Publisher: Seikaisha Bunko
Complete at 4 volumes
Aniplex licensed the 2011-2012 anime
Dark Horse Comics licensed the manga
Fate/Zero is set ten years before the events of Fate/stay night, and tells the story of the Fourth Holy Grail War, a secret magical tournament held in Fuyuki City, Japan where seven magicians known as Masters summon Servants, reincarnations of legendary souls and heroes from all across time, where they fight in a deadly battle royale where the winner obtains the Holy Grail, a magical legendary chalice capable of granting wishes. The main protagonist, Kiritsugu Emiya, the foster father of Fate/stay night's protagonist, Shirō Emiya, is known as a merciless mage killer who joins the tournament on behalf of his wife's family, the Einzberns.
I loved the anime and would love to read the novels it's based on. Mythical heroes duke it out at the behest of sorcerers; all in order to claim the Holy Grail and make a wish. So if you like battle royale stories with the fate of the world in the balance, then this is for you. All the characters are adults too, which is a plus-no whiny teenagers here. And you don't have to have seen Fate/stay night either in order to enjoy this prequel.