Andrew Rowe has a background in professional game design and runs ‘Shades of Venaya’, a live-action role-playing game based around swords and sorcery. Based on his gaming experience and the inspiration gained from reading hundreds of fantasy comic books, Rowe began writing his own fantasy stories.
He has written three novel series, that chronologically follow this order:
- The War of Broken Mirrors (3-book series)
- Arcane Ascension (3-book series)
- Weapons and Wielders (3-book series)
The War of Broken Mirrors, which contains Forging Divinity (2015), Stealing Sorcery (2015), and Defying Destiny (2019) is the most serious series, with political undertones and multiple perspectives used.
Arcane Ascension, which includes Sufficiently Advanced Magic (2017), On the Shoulders of Titans (2018), and The Torch That Ignites the Stars (2020), focuses on the use and exploitation of magic.
Weapons and Wielders, which encompasses Six Sacred Swords (2019), Diamantine (2020), and Soulbrand (2021), is more light-hearted and easy-going, containing elements of comedy, action, and adventure.
If you’re interested in magic, warfare, fantastical species, and different worlds, here is a list of some of the greatest fantasy books that you may love if you’ve enjoyed Rowe’s novels.
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
This list had to start with arguably the most famous fantasy writer and one of the most well-loved fantasy stories ever written.
The Lord of the Rings (1954-55) follows a group of people that include hobbits, men, elves, wizards, and dwarves on a quest to destroy the most powerful and dangerous ring on Middle Earth.
With numerous battles, deaths, and obstacles along the way, Tolkien emotively captivates his readers in every chapter, allowing them to fall in love with his characters and his story.
There’s a reason this trilogy is so widely loved across the globe. If you haven’t already read this masterpiece, you’re missing out.
A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
The first in his 9 book series A Song of Ice and Fire, A Game of Thrones is the original story that inspired the award-winning HBO series of the same name.
The story follows lords and ladies, sorcerers, assassins, soldiers, warriors, and dragons and encapsulates war, terror, secrecy, illegitimacy, betrayal, and death.
Gripping, unpredictable, and imaginative, this tale will definitely keep you on the edge of your seat and take you by surprise at the most unprecedented moments.
Stardust by Neil Gaiman
Stardust is a little more light-hearted than the novels above but is still a great choice if you also enjoy romance and mystery.
Desperately in love with Victoria, Tristran will do anything he can to have her heart. When a star falls from the sky, Victoria promises to marry him if he can retrieve it for her. This sends him on a treacherous journey that introduces him to the world of magic and supernatural power.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
Although the Narnia series is tailored more toward a younger audience, it is still a fascinating read for anyone of any age.
The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe follows four children, evacuated from London during the Second World War, who discover an enchanted land in the back of a wardrobe in their new home. This new world is home to talking animals, strange creatures, witches, wizards, and magic.
Intertwining evil, jealousy, magic, and royalty, this story is a great read for those entering the fantasy genre. Although not as similar to Andrew Rowe’s novels as the rest of these suggestions, it’s a classic and had to be included!
Dance of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson
Dance of Thieves begins with a new leader on the throne of the Ballenger empire. But when a revolutionary young queen takes centerstage, a new era is quickly approaching.
Street thief Kazi is sent to investigate the new emperor, secrets are unveiled and the young queen learns that there is more to the new leader than originally anticipated.
Mother of Learning by Domagoj Kurmaić
Recommended by Andrew Rowe himself, Mother of Learning is very similar to Rowe’s work and follows the highly skilled teenage mage, Zorian, in his final year of education.
But just before his academy’s summer festival, Zorian is murdered and transported back to the beginning of his school year, trapped in a time loop with no way out. He will have to use his powers and learn new skills if he wants to survive.
The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie
With a war brewing and conspiracies surfacing, it’s not a good time to have enemies. A captivating story of murder, battle, wizardry, and confession, The Blade Itself is not one to miss.
New York Times bestselling author, Joe Abercrombie cleverly toys with the line between hero and villain, keeping the reader on their toes and refusing to ascertain which of his characters are trustworthy.
Into the Labyrinth by John Bierce
If you’re a hardcore fantasy fan, John Bierce is a name you probably recognize. With a plethora of books tackling magic, wizardry, and mystery, Bierce is a well-loved author within the genre.
Into the Labyrinth features the story of Huge of Emblin, arguably the worst student at Skyhold Academy. His spells fail or end explosively and his future isn’t the brightest. But when an unusual mage takes Hugh as his apprentice, things take a turn for the better.
From Blood and Ash by Jennifer Armentrout
The destiny of a kingdom rests on Poppy’s shoulders. The kingdom is forsaken by gods and feared by mortals, ready to take back what is rightfully theirs through violence.
Poppy is a maiden, chosen from birth. Never to be touched, looked at, or spoken to. But Hawke, a guard who must help her with her ascension, makes her question herself for the first time. The line between destiny and duty fades – Hawke tempts her with what’s forbidden, he incites new emotions inside her and makes her doubt everything she’s been trained to do.
From Blood and Ash is a fantastical mystery that blends romance, violence, and war.
Rise of the Ranger by Philip Quaintrell
Men rule over Illian and build up the ruins left by elves as if they were born to. But elves are the superior race, they are stronger, faster, more intelligent, and are connected with the magical world in ways unattainable to men – Illian should be theirs.
While the six kingdoms of men quarrel for more power, they all remain unaware of the dark shadow emerging in the east. Will mankind survive the inevitable savage battle that looms? Maybe, with the help of a ranger…
With 300,000 copies sold worldwide, Rise of the Ranger is less-known as some of the bigger names in this list, but it is loved by almost all of its readers.
The Thorn of Emberlain by Scott Lynch
As part of the Gentleman Bastard series which has been praised by both Joe Abercrombie and George R.R. Martin, The Thorn of Emberlain is now a well-loved part of the fantasy world.
Locke Lamora, who was known for being a thief, political rebel, and con man must now become a warrior. Still dealing with rumors from his past, he must now fight in a war he knows nothing about.
House of Blades by Will Wight
House of Blades follows the tragic story of Simon, whose friends were captured and family was killed by Travelers – men and women who can use magical powers from other worlds.
When another man in his village finds out he is prophesied to destroy evil powers, Simon decides to try and gain the power to fight the Travelers, even though the prophecy tells of nothing special for Simon. He is destined to be a normal, powerless man, but that won’t stop him from trying to avenge the deaths of his loved ones.
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah Maas
After 19-year-old Feyre kills a wolf in the forest, a beast comes to seek revenge. Feyre is dragged to another land she has only read about in mythical books. She soon discovers that the ‘beast’ is in fact one of the dangerous and immortal faeries that once ruled over her land.
A Court of Thorns and Roses has been highly rated and remains in the Amazon ratings.
He Who Fights with Monsters by Shirtaloon
Shirtaloon aka Travis Deverell has written a series of books that have been awarded the number one bestseller on Amazon in the Urban Fantasy genre. The first book in this series follows Jason, who mysteriously wakes up in a world of monsters and magic.
Blending action, adventure, magic, and comedy, He Who Fights with Monsters is the gripping tale of an ordinary man, faced with battling monsters, wizards, cannibals, and cultists.
The First Step by Tao Wong
If you’re a fan of both fantasy and anime, like Andrew Rowe, this book suggestion may be for you.
When the army arrives at his small village, Long Wu Ying is forced to decide between his normal life, planting rice and spending time with friends and family, or the dangerous but exciting life of a cultivator.
A story of spiritual beasts, martial arts, cultivation, and immortals, The First Step is a highly-rated must-read for fantasy fans.
The Hundredth Queen by Emily R. King
Set in the ancient Tarachand Empire, 18-year-old Kalinda is an orphan, destined for a life of solitude and prayer. Tired of tradition, she sets out to destroy the system, overthrow the empire and take control of her life. And in doing so, she blossoms into a warrior.
The Hundredth Queen is an extremely high-rated debut for King.
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
Betrayal, a missing daughter, and a murdered son are what Essun comes home to. A red rift has caused ash to darken the sky, meaning Essun is forced to navigate a broken world in search of her daughter and is ready to avenge her son’s death.
The Fifth Season is the first book in The Broken Earth series which has been nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award.
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Kaz is offered the opportunity to pull off a deadly heist that could earn him millions, but he can’t do it alone.
With the help of a group, mixing mortals and supernaturals, Kaz undergoes this impossible mission. They will either save the world, cause ultimate destruction or kill each other.
From the author of the Shadow and Bone trilogy comes the dangerously exciting Six of Crows series.
Iron Prince by Bryce O’Connor
Abandoned by his parents and weak from illness, Reidon Ward’s future looked bleak. But when artificial intelligence takes an interest in him, his world is turned upside down. His time at one of the top military academies in the world kick-starts his journey. This is the story of how Reidon Ward became a god.
Iron Prince is a lesser-known novel but has received a solid 5-star rating on Amazon.
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
The Harry Potter series is one of the most well-loved wizarding stories ever written. The story follows an orphan, Harry Potter, who learns that his dead parents were once wizards and witches.
As he enters the magical world for himself, he must fulfill expectations, battling dragons, ferocious wizards, and other magical creatures just to survive his school years. As he finds out more about his family’s past and the wizard who murdered his parents, Harry realizes that he has put himself and his surrounding friends in grave danger.
Frequently Asked Questions
What categorizes a book as ‘fantasy’?
The genre typically encapsulates books that have no scientific basis. They will use supernatural elements or magic as the foundation for their worlds and include various species that do not exist in the real world, like dragons or elves.
What are the benefits of reading fantasy books?
It has been scientifically proven that reading fantasy can boost creativity and increase the reader’s range of vocabulary.
What was the first fantasy book ever written?
Jonathan Swift, famous for Gulliver’s Travels (1726) is considered one of the first novels to include fantastical elements in the western world.
Why is fantasy less read than other forms of fiction?
Some people find fantastical books hard to relate to because they do not deal with stories in the real world.
Who is the best fantasy writer?
This depends on preference, but the most famous fantasy stories were written by J.R.R. Tolkien with his The Lord of the Rings trilogy and J.K. Rowling, who famously wrote the Harry Potter series.
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