I haven't read any high fantasy (empires, the end of the world, extremely powerful protagonist, etc) in quite a while.
But if you're just looking for good fantasy in general there are some excellent lesser-known books out there:
Name of the Wind series, this is probably my favorite book actually. Which is not something I say lightly, it's written absolutely beautifully.
The Lies of Locke Lamora: Thief-fantasy. There are three books out in the series now and it's actually going downhill, but the first book is so great and the subsequent ones are good enough that it's worth starting.
The Assassin's Apprentice: I get a lot of disagreement about this one for a lot of different reasons. One friend read the whole thing and refused to read more because it was too depressing for her. Another hated that it doesn't follow the standard heroes' journey. I'm not a fan of sadness but both of those things were plusses for me; I think it's really well written and bucks the trends of standard fantasy very well.