12 Unique Works of Fantasy That Are Hard To Put Down

Not all fantasy novels are hero's journeys set in medieval times. Some creative authors put their own spin on the genre and produce unique works that revitalize old tropes. Whether they have a fascinating new type of lore or make unusual decisions in terms of structure, the books listed here all tackle this beloved genre in a different way. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

Unique Fantasy: Our 12 Picks

Title Author
1. Kra Aguidon
2. Wonderblood Julia Whicker
3. Cupcakes, Trinkets, and Other Deadly Magic Meghan Ciana Doidge
4. Haemans Nicoline Evans
5. The Devil In the Valley Castle Freeman Jr.
6. Anna Undreaming Thomas Welsh
7. The Winter Boy Sally Wiener Grotta
8. Illuminarium Truth Devour
9. Death Wishing Laura Ellen Scott
10. Kick John L. Monk
11. We Journey No More Sahara Foley
12. Restless Spirits Jean Marie Bauhaus

Fun Activities For Fantasy Fans

8 Great Fantasy Movies

  1. Coraline (2009)
  2. Howl's Moving Castle (2004)
  3. Underworld (2003)
  4. The Lord of the Rings (2001)
  5. Age of the Dragons (2011)
  6. Excalibur (1981)
  7. The Dark Crystal (1982)
  8. The Princess Bride (1987)

Why Fantasy Matters

In Depth

Avid readers can sometimes grow tired of predictable plots that are too similar to one another. Luckily, in fantasy, there's so much to explore. For those craving something different, the books listed here contain a variety of settings and creatures, and they all have engaging twists that'll keep readers hooked. Here, in no particular order, are twelve unique works of fantasy that are hard to put down.

Starting off the list at #1 is "Kra" by Aguidon. When Kanoa is given a marble that is mysterious and sought after by others, he is sent on an incredible two-day journey featuring giants and kidnappings. As he explores the ancient world he calls home, there is no written dialogue. First intended to be an inclusive movie script that people around the world could watch, understand, and enjoy regardless of their language, Kanoa's story is now a novel with a vivid world and interesting writing style.

#2 is "Wonderblood" by Julia Whicker. 500 years in the future, the remaining U.S. population has founded a religion around the remnants of NASA's space shuttles. They believe some took to space before the outbreak of a disease called "Bent Head" killed most of society. Mr. Capulatio, leader of a band of marauders, kidnaps a child named Aurora. He wants to make her his queen, but does Aurora want to accept? It may not matter, because there are others who wish to stop her from obtaining the position.

He wants to make her his queen, but does Aurora want to accept?

#3 is "Cupcakes, Trinkets, and Other Deadly Magic" by Meghan Ciana Doidge, which combines the sweetness of a cozy mystery with a magical world full of witches, vampires, and werewolves. Jade is happy with her quiet life. She runs a successful cupcake shop and is comfortable with her half-witch, half-human identity. Then she learns that trinkets from her store are connected to a string of murders. Jade must decide who she can trust, which proves difficult when even she may not be who she thought she was.

#4 is "Haemans" by Nicoline Evans. When new descendants of ancient Russian royalty are discovered, nobody knows what chaos they will bring to the country. The monarchs introduce silve cocaine into society, creating a population of haemans, creatures with superhuman strength who drink their own blood. The population struggles with addiction and suicide, and violent crimes like rape are happening more frequently. Sevrick had to flee for his own safety, but he'll do anything to rescue the addicted fiancee he left behind.

At #5 is Castle Freeman Jr.'s "The Devil In the Valley." After Taft makes a deal with the devil, he may have anything he wishes for seven months, but afterward, he will be sent to hell. Rather than using this short-term power for greed or selfishness, Taft chooses to bestow charity on others. He believes that doing good will save him from his contracted fate, but of course, the devil doesn't agree with this twist. Has Taft made a mistake, or will his sacrifice prove worth it after all?

Has Taft made a mistake, or will his sacrifice prove worth it after all?

#6 is "Anna Undreaming" by Thomas Welsh. One night, after rescuing herself and her best friend from trouble with a date rape drug in her system, Anna gets lost in the city, fighting monsters she's not even sure are real. Then she meets Teej, who explains that Dreamers are creatives who are so talented their art forms new realities, which can only be destroyed by Undreamers like himself. He claims that Anna also has the powers of an Undreamer and that he needs her help. But to assist Teej, Anna must confront her past, something she may not be ready for.

Next up, at #7, is "The Winter Boy" by Sally Wiener Grotta. In The Valley of the Alleshi, peace is kept by a group of widows who educate young men so they become successful leaders and avoid war. Their teaching methods include stories and sex, amongst other things. Rishana is new to her job as an Alleshi, and she's just been given a difficult boy named Ryl to work with. If she doesn't get him to cooperate, he will be put at risk, and the valley's long-kept peace may crumble.

#8 is "Illuminarium" by Truth Devour. Harper is hiking when she stumbles upon a book that details the life of a boy named York. Though he lived long ago, his horrific story has a great impact on Harper's life. As the two protagonists' tales, told side by side, intertwine, both characters face conflict between good and evil, and Harper experiences the ways history and literature impact our lives in real time.

Harper is hiking when she stumbles upon a book that details the life of a boy named York.

#9 is "Death Wishing" by Laura Ellen Scott. In a reality where a person's last wish is occasionally granted by the universe, criminal activity abounds as people attempt to exploit the system, and some will go so far as to murder others for the small chance to have their own dreams come true. Meanwhile, Victor is trying to live a simple life, working at his son's clothing shop after his divorce. But when Pebbles, the woman he's been pining for, gets pulled into trouble, Victor must fight to save her.

#10 is "Kick" by John L. Monk. After Dan's suicide, he's taken to an unknown place he knows as "the Great Wherever," but he's only there in between being sent into the minds of various criminals, where he gets to enjoy a three-week trip back to Earth before they manage to kick him out of their heads. It's not all fun and games, because he must discover what crimes the people he's possessing have committed and provide justice, ensuring they don't go on to hurt anyone again. And when things get messy during one of his stays, Dan doesn't know what to do.

#11 is "We Journey No More" by Sahara Foley. When teens Don and Janet decide to run away, they don't have any idea just how far from home they'll end up. After stopping to rest, they wake to a distant future ruled by the Ganu, a tribe that enslaves those of other clans. A small society takes Don and Janet in, thinking Don has been sent to save them. The teenagers don't know anything about this strange desert world or the mutants that reside in it. Still, they vow to help their new friends escape danger and find freedom.

When teens Don and Janet decide to run away, they don't have any idea just how far from home they'll end up.

Lastly, at #12 is "Restless Spirits" by Jean Marie Bauhaus. Veronica is a paranormal investigator who died on the job. Now, she's a ghost herself, investigating her own murder. On the bright side, at least she has some new dead friends to help her along the way. But Veronica's killer isn't who she expected. Sarah is a deceivingly adorable child that has caused the death of every ghost in the house. She holds them captive and uses them like toys, killing their ghosts when she gets bored with them. With aid from Veronica's sister, who is still living but can speak to dead people, they must defeat Sarah to save themselves and move onto the afterlife.