So, over the weekend I happened to notice a post at Book Riot: Seven Standalone Novels for Fantasy Lovers. And I clicked through, after which two thoughts occurred to me: (a) Some darn good novels on this list, and (b) You couldn’t even get to ten, seriously?
Because yes, yes, there are a LOT of fantasy series out there, as we have perhaps all noticed. Which is great! I love series, and while I won’t quite say the longer the better, I will note that I am still cheerfully buying Foreigner novels and Vlad Taltos novels as quickly as they come out. But there is not exactly a dire shortage of standalones if you think about it.
I definitely am more willing to pick up a standalone novel when I don’t have time for a whole series, or certainly when I want to try a new-to-me author, and surely plenty of people feel the same way. So I took a few minutes and blew the list of seven standalone fantasy titles up to a nice even fifty. I tried to include books I really love (but I did include a handful I haven’t even read but that are on my TBR pile).
First, here are the seven titles included on the Book Riot Post. I’ve read only three, but I really loved all three and keep meaning to read more by Karen Lord. Anyway, here we go:
1. Uprooted by Novik
2. Redemption in Indigo by Karen Lord
3. The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps by Kai Ashante Wilson
4. The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison
5. The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle
6. The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo
7. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
And now here are 43 more standalone titles, to bring the total to fifty. I drew quite freely on older titles, and you will probably notice that I included more than one title by specific authors if they happen to be great writers who specialize in standalones. A few I haven’t read; those are mostly on my TBR pile. Also, there are no SF titles here – strictly fantasy. Also, yes, I included my own standalone titles. If you don’t see one of my titles on here that looks at the moment like a standalone, that’s because there will definitely be a sequel someday, even though I may not know just when it will appear.
Now, my handy expanded list, for those looking for standalone fantasy novels:
8. Watership Down by Richard Adams. Is this a fantasy? There’s no magic . . . but it’s such a great book. And it totally stands alone!
9. The Last Unicorn by Beagle
10. The Innkeeper’s Song by Beagle. I so need to re-read this.
11. War for the Oaks by Bull
12. Paladin by Cherryh
13. Sorcerer to the Crown by Cho
14. Jonathon Strange and Mr. Norrell by Clarke
15. The Graveyard Book by Gaiman
16. A Tale of Time City by Diana Wynne Jones
17. Power of Three by DWJ
18. Dogsbody by DWJ
19. Arthur’s Goon by DWJ
20. Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay
21. A Song for Arbonne by GGK
22. The Lions of Al-Rassan by GGK
23. Under Heaven by GGK
24. Children of the Earth and Sky by, yes, still GGK
25. Archivist Wasp by Korner-Stace
26. The Privilege of the Sword by Kushner
27. The Gray Horse by MacAvoy
28. The Moon and the Sun by MacIntyre
29. The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia McKillip
30. The Book of Atrix Wolfe by McKillip
31. The Changeling Sea by McKillip
32. Ombria in Shadow by McKillip
33. Alphabet of Thorn by, yes, McKillip; I know, right? I could list a whole bunch more of hers, but let’s move one:
34. Deerskin by Robin McKinley
35. Sunshine by McKinley
36. The City and the City by Mieville
37. The City in the Lake by Neumeier
38. The Keeper of the Mist by Neumeier
39. The Mountain of Kept Memory by Neumeier (I know it’s not out yet, but hey, November’s not so very far away anymore)
40. The White Road of the Moon by Neumeier (ditto, although I grant that March 2017 still seems fairly distant even to me)
41. The Folding Knife by KJ Parker
42. The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers
43. On Stranger Tides by Tim Powers
44. Bone Gap by Ruby
45. Elantris by Sanderson
46. The Shape-Changer’s Wife by Shinn
47. Scorpio Races by Stiefvater
48. Lord of the Two Lands by Tarr
49. Among Others by Walton
50. Sister Light Sister Dark by Yolan
There. Honestly, I don’t think that took more than ten, maybe twenty minutes. I just went and gazed at my bookshelves and scribbled down names – I didn’t even have to turn on my Kindle.
Okay, what screamingly obvious standalone fantasy titles did I miss? I’m sure there are another fifty titles that ought to be included on this kind of list, so drop a couple in the comments if any occur to you.