Fantasy books are dense, intense, hard-edged, packed full of dragons, magic, enchanted forests, and everything fun, exciting, and enough to expand our imagination.

 

When you pick a fantasy book to read, you prepare yourself to seek new adventures that take you to fantasy lands, exploring places that sadly only exist in books. So when you are bored of all the ordinary novels that have been lying around your table, you should go for a fantasy book for a refreshing change.

 

Here are 21 of the best, most popular books that every fantasy fanatic must read at least once in their lifetime and add a little color to their ordinary lives:

The Harry Potter series

By J.K. Rowling

All seven books in the multi-award winning, internationally bestselling Harry Potter series, available as one. Enjoy the stories that have captured the imagination of millions worldwide.

Best fantasy books
Amazon
B & N
APPLE
GOOGLE
KOBO

A Song of Ice and Fire

By George R.R. Martin

Home/Book Recommendations/21 of the Best Fantasy Books Everyone Should Read Right Now

Winter is coming. Such is the stern motto of House Stark, the northernmost of the fiefdoms that owe allegiance to King Robert Baratheon in far-off King’s Landing. There Eddard Stark of Winterfell rules in Robert’s name. There his family dwells in peace and comfort: his proud wife, Catelyn; his sons Robb, Brandon, and Rickon; his daughters Sansa and Arya; and his bastard son, Jon Snow. Far to the north, behind the towering Wall, lie savage Wildings and worse—unnatural things relegated to myth during the centuries-long summer, but proving all too real and all too deadly in the turning of the season.
 
Yet a more immediate threat lurks to the south, where Jon Arryn, the Hand of the King, has died under mysterious circumstances. Now Robert is riding north to Winterfell, bringing his queen, the lovely but cold Cersei, his son, the cruel, vainglorious Prince Joffrey, and the queen’s brothers Jaime and Tyrion of the powerful and wealthy House Lannister—the first a swordsman without equal, the second a dwarf whose stunted stature belies a brilliant mind. All are heading for Winterfell and a fateful encounter that will change the course of kingdoms.
 
Meanwhile, across the Narrow Sea, Prince Viserys, heir of the fallen House Targaryen, which once ruled all of Westeros, schemes to reclaim the throne with an army of barbarian Dothraki—whose loyalty he will purchase in the only coin left to him: his beautiful yet innocent sister, Daenerys.

A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin
B & N
Apple
GOOGLE
KOBO

The Gormenghast series

By Mervyn Peake

Titus is expected to rule this extraordinary kingdom and his eccentric and wayward subjects. But with the arrival of an ambitious kitchen boy, Steerpike, the established order is thrown into disarray. Over the course of these three novels—Titus Groan, Gormenghast, and Titus Alone— Titus must contend with a kingdom about to implode beneath the weight of centuries of intrigue, treachery, manipulation, and murder.Intoxicating, rich, and unique, The Gormenghast Trilogy is a tour de force that ranks as one of the twentieth century’s most remarkable feats of imaginative writing. 

The Gormenghast series
Amazon
B & N
APPLE
GOOGLE
KOBO

Or What You Will

By Jo Walton

Or What You Will is an utterly original novel about how stories are brought forth from Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Award-winning author Jo Walton.

He has been too many things to count. He has been a dragon with a boy on his back. He has been a scholar, a warrior, a lover, and a thief. He has been dream and dreamer. He has been a god.

But “he” is in fact nothing more than a spark of idea, a character in the mind of Sylvia Harrison, 73, award-winning author of thirty novels over forty years. He has played a part in most of those novels, and in the recesses of her mind, Sylvia has conversed with him for years.

But Sylvia won’t live forever, any more than any human does. And he’s trapped inside her cave of bone, her hollow of skull. When she dies, so will he.

Now Sylvia is starting a new novel, a fantasy for adult readers, set in Thalia, the Florence-resembling imaginary city that was the setting for a successful YA trilogy she published decades before. Of course he’s got a part in it. But he also has a notion. He thinks he knows how he and Sylvia can step off the wheel of mortality altogether. All he has to do is convince her.

Or What You Will
Amazon
B & N
APPLE
GOOGLE
kobo

A Land Fit For Heroes

By Richard K. Morgan

A dark lord will rise. Such is the prophecy that dogs Ringil Eskiath—Gil, for short—a washed-up mercenary and onetime war hero whose cynicism is surpassed only by the speed of his sword. Gil is estranged from his aristocratic family, but when his mother enlists his help in freeing a cousin sold into slavery, Gil sets out to track her down. But it soon becomes apparent that more is at stake than the fate of one young woman. Grim sorceries are awakening in the land. Some speak in whispers of the return of the Aldrain, a race of widely feared, cruel yet beautiful demons. Now Gil and two old comrades are all that stand in the way of a prophecy whose fulfillment will drown an entire world in blood. But with heroes like these, the cure is likely to be worse than the disease.

A Land Fit For Heroes
Amazon
GOOGLE

The Vanished Queen

By Lisbeth Campbell

A stunning blend of vivid fantasy and political drama, The Vanished Queen is the timely story of a young resistance fighter working to overthrow a totalitarian ruler’s regime of terror and lies. “[G]ripping…this is the novel the world needs now” (Kate Hearfield, Nebula Award­–winning author of Armed in her Fashion).

The Vanished Queen
Amazon
B & N
GOOGLE
KOBO

The Book of Lost Things

By John Connolly

New York Times bestselling author John Connolly’s unique imagination takes readers through the end of innocence into adulthood and beyond in this dark and triumphantly creative novel of grief and loss, loyalty and love, and the redemptive power of stories.

High in his attic bedroom, twelve-year-old David mourns the death of his mother. He is angry and alone, with only the books on his shelf for company. But those books have begun to whisper to him in the darkness, and as he takes refuge in his imagination, he finds that reality and fantasy have begun to meld. While his family falls apart around him, David is violently propelled into a land that is a strange reflection of his own world, populated by heroes and monsters, and ruled over by a faded king who keeps his secrets in a mysterious book… The Book of Lost Things.

The Book of Lost Things
Amazon
B & N
APPLE
GOOGLE
KOBO

The Inheritance Trilogy

By N.K. Jemisin

After her mother’s death, a young woman is summoned to the floating city of Sky to claim a royal inheritance she never knew existed in this epic fantasy trilogy from the NYT bestselling author of The Fifth Season.

Yeine Darr is an outcast from the barbarian north. But when her mother dies under mysterious circumstances, she is summoned to the majestic city of Sky. There, to her shock, Yeine is named an heiress to the king. But the throne of the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is not easily won, and Yeine is thrust into a vicious power struggle.

The Inheritance Trilogy omnibus includes the novels: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, The Broken Kingdoms, The Kingdom of Gods, and a brand new novella set in the same world: The Awakened Kingdom.

The Inheritance Trilogy
Amazon
B & N
APPLE
GOOGLE
KOBO

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

By Susanna Clarke

In the Hugo-award winning, epic New York Times Bestseller and basis for the BBC miniseries, two men change England’s history when they bring magic back into the world.

In the midst of the Napoleonic Wars in 1806, most people believe magic to have long since disappeared from England – until the reclusive Mr. Norrell reveals his powers and becomes an overnight celebrity.

Another practicing magician then emerges: the young and daring Jonathan Strange. He becomes Norrell’s pupil, and the two join forces in the war against France.

But Strange is increasingly drawn to the wild, most perilous forms of magic, and he soon risks sacrificing his partnership with Norrell and everything else he holds dear.

Susanna Clarke’s brilliant first novel is an utterly compelling epic tale of nineteenth-century England and the two magicians who, first as teacher and pupil and then as rivals, emerge to change its history.

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell
Amazon
B & N
APPLE
GOOGLE
KOBO

Alif the Unseen

By G. Willow Wilson

“[A] Harry Potter-ish action-adventure romance” set during the Arab Spring, from the New York Times–bestselling author of the Ms. Marvel comic book series (The New York Times).
 
In an unnamed Middle Eastern security state, a young Arab-Indian hacker, who goes by Alif, shields his clients—dissidents, outlaws, revolutionaries, and other watched groups—from surveillance, and tries to stay out of trouble.
 
The aristocratic woman Alif loves has jilted him for a prince chosen by her parents, and his computer has just been breached by the state’s electronic security force, putting his clients and himself on the line. Then it turns out his lover’s new fiancé is the “Hand of God,” as they call the head of state security, and his henchmen come after Alif, driving him underground.
 
When Alif discovers The Thousand and One Days, the secret book of the jinn, which both he and the Hand suspect may unleash a new level of information technology, the stakes are raised and Alif must struggle for life or death, aided by forces seen and unseen.
 
This “tale of literary enchantment, political change, and religious mystery” was a New York Times Notable Book and winner of the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel (Gregory Maguire).
 
“Wilson has a deft hand with myth and with magic.” —Neil Gaiman, author of American Gods

Alif the Unseen
AMAZON
B & N
APPLE
GOGGLE
KOBO

The Riftwar Cycle

By Raymond E. Feist

This book contains the entire trilogy The Riftwar Saga by bestselling author Raymond E. Feist, master of magic and adventure.

The book includes Magician, Silverthorn, and A Darkness at Sethanon.

At Crydee, a frontier outpost in the tranquil Kingdom of the Isles, an orphan boy, Pug, is apprenticed to a master Magician – and the destinies of two worlds are changed forever.

Suddenly the peace of the Kingdom is destroyed as mysterious alien invaders swarm the land. Pug is swept up into the conflict but for him and his warrior friend, Tomas, an odyssey into the unknown has only just begun.

Tomas will inherit a legacy of savage power from an ancient civilization. Pug’s destiny will lead him through a rift in the fabric of space and time to the mastery of the unimaginable powers of a strange new magic.

And so the Riftwar begins…

The Riftwar Cycle
b & N
apple
google
KOBO

The Lord of the Rings series

By J. R. R. Tolkien

From Book 1: The first volume in J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic adventure THE LORD OF THE RINGS One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them

In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell into the hands of Bilbo Baggins, as told in The Hobbit. In a sleepy village in the Shire, young Frodo Baggins finds himself faced with an immense task, as his elderly cousin Bilbo entrusts the Ring to his care. Frodo must leave his home and make a perilous journey across Middle-earth to the Cracks of Doom, there to destroy the Ring and foil the Dark Lord in his evil purpose.

“A unique, wholly realized other world, evoked from deep in the well of Time, massively detailed, absorbingly entertaining, profound in meaning.” – New York Times

The Lord of the Rings series
amazon
B & N
apple
google
KOBO

The Girl Who Chased the Moon

By Sarah Addison Allen

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “A dusting of magic, the aroma of sugary cakes swirling through the breeze, and a girl who unwittingly brings change to a town of misfits make for a sweet summer story filled with hope and forgiveness.”—Beth Hoffman, author of Saving CeeCee Honeycutt

Emily Benedict has come to Mullaby, North Carolina, hoping to solve at least some of the riddles surrounding her mother’s life. But the moment Emily enters the house where her mother grew up and meets the grandfather she never knew, she realizes that mysteries aren’t solved in Mullaby, they’re a way of life: Here are rooms where the wallpaper changes to suit your mood. Unexplained lights skip across the yard at midnight. And a neighbor, Julia Winterson, bakes hope in the form of cakes, not only wishing to satisfy the town’s sweet tooth but also dreaming of rekindling the love she fears might be lost forever. Can a hummingbird cake really bring back a lost love? Is there really a ghost dancing in Emily’s backyard? The answers are never what you expect. But in this town of lovable misfits, the unexpected fits right in.

The Girl Who Chased the Moon
Amazon
B & N
APPLE
GOOGLE
KOBO

The Sword of Shannara Trilogy

By Terry Brooks

For the first time in one elegant collector’s edition hardcover, and featuring an introduction by New York Times bestselling author Terry Brooks, here are the first three novels of that classic series: The Sword of ShannaraThe Elfstones of Shannara, and The Wishsong of Shannara—the beginning of a phenomenal epic of good and evil.

The Sword of Shannara
Long ago, the wars of the ancient Evil ruined the world. In peaceful Shady Vale, half-elfin Shea Ohmsford knows little of such troubles. But the supposedly dead Warlock Lord is plotting to destroy everything in his wake. The sole weapon against this Power of Darkness is the Sword of Shannara, which can be used only by a true heir of Shannara. On Shea, last of the bloodline, rests the hope of all the races.

The Elfstones of Shannara
The magical Ellcrys tree is dying, loosening the spell that bars the Demons from enacting vengeance upon the land. Now Wil Ohmsford must guard the Elven girl Amberle on a perilous quest as she carries one of the Ellcrys’ seeds to a mysterious place where it can be quickened into a powerful new force. But dark on their trail comes the Reaper, most fearsome of all Demons, aiming to crush their mission at any cost.

The Wishsong of Shannara
An ancient Evil is stirring to new life, sending its ghastly Mord Wraiths to destroy Mankind. To win through the vile growth that protects this dark force, the Druid Allanon needs Brin Ohmsford—for she alone holds the magic power of the wishsong. Reluctantly Brin joins the Druid on his dangerous journey. But a prophecy foretells doom, as Evil nurses its plans to trap the unsuspecting Brin into a fate far more horrible than death.

Thus begins Terry Brooks’s thrilling Shannara epic, an unforgettable tale of adventure, magic, and myth.

The Sword of Shannara Trilogy
Amazon
B & N
Apple
GOOGLE
KOBO

A Game of Thrones

By George R. R. Martin

NOW THE ACCLAIMED HBO SERIES GAME OF THRONES—THE MASTERPIECE THAT BECAME A CULTURAL PHENOMENON
 
Winter is coming. Such is the stern motto of House Stark, the northernmost of the fiefdoms that owe allegiance to King Robert Baratheon in far-off King’s Landing. There Eddard Stark of Winterfell rules in Robert’s name. There his family dwells in peace and comfort: his proud wife, Catelyn; his sons Robb, Brandon, and Rickon; his daughters Sansa and Arya; and his bastard son, Jon Snow. Far to the north, behind the towering Wall, lie savage Wildings and worse—unnatural things relegated to myth during the centuries-long summer, but proving all too real and all too deadly in the turning of the season.
 
Yet a more immediate threat lurks to the south, where Jon Arryn, the Hand of the King, has died under mysterious circumstances. Now Robert is riding north to Winterfell, bringing his queen, the lovely but cold Cersei, his son, the cruel, vainglorious Prince Joffrey, and the queen’s brothers Jaime and Tyrion of the powerful and wealthy House Lannister—the first a swordsman without equal, the second a dwarf whose stunted stature belies a brilliant mind. All are heading for Winterfell and a fateful encounter that will change the course of kingdoms.
 
Meanwhile, across the Narrow Sea, Prince Viserys, heir of the fallen House Targaryen, which once ruled all of Westeros, schemes to reclaim the throne with an army of barbarian Dothraki—whose loyalty he will purchase in the only coin left to him: his beautiful yet innocent sister, Daenerys.

A Game of Thrones
Amazon
B & N
APPLE
GOOGLE
KOBO

Girl, Serpent, Thorn

By Melissa Bashardoust

Melissa Bashardoust’s Girl, Serpent, Thorn is “an alluring feminist fairy tale” (Kirkus) about a girl cursed to be poisonous to the touch and who discovers what power might lie in such a curse.

There was and there was not, as all stories begin, a princess cursed to be poisonous to the touch. But for Soraya, who has lived her life hidden away, apart from her family, safe only in her gardens, it’s not just a story.

As the day of her twin brother’s wedding approaches, Soraya must decide if she’s willing to step outside of the shadows for the first time. Below in the dungeon is a demon who holds knowledge that she craves, the answer to her freedom. And above is a young man who isn’t afraid of her, whose eyes linger not with fear, but with an understanding of who she is beneath the poison.

Soraya thought she knew her place in the world, but when her choices lead to consequences she never imagined, she begins to question who she is and who she is becoming…human or demon. Princess or monster.

Girl, Serpent, Thorn
Amazon
B & N
Apple
GOOGLE
kobo

Mistborn

By Brandon Sanderson

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson, the Mistborn series is a heist story of political intrigue and magical, martial-arts action.

For a thousand years the ash fell and no flowers bloomed. For a thousand years the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear. For a thousand years the Lord Ruler, the “Sliver of Infinity,” reigned with absolute power and ultimate terror, divinely invincible. Then, when hope was so long lost that not even its memory remained, a terribly scarred, heart-broken half-Skaa rediscovered it in the depths of the Lord Ruler’s most hellish prison. Kelsier “snapped” and found in himself the powers of a Mistborn. A brilliant thief and natural leader, he turned his talents to the ultimate caper, with the Lord Ruler himself as the mark.

Kelsier recruited the underworld’s elite, the smartest and most trustworthy allomancers, each of whom shares one of his many powers, and all of whom relish a high-stakes challenge. Only then does he reveal his ultimate dream, not just the greatest heist in history, but the downfall of the divine despot.

But even with the best criminal crew ever assembled, Kel’s plan looks more like the ultimate long shot, until luck brings a ragged girl named Vin into his life. Like him, she’s a half-Skaa orphan, but she’s lived a much harsher life. Vin has learned to expect betrayal from everyone she meets, and gotten it. She will have to learn to trust, if Kel is to help her master powers of which she never dreamed.

Mistborn
Amazon
B & N
Apple
GOOGLE
KOBO

Beowulf: A New Translation

By Maria Dahvana Headley

“The author of the crazy-cool Beowulf-inspired novel The Mere Wife tackles the Old English epic poem with a fierce new feminist translation that radically recontextualizes the tale.” —Barbara VanDenburgh, USA Today

Nearly twenty years after Seamus Heaney’s translation of Beowulf—and fifty years after the translation that continues to torment high-school students around the world—there is a radical new verse translation of the epic poem by Maria Dahvana Headley, which brings to light elements that have never before been translated into English, recontextualizing the binary narrative of monsters and heroes into a tale in which the two categories often entwine, justice is rarely served, and dragons live among us.

A man seeks to prove himself as a hero. A monster seeks silence in his territory. A warrior seeks to avenge her murdered son. A dragon ends it all. The familiar elements of the epic poem are seen with a novelist’s eye toward gender, genre, and history—Beowulf has always been a tale of entitlement and encroachment, powerful men seeking to become more powerful, and one woman seeking justice for her child, but this version brings new context to an old story. While crafting her contemporary adaptation of Beowulf, Headley unearthed significant shifts lost over centuries of translation.

Beowulf: A New Translation
Amazon
B & N
APPLE
GOOGLE
KOBO

Fionavar Tapestry

By Guy Gavriel Kay

From Book 1: Taken to a realm of magic and war, five men and women from our world embark on an epic journey in the first novel in Guy Gavriel Kay’s classic, critically acclaimed fantasy trilogy, The Fionavar Tapestry.

It begins with a chance meeting that introduces the five to a man who will change their lives: a mage who brings them to the first of all worlds, Fionavar.

In this land of gods and myth, each of them is forced to discover what they are and what they are willing to do, as Fionavar stands on the brink of a terrifying war against a dark, vengeful god…

The Fionavar Tapestry
Amazon
B & N
APPLE
GOOGLE
KOBO

Assassin’s Apprentice

By Robin Hobb

Twenty-five years ago, Robin Hobb’s first novel featuring FitzChivalry Farseer and his mysterious, often maddening friend the Fool struck like a bolt of brilliant lightning. Thus began a beloved saga spanning multiple series, full of adventure, magic, and sinister plots. To celebrate a quarter-century of wonder, this special edition of Assassin’s Apprentice presents a modern classic as it’s never been seen before: in hardcover, with ten beautiful illustrations by Magali Villeneuve.

Young Fitz is the bastard son of the noble Prince Chivalry, raised in the shadow of the royal court by his father’s gruff stableman. He is treated as an outcast by all the royalty except the devious King Shrewd, who has him secretly tutored in the arts of the assassin. For in Fitz’s blood runs the magic Skill—and the darker knowledge of a child raised with the stable hounds and rejected by his family.

As barbarous raiders ravage the coasts, Fitz is growing to manhood. Soon he will face his first dangerous, soul-shattering mission. And though some regard him as a threat to the throne, he may just be the key to the survival of the kingdom.

Praise for Robin Hobb and Assassin’s Apprentice
 
“Fantasy as it ought to be written . . . Robin Hobb’s books are diamonds in a sea of zircons.”—George R. R. Martin

Assassin's Apprentice
Amazon
B & N
APPLE
GOOGLE
KOBO

Outlander series

By Diana Gabaldon

From Book 1: #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NOW A STARZ ORIGINAL SERIES 

Unrivaled storytelling. Unforgettable characters. Rich historical detail. These are the hallmarks of Diana Gabaldon’s work. Her New York Times bestselling Outlander novels have earned the praise of critics and captured the hearts of millions of fans. Here is the story that started it all, introducing two remarkable characters, Claire Beauchamp Randall and Jamie Fraser, in a spellbinding novel of passion and history that combines exhilarating adventure with a love story for the ages.

One of the top ten best-loved novels in America, as seen on PBS’s The Great American Read!

Scottish Highlands, 1945. Claire Randall, a former British combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding clans in the year of Our Lord . . . 1743.

Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of a world that threatens her life, and may shatter her heart. Marooned amid danger, passion, and violence, Claire learns her only chance of safety lies in Jamie Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior. What begins in compulsion becomes urgent need, and Claire finds herself torn between two very different men, in two irreconcilable lives.

Outlander series
Amazon
B & N
APPLE
GOOGLE
KOBO

Discover Stories You’ll Love.

Handpicked eBook deals and recommendations straight to your inbox. Plus our “Weekly Subscriber Giveaway!”

Sign Up And Get Free Books Today!