fantasy books

Top 15 Fantasy Books

These books here are among the best fantasy you could read.

by The Dope Lists

Over the years, good fantasy books have taken people to other places and times. And since the beginning of the 21st century, fantasy has genuinely burst into the mainstream thanks to the success of Game of Thrones, The Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter. We invite you to remember the best of the best, having collected the top 15 most popular books in the fantasy genre. Perhaps not all of your favorites were included in this list, but this is only because it cannot contain absolutely all masterpieces.

From the very first lines of an excellent fantasy book, a kind of atmosphere envelops the reader with a soft blanket, setting him in the proper mood. Books take us back to a distant happy childhood when we wholeheartedly believed in miracles. On the pages, valiant knights fight fire-breathing dragons. Princesses either sigh languidly in anticipation of their betrothed or send secular etiquette to hell and rush headlong into the maelstrom of adventure. On the way of the main characters, insidious enemies, deadly battles, and, of course, true love awaits. So, here are dozens of the best examples of the fantasy genre. But we warn you right away – the numbering in no way reflects the value and importance of books. Each reader will always have their own personal rating.

Eragon by Christopher Paolini

fantasy books

A fantasy designed for a teenage environment, with memorable characters and a rather dynamic plot. A work about how a teenager lives in a world where elves and gnomes run and dragons fly. The overall impression is a sweet story about a good boy and his dragon. The plot is not overloaded – fairy-tale characters, swords, and love are in abundance. One of the best fantasy books for sure.

The Legend of Drizzt by Robert Salvatore

fantasy books

Drizzt is not quite the correct spelling of the name of the dark elf, created by Robert Salvatore. The character has become one of the favorites among all fans of the fantasy genre. The World of Fantastic magazine even gave the dark elf the second line in the list of the leading fantasy characters in history (the first went to Frodo Baggins).

A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin

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“Earth Sea” is a series of fantasy books and the name of the country in which events are developing. The main character, the magician Ged, did not know about his abilities from birth. For a long time, he considered himself an unhappy shepherd who had no family left. But a threat arose in front of his village, and, not understanding how the boy repulsed it. Ged realized that he had a gift, and to develop it, he needed to study long and hard. Once in the school of magicians, the boy quickly realizes that it is not much different from the ordinary one. There are badass here, too, who sometimes turn out to be more terrible than monsters.

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The Gunslinger by Stephen King

fantasy books

This is the first book from the “Dark Tower” cycle, where the hero is looking for the source of the universe. Roland follows the mysterious dark wizard hoping that he will lead him to the goal of this pilgrimage. On the way, there is a boy who got into the described world after death. Together they continue their journey, becoming attached to each other and telling sad stories of their lives. King filled the cycle with unusual details. For example, the first sentence of this book and the novel’s last sentence that ends the cycle is the same.

The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett

fantasy books

The protagonist Twoflower arrives in Discworld as a tourist. Through him, the reader gets acquainted with the peculiarities of the city and its magical elements. But the character itself is not so simple. He is an adventurer, the owner of a magical chest filled with treasures. By the middle of the book, he also becomes a hijacker of a spaceship. The Color of Magic, released in 1983, was the first novel in one of the most extensive Discworld series, with over 40 fantasy books. The latter was released in 2015, shortly after Pratchett’s death. All of them belong to the genre of humorous fantasy.

The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski

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This is the first collection of stories from one of the most iconic fantasy cycles of our time, The Witcher. It is the beginning of the famous adventures of a monster slayer from Rivia named Geralt. He will have to save the enchanted princess, fight the elves’ horned spy, and master the genie. The described world is different from what many fans of the genre are used to. With Sapkowski, everything is much tougher and closer to the realities of medieval Europe. But the author also left the usual elements – elves, sorcerers, and ghouls.

Northern Lights by Philip Pullman

fantasy books

Pullman’s fantasy has intertwined magic and science into a single dense tangle. In the book Northern Lights, the first novel from the Dark Principles series, you can find both a powerful witch and an armored polar bear. It turned out to be almost a fantasy cyberpunk. Lonely girl Lira will have to find out where and why children from all over London disappear, save them, and understand why her uncle will use magic dust. The novel’s plot may seem familiar to those who have seen its adaptation called The Golden Compass. It’s a true example for excellent fantasy books.

A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin

fantasy books

The saga is worthy of hundreds, not thousands, of laudatory praises. Martin has done titanic work, and sometimes it seems to the reader that he is studying the history of a real-life kingdom. Unlike the series, in the book, the magical side of Westeros is revealed indirectly. The emphasis is placed on portraying the characters, describing battle scenes, and the political background of the main characters’ actions. Mysticism acts as a background, and it brings subtle touches to the overall picture. The ruler of the Seven Kingdoms, Robert Baratheon, arrives in Winterfell. He appoints his vassal and comrade Eddard Stark as his right hand. Many years ago, the Targaryen dynasty was overthrown. Still, now in distant Pentos, Daenerys (the last representative of the ancient family) is gaining supporters to return the Iron Throne. Intrigues, massacres, unexpected plot twists, and many bed scenes await you.

Mort by Terry Pratchett


A young man named Mortimer is hired as an apprentice by none other than Death himself. The Bony Reaper was terribly tired of his work and decided to shift the lion’s share of his duties onto a young apprentice. Mort takes up the scythe and diligently fulfills the tasks of the mentor. The guy’s loyalty was shaken when he met Princess Keli, whose time was running out. Terry Pratchett is famous for his witticisms and subtle English humor. A spark immediately runs between his works and the reader, similar to that very selfless love at first sight. We want to absorb chapters one after another with insane speed, traveling across Discworld and discovering its secrets. Under the guise of irony, there is a profound social philosophy, unobtrusive reflections on life and death attempts to get to the bottom of things. The book is part of an impressive series of works about the Discworld, supported by four elephants standing on a giant turtle swimming in universal space. The flat world, naturally, has the shape of a disk, and it has its own laws of physics, and the rainbow has eight colors. Here werewolves, trolls, gnomes, and other magical creatures live next to people and work with them, fall in love, marry and have children, drink in pubs, and just have fun.

The Mists of Avalon by Marion Bradley

fantasy books

Perhaps this is the most non-standard interpretation of the familiar story of the famous King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. In the novel “The Mists of Avalon,” the narrator is Morgaine herself, the main anti-heroine, a ruthless witch with a bluish-black heart. Marion Bradley was able, if not to prove, to soften and humanize the actions of the villainess. She portrayed her as an ordinary woman with hopes and desires characteristic of the weaker sex, which are not destined to become a reality. Christianity has just begun its crusade through the lands of pagan Britain. The face of God has not yet thrown the statues of old idols into the abyss of oblivion. Magic is still an integral part of everyday life. The Lady of the Lake Viviana appears before Igraine and foreshadows the birth of a great king, but the catch is that the future monarch will come from the seed of a stranger and not the lawful spouse of the honorable lady. Although the lady was indignant, time passed, and the prophecy came true, she carried from Uther. However, the fate of children who have come out of the same womb will not intersect once.

Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence

prince of thorns

“Prince of Thorns” is filled to the brim with bloody battles, dastardly murders, and colorful descriptions of bed scenes. At fourteen, Jörg lost his mother and beloved brother, the teenager himself barely escaped the cold embrace of death. His father’s terrible loss and indifference left an imprint on the protagonist’s character, dried up his heart, and blackened his soul. Adult Jörg cuts people right and left. He cruelly deals with enemies and knows no pity. However, it is difficult to label a character as a psychopath. He is driven by hellish calculation, and his actions are thought out to the smallest detail. A non-trivial intellect suppresses emotions. Mark Lawrence’s novel embodies the idea of ​​Friedrich Nietzsche’s superman and his detachment from universal human moral norms. A true masterpiece in the fantasy books genre.

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

fantasy books

Earlier, old storytellers wandered around the world. Patrick Rothfuss drank the honey of poetry, and his fantasy narratives sound so iridescent. Your heart will skip not to frighten off the timid story and not lose the plot thread. “The Name of the Wind” is fundamentally different from recreational reading. Despite that the text is perceived quite easily, its meaning sinks deeply into the soul. The novel is written in the format of an autobiography. A little roadside inn is run by a red-haired man, Cote. The true personality of the protagonist is revealed gradually. He told the Chronicler that he wandered the world with his family at the age of eleven – a troupe of wandering actors who, one sad day, were slaughtered like cattle while he was out for a walk. Having set the righteous goal of avenging the death of loved ones, Cote enters the University of Magic Arts, where he comprehends the secret knowledge of great sorcerers.

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

harry potter

©Warner Brothers/courtesy Everett Collection

The world-famous cycle about a young wizard, by the will of fate, involved in the eternal struggle between good and evil. Throughout seven amazing fantasy books, you see how the main character grows up, develops, and changes his hobbies and orientations in life. Only one thing remains unchanged – his destiny, which makes itself known in the first book and ends in the seventh. This story of friendship, love, and self-sacrifice will not leave any reader without emotions, regardless of age. The entire cycle has been filmed and will allow you to be once again transported into the magical world that comes to life on the big screen.

The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis

fantasy books

A series of works by C.S. Lewis is an excellent example of well-executed portal fantasy. Each of his works seems complete and gives different perspectives on the world of Narnia. Narnia is a beautiful country, where children from an ordinary English family (Lucy, Peter, Susan, and Edmund) got straight from the wardrobe. They discovered magic, magical creatures that you cannot find on Earth, and Aslan, the Great Lion. And it changed their lives forever. The Chronicles of Narnia may seem like too much of a child’s reading for adults. Still, for primary school children and adolescents, these are excellent books for out-of-school reading that teach mercy, courage, and justice.

The Lord of the Rings by John Tolkien

fantasy books

The canonical work has inspired dozens of authors to create beautiful novels; it can be safely called a classic. If “The Hobbit” is perceived as a fairy tale, then “The Lord of the Rings” is akin to a full-fledged doctoral dissertation. Tolkien painted the nature, landscapes, and geography of Middle-earth with bright colors and meticulously built the indigenous population’s history, culture, and customs. Frodo inherits a gold ring from his strange uncle Bilbo. Along with the decoration, a heavy burden of responsibility falls on the shoulders of the young hobbit. The relic once belonged to the evil magician Sauron, the greatest enemy of the Free Peoples of Middle-earth. The boy must take the ring to Mordor and destroy it in the mouth of a bubbling volcano.

These are some of the best fantasy books ever created in the history of literature. Do you agree with our list?

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