With the decade drawing to a close we’ve been pondering on our favourite fantasy fiction, the perfect escape from extended families and that THRID game of Monopoly you just know is going to end badly. Here are our top five fantasy reads to escape into, in no particular order:
THE MOST POWERFUL STORY YOU'LL READ THIS YEAR.
'Fletcher's suspenseful, atmospheric tale imagines a near future in which our world is in ruins . . . an adventure saga punctured by a gut-punch twist'
'You'll remember A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World long after you finish reading'
Peng Shepherd, author of The Book Of M
'Truly engrossing . . . brings hope and humanity to a cold and scary world'
Keith Stuart, author of A Boy Made of Blocks
'I promise you're going to love it'
Louisa Morgan, author of A Secret History of Witches
'Epic in scope, enthralling, and full of human warmth'
M. R. Carey, author of The Girl with all the Gifts
THE WORLD HAS ENDED. AT LEAST WE STILL HAVE DOGS.
My name's Griz.
I've never been to school, I've never had friends, in my whole life I've not met enough people to play a game of football. My parents told me how crowded the world used to be, before all the people went away, but we were never lonely on our remote island. We had each other, and our dogs.
Then the thief came.
He told stories of the deserted towns and cities beyond our horizons. I liked him - until I woke to find he had stolen my dog. So I chased him out into the ruins of the world.
I just want to get my dog back, but I found more than I ever imagined was possible. More about how the world ended. More about what my family's real story is. More about what really matters.
'This un-put-down-able story has everything - a well-imagined post-apocalyptic world, great characters, incredible suspense, and, of course, the fierce love of some very good dogs'
Kirkus (starred review)
'A story that is as heart-warming as it is heart-breaking'
'A stunningly gorgeous read: masterful storytelling, searingly beautiful prose, and a world so meticulously rendered you'll forget there's a real one going on beyond the pages. A book of the year contender - in any year'
'Extraordinary and quite magnificent . . . 10/10'
A Boy and his Dog at the End of the World is the most moving story you'll read this year. Perfect for readers of Life of Pi, The Girl with all the Gifts or Station Eleven - Griz's tale mixes sadness and hope in one unforgettable character's quest amid the remnants of our fragile civilisation.
'A gorgeous, aching love letter to stories, storytellers and the doors they lead us through . . . absolutely enchanting' Christina Henry, bestselling author of Alice
EVERY STORY OPENS A DOOR
In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored and utterly out of place.
But her quiet existence is shattered when she stumbles across a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger. Each page reveals more impossible truths about the world, and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own.
'One of the most unique works of fiction I've ever read' Tamora Pierce, New York Times bestselling author
'A gorgeously written story of love and longing, of what it means to lose your place in the world and then have the courage to find it again' Kat Howard, author of An Unkindness of Magicians
'Devastatingly good, a sharp, delicate nested tale of worlds within worlds, stories within stories, and the realm-cracking power of words' Melissa Albert, author of The Hazel Wood
'The Ten Thousand Doors of January healed hurts I didn't even know I had. An unbearably beautiful story about growing up, and everything we fight to keep along the way' Amal El-Mohtar, Hugo Award-winning author
Full of imagination, wit and random sh*t flying through the air, this insane adventure from an irreverent new voice will blow your tiny mind.
FOR TEAGAN FROST, SH*T JUST GOT REAL.
Teagan Frost is having a hard time keeping it together. Sure, she's got telekinetic powers - a skill that the government is all too happy to make use of, sending her on secret break-in missions that no ordinary human could carry out. But all she really wants to do is kick back, have a beer, and pretend she's normal for once.
But then a body turns up at the site of her last job - murdered in a way that only someone like Teagan could have pulled off. She's got 24 hours to clear her name - and it's not just her life at stake. If she can't unravel the conspiracy in time, her hometown of Los Angeles will be in the crosshairs of an underground battle that's on the brink of exploding . . .
'Like Alias meets X-Men . . . I loved it!' Maria Lewis, author, journalist and screenwriter
'Proceeds at breakneck speed through almost 500 pages of madcap adventure, with some terrific jokes and plenty of tension' Guardian
'Teagan is a frank and funny narrator for this wild ride' Kirkus
'Ford's debut holds nothing back, delivering a sense of absurd fun and high-speed thrills that more than lives up to that amazing title' B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog
The phenomenally popular first novel from international No. 1 bestselling author Trudi Canavan
*Over 3 million Trudi Canavan copies sold worldwide*
Each year the magicians of Imardin gather together to purge the city streets of vagrants, urchins and miscreants. Masters of the disciplines of magic, they know that no one can oppose them. But their protective shield is not as impenetrable as they believe.
Sonea, angry, frustrated and outraged by the treatment of her family and friends, hurls a stone at the shield, putting all her rage behind it. To the amazement of all who bear witness, the stone passes unhindered through the barrier and renders a magician unconscious.
The guild's worst fear has been realised . . . There is an untrained magician loose on the streets. She must be found before her uncontrolled powers unleash forces that will destroy both her, and the city that is her home.
Praise for Trudi Canavan:
'Epic, vivid and believable' Guardian
'It's easy to see why Trudi Canavan's novels so often make the bestseller lists. Her easy, flowing style makes for effortless reading . . . Delightful worldbuilding . . . Vivid and enjoyable' SFX
'The world-building is tremendous. The magical system is sophisticated and fascinating' Striking Keys
'A suspenseful masterpiece . . . will have fans desperate for the sequel' RT Book Reviews
'Superb . . . an enthralling tapestry of a book that's hard to put down' Fantasy Faction
The Black Magician Trilogy:
The Magicians' Guild
The High Lord
*Have you tried Trudi Canavan's stunning new series, Millennium's Rule? It starts with the Sunday Times bestselling THIEF'S MAGIC*
Winner of the 2016 Hugo Award for Best Novel
Book 1 in the record-breaking triple Hugo-Award-winning trilogy
***A New York Times Notable Book***
***Shortlisted for the World Fantasy, Nebula, Kitschies, Audie and Locus Awards***
***The inaugural Wired.com book club pick***
THIS IS THE WAY THE WORLD ENDS . . . FOR THE LAST TIME.
IT STARTS WITH THE GREAT RED RIFT across the heart of the world's sole continent, spewing ash that blots out the sun.
IT STARTS WITH DEATH, with a murdered son and a missing daughter.
IT STARTS WITH BETRAYAL, and long dormant wounds rising up to fester.
This is the Stillness, a land long familiar with catastrophe, where the power of the earth is wielded as a weapon. And where there is no mercy.
'Amazing' Ann Leckie
'Breaks uncharted ground' Library Journal
'Elegiac, complex, and intriguing' Publishers Weekly
'Intricate and extraordinary' New York Times
'Brilliant' Washington Post
The Broken Earth trilogy is complete - beginning with The Fifth Season, continuing in The Obelisk Gate (Winner of the 2017 Hugo Award for Best Novel) and concluding with The Stone Sky (Winner of the 2018 Hugo Award for Best Novel and 2018 Nebula Award).