Looking for a riveting, magical story without the need to commit to a full series? In this article, you’ll find the 15 best stand-alone fantasy books I’ve read.
Sometimes, you want just one book to get you out of a reading slump. Other times, you’re in the need of a comforting novel to binge on a rainy day. Whatever the case may be, stand-alone fantasy books can be like a balm for the reader (particularly, the worn-out reader).
I’ve never been able to nail down whether I prefer a series versus a stand-alone, but I have to admit that there are so many favorites on this list that I’m beginning to believe that I have my answer after all. Several of these titles are ones that I read in one sitting, a few of them are ones that I’ve read more than one time, and still others are novels that I find myself constantly recommending to get back into reading! My hope is that by sharing this list, you’ll find a new favorite.
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15 Stand-Alone Fantasy Books You Should Add to Your Reading List
by Joanna Ruth Meyer
This is my favorite book of all time. It’s a little dark, a bit romantic, and absolutely hauntingly beautiful. I’ve never read anything else like it and I sometimes think I was just put on this earth to scream about it from the rooftops. I want everyone to read it!
by VE Schwab
I wasn’t sure how I would feel about this book when I first picked it up, but now it’s in my top three favorite novels of all time. It starts slow, but the story morphs into something so breathtaking. It’s also filled with incredible quotes. I just adore it.
by Erin Morgenstern
I can’t recommend the audiobook for this one (and Morgenstern’s The Night Circus) enough. Reading the physical copy was a bit too confusing for me, but the “no plot, just vibes” feeling worked brilliantly as full-cast audio. It’s like a bedtime story for adults.
by Emily Lloyd-Jones
After reading this one, I came up with the description “cozy creepy” because that’s the best way to explain how this book feels. It has chronic pain rep and as my friend lovingly put it, “it’s a love letter to zombies.” But have no fear, I hate zombies and I loved this book. It’s not scary at all!
by Marissa Meyer
I read this book the year it came out and it’s been fun to see it resurface as a popular novel. It’s so heart-wrenchingly sad but also so good! I recently did a reread for it and enjoyed getting my heart shattered all over again.
by Alix E Harrow
This is another book that gives me the “no plot, just vibes” feeling and I’m all about it. If I were to try and describe those vibes, I’d basically tell you that it’s a book filled with magical stories within stories and lots of grand adventures.
by Aiden Thomas
Peter Pan, but make it a little nefarious. This one had some fantastic plot twists and the fast pace made it really easy to read in one sitting. I’m kind of desperate for this to not be stand-alone and I’m hoping Aiden decides to expand it in the future!
by VE Schwab
A little bit of Secret Garden with a whole lot of Haunted Mansion, and a main character that doesn’t speak. There are illustrations in this book, which made it stand out so much to me. It feels slightly more like middle grade but I’d like to say that it’s ageless more than anything else.
by Erin Morgenstern
As I mentioned for The Starless Sea, Morgenstern’s novels are best enjoyed as audiobooks. This one also has a full cast! It’s very whimsical and magical, with a touch of darkness.
by Cynthia Hand
I’ve read this book each December for the past several years because I love it so much. It’s a YA reimagining of A Christmas Carol (which, though not my favorite holiday story, makes a great jumping-off point for this novel) and is honestly so much fun.
by Rachel Griffin
I’ve never been to the Pacific Northwest, but Rachel’s books make me feel like I’m living there while I’m reading. They completely envelop you in the atmosphere of the book. This one gave me a completely different version of witches than anything else I’d read before and I loved it!