16 Fantasy Stand-Alone Books for When You Don’t Feel Like Reading a Massive Series

Committing to a whole fantasy epic series can be… a lot. While we love a massive series featuring fire queens or dragon riders or dark, broody men who wield shadows, sometimes it’s nice to not have to commit half of your Goodreads goal to one massive story or deal with heart-wrenching cliffhangers that make you want to weep and scream at the author to finish the next book. (I’m talking to you, Rebecca Yarros.)

While a duology can certainly change things up when you want a smaller commitment, sometimes even two books can seem like too much. Hence, our desire to compile a list of standalone fantasy books that will take you on a full magical journey from the first page to the last (and not any longer).

Whether you’re in your romantasy era, your gothic fantasy era, or even a subgenre of dark academia that requires magical beings, this list will scratch that fantasy itch without forcing you to purchase eight different books.

Sharon Lynn Fisher

Fans of Jane Eyre will go feral for this mysterious, historical fantasy retelling of their favorite classic read. Salt & Broom follows the story of Jane Aire, who is hired by the mysterious master of Thornfield Hall, Edward Rochester. As she tries to impress her new prickly boss, a mysterious, magical force begins to threaten them both, and Jane takes it upon herself to save the man she can’t help but fall in love with.

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S. Young

Advertised as an “enemies-to-lovers, bodyguard, fantasy romance,” this book already has everything bookworms love. Rogan is a stolen child forced into the palace as a handmaiden to Hayden, the last of the royal family whose magic is the answer to peace in their land. Now, as adults and as close as sisters, Hayden falls victim to a sleeping disease, and Rogan takes it upon herself to save her magical friend before the world falls to destruction. During her quest to retrieve the plant she needs to heal Hayden, she is joined by Wolfe Stovia, an insufferable man who is assigned to protect her. It’s the kind of story that will have you believing in magic and love yet again.

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Alisha Klapheke

Thalia’s dream has always been to become a Mist Knight, a dragon-riding warrior defending the kingdom’s wild north coast. Even though she doesn’t have the right, well… anything, to join the elite warrior group, she enters into a competition that will name the next Mist Knight. Marius, second-in-command of the Mist Knights, has a plan, but he never saw Thalia, who’s determined to steamroll her way into his world, coming. Bound by Dragons is perfect for romantasy lovers who swoon over a grumpy/sunshine trope and a story about dragons and fae and girls who don’t play by the rules. And if you want more, there’s a whole collection of stand-alone fantasy romances just like it in the Starry Kingdoms of the Fae collection.

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Sarah Dalton

In a mere 328 pages, Dalton takes you on the classic journey of a girl ripped from her cozy life and into a fancy new manor that seems to be haunted by an unnatural curse. When a local murder shocks her new town, Beth ends up diving into the case to reveal the mystery of the curse that haunts her new home and unlock her hidden ancestral magic in the process. It’s spooky, witchy, and may have you sleeping with a night light again.

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Ava Reid

Hello, Crescent City fans—meet Juniper & Thorne. Set in a city that is on the brink of putting all magical history behind them, this story follows the young witch Marlinchen, who tries to break free from her father, whose efforts to keep her and her sisters away from the passions of the city and the outside world are nothing short of tyrannical. But like any young woman would be, Marlinchen dreams of venturing out into the world and reveling in its thrills and escapes—and finds herself falling in love. As her love grows and fights with her father become more frequent, another ancient magical power threatens their city, and Marlinchen’s magic may be the key to saving them all.

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Rebecca Ross

The realm of Azenor has spent years plagued by a curse. Every new moon, magic flows from the nearby mountain and brings nightmares to life. Only magicians—who serve as territory wardens—stand between people and their worst dreams. Clementine Madigan is ready to take over as the warden of her small town, but when two magicians arrive to challenge her, she is unknowingly drawn into a century-old conflict. She seeks revenge, but as she gets closer to Phelan, one of the handsome young magicians, secrets—as well as romance—begin to rise.

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Ava Reid

Lovers of dark academia and gothic fairy tales will eat up Ava Reid’s A Study in Drowning, following the story of Effy Sayre and the visions of a Fairy King that have haunted her since childhood. The only thing saving her from these haunts is a single book about a mortal girl who falls in love with the King. So when a contest arises for someone to redesign the late author’s estate, Effy feels it is her destiny to do the job—only to be held up by a young literature scholar who is keen on exposing Effy’s favorite author as a fraud. Rivals to lovers, historical, haunting… it’s got everything you would need in less than 400 pages.

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V.E. Schwab

When a girl is desperate to be free of the marriage and life expected of her, she makes a deal with a god after dark even though she was explicitly told she never should. Her payment? She may live and roam the world forever, but no one will ever remember who she is. Three hundred years later, however, someone actually remembers meeting her. This twisted, dark tale follows the story of Addie LaRue and her pursuit of a life that is memorable—that is, until she finds herself entangled with that same god of the dark, Luc, who has plans that will ruin her newfound happiness. From start to finish, this book is spellbound, provocative, and absolutely doesn’t go where you expect.

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R.F. Kuang

Robin Swift spent his life studying Latin, Ancient Greek, and Chinese in preparation for studying at Oxford’s prestigious magical institute of translation, Babel. In this world, the magic of manifesting ancient words has granted Britain almost unparalleled power as it expands its empire. For Robin, Oxford is a utopia dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge. But as a Chinese boy raised in Britain, Robin soon realizes serving Babel means betraying his motherland. As his studies progress, Robin finds himself caught between Babel and the shadowy Hermes Society, an organization dedicated to stopping imperial expansion.

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Holly Black

Charlie Hall is used to the corrupt underbelly of the Berkshires after working jobs as a criminal mastermind for some of the most evil forces. Yet even after trying to distance herself from her past, when a terrible figure returns, she ends up doing everything she can to keep powerful forces like doppelgangers, mercurial billionaires, gloamists, and even the people she loves most in the world away from a horrible magic that could change everything. It’s dark, full of secrets, and perfect for anyone who enjoys a cast of characters caught up in the shadows.

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Brandon Sanderson

Tress of the Emerald Sea is a whimsical tale of a girl who lives a simple life on her island in the middle of an emerald-green ocean, collecting cups and listening to stories from her friend Charlie. When Charlie is forced on a voyage with his father to find him a bride and disaster strikes, Tress leaves those cozy days behind and stows away on a ship to seek the Sorceress of the deadly Midnight Sea, who she has reason to believe has taken Charlie hostage. It’s mysterious, romantic, and the perfect tale for fans of The Princess Bride.

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T. Kingfisher

Not only is this a stand-alone fantasy book, it’s a quick read. In just 256 pages, you’ll journey through three impossible tasks with Marra as she tries to save her sister from an abusive, powerful royal husband. When a witch grants her the tools she needs to complete these tasks, Marra will have to face the impossible as the hero of her sister’s story—and maybe even topple the throne.

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Susanna Clarke

If you are a fan of dreams and alternate realities, this captivating book takes you through the story of Piranesi and the infinite house in which he lives and continues to explore. Yet in his pursuit of knowing his abode, problems arise—like an ocean within the labyrinth’s halls, a researcher that comes to ask Piranesi questions regarding A Great and Secret Knowledge, and finding out about a terrible truth after discovering another mystery person in the house. If you’re looking for a story where a character discovers that the world in which they live may not be the one that is perceived, with poetic storytelling and hypnotic twists and turns, this is for you.

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Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman is known for his stand-alone fantasy books, such as American Gods and The Graveyard Book, but one of his most famous works is Stardust. To win the heart of the woman he loves, Tristan Thorne is sent on a mission to retrieve a falling star. Yet as Tristan journeys beyond the Wall and enters the magical land of Faerie, his meeting with bloodthirsty princes, mystical beings, and even the star herself has Tristan soon realizing that the life he always thought he wanted was not the one written in the stars. Then, when you’re finished, you might as well watch the movie featuring Claire Danes!

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Erin Morgenstern

From the queen of fantasy stand-alone books, The Starless Sea follows the story of a grad student who loves to get lost in books and stories—only to discover that one of the stories he is reading is actually of his very own past. In his attempt to make sense of his childhood, Zachary discovers a series of clues that take him on a journey to understand the secret truth of his realm and the evil that is looking to destroy it. Readers of epic fantasies that involve pirates and ships and deceit, this is the stand-alone for you.

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Roshani Chokshi

A story that is described as a “darkly romantic page-turner about love and lies?” Yep, sign me up. When Indigo Maxwell-Casteñada marries, she has one request for her fairy-tale-loving bridegroom: Do not pry into her past. But when problems arise with Indigo’s family, and she is forced to return to her childhood home, her husband can’t seem to resist learning more about his wife’s mysterious past—including the truth about her childhood friend who suddenly disappeared. The Last Tale of the Flower Bride is for anyone who understands that sometimes, turning to a fairy tale and dreams is a lot more comforting than the dark truth of reality.

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