Here is our list of 9 Fantasy Books with Unforgettable World-Building!
The Lord of the Rings (and all of Tolkien’s work)
No list of fantasy books with unforgettable world-building would be complete without J.R.R. Tolkien‘s The Lord of the Rings. Tolkien created an entire world called Middle-earth, complete with its own languages, histories, and mythology. The vivid landscapes, complex characters, and epic battles are just a few elements that make Middle-earth a world that readers never forget.
Check out our Ultimate Guide to Reading Tolkien’s Work, or read our reviews of The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and more of Tolkien’s books.
The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson
Robert Jordan‘s The Wheel of Time series takes readers on a journey through a world where magic is real and the fate of humanity is at stake. The world of The Wheel of Time is richly detailed and full of complex cultures and traditions, making it a truly immersive experience.
Check out our Beginner’s Guide to The Wheel of Time, or dive right into our Reviews of The Wheel of Time series.
Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson (and all related series)
The Malazan Book of the Fallen series by Steven Erikson and the related series by Ian C. Esslemont are known for their intricate and detailed world-building. The books take place in a vast world with its own history, mythology, and cultures. With a huge cast of characters and multiple storylines, this series is a true epic that will leave you fully invested in the world of the Malazan Empire.
Check our our Beginner’s Guide to Malazan Book of the Fallen, or read some reviews of Steven Erikson’s books, starting with Gardens of the Moon.
We also have a guide on How to Read ‘Gardens of the Moon’ if you feel daunted from what you might have heard about the steep learning curve – it’s not that hard!
The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson
Brandon Sanderson‘s The Stormlight Archive is set in a world called Roshar, where powerful storms shape the landscape and magic is powered by gemstones. The world of Roshar is filled with diverse cultures, complex characters, and a deep mythology that will keep readers engrossed in the story.
We have reviewed almost all the books from Brandon Sanderson’s Cosmere, so check those out! Alternatively, we have a Beginner’s Guide to the Cosmere, an article Ranking the Cosmere Books, and a helpful Reading Order for Brandon Sanderson’s Books.
A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin
George R.R. Martin‘s A Song of Ice and Fire series takes place in the fictional world of Westeros, a land of knights, dragons, and political intrigue. The world of Westeros is full of complex characters, intricate plots, and richly detailed settings that make it a truly unforgettable reading experience.
Check out some of these related articles for all things Game of Thrones!
- A Beginner’s Guide to ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’
- Why You Should Read ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’
- The Game of Thrones Books in Order
- All our Book Reviews for A Song of Ice and Fire
The Realm of the Elderlings by Robin Hobb
Robin Hobb‘s The Realm of the Elderlings series is set in a world where magic is a powerful force, and dragons are a key part of the mythology. The world is richly detailed, with a variety of cultures and nations that make it feel like a real place. The characters are complex and nuanced, and the story is filled with twists and turns that will keep readers hooked until the very end.
Check out our Beginner’s Guide to the Realm of the Elderlings to get started with this series!
Shadows of the Apt Series by Adrian Tchaikovsky
Adrian Tchaikovsky’s Shadows of the Apt series is set in a world where different races are based on insect species, each with their own unique abilities and culture. The world-building in this series is incredibly detailed, with a vast history and mythology that will keep readers fully immersed in the story.
Check out our Introduction to Adrian Tchaikovsky to get started with this series! We also have An Interview with Adrian Tchaikovsky which was amazing to have!
Terry Pratchett’s Discworld
Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series takes place on a flat world balanced on the backs of four elephants, who in turn stand on the back of a giant turtle swimming through space. The world of Discworld is filled with memorable characters, clever satire, and a richly imagined setting that will keep readers laughing and engaged.
The Gates of the World series by K.M. McKinley
The Gates of the World series by K.M. McKinley is a fantasy epic that takes readers on a journey through a vividly imagined world. This world is full of magic, where gods and goddesses play an active role in shaping the lives of mortals.
The series is notable for its detailed world-building, which creates a sense of depth and history that draws readers in. With a diverse cast of characters, epic battles, and a richly imagined setting, The Gates of the World is a must-read for any fantasy fan looking for a new world to explore.