If you are a man of literature, you must have heard of the Song of Fire & Ice, Harry Potter, and Lord of the Rings series. Thanks to these prolific books, the fantasy genre has exploded in the past few years.
With thousands of fantasy books published every month, it becomes tedious to scroll hundreds of Goodreads pages, read thousands to book reviews, hunting for a good fantasy book. In the end, you give up lost, sad, and still yearning for a good book to read.
Different people have different personalities and perspectives on life. Taste, interests, habits, and philosophies, all predict what kind of book you will pick. If you like dark, gloomy, and gray characters, you will most likely pick dark fantasy books to read. Perhaps, you prefer history or urban culture, and the choice becomes even harder.
Thankfully, we have done all the hard work for you. Here is a compiled, ready-made list of some truly amazing fantasy books. I know your taste might differ, but this list encompasses all sub-genres.
One Ring to rule them all,
One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all,
And in the darkness bind them.
― J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of The Rings
If you have even a passing interest in fantasy, you must have heard of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. J.R.R. Tolkien is a father figure in the fantasy genre. The contribution his books have made to the fantasy genre is incomparable.
The Fellowship of the Ring is the first book in the trilogy. It starts with the story of a young hobbit in a beautiful green village, a wizard, and a mysterious ring. The prose is poetic and flowing. It is a work of art that transcends the boundaries of the genre.
It does not do well to dwell on dreams and forget to live.
― Albus Dumbledore
If you haven't heard of the Harry Potter series and J.K. Rowling, where are you living? If you are a fantasy fan, Harry Potter is a must-read.
With over a million copies sold globally, these books are a favorite of almost everyone. In the beginning, they seem like children's stories but as the plot progresses, you are sure to be hitched by Rowling's compelling storytelling power. Filled with hilarious and heart-wrenching moments that make you laugh and cry at the same time, these books are fantastic.
How a young boy, bullied, orphaned, and helpless turns into a man who faces the Dark Lord may seem like a typical story, but Rowling wove it in such a way that you are sure to be blown away.
Speak again the ancient oaths:
Life before death.
Strength before weakness.
Journey before Destination.
and return to men the Shards they once bore.
The Knights Radiant must stand again.
― Brandon Sanderson, The Way of Kings
One of the biggest problems with fantasy books is that their authors never finish them (cough Game of Thrones cough). Brandon Sanderson is an exception in the fantasy genre. With a new book releasing every year, he has never abandoned his fans.
The Way of Kings is a story set in the world of Roshar. Once upon a time, humanity lived in The Tranquiline Halls, then the Voidbringers came creating all sorts of chaos. Humans, along with their God, were banished into Roshar; the land of storms.
The Way of Kings is an epic fantasy ride that will blow your mind. Insidious Kings, queens, clever princesses, slave soldiers with PTSD, heroism, and redemption, it has all of it. Sanderson's style of writing will enrapture you.
It's like everyone tells a story about themselves inside their own head. Always. All the time. That story makes you what you are. We build ourselves out of that story.
Readers beware: this trilogy is probably never going to be finished, but it is still one of the best fantasy books out there.
The Name of the Wind is the story of Kevoth, a man famous in his land for all kinds of glorious and inglorious purposes. He is a wizard, a warrior, a hero, and for some, a villain.
The Name of the Wind is written beautifully, with some passages being poetic masterpieces on their own. From complex characters, frustrating romance, mysterious underground spirits, and legendary tales; this is a story that will move you to tears.
"What I say is, a town isn’t a town without a bookstore. It may call itself a town, but unless it’s got a bookstore, it knows it’s not foolin’ a soul."
No one has modernized mythology as artistically as Gaiman. American Gods is a genre on its own with a story based in mythical yet modern America.
Gaiman creates a compelling story based in America with Norse Gods who gain their strength from people's devotion. Deities from other cultures like Indian and African are added to the mix, creating a wonderful story.
'And how shall I think of you?' He considered a moment and then laughed. 'Think of me with my nose in a book!'
What would happen if Jane Austen wrote a fantasy book set in the 1800s? Susanna Clarke does this in her alternative historical fantasy novel Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell.
The story takes place around the time of the Napoleonic Wars. Magic has returned in England at the hands of two men Gilbert Norrell and Jonathan Strange. With faery people, accurate historical facts, fantastical cities, and ethereal beings, Clarke is a magician with her words.
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell is a must-read for any historical fantasy lover.
"Safe?" said Mr. Beaver; "don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you."
A girl playing in the house stumbles into an abandoned room, opens a wardrobe, and teleports into a fantastical world. Talking animals, kings, queens, princes, centaurs that can fight, and magical instruments, Narnia is a story for all ages.
Universally acknowledged as one of the best fantasy books for children, C.S. Lewis is not shy with her words. You are sure to be hooked after the first few pages. The pacing, the characters, the magic, everything is perfect.
These are only a few from all the amazing books in the fantasy genre. You can check other reading lists like:
- The 25 Best Fantasy Novels: Our Picks
- The 100 Best Fantasy Books of All Time
- The Best Fantasy Novels Of All Time
Fantasy is a genre for everyone. Each book will leave you breathless, or in tears, or laughing and wanting more. That is the magic of fantasy books.