Not all fantasy books are multi-book series. If you are looking for quick, immersive, and magical books, then these are the best fantasy standalone books you should read right now.
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Must-read Fantasy Standalone Books
It seems like every highly recommended adult fantasy or YA fantasy book out there right now is part of a massive series. Even if it isn’t massive, most of them are at least trilogies. While I love a good fantasy series, I know that sometimes you just want something that is one and done.
You don’t always want to spend time reading three, five, ten books in order to finish a story. We need a break from the long series sometimes as fantasy readers, and standalone books are a great way to get that.
Just because a fantasy book is a standalone though, doesn’t mean there won’t be epic worldbuilding, a great plot, and amazing characters though. As fantasy readers, we want it all and these are the best fantasy standalone books that will give you everything you desire and then some!
Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson
If you have been around either my BookTube channel or social media, then you may already know that I have a deep love for Brandon Sanderson’s books. His cosmere is my absolute favorite fantasy universe, and Warbreaker fits in beautifully.
While Warbreaker is technically standalone, it does fit into his greater cosmere world. You don’t need to read anything else in order to fully enjoy this book though.
In this one, we follow two sisters. One who is promised to a god-king of a foreign country, and a younger sister who has always been forgotten. When their father, last minute, decides to send the younger daughter off in place of the older one to marry the god-king, the older sister feels she needs to come to her rescue.
This is a fantastic story filled with gods, magic, sisterly love, and yes, a little bit of fantasy romance as well!
An Unkindness of Magicians by Kat Howard
An Unkindness of Magicians is a great urban fantasy standalone book that not enough people really talk about. Honestly, urban fantasy isn’t typically my favorite, but this one is so good and the world is so rich that it almost doesn’t feel like our real world.
We follow our main character, Sydney, as she infiltrates a magical competition that happens every 20 years. This competition determines which magical house will rule the magical unseen world until the next competition.
Sydney is an unknown player, a surprise and a shock to the magicians living in this alternate New York City. She is powerful and doesn’t use traditional ways to get around the consequences of her magic.
This story is fantastic, fast-paced, and will keep you guessing until the very end! There is even a murder mystery aspect to it which I really enjoy.
There is a rumored sequel to this book in the works, but the ending is perfect and will leave you feeling fully satisfied.
House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune
It was really hard to pick between House in the Cerulean Sea and Under the Whispering door by this author. Both of these are amazing fantasy standalone books and I think either one of them would be a fantastic addition to your TBR. House in the Cerulean Sea won out for me personally by just a hair though.
In this book, we follow Linus, a middle-aged social worker who inspects orphanages for magical children. He lives a boring life with no friends, no real relationships, and no real-life goals.
He is sent by “The Company” to live at a report on a very special orphanage with a very special headmaster. What he thinks will be a routine job, turns into so much more than he could have ever imagined.
The kids in this book are shining stars for me. As a parent myself, and someone who has worked with foster kids, I found them to be just perfect in every way.
There is also a very sweet male/male romance in this book that just is the most wholesome thing you will ever read! So if you are looking for a warm hug of a fantasy book, then this one you should really check out as soon as possible.
The Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffin
This is probably one of my favorite YA fantasy standalone books that I have read recently. If you are a fan of witches and romance with seasonal magic and a “take care of our Earth because it is the only one we have” influence, then The Nature of Witches is a book for you.
This book is set in a very familiar space. It is “urban” fantasy and feels like it could be taking place right here in our own time. We are following our main character as she attends a school for witches. Instead of having the magic of one season like every other witch alive, she is an Everwitch. She holds the power of every season, and her powers shift instead of fade with the passing of the seasons.
She longs to be “normal” but that just isn’t in the cards. and with a global environmental crisis going on, she needs, now more than ever, to be able to harness and control her powers in order to protect the world that she loves so dearly.
There is a sweet romance in this book with a bi-female main character. honestly, this is just a really fun read so pick it up when you feel the need for something quick and easy.
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by VE Schwab
So it is no secret that I am a massive VE Schwab fan! All of her books are top-tier amazing, but her fantasy standalone The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is in a tier all its own.
This is a dark fantasy historical feeling romance type book that takes place in our normal world. It spans 300 years of life for Addie, who is granted a gift and a curse when a dark god grants her the gift of immortality but curses her so that no one will ever remember her.
After hundreds of years, someone finally remembers her. This starts a beautiful relationship!
This book will have you crying, like ugly crying, by the end. I highly recommend picking it up if you haven’t already.
The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
This book isn’t going to be for everyone, but it is totally for me. The Starless Sea is a beautiful and whimsical standalone. It is a story within a story. Honestly, there are lots of times while reading that I did not understand what was going on. But by the end, it all clicked! This is really a book that gets better with re-reads as well.
In this book, our main character is a college student who while looking through books in his library, stumbles upon a book with a very familiar story. The story is about him as a child and this leads him on a journey of discovery. He tries to figure out what this story is, and why he is in it.
Honestly, this book is hard to explain but it is so worth the read and I think you really should go in blind because it just makes the reading experience so much more fun.
If you end up enjoying this, I also recommend picking up Morgenstern’s other book, The Night Circus as well.
I could probably go on about more amazing standalone fantasy books, but This is a good amount to get you started. If you have any standalone fantasy recommendations, let me know in the comments!