try to survive. this book is so good not only does it have incredible combat elemental magic and conflict is so meticulously written as well as explained it’s such a visual experience.
but this also combines so much about the government and propaganda and international politics and civil war the actual setting is absolutely fascinating from the peninsula that we’re kind of centered on as well as kind of learning about other lands abroad i would say my favorite component of this story has to be the individual as well as the joint relationship between mammaru and mazaki. i feel like in fantasy it’s pretty rare to come across a mother-son relationship as well as just kind of exploring the different dynamics of being a mother within a fantasy setting in this sort of historical inspired setting was just so excellent.
the emotion just the character stakes the journey that you go on throughout the story will just rip you apart i’m not kidding when i say this book is emotional it’s gruesome the war setting just the evolution of the politics is just astounding. i loved this book i read it earlier this year and it quickly became a new all-time fantasy fave this standalone high fantasy novel packs a punch i guarantee it i want to read more by this author but i loved this book so much and i just want more people to read it it’s worth all of the hype.Show more +
Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson
by Brandon Sanderson
Next Best Standalone Fantasy Novels recommendation is warbreaker by brandon sanderson.
This is my personal favorite Brandon Sanderson standalone novel and I know technically there could be a sequel sometime in the future but this was written I think initially as a standalone and it definitely has a completed arc and story but I love this book by Brandon Sanderson.
in general I feel like it’s very very underrated and I just want more people to pick up this book and check it out obviously miss bohr and stormlight archives are some of my all-time faves so read those too.
but just don’t sleep on warbreaker but this is a story that actually centers two sisters and their journey and their complicated relationship throughout this entire tale.
but essentially this book opens with one of the sisters leaving home because she has to marry the god king and once she leaves to fulfill this duty the other sister decides to go on a journey in a quest to try to save her in this world those who die in glory return as living gods and they live in this sort of isolated area called the pantheon they don’t remember anything about their past and they’re also not really given a lot of information about how they’re currently sustained but they are now revered as gods and they’re given a lot of power one of our perspectives we follow is the god king that one of these sisters is now currently traveling to mary.
another component of this world is the magic system itself which is called breath and essentially you’re able to kind of like pull on the colors of items around you to do a variety of different things but there is a catch with breath and that is every single person only has one but you can collect them but once you lose your breath it’s very difficult to get it back.
This is a multi-perspective journey really about three different characters trying to unpack and understand the sort of mysterious fantastical world around them kind of navigate complicated political scenarios. and ultimately all of their lives begin to intersect in really interesting ways obviously as i already mentioned we follow those two sisters on their individual journeys.
one who now has to marry the god king and try to survive this new political landscape she has found herself in another sister kind of trying to recruit help to save her and of course the last character we follow is actually the god king himself and his chapters are really like as i would describe almost like a detective murder mystery he’s trying to figure out and solve his past.
and also try to understand the god pantheon around him this book is so good full of brandon sanderson’s classic twists and turns it has a touch of romance and overall i just love the character dynamics and the magic in this it does connect into the overall cosmere so i feel like this is an absolute must read. can’t skip one of my favorite brandon sanderson books of all time.Show more +
Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
by Naomi Novik
The next two Standalone Fantasy Novels i have to recommend are both historical fantasy with folklore woven in I love historical fantasy i just find it so transporting and magical. the first book I have to talk about is spinning silver by naomi novik.
which continues to be just one of my favorite books of all time. this book is absolutely enchanting the writing is beautiful and it’s overall just a journey that will sweep you away from page one this primarily centers two main characters both from different socio-economic as well as cultural backgrounds and this is also a retelling of Rumpelstiltskin.
primarily follows two characters the first one is miriam who is the daughter of a poor moneylender and due to this profession as well as her religious background. she and her family are ostracized in the town that they live in as well as her father who is a very kind man is not very good at his job.
so miriam decides in an effort to save her family to take over and she becomes so excellent at it there’s a rumor that she’s actually able to turn silver into gold. which gets the attention of a fairy king jumping over to the other character we follow is irina and she is the daughter of a very powerful lord however she is not really viewed as very valuable within her family.
and this is due to the fact that she is not traditionally pretty so they don’t feel like they can marry her off and kind of increase their standing socially however at the beginning of this book her father hatches a plan to marry her off to bizarre but while he’s dashing he also doesn’t appear to be what he seems both these girls kind of begin to go on their own quest and journey.
it’s very fairy tale s and overall their lives kind of begin to intersect and collide in unexpected ways again this book is just so beautifully written full of characters you can’t help but fall in love with the historical setting is absolutely impeccable and i feel like just adds such outstanding background and ambiance this overall tale. if you love fairy tale retellings and if you love reimaginings of classic stories this is definitely one not to miss it is so so good.Show more +
The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo
The Ghost Bride
by Yangsze Choo
Other historical fantasy novel I would recommend is the ghost bride by yongshi chu.
and this is a story set in malaysia at the turn of the century and we follow our main character lee. she is the daughter of a genteel very poor family so therefore she has very few marriage prospects to kind of secure the future of both her family and herself at the beginning of the story she’s propositioned by a very wealthy family in town and sort of an unconventional marriage opportunity and that is to become a ghost bride of their recently passed away eldest son.
and this is due to the fact that he’s kind of passed away under unusual circumstances and she would basically become his wife in the afterlife and while this is an opportunity that would secure our main character’s future she decides to decline after kind of an ominous visit to the family’s household at the beginning of the story.
however this decision ultimately turns our main character’s life upside down and kind of sends her on an unexpected journey because the young man who has passed away lim has decided to haunt her in the afterlife to kind of force her to marry him.
this book is absolutely transporting for one it’s absolutely steeped with malaysian chinese culture and so much of it again centers on the afterlife our main character is essentially ripped from her body and forced to travel across the chinese afterlife to save herself and her family she encounters all different types of spirits along the way and also kind of meets a trickster god who ultimately helps her out as well.
this book is really intense kinda combines elements of family drama both living and dead they’re sort of a central mystery as to why this young man has passed away. but he definitely is still a dark force even in the afterlife trying to control our main character lee enforce her hand in marriage it also has so much ambiance as it relates to the afterlife it’s just really interesting to see all the traditions on the other side of the afterlife like people using the currency and kind of using the food and moving through and ultimately trying to get to that next step in the afterlife if that makes sense.
i loved this book so much it also has a drama i’m hoping to watch soon but it has romance adventure but this really is to me a central story of our main character leland as she’s trying to kind of carve her own way carve her own path and save herself through the chinese afterlife it is so good. again if you love folklore fantasy this is a must pick up.Show more +
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
by Neil Gaiman
The next Standalone Fantasy Novel is honestly a bit of a classic and that is neverwhere by neil gaiman.
This is by far and away one of my personal favorite gaming novels and I feel like is a perfect standalone fantasy novel and it’s not even that long so I feel like it’s a quick read as well and this is an urban fantasy story set in london and we basically follow our main character Richard.
who’s a kind young london businessman kind of going about his day but his life is absolutely changed forever when he stops to help a young bleeding girl on the street. this one act of kindness kind of plunges him in a world unknown he essentially slips through the cracks of london in this sort of dream alternate reality of a london underground and kind of once you arrive in this place called neverwhere you’re never really able to escape again so we follow richard’s journey through this perilous underground city as he’s trying to figure out where he is who he can trust and ultimately how he can get back to the surface.
This is a very dark but very whimsical story you kind of encounter all sorts of different creatures it has a lot of humor in it as well as you would kind of expect from a story like this from neil gaiman it’s incredibly atmospheric at times it definitely got my heart racing i don’t know i personally loved the story i felt it was incredibly imaginative and i loved the writing style and quality to it.
A true quest like story as well as we follow a main character trying to figure out what in the world is going on and how he can return his life back to normal.
i love neil gaiman i think this is personally one of his best works and if you’re looking for a good standalone option i think this is an amazing one to start with also great introductory fantasy novel in my opinion as again it’s urban fantasy so a lot of the rules and locations would be relatively familiar at least until you kind of slip into the underground city that is neverwhere but yeah this is amazing.Show more +
The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
The Starless Sea
by Erin Morgenstern
Last Fantasy Novel standalone book I have to recommend is the starless c by erin Morgenstern.
This book is hands down just beautiful if you love lyrical if you love really enchanting writing styles especially if you don’t mind a book really heavy on the description I would highly recommend picking this up.
I personally found this book to be enchanting this really seeped with fantasy the overall story and premise is also really original and one that’s kind of bizarre as well essentially follow our main character zachary who is a grad student and one day he’s in the library just kind of perusing at different shelves and he pulls off a book off the shelf takes it home and reads it in it he’s quickly enchanted by all these different tales of people through time kind of encountering this magical door however at a turn of a page zachary encounters a story from his own life kind of nestled between all of these different tales throughout history.
This sets zachary off on an investigation to learn more about this mysterious book and he also encounters three symbols a key a bee and a sword and through these symbols he meets two mysterious figures and also learns more about this mysterious secret society and underground library and gets involved in their quest and duty to protect this library from destruction.
This book is seeped with magic you’re following these characters as they’re moving through parties and masquerade balls traveling through doors that appear out of nowhere you’re also following them as they’re traversing this bizarre and ever-changing underground space full of books and stories from the past. on top of that there’s also an organization that is seemingly dedicated to destroying this library and everything that is held within it throughout this tale as well.
you’re kind of shifting from the present quest our current main characters to sort of romantic tales of the past all of these different people who have intersected with this library throughout time.
this book is absolutely mesmerizing is full of mystery and romance as well as being full of twists and turns and romance and friendship along the way. all in all i feel like this is a really transportive and beautiful story a perfect fantasy standalone. especially if you’re looking for something that almost has a dreamlike quality to itShow more +
Alrighty guys those are my favorite standalone BFantasy Novel let me know down below some fantasy standalones that you love as i’m always looking for recommendations but anyway i hope you guys enjoyed this Blog and i will see you soon with another one soon goodbye