Let’s be real: who, among us, hasn’t dreamt of being swept away into an adventure?
A knock on the door, a magical stranger, a trip on a quest to fulfill an old legend or a destiny: Do you see it?
I have dreamt about it extensively, several times. And yet, if someone knocked on my door, it is possible I would just pretend to not be home. I really dislike answering the door when I’m not expecting visits. And if a stranger came knocking at my house with talk of an adventure, I would probably close the door and triple bolt it. Even in the eventuality of a friend proposing the adventure of a lifetime, I’m sure I’d be quick to make excuses, just to be able to go back to my book again.
Because, books! Now, that’s where it’s really safe to have these adventures, leaving vicariously through others without a scare or risk — and you don’t have to interact with anyone. That’s more my style. I’m quick to say that I see myself in these brave and bold main characters, but I can barely ride in a car without getting anxious, so I’d probably just be scared to death the whole time and not enjoy myself at all. That’s exactly why I love and need books so much.
If you’re also a person who prefers to live adventures on the page, or if you’re still waiting for a strange knock on the door but it’s taking ages to come, here are a few adventure fantasy books in which the characters go on a journey or a quest. Enjoy them from the comfort of your book nook!
A Clash Of Steel by C. B. Lee
This is for fans of YA and adventure, especially for those who enjoy tales set amongst the beauty and the dangers of the sea.
It’s a story of two girls who don’t exactly want to work together, but find themselves in the position of being better off helping one another.
Frostfire by Ethan Avery
This is the first book in the Sword and Sorcery series.
Because of an error Erevan has committed, his best friend ended up in jail. Now, Erevan has a chance to make things right, but that means taking a dangerous journey.
Aireyal is in one of the most prestigious magical schools of the whole land, but what good is that when she can’t perform magic? How will they overcome all the obstacles in their path?
There’s Magic Between Us by Jillian Maria
This is the perfect YA novel for those who have dreamt of finding a magical passage amongst everyday places.
Lydia does not want to leave her city life to spend some time at her grandmother’s small town. But as she explores the place, she stumbles upon Eden, who claims to be hunting fae treasure.
Together they go on a search for something Eden wants, but it is Lydia who starts to question several things about her own life.
The House In The Cerulean Sea by T. J. Klune
Another book you’ll want to own for the cover alone, The House In The Cerulean Sea is one of those books that are hard to explain, but easy to recommend, since most people seem to love it.
It follows a main character in their 40s who is given a very important and very classified assignment to evaluate a magical orphanage. This is a sweet and enchanting story.
The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart
Lin is the emperor’s daughter, trapped inside the walls of the palace with a father who refuses to recognise her rights as heir to the throne — so she vows to learn the forbidden art of bone shard magic.
But when the revolution reaches the palace, Lin must make difficult decisions in order to save her own people.
Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim
Shiori is the only princess of Kiata, and when her stepmother Raikama finds out she carries magic, she turns Shiori’s brothers into cranes with her own dark magic.
Shiori sets upon a journey in search of her brothers, and she discovers darker and more dangerous secrets along the way, eventually having to lay her trust on one of the people she was trying to escape from.
The Shadow Glass by Josh Winning
This book is described as horror-fantasy, a mix between About a Boy and Dark Crystal.
Jack, the protagonist, seems to be in a rut in life.
When his father — a failed movie director — dies, Jack returns to his house to deal with his affairs. But the puppets his father kept in the attic come to life under the power of a freaky thunderstorm, and it is Jack’s job now to try to save London.
The Way Back by Gavriel Savit
This is a fantastic fantasy story for those who are looking for more fiction surrounding the Jewish diaspora and based on Jewish folk tradition.
It is a story about demons, and about two young people going on a dangerous journey.
Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse
The first book in the Between Earth And Sky series, this is inspired by the civilizations of Pre-Columbian Americas.
In the city of Tova, a solar eclipse coincides with the winter solstice, shifting things at a time that should be of celebration, and setting the pace for the events which succeed it.
It has very interesting characters and an amazing, complex plot. The second installment of the series, Fevered Star, is also already out.
Daughter Of The Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan
This first book of The Celestial Kingdom Duology is inspired by the legend of the Chinese Moon Goddess.
The main character, Xingyin, is forced to flee her home when her magic awakens, leaving her mother behind.
She goes on a quest to master her magic, trying to save her mother in the process.
Infinitum by Tim Fielder
While all other books on this list are novels, I could not leave this Afrofuturistic graphic novel aside, so consider it a little bonus. (Also, graphic novels are the coolest).
Oba is an immortal who journeys the Earth and witnesses several historical events: the transatlantic slave trade, and the American civil rights movement, among others.
His journey and that of this Earth are closely interconnected, woven into a wonderful tale, offering the reader considerations on race, classism, and gender inequity.
I bet these books will scratch any adventure itch you may have! Of course, this is not a comprehensive list of fantastical adventure journeys, so if you’d like to read further about fantasy books, try these posts: