10 Fantastic Fantasy Books With Prophecies to Read


Fantasy books with prophecies tantalize us with their aura of mystique, mystery and grandeur. Some speak of a great destiny for a person or a nation, while others warn of a dire impending future.

Are you curious what wonderful stories feature them?

Here are 10 fantastic fantasy books with prophecies to read:

I’ve included book descriptions, readers’ ratings and summaries of positive and negative comments for each one of these high fantasy books. On the other hand, here’s a comparison chart if you’d prefer a quick summary.


The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold

Description

A man broken in body and spirit, Cazaril has returned to the noble household he once served as page. To his great surprise, he’s named as the secretary-tutor to the beautiful, strong-willed sister of the impetuous boy who is next in line to rule.

It is an assignment Cazaril dreads, for it will ultimately lead him to the place he fears most, the royal court of Cardegoss, where the powerful enemies, who once placed him in chains, now occupy lofty positions.

In addition to the traitorous intrigues of villains, Cazaril and the Royesse Iselle are faced with a sinister curse that hangs like a sword over the entire blighted House of Chalion and all who stand in their circle.

Only by employing the darkest, most forbidden of magics, can Cazaril hope to protect his royal charge — an act that will mark the loyal, damaged servant as a tool of the miraculous, and trap him, flesh and soul, in a maze of demonic paradox, damnation and death.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.17

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

First on our list of fantasy books with prophecies is The Curse of Chalion.

Readers who rated this fantasy book highly enjoyed how thoughtful the novel was and its focus on the nuances of Cazaril’s internal journey.

Cazaril isn’t a typical fantasy main character – he’s neither a valiant warrior nor mighty mage – but this is what made him more relatable to positive reviewers.

They also remarked that the story had an enjoyable political intrigue plot and a fleshed-out religious system. 

Negative Comments

What did critics say? Generally, these readers found the novel’s strengths to be its weaknesses.

Most of these readers found the lack of action in the story disappointing. Without more action, these reviewers found that it made the story slow: The Curse of Chalion centers around relationship development, character growth and court intrigue.


The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas

Description

It all began with a ruined elixir and a bolt of lightning.

Books Cover of The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas

Iolanthe Seabourne is the greatest elemental mage of her generation — or so she’s been told. The one prophesied for years to be the savior of The Realm.

It is her duty and destiny to face and defeat the Bane, the most powerful tyrant and mage the world has ever known. This would be a suicide task for anyone, let alone a reluctant sixteen-year-old girl with no training.

Guided by his mother’s visions and committed to avenging his family, Prince Titus has sworn to protect Iolanthe even as he prepares her for their battle with the Bane.

But he makes the terrifying mistake of falling in love with the girl who should have been only a means to an end. Now, with the servants of the tyrant closing in, Titus must choose between his mission — and her life.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.91

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

The Burning Sky is second on our list of fantasy books with prophecies. Readers said that this fantasy novel takes a variety of beloved Young Adult fantasy tropes and blends them together for something entirely unique and exciting.

The story world features elemental powers, mythological creatures and elite boarding school drama.

As for the romance, The Burning Sky pairs the powerful mage protagonist, Iolanthe, with the agenda-driven Prince Titus. Readers frequently remarked that Iolanthe delighted them with her backbone in particular, but also with her cleverness and back-and-forth banter with Titus. They mentioned that she adapts well to her difficult circumstances and refuses to self-pity.

In the past, YA fantasy readers have voiced their frustrations with protagonists who let their romantic feelings cloud their judgement – especially when the fate of a kingdom is at stake.

Because of this, readers often made a point of saying that both Iolanthe and Titus didn’t follow this pattern. While their attraction grew, they didn’t let that derail them from their greater missions.

Negative Comments

What did readers who didn’t enjoy The Burning Sky say?

Generally, readers expressed similar sentiments: they disliked both Iolanthe and Titus as character. Because of this, they couldn’t get invested in their romance.

Why was this? Well, critics of The Burning Sky characterized Iolanthe as a Mary Sue: a character so excessively perfect at all she does and in her attributes that it’s unbelievable.

These readers said that Iolanthe’s ‘Chosen One’ status defined her. She was strong in the sense of being highly competent. However, she didn’t have dreams, hopes or fears of her own that were unrelated to her foretold destiny.

As for Titus, critics said that at ultimately, he bothered them as a romantic prospect. The book sets Titus up as a good person who only feigns a spoiled and manipulative persona. However, these readers said that after a while, this didn’t seem like a mask. Instead, it seemed like his true face.

As such, these frustrated readers thought that the story buried these issues beneath a smokescreen of lust.


The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

Description

Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.

Elisa is the chosen one. 

But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can’t see how she ever will. 

Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king — a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.

And he’s not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people’s savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.

Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.

Most of the chosen do.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.80

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

Another fantasy book with prophecies is The Girl of Fire and Thorns, a novel nominated for the prestigious Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy.

Fans fell in love with Elisa, the story’s protagonist and raved about her  portrayal. Many of them were intrigued by how different she is from the typical ‘Chosen One’ character. While most ‘Chosen Ones’ start off as unlikely heroes due to their socioeconomic background, Elisa battles a powerful sense of worthlessness and a sheltered upbringing.

Readers often said that this made her easy to empathize with, especially given how much she has to fight to grow past her weaknesses. Several readers who had battled eating disorders or a negative self-image said they felt a particular connection to her. By the end of the novel, readers of all stripes said Elisa’s growth into a confident and heroic leader inspired them and warmed their hearts. 

Other fans mentioned how much they loved the world-building. In particular, readers praised the book’s multifaceted and respectful inclusion of religion into its setting. Often missing in fantasy world-building, it added a new dimension to Elisa and other characters.

In addition, readers said that seeing characters of different cultural and religious convictions interact was refreshing and made the world come to life.

Negative Comments

Not every reader enjoyed The Girl of Fire and Thorns. So, what did critics say?

For the most part, they had two main reasons. Some were upset that Elisa started off overweight but became thinner over the course of her trials. For instance, she trekked through a desert and had far less food available to consume than usual. Critics interpreted this as linking heroism and thinness.

The second criticism is more ambiguous, having to do with the portrayal of religion. Some readers disliked the fact that Elisa was religious or that religion was included as part of the story’s world. However, their distaste didn’t come across as a criticism against The Girl of Fire and Thorns, so much as a dislike of religion in general.

Ironically, others seemed to think that the religious aspect wasn’t delved into deeply enough. For instance, these critics were intrigued by the philosophical questions Elisa ponders. They said, though, that the book only offered surface-level answers.


The Elvenbane by Andre Norton and Mercedes Lackey

Description

This is the story of Shana, a halfbreed born of the forbidden union of an Elvenlord father and a human mother.

Her exiled mother dead, she was rescued and raised by dragons, a proud, ancient race who existed unbeknownst to elven or humankind.

From birth, Shana was the embodiment of the Prophecy that the all-powerful Elvenlords feared. Her destiny is the enthralling adventure of a lifetime. 

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.95

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

Next on our list of fantasy books with prophecies is The Elvenbane. This coming of age story gripped readers with its believable characters and nuanced characterization.

Fans remarked that the characters, which include those from various age groups and species, were all unique. Moreover, as they interact with their world, they grew and learn from one another.

Paired with this, fans often said that the story’s world-building was intricate and rich. Not only was it immersive by itself, but seeing the characters interact with it made both the cast and the world wonderfully complex.

Negative Comments

If readers didn’t enjoy The Elvenbanewhat did they say? Critics tended to have a common reason: the book’s pace. Several of them mentioned that it was slow and not much happened, plot-wise.


Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson

Description

Book Cover of The Gardens of the Moon

The Malazan Empire simmers with discontent, bled dry by interminable warfare, bitter infighting and bloody confrontations with the formidable Anomander Rake and his Tiste Andii, ancient and implacable sorcerers.

Even the imperial legions, long inured to the bloodshed, yearn for some respite. Yet Empress Laseen’s rule remains absolute, enforced by her dread Claw assassins.

For Sergeant Whiskeyjack and his squad of Bridgeburners, and for Tattersail, surviving cadre mage of the Second Legion, the aftermath of the siege of Pale should have been a time to mourn the many dead.

But Darujhistan, last of the Free Cities of Genabackis, yet holds out. It is to this ancient citadel that Laseen turns her predatory gaze.

However, it would appear that the Empire is not alone in this great game. Sinister, shadowbound forces are gathering as the gods themselves prepare to play their hand…

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.88

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

What did fans of Gardens of the Moon say?

These readers frequently praised the author, Steve Erickson, for taking this fantasy story in a different direction than a more Tolkien-like fantasy: while the book has a similar epic feel and scope, it also has a mystery, violence and tragedy to it that appeal to them.

They also mentioned how imaginative they found the story, particularly the world-building, and appreciated how instantly the story threw them into the story of a gigantic war.

Negative Comments

What did readers who didn’t enjoy the novel say?

It turns out that while they agreed that the story was epic in scope, they often felt like that the sheer amount of information they were told meant that they had little idea of what was happening or why it mattered.

In addition, these readers said it was difficult to get emotionally invested in the characters – there were just too many to cover for them to have much development.

Along a similar vein, others mentioned that the dialogue between the characters felt like standard fantasy book talk rather than individualized speaking styles.


Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings

Description

Long ago, so the Storyteller claimed, the evil god Torak sought dominion and drove men and gods to war. But Belgrath the Sorcerer led men to reclaim the Orb that protected the West. So long as it lay at Riva, the prophecy went, men would be safe.

That was only a story, and Garion did not believe in magic dooms, even though the man without a shadow had haunted him for years.

Brought up on a quiet farm by his Aunt Pol, how could he know that the Apostate planned to wake dread Torak, or that he would be led on a quest of unparalleled magic and danger by those he loved, but did not truly know.

For yet a little while, his dreams of innocence remained safe, untroubled by knowledge of his strange heritage. For a little while…

Thus begins The Belgariad, an epic fantasy of immense scope set against a history of 7,000 years. It tells of the struggles between ancient gods and mighty Kings, and of men in strange lands facing fated events, all bound by a prophecy that must be fulfilled.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating4.15

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Another story on our list of fantasy books with prophecies is Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings.

You’ve heard the story: an orphan farm-boy or farm-girl survives when a power-hungry villain burns down their hometown. Journeying with their wise mentor, they launch on a quest to defeat the villain while bonding with and learning from powerful warrior companions. Eventually, they discover their secret lineage and part to play in the villain’s downfall.

Well, this is the fantasy book that made that story popular in the first place!

Fans went into the story knowing that by now, these ‘Chosen One’ tropes and twists would be familiar. As such, they described Pawn of Prophecy as classic, comfortable fantasy done at its best. Readers described the story itself as a heartwarming adventure and its detail and epic scope as impressive.

Others said that they enjoyed the characters, whether it be Garion, the protagonist, or the rest of the cast. As they accompanied the characters along the tale, they felt that they grew to know them.

In short, if you want to read the ‘Chosen One’ story at its arguable best, this may be the book for you.

Negative Comments

If readers didn’t enjoy Pawn of Prophecy, it was mostly for the very reasons that others loved it. What fans described as a classic, comfortable story is what critics described as cliché.

All the expected ‘Chosen One’ story elements originate in this book. However, many readers came into it without knowing this. As such, they were understandably disappointed when none of the traditional tropes had a twist to it. The story came across as overly predictable while the characters seemed stock rather than fresh.

Other readers, however, were frustrated by the characters. They described Garion, the protagonist, as purely tugged along by the plot or others instead of initiating actions himself.

His guardians and traveling companions also frustrated them. Rather than likable wise mentors, these characters struck readers as condescending to Garion and sabotaging his growth.

Other Notes

As of this post’s publication, Pawn of Prophecy doesn’t have an ebook version. The price reflected in the comparison chart is for the least expensive format.


Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

Description

Where ash falls from the sky, and mist dominates the night, evil cloaks the land and stifles all life. Criminal mastermind Kelsier teaches Allomancy, the magic of metals, to another Mistborn, urchin Vin 16.

The unlikely heroine is distracted by rich Venture heir Elend. Can Kelsier’s thieving crew take on the tyrant Lord Ruler and bring back color to their world?

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.45

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Next our list of fantasy books with prophecies is Mistborn: The Final Empire. Readers described this novel as having elements of and an air of mystery to it that they found delightful.

Moreover, Brandon Sanderson has a reputation for unique magic systems, and this story features just that. The refreshing system of Allomancy delighted fans, many of whom praised how thoroughly it was developed.

Other readers raved about Vin’s exciting journey from distrusting and quiet street urchin to confident and ferocious assassin. They described her growth as authentic and compelling, while also praising her well fleshed-out character along the way.

On a similar note, readers also thoroughly enjoyed Vin and Kelsier’s mentor/mentee relationship. He and Vin’s interactions, fans said, were one of the highlights of the story.

Negative Comments

Not everyone enjoyed Mistborn: The Final Empire. These readers said that while the world-building impressed them, they thought the story was slow. The crew’s plans proceed in a rather straightforward manner, while critics hoped for more conflict or complications.

Others expressed disappointment that more female characters didn’t feature in the crew or take part in the revolution overall. While these readers appreciated Vin as the main character, it struck them as unrealistic.


The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

Description

I long for the days before the Last Desolation. Before the Heralds abandoned us and the Knights Radiant turned against us. When there was still magic in Roshar and honor in the hearts of men.

In the end, not war but victory proved the greater test. Did our foes see that the harder they fought, the fiercer our resistance? Fire and hammer forge a sword; time and neglect rust it away. So we won the world, yet lost it.

Now there are four whom we watch: the surgeon, forced to forsake healing and fight in the most brutal war of our time; the assassin, who weeps as he kills; the liar, who wears her scholar’s mantle over a thief’s heart; and the prince, whose eyes open to the ancient past as his thirst for battle wanes.

One of them may redeem us. One of them will destroy us. 

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.65

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Another story on our list of fantasy books with prophecies is The Way of Kings. If readers enjoyed this novel, they often enthused over the story’s grand scope – both in terms of the world-building and the stakes – and its intriguing cast of characters.

Fans remarked that The Way of Kings world-building was phenomenal, sweeping them into the story’s world with intricate and fascinating details. Whether it was the politics, history, cultures or more, the book brought its setting to life.

Along a similar vein to that, fans enjoyed the book’s vibrant and varied character cast. Since these characters came from all walks and stages of life, their different perspectives brought a sense of grandeur to the tale that these readers had rarely seen in other fantasy books.

Negative Comments

In terms of criticisms, readers who didn’t enjoy The Way of Kings generally cited its strengths as also its weaknesses.

For instance, these readers agreed that its world-building and rules for how supernatural powers worked were excellent. However, they said the explanations and overall focus on these were too much. Because of this, they said that the book became sluggish.

Others, though, said that the story in general had a slow pace. The book is long and much of the beginning and middle sets up a faster second half. As such, critics thought that not much happened for long periods of time.


The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S Lewis

Description

Four adventurous siblings — Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie — step through a wardrobe door and into the land of Narnia, a land frozen in eternal winter and enslaved by the power of the White Witch.

But when almost all hope is lost, the return of the Great Lion, Aslan, signals a great change. . .and a great sacrifice.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.21

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Next on our list of fantasy books with prophecies is The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the first book in C.S Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia series.

Readers who adored the story enthused that The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was a swashbuckling tale brimming with adventure, a truly wondrous world and a fantastic conclusion.

Several of these readers had read the story as children and found that, when rereading the book as an adult, it still enchanted them.

Negative Comments

Several readers didn’t find The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe for them, however. Lewis originally published the book more than 50 years ago, and unfortunately, several of the terms of phrase rubbed readers the wrong way.

Other readers were sensitive to the allegorical connections to the Christian faith. While several readers cited this as giving the story more dimension and depth, some felt that it came across too strongly.


The Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons

Description

Book cover of The Ruin of Kings

There are the old stories. And then there’s what actually happens.

Kihrin is a bastard orphan who grew up on storybook tales of long-lost princes and grand quests.

When he is claimed against his will as the long-lost son of a treasonous prince, Kihrin finds that being a long-lost prince isn’t what the storybooks promised.Far from living the dream, Kihrin finds himself practically a prisoner, at the mercy of his new family’s power plays and ambitions.

He also discovers that the storybooks have lied about a lot of other things things, too: dragons, demons, gods, prophecies, true love, and how the hero always wins.Then again, maybe he’s not the hero, for Kihrin isn’t destined to save the empire.

He’s destined to destroy it . . .

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.80

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

And last on our list of fantasy books with prophecies is The Ruin of Kings.

With an expansive scope and a world brimming with history, politics and mythology, this story struck fans as spectacularly engaging. All of this, they said, was done without an onslaught of information.

Negative Comments

Readers who didn’t think The Ruin of Kings was for them said that the story’s non-linear chronological structure made it confusing.

Others said that having the story told from these multiple time periods made it difficult for the character development to come across as organic. In each them, Kihrin sounded like a completely different character.


10 Fantastic Fantasy Books With Prophecies to Read

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10 Fantastic Fantasy Books With Prophecies to Read


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