Loved “Fourth Wing”? Kim Huang has some suggestions for you

Fourth Wing, a fantasy novel that sold millions of copies features extraordinary worlds, engaging characters and unique magic to make it an ideal fantasy book.
“Fourth Wing,” a fantasy novel that sold millions of copies features extraordinary worlds, engaging characters and unique magic to make it an ideal fantasy book.
Tracy Zhang

Imagine standing on a tower of a tall stone fortress, with a misty forest stretching for miles. The sound of flapping wings fills the air, and a giant black dragon soars above, its long, sharp tail trailing behind it. A second, then a third dragon follows behind, each with a rider atop its back. The trees sway with the force of the dragons. Suddenly, fire erupts in the distance, and the dragons fly faster — a war has begun. 

“Fourth Wing” and “Iron Flame,” written by Rebecca Yarros, are the first two books of a recently published fantasy series that have taken the internet by storm. Since its publication in May of 2023, “Fourth Wing” has sold over two million copies globally. This surge of interest in fantasy has helped boost the careers of many fantasy authors like Holly Black, author of “The Cruel Prince,” Leigh Bardugo, author of “Six of Crows.”

So what is it that makes these books so appealing?


Extraordinary Worlds

Building a creative and immersive world is key to creating a strong fantasy novel. In Bardugo’s series “Six of Crows,” readers are transported to the narrow, foggy alleyways of Ketterdam where danger lurks around every corner. Hafsah Faizal’s series, “We Hunt the Flame,” sweeps readers into ancient, magical ruins in a vast desert. Effective world-building helps readers imagine themselves as a character in the book, allowing for a more immersive and enjoyable experience.

Novels with extraordinary worlds
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Engaging Characters

World-building is vital to a fantasy novel, but well-written characters are a crucial aspect as well – and not just for the enjoyment of the reader. With the rise of technology and fast news, young readers today are more exposed to negative situations they have no control over. From J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” to Tahereh Mafi’s series “This Woven Kingdom,” younger readers can watch as characters their age learn, grow and adapt as they confront problems present in society today. Well-written characters not only provide a compelling story, but can also inspire younger generations to take control of their lives and change the world.

Novels with engaging characters
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Unique Magic 

An enjoyable fantasy novel is never complete without a captivating magic system. While certain types of magic systems are used time and time again, it is the unique approaches of authors that give fantasy its charm. From Holly Black’s spin on the classic “faerie” world in her series “The Cruel Prince” to Bardugo’s world of element wielders in her series “Shadow and Bone,” the options are endless possibilities waiting to be read.

Novels with unique magic
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