FallenKingdomReads’ list of The Top 5 Standalone Fantasy Novels.
The fantasy genre is full of series, trilogies, and sprawling epic sagas that span multiple books. However, there are also many standalone novels that offer rich, imaginative worlds and memorable characters in a single volume. Here are the top 5 standalone fantasy novels that you should add to your reading list.
The Goblin Emperor by Katharine Addison
In this inventive and heartfelt novel, a young half-goblin named Maia unexpectedly becomes emperor after his father and older brothers are killed in an airship crash. The book follows Maia as he struggles to navigate the complicated and treacherous court politics of his new position while trying to be a just and compassionate ruler. The Goblin Emperor is a beautifully written and engrossing story about finding one’s place in the world.
Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor
Set in a post-apocalyptic Africa, Who Fears Death tells the story of Onyesonwu, a young woman with magical abilities who is destined to overthrow a tyrant known as the Sorcerer-King. The novel deals with themes of race, gender, and power in a thought-provoking and deeply moving way, and Okorafor’s prose is both lyrical and gripping.
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
This alternate history novel imagines a world in which magic was once a respected and powerful force in England, but has since faded into obscurity. Enter Mr Norrell, a reclusive and highly skilled magician who sets out to restore magic to its former glory. The book is a delightful blend of fantasy, historical fiction, and satire, and its two titular characters are wonderfully eccentric and endearing.
Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
This irreverent and hilarious novel follows an angel and a demon who team up to try to prevent the apocalypse from happening. The book skewers religious tropes and pop culture references with equal glee, and its ensemble cast of characters are all delightfully quirky and entertaining.
Perdido Street Station by China Miéville
This dark and gritty novel is set in the sprawling city of New Crobuzon, where a scientist named Isaac Dan der Grimnebulin is approached by a strange creature called a garuda who asks for his help in flying again. The book is full of bizarre and imaginative creatures and locations, and Miéville’s prose is both lyrical and unsettling.
Each of these standalone fantasy novels offers a unique and unforgettable reading experience. Whether you’re in the mood for an epic adventure or a thought-provoking exploration of themes like power and identity, these books are sure to satisfy.