Fast Five Friday | Books for Fantasy Newbies

fast five friday

I love blogging and writing and recommending books… but I know that I tend to get a little long-winded in my blog posts! FAST FIVE FRIDAY is a means for me to recognize some favorite books and round them up for recommendations without talking your ear off. 


Intimidated by picking up fantasy books? New to fantasy and not sure where to start? I was in your same position once. I thought fantasy was way over my head but I just needed a good place to start and to figure out exactly what I liked. Just like I had preferences on my romance stories, I also had preferences in my fantasy stories. Here are my suggestions for fantasy newbies!

The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1)Graceling (Graceling Realm, #1)The Scorpio RacesRed Queen (Red Queen, #1)The Night Circus

What: The Winner’s Curse (Book one of The Winner’s Trilogy)
Who: Marie Rutkoski
Why: Need to ease into fantasy? This is a fantasy world (totally fabricated, unique places, world-building) but with no magic, no creatures, and no overly-elaborate names.
Where: Goodreads | Review

What: Graceling (Book one in the Graceling companion series)
Who: Kristin Cashore
Why: This was my first fantasy book when I started readlly getting into YA! It’s a clean and easy introduction to high fantasy and a magic system without things getting too complicated.
Where: Goodreads | Review

What: The Scorpio Races
Who: Maggie Stiefvater
Why: Maggie Stiefvater’s Raven Cycle series is to die for BUT it is quite deep and complicated. If you’re afraid to delve into that magic so quickly, try The Scorpio Races. The fantasy element here are water horses. They look like regular horses for the most part but live in the sea and have a taste for blood. The book is the strong and silent type but still full of so many emotions. Definitely more grounded in reality with a dash of fantasy. (PS – I love this book so much that I re-read it every fall.)
Where: Goodreads | Review

What: Red Queen (Book one in the Red Queen Trilogy)
Who: Victoria Aveyard
Why: This book/series is hugely popular and has a dash of a dystopian feel if you’re a Hunger Games fan (I had some Hunger Games feels). It introduces the concepts of different abilities but the focus is more on the politics of everything than piecing together a magic system. Easy to understand, hard to tear away from!
Where: Goodreads | Review

What: The Night Circus
Who: Erin Morgenstern
Why: This is my “Harry Potter for adults” recommendation. I love the natural magical abilities and how they’re applied to create the titular Night Circus. Plus there’s a delightfully swoony romance and general wonderful quirky characters. It’s truly magical.
Where: Goodreads | Review

That’s my fast five for today! Which books would you recommend for new readers of fantasy or readers who are hesitant to jump into crazy world-building and magic systems?

Hi, I'm Brittany!
Hi, I'm Brittany!

I'm an avid reader, candle-maker, and audiobook lover! Here you'll find book reviews, fun blog posts, and my other loves of photography & craft beer!

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3 thoughts on “Fast Five Friday | Books for Fantasy Newbies

  1. Holly J

    Ahhh yessss THE SCORPIO RACES! For sure a bit deeper (I feel like that is largely Maggie’s writing style), but definitely something easy to get into, I’d say. And the rest are all on my TBR! I’ve heard such great things about Graceling and can’t believe I still haven’t read it! Also ditto The Winner’s Curse and The Night Circus. Great picks, Brittany! I’ve gotta make Graceling a priority this year.

  2. Terri M

    OMG! I love The Night Circus. I devoured that book and then I listened to it on audio. It was narrated by Jim Dale who also did the Harry Potter audios. 🙂 It’s amazing. I love it.

  3. Amanda Marie

    I would add A College of Magics by Caroline Stevermer. It has fantasy elements in a not-to-distant historical setting. It was one of my absolute favorites when I was in grade school. I still love it a lot.

    You have a great list here. I still haven’t read Night Circus even though I keep meaning to pick up a copy.
    Thanks for sharing!

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