We've come a long way from Frodo, and even further from Conan these days. Here are some fantasy novels that don't involve unfeasible torsos, big swords, and no economic infrastructure.
N. K. Jemisin£8.99 £8.36
All three novels in this sequence won the Hugo award, and deservedly so. A totally unique and perfectly realised world is the backdrop to an epic tale of fierce motherhood.
Katherine Arden£9.99 £9.29
Drawing on Russian folklore this is an exceptionally well done winter's tale. Feminist without being anachronistic, which is a hard trick to pull off, but even more amazing is that the story dovetails accurately with actual medieval Russian history.
Naomi Novik£8.99 £8.36
Novik's world is a stunning creation, echoing Grimms' fairy tales. Under the surface this is reminiscent of Ursula Le Guin's Earthsea in many ways, and you can't say better than that.
Nnedi Okorafor£8.99 £8.36
A Magician's Apprentice/Quest story set in a post-apocalyptic Sudan is as dark in parts as you might expect, but there are lighter moments of friendship and love along the way. The unfamiliar magical tradition at the heart of the story is internally consistent and
Jo Walton£8.99 £8.36
Walton is one of the cleverest authors working in SF, whose range is astonishing. Here we move from The Good People closing down a chemical works to a coming of age story about the redemptive power of reading, and reading SF in particular. If you're of an age to have been reading SF in the 70's, you'll love this, but even if you weren't you'll still be enchanted.
Lauren Beukes£7.99 £7.43
A very urban fantasy. The 'spirit animals' premise might seem borrowed from 'His Dark Materials', but don't let that put you off, Beukes' voice is very much her own, and this is a very different beast.