Top 6 Epic Fantasy Reads: 2023 in Books

Estimated read time 6 min read

A good year for books has come to an end. It’s been hard resisting the temptation to read epic fantasy books by the more established writers, but 2023 came with some exciting offerings from new authors.

The genre continues to expand, with the new Romantasy category of the Goodreads Choice Awards, a testament to the literary versatility of promising authors.

As a fan of epic fantasy, I gravitate towards vast, well-detailed worlds and enigmatic characters. While I have my favourites, a few new authors showed undoubted quality this year, and the least I could do to appreciate their ability is to recommend that you read their books.

6. The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi by S.A Chakraborty

The creator of the Daevabad trilogy proved that she would not be one-dimensional by dropping the first of what promises to be a ground-breaking epic fantasy series utterly different from her debut work.

Lovers of strong female characters, quirky supporting acts and some wild humour will quickly fall in love with the swaggering captain of the Marawati and her brilliant crew.

From our review

I’ve always enjoyed Chakraborty’s unique blend of Mytho-Fantasy – a mix of Arabian/Islamic myths and history with her own undoubted talent. Indeed, she’s one of my top-recommended fantasy authors for newbies.

The world the story is set in, the 12th-century Middle East, is equal parts alluring and dangerous- every bit as exotic as the fanciest, dreamed-up world in fantasy world-building.

S.A. Chakraborty described this book as a “joyous” read, and I affirm that it certainly reflects all of those vibes.

Click here to continue reading our review.

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5. Seeds of War by João F. Silva

Seeds of War

Seeds of War is an awesome new fantasy book in a series that will only get better with each release.

If you like epic fantasy books with complex magic systems and grey characters, this one’s for you!

From our review

Seeds of War is an epic tale whose vast proportions only become known towards the very end of the book. It tells the story of a war veteran, a legendary mercenary warlord and a con man-turned-god as they struggle to find lasting peace and respite from their respective histories of trauma and violence.

In their joint bids to gain control of a valuable resource that can restore their troubled minds and souls and bring the wealth needed to rebuild their lives, their story arcs converge.

Click here to continue reading our review.

4. The Prophet of Edan by Philip Chase

The Prophet of Edan

Thanks to the author’s seemingly superhuman abilities, The Edan Trilogy is completed, with all three books released in 2023- a rare feat.

If you needed any more prompting to jump into the vast world of Eormenlond, the main character has his own official theme soundtrack, which you can listen to on Spotify.

From our review

As you read this series, you understand why it gets so much praise from renowned names in epic fantasy like John Gwynne, Janny Wurts, and Mark Lawrence.

In The Prophet of Edan, much attention is given to the development and expansion of the world of Eormenlond. The author tries even more than before to make the audience see as much of the continent as possible. With several pages devoted to world-building and action, The Prophet of Edan exceeds its prequel in both scope and depth.

Click here to continue reading our review.

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3. The Tyranny of Faith by Richard Swan

The Tyranny of Faith

It gets tighter the closer we get to the top. The Tyranny of Faith tops more than one epic fantasy book list in 2023, and for good reason.

It’s extraordinarily written and will keep you on the edge of your couch from start to finish.

From our review

Where The Justice of Kings seems like a sturdy but slow donkey plodding steadily along a well-worn path, The Tyranny of Faith is like a war destrier smashing its path through a field of men. The book’s first half is an utter maelstrom, a hurricane that only slows slightly for a brief hiatus midway through things.

Click here to continue reading our review.

2. Aiduel’s Sin by Daniel T. Jackson

Aiduel's Sin

In my interview with Daniel T. Jackson, the author reveals much about his unique approach to world-building and character development in epic fantasy.

His second novel, Aiduel’s Sin, is a fine sample of his work and the perfect example of how to write an engrossing epic fantasy sequel.

From our review

Daniel T. Jackson has taken what I officially tag as “flawed protagonism” to a whole new level. Traditional epic fantasy tends to deal in tropes, and for a long short while in book 1, I felt that the story would run parallel to this course.

However, in book 2, the author has decided to shove it entirely into our faces. What was only subtly hinted at and teased has become an onrushing, stormy torrent, and we readers are absolutely bailing for dear life.

Click here to continue reading our review.

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1. The Will of the Many (Hierarchy #1) by James Islington

The Will of the Many

I think it’s fair to say that The Will of the Many is the best fantasy book of 2023. Far more people love it than don’t, and you can’t really argue with the people’s choice.

It has everything needed to translate into a wonderful screen adaptation, too!

From our review

The Will of the Many is perhaps the best book I’ve read this year- and I’ve certainly read several excellent fantasy books this year. There’s really no flaw all-round, and I can say that The Will of the Many is one of the books I’ve ever read that comes as close to perfect as possible.

Click here to continue reading our review.

Wrapping Up

Ranking epic fantasy books is a tricky business. Eventually, it’s a good way to share your top favourites with other readers looking for recommendations instead of searching within the murky depths of the genre for works worth reading.

What were your top epic fantasy reads of 2023? Let me know in the comments below.

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