best fantasy books you've never heard of

“The Best Fantasy Books You’ve Never Heard Of” Is One of BOOK RIOT’s Top 10 Posts of 2022

I’m taking a moment to shout about an end-of-year win. My April article, “The Best Fantasy Books You’ve Never Heard Of,” took the No. 8 spot among Book Riot‘s most popular posts of the year! Many thanks to Book Riot‘s fantastic editorial team for letting me geek out over hidden gems like The Insides and The Gentleman, and use that most excellent word—mountebank—in an article.

Putting Together “The Best Fantasy Books You’ve Never Heard Of”

One of my absolute favorite feelings is the one you get to watch another person fall in love with something that you introduced them to. Sure, it doesn’t always go according to plan. Like when my husband guessed the twist in Psycho as soon as Marian got to the motel. Or when my mother failed to so much as react to the closet jumpscare in The Ring. (Seriously, folks, she’s a robot.) But that feeling of being someone else’s media curator? There’s nothing like it.

The thing is, that feeling isn’t always easy to come by. Unless you’re sitting down with a Kindergartener, you’ll probably have a hard time finding an American who hasn’t seen Star Wars, for example. Needless to say, I jumped at the chance to put together a list of little-known fantasy books for Book Riot.

I already knew what some of my picks would be before even sat down to work on the piece. I’d read Keeping It Real, Sing the Four Quarters, and The Dragon DelaSangre in middle and high school, but no one else ever seemed to have heard of them. Similarly, I couldn’t bear to leave out The Gentleman; it was one of my favorite reads in 2018 but never got the attention it deserved.

With that being said, I was really surprised more people hadn’t read and reviewed some of my recs. Sure, Lloyd Alexander’s better known for Time Cat and The Black Cauldron than Westmark and The Kestrel, but I thought every millennial book nerd went through a Francesca Lia Block phase for sure! (Nope, just me, apparently. 😅)

Anyway, this is all to say that you should read the piece. Let me know if any of my recommendations become your faves, too.

Read “The Best Fantasy Books You’ve Never Heard Of” on Book Riot here.

Image credit: Erwan Hesry on Unsplash