Top 22+ Sword & Sorcery Fantasy Books (In Order) For 2023
Fantasy and sorcery books are often associated with kids, but this is only a misconception. When was the last time you left yourself in a warrior's hands to take you through a beautiful magic adventure? Anyone can get hooked in, regardless of the age.
Why Do We Love Sword & Sorcery Book Genre?
The sword and sorcery book genre offers readers the opportunity to explore a world of adventure, danger and magic. These stories are usually set in ancient times or in imaginary lands, and often feature brave heroes who fight for glory.
I personally enjoy the excitement and suspense that these books offer, as well as the chance to escape from my everyday live. Sword and sorcery books contain elements of romance, mystery and suspense, which make the plot even more enjoyable.
So why do we love sword and sorcery books? For the fans of fantasy including myself, they are the perfect blend of excitement, adventure and escape.
In the following list I collected some of the finest sword and sorcery fantasy books from the recent years, and I tried to order the reverse chronological order.
What Are The Top Sword & Sorcery Books?
Undaunted (Eight Book 3), Samer Rabadi (2023)
Eight, an old man in the body of an eight-year-old, embarks on a mission to hunt a transformed murderer, compelled by the death of Inleio, the former lodge master. Journeying to the city of Albei with his team, they're caught in a complex web of political maneuvers, challenges from the Healer's Lodge, and potential assassins. The tale stands out as Eight, while navigating these challenges, deepens his bond with his family and friends, reflecting his evolving integration into this world. However, his encounters also lead to considerable culture shock.
On a personal note, I felt perturbed by the way Voorhei is treated, and I found many of the organizations depicted to be distasteful. A missed opportunity in the story was the exclusion of Aslishtei's realization of her past connection with Eight; that would have added an intriguing layer to the narrative.
The novel is a gripping journey of pursuit, testing Eight's mettle against the backdrop of life, death, magic, and a looming shadow of the Long Dark.
Mark of the Fool 5 (Mark of the Fool Book 5), by J.M. Clarke (2023)
Alex, after demonstrating his prowess in Greymoor by summoning servants to counteract the Ravener’s hunters, delves deeper into enigma alongside a group of Heroes, his cabal, and the formidable Baelin. Together, they navigate the ancient Crymlyn swamp in search of insights, only to find that the Crymlyn houses ominous entities and the Ravener's more menacing agents still threaten Alex.
Mark of the Fool 5 offers an enthralling continuation of a magical coming-of-age narrative, weaving together action, humor, slice-of-life, and GameLit within a D&D-inspired universe.
Personally, I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this series and eagerly anticipate the subsequent book. I'd urge everyone to give this series a shot. Admittedly, there were minor hiccups with a word missing in a few sentences, but these were sparse, hardly detracting from the story's overall allure and the quality of the prose.
A Tournament of Crowns (A Trial of Sorcerers Book 3), by Elise Kova (2023)
Eira, the protagonist, is plunged into an intense whirl of challenges following a controversial act of killing a man. Despite being viewed by many as a remorseless killer, she finds herself thrust into the eagerly anticipated Tournament of Five Kingdoms with little time to cleanse herself of the deed. Trapped with the other champions throughout the competition, Eira is confronted with several obstacles ranging from the deadly games themselves, relentless adversaries seeking vengeance, to the emotionally daunting task of dealing with the man who shattered her heart.
This series weaves a thrilling narrative centered on a magical tournament, layered with intricate mysteries and a simmering romance. Aimed primarily at young adults, the epic fantasy brings together themes of elemental magic, slow-burn love, the significance of found family, and struggles over kingdom futures. With its unexpected plot twists and an immersive world setting, A Tournament of Crowns promises to keep readers riveted and yearning for more.
Juvenile Tribulations, by Nathan D. Latrev (2022)
Juvenile Tribulations is top among the modern sword and sorcery books you should get your hands on if you fancy adventure stories packed with mystery and magic. Nathan engages you with descriptive scenes, humor, and excellent writing style to take you through the fantastic adventures of three allies in a world of deadly battles.
Different races live in Istharium- humans, dwarves, orcs, verdzers, and elves. Meanwhile, a young boy with his longtime friends, Firnael(an elf) and Gugnir (a dwarf) live peacefully and harmoniously in Edrios even after the Last Great War.
These characters love playing pranks, but they are broken off after making an unusual joke during a summer ball. The joke doesn’t sit right with their respective families, so the families disassociate them from being in contact.
Despite the thwarting factors keeping them away from their friendship, they find a way to reunite for an adventure. They are determined to find out why savage orcs are attacking travelers and other civilized orcs. They also want to find out if these events are linked to a tragedy that happened almost half a decade ago
You will love how this book creates a universe with different worlds and the fusion of different races and traditions. The prose is also excellently done to ensure that the different ideas are not overwhelming, even as you reflect on what solid friendship is about.
Mark of the Fool (Mark of the Fool Book 1), by J.M Clarke (2022)
Mark of the Fool has made it to the best-seller spot of sword and sorcery books, and there are good reasons for that. With detailed world-building, comedy, action, and magical science, Clarke fully quenches your fantasy thirst.
Imagine a hero who the gods choose, but he doesn’t yield to the calling. This is what Alex Roth does. Following his parents' death, he only desires one thing- to become a wizard. Due to his efforts, he gets accepted to the University of Generasi, a leading wizardry academy. But this is not the plan fate has for Alex.
During his eighteenth birthday, a prophecy marks him as one of the next Kingdom's five Heroes to wrestle the land's greatest enemy, Ravener. His mark is ‘The Fool,' the worst.
Instead of embracing the calling to die or serve the rest of the heroes, he refuses to accept the divine decree and leaves. Together with his younger sister, his childhood ally, and her cerberus, they devise a plan to flee from the university, hoping to solve Ravener's mystery.
You will love how Alex’s charm takes over as he makes longtime friends, learns mad wizard magic, fights mana vampires, and practices alchemy while trying to pay for tuition.
But there is a problem, Alex’s mark as the Fool prevents him from doing certain things. He can’t learn and cast spells if he enhances his skills outside combat, divinity, and spellcraft. Unless, of course, he masters how to exploit the mark. This book is intriguing, with unpredictable twists and turns that will glue you to the pages. Picturing Alex push through limitations will also make you anticipate this book’s sequel.
Birth Of The Fae, by Danielle Marie Orsino (2021)
Two angels remain on earth after an impressive war with Lucifer – simply abandoned by their creator. Their wings decay and there is no way they can make their way back. Is there a plan behind this unfaithful action?
The two have no hope to return to their kingdom whatsoever, so they need to reinvent and rediscover themselves in a world they have no clue about.
They call themselves the Fae and their story will take you through an adventurous world and lots of challenges.
The Obsidian Tower (Rooks and Ruin Book 1), by Melissa Caruso (2020)
If you are into fantasy or you simply want a relaxing book out of this world, Melissa Caruso's work will hook you in after the first pages. Ryxander can save the world or she can simply destroy everything with a wrong move.
The world could end up in darkness and everything is different from her views. There is lots of intrigue involves, not to mention ambition and magic.
Will she manage to save the world?
The Killing Fog, by Jeff Wheeler (2020)
The story follows Bingmei, who survives from a combat school and has no prospects in life. She joins a group of mercenaries and gets employed by a nobleman who likes rare artifacts. The mission? Discover the treasures associated with a lost palace lost ages ago and buried in a glacier place. However, reaching the dead is never easy.
This kind of invasion comes with a price and nothing seems real. Bingmei ends up struggling between trust, ambition and loyalty.
The Order Of The Pure Moon Reflected In Water, by Zen Cho (2020)
The family wuxia fantasy book by Zen Cho brings in an impressive mix that will leave your speechless. You have ancient martial arts fights and techniques mixed with historical names and magic. What else can you ask for? The book follows a bandit's story.
Guet Imm ends up working with some thieves and gets the mission to protect a sacred item. It all starts with a coffeehouse. She walks into it and everything goes crazy. The amount of excitement associated with this story is hard to describe in words.
It Came From The Sky, by Chelsea Sedoti (2020)
At a first glance, it looks like a small town from Pennsylvania has been invaded by aliens. Things can only go wrong from there. However, as you keep reading, you discover those are not aliens. Gideon Hofstadt is the only one who really knows what happens.
Some of these scientific experiments did not go as planned. He and his brother know the truth and they have to do whatever to save their town and the entire world from extinction.
A World Of Secrets, by James Maxwell (2020)
Secrets of all kinds taunt the world and things seem to go darker and darker. Everyone wants answers, but Taimin and Selena are a bit more pushy about it. They have to discover what happened. They need to find their origins and learn more about the firewall that keeps them trapped.
Their fate is highly connected to the people around them. If they fail, their community fails. At this point, they start a perilous journey to the firewall and come up with a nice team of interesting characters to help them out.
Sorcery of a Queen (Dragons of Terra Book 2), by Brian Naslund (2020)
Whether you are into magic, sorcery, fantasy stories or just face paced action, Brian Naslund's book will hook you in from the first few pages. Ashlyn is driven from her kingdom, yet she was supposed to become a queen.
People accused her of sorcery, but is she really a witch? She has to go through a sophisticated journey to understand the secrets and powers associated with her story. Her friend Bershad joins her, but things are not always what they seem to be…
Along The Razor's Edge (The War Eternal Book 1), by Rob J. Hayes (2020)
Eskara Helsene has an impressive portfolio in terms of fighting. She is only 15 years old, but she has already been through the harshest war for the world… And she lost. The powerful sorcerer is then sent to the Pit. The prison is deep into the heart of the earth, so she is allegedly lost forever. However, she decides to change her fate.
She is surrounded by all kinds of criminals, but she manages to find some allies, use some intrigue and let her ambition drive her. Her enemies will soon find out that it takes more than a prison to stop her.
The Bard's Blade (The Sorcerer's Song Book 1), by Brian D. Anderson (2020)
Follow Mariyah's story, whose life could be described as boring in Vylari. She has a simple life with no interesting events going on. The land is far from the hatred and fear associated with the outside world. She spends most of her time making wine, while the love of her life – Lem – is a reputable musician.
However, a stranger makes it to Vylari for the first time in hundreds of years. Things change for Mariyah and Lem and they need to face darkness on two separate paths.
The Fascinators, by Andrew Eliopulos (2020)
The book follows the story of three friends. Sam lives in a small magic town and brings back his old friends Delia and James to attend his graduation from the magic club. However, the senior year brings in some unexpected challenges, as their friendship seems to go cold.
Each of them has different internal challenges. One of them is in love, another one is bored with magic and the last one gets some sketchy friends. Sam understands that the common love for magic is now splitting them apart. Is there a way to fix this?
The Unspoken Name (The Serpent Gates Book 1), by A. K. Larkwood (2020)
The Unspoken Name is the first book in an upcoming Serpent Games series. It brings in the story of Csorwe, an orc who is about to be sacrificed to a god. However, she is saved by Sethennai, a wizard who sees something wrong in this kind of action.
As a thank you action, the orc becomes his most prolific spy and assassin. She decides to dedicate her life to find a missing artifact that will make the wizard impossible to defeat. Things change when Csorwe meets a young mage and her loyalties are likely to change.
Harrow the Ninth (The Locked Tomb Series Book 2), by Tamsyn Muir (2020)
Tamsyn Muir has approached an interesting idea regarding fantasy and magic. This book is a sequel to Gideon The Ninth, but the two are not that related. All in all, the author tells the story of a necromancer struggling to survive.
The story is quite intense and original. Get ready to discover a bunch of lesbian necromancers, insights of forbidden love and a magical world established in a haunted Gothic palace in the middle of nowhere.
Shorefall (The Founders Book 2), by Robert Jackson Bennett (2020)
Shorefall brings in an unexpected and refreshing approach to magic. The story follows the story of a small business that struggles to survive – Foundryside.
Owner Orso Ignacio and employee Sancia Grado are excellent at scriving, but it seems their skills are not enough to make it big, especially as massive competition wants to take the small business out. Things change when a powerful deadly entity is resurrected to join the business war.
Shorefall continues to be a compelling work of fantasy but not tightly plotted as the first book. Hence the stakes become higher in this new sword and sorcery book.
Stormsong (The Kingston Cycle Book 2), by C. L. Polk (2020)
Dame Grace Hensley lives through hard times. An atrocity has stained her place and she needs to face the consequences. She helps her brother Miles get the problem sorted, but the issue is far from being over. With no power and a harsh winter ahead, the land is about to face a disaster.
Grace tries her best to take her parents to a safe place, but unfortunately, she faces some obstacles and they are not that easy to overcome – a bunch of rogue mages and a powerful queen. Will the dame manage to save the land? Will her loved ones make it?
The Name of the Wind, by Patrick Rothfuss (2010)
This is an extraordinary work of fantasy that explores the power of stories and legends to shape the world. Highly recommended for fantasy fiction enthusiasts. Anne McCaffrey describes it as magnificent, and critics note that while the author, Rothfuss, may evoke the styles of Ursula K. Le Guin, George R. R. Martin, and J. R. R. Tolkien, he maintains his unique voice and storytelling prowess.
The story begins with Kvothe, also known as Kote, an unassuming innkeeper, introducing himself as a legendary figure. He recounts his remarkable life, starting from his childhood in a traveling troupe of performers and his time as a street-smart orphan surviving in a crime-infested city.
He then embarks on a daring journey to enroll in a perilous school of magic. Throughout the narrative, readers are introduced to the multifaceted persona of Kvothe: the magician, thief, musician, dragon-slayer, legend-seeker, lover, and infamous assassin.
The Name of the Wind is an exceptional coming-of-age adventure that showcases the pinnacle of fantasy storytelling, making it an absolute must-read.
Homeland (The Legend of Drizzt Book 1), by R.A. Salvatore (2009)
I would never forget the lines of R.A. Salvatore during my long train travels, they just took me another place, a place where a dark elf warrior, Drizzt Do’Urden began his journey to gain his legacy.
Drizzt is a remarkable figure, emerges from a convoluted past that intertwines with his drow heritage. Being the third son of Mother Malice and weaponmaster Zaknafein, his life was originally slated for a ritual sacrifice to Lolth, the Spider Queen, in line with their matriarchal drow society’s custom. His older brother's sudden death, however, spares him, even though he remains vulnerable to his abusive sisters' torment.
As Drizzt matures, he gains recognition for his exceptional warrior skills at the Melee-Magthere Academy, but becomes disillusioned with the malevolent tendencies of his fellow drow who display unreserved cruelty towards other races of the Underdark. This contrast poses a significant challenge – can Drizzt uphold his distinct understanding of good and evil in such a merciless, unethical environment?
Homeland, the very first book of the 36 books series explores this intriguing origin story of Drizzt Do’Urden. Personally this was the series that hooked me into the world of sword and sorcery, so I strongly encourage YA and also adult readers to jump into this fascinating story.
Final Thoughts on Sword & Sorcery Books
As a short final conclusion, these are some of the best modern sword and sorcery fantasy books. Explore a mix of classic magic and modern fantasy, as well as a bunch of heroes and heroines that everyone would love to be close to.
Check out also our favorite YA Dragon Sword & Sorcery Adventure Books.
My profession is online marketing and development (10+ years experience), check my latest mobile app called Upcoming or my Chrome extensions for ChatGPT. But my real passion is reading books both fiction and non-fiction. I have several favorite authors like James Redfield or Daniel Keyes. If I read a book I always want to find the best part of it, every book has its unique value.