Best Fantasy Books of 2017

2017 Top Ten Fantasy Books

Otherworld's Editorial Picks of 2017...

2017’s top fantasy books, chosen by the Otherworld’s editorial staff highlights this year’s best in the genre. Are you looking to explore pages layered with deep meaning, brilliant prose, and just an overall great story? Then these are the books to grab. Discover a journey that will captivate your mind.

Please note, these selections are based on what our staff enjoyed the most in 2017. If you have suggestions of stories that should be considered for this list, please let us know. We are always searching for new books that invoke the imagination.

If you decide to read any of these stories, remember to write your thoughts on it here and at the store/website you bought it from. Sharing your thoughts will only help fellow readers in their search for new material, and authors in regards to seeing what their fans enjoyed or disliked.

Literary Quote:

J.K. Rowling

"If you want to know what a man's like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals."


Exit West

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid is a novel about migration and mutation, full of wormholes and rips in reality. This is a tale about a man and woman who meet at an evening class regarding company branding. Saeed is earthy and works at an ad agency. Nadia, who wears a full black robe and is employed by an insurance company, lives alone, and enjoys vinyl and psychedelic mushrooms. They are temporal individuals struggling with the chains of a theological state.

They live in an unnamed city as refugees begin to flood in. Militants are causing unrest and the terrors arising is driving out those with ambition and voice. Saeed and Nadia embark on a journey that resembles a dreamlike odyssey as they witness strange doors.

The characters move through the pages like abrupt flicker or broken tape. There is no flesh, no middle, only the cognitive shock of having been freshly transplanted to a new territory. Hamid documents the casual devastation of bombs, harassment and molestation that takes place as hundreds of city dwellers fight to take their life savings from a bank, and the supernatural elation of taking a warm shower after weeks on the road. This is explored through elements of magical realism and even The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe-style children’s storytelling. This was such a lush and evocative read that probes the mind of not just the characters, but the reader.

“Every time a couple moves they begin, if their attention is still drawn to one another, to see each other differently, for personalities are not a single immutable color, like white or blue, but rather illuminated screens, and the shades we reflect depend much on what is around us.”

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Red Sister

Red Sister by Mark Lawrence

Politics, violence, and religion on a scale that grips fantasy readers. Mark Lawrence's Red Sister is a complex universe that begins with a gripping army seeking to kill a nun before the tale swiftly rekindles it's flame over the nine-year old Nona Grey who is given away by her mother and village after a frightful night. The children that to be sold are worth as much as what is in their blood.

There are four tribes in this world, and the purer the blood you have the more valuable you are until Nona is found guilty of a very violent crime and is sentenced to be executed. However, Sweet Mercy's Convent for young girls intervenes. This tale focuses on the training and growth of Nona as she is trained in the art of assassination, a regimen that often awakes the slumbering blood of the ancestors--magical skills that enhance the body, and abilities in combat.

The story takes y