Thursday, February 23, 2012

Stars of Mythic Fantasy

The "Stars of..." series is a feature I'm doing here at Epic (Chocolate) Fantasy to highlight the best books in different areas of the fantasy genre. Say you want a book about shapeshifters or wizards or mythology, or maybe you want to read some political or heroic fantasy. Stop by here every Thursday for the foreseeable future, and I'll have recommendations for you! Click on the book covers for links to the first book in the series and on the series name for a list of the books in it on Goodreads.

If you think there's something I missed in this category, feel free to leave your own suggestions in the comments! I haven't read everything out there, obviously, and I'd love some recommendations myself.

Series are alphabetical by author.

Stars of Mythic Fantasy

A mythic fantasy is a traditional fantasy where gods and goddesses feature heavily in the plot, particularly in regards to their role in society or their treatment of humans. Most of the time, the deities are invented by the author, though occasionally you'll find gods and goddesses from ancient cultures in alternate universes. It's not the same as mythological fantasy, which I'll do next week, so you won't see any contemporary fantasy on this list. It's a pretty short list this week, but these are all favorites of mine, and I highly recommend them!

Marion Zimmer Bradley

This Trojan War retelling features Kassandra, daughter of Priam. It's really quite interesting, and I managed to accidentally learn quite a bit from it, which was helpful when reading The Odyssey for school. The Firebrand is a great read, especially if you're interested in ancient Greek stories.

Trudi Canavan
3 books, completed

When Auraya is chosen to become a member of the White, the five high priests and priestess, she doesn't expect the ascension to come with so many questions. Trudi Canavan is a great storyteller, and Age of the Five builds a fascinating world where nothing is as it seems. I loved the story here, and the world is brilliant.

David Eddings
The Belgariad
5 books, completed

The Belgariad is completely ridiculous, and as such is terribly fun to read. I'm not entirely certain it's a self-aware sort of absurdity, but it doesn't really matter. It has all the horribly stereotypical elements of a heroic fantasy/Bildungsroman – no really, every single one – but somehow it's all so fun that I read it again and again. The story revolves around humans fixing the gods' mistakes, sort of.


Althalus has to save the world from an evil god and his sorcerer minion, with the help of a cat. If you've read one Eddings book, you've pretty much read them all, but that doesn't stop them from being fun time-wasters. They're the candy of the epic fantasy world. The Redemption of Althalus is light, funny, and predictable, making it an entertaining read for a lazy day.

Jennifer Fallon
The Demon Child Trilogy
3 books, completed

Plotting, plotting, everywhere. The Demon Child trilogy features warring gods, supposedly extinct mythical races, and lots of divine interference. These books have great characters, a highly intriguing plot, lots of maneuvering on a massive scale, and a rich and fascinating world, among other positives. I've reread the series and the prequel trilogy many times, and enjoy them every time. R'shiel, Brak, and Dace are some of my favorite characters.

The Tide Lords
4 books, completed

What happens to an immortal who wants to die? That's the basic question the Tide Lords series explores, a question that happens to encompass kingdoms and even an entire world. It particularly fascinating because I wasn't sure, even at the end, whose side I was on (though I was sure whose side I wasn't on, which would have helped if there were only two sides).

N.K. Jemisin
The Inheritance Trilogy
3 books, completed

A very long time ago, there was a war between gods. This war left most of them chained in the hands of the human Arameri, who used their own powers and those of the gods to rule the world. Until Yeine came to Sky. There's so much to say about these books that I'm not sure where to start. Their history is just amazing, and they're quite different from most epic fantasy, with more personal stories with grand scope. They're really quite fantastic.

Guy Gavriel Kay
3 books, completed

The Fionavar Tapestry was the first series by Guy Gavriel Kay that I read, and I absolutely loved it. It's sort of like The Chronicles of Narnia for grown-ups, but so much more vivid and profound. I love Kay's lyrical writing style, and the world he built here is beautiful, filled with myth and legend, heroes and monsters. The Fionavar Tapestry is an amazing story that I've read over and over again.

Have you read any of these? Have any more suggestions? Let me know what you think!


  1. I know that the fantasy genre has a lot of sub-genres, so I really appreciate posts like this that help to sort them all out!

    1. Thanks! There are quite a bit more categories than I bargained for, but I love how easy they make things :)

  2. YEY Age of the Five! Oh god I love those books! I don't care that I guessed the 'twist' quite a ways before it was revealed. I was still like O.M.G when it happened. She sure does tell a fantastic story doesn't she?


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