Six Best Fantasy Books That You Must Read Once in Your Life

Whenever I need a good book to read, I always turn to a fantasy novel. There are a lot of fantasy books, making it difficult to choose what I want to read. That is why we have made a list of the six best fantasy books that you must read once in your life. Keep reading to find out which books made the list!

There are tons of old and modern fantasy classics to read. However, we recommend going through most of the early fantasy classics before diving into the recent ones. That way you can see which books shaped and influenced modern books.

You will have come across most of these books as they are always mentioned by fantasy lovers. But with only six books on this list, we know that many other great novels were left out. That is why we hope this list encourages you to seek out other fantasy novels after reading these books. You can see the full list below!

Six Best Fantasy Books That You Must Read

The Lord of the Rings

The Lord of the Rings book cover
The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien

If you love fantasy novels, then you have to read The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. Not only is it an amazing series but it is the formula that many fantasy authors have used to write their novels. If you have read a bunch of fantasy novels, then you have most likely come across troupes that were popularized by Tolkien.  

The First Law

One of my favorite series on the list is The First Law by Joe Abercrombie. It is a gritty and bloody series that feels like it belongs on HBO. The characters are interesting and the protagonist has his moments. The world building is what makes this novel special and one of a kind.  

A Song of Ice and Fire

Book cover for Game of Thrones
A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

Like many people, I got into HBO’s Game of Thrones TV series before I read the books. But when I finally read the A Song of Ice and Fire books, I was in awe. The attention to detail by George R.R. Martin is unparalleled, the plot is fun, and there are so many characters.

Martin’s novels highlight everything I love about the fantasy genre. It is one of those novels that transports you to another world. The series is violent and contains a lot of sex and murder. Everything is integral to the plot and shapes the characters in the novel and why they do what they do in the books.

A Wizard of Earthsea

A Wizard of Earthsea book review by Ursula K. Le Guin
A Wizard of Earthsea book review

Many people think of old men with beard when they picture a wizard. But Ursula K. Le Guin decided to try something different with a young wizard as a protagonist. Without A Wizard of Earthsea, there may not have been a Harry Potter book. A lot of the themes are similar including a wizard school for young wizards.


That is all for this list of the six best fantasy books that you must read once in your life. These are classics and some of the best books ever written. How many of these have you read or plan to read? Let us know in the comments below!

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4 thoughts on “Six Best Fantasy Books That You Must Read Once in Your Life

  1. Anonymous says:

    A book I read in my youth would not make this list. It does not have the sweeping romance of Tolkien’s Middle Earth, it does not have the political intrigue of the worlds built by Martin or Jordan.
    What made it a page turner for me was a unique(at the time) mix of topical reality, mixed with the high fantasy genre.
    Doomfarers of Coramonde, by Brian Daley, introduces a squad of war weary Vietnam War mechanized Infantry soldiers to a fantasy world not dissimilar to Middle Earth or Westeros.
    It is entertaining to read about the problem solving of 20th century warriors faced with conflict with conjuring wizards, firebreathing dragons, and armies of medieval knights.
    It’s not a literary classic, but contains a lot of fast paced action and makes for an entertaining read.
    The Middle Ages never knew what hit them. It would make for an entertaining film if ever brought to the screen.


    “Lord of the Rings” may be a classic-and rightfully so-but it’s somewhat over-rated as a whole. Did ANYONE miss Tom Bombadil in the movies? No, and that makes my point. But for new fantasy fans, a definite must read.
    I’ve read all of the “Ice & Fire” series currently available but since Martin decided to prostitute his work to HBO & screw his readers, it’s been so long since the last book in the original group I’ve lost interest & don’t care if I ever finish it. A good read but a LONG way from a “must read”.
    “Earthsea” series? I agree.Completely.
    Sanderson makes every list like this I come across and that in itself is off putting. It makes me think of Nora Roberts’ popular books, or James Patterson’s book mill works.
    I always wonder where are the “Elric of Melniboné” books by Michael Moorcock? Much more cerebral than anything on this list, save for perhaps the Earthsea books.
    Or is high fantasy that recycles Tolkien, or outright plagiarizes him (Iron Tower trilogy) so ‘superior’ to well developed sword & sorcery, great works like Elric’s tales are ignored?

  3. Anonymous says:

    I’m not sure why Harry Potter is on this list. And I’m a Harry Potter fan. The series is good, but it’s not Stormlight Archive or First Law good.

    I’ve never read LOTR but every passage I see gives me “edgy teen trying to channel Shakespeare” vibes. Plus the fact people keep recommending it is very off-putting. Especially after Audibleing the equally highly recommended Wheel of Time.

    I have read ASOIAF, I would put it below Harry Potter, which I have already said I don’t think belongs on this list. Yes Game of Thrones did well for a while but I think that was mostly casting. I can think of several standout set pieces and characters, but no standout storylines.


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