The fantasy genre is one of the most diverse and creative genres there is. It has led to many amazing fantasy worlds and has created some of the most iconic characters to exist. That is why we have decided to list the best fantasy books of all time!
Depending on your preference, you may enjoy some light-hearted fantasy books or maybe a dark and grim one. There are a lot of options to choose from which makes creating this list a bit difficult. That didn’t stop us but we did have to consider some books that while they weren’t our cup of tea, they are still beloved by many. You can see the full list below!
The Best Fantasy Books of All Time
- The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
- A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
- Northern Lights by Philip Pullman
- The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
- American Gods by Neil Gaiman
- A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin
- The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis
- Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb
- Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson
- The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
- The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling
- Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
- The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
- The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett
- The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
- The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie
- Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
- Storm Front by Jim Butcher
- A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
- Watership Down by Richard Adams
- Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
- Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
- The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper
- The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
Old and New Fantasy Books
Some of our picks are obvious and to be honest, this list was easier to make than the other ones. That is partly because I love fantasy novels and avidly have scoured dozens of lists over the years. It is no surprise to see The Lord of the Rings, A Game of Thrones, and Harry Potter on the list.
I would rather talk about less mainstream books like The Blade Itself, Mistborn, Gideon the Ninth, and Six of Crows. Those are some of my favorite books of all time and each of them has its own spin on the fantasy genre. Gideon the Ninth is a witty sci-fi fantasy novel and it pushes the genre is a direction unlike any other book.
Lastly, what I noticed when making this list is that unlike other lists, the fantasy list includes a lot more recent books. The 2000’s seems to be a great decade for fantasy books and a lot of authors made a name for themselves. And there are still amazing books being released in this genre and that is a great sign for fans of fantasy.
That wraps up our best fantasy books of all time list. What books should have made the list didn’t? Let us know in the comments below. Until next time, happy reading!
23 thoughts on “The Best Fantasy Books of All Time”
You should read Fawkes. It is a crime that it isn’t on this list…
The Demon Cycle series by Peter V Brett.
Terry Brooks should have been on the list imo
It’s always nice to find a list that coincides with your own. Only three books that I haven’t already read and those go on my wishlist immediately.
I would like to add that some unconventional writers who publish online might catch your interest if you’d give them a try.
Worm by John C. “Wildbow” McCrae (finished)
The wandering Inn by Pirateaba (ongoing)
A practical guide to Evil by Erraticerrata (finished)
There are a lot of other great ones but these spring to mind. Some start of slow or you’ll notice the writer is a little “immature” in it’s writing, (e.g. the Wandering Inn) but this will improve during the series.
Can’t believe Stephen R Donaldson isn’t on there. The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant was masterfully written
Maybe this should be books or series. Storm fronts are good novel, as it goes, but it’s not the best Dresden Files novel. It’s just the first Dresden Files novel.
Was going to say this. Dresden Files is an awesome series, but “Changes” is far superior to “Stormfront” and there are many others in the 17 book series that are also better.
The Thomas Covenant Chronicles by Stephen R. Donaldson belong on this list. Ten novels with the anti- hero Covenant and totally different Lands and Times
Good list! Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi and The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks
I’ve had a great re-reading more than once any of the Incarnations of Immortality by Piers Anthony
Magician by Raymond Feist and Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings should be in there. Both in my top 10
How about Wheel of Time. Gotta have that one on there.
I gave it a read and did not feel like it belongs on the list. My main reason being that it is very redundant at times and the plot is very slow. Yes, I’ve heard it gets much better around book 6 but that’s a lot of patience to have.
R.A. Salvatore’s “The Dark Elf Trilogy” and the next 30+ Drizzt series books that follow
Terry Pratchett with his Discworld Series should be on the List.
Likewise Glen Cook and his Black Company Series.
Tad Williams and his Memory, Sorrow and Thorn series.
Ursal K. LeGuin A wizard of Earthsea
How about the Voyage of the Jerle Shannara trilogy…
The Lyonaisse trilogy- Jack Vance
What!? No Terry Brooks or Terry Goodkind?
Her Majesty’s Wizard is the first book in the Wizard in Rhyme series and it is awesome. Plus the Adept series and the Mancer series are really good too. Not to mention the Xanth series. I really wonder about the judges when not one of these series have made the list..
Margaret Weis, Tracy Hickman
Just read my first Hobb and loved it!
The Lord of the Rings are truly incredible books