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Best Feel Good Fantasy Books

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If are tired for all that gritty, grimdark fantasy that seems to be the normal state of fantasy today, then this list is your list. We've listed the best fantasy books, both classic and moderns, that make you feel good by the end of the last page. These are books about good heros doing good deeds, not antihero's double part time as a villain, part time as a hero. The worlds described in these books are bright and hopeful, not dirty and downtrodden. Basically, these are fantasy books that will brighten your mood and make you feel good, not depressed. Heroes you can really get behind and villains that are really bad.
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The Hobbit

by J. R. R. Tolkien

4 avg rating
THE BOOKS THAT INSPIRED THE EPIC MOTION PICTURES

J.R.R. TOLKIEN
THE LORD OF THE RINGS

THE HOBBIT
THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING
THE TWO TOWERS
THE RETURN OF THE KING

© New Line Productions, Inc. All rights reserved. THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY and the names of the characters, items, events and places therein are trademarks of The Saul Zaentz Company d/b/a Middle-earth Enterprises under license to New Line Productions, Inc. (s12)
Motion Picture Artwork © 2012 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Theft Of Swords

by Michael J. Sullivan

*** Amazon #1 Kindle Best Seller: Epic Fantasy, Historical Fantasy, Sword & Sorcery, Men's Adventure ***

They killed the king. They pinned it on two men. They chose poorly.
There's no ancient evil to defeat or orphan destined for greatness, just unlikely heroes and classic adventure. Royce Melborn, a skilled thief, and his mercenary partner, Hadrian Blackwater, are running for their lives when they're framed for the murder of the king. Trapped in a conspiracy that goes beyond the overthrow of a tiny kingdom, their only hope is unraveling an ancient mystery before it's too late.

This is the first book in the original series, The Riyria Revelations, from best-selling author Michael J. Sullivan. It takes place twelve years after the events of The Riyria Chronicles and the two series can be read in eithar chronological order or order of publication, although the author suggests reading in publication order.

Publication Order
  • Theft of Swords (Riyria Revelations #1 & #2): contains The Crown Conspiracy & Avempartha
  • Rise of Empire   (Riyria Revelations #3 & #4): contains Nyphron Rising & The Emerald Storm
  • Heir of Novron  (Riyria Revelations #5 & #6): contains Wintertide & Percepliquis
  • The Crown Tower (Riyria Chronicles #1)
  • The Rose and the Thorn (Riyria Chronicles #2)
Chronological Order
  • The Crown Tower (Riyria Chronicles #1)
  • The Rose and the Thorn (Riyria Chronicles #2)
  • Theft of Swords (Riyria Revelations #1 & #2): contains The Crown Conspiracy & Avempartha
  • Rise of Empire   (Riyria Revelations #3 & #4): contains Nyphron Rising & The Emerald Storm
  • Heir of Novron  (Riyria Revelations #5 & #6): contains Wintertide & Percepliquis
Other Books by Michael J. Sullivan
  • Hollow World (coming April 2014)
  • Antithesis (release date pending)
  • A Burden to the Earth (release date pending)
Lists and Award Nominations
  • 2013 Audie Award Finalist
  • 2012 Shadowhawk's Shade Best of the Best
  • 2012 Audible's 5-star The Best of Everything
  • 2012 MathiasCavanaugh Top 10 Books
  • 2012 AudioBookaneers Favorite Listens, Runner up 
  • 2012 Audible's Best of 2012 Editor's Picks 
  • 2011 Library Journal's Best Books for Fantasy/Sci-Fi
  • 2011 Only the Best Science Fiction and Fantasy's Top 10
  • 2011 Best Fantasy Releases by Barnes and Noble Blog
Contact Information
  • Twitter: @author_sullivan
  • Website: michaelsullivan-author.com
  • Facebook (author): facebook.com/michael.james.sullivan
  • Facebook (series): facebook.com/riyria
  • email: [email protected]
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Harry Potter

by J.K. Rowling

4.57 avg rating
Harry Potter has no idea how famous he is. That's because he's being raised by his miserable aunt and uncle who are terrified Harry will learn that he's really a wizard, just as his parents were. But everything changes when Harry is summoned to attend an infamous school for wizards, and he begins to discover some clues about his illustrious birthright. From the surprising way he is greeted by a lovable giant, to the unique curriculum and colorful faculty at his unusual school, Harry finds himself drawn deep inside a mystical world he never knew existed and closer to his own noble destiny.

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The Name Of The Wind

by Patrick Rothfuss

4.38 avg rating
The riveting first-person narrative of a young man who grows to be the most notorious magician his world has ever seen. From his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, to years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime- ridden city, to his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, The Name of the Wind is a masterpiece that transports readers into the body and mind of a wizard. It is a high-action novel written with a poet's hand, a powerful coming-of-age story of a magically gifted young man, told through his eyes: to read this book is to be the hero.

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The Princess Bride

by William Goldman

William Goldman's modern fantasy classic is a simple, exceptional story about quests—for riches, revenge, power, and, of course, true love—that's thrilling and timeless.

 

Anyone who lived through the 1980s may find it impossible—inconceivable, even—to equate The Princess Bride with anything other than the sweet, celluloid romance of Westley and Buttercup, but the film is only a fraction of the ingenious storytelling you'll find in these pages. Rich in character and satire, the novel is set in 1941 and framed cleverly as an “abridged” retelling of a centuries-old tale set in the fabled country of Florin that's home to “Beasts of all natures and descriptions. Pain. Death. Brave men. Coward men. Strongest men. Chases. Escapes. Lies. Truths. Passions.”

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Night Watch

by Terry Pratchett

One moment, Sir Sam Vimes is in his old patrolman form, chasing a sweet-talking psychopath across the rooftops of Ankh-Morpork. The next, he's lying naked in the street, having been sent back thirty years courtesy of a group of time-manipulating monks who won't leave well enough alone. This Discworld is a darker place that Vimes remembers too well, three decades before his title, fortune, beloved wife, and impending first child. Worse still, the murderer he's pursuing has been transported back also. Worst of all, it's the eve of a fabled street rebellion that needlessly destroyed more than a few good (and not so good) men. Sam Vimes knows his duty, and by changing history he might just save some worthwhile necks—though it could cost him his own personal future. Plus there's a chance to steer a novice watchman straight and teach him a valuable thing or three about policing, an impressionable young copper named Sam Vimes.

BSFA
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The Color Of Magic

by Terry Pratchett

The beginning of the hilarious and irreverent series that has more than 80 million copies worldwide, The Color of Magic is where we meet tourist Twoflower and wizard guide Ricewind, and follow them on their always-bizarre journeys.

A writer who has been compared to Mark Twain, Kurt Vonnegut, and Douglas Adams, Sir Terry Pratchett has created a complex, yet zany world filled with a host of unforgettable characters who navigate around a profound fantasy universe, complete with its own set of cultures and rules.

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The Graveyard Book

by Neil Gaiman

In this Newbery Medal-winning novel, Bod is an unusual boy who inhabits an unusual place—he's the only living resident of a graveyard. Raised from infancy by the ghosts, werewolves, and other cemetery denizens, Bod has learned the antiquated customs of his guardians' time as well as their ghostly teachings—such as the ability to Fade so mere mortals cannot see him.

Can a boy raised by ghosts face the wonders and terrors of the worlds of both the living and the dead? And then there are being such as ghouls that aren't really one thing or the other.

The Graveyard Book won the Newbery Medal and the Carnegie Medal and is a Hugo Award Winner for Best Novel.

Supports the Common Core State Standards

Hugo
Locus Young Adult
British Fantasy Society
World Fantasy
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The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe

by C. S. Lewis

A beautiful paperback edition of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, book two in the classic fantasy series, The Chronicles of Narnia. This edition features cover art by three time Caldecott Medal-winning illustrator David Wiesner, and interior black-and-white illustrations by the series' original illustrator, Pauline Baynes.

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.

Open the door and enter a new world! The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is the second book in C. S. Lewis's classic fantasy series, which has been captivating readers of all ages with a magical land and unforgettable characters for over sixty years. This is a stand-alone read, but if you would like to discover more about Narnia, pick up The Horse and His Boy, the third book in The Chronicles of Narnia.

Supports the Common Core State Standards.

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Good Omens

by Neil Gaiman

5 avg rating

According to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (the world's only completely accurate book of prophecies, written in 1655, before she exploded), the world will end on a Saturday. Next Saturday, in fact. Just before dinner.

So the armies of Good and Evil are amassing, Atlantis is rising, frogs are falling, tempers are flaring. Everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan. Except a somewhat fussy angel and a fast-living demon—both of whom have lived amongst Earth's mortals since The Beginning and have grown rather fond of the lifestyle—are not actually looking forward to the coming Rapture.

And someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist . . .

BSFA
World Fantasy

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Curse Of Chalion

by Lois McMaster Bujold

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Bridge Of Birds

by Barry Hughart

5 avg rating
When the children of his village were struck with a mysterious illness, Number Ten Ox found master Li Kao. Together they set out to find the Great Root of Power, the only possible cure, and together they discover adventure and legend, and the power of belief....

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The Goblin Emperor

by Katherine Addison

The youngest, half-goblin son of the Emperor has lived his entire life in exile, distant from the Imperial Court and the deadly intrigue that suffuses it. But when his father and three sons in line for the throne are killed in an "accident," he has no choice but to take his place as the only surviving rightful heir.
Entirely unschooled in the art of court politics, he has no friends, no advisors, and the sure knowledge that whoever assassinated his father and brothers could make an attempt on his life at any moment.
Surrounded by sycophants eager to curry favor with the naïve new emperor, and overwhelmed by the burdens of his new life, he can trust nobody. Amid the swirl of plots to depose him, offers of arranged marriages, and the specter of the unknown conspirators who lurk in the shadows, he must quickly adjust to life as the Goblin Emperor. All the while, he is alone, and trying to find even a single friend . . . and hoping for the possibility of romance, yet also vigilant against the unseen enemies that threaten him, lest he lose his throne–or his life.

Katherine Addison's The Goblin Emperor is an exciting fantasy novel, set against the pageantry and color of a fascinating, unique world, is a memorable debut for a great new talent.

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Nine Princes In Amber

by Roger Zelazny

4.5 avg rating

“Fantasy of a superior order.”
Washington Post Book World

 

“A storyteller without peer. He created worlds as colorful and exotic and memorable as any our genre has ever seen.”
—George R.R. Martin

 

One of the most revered names in sf and fantasy, the incomparable Roger Zelazny was honored with numerous prizes—including six Hugo and three Nebula Awards—over the course of his legendary career. Among his more than fifty books, arguably Zelazny’s most popular literary creations were his extraordinary Amber novels. The Great Book of Amber is a collection of the complete Amber chronicles—featuring volumes one through ten—a treasure trove of the ingenious imagination and phenomenal storytelling that inspired a generation of fantasists, from Neil Gaiman to George R.R. Martin.


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Uprooted

by Naomi Novik

5 avg rating
WINNER OF THE NEBULA AWARD FOR BEST NOVEL • Naomi Novik, author of the New York Times bestselling and critically acclaimed Temeraire novels, introduces a bold new world rooted in folk stories and legends, as elemental as a Grimm fairy tale.

HUGO AWARD FINALIST • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR | BuzzFeed | Tordotcom | BookPage | Library Journal | Publishers Weekly

Uprooted is confidently wrought and sympathetically cast. I might even call it bewitching.”—Gregory Maguire, bestselling author of Wicked and Egg & Spoon

“Our Dragon doesn’t eat the girls he takes, no matter what stories they tell outside our valley. We hear them sometimes, from travelers passing through. They talk as though we were doing human sacrifice, and he were a real dragon. Of course that’s not true: he may be a wizard and immortal, but he’s still a man, and our fathers would band together and kill him if he wanted to eat one of us every ten years. He protects us against the Wood, and we’re grateful, but not that grateful.”

Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.

Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.

The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows—everyone knows—that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her.

But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose.

Praise for Uprooted

Uprooted has leapt forward to claim the title of Best Book I’ve Read Yet This Year. . . . Moving, heartbreaking, and thoroughly satisfying, Uprooted is the fantasy novel I feel I’ve been waiting a lifetime for. Clear your schedule before picking it up, because you won’t want to put it down.”—NPR
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The Blood Song

by Anthony Ryan

?The Sixth Order wields the sword of justice and smites the enemies of the Faith and the Realm."

 Vaelin Al Sorna was only a child of ten when his father left him at the iron gate of the Sixth Order?a caste devoted to battle. Vaelin will be trained and hardened to the austere, celibate and dangerous life of a warrior of the Faith. He has no family now save the Order.

Vaelin’s father was Battle Lord to King Janus, ruler of the Unified Realm?and Vaelin’s rage at being deprived of his birthright knows no bounds. Even his cherished memories of his mother are soon challenged by what he learns within the Order.

But one truth overpowers all the rest: Vaelin Al Sorna is destined for a future he has yet to comprehend. A future that will alter not only the Realm, but the world.
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The Golem And The Jinni

by Helene Wecker

?In The Golem and the Jinni, a chance meeting between mythical beings takes readers on a dazzling journey through cultures in turn-of-the-century New York.

Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life to by a disgraced rabbi who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic and dies at sea on the voyage from Poland. Chava is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York harbor in 1899.

Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire born in the ancient Syrian desert, trapped in an old copper flask, and released in New York City, though still not entirely free

Ahmad and Chava become unlikely friends and soul mates with a mystical connection. Marvelous and compulsively readable, Helene Wecker's debut novel The Golem and the Jinni weaves strands of Yiddish and Middle Eastern literature, historical fiction and magical fable, into a wondrously inventive and unforgettable tale.

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