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Fantasy Fiction for Adults

Fantasy fiction set in the Middle Ages or medieval-flavored worlds where seers, warriors, mages, dragons and other mythical creatures thrive. Includes time travel novels and series. Some of these selections are appropriate for mature Young Adults.

  • The Valdemar seriesArrows of the Queen
    Mercedes Lackey

    In the war-ravaged world of Velgrath, bewitched forests and magically created warrior-creatures rule. Amidst this dim and disheartening existence emerges an exile – Baron Valdemar – to found a kingdom in his name. First book of The Heralds of Valdemar trilogy.

    Paperback: 320 pages

  • The Farseer trilogyAssassin's Apprentice
    Robin Hobb

    Fitz is a royal bastard, cast out into the world with only his magical link with animals for solace and companionship. When he is accepted into the royal household by his grandfather, the King, he must give up his old ways and learn a new life: weaponry, scribing, courtly manners – and how to kill a man secretly. First book of The Farseer Trilogy and The Realm of the Elderlings series.

    Paperback: 464 pages

  • The Briar KingThe Briar King
    Greg Keyes

    Dark agents are afoot in the land, stirring war and edging an ancient prophecy closer to fulfillment. In destiny's path are a king's woodsman, his headstrong lover, a bookworm priest, a cocksure swordsman, and the embattled kingdom of Crotheny. First book in the Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone series.

    Paperback: 609 pages

  • The Deverry seriesDaggerspell
    Katherine Kerr

    Nevyn, an ancient, powerful wizard, wanders through twisted timelines in the mystical Celtic world of Deverry. Banding together with a mercenary soldier and his daughter, and an exiled berserker, they embark on a bold quest to right a wrong, encountering magical Wildfolk along the way. First book in The Deverry Cycle series.

    Paperback: 480 pages

  • Sevenwaters trilogyDaughter of the Forest
    Juliet Marillier

    As the only daughter and youngest child of Lord Colum of Sevenwaters, Sorcha grows up protected and pampered by her six older brothers. When a sorceress's evil magic transforms them into swans only Sorcha's efforts can break the curse. First book of the Sevenwaters Trilogy.

    Paperback: 560 pages

  • The Deryni Chronicles seriesDeryni Rising
    Katherine Kurtz

    In the kingdom of Gwynedd, the mysterious forces of magic and the superior power of the Church combine to challenge the rule of young Kelson. Now the fate of the Deryni – a persecuted quasi-mortal race of sorcerers – and the fate of all the Eleven Kingdoms rests on Kelson's ability to quash the rebellion by any means necessary, including the proscribed use of magic. First book in The Deryni Chronicles series.

  • Doomsday BookDoomsday Book
    Connie Willis

    A history student in 2048 is transported via a university sponsored time portal to an English village in the 14th century, arriving mistakenly on the eve of the onset of the Black Plague. Her dealings with a family of "contemps" in 1348 and the efforts of her historian cohorts to retrieve her are interwoven in a dark, gripping tale of the indomitable will of the human spirit.

    Paperback: 592 pages

  • Dragonlance Chronicles seriesDragons of Autumn Twilight
    Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman

    In a land of honorable knights and not so honorable magicians, a band of unlikely friends embarks on a journey that will change the world as they know it. First book of The Dragonlance Chronicles series.

    Paperback: 448 pages

  • The Wheel of Time seriesThe Eye of the World
    Robert Jordan

    Three young friends from a village so far on the fringes that its residents no longer know they're part of the kingdom set out on an adventure that will change their lives and place them in the middle of events they can neither control nor escape. First book of The Wheel of Time series.

    Paperback: 832 pages

  • A Song of Ice and Fire seriesA Game of Thrones
    George R.R. Martin

    In the Seven Kingdoms, a world where the approaching winter will last four decades, kings and queens, knights and renegades struggle for control of the Iron Throne. In an epic saga of tragedy, betrayal, plots and assassination, some fight with sword and mace, others with magic and poison. First book of the A Song of Ice and Fire series.

    Paperback: 864 pages

  • A Tale of the King's Blades seriesThe Gilded Chain
    Dave Duncan

    Unwanted, rebellious boys find refuge at Ironhall in the magical land of Chivial; years later they emerge as the finest swordsmen in the realm. Swashbuckling fantasy adventure interwoven with royal treason, murder and magic. First book of the A Tale of the King's Blades series.

    Paperback: 432 pages

  • GrendelGrendel
    John Gardner

    Grendel is a beautiful and heartbreaking modern retelling of the Beowulf epic from the point of view of the monster, Grendel, the villain of the 8th-century Anglo-Saxon epic.

    Paperback: 192 pages

  • Song of Albion trilogyThe Paradise War
    Stephen Lawhead

    Two Oxford graduate students stumble upon a stone cairn and enter the ancient land of the Tuatha de Danann. In this magical "Otherworld," both removed from and connected to their own reality, they become embroiled in a battle against an evil that threatens both worlds. First book in the Song of Albion Trilogy.

    Paperback: 410 pages

  • The Princess BrideThe Princess Bride
    William Goldman

    As a boy, William Goldman claims, he loved to hear his father read The Princess Bride. But as a grown-up he discovered that the boring parts were left out of good old Dad's recitation, and only the "good parts" reached his ears. Now Goldman does Dad one better. He's reconstructed the "Good Parts Version" to delight wise kids and wide-eyed grownups everywhere.

    Paperback: 416 pages

  • The Red WyvernThe Red Wyvern
    Katherine Kerr

    In the mystical land of Deverry, a young seer named Lillorigga is forced to use her magical powers to her scheming mother's advantage. Secretly taught to control these powers for herself, Lillorigga must balance competing needs in this tale of Celtic royal politics and murder. First book in The Dragon Mage trilogy; part of The Deverry Cycle series.

    Paperback: 416 pages

  • The Shannara seriesThe Sword of Shannara
    Terry Brooks

    In the mythical world of Four Lands, elves, dwarves, trolls, goblins and druid magicians run rampant. Shea Ohmsford, the last of the bloodline of true heirs of Shannara wields a powerful sword against the forces of evil who have set out to destroy the world. First book in the extensive Shannara series.

    Paperback: 736 pages

  • TimelineTimeline
    Michael Crichton

    When you step into a time machine, fax yourself through a "quantum foam wormhole," and step out in feudal France circa 1357, be very, very afraid. If you aren't back in precisely 37 hours after your visit begins, you'll miss the quantum bus back to 1999 and be stranded in a civil war, caught between crafty abbots, mad lords, and peasant bandits all eager to cut your throat.

    Paperback: 512 pages