We get frequent questions about books like Game of Thrones. High Fantasy books are not a genre we read much, but my sister, Davielle, is hugely into the genre.
She’s rounded up her favorite high fantasy books below. When you are done, check out our epic list of fantasy fiction.
*Books like Game of Thrones post contains affiliate links. Purchases made through links result in a small commission to us at no cost to you. Some books have been gifted. All opinions are our own.
Fantasy is one of my favorite genres of books. I was hooked when I read The Hobbit in 4th grade; I embraced my inner dork and haven’t looked back since.
Based on the number of TV shows and movies that have recently come out/are slated to grace the screen, as well as Harry Potter having its own award-winning Broadway play, fantasy is no longer a “fringe”-type genre.
In particular, I’ve recently seen so many questions like “GOT is over – now what?!” and I’m thrilled to provide some answers to Beyond the Bookends.
This is a book that I learned about after I watched the series on HBO. In my case, watching the show first helped me remember (and put a face to) the plethora of characters within this series.
Truth be told, I still needed reminders now and then. Winter is coming. The House of Stark is preparing for winter after a centuries-long summer. They must prepare to defend themselves from the creatures behind the wall.
There is no way to briefly summarize this epic world-building, historical fantasy with powerful women, an intricate, captivating story, and more.
Best High Fantasy Books by David Eddings
The Belgariad is 5 books of epic fantasy; an immersive new world with its own mythology and rules. This series is filled with a cast of characters that you can’t help but root for, secret identities, fighting, magic, good and evil squaring off… basically, everything you want in an epic fantasy series.
The series begins in Pawn of Prophecy with Garion, an orphan, his Aunt Pol, who is a cook but holds herself like a queen, and a vagabond storyteller who seems to be able to cast a spell over his audiences.
The three are joined by a rag-tag group (including a thief – I love a good thief character in my fantasy books!) as forces larger and older begin to fulfill an ancient prophecy.
Eddings does that same worldbuilding in his other epic fantasy series, The Elenium. In The Diamond Throne (the first of 3 books), you are introduced to Sparhawk, the queen’s champion and first knight, as he returns from exile.
Eddings uses his same sense of humor and tone, creating a tale of knights, magic, and a quest to save the kingdom that is enjoyable from start to finish. Plus, his loyal horse, Faran, has a personality all of his own (shades of GOT’s dire wolves).
Both series have sequel series. He and his wife have written other books like Game of Thrones but I have found these series to be the best!
Recently Adapted High Fantasy Books
The Eye of the World is the first book in Robert Jordan’s fantasy series, The Wheel of Time. It follows the journey of five young villagers from the Two Rivers: Rand, Mat, Perrin, Egwene, and Nynaeve.
They are drawn into a world of magic and danger as they discover their destinies in a battle against a powerful dark force known as the Dark One. Guided by the enigmatic Aes Sedai, Moiraine, and her Warder, Lan, they set out on an epic quest to find the prophesied Dragon Reborn who will either save or destroy the world.
It is hard to believe that this trilogy was published in 1954. This epic fantasy has definitely withstood the test of time. Hobbits and elves, humans, and wizards join together in Middle-Earth to destroy a ring.
This is the ultimate story of the fight between good and evil and the fight to overcome the evil within.
If you love fantasy and have not read this book, it is an absolute must.
An introduction to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit was the first high fantasy book that I ever read. Smaug, a dragon, is the main antagonist in this story. This book opened up a whole new world and genre of book.
Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys his comfortable life close to home. When a wizard named Gandalf shows up on Bibloa’s doorstep with dwarves, they invite him on a quest. There, he will encounter Smaug, a creature named Gollum, and find a ring that will change his life.
This YA fantasy is the prelude to the amazing Lord of the Rings trilogy. It is an iconic book which made it an easy pick for the best graphic novels of all time.
High Fantasy Books like Game of Throne
Wizard’s First Rule is the first high fantasy series that I ever read. My brother recommended it to me because he was obsessed with it. The Sword of Truth series quickly became a huge passion of mine and I devoured probably 10,000 pages in the series.
These are the only books I read for a solid year. Filled with romance, fantasy, and magic, the story is utterly captivating. Originally published 25 years, it’s still worth reading now.
This book opened my eyes to the idea that fantasy is more than just magic and quests. Anthony builds a world all his own when Zane, an ordinary young man, accidentally shoots Death and has to take up his mantel.
Like all the best high fantasy books, Anthony uses the genre to explore some of life’s bigger questions: What is death? What does mercy look like? Who gets to judge others and why?
As a bonus, Piers Anthony is a master of wordplay (see his other fantastic and classic series, Xanth), so there’s always fun to be had. There are 5 books in this series but this one is far and away my favorite.
Dragons! It’s all about the dragons! Mercedes Lackey is a respected name in the fantasy world and, while this series was written more recently than her Heralds of Valdemar series, she clearly hasn’t lost a step.
This series is more Egypt-inspired rather than the classic medieval and focuses on the characters both humans and dragons, while also building out the world of the Titans and the Altans, the 2 warring peoples, and the slave boy who challenges it all. And have I mentioned the dragons?! This is probably your best place to start when it comes to books like Game of Thrones.
More High Fantasy Books like Game of Thrones
This high fantasy book is about a young mage named Ged who displays magic at a young age. He eventually goes to a school for wizardry. Ged must come to terms with his power and death in their journeys.
This is the first of three novels that follow Ged on his journey. It’s also on our list of magic school books!
This series is a recent addition to the genre and is currently ongoing with the most recent book out this past year, and it does its genre predecessors proud. The world feels rich and lived in, with plenty of details that despite the addition of gods and a new language, I have no trouble understanding this world.
This series is more focused on politics, class warfare, actual warfare, and rebellion but does not skimp on making you feel connected to the plot. Brown is not afraid to have complex or even unlikable characters, which just adds to the veracity of the series.
The first book in The Broken Empire trilogy follows the story of Jorg Ancrath, a ruthless young prince seeking vengeance against those who wronged him. The story is set in a post-apocalyptic world filled with violence and dark magic.
Jorg leads a band of outlaws on a deadly quest for power and is as gory as Game of Thrones. The high fantasy book is filled with political intrigue, magical elements, and complex characters.
Recently Written High Fantasy Series
If you have not heard of this book and love fantasy, this is the book for you. Don’t be intimidated by the length of this dragon book for adults, I started and finished this 528-page bad boy in a day and a half. I cannot remember the last time I did that!
Violet Sorrengail had spent her life studying to be a scribe until her father died and her mother, the commanding general, ordered her to join the dragon riders. Violet will become one of the hundreds of candidates who fight to the death to be a part of this elite group.
Unlike the other candidates who have worked towards this their whole lives, Violet is small and brittle and never meant for this to be her path. And other candidates do not have the children of rebel leaders waiting to take revenge.
This adult fantasy book has everything and I loved every second. It lives up to the hype and then some. There are some very spicy parts of this grumpy sunshine romance toward the end so I would definitely agree with the adult rating on this book! If you read and loved this book, we have a list of books just like it!
I really enjoyed this book and the original story within the pages. I listened to the amazing audiobook and I loved listening to the story the way that the story was intended to sound. We were so happy to include this amazing YA fantasy book in our list of books set in Africa. (Orisha is a mythical Nigeria).
When magic disappeared from Orisha, Zelie’s world changed forever. When the king ordered all the Maji killed, Zelie was left without a mother or magic. She is on a quest to find revenge and bring magic back to Orisha. This is one of the fantasy books for teens that builds a whole new world and brings young adult fantasy books to a whole new level.
Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James
The first in the Dark Star trilogy, this high fantasy book follows the journey of Tracker, a skilled hunter, who is hired to find a missing child in a fantastical and mythical African-inspired world.
As Tracker begins his task, he joins a group of quirky, dangerous characters who each have their own motives and secrets. He’s led through a mystical landscape filled with shape-shifters, witches, and spirits on his hunt to find the child. This epic story is a blend of fantasy, folklore, and mystery from a master storyteller. It’s one of the best newer books like Game of Thrones.
Classic Books Like Game of Thrones
This is a staple of any high fantasy book lover but, unlike most other books on fantasy lists (including this one), it has a great sense of humor on purpose – the word irreverent is used in almost every summary or description.
The series is massive and you may have to just go with it for a little, but I promise the journey is worth it.
This high fantasy series, beginning with Magician: Apprentice, is closer in tone and style to J.R.R. Tolkien or George R. R. Martin. It takes itself very seriously and the reader can’t help but take it seriously. And a shoutout to Silverthorne, my favorite book in the series.
Lackey is known for establishing one of the largest high fantasy series, the Heralds of Valdemar, which is why this rec is under the classics category. This particular epic fantasy book, however, is an offshoot that focuses on one of the secondary characters mentioned in the main series.
Skif is a thief (again, love a good thief) and this dives into his background. Sometimes it’s fun to have the author go into another aspect of a well-established world (Valdemar was first introduced in Arrows of the Queen in 1987) and take you on a new journey.
Did you find any books like Game of Thrones you are interested in reading?
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