Ah yes, I’ve been waiting to write this post. I will never pass up an opportunity to recommend a great book to a good friend (or even to a stranger if the topic comes up). Similarly, I just can’t resist gushing about my favorite authors and their works!
Chances are, if you’re a bookworm like me, then you’ve already heard of the fantasy writing greats like J.K. Rowling, J.R.R. Tolkien, George R.R. Martin, C.S. Lewis, and other acronyms. I’ll refrain from recommending those authors for now because they’re so well-known that you’ve probably already read most of them. Who hasn’t read Harry Potter or Game of Thrones, right?
If you’ve been keeping up with the YA fantasy greats as of late, then maybe you’ve heard of or read most of these guys too. In fact, after compiling this list, I’m sure you’ve heard of a few, at the very least. But I just can’t resist showing these girls a little love!
And so, without further ado, here are five of my favorite fantasy authors (be sure to click on their names to check out their websites).
Yes, she’s popular. And yes, she’s fantastic! With a special knack for witty dialogue between lovable characters, as well as a unique and innovative approach setting and worldbuilding, Meyer creates imaginative stories that leave impressions on a reader in every single book. My personal favorite work of hers is The Lunar Chronicles, but her newer works like Renegades are also phenomenal works.
The queen of savagely lovable characters, epic battle scenes, and heartbreaking stories of love, pain, and sacrifice, Maas is probably most popular for her Throne of Glass series…and rightfully so. Maas crafts her worlds with intricate, loving detail and presents each story with handcrafted excellence. Her signature style also typically involves raunchy scenes between lovers, but relationships are never without heart. I can’t imagine this is the first place you’ve heard of the great Queen Sarah, but she is absolutely worth a read…and a reread…and a rereread…
My first experience with Nielsen’s work was The False Prince, a clever, fun, and dangerous story of orphans and princes. That’s what I would use as the best descriptor of Nielsen’s books that I can think of: clever. Witty. Fun. There are always just enough familiar elements to give a sense of comfort, but there are usually accompanied by interesting twists that leave you on the edge of your seat. Most of her books I’ve read have been kid-friendly but never to the point of talking down to the reader. What a lovely, delightful balance!
Oh, I thank the book gods that I’ve come across the surreal and magical works of the ever-thought-provoking Aimee Bender! I can’t believe it took me this long to read The Color Master. In my opinion, her short stories are among the most intricately-woven and meaningful works of magical realism in recent times. If, by some miraculous miscalculation, you’ve never read Bender’s works, then please, please do! Start with anything, and you’ll be hooked.
All hail the Cyborg Queen! Specializing in suspenseful plots, fully realized characters, and steamy romantic subplots, Moreci’s story worlds are full, real, and immersive. Her YouTube channel on writing advice offers insight into her smart and insightful writing process. What a godsend! Moreci is such an inspiration to me, especially upon reading The Savior’s Champion, her latest fantasy novel. If you haven’t heard of Jenna Moreci, I’m so happy to introduce you to her. Click on any of her clever, funny YouTube videos or pick up The Savior’s Champion to see what I mean!
Of course, there are more fantasy authors who are worth gushing over, and of course, I’ll be writing about more in the future. But hopefully, these five will get you started on some fantastic stories in the meantime!