Sample Chapters for 20 Top Fantasy Books

Has this ever happened to you?

There you are: at home, on a plane, or on lunch break, and you want nothing more than to escape into a great book.  When you think about the book you are currently reading, however, you begin to lose interest.  You pick it up anyway, struggle through a few pages, and eventually wonder “why am I still reading this?”  These books are referred to as “Can’t Pick-Up,” the evil opposite of “Can’t Put Down.”

The 50-Page Decision

Here at HQ we have a hard rule called “50-Page Decision.”  Upon reaching page 50 of any new novel we decide if we want to finish the book, or abandon ship and move on to a new work.  This is sometimes a tough choice, but we’ve found that we rarely enjoy a book after 100 pages that was not enjoyable after 50.

To help you avoid any 50-page flops we’ve gathered links to sample chapters for the first books in many of our favorite series.  Give them a try!  We hope one of these leads you to your next favorite work or author!

TitleAuthorSeriesFree Sample 
Blood SongAnthony RyanRaven's ShadowChapter 1
City of StairsRobert Jackson BennettCity of StairsChapter 2
Gardens of the MoonSteven ErkisonMalazan Book of the FallenChapter 1
Good OmensGaiman/PratchettN/AChapter 1-2
Half a KingJoe AbercrombieShattered SeaChapter 1
MistbornBrandon SandersonMistbornChapter 1
Promise of BloodBrian McClellanPowder MageChapter 1
Storm FrontJim ButcherDresden FilesChapter 1
Stormlilght ArchiveBrandon SandersonStormlilght ArchiveChapters 1-3
The Black PrismBrent WeeksLightbringerChapter 1
The Blade ItselfJoe AbercrombieFirst LawChapter 1
The Color of MagicTerry PratchettDiscworldExtract
The Eye of the WorldRobert JordanThe Wheel of TimeChapter 1
The HeroesJoe AbercrombieN/AExtract
The Lies of Loche LamoraScott LynchGentleman BastardPrologue
The Name of the WindPatrick RothfussKingkiller ChroniclesChapter 8
The Thousand NamesDjango WexlerShadow CampaignPrologue
The Warded ManPeter V. BrettDemon CyclePrologue
The Way of ShadowsBrent WeeksNight AngelChapter 1
Theft of SwordsMichael J. SullivanRiyria RevelationsChapter 1
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