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Favorite Five Stand Alone Fantasy Novels
This is a tough one! Not because most books in fantasy are series (well, that’s part of it) but how to find books I haven’t mentioned here a million times already that I love? I need to read more stand alone fantasy books, I guess!
Under the Pendulum Sun by Jeannette Ng
Let me start off with saying this book may not be for everyone, but I LOVE IT. It’s weird, it’s gothic, it’s atmospheric and full of crazy stuff. Christian missionaries enter the lands of the fae? Heckin yeah, sign me up. These are not the kind and gentle fae. They are not your friends. I love the mix of the fantastic and theological here too. There are a lot of things I loved about this book, but also it’s weird and I dig weird things.
The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North
This is another book that I love for its weirdness. This is a time travel novel, but not in a conventional way. It’s time travel with a twist and I absolutely love the concept. It’s very slice of life until the end, where it suddenly builds into an intense climax. I… may have cried at the end of this one. It’s a fantastic read and I can’t recommend it enough.
Circe by Madeline Miller
Circe was one of my favorite books from last year. It was such a great read, and very engaging for a story where she’s mostly exiled to an island alone. Who would have thought? I also love what Miller has done with Circe’s character, making her more sympathetic for the audience. The writing itself if gorgeous and it’s a book that I’ll probably love for a long time.
Heart’s Blood by Juliet Marillier
I guess I’ll just keep talking about this one until more people read it. I love Mariller, she’s a master of fairy tale retellings, and Heart’s Blood is no exception. This is a loose retelling of Beauty and the Beast, so if you’re in the mood for magic and romance, and of course some tragedy our characters must learn to overcome (because Marillier is a master of that as well), this is probably a book you want to pick up.
The Oddling Prince by Nancy Springer
This is another book that probably isn’t for everyone. It’s prose is thick (which I love) but may not be a style that all readers will appreciate. It’s also basically a giant metaphor for learning to love yourself. It’s got some weird stuff in it and also deals with the realms of the fae. But I LOVE weird (as I keep saying). This book punched me right in my feelings and I spent the entire book sobbing on and off, much to my cat’s chagrin. I can’t explain exactly what it is about this one that makes me love it so much, except it just happened to be a great fit for me as a reader. 🙂
Those are my picks this week! What are some of your favorite stand alone fantasy novels? Thoughts on my picks? Leave a note in the comments, I’d love to chat!
18 thoughts on “Friday Favorite Five: Stand Alone Fantasy Novels”
There are actually not that many standalone fantasy books haha, i really need to read circe though!
Circe is great!
Another reminder that I need to read Circe😁
I loved that one, hope you can get to it!
These are awesome selection! Thanks to this post I can add new interesting reads on my tbr 🙂
Hope you enjoy!
I’ve just realized that I don’t think I read a whole lot of standalone fantasy, either? Huh. I’ve wanted to read The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August because it sounded really unique, and you’ve made it sound even better! I so have to read Circe, too, and if you haven’t read it, I always hear high regards for The Song of Achilles by the same author. They’re both on my TBR still, so I can’t comment on it personally, but a lot of people who enjoy one seem to enjoy the other, if you haven’t checked it out yet. 🙂
I do have The Song of Achilles in my audio book queue, for whenever I feel like a good cry LOL 🙂 I think there probably are a lot of stand alones in fantasy, they’re just not at the forefront as much because everyone is always talking about series, my theory anyway. 🙂 Harry August was so good!
Great post! Funny enough Ive scheduled a book recommendation for Under the Pendulum Sun next week! I agree: it’s not necessarily for everyone though very atmospheric. I wonder if the blurb made it sound like it would be more fast paced than it is. I see it as a slow burn that really develops the world and world history etc. Original too.
Yeah, definitely a slow burn, that’s a great way to put it. It’s absolutely nailed that gothic feel where you don’t really know what all is going on until the end reveal. Great stuff, imo. Thanks!
Ugh, I should probably read Circe at some point, I’m just for some reason finding it hard to motivate myself to do so (though clearly from your love and, you know, everyone else’s love, it’s a good book!). #toomanybooks
I totally get too many book syndrome! There are a ton I’d love to get to, but at some point you have to prioritize. That being said, hope you can work Circe in at some point. 🙂
I gotta read Under the Pendulum Sun before year end. I’m so looking forward to it.
It’s v see very much gothic weird. Hope you enjoy! 🙂
I’ve not read any of these but Oddling Prince is one I should try and catch up with so thanks for the reminder.
Hope you enjoy it!
Thanks for reminding me that Circe is still sitting unread on my bookshelf, haha
It’s soooooo good! 🙂