20 Best Quest Fantasy Books You Must Read


Quest fantasy books are the classic fantasy setup, one promising a tale of adventure, camaraderie and eventual triumph.

Sometimes the quest involves acquiring a mystical artifact. In others, it means rescuing someone or clearing one’s name.

Whatever the case may be, are you curious what wonderful quest-based novels are out these? If so, you’re in luck.

Here are 20 incredible quest fantasy books to read:

I’ve kept some of the more known fantasy quest books – such as Eragon, The Sword of Shannara, or Dragons of Autumn Twilight – in a list featuring fantastic high fantasy books.

As for this list, I’ve included book descriptions, readers’ ratings and summaries of positive and negative comments for each one of the books in this list below.

If you’d prefer a quick summary, here’s a comparison chart.


Fool’s Errand by Robin Hobb

Description

For fifteen years FitzChivalry Farseer has lived in self-imposed exile, assumed to be dead by almost all who once cared about him. But now, into his isolated life, visitors begin to arrive: Fitz’s mentor from his assassin days; a hedge-witch who foresees the return of a long-lost love; and the Fool, the former White Prophet, who beckons Fitz to fulfill his destiny.

Then comes the summons he cannot ignore. Prince Dutiful, the young heir to the Farseer throne, has vanished. Fitz, possessed of magical skills both royal and profane, is the only one who can retrieve him in time for his betrothal ceremony, thus sparing the Six Duchies profound political embarrassment . . . or worse.

But even Fitz does not suspect the web of treachery that awaits him – or how his loyalties will be tested to the breaking point.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating4.31

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

First on our list of quest fantasy books is Fool’s Errand by Robin Hobb. Fans of this novel described it as emotionally gripping and bursting with incredible character development.

Many said that they felt completely transported into the mind of FitzChivalry, the protagonist, as he grows into a mature man. Whether he dealt with loneliness or experienced the warmth of animal companionship, Fitz struck them as vividly real.

Moreover, fans developed strong emotions for all the book’s characters. Some of these were positive, while others were negative. In either case, readers’ feelings were complex, changing or gaining nuances as the novel’s  pages revealed new sides to the character cast.

Negative Comments

No book is without its critics, including Fool’s Errand. Overall, readers who didn’t enjoy this book cited two main reasons. Firstly, they said the novel’s pace was slow, focused on characters’ internal growth but with little outward action. As such, these readers couldn’t get drawn into the story.

The second reason they gave related to Fitz as a protagonist: they described him as self-pitying and passive. As a result, critics found him frustrating.


Dawn of Wonder by Jonathan Renshaw

Description

When a high-ranking officer gallops into the quiet Mistyvales, he brings a warning that shakes the countryfolk to their roots. But for Aedan, a scruffy young adventurer with veins full of fire and a head full of ideas, this officer is not what he seems. 

The events that follow propel Aedan on a journey that only the foolhardy or desperate would risk, leading him to the gates of the nation’s royal academy – a whole world of secrets in itself. 

But this is only the beginning of his discoveries. Something is stirring in the land, something more ominous than the rising threat of hostile nations.

Fearful travellers whisper of an ancient power breathing over Thirna, changing it, waking it. In the very heart of these stirrings, Aedan encounters that which defies belief, leaving him speechless with terror – and wonder. 

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.35

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

Second on our list of quest fantasy books is Dawn of Wonder. Inspired by classic fantasy coming of age tales, this novel delighted readers with a compelling story and lovable characters. 

Fans often said that the novel’s pace was excellent as well, drawing them into action, character-development moments and world-building experiences with graceful ease. 

Many also praised the story itself, saying that it was a powerful and epic adventure. Several of their favorite fantasy book elements featured in the novel: daring escapades, ancient mysteries and charming humor.

With likable characters leading the way, these readers flew through the pages, eager to see what would happen next. 

Negative Comments

In terms of what critics said, most tended to say that Dawn of Wonder struck them as a relatively standard fantasy book. These readers said that this impression came from the plot as well as the characters.  


Crown of Vengeance by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory

Description

She is the unwanted spawn of a mad king and queen, her lands lost before her birth; her family — her very name — erased from history. Cursed by many, yet protected by an even greater curse.

She was born on a night of storm and terror, raised in protected concealment, then banished from the only home she had ever known — an ancient enemy’s final stroke in a war begun centuries before.

Secret studies of hidden lore reveal the truth of the prophecy that heralded her coming. Dark dreams teach lessons of war and duty, of strategy and magecraft, that she could not learn in a thousand lifetimes.

She does not have a thousand lifetimes. She has just one — and time is running out. For the prophecy spoke not just of her, but of a great Darkness that would destroy the elven kingdoms. A Darkness that is coming ever closer.

She is Vieliessar Farcarinon and she must save her people. Even if she must shatter custom and destroy the world she was born to rule.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.06

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Third on our list of quest fantasy books is Crown of Vengeance by authors Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory. Readers delighted by this book called it a vast epic, covering a large cast of characters over a great length of time.

These readers praised the story’s complexity, realism and its well fleshed-out characters. When the circumstances of the story turned against their favorite characters, these fans found themselves feeling for their loses as well as rooting for their comebacks.

Negative Comments

If Crown of Vengeance wasn’t a reader’s cup of tea, what did they say?

Readers who didn’t enjoy this novel were frustrated by its several over-familiar story elements. For instance, the book features a ‘chosen one’ that’s the subject of a prophecy, a special school for the gifted, and a ‘bonded mate’ romance sub-plot.

Other readers said that the book had plenty of battle scenes – too much, in fact. Crown of Vengeance is action-packed, but the action won’t necessarily have the amount of tension, suspense or stakes to keep readers on the edge of their seats. After a while, these readers found themselves lulled into indifference.


Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb

Description

Too much time has passed since the powerful dragon Tintaglia helped the people of the Trader cities stave off an invasion of their enemies.

The Traders have forgotten their promises, weary of the labor and expense of tending earthbound dragons who were hatched weak and deformed by a river turned toxic.

If neglected, the creatures will rampage – or die – so it is decreed that they must move farther upriver toward Kelsingra, the mythical homeland whose location is locked deep within the dragons’ uncertain ancestral memories.

Thymara, an unschooled forest girl, and Alise, wife of an unloving and wealthy Trader, are among the disparate group entrusted with escorting the dragons to their new home.

And on an extraordinary odyssey with no promise of return, many lessons will be learned–as dragons and tenders alike experience hardships, betrayals…and joys beyond their wildest imaginings.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.93

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

Fourth on our list of quest fantasy books is Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb. This book launches a series that can serve as a standalone as well as an expansion to Hobb’s previously written Liveship Trader’s trilogy.

Readers familiar with the trilogy described Dragon Keeper as a counterpoint to the cheerier ending in Liveship TradersWhile Liveship Traders ended on a high, this series deals with the aftermath and begins on a low.

The dragons in Dragon Keeper struggled to find a way to outgrown their serpent form in the Liveship Trader’s trilogy, but find now that their success had the horrible downside of killing most of them in the process.

Because of that, fans said that it’s easy to sympathize with the dragons of this tale who, far from their frequent majestic and mighty portrayal in other books, are frail and sickly. Their struggle to survive and thrive struck fans of the book as engaging and inspirational.

Negative Comments

If readers didn’t enjoy the novel, what did they say? These readers focused on the fact that story itself has little thrills and action. The book’s premise is simple and sports a no-frills plot: Dragon Keeper isn’t a story bristling with twists and turns.

In particular, readers mentioned that this first book in the series struck them as a step up for future books. Alone, it resonates with readers based on how much they enjoy character-driven stories. Even readers who didn’t enjoy the story overall acknowledged that the characterization was strong.

These readers said that the book picks up toward the end. However, before that, they felt that nothing much seemed to happen.


The Elven by Bernhard Hennen

Description

A fierce and merciless demon has been unleashed on the world, spreading destruction and bloodshed in both the human and the elven realms.

Northlander Jarl Mandred witnesses the ruthless attack on his men, and he seeks vengeance with the help of the elf queen, Emerelle.

Despite Mandred’s barbaric human nature, the queen orchestrates an elfhunt joined by the two strongest warriors in Albenmark to pursue the beast.

Farodin, the fiercest fighter in the land, and Nuramon, the healer, seize the opportunity to make history alongside Mandred in a life-defining series of battles waged in parallel universes.

The Elven is an epic tale, bringing heroes together across the boundaries of their worlds to avenge past losses and influence fates yet to be decided.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.08

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Another story on our list of quest fantasy books is The Elven. This story includes a elf romance more of a subplot than a focus.

Fans praised this novel for its characters, which they described as easy to love and enjoy. Many of them mentioned that they were a pleasure to get to know, and that it was wonderful to follow them through their adventures. 

Other readers praised The Elven for being a thoughtful and nuanced fantasy epic in general. These fans described it as moving them with themes of love, tragedy, friendship and more.

Overall, they lauded The Elven for its convincing and intricate portrayal of heroism and self-sacrifice. 

Negative Comments

So what did The Elven‘s critics say? In general, they had two criticisms.

The first was that the story’s pace seemed slow. The second was the book’s use of simple rather than poetic language. Because of this writing style, critics said the fight scenes in particular came across as dry. 


House of Blades by Will Wright

Description

Simon can only watch, helpless, as his family is killed and his friends captured by enemy Travelers — men and women who can summon mystical powers from otherworldly Territories. To top it off, another young man from Simon’s village discovers that he’s a savior prophesied to destroy evil and save the realm.

Prophecy has nothing to say about Simon. He has no special powers, no magical weapons, and no guarantee that he’ll survive. But he sets off anyway, alone, to gain the power he needs to oppose the Travelers and topple their ruthless Overlord. It may not be his destiny, but Simon’s determined to rescue his fellow villagers from certain death.

Because who cares about prophecy, really?

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.09

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

Next on our quest fantasy books is House of Blades by Will Wright. This fast-paced novel twists the ‘Chosen One’ trope – and fans loved it!

Many readers enthused over Simon, the story’s protagonist. They described him as a wonderful lead, saying he was likable, tenacious and sympathetic underdog. Fans found themselves cheering for him to get the recognition he deserved. 

They also added that the magic system in the book fascinated them. Because of its uniqueness and the story’s fast pace, the training scenes were a treat.

Negative Comments

What did critics say? Overall, these readers focused on the plot and the characters. Several of them mentioned that the plot seemed disconnected, more like a series of episodes. Others said that the characters didn’t seem well-drawn. Some said that this was because the characters had unclear motivations for their actions, or that Simon doesn’t personally develop much. 


The Dragonstone by Dennis L. McKiernan

Description

For as long as she can remember, the Elven Lady Arin has been besieged by visions from the past — or the future.

But none has ever left her so shaken as the one that foretells the fall of Mithgar: images of raging dragons and brutal legions laying waste to everything in their path signifying a devastating war that will threaten the land.

There is more to the prophecy than a warning — riddles within the vision that Arin must decipher if she is to prevent the forthcoming destruction.

And it will take a journey across countless leagues — connected to a relic of immense power known as the Dragonstone — to find the answers to Mithgar’s salvation…

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.89

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

Another story on our list of quest fantasy books is The Dragonstone. This novel features many of the aspects of classic fantasy that fans loved: elves, dragons and mages, as well as epic quests.

Fans consistently highlighted the character cast as one of their favorite parts of the story, describing both the main and supporting characters as easy to enjoy and delightful to follow. These readers praised the book for its heartwarming friendships, romances and adventure.

Others mentioned that they appreciated that The Dragonstone is free of graphic content, and generally would make a good read for teen readers or those newer to the fantasy genre.

Negative Comments

If readers didn’t enjoy The Dragonstone, they generally focused on the how many romantic pairings there were.

Since several couples formed throughout the book, critics began to see the relationships as overly convenient or outright forced. Others said that not all of them were convincing.

Other readers focused on the book’s similarity to The Lord of the Rings, and thought it was too standard a fantasy tale.


The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

Descriptions

Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined.

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan’s life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she’s known is about to change.

But she could never have guessed the truth – that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she’ll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil, no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart. 

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.90

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Next on our list of quest fantasy books is The Iron King. This fantasy novel delighted fans with its adrenaline-packed adventure plot, imaginative world and relatable protagonist, Meghan.

Meghan, these readers said, came across to them as extremely relatable. While she began the story uncertain and insecure, she grew into a brave character. Seeing her overcome her fears in order to save her brother made these readers cheer for and admire her.

Aside from that, fans commented on The Iron King’s intriguing world. Jam-packed with magical creatures and enchanting new places, this novel transported readers into its pages. Many said that this, paired with exciting action, kept them eager to know what would happen next.

Negative Comments

What did critics say about The Iron King?

Overall, if critics didn’t enjoy this novel, they cited Meghan as the reason. Several described her as either a passive protagonist or a ‘damsel in distress‘. For instance, the two main supporting characters, both of whom were men, frequently had to rescue her.

This frustrated critics, who thought too much of the book’s plot relied on this setup.


Star of the Morning by Lynn Kurland

Description

Darkness covers the north, since the black mage has begun his assault on the kingdom of Neroche. Legend has it that only the two magical swords held by Neroche’s king can defeat the mage. Now the fate of the Nine Kingdoms rests in the hands of a woman destined to wield one of those blades…

In this land of dragons and mages, warrior maids and magical swords, nothing is as it seems. And Morgan will find that the magic in her blood brings her troubles she cannot face with a sword-and a love more powerful than she has ever imagined.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.87

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

Another story on our list of quest fantasy books is Star of the Morning. Readers who enjoyed this novel frequently commented on how much they liked Morgan, the main character and a highly accomplished swordswoman.

They also mentioned that the romance between her and Miach was well-developed, transitioning from distrust to trust and affection believably and charmingly.

Negative Comments

Readers who didn’t rate the book highly had a couple of comments. First, the romance is light and more on the chaste side, which disappointed readers who wanted it to be a larger and ‘spicier’ presence in the story. Second, others remarked that Morgan struck them as judgmental, especially in regards to gender roles.


Legends of the Dragonrealm by Richard A. Knaak

Description

An omnibus of the first three novels in New York Times bestselling author Richard A. Knaak’s epic fantasy series Dragonrealm – collected for the first time in one incredible volume.

In addition to writing one of the bestselling Warcraft novels of all time, Day of the Dragon, Richard A. Knaak is the author of the legendary fantasy series Dragonrealm.

Now available for the first time in one fantastic collection, the first three novels from this riveting series include:

Firedrake:

In the ultimate war between humans and fiery shape-shifting beings, Duke Toma has unleashed every conceivable evil upon the world of the Dragon Kings.

Only one dares to challenge him: Cabe Bedlam, a youth with a magical sword that promises its bearer total mastery over man and beast alike.

Icedragon:

Pitting his magic sword against the glittering scaled armor of the Dragon Kings, young Cabe Bedlam drove the shape-shifters back to their origins.

But from the Northern Wastes, the merciless Ice Dragon implements a lethal scheme to sweep mankind into oblivion. Now Cabe must embark on a perilous journey toward an epic confrontation.

Wolfhelm:

The Death of the Dragon Emperor leaves both the Dragonrealms and human kingdom in ruins. Tomorrow’s hope – the Emperor’s hatchlings – live, protected by the human warrior Cabe Bedlam.

But the future teeters on the brink of disaster, and only Cabe and his good friend, the Gryohon, can save the dragons from losing their magic forever.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.97

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

Next on our list of quest fantasy books is Legends of the DragonrealmThis novel takes classic fantasy tropes and uses them to dazzle readers: an European-inspired world; elves, dwarves and dragons; and a grand, dragon-slaying quest to save a nation.

These ‘old favorite’ tropes also had enough of a twist that readers commented how interesting them found the world, the cast and the different creatures.

They also said that the story starts off with a bang, immediately got them invested in Cabe and his story, and kept a satisfying pace throughout.

Negative Comments

Some readers didn’t think that Legends of the Dragonrealm was the right book for them. These readers often described the book as riddled with world-building inconsistencies. The book would set up a rule but then break it. This was often true when the rule involved the main characters.

Other readers, however, said that they couldn’t connect with the characters. As such, they weren’t invested in them or their stories. Some mentioned that the main characters came across as stereotypical fantasy protagonists. Cabe, they said, is a standard brave and decent sword-wielding hero.

On the other hand, Gwen is the standard impossibly beautiful love interest who consistently needs rescuing. In her case, readers said this grated on them because she’s established as having far more experience and skill than Cabe.


Dragonslayer by Duncan M. Hamilton

Description

Once a member of the King’s personal guard, Guillot dal Villevauvais spends most days drinking and mourning his wife and child. He’s astonished — and wary — when the Prince Bishop orders him to find and destroy a dragon. He and the Prince Bishop have never exactly been friends and Gill left the capital in disgrace five years ago. So why him?

And, more importantly, how is there a dragon to fight when the beasts were hunted to extinction centuries ago by the ancient Chevaliers of the Silver Circle?

On the way to the capitol city, Gill rescues Solène, a young barmaid, who is about to be burned as a witch. He believes her innocent…but she soon proves that she has plenty of raw, untrained power, a problem in this land, where magic is forbidden.

Yet the Prince Bishop believes magic will be the key to both destroying the dragon and replacing the young, untried King he pretends to serve with a more pliable figurehead. 

Between Gill’s rusty swordsmanship and Solene’s unstable magic, what could go wrong?

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.95

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

Next on our list of quest fantasy books is Dragonslayer. This fantasy novel entertained readers with its action-packed and intrigue-filled plot.

Surprises abound, not to mention fast-pacing and betrayals. Fans were delighted, saying that this kept the book twisting and turning, capturing their attention and making them eager to know what would happen next.

Aside from that, fans praised Dragonslayer for featuring both the dragon slayer’s point of view as well as the dragon’s. While the dragon slayer’s story involved a touching tale of redemption, the dragon’s perspective intrigued them.

Fantasy books might have fantasy creatures, but its story is typically told through a human’s eyes. Not so in Dragonslayerwhere readers were treated to a view of the world from a scaled, flying and last-of-their-kind dragon. Moreover, since both were sympathetic characters, it created a bittersweet ending not often seen in ‘slaying’ stories. 

Negative Comments

If readers didn’t like Dragonslayerthey generally said that it was because the book came across to them as over-familiar. Critics said that the overall plot and characters didn’t deviate much from what they expected from the prototypical dragon-slaying story.

In particular, these readers focused on the characters, saying that because they were standard character types, it was difficult to get attached to them.  


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 quest fantasy books 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.


We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal

Description

People lived because she killed.

People died because he lived.

Zafira is the Hunter, disguising herself as a man when she braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the king.

If Zafira was exposed as a girl, all of her achievements would be rejected; if Nasir displayed his compassion, his father would punish him in the most brutal of ways. 

Both are legends in the kingdom of Arawiya — but neither wants to be.

War is brewing, and the Arz sweeps closer with each passing day, engulfing the land in shadow. When Zafira embarks on a quest to uncover a lost artifact that can restore magic to her suffering world and stop the Arz, Nasir is sent by the king on a similar mission: retrieve the artifact and kill the Hunter. But an ancient evil stirs as their journey unfolds — and the prize they seek may pose a threat greater than either can imagine.

Set in a richly detailed world inspired by ancient Arabia, We Hunt the Flame is a gripping debut of discovery, conquering fear, and taking identity into your own hands.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.79

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments 

Next on our list of quest fantasy books is We Hunt the Flame. Inspired by ancient Arabia, this novel tantalized fans through its vibrant world, likable characters, and the electrifying chemistry between Nasir and Zafira.

Fans praised this story for having realistic and complex characters. Whether it was through their backstories, their motivations or their fears, Zafira and Nasir captivated readers with their authenticity. Readers mentioned that they found themselves easily swept up in their emotions and struggles. Throughout the book, they cheered the two on as they overcame their challenges and grew into better versions of themselves.

As for the romance, fans described it as a wonderful slow-burn love story. The tension between the two characters was palpable and readers described themselves as enraptured by it.

Negative Comments

What did critics say? In general, critics mentioned two reasons why they didn’t enjoy We Hunt the Flame.

Some thought the story was too standard, saying that it was ultimately a classic fantasy quest plot. Others though, said that the plot meandered – especially in the section but they traveled through the desert – rather than built towards a climactic ending. As a result, they found themselves drawn out of the story.


For the Killing of Kings by Howard Andrew Jones

Description

Book cover of The Killing of Kings

A cross between Zelazny’s Chronicles of Amber and The Three MusketeersFor the Killing of Kings is the first in a new fantasy trilogy by Howard Andrew Jones.

Their peace was a fragile thing, but it had endured for seven years, mostly because the people of Darassus and the king of the Naor hordes believed his doom was foretold upon the edge of the great sword hung in the hall of champions. Unruly Naor clans might raid across the border, but the king himself would never lead his people to war so long as the blade remained in the hands of his enemies.

But when squire Elenai‘s aging mentor uncovers evidence that the sword in their hall is a forgery, she’s forced to flee Darassus for her life, her only ally the reckless, disillusioned Kyrkenall the archer.

Framed for murder and treason, pursued by the greatest heroes of the realm, they race to recover the real sword, only to stumble into a conspiracy that leads all the way back to the Darassan queen and her secretive advisers.

They must find a way to clear their names and set things right, all while dodging friends determined to kill them – and the Naor hordes, invading at last with a new and deadly weapon.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.01

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

Another story on our list of quest fantasy books is For the Killing of Kings. With a fascinating murder mystery and world-building revealed layer by layer, it isn’t hard to see why readers might love this novel.

Readers also enthused over the odd couple dynamic between the lead characters: one, an idealistic and promising recruit and the other a grizzled, frequently drunk veteran.

Negative Comments

So what did readers say if For the Killing of Kings wasn’t for them?

Well, several commented that it was the large number of fight scenes. Action sequences populate the novel, which these readers found themselves skimming rather than immersed in.


Free the Darkness by Kel Kade

Description

Raised and trained in complete seclusion at a secret fortress on the edge of the northern wilds of the Kingdom of Ashai, a young warrior called Rezkin is unexpectedly thrust into the outworld when a terrible battle destroys all that he knows.

With no understanding of his life’s purpose and armed with masterful weapons mysteriously bequeathed to him by a dead king, the young warrior relentlessly pursues his only lead.

A single elite warrior escaped during the battle and may have knowledge of who Rezkin is and who is responsible for the slaughter at the young man’s home. 

Rezkin must travel across Ashai to find the one man who may hold the clues to his very existence. His last orders, spoken on the lips of his dying Master, were to “Kill with conscience” and “Protect and honor your friends.”

Living in isolation from the outworld under a strict regimen of training and education, the young warrior has no understanding of a conscience or friends.

Determined to adhere to his last orders, Rezkin extends his protection to an unlikely assortment of individuals he meets along the way, often leading to humorous and poignant incidents. 

As if pursuing an elite warrior across a kingdom, figuring out who he is and why everyone he knows is dead, and attempting to find these so-called friends and protect them is not enough, strange things are happening in the kingdom. New dangers begin to arise that threaten not only Rezkin and his friends, but possibly everyone in Ashai.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.27

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Next on our list of quest fantasy books is Free the Darkness by Kel Kade. Blending a fish-out-of-water tale with gripping action and an intriguing main character, this book captivated fans from page one. 

Readers said that the story was full of hilarious moments whenever Rezkin, the protagonist, comes into contact with the outside world. Experiencing his mishaps as well as his growth was a delight.

Aside from that, fans praised the book for its riveting combat. Rezkin impressed them with his mastery of martial skills, and many readers remarked that the fight scenes were amazing overall.

Negative Comments

What did critics of Free the Darkness say? Overall, they said that Rezkin came across as too infallible. They described him as coming across more as wish-fulfillment rather than as a well-developed character. Because of this, these readers found him unconvincing as a protagonist and found it difficult to connect with him.


Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa

Description

One thousand years ago, the great Kami Dragon was summoned to grant a single terrible wish — and the land of Iwagoto was plunged into an age of darkness and chaos.

Now, for whoever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers, a new wish will be granted. A new age is about to dawn.

Raised by monks in the isolated Silent Winds temple, Yumeko has trained all her life to hide her yokai nature. Half kitsune, half human, her skill with illusion is matched only by her penchant for mischief. Until the day her home is burned to the ground, her adoptive family is brutally slain and she is forced to flee for her life with the temple’s greatest treasure — one part of the ancient scroll.

There are many who would claim the dragon’s wish for their own. Kage Tatsumi, a mysterious samurai of the Shadow Clan, is one such hunter, under orders to retrieve the scroll…at any cost.

Fate brings Kage and Yumeko together. With a promise to lead him to the scroll, an uneasy alliance is formed, offering Yumeko her best hope for survival. But he seeks what she has hidden away, and her deception could ultimately tear them both apart.

With an army of demons at her heels and the unlikeliest of allies at her side, Yumeko’s secrets are more than a matter of life or death. They are the key to the fate of the world itself.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating4.00

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

Another story on our list of quest fantasy books is Shadow of the Fox. What about this novel enchanted readers? Overall, it was the mixture of a fascinating world and great character cast.

Fans enthused over the enigmatic creatures, beautiful forests, cities and more that this book’s pages introduced to them. With vivid imagery and intricate world-building, this Japanese-inspired setting captured readers’ imaginations. Many said they were completely transported into Shadow of the Fox’s settings.

Others also mentioned how much they enjoyed the characters. They described them as likable, interesting and overall great protagonists to lead this fast-paced story.

Negative Comments

No book is without its critics, not even Shadow of the FoxIf readers didn’t enjoy this novel, what did they point to as reasons?

In general, they tended to say the story was predictable. Some of them said this was because the main characters came across as recognizable types (aloof warrior and naïve girl), while others said they thought the romance and quest developed and ended exactly as they expected.


Dragon Weather by Lawrence Watt-Evans

Description

Arlian had never left his home village in the Obsidian Mountains. The green hills, white peaks, and black glass were all he had ever known of life, and though he dreamed of travel and adventure, he knew deep in his heart that he would probably never leave.

Until the dragon weather came. Incredible heat, oppressive humidity, dark and angry clouds . . . and dragons. Dragons with no feelings, no empathy, no use for humans; dragons who destroyed his entire village and everyone in it. Everyone, that is, except Arlian.

Orphaned and alone, Arlian the child is captured by looters and sold as a mining slave. Seven years later Arlian the man escapes, fueled by years of hatred for the dragons, bandits, and slavers that took his youth away – and a personal vow to exact retribution from those who have wronged him.

As Arlian makes his way through life, he is obsessed with the concept of justice, and that obsession informs every task, every decision.

Even Black, the man he befriends and grows to love as a brother, has little influence against Arlian’s obsession. His entire life has one purpose, and one purpose only: to mete out justice.

But can one righteous man change the entire world for the better? Or is he doomed by his own actions to become as unjust as those he seeks to destroy?

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.00

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

Next on our list of quest fantasy books is Dragon Weathera novel readers praised for its exhilarating action and break-neck pacing. The story is a tale of Arlian’s quest for vengeance and his growth along the way.

As such, readers appreciated the book’s honest and ugly portrayal of combat. The battles were intense and brutal, even bloodcurdling. Those who enjoyed grittier and darker fantasies thought this was a great aspect of the novel.

Moreover, Arlian’s character growth into a more mature and gracious individual was insightful enough to make these readers think about issues of justice and revenge while not coming across as preachy.

Negative Comments

If readers didn’t enjoy Dragon Weather though, it was for the same reason many of the book’s fans loved it: the brutality.

Dragon Weather takes no prisoners with its portrayal of violence and cruelty. Readers mentioned, for instance, that characters have their hands and feet chopped off. Others said that the frequently sexual assault and abuse the women in the story faced particularly upset them.


Rhapsody by Elizabeth Haydon

Description

Rhapsody, a young woman trained as a Namer, can attune herself to the vibrations of all things, tap the power of true names, and rename people, changing their basic identities.

Her magic lies in music: “Music is nothing more than the maps through the vibrations that make up all the world. If you have the right map, it will take you wherever you want to go,” she tells her adoptive brothers. 

They are “the Brother,” a professional assassin able to sense and track the heartbeats of all natives of the doomed Island of Seren, their homeland, and his giant sidekick Grunthor, a green-skinned Sergeant Major who enjoys making jokes, using edged weapons, and honing his cannibalistic palate.

Inadvertently, Rhapsody has renamed the Brother Achmed the Snake, breaking his enslavement to Tsoltan the F’dor (a fire-born demon). Tsoltan sends minions in pursuit to rebind Achmed. The three escape into the roots of a World Tree, Sagia, emerging transformed into another country and century.

But have they truly escaped the F’dor’s evil? And how does all this relate to the prologue’s story of Gwydion and Emily, two young lovers brought together across history and then separated by the mysterious Meridion?

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.95

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Next on our list of quest fantasy books is Rhapsody by Elizabeth Haydon. What did fans praise about this novel?

Overall, readers were delighted by the story’s unique, music-centered magic system. Related to this, these readers Rhapsody often remarked on the vivid world-building, as well as the varied and developed cast of characters.

Negative Comments

If readers didn’t rate the novel highly, they typically mentioned that the main character seemed too idealized and that the middle of the story was slow-paced.


Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb

Description

Bingtown is a hub of exotic trade and home to a merchant nobility famed for its liveships rare vessels carved from wizardwood, which ripens magically into sentient awareness. The fortunes of one of Bingtown’s oldest families rest on the newly awakened liveship Vivacia.

For Althea Vestrit, the ship is her rightful legacy unjustly denied her—a legacy she will risk anything to reclaim. For Althea’s young nephew Wintrow, wrenched from his religious studies and forced to serve aboard ship, Vivacia is a life sentence.

But the fate of the Vestrit family and the ship may ultimately lie in the hands of an outsider. The ruthless pirate Kennit seeks a way to seize power over all the denizens of the Pirate Isles…and the first step of his plan requires him to capture his own liveship and bend it to his will…

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.14

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Next on our list of quest fantasy books is Ship of Magic. Fans of this book praised its superb world-building and its incredible portrayal of characters and their relationships to one another. This especially impressed them because since so many characters had a point of view.

Overall, fans praised the story for investing them so deeply in the story. Each character struck them as engaging and fully realized, whether they were lovable or infuriating. They changed as a result of events in the story and inspired powerful emotions in fans.

Negative Comments

On the other hand, critics tended to agree that the story’s pace was slow. They agreed that the novel is full of believable characters and rich character development. However, they mentioned that the book was so heavily concentrated on characters that it didn’t have plot-based momentum.

Once they reach the end of the book, critics thought no much had happened. Since they’d mostly expected adventure, they were disappointed.


Blue Moon Rising by Simon R. Green

Description

Book Cover of Blue Moon Rising

Rupert didn’t especially want to be a prince. And he certainly never asked to be the second son of a royal line that really didn’t need a spare.

So he was sent out to slay a dragon and prove himself-a quest straight out of legend.

But he also discovered the kinds of things legends tend to leave out, as well as the usual demons, goblins, the dreaded Night Witch-and even worse terrors hidden in the shadows of Darkwood. 

Rupert did find a fiery dragon-and a beautiful princess to rescue. But the dragon turned out to be a better friend than anyone back at the castle, and with the evil of Darkwood spreading, Rupert was going to need all the friends he could get.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.09

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

And last on our list of quest fantasy books is Blue Moon Rising, where protagonist Rupert is accompanied by a dragon. 

A unique blend of comedy and fantasy, readers who praised Blue Moon Rising applauded it for being fast-paced, witty and humorous. Especially considering its a lengthy page-count!

They also mentioned how memorable and fun each of the characters were. Unlike other books were only the main character shines, readers happily reported that it wasn’t just Rupert who delighted them. The entire cast was a pleasure to read about for hundreds of pages.

All in all, readers described Blue Moon Rising as a comedic, action-packed adventure suitable for all ages. Since gritty dark fantasy is the current trend, this book came across as a refreshing change!

Negative Comments

So if readers didn’t enjoy the novel, what did they say?

Well, some of them said that they found the story too fast-paced. These readers thought that because of the pacing, the book sacrificed characterization. They would have preferred that the cast have more details fleshing them out.

Others reported that the story’s humor didn’t resonate with them. In their view, the story’s light tone jarred with the fact that the characters fought to stop an impending, demon-fueled apocalypse.


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