Top 5 Fantasy Novellas

A good novella is a brief, refreshing dip into a transfixing story. A good fantasy novella adds a whole new world to the mix. Sometimes a slender glimpse into another realm is the perfect little escape from the daily grind.

The Emperor’s Soul

Brandon Sanderson

This novella does everything right. A compelling character, an impossible expectation, a world of magic and intrigue and a bigger picture that slowly comes into focus. I would say I only wish this was longer except it’s perfect as it is.

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Tessili Academy

Robin Stephen

This is the first in a series, but it stands alone. A character with a muddled memory pieces together her current situation and the peril she’s in, all with the help of a tiny mini-dragon called a tessila.

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Penric’s Demon

Lois McMastaer Bujold

Bujold’s World of the Five Gods is one of my favorite fantasy realms. There is magic. There is adventure. But mostly there is entertaining writing, a rich culture and history driving the action, and characters with their own inscrutable motivations.

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The Found and the Lost

Ursula K LeGuin

LeGuin is one of the finest story tellers of our age. As with all her writings, in these novellas culture and the hidden connections between humans and what they do drive elegant tales that feel so much bigger than the plot they encompass.

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The Willful Princess and the Piebald Prince

Robin Hobb

This story plays an important role in the Farseer books, but appears here in all its messy, disturbing glory. Like everything Hobb writes, it is full of characters that feel so real you want to argue with them about their choices, all set in a world that fires the imagination.

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