It’s not uncommon to feel sad after finishing a great novel. But finishing an epic fantasy series that spans 14 volumes, a prequel, and companion books and being in a reading slump afterward can be positively devastating. If you’re a fan of Robert Jordan’s acclaimed high fantasy series (or Amazon's adaptation), chances are that you also love epic-length stories with an ensemble cast, intricate magic systems, and a highly detailed secondary world.
While Game of Thrones and The Lord of the Rings are frequently cited alongside The Wheel of Time as epic fantasy recommendations, there are several other wonderfully crafted and extremely entertaining fantasy series that examine mythology, religion, philosophy, and politics from an array of perspectives. These books below are sure to fill that aching void in your soul as you wait for the next season of The Wheel of Time to be released.
More Epic Fantasy Series Like The Wheel of Time
The Stormlight Archive
The Way of Kings
Sadly, Robert Jordan died before he could complete The Wheel of Time. But the mantle was taken up by Brandon Sanderson who was chosen by Jordan’s widow, Harriet McDougal to finish the books based on Jordan’s detailed notes. Sanderson continues to be one of the most prolific writers in the fantasy genre, known for his unique magic systems, lucid prose and engaging storylines. The Stormlight Archive is an epic fantasy series that is part of Sanderson’s larger Cosmere universe, with four out of 10 planned books released so far, with each book focusing on one of the main characters.
The Sword of Truth
Wizard's First Rule
If you enjoy sword and sorcery novels that explore the battle between good and evil, you’ll definitely love Terry Goodkind’s The Sword of Truth series, which contains 21 novels and six novellas (yeah, that’s a lot to keep one occupied). With plenty of characters, interweaving storylines, and complex histories, along with unique magical creatures and artifacts, The Sword of Truth promises to be a thoroughly satisfying and enchanting read.
Malazan Book of the Fallen
Gardens of the Moon
If you’re in the mood for something grimmer, you should hitch a ride to the Malazan universe, beginning with The Gardens of the Moon. With 10 books in the series, Erikson crafts a highly ambitious and intricate story that spans several continents and timelines, with assassins, undead creatures, con artists and mages all vying for power. Interestingly, the series was initially conceptualized as a backdrop to a table-top role-playing game by Erikson and Ian C. Esslemont, and then turned into a movie script, and finally a fantasy novel in the early '90s and was finally published after a decade of rejections!
The Book of Isle
The White Hart
Nancy Springer’s five-book epic fantasy series unfolds on a magical island, populated by gods, mortals, magicians, and beasts. The first book, The White Hart, tells the story of Ellid and Cuin, who are betrothed to each other until Ellid is rescued by a mysterious stranger called Bevan whose appearance marks a turning point in the narrative. The books draw upon Arthurian and Celtic folklore and has everything you’d want in an engrossing fantasy series—romance, adventure, quests, prophecies, and battling ancient evil.
The Roots of Chaos
The Priory of the Orange Tree
I fell in love with Samantha Shanon’s debut The Bone Season, which is a dark fantasy novel featuring secret societies, hidden cities, and a riveting romance. It’s the first of a seven-book series, and worth checking out. But the book I wanted to highlight here is the standalone hefty tome, The Priory of the Orange Tree. Shannon has described the work as a “feminist retelling of Saint George and the Dragon.” If you’re looking for an epic fantasy novel with dragons that’s also gloriously sapphic, you’ll absolutely adore this one. And after finishing it, you can move to A Day of Fallen Night, which is a standalone prequel that is equally amazing.
A Man of His Word
A Man of His Word is an enchanting four-book series by Dave Duncan about the adventures of two childhood friends, Inos and Rap, who are a princess and a stableboy. Set in the fictional land of Pandemia, the first book in the series, Magic Casement, gently introduces the readers to the two main characters and the wondrous world, before putting them through trials and tribulations that tests the strength of their bond. If you’ve loved the friendship between Lyra and Will in Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials or you’re nostalgic for the whimsy charm of The Chronicles of Narnia, you are sure to enjoy this series.
The Traitor Baru Cormorant
Traitor Baru Cormorant is the first book in Dickinson’s Masquerade series that masterfully explores imperialism, queerness, and neurodiversity, among other themes. Having witnessed the Empire’s cruelties and hypocrisies first-hand, Baru is determined to destroy them by infiltrating the ruling power and learning all their secrets—no matter how high the cost. While the grimdark tone and intricacies of political intrigue in Traitor Baru Cormorant reminded me a bit of Game of Thrones, it also has the most delicious, tragic slow-burn queer romance ever written.
The Black Magician Trilogy
The Black Magician Trilogy
Trudi Canavan is an Australian writer of fantasy novels, best known for her Black Magician books that begins with the story of Sonea, a young girl from the slums of Kyralia. She accidentally uncovers her magical powers and goes on a run from the Magicians’ Guild. After the success of these books, Canavan wrote an engrossing standalone prequel, The Magician’s Apprentice that explains the war between Kyralia and Sachaka (and acknowledges that women in fantasy novels also get their periods and have to worry about birth control) as well as a sequel trilogy called The Traitor Spy Trilogy.
The Dark Tower
Stephen King’s celebrated The Dark Tower series melds the aesthetics of western films with a dark fantasy twist. The story follows Roland Deschain (modelled on Clint Eastwood’s “The Man with No Name”), the last of the gunslingers in his physical and metaphorical quest to find the fabled Dark Tower. The first novel, Gunslinger (1982) in the eight-book series was initially molded from five short stories that King had earlier published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction between 1978 and 1981. In 2003, King published a substantially revised edition of the book, and we recommend that you start with this version.