Each year the world of fantasy books has offerings from both favourite authors and promising newcomers, and 2012 is no exception. Vampire books and young adult fantasy are as hot as ever. If you are looking for something exciting to add to your reading pile, tuck into some of the best fantasy books out this year.
1. The Wind Through the Keyhole, Stephen King. The renowned author may be known for horror books, but his Dark Tower series is one of the best fantasy series ever written and it has a fierce following. This instalment stands on its own, so even newcomers to the series will be able to follow along. It’s a story within a story within a story, with Roland telling his ka-tet about a time when he was hunting a shape-shifter and encountered a terrified boy whom he comforted with a story his mother had told him.
2. 11/22/63, Stephen King. Out in paperback in 2012 is King’s phenomenal time-travel story about a Maine schoolteacher who finds himself transported back to the 60s when he steps through a portal. He decides to use the opportunity to stop a transformative event in American history- the assassination of JFK. What follows is an incredible journey rich in history, suspense, and love.
3. Deadlocked, Charlaine Harris. This is the twelfth instalment in the popular Sookie Stackhouse series that inspired the tv series True Blood. Sookie investigates the bizarre circumstances surrounding the death of a girl at a vampire party.
4. Fifty Shades of Grey, E.L. James. Erotic fantasy has taken mainstream book audiences by storm with the first instalment in a steamy new series that started out as Twilight fan fiction. A graduate student’s chance encounter with a young billionaire leads to an affair to remember- complete with mystery, intrigue, and bondage.
5. Hollow Earth, John and Carole E. Barrowman. This is the first book in a new series for young adults, but adults will find it equally captivating. Young twins discover they have the power to make their drawings come to life and enter the world of a painting at will- and that a secret society is bent on harnessing their power to enter the hidden realms of hollow earth where demons await.
6. Picus the Thief, Robin Bennett. This was published in 2011, but it should definitely make your list in 2012. Picus finds himself trying to stop a vampire civil war while being chased by faeries and befriending a witch. Enter an imaginative world where the Hidden Kingdom is beginning to clash with the world of the humans.
7. Windhaven, George R.R. Martin and Lisa Tuttle. Fans of Martin’s Game of Thrones series will love this. Set in the watery world of Windhaven, the story follows Maris and her quest to become, by merit rather than inheritance, one of the elite silver-winged flyers who fly across seas to deliver news and stories to distant people. But her success is short-lived when a revolution threatens her world and she is forced to make sacrifices.
8. Insurgent, Veronica Roth. This is book two in the highly-acclaimed Divergent series set in a dystopian world. With the her world collapsing around her, Tris is trying to deal with the sacrifices she has had to make. But as she tries to uncover the secrets behind her society, she realises that the sacrificing has only just begun.
Enjoy the best fantasy books available in 2012.