My favorite fantasy books are the ones with the best worldbuilding. Give me a rich world with complex cultures, lots of terrain to explore, ecology that makes sense, and a magic system that’s more well thought out than “I used my feelings/willpower/the goodness of my heart” and I will buy your books like crack. IF (and here’s the big if) your worldbuilding is presented effectively as an integral part of your story. That’s where I see a lot of fantasy writers get hung up. I’ve been writing fantasy for about 30 years now, and while I’m not a household name, I’ve learned a thing or two about effective worldbuilding.
If we were having coffee, I would offer you some pumpkin bread. It’s not homemade — it’s from the bakery at my local grocery store, but it’s pretty good. I would tell you that I also bought some Fig Newtons, because I’ve been thinking about my grandmother. She always had Fig Newtons. She worked in a hospital, and would bring home little packages of Fig Newtons, Keebler cookies, and juices from the hospital kitchen. I think there was a rule about stuff being almost expired, so the dietary staff gave a lot away to the nurses.You can have some Fig Newtons if you like, but don’t eat them all, because I’m saving some for my sister.