11 Best Fantasy Books of 2017

In our previous post we looked at the 11 Best Science Fiction Books of 2017, and were surprised to find we hadn’t read ANY of them. So did we fare any better with the Best Fantasy Books of 2017?

For this list we are using the books most voted for on Goodreads. I’m hoping that next year (if I’m more organised) we can run a poll of our readers instead!

2206221311. Etched in Bone (The Others #5)

Anne Bishop



2654253510. The Fate of the Tearling (The Queen of Tearling #3)

Erika Johansen



318177499. The Stone Sky (The Broken Earth #3)

N. K. Jemisin



306880138. Assassin’s Fate (The Fitz and the Fool Trilogy #3)

Robin Hobb



234014387. Feversong (Fever, #9)

Karen Marie Moning



335415266. One Fell Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles #3)

Ilona Andrews



340021325. Oathbringer (The Stormlight Archive #3)

Brandon Sanderson



254891344. The Bear and the Nightingale (The Winternight Trilogy #1)

Katherine Arden



299392303. A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic #3)

V.E. Schwab



308096892. Norse Mythology

Neil Gaiman



293635011. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay

J. K. Rowling



I, Mrs NW, have again managed a clean sweep, having read none of these books. Mr NW’s reaction to finding out what #1 was, was something along the lines of “What the ….? Are you serious?”. I know Mr NW is keen to read Assassin’s Fate, but having not read either of the two preceding books, it’s going to take him a while to get to it. Also, Oathbringer is definitely on the to be read list. As you all know, I’m a bit of newbie in the realm of fantasy books, so my dumb question of the day is why are there so few standalone fantasy books?

Check out the full list here.

Are you surprised by any of these?

How many of these books have you read?

25 thoughts on “11 Best Fantasy Books of 2017

  1. I’ve got my eye on several of these series, but like you I have yet to start them. (Bear and nightingale, shades of magic, sanderson)

    I think if an author takes the time to create a thoughtful and wonderful world, then he\she may not be willing to give it up after one story. If it’s a really interesting world then the reader won’t want to abandon it either.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve read a couple of these Bear and the Nightingale and Shades of Magic and both are good. I was surprised at Fantastic Beasts getting 1st place. Its a script rather than a story and I couldn’t read it.

    I think with Fantasy there’s a lot of world building so often one book isn’t long enough. Also if you’ve gone to the bother of creating a whole new world I suppose you might as well make the most of it. You do get the odd standalone but I don’t think they’re as popular.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. ZERO! and proud of it.

    As for your question.

    Until the mid to late 90’s and early ’00’s, most fantasy was either standalone or maybe a trilogy. It wasn’t until the commercial success of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series and George RR Martins Song of Fire and Ice that publishers really started allowing monstrous tomes to be published.
    Once Brandon Sanderson became the mega epic rockstar that he is, every other two bit author decided that if Sanderson could successfully write huge books in huge series, well, so could they.
    Sadly, most other authors are NOT Sanderson and so they churn out bloated, never ending tomes of pointless words and give a bad rap to the people who CAN write such things.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Would you recommend the Wheel of Time series to those of us who enjoy the occasional bloated tomes of pointless words by lesser authors?
      I think my brother really liked it 10 years ago, but I’ve never taken the time. I have read all the Game of Thrones book by Mr. RR Martin and I did enjoy them although now they fill me with anger at a lack of conclusion.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I do recommend WoT. Books 8-10 are a little tough as Jordan really lost his way, but once the reins were handed over to Brandon Sanderson (Jordan died partway through the series), he finishes the series in 3 huge books that are really good.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. I read The Bear and the Nightingale and Norse Mythology, but of which were wonderful!

    As for why there are so few standalone fantasy novels these days…. I was listening to the podcast Brandon Sanderson co-hosts, ‘Writing Excuses’, and he talked about how he almost killed his career by first writing a standalone novel, Elantris. It sold well, but when he published his next book, Mistborn, there was a massive fall-off in sales because it wasn’t a follow-up to Elantris. I think it was partly readers who weren’t interested in something that wasn’t already in the world they were accustomed to (because he was a new author, and didn’t have name recognition to hold him up yet), and partly the publishers who may not have promoted it as heavily, since Mistborn wasn’t a sequel. But for the most part these days, publishers are always on the hunt for books that at least have the option to get sequels, because it’ll pay off more if the first book is a hit.

    That said, I would appreciate more standalone fantasy novels. Epic doesn’t have to equal long, and just because there are a dozen books in a series doesn’t mean it’s good. Sometimes, distilling a story down to its essence is the best thing you can do for it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s interesting. I didn’t know that about Sanderson. Actually I didn’t even realise he had a standalone novel (Mr NW probably did). I’d appreciate some standalone ones because it seems hard to start at book 1 when you know there are already six more that come after it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Right? It seems like /everything/ out there is a series, and I’ve just not been in the mood to dedicate that much time to a set of characters, because it always seems like they get way overpowered by book three, or there’s so much filler that you’re skipping entire chapters in order to get back to the characters you actually care about.

        Sanderson’s standalone novel is called Elantris, and it’s alright. My favorite standalone fantasy novel is Lois McMaster Bujold’s ‘The Curse of Chalion’, though Neil Gaiman’s work is comprised of standalones, and I think that Ray Bradbury’s ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’ qualifies as a fantasy, too.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve heard good things about The Bear and the Nightingale but I haven’t read it yet. I enjoyed the Tearling trilogy but I was really disappointed with the way everything ended in The Fate of the Tearling. It felt like a cop out. I’m surprised it was so popular.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. WTF, people voted for ‘Fate of the Tearling’!! 😀 Maybe they thought it was a ‘Worst of the Year’ voting?

    But seriously.. I would like to read a positive review and see why people would like this ending. I am still upset about it. Total rubbish if you ak me.

    ‘Assassin’s Fate’ deserves to be on the list! And I also enjoyed ‘Norse Mythology’ although I am not sure yet if it would make my Top 10. Still have to read Oathbringer and also want to check out ‘The Bear and the Nightingale’ as well as the Others series.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I was really disappointed to learn that Fantastic Beasts won. Like really? Oh well.
    I recently finished Oathbringer and it was AMAZING!!!!! Such a great series. I also recently finished The Fifth Season and that was great, so I can’t wait to continue with the next two!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I think the reason why they are less stand alone novels nowadays is because simply because of the hype created in movies and tv shows nowadays. It’s just more immersive, it has room for more development and audiences can always get more (not to mention, the creators also get more royalties and revenue from it)

    I’m also an indie author and I plan to make a whole series of book as well as other storylines from the same universe. The reason being that I don’t want to waste the potential that’s in this universe I created. Imagine if you created this world that you’re really proud of only to have one or three stories from it. So it’s not about money for me but for personal satisfaction. Perhaps that’s how it is for other authors as well.

    Btw, i have a blog for my fantasy book “The Ocean Hearth” and you can check it out here https://evermornbooks.wordpress.com

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I am very curious to see the books you chose for your Best list because I definitely wouldn’t have picked some of these myself. :/ Personally, I could not understand The Bear and The Nightingale. I know it was based on Russian lore, but I felt like it was just allover the place and had no real timeline or plot. :/

    I also could not STAND the Queen of the Tearling to even imagine getting into the rest of the series. I’m very curious about how opinions of books can be so drastically different from each other. What did you like about this series?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Ohhhh! I misunderstood your post. I thought those were books you had selected, but I can totally see staying away from books that are popular. I am definitely one to do that as well (because I generally disagree with what is popular.)

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Hmm… I can’t honestly say what would be on my best fantasy books list because I’ve been a little fantasy-ed out lately. :/ Everything is starting to feel the same. Though, I have enjoyed ROAR by Cora Carmack this year. Also, DEVILS AND THIEVES by Jennifer Rush was really good this year. 🙂 Can’t really say much for anything else as I’m super picky.

        Liked by 1 person

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