Best high / epic fantasy books

What is high / epic fantasy? Well, high fantasy is set in an alternative, fictional, secondary world and the word epic is defined as an exceptionally long and arduous task or activity. In The Lord of the Rings, set in Middle-earth we have Frodo's journey to Mordor, in The Farseer Trilogy, set in the Six Duchies, we have Fitz and the Fool's destiny to bring dragons back to the world. But it is not just about the journey, the quest or the task, it can also be the theme - The Malazan Book of the Fallen is epic both in scope and events. There is no correct way to define high and epic fantasy but in our opinion, the fantastic books below belong to it. Read and enjoy.

The Lord of the Rings

1. The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien
Score: 232
Our rating: 10.0 | 132 positive reader reviews

The Lord of the Rings is, to quote the Daily Telegraph, amongst the greatest works of imaginative fiction of the twentieth century. Every fantasy fan must read Tolkien’s epic as they will find within a beautifully descriptive narrative telling a tale of friendship, love and heroism. Steeped in unrivalled magic and otherworldliness, its sweeping fantasy has touched the hearts of young and old alike.

Read/Buy: Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com

Harry Potter and the Philosopher\'s Stone

2. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by JK Rowling
Harry Potter: Book 1
Score: 197
Our rating: 9.4 | 103 positive reader reviews

The Harry Potter books are both very well-written and laugh-out-loud funny, an intoxicating combination. The Philosopher’s Stone is where, for young Harry Potter, it all begins. A book infused with charm and wit it is adored by readers of all ages. The series is popular because it is very, very good and the wizarding world a wonderful place to escape to.

Read/Buy: Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com

A Game Of Thrones

3. A Game Of Thrones by George RR Martin
A Song of Ice and Fire: Book 1
Score: 181
Our rating: 9.5 | 86 positive reader reviews

Described by Robin Hobb as a 'rare and effortless read', A Song of Ice and Fire is a series of magnificent scope and imagination. George R. R. Martin is unquestionably one of the finest writers in the genre. Excellently paced, always fascinating, endlessly brutal, it features some of the best villians in literature. A Game of Thrones is the entry into an unforgettable world.

Read/Buy: Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com

The Way of Kings

4. The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
The Stormlight Archive: Book 1
Score: 147
Our rating: 9.8 | 49 positive reader reviews

The story itself begins to challenge Steven Erikson’s Malazan Book of the Fallen for depth and scope. The technology, armour, weapons and magic of this world bear the standard Sanderson touch, intricately detailed to the nth degree and utterly believable, a combination that many fail to achieve. This book is one that simply must be on your shelf.

Read/Buy: Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com

The Name of the Wind

5. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
The Kingkiller Chronicle: Book 1
Score: 143
Our rating: 9.6 | 47 positive reader reviews

The Name of the Wind, which is essentially an autobiography of a once famous now reclusive musician, arcanist and adventurer named Kvothe, is revolutionary in its storytelling method. Patrick Rothfuss is nothing short of a genius.

Read/Buy: Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com

Magician

6. Magician by Raymond E Feist
Riftwar Saga: Book 1
Score: 132
Our rating: 9.0 | 42 positive reader reviews

Magician is a powerful and memorable book that any reader who derives pleasure from reading epic fantasy should read. It is classic fantasy but with many elements of originality, the character development is excellent and the reading experience effortless. In 2003 Magician was voted the 89th most popular book of all time in the BBC's Big Read Top 100.

Read/Buy: Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com

Gardens Of The Moon

7. Gardens Of The Moon by Steven Erikson
A Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen: Book 1
Score: 128
Our rating: 9.2 | 36 positive reader reviews

Gardens of the Moon, and the overarching A Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen, are works of great skill and beauty. Not for the faint-of-heart, Erikson throws you in at the deep end and you must decide whether, as a fantasy fan, you want to sink or swim (swimming is highly recommended). This series is one of the greatest fantasy literature achievements of the past 100 years.

Read/Buy: Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com

The Lightning Thief

8. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
Percy Jackson: Book 1
Score: 122
Our rating: 8.7 | 35 positive reader reviews

The Lightning Thief is a fantastic book that will have thanking the gods you bought the entire series. An absolutely fantastic tale marvelously woven by the author Rick Riordan. Move over Harry Potter because Percy Jackson could kick your butt.

Read/Buy: Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com

The Eye of the World

9. The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
Wheel of Time: Book 1
Score: 121
Our rating: 8.7 | 34 positive reader reviews

The Eye of the World begins Jordan’s epic and thrilling Wheel of Time, a saga filled with unforgettable characters and a world steeped in rich history and legend. Jordan’s skillful writing truly brings the characters and their journey to life. If you truly love the fantasy genre, passing up a chance to read The Eye of the World would be an unbelievable mistake.

Read/Buy: Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com

Lord Foul\'s Bane

10. Lord Foul's Bane by Stephen Donaldson
Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever: Book 1
Score: 116
Our rating: 9.5 | 21 positive reader reviews

Thomas Covenant. Arguably one of the most famous names in fantasy, but not all who know it love it. Whether it is due to the Covenant character himself, or simply as a response to the series as a whole, readers find themselves often divided in their opinions: Some love it, some hate it. But few dismiss it. A very complex piece of work but at heart a good old-fashioned tale of epic fantasy.

Read/Buy: Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com

The Earthsea Quartet

11. The Earthsea Quartet by Ursula Le Guin
Earthsea Saga: Book 1 - 4
Score: 114
Our rating: 10.0 | 14 positive reader reviews

Ursula Le Guin's Earthsea Saga is beautifully written, a reader will be left charmed by the spellbinding narrative. Like the very best books this can be read and enjoyed by any age, simply for the tale itself or also the psychological and sociological themes it explores. The beautifully imagined world of Earthsea is a place any fantasy fan should visit.

Read/Buy: Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com

Eragon

12. Eragon by Christopher Paolini
The Inheritance Cycle: Book 1
Score: 114
Our rating: 6.6 | 48 positive reader reviews

The Way of Shadows

13. The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks
The Night Angel Trilogy: Book 1
Score: 113
Our rating: 8.7 | 26 positive reader reviews

Assassin\'s Apprentice

14. Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb
The Farseer Trilogy: Book 1
Score: 111
Our rating: 9.2 | 19 positive reader reviews

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

15. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
Score: 110
Our rating: 9.7 | 13 positive reader reviews

The Hero of Ages

16. The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson
Mistborn: Book 3
Score: 109
Our rating: 10.0 | 9 positive reader reviews

The Crippled God

17. The Crippled God by Steven Erikson
A Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen: Book 10
Score: 109
Our rating: 10.0 | 9 positive reader reviews

The Final Empire

18. The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
Mistborn: Book 1
Score: 108
Our rating: 9.0 | 18 positive reader reviews

Tigana

19. Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay
Score: 106
Our rating: 9.7 | 9 positive reader reviews

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

20. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by NK Jemisin
The Inheritance Trilogy: Book 1
Score: 106
Our rating: 10.0 | 6 positive reader reviews

Assassin\'s Quest

21. Assassin's Quest by Robin Hobb
The Farseer Trilogy: Book 3
Score: 105
Our rating: 9.8 | 7 positive reader reviews

Words of Radiance

22. Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson
The Stormlight Archive: Book 2
Score: 105
Our rating: 9.5 | 10 positive reader reviews

Deadhouse Gates

23. Deadhouse Gates by Steven Erikson
A Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen: Book 2
Score: 104
Our rating: 9.2 | 12 positive reader reviews

A Storm of Swords 1: Steel and Snow

24. A Storm of Swords 1: Steel and Snow by George RR Martin
A Song of Ice and Fire: Book 3
Score: 104
Our rating: 9.9 | 5 positive reader reviews

Midnight Tides

25. Midnight Tides by Steven Erikson
A Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen: Book 5
Score: 104
Our rating: 10.0 | 4 positive reader reviews

The Slow Regard of Silent Things

26. The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss
The Kingkiller Chronicle
Score: 104
Our rating: 10.0 | 4 positive reader reviews

Toll the Hounds

27. Toll the Hounds by Steven Erikson
A Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen: Book 8
Score: 103
Our rating: 10.0 | 3 positive reader reviews

Homeland

28. Homeland by RA Salvatore
The Dark Elf Trilogy: Book 1
Score: 103
Our rating: 9.5 | 8 positive reader reviews

Memories of Ice

29. Memories of Ice by Steven Erikson
A Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen: Book 3
Score: 102
Our rating: 9.8 | 4 positive reader reviews

The Mad Ship

30. The Mad Ship by Robin Hobb
The Liveship Traders: Book 2
Score: 102
Our rating: 9.9 | 3 positive reader reviews

The Bonehunters

31. The Bonehunters by Steven Erikson
A Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen: Book 6
Score: 102
Our rating: 10.0 | 2 positive reader reviews

Reaper\'s Gale

32. Reaper's Gale by Steven Erikson
A Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen: Book 7
Score: 102
Our rating: 10.0 | 2 positive reader reviews

A Storm of Swords 2: Blood and Gold

33. A Storm of Swords 2: Blood and Gold by George RR Martin
A Song of Ice and Fire: Book 3
Score: 102
Our rating: 9.9 | 3 positive reader reviews

Half a King

34. Half a King by Joe Abercrombie
Shattered Sea #1
Score: 102
Our rating: 9.7 | 5 positive reader reviews

A Clash Of Kings

35. A Clash Of Kings by George RR Martin
A Song of Ice and Fire: Book 2
Score: 101
Our rating: 9.0 | 11 positive reader reviews

The Black Company

36. The Black Company by Glen Cook
Chronicles of the Black Company: Books of the North, Book 1
Score: 101
Our rating: 9.0 | 11 positive reader reviews

The Judging Eye

37. The Judging Eye by R Scott Bakker
The Aspect Emperor: Book 1
Score: 101
Our rating: 10.0 | 1 positive reader reviews

The Wise Man\'s Fear

38. The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
The Kingkiller Chronicle: Book 2
Score: 101
Our rating: 9.6 | 5 positive reader reviews

The Raven Tower

39. The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie
Score: 101
Our rating: 10.0 | 1 positive reader reviews

The 10,000 Doors of January

40. The 10,000 Doors of January by Alix E Harrow
Score: 101
Our rating: 10.0 | 1 positive reader reviews

Circe

41. Circe by Madeline Miller
Score: 100
Our rating: 10.0 | 0 positive reader reviews

Dust of Dreams

42. Dust of Dreams by Steven Erikson
A Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen: Book 9
Score: 100
Our rating: 10.0 | 0 positive reader reviews

The Book of Transformations

43. The Book of Transformations by Mark Charan Newton
Legends of the Red Sun: Book 3
Score: 100
Our rating: 9.8 | 2 positive reader reviews

The Alloy of Law

44. The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson
Mistborn: Book 4
Score: 100
Our rating: 9.8 | 2 positive reader reviews

Shadowheart

45. Shadowheart by Tad Williams
Shadowmarch Quartet: Book 4
Score: 100
Our rating: 10.0 | 0 positive reader reviews

Fool\'s Assassin

46. Fool's Assassin by Robin Hobb
Fitz and the Fool #1
Score: 100
Our rating: 9.8 | 2 positive reader reviews

The Wheel of Osheim

47. The Wheel of Osheim by Mark Lawrence
Red Queen's War #3
Score: 100
Our rating: 9.9 | 1 positive reader reviews

The Fall of Arthur

48. The Fall of Arthur by JRR Tolkien
Score: 100
Our rating: 10.0 | 0 positive reader reviews

Age of War

49. Age of War by Michael J Sullivan
Legends of the First Empire #3
Score: 100
Our rating: 10.0 | 0 positive reader reviews

A Brightness Long Ago

50. A Brightness Long Ago by Guy Gavriel Kay
Score: 100
Our rating: 10.0 | 0 positive reader reviews

Nevernight

51. Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
The Nevernight Chronicle #1
Score: 100
Our rating: 10.0 | 0 positive reader reviews

Touch of Iron

52. Touch of Iron by Timandra Whitecastle
The Living Blade: Book 1
Score: 100
Our rating: 10.0 | 0 positive reader reviews

The Unspoken Name

53. The Unspoken Name by A K Larkwood
The Serpent Gates #1
Score: 100
Our rating: 10.0 | 0 positive reader reviews

Ship of Magic

54. Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb
The Liveship Traders: Book 1
Score: 99
Our rating: 9.5 | 4 positive reader reviews

The Silmarillion

55. The Silmarillion by JRR Tolkien
Score: 99
Our rating: 8.8 | 11 positive reader reviews

The Fifth Elephant

56. The Fifth Elephant by Terry Pratchett
The Discworld Series: Book 24
Score: 99
Our rating: 9.8 | 1 positive reader reviews

You Are The Hero

57. You Are The Hero by Jonathan Green
Score: 99
Our rating: 9.9 | 0 positive reader reviews

Half the World

58. Half the World by Joe Abercrombie
Shattered Sea #2
Score: 99
Our rating: 9.8 | 1 positive reader reviews

The Wounded Land

59. The Wounded Land by Stephen Donaldson
Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever: Book 4
Score: 98
Our rating: 9.6 | 2 positive reader reviews

The Princess Bride

60. The Princess Bride by William Goldman
Score: 98
Our rating: 9.5 | 3 positive reader reviews

The Broken Kingdoms

61. The Broken Kingdoms by NK Jemisin
The Inheritance Trilogy: Book 2
Score: 98
Our rating: 9.7 | 1 positive reader reviews

Shadowplay

62. Shadowplay by Tad Williams
Shadowmarch Quartet: Book 2
Score: 98
Our rating: 9.8 | 0 positive reader reviews

Shadowrise

63. Shadowrise by Tad Williams
Shadowmarch Quartet: Book 3
Score: 98
Our rating: 9.8 | 0 positive reader reviews

City of Dragons

64. City of Dragons by Robin Hobb
The Rain Wild Chronicles: Book 3
Score: 98
Our rating: 9.7 | 1 positive reader reviews

King of Thorns

65. King of Thorns by Mark Lawrence
Broken Empire: Book 2
Score: 98
Our rating: 9.7 | 1 positive reader reviews

Emperor of Thorns

66. Emperor of Thorns by Mark Lawrence
Broken Empire: Book 3
Score: 98
Our rating: 9.8 | 0 positive reader reviews

Six of Crows

67. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Score: 98
Our rating: 9.5 | 3 positive reader reviews

The Silent Army

68. The Silent Army by James A Moore
Seven Forges series #4
Score: 98
Our rating: 9.8 | 0 positive reader reviews

Wrath

69. Wrath by John Gwynne
The Faithful and The Fallen #4
Score: 98
Our rating: 9.8 | 0 positive reader reviews

Red Sister

70. Red Sister by Mark Lawrence
Book of the Ancestor #1
Score: 98
Our rating: 9.5 | 3 positive reader reviews

The Priory of the Orange Tree

71. The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
Score: 98
Our rating: 9.8 | 0 positive reader reviews

The Blade Itself

72. The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie
The First Law: Book 1
Score: 97
Our rating: 8.5 | 12 positive reader reviews

Ship of Destiny

73. Ship of Destiny by Robin Hobb
The Liveship Traders: Book 3
Score: 97
Our rating: 9.5 | 2 positive reader reviews

Unseen Academicals

74. Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett
The Discworld Series: Book 37
Score: 97
Our rating: 9.7 | 0 positive reader reviews

Gathering of the Gods

75. Gathering of the Gods by JR Mitchell
The Immortals Trilogy: Book 3
Score: 97
Our rating: 8.5 | 12 positive reader reviews

Once Walked With Gods

76. Once Walked With Gods by James Barclay
Elves Trilogy: Book 1
Score: 97
Our rating: 9.7 | 0 positive reader reviews

Towers of Midnight

77. Towers of Midnight by Robert Jordan
Wheel of Time: Book 13
Score: 97
Our rating: 9.7 | 0 positive reader reviews

Corvus

78. Corvus by Paul Kearney
The Macht: Book 2
Score: 97
Our rating: 9.7 | 0 positive reader reviews

Prince of Thorns

79. Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence
Broken Empire: Book 1
Score: 97
Our rating: 9.0 | 7 positive reader reviews

Tymon\'s Flight

80. Tymon's Flight by Mary Victoria
Chronicles of the Tree: Book 1
Score: 97
Our rating: 9.6 | 1 positive reader reviews

Shadow Ops: Control Point

81. Shadow Ops: Control Point by Myke Cole
Shadow Ops series: Book 1
Score: 97
Our rating: 9.4 | 3 positive reader reviews

The Silvered

82. The Silvered by Tanya Huff
Score: 97
Our rating: 9.5 | 2 positive reader reviews

Hope and Red

83. Hope and Red by Jon Skovron
Empire of Storms #1
Score: 97
Our rating: 9.6 | 1 positive reader reviews

Ruin

84. Ruin by John Gwynne
The Faithful and The Fallen #3
Score: 97
Our rating: 9.6 | 1 positive reader reviews

A Veil of Spears

85. A Veil of Spears by Bradley Beaulieu
The Song of the Shattered Sands #3
Score: 97
Our rating: 9.7 | 0 positive reader reviews

King of Assassins

86. King of Assassins by RJ Barker
The Wounded Kingdom #3
Score: 97
Our rating: 9.7 | 0 positive reader reviews

Godsgrave

87. Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff
The Nevernight Chronicle #2
Score: 97
Our rating: 9.7 | 0 positive reader reviews

Abhorsen

88. Abhorsen by Garth Nix
The Abhorsen Chronicles: Book 3
Score: 96
Our rating: 9.5 | 1 positive reader reviews

The Wee Free Men

89. The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett
The Discworld Series: Book 30
Score: 96
Our rating: 9.5 | 1 positive reader reviews

Wintersmith

90. Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett
The Discworld Series: Book 35
Score: 96
Our rating: 9.5 | 1 positive reader reviews

Sojourn

91. Sojourn by RA Salvatore
The Dark Elf Trilogy: Book 3
Score: 96
Our rating: 9.5 | 1 positive reader reviews

Awakening of the Gods

92. Awakening of the Gods by JR Mitchell
The Immortals Trilogy: Book 2
Score: 96
Our rating: 8.5 | 11 positive reader reviews

The Ring of Solomon

93. The Ring of Solomon by Jonathan Stroud
The Bartimaeus Trilogy: Book 0
Score: 96
Our rating: 9.5 | 1 positive reader reviews

Ravenheart

94. Ravenheart by David Gemmell
The Rigante Novels: Book 3
Score: 96
Our rating: 9.5 | 1 positive reader reviews

City of Ruin

95. City of Ruin by Mark Charan Newton
Legends of the Red Sun: Book 2
Score: 96
Our rating: 9.6 | 0 positive reader reviews

Haven

96. Haven by Joel Shepherd
A Trial of Blood and Steel: Book 4
Score: 96
Our rating: 9.6 | 0 positive reader reviews

The Compleat Ankh-Morpork City Guide

97. The Compleat Ankh-Morpork City Guide by Terry Pratchett
Score: 96
Our rating: 9.5 | 1 positive reader reviews

The Oversight

98. The Oversight by Charlie Fletcher
Oversight Trilogy #1
Score: 96
Our rating: 9.5 | 1 positive reader reviews

Queen of Fire

99. Queen of Fire by Anthony Ryan
Raven's Shadow #3
Score: 96
Our rating: 9.5 | 1 positive reader reviews

Tarnished City

100. Tarnished City by Vic James
The Dark Gifts Trilogy #2
Score: 96
Our rating: 9.6 | 0 positive reader reviews