Fantasy has been very visible in the last 2 decades with the Lord of the Rings films and Game of Thrones series as prime examples.
So here's some fantasy authors you might like to try. If you like fantasy or want to give it a go.
Authors not Series
I'm recommending authors who can offer a variety of offerings / options to try.
Not series although some are known for particular series. And especially not series that are unfinished, having started reading A Game of Thrones in 1998.
Robin Hobb (who also writes as Megan Lindholm)
An author who writes strong characters that get put through a lot of hurt. Good characterisation can be a rare find in fantasy books. Fantasy books with no non-human races (except dragons).
She is also my favourite author. You'll either love her writing or not.
Places to Start. Assassin's Apprentice (of the Farseer trilogy), Ship of Magic (Liveship Traders), Alien Earth (as Megan Lindholm, sole Sci-fi book)
A british author with fast-paced books and a style described as "Grimdark". The characters are not the nicest of folk and character body count is quite high.
Places to Start. The Blade Itself (of the First Law Series), Half a King (of the Shattered Sea trilogy), Sharp Ends (short stories in the world of the First Law)
N. K. Jemisin
The newest author (to me) on my list, with incredible worldbuilding and intricate plot. More of a apocalyptic feel than most fantasy fare.
I've just discovered that she's written several books I haven't read yet :)
Places to Start. How Long 'til Black Future Month? (Sci-fi and Fantasy short stories), The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth trilogy)
A well-known name who has written all kinds of fantasy, modern fantasy and graphic novels. He's also written several Doctor Who episodes.
Deep multi-layered stories for all ages. Sometimes slightly disturbing.
Places to Start. The Graveyard Book (standalone), Good Omens (with Terry Pratchett), Preludes & Nocturnes (Sandman graphic novels), Smoke and Mirrors (Short stories collection), American Gods (stand alone)
Ursula Le Guin
I wanted to include one "classic fantasy" author on here and she wrote some of the most influential fantasy around.
Her books have an otherness about them (and are sometimes classified as science-fiction) and cover a vast range of themes in a career spanning 50+ years.
Places to Start. A Wizard of Earthsea (Earthsea Cycle), Lavinia (Greek Myth retelling), The Unreal and the Real (short stories collection)
And here are a few more authors I thought about including.
- Anne McCaffrey (Dragonsong of the Dragonriders of Pern)
- David Gemmell (Lion of Macedon and Dark Prince)
- Wurts & Feist (Daughter of the Empire of the Empire Trilogy)
- Brandon Sanderson (The Way of Kings of the Stormlight Archive, an unfinished series)
- Rich Burlew (The Order of the Stick online comic about roleplaying games)
- Guy Gavriel Kay (Tigana)
Currently I'm trying fantasy from beyond the anglosphere. Any recommendations welcome!