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5 Fantasy Authors too Magical to Miss

Updated on February 10, 2015

There are a ton of great fantasy books out there, but....

Fantasy has been my favorite genre since I was eight and allowed to stay up an hour after my bedtime (so awesome!) but only if I was reading.

The first novels I read as a child were about a Unicorn Queen, but trying to read them as an adult was a huge disappointment. They were pretty awfully written, but at eight they were the most amazing thing I'd ever read. Further proof that a story's ability to transport you to another place is more important than how technically good it is.

Here, however, are five authors with amazing talent who write fantasy that is both technically great and transports you to another world.

1. Steven Brust

An amazing fantasy author, Steven Brust has a plethora of books featuring the world of Dragaera. The bulk of the tales are told by an assassin, Vlad Taltos, as he works to stay alive in the underbelly of the capital city. Brust writes the series with a contemporary feel and a lot of quirky personality. The books combine action, humor, and mystery with classic fantasy elements to create a rich and interesting world that is easy to lose yourself in.

2. Neil Gaiman

A master of urban fantasy (fantasy fiction in a realistic setting), Neil Gaiman spins compelling tales which mix the mystical with the every day. Gaiman is an adept storyteller, painting the everyday world with magic. Often humorous, sometimes dark, Gaiman's stories take interesting twists and surprising turns that will leave you hungry for more.

3. David Gemmell

A master of heroic fantasy, David Gemmell develops a rich history in any world he creates. If you like larger-than-life heroic characters and amazing battle scenes, this author doesn't disappoint. Gemmell has several series of books, though the Drenai Saga leads the pack with 11 novels. This saga can be read in nearly any order, since the books themselves jump back and forth in time, sometimes by hundreds of years. Gemmell weaves history into each of his tales as skillfully as he illustrates the battle scenes that dominate his writing.

4. Robert Jordan

Author of the saga of all sagas, the Wheel of Time series, Robert Jordan creates a brilliant and complex world that has been compared to Tolkien's Middle Earth. With a total of 14 books (three completed by Brandon Sanderson), and one prequel, the Wheel of Time series will keep readers busy for quite some time. Intricate and vivid details, a fantastic cast of characters, exciting action sequences, and a plethora of subplots make Jordan a master at epic fantasy and a superb story teller.

5. Dan Simmons

Technically a sci fi writer, Dan Simmons is on this list because his sci fi reads like fantasy. Space ships, alien races, and artificial intelligence that all seem more magic than science, along with intricate, vivid detail, and fantastic, supernatural elements fill the pages of Dan Simmons' Hyperion series. Sci fi and fantasy fans alike will enjoy Dan Simmons extremely well-written, complex storytelling.

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    • AJT Bates profile image

      AJT Bates 5 years ago

      @BlakeH LM: I haven't, but thanks for the tip (and the link). I'll check him out!

    • BlakeH LM profile image

      BlakeH LM 5 years ago

      Great lens. Have you checked out R Scott Bakker?

    • AJT Bates profile image

      AJT Bates 5 years ago

      @anonymous: You are right Anne McCaffrey is an amazing Fantasy/SciFi writer, and should definitely be included as #6. Since I was writing about Fantasy books, I didn't want to add more than one who crossed over to Sci Fi. I think Dan Simmons is less well known, and I personally connect with his characters more.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      What about Anne McCaffrey who blurs the boundary between Fantasy & SciFi better than most?