The Darkness that Comes Before by R. Scott Bakker

Title: The Darkness that Comes Before

Series: The Prince of Nothing #1

Author: R. Scott Bakker

Genre: Fantasy

Year: 2003

The thoughts of all men arise from the darkness. If you are the movement of your soul, and the cause of that movement precedes you, then how could you ever call your thoughts your own? How could you be anything other than a slave to the darkness that comes before?

Kellhus Anasurimbor is looking for his long lost father.
A sorcerer and spy seeks news of an ancient enemy; an Emperor seeks to expand his territories, while his general dreams of the throne; the leader of the Thousand Temples seeks a Holy War against the infidels; a barbarian chieftain seeks vengeance against the man who disgraced him.
All of them are headed to the same place: Shimeh, the holy city of the Latter Prophet.

But something else is stirring behind the politics and the war: an ancient evil, almost forgotten, that could bring about the Second Apocalypse.

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The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

Title: The Starless Sea

Author: Erin Morgenstern

Genre: Fantasy

Year: 2019

Far beneath the surface of the earth, the Starless Sea awaits those who can open the right doors. Its harbours are home to a labyrinthine series of tunnels connecting all kinds of rooms, all of them filled with stories waiting to be found.

When Zachary finds an event from his own childhood written in an old, mysterious book from his campus library, he is determined to find out what it means. The symbols on the spine of the book – a bee, a key, and a sword – lead him to two fascinating strangers: Mirabel, a pink-haired painter, and Dorian, a man with a voice perfect for storytelling.

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The Time of Contempt by Andrzej Sapkowski

Title: The Time of Contempt

Series: The Witcher #2

Author: Andrzej Sapkowski

Genre: Fantasy

Year: 1995

Yennefer and Ciri are travelling toward the Wizard’s Council, while Geralt is trying to figure out who are the people still chasing Ciri even after word has spread that the Lion Cub of Cintra has died.
War ravages the country, alliances shift and change, and when a coup threatens the Wizard’s Guild our protagonists are split apart, left for dead… or lost.

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Hall of Smoke by H.M. Long

Title: Hall of Smoke

Author: H.M. Long

Genre: Fantasy

Year: 2021

Hessa is an Eangi, a warrior priestess of Eang, the goddess of war. Exiled from her temple for failing to kill a man as instructed by her goddess, she is trying to atone for her sin when her village is razed by the enemy. As the last priestess alive she vows to protect her people while they are taken into slavery, and win back her goddess’s favour, so that she can be reunited with her loved ones in the High Halls after death.
But the only way to do that is to find the man she was supposed to kill and complete the task the goddess has assigned to her.

Travelling in a world torn by invaders to the south and refugees from the north, she navigates unlikely friends and deceitful deities, old gods and new ones, all vying for power. With her faith wavering, Hessa will realise that far more than her place in the High Halls is at stake; ancient beings are stirring, ready to walk the earth once more.

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The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan

Title: The Eye of the World

Series: The Wheel of Time #1

Author: Robert Jordan

Genre: Fantasy

Year: 1990

The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and go, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again. In the Third Age, and Age of Prophecy, the World and Time themselves hang in the balance. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.

Rand Al’Thor knows little of the world outside of the Two Rivers, where he tends sheep with his father Tam. Until the eve of the Winternight Festival, when Trollocs and Fades attack his village, and he’s forced to leave together with his closest friends in a flight that might save their lives, or deliver them into the clutches of a different kind of danger.

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Across the Green Grass Fields by Seanan McGuire

Title: Across the Green Grass Fields

Series: Wayward Children #6

Author: Seanan McGuire

Genre: Fantasy

Year: 2021

Regan is a completely normal girl. She has a loving family, a best friend, and she loves horses.
But then one day she steps through a door that asks her to “be sure” and finds herself in a world populated by centaurs, unicorns, kelpies and other magical equines, a world where human is synonym with hero. But not everyone feels that a hero is needed right now…

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The Liar’s Key by Mark Lawrence

Title: The Liar’s Key

Series: The Red Queen’s War #2

Author: Mark Lawrence

Genre: Fantasy

Year: 2015

Prince Jalan Kendeth has spent the winter in the north, hiding from the cold – and from the husbands of his conquests, until the day comes when he is forced to leave and embarks in a new journey with Snorri, this time heading south – music to Jalan’s ears, already dreaming of home and all its comforts.

But comfort is the last thing on Snorri’s mind. Now in possession of Loki’s key, he only needs one more thing before he can bring back his wife and children: to find death’s door, and open it.
But their enemies have eyes on the key, and they won’t make his search easy.

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The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson

Title: The Year of the Witching

Series: Bethel #1

Author: Alexis Henderson

Genre: Fantasy

Year: 2020

Blood. Blight. Darkness. Slaughter.

Immanuelle Moore only wants to be a normal young woman in Bethel’s society and follow Protocol and the Prophet’s word just like anyone else, but she has always been frowned upon for being the result of a union between her mother and an outsider.
When a mishap lures her into the dark forest that surrounds Bethel, she encounters the spirits of four witches that were slain on those grounds by the first Prophet, and they bestow a gift on her: her own mother’s diary.
Immanuelle sets to reading her mother’s words, but what begins as the diary of a young woman in love soon turns to something darker and worrisome. Immanuelle doesn’t understand everything, but one thing is clear: if she wants to save Bethel, she needs to get to the bottom of what happened before she was born.

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When the Tiger Came down the Mountain by Nghi Vo

Title: When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain

Series: The Singing Hills Cycle #2

Author: Nghi Vo

Genre: Fantasy

Year: 2020

Chih, a cleric from the Singing Hills, is on the road again, collecting knowledge to bring back to their order. This time they’re hiring a scout to guide them through a mountain pass, but along the way they are chased and trapped by a small group of hungry tigers. The only way to survive is to gain time until the arrival of mammoths, and so Chih starts telling them the tale of the tiger Ho Thi Thao and her lover, the scolar Dieu.

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Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie

Title: Best Served Cold

Author: Joe Abercrombie

Genre: Fantasy

Year: 2009

Conscience is an excuse. Mercy and cowardice are the same.

Monza Murcatto has everything she wants. At the head of the Thousand Swords, winning a battle after the other, she has money, respect, and a name: she’s the Serpent of Talins, the Butcher of Caprile. Her employer’s enemies curse her name, while his people cheer her when she walks the streets.
But they like her a bit too much for her employer’s taste, and so he decides to take her out of the picture – literally. If only he had checked that she was actually dead…

Broken and alone, her only desire is to take revenge on the seven people responsible for her demise. With a totally untrustworthy but deadly group of allies, she will hunt down her victims to the end of the world if she must, and let no one stop her.

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