9 Incredible Fantasy Series From Urban to Epic

Whether you prefer the classic aesthetic and bold adventures of epic fantasy or the more down-to-earth escapism of urban fantasy, you've come to the right place. The nine series on this list are full of all kinds of magic and myth, from mermaids to dreamwalking to cursed weaponry. When you click links from this website, we may receive advertising revenue to support our research. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

9 Incredible Fantasy Series From Urban to Epic

Series Author(s) First Books in the Series
1. Sasha Urban Dima Zales & Anna Zaires The Girl Who Sees Misfortune Teller Reluctant Psychic
2. Aspect-Emperor R. Scott Bakker The Judging Eye The White-Luck Warrior
3. The Chathrand Voyage Robert V.S. Redick The Red Wolf Conspiracy The Rats and the Ruling Sea The River of Shadows
4. Dreamwalker C.S. Friedman Dreamwalker Dreamseeker Dreamweaver
5. House War Michelle West The Hidden City City of Night House Name
6. Colbana Files J.C. Daniels Blade Song Night Blade Broken Blade
7. Path to Ascendancy Ian C. Esslemont Dancer's Lament Deadhouse Landing
8. The Sea King's Daughters Philippa Ballantine Siren's Tide Siren's Serenity Siren's Curse
9. Bloodsounder's Arc Jeff Salyards Scourge of the Betrayer Veil of the Deserters Chains of the Heretic

Common Fantasy Tropes

The possibilities in this genre are endless, and no two authors create exactly the same world. Still, there are several common tropes that writers love to come back to again and again, sometimes adding their own unique twists. Here are a few beloved fantasy staples:

Classic Works of Fantasy

The authors on this list stand on the shoulders of many famous writers who came before them and influenced the genre. Here are a few works that made fantasy what it is today:

  1. A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare
  2. Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
  3. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
  4. The Once and Future King by T.H. White
  5. Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice

Classic Fantasy vs Modern Fantasy

In Depth

Well-written fantasy novels have the ability to bring readers to realms beyond reality. Whether they take place in completely different dimensions full of fantastic characters and creatures, or introduce supernatural elements to the real world, these books have been captivating readers for decades. In no particular order, here are nine incredible series that cover both urban and epic fantasy.

Starting off at #1 is "Sasha Urban" by Dima Zales and Anna Zaires. This collection of paranormal novels focuses on Sasha, a girl who works as an analyst for an investment firm during the day. At night, she pursues her hobby as a magician in a club. After one of her gigs, a television producer offers her a chance to appear on a show. Sasha grabs the opportunity, thinking that it will help her career as a mentalist. However, things go wrong when she discovers that she has real supernatural abilities.

At #2 is "The Aspect-Emperor" series by R. Scott Bakker. The anthology takes place twenty years after the finale of Bakker's "Prince of Nothing" trilogy. The citizens of Earwa believe that Khellus is a god manifested in flesh. For this reason, he becomes the Aspect-Emperor and rules over the land. But Wizard Achamian knows that beneath Khellus' so-called divinity, there lies a mortal who knows how to subliminally manipulate people. Achamian must find the source of the monarch's occult gift and stop him from executing his nefarious plans.

The citizens of Earwa believe that Khellus is a god manifested in flesh.

Next, at #3 is the "Chathrand Voyage" quartet by Robert V. S. Redick. The Imperial Merchant Ship Chathrand is announced to have mysteriously vanished at sea. The vessel is supposedly on a journey to send Thasha Isiq to a political wedding, where she will act as a treaty bride in order to assure peace between Arqual and the Mzithrin Empire. Tables are turned with a revelation that the ship's true mission is to wage war and awaken a long lost ancient power. Now, Thasha must collaborate with unlikely heroes to defeat the abominable forces.

At #4 is C. S. Friedman's "Dreamwalker Chronicles." Jessica Drake, or Jesse, learns that her DNA does not match her parents', so she decides to investigate her origin. While searching for her heritage, Jesse is brought to an alternate Earth dominated by unnaturally adept beings. In this realm, she discovers her gift as a Dreamwalker, allowing her to penetrate others' dreams and make them insane. As a result of this epiphany, the protagonist needs to hide from reapers who want to kill her.

Following at #5 is "The House War" by Michelle Sagara West. The story revolves around a pickpocket named Jewel Markess. Born with the gift of precognition, this ten-year-old girl often has horrible visions of the future. When Jewel is trying to steal a satchel from Rath, a former aristocrat, he catches the child and takes her home with hopes of teaching her better ways to make a living. Their situation gets stranger as Markess starts seeing demons and rescuing orphans.

Their situation gets stranger as Markess starts seeing demons and rescuing orphans.

At #6 is the "Colbana Files" series, written by Shiloh Walker, under the pen name J. C. Daniels. The first installment, "Blade Song," talks about Kitasa "Kit" Colbana, a young woman who has warrior blood and is highly skilled with a sword. She works as an investigator and bounty hunter. One day, a man named Damon shows up at her office and asks Kit to find Doyle, the teenage nephew of the cat shifters' leader. If this mission fails, Colbana will surely die. The assassin joins forces with Damon in order to accomplish the assignment and save the boy.

Next, at #7 is Ian Cameron Esslemont's "Path to Ascendancy." Serving as a prequel to Steven Erikson's "Malazan Book of the Fallen," this epic fantasy narrates the humble beginnings of Cotillion and Shadowthrone, as the skillful assassin Dorin Rav and the mysterious mage Wu respectively. It also describes how these two men climb to power and become the key figures of the Malazan Empire: from being criminal chiefs to becoming kings, emperors, and eventually gods.

At #8 is the "The Sea King's Daughters" collection. Each volume is written by a different author. The initial entry, written by Philippa Ballantine, is called "Siren's Tide." It focuses on Ianthe Liakos, a mermaid who comes from a different dimension. When on land, Ianthe takes human form and works as a paranormal detective. Her main task is to find a portal that can take all of the merpeople back to their world. She is also assigned to look into a chain of murders and determine who the killer is.

She is also assigned to look into a chain of murders and determine who the killer is.

Finally, at #9 is "Bloodsounder's Arc" by Jeff Salyards. The story of this trilogy is told through the eyes of Arkamondos, Arki for short, a bookish and inexperienced scribe who is hired to archive all of the events happening in the Syldoon Empire. His client is Captain Braylar Killcoin, the leader of the Syldoon warriors. Arki soon discovers that, in spite of his tough image, Braylar is damned with a curse: his enchanted flail haunts him with the memories of his victims. The captain needs to search for a cure and free himself from this fate.