Welcome, dear readers, to a world of knights, dragons, and more in these Medieval Fantasy books!
Today, we’ll be delving into the realm of medieval fantasy books that are sure to lance your boredom and catapult you into an incredibly gritty new world. These books are not for the faint of heart – they’re full of swordplay, magic, and adventure. So grab your shield, prepare your incantations. Get ready to joust read about some of the most epic stories ever told.
Are you ready to embark on a crusade through the pages of some seriously spellbinding novels? Then let’s gallop straight into it!
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Medieval Fantasy Book List
From knights in shining armor to mythical creatures and enchanted realms, medieval fantasy books have captured the imaginations of readers for decades. With so many fantastic options to choose from, we’ve compiled a list of the best medieval fantasy books to transport you to a world of magic, adventure, and intrigue. Whether you’re a seasoned fantasy reader or new to the genre, these books are sure to satisfy your thirst for epic tales of heroes and villains, love and war, and everything in between.
The Fellowship of the Ring (Lord of the Rings #1) – JRR Tolkien
The Fellowship of the Ring is the first part of J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic adventure The Lord of the Rings.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.
Sauron, the Dark Lord, has gathered to him all the Rings of Power—the means by which he intends to rule Middle-earth. All he lacks in his plans for dominion is the One Ring—the ring that rules them all—which has fallen into the hands of the hobbit, Bilbo Baggins.
In a sleepy village in the Shire, young Frodo Baggins finds himself faced with an immense task, as his elderly cousin Bilbo entrusts the Ring to his care. Frodo must leave his home and make a perilous journey across Middle-earth to the Cracks of Doom. There to destroy the Ring and foil the Dark Lord in his evil purpose.
Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1) – George RR Martin
Winter is coming. Such is the stern motto of House Stark, the northernmost of the fiefdoms that owe allegiance to King Robert Baratheon in far-off King’s Landing. There Eddard Stark of Winterfell rules in Robert’s name. There his family dwells in peace and comfort. His proud wife, Catelyn, his sons Robb, Brandon, and Rickon, his daughters Sansa and Arya; and his bastard son, Jon Snow. Far to the north, behind the towering Wall, lie savage Wildings and worse. Unnatural things relegated to myth during the centuries-long summer, but proving all too real and all too deadly in the turning of the season.
Yet a more immediate threat lurks to the south, where Jon Arryn, the Hand of the King, has died under mysterious circumstances. Now Robert is riding north to Winterfell, bringing his queen, the lovely but cold Cersei, his son, the cruel, vainglorious Prince Joffrey, and the queen’s brothers Jaime and Tyrion of the powerful and wealthy House Lannister—the first a swordsman without equal, the second a dwarf whose stunted stature belies a brilliant mind. All are heading for Winterfell and a fateful encounter that will change the course of kingdoms.
Meanwhile, across the Narrow Sea, Prince Viserys, heir of the fallen House Targaryen, which once ruled all of Westeros, schemes to reclaim the throne with an army of barbarian Dothraki—whose loyalty he will purchase in the only coin left to him: his beautiful yet innocent sister, Daenerys.
Demon Sword (Years of Longdirk #1) – Dave Duncan
All of Europe is under the control of the Khan, whose conquering armies swept across the West in 1244. Scotland, in addition, lies under the heel of England. Young Toby Strangerson, a half‑English bastard, reared by a witchwife, wants only to shed his hated “Sassenach” blood and free his beloved highlands. Toby wields a sword as the outlaw Longdirk. The sword can cut down men like so many stalks of corn. But stranger winds are swirling and howling across the lochs, eldritch winds that are ridden by “hobs” and “wisps” and demons. The enemy Sassenach king is also a sorcerer. His demon soul needs a body and his Black Arts can free Europe from the Khan’s Golden Horde.
The Blade Itself (The First Law #1) – Joe Abercrombie
Logen Ninefingers, infamous barbarian, has finally run out of luck. Caught in one feud too many, he’s on the verge of becoming a dead barbarian — leaving nothing behind him but bad songs, dead friends, and a lot of happy enemies.
Nobleman, dashing officer, and paragon of selfishness, Captain Jezal dan Luthar has nothing more dangerous in mind than fleecing his friends at cards and dreaming of glory in the fencing circle. But war is brewing, and on the battlefields of the frozen North they fight by altogether bloodier rules.
Inquisitor Glokta, cripple turned torturer, would like nothing better than to see Jezal come home in a box. But then Glokta hates everyone: cutting treason out of the Union one confession at a time leaves little room for friendship. His latest trail of corpses may lead him right to the rotten heart of government, if he can stay alive long enough to follow it.
Enter the wizard, Bayaz. A bald old man with a terrible temper and a pathetic assistant, he could be the First of the Magi, he could be a spectacular fraud, but whatever he is, he’s about to make the lives of Logen, Jezal, and Glokta a whole lot more difficult.
Murderous conspiracies rise to the surface, old scores are ready to be settled, and the line between hero and villain is sharp enough to draw blood.
The Name of the Wind – Patrick Rothfuss
My name is Kvothe.
I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. And I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. And I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. Also, I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep.
You may have heard of me.
Mistborn: The Final Empire (Mistborn Series #1) – Branden Sanderson
For a thousand years the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear. For a thousand years the Lord Ruler, the “Sliver of Infinity,” reigned with absolute power and ultimate terror, divinely invincible. Then, when hope was so long lost that not even its memory remained, a terribly scarred, heart-broken half-Skaa rediscovered it in the depths of the Lord Ruler’s most hellish prison. Kelsier “snapped” and found in himself the powers of a Mistborn. A brilliant thief and natural leader, he turned his talents to the ultimate caper, with the Lord Ruler himself as the mark.
Kelsier recruited the underworld’s elite, the smartest and most trustworthy allomancers, each of whom shares one of his many powers, and all of whom relish a high-stakes challenge. Only then does he reveal his ultimate dream, not just the greatest heist in history, but the downfall of the divine despot.
But even with the best criminal crew ever assembled, Kel’s plan looks more like the ultimate long shot, until luck brings a ragged girl named Vin into his life. Like him, she’s a half-Skaa orphan, but she’s lived a much harsher life. Vin has learned to expect betrayal from everyone she meets, and gotten it. She will have to learn to trust, if Kel is to help her master powers of which she never dreamed.
This saga dares to ask a simple question: What if the hero of prophecy fails?
The Eye of the World (The Wheel of Time #1) – Robert Jordan
The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again.
When a vicious band of half-men, half beasts invade the Two Rivers seeking their master’s enemy. Moiraine persuades Rand al’Thor and his friends to leave their home and enter a larger unimaginable world filled with dangers waiting in the shadows and in the light.
Eragon (The Inheritance Cycle #1) – Christopher Paolini
When fifteen-year-old Eragon finds a polished blue stone in the forest, he thinks it is the lucky discovery of a poor farm boy. But when the stone brings a dragon hatchling, Eragon soon realizes he has stumbled upon a legacy nearly as old as the Empire itself.
Overnight his simple life is shattered. And, gifted with only an ancient sword, a loyal dragon, and sage advice from an old storyteller. Eragon is soon swept into a dangerous tapestry of magic, glory, and power. Now his choices could save—or destroy—the Empire.
First Test (Protector of the Small #1) – Tamora Pierce
Keladry of Mindelan is the first girl who dares to take advantage of a new rule in Tortall—one that allows females to train for knighthood. After years in the Yamani Islands, she knows that women can be warriors, and now that she’s returned home, Kel is determined to achieve her goal. She believes she is ready for the traditional hazing and grueling schedule of a page. But standing in Kel’s way is Lord Wyldon. The training master is dead set against girls becoming knights. He says she must pass a one-year trial that no male page has ever had to endure. It’s just one more way to separate Kel from her fellow trainees. But she is not to be underestimated. She will fight to succeed, even when the test is unfair.
Assassin’s Apprentice (The Farseer Trilogy #1) – Robin Hobb
Young Fitz is the bastard son of the noble Prince Chivalry, raised in the shadow of the royal court by his father’s gruff stableman. He is treated as an outcast by all the royalty except the devious King Shrewd, who has him secretly tutored in the arts of the assassin. For in Fitz’s blood runs the magic Skill. And the darker knowledge of a child raised with the stable hounds and rejected by his family.
As barbarous raiders ravage the coasts, Fitz is growing to manhood. Soon he will face his first dangerous, soul-shattering mission. And though some regard him as a threat to the throne, he may just be the key to the survival of the kingdom.
Alanna: The First Adventure (Song of the Lioness #1)- Tamora Pierce
“From now on I’m Alan of Trebond, the younger twin. I’ll be a knight.”
In a time when girls are forbidden to be warriors, Alanna of Trebond wants nothing more than to be a knight of the realm of Tortall. So she finds a way to switch places with her twin brother, Thom. Disguised as a boy, Alanna begins her training as a page at the palace of King Roald. But the road to knighthood, as she discovers, is not an easy one. Alanna must master weapons, combat, and magic, as well as polite behavior, her temper, and even her own heart.
Filled with swords and sorcery, adventure and intrigue, good and evil, Alanna’s first adventure begins—one that will lead to the fulfillment of her dreams and make her a legend in the land.
The Last Wish (The Witcher #1) – Andrzej Sapkowski
Geralt the Witcher—revered and hated—holds the line against the monsters plaguing humanity in this collection of adventures, the first chapter in Andrzej Sapkowski’s groundbreaking epic fantasy series that inspired the hit Netflix show and the blockbuster video games.
Geralt is a Witcher, a man whose magic powers, enhanced by long training and a mysterious elixir, have made him a brilliant fighter and a merciless hunter. Yet he is no ordinary killer. His sole purpose: to destroy the monsters that plague the world.
But not everything monstrous-looking is evil and not everything fair is good . . . and in every fairy tale there is a grain of truth.
Daughter of the Forest (Sevenwaters Trilogy #1) – Juliet Marillier
Lord Colum of Sevenwaters is blessed with six sons: Liam, a natural leader; Diarmid, with his passion for adventure; twins Cormack and Conor, each with a different calling; rebellious Finbar, grown old before his time by his gift of the Sight; and the young, compassionate Padriac.
But it is Sorcha, the seventh child and only daughter, who alone is destined to defend her family and protect her land from the Britons and the clan known as Northwoods. For her father has been bewitched, and her brothers bound by a spell that only Sorcha can lift.
To reclaim the lives of her brothers, Sorcha leaves the only safe place she has ever known, and embarks on a journey filled with pain, loss, and terror.
When she is kidnapped by enemy forces and taken to a foreign land, it seems that there will be no way for her to break the spell that condemns all that she loves. But magic knows no boundaries, and Sorcha will have to choose between the life she has always known and a love that comes only once.
Juliet Marillier is a rare talent, a writer who can imbue her characters and her story with such warmth, such heart, that no reader can come away from her work untouched.
Lady of the Forest (A Novel of Sherwood #1) – Jennifer Roberson
With her king a captive and her coffers drained, England is left in turmoil during the Crusades. After the death of her father in the Holy Land, Lady Marian of Ravenskeep finds herself alone–and at the mercy of men vying for her lands and her beauty. Thrust into games of political intrigue, the sheltered knight’s daughter soon learns to trust no one. . .
Afforded a hero’s homecoming, Sir Robert of Locksley returns from the Crusades a shattered man. In a country he barely recognizes, one torn apart by treachery and betrayal, he finds in Marian a kindred soul. Their quest for justice will take them into the depths of Sherwood Forest, where the dream of a new England will be born. . .
The Blue Sword – Robin McKinley
Harry Crewe is an orphan girl who comes to live in Damar, the desert country shared by the Homelanders and the secretive, magical Free Hillfolk. When Corlath, the Hillfolk King, sees her for the first time, he is shaken—for he can tell that she is something more than she appears to be. He will soon realize what Harry has never guessed: She is to become Harimad-sol, King’s Rider, and carry the Blue Sword, Gonturan, which no woman has wielded since the legendary Lady Aerin, generations past.
Graceling (Graceling Realm #1) – Kristin Cashore
Graceling tells the story of the vulnerable-yet-strong Katsa, who is smart and beautiful and lives in the Seven Kingdoms where selected people are born with a Grace, a special talent that can be anything at all. Katsa’s Grace is killing. As the king’s niece, she is forced to use her extreme skills as his brutal enforcer. Until the day she meets Prince Po, who is Graced with combat skills, and Katsa’s life begins to change. She never expects to become Po’s friend. Katsa never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace—or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.
The Mists of Avalon (Avalon #1) – Marion Zimmer
The magical saga of the women behind King Arthur’s throne.
“A monumental reimagining of the Arthurian legends . . . reading it is a deeply moving and at times uncanny experience. . . . An impressive achievement.”—The New York Times Book Review
In Marion Zimmer Bradley’s masterpiece, we see the tumult and adventures of Camelot’s court through the eyes of the women who bolstered the king’s rise and schemed for his fall. From their childhoods through the ultimate fulfilment of their destinies, we follow these women and the diverse cast of characters that surrounds them as the great Arthurian epic unfolds stunningly before us. Morgaine and Gwenhwyfar struggle for control over the fate of Arthur’s kingdom. Knights of the Round Table take on their infamous quest. Merlin and Viviane wield their magics for the future of Old Britain, and the Isle of Avalon slips further into the impenetrable mists of memory, until the fissure between old and new worlds’ and old and new religions’ claims its most famous victim.
Seraphina (Book #1) – Rachel Hartman
Lyrical, imaginative, and wholly original, this New York Times bestseller with 8 starred reviews is not to be missed. Rachel Hartman’s award-winning debut will have you looking at dragons as you’ve never imagined them before…
In the kingdom of Goredd, dragons and humans live and work side by side – while below the surface, tensions and hostility simmer.
The newest member of the royal court, a uniquely gifted musician named Seraphina, holds a deep secret of her own. One that she guards with all of her being.
When a member of the royal family is brutally murdered, Seraphina is drawn into the investigation alongside the dangerously perceptive—and dashing—Prince Lucien. But as the two uncover a sinister plot to destroy the wavering peace of the kingdom, Seraphina’s struggle to protect her secret becomes increasingly difficult… while its discovery could mean her very life.
Lens of the World (Lens of the World #1) – R A MacAvoy
An outcast of small stature and the offspring of unknown parents, Nazhuret is forced out of the military Royal School of Sordaling. He is soon taken under the wing of Powl, a mysterious mentor, madman, and master of optics, who pushes Nazhuret to his mental and physical limits while teaching him the arts of astronomy, languages, swordsmanship, and—most importantly—mind and body control.
When Nazhuret take his leave of Powl, he embarks on a journey through war, darkness, and death, rising above his humble beginnings and taking his destiny into his own hands . . .
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the must-read medieval fantasy books?
If we look purely at what’s really popular right now, we’d be inclined to say Game of Thrones and The Last Wish (The Witcher). We’ve reviewed both of these, so if you’re tempted to check out these epic fantasy novels, you can see what they’re all about!
What is the Medieval Fantasy genre called?
Although generally we refer to it as Medieval Fantasy, Arthurian Fantasy is the more romantic name. This is because these books typically draw heavily on myths and legends from this period of history and location.
Why are fantasy books set in medieval times?
Medieval times provides most people with some general background knowledge, such as the costumes, the society, the wars, and the technology available. This allows for fantastic world-building without needing to bore readers with page upon page of it.
What are the most popular medieval fantasy books?
Some of the most popular medieval fantasy books are:
- Game of Thrones
- The Last Wish
- Fellowship of the Ring
Medieval Fantasy remains a beloved genre that has captivated readers for generations. With its rich history, magical creatures, and epic battles, it’s no wonder why it continues to enchant readers today. Whether you’re a fan of classic tales like J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” or looking for something new, there’s no shortage of great books to explore in the world of Medieval Fantasy. So grab a book, settle in, and let yourself be transported to a world of magic and wonder with a medieval fantasy story. Happy reading!