Counting Down the Top 5 Fantasy Books of 2016

5. The Wheel of Osheim by Mark Lawrence

This is the third and final book of Lawrence’s The Red Queen’s War Trilogy. It was released on June 2nd 2016 and currently stands at a 4.38 star rating on

All the horrors of Hell stand between Snorri Ver Snagason and the rescue of his family, if indeed the dead can be rescued. For Jalan Kendeth, getting back out alive and with Loki’s key is all that matters. Loki’s creation can open any lock, any door, and it may also be the key to Jalan’s fortune back in the living world. Jalan plans to return to the three w’s that have been the core of his idle and debauched life: wine, women, and wagering. Fate however has other plans, larger plans. The Wheel of Osheim is turning ever faster, and it will crack the world unless it’s stopped. When the end of all things looms, and there’s nowhere to run, even the worst coward must find new answers. Jalan and Snorri face many dangers, from the corpse hordes of the Dead King to the many mirrors of the Lady Blue, but in the end, fast or slow, the Wheel of Osheim always pulls you back. In the end, it’s win or die.

Mark Lawrence is the international bestselling author of The Broken Empire Trilogy. The other books in The Red Queen’s War Trilogy are as follows: Prince of Fools and The Liar’s Key.

Mark Lawrence’s “epic fantasy” (The Washington Post) continues as a reluctant prince returns from the bowels of Hell to engage in his greatest battle yet—among the living and the dead.

4. City of Blades by Robert Jackson Bennett

This is the second book in Bennett’s The Divine Cities series. It was released on January 26th 2016 and currently stands at a 4.24 star rating on

While the book is a loose sequel and you wouldn’t need to read the first book to understand this one, it can help you better understand Bennett’s writing and the world he has created.

The city of Voortyashtan was once the domain of the goddess of death, war, and destruction, but now it’s little more than a ruin. General Turyin Mulaghesh is called out of retirement and sent to this hellish place to try to find a Saypuri secret agent who’s gone missing in the middle of a mission, but the city of war offers countless threats: not only have the ghosts of her own past battles followed her here, but she soon finds herself wondering what happened to all the souls that were trapped in the afterlife when the Divinities vanished. Do the dead sleep soundly in the land of death? Or do they have plans of their own?

The first book in the series is City of Stairs which was regarded by many critics to be one of the best books of 2014. The third book is entitled City of Miracles and is expected to be released on April 20th 2017.

3. All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders

Anders, the former editor to, gives us her debut novel. It was released on January 26th 2016 and currently stands at a 3.59 star rating on

It is a story of love and friendship, hope and despair, science and magic, and the end of the world.

A girl who can do magic falls for a boy who only believes in science.

Childhood friends Patricia Delfine and Laurence Armstead didn't expect to see each other again, after parting ways under mysterious circumstances during high school. After all, the development of magical powers and the invention of a two-second time machine could hardly fail to alarm one's peers and families. But now they're both adults, living in the hipster mecca San Francisco, and the planet is falling apart around them. Laurence is an engineering genius who's working with a group that aims to avert catastrophic breakdown through technological intervention into the changing global climate. Patricia is a graduate of Eltisley Maze, the hidden academy for the world's magically gifted, and works with a small band of other magicians to secretly repair the world's ever-growing ailments. Little do they realize that something bigger than either of them, something begun years ago in their youth, is determined to bring them together--to either save the world, or plunge it into a new dark ages. A deeply magical, darkly funny examination of life, love, and the apocalypse.

2. The Bands of the Mourning by Brandon Sanderson

This was the sixth book of Sanderson’s Mistborn series. It was released on January 26th 2016 and currently stands at a 4.46 star rating on

With The Alloy of Law and Shadows of Self, Brandon Sanderson surprised readers with a New York Times bestselling spinoff of his Mistborn books, set after the action of the trilogy, in a period corresponding to late 19th-century America. Now, with The Bands of Mourning, Sanderson continues the story. The Bands of Mourning are the mythical metalminds owned by the Lord Ruler, said to grant anyone who wears them the powers that the Lord Ruler had at his command. Hardly anyone thinks they really exist. A kandra researcher has returned to Elendel with images that seem to depict the Bands, as well as writings in a language that no one can read. Waxillium Ladrian is recruited to travel south to the city of New Seran to investigate. Along the way he discovers hints that point to the true goals of his uncle Edwarn and the shadowy organization known as The Set.

This was the second book that Sanderson released in 2016 the first being Calamity the third book in the Reckoners series. The other books in the Mistborn series are as follows: The Final Empire, The Well of Ascension, The Hero of Ages, and Shadows of Self.

The seventh book is tentatively entitled The Lost Metal with no expected release date as of yet.

1. A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

This is the second book in Schwab’s Shades of Magic series. It was released on February 23rd 2016 and currently stands at a 4.35 star rating on

If you’re a fan of Twilight, The Hunger Games, and Red Queen’s War you will especially like Schwab’s alternate London full of thieves, pirates, magic, Royals, and teen angst.

It has been four months since a mysterious obsidian stone fell into Kell's possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Prince Rhy was wounded, and since the nefarious Dane twins of White London fell, and four months since the stone was cast with Holland's dying body through the rift--back into Black London. Now, restless after having given up his smuggling habit, Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila, who disappeared from the docks as she always meant to do. As Red London finalizes preparations for the Element Games--an extravagant international competition of magic meant to entertain and keep healthy the ties between neighboring countries--a certain pirate ship draws closer, carrying old friends back into port. And while Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Games, another London is coming back to life. After all, a shadow that was gone in the night will reappear in the morning. But the balance of magic is ever perilous, and for one city to flourish, another London must fall.

The first book in the series is called A Darker Shade of Magic. The third book will be entitled A Conjuring of Light and is expected to be released on February 21st 2017.

If you haven’t had a chance to pick up these top Fantasy picks of 2016 I’d suggest you get started. 2017 is just around the corner and is sure to bring even more great Fantasy stories to your bookshelf.

*Book Synopsis’ were used from and

About this Nerdbot Contributor:

My name is Chelsie La Vrar and in addition to writing fun articles for Nerdbot I am also currently working on my first novel. I am just a fangirl currently living in Long Beach, CA.

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