The Ten Must Read Fantasy Novels of All Time

The fantasy genre is rich with amazing novels. Choosing which ones to read can be difficult as a result. That is why we decided to list the ten must read fantasy novels of all time. Keep reading to see which novels made the list!

The Ten Must Read Fantasy Novels of All Time

Choosing only ten means that lesser-known fantasy novels that deserve this honor will be left out. But that is a price we were willing to pay to make this list. When someone mentions the best fantasy novels that you should read, these are the ones that come to mind!

The Ten Must Read Fantasy Novels of All Time

Must Read Fantasy Novels

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.

A big part of fantasy novels is the world build and Tolkien’s world in The Lord of the Rings is one of the most complex out there. But he isn’t the only one with an amazing fantasy world under his belt. Dune by Frank Herbert is a complex world that includes multiple planets and different species. But Herbert makes it all work in what is a sci-fi fantasy novel unlike anything else.

A surprise series on this list is Brandon Sanderson’s The Final Empire. It is a more recent series that pushes the genre forward. It has a multitude of characters and the novel has a time jump as well as in a change of protagonists. Those are stuff you don’t see in many fantasy novels because it is a lot to juggle and fans aren’t always receptive to such changes. But Sanderson makes this work with ease as well as making the newer books feel fresh.


That wraps up our list the ten must read fantasy novels of all time. How many of these novels have you read? What novels should have made our list? Let us know in the comments below!

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19 thoughts on “The Ten Must Read Fantasy Novels of All Time

  1. Oliver D. says:

    It seems odd to list only the first book of the Mistborn series. You technically did the same with A Wizard of Earthsea and Dune, but it’s less noticeable with those as the name of the series is contained in the name of the first book. Not so with Mistborn and The Final Empire.

    1. Robert Dick says:

      Read ” Jonathan Livingston Seagull” by Richard Bach. Excellent!

  2. Jack Brock says:

    On the Top Ten Fantasy Books, I would have to include Nine Princes in Amber by Zelazny. There is fantastic world building in there and it sets up the rest of the series nicely.

  3. Doug says:

    Incarnations of immortality series by Piers Anthony
    Castle Roogna series by Piers Anthony
    The Shanara series
    To name but a few
    Weaveworld by Clive Barker
    Great and Secret Show by Clive Barker
    It’ll be the top 20 soon

  4. SAM says:

    Ummm… that photo is of the Mysterious Book Shop, which famously sells mystery and crime books, not fantasy. And none of those books are fantasy novels anyhow

  5. Ricardo Torres says:

    Any current top ten must reads? Cause these have been posted many many times before

    1. Oliver James DeMille says:

      It’s an All Time list, it’s going to have selections from… All Time. 🙂

      That being said, Books of Brilliance does have a lot of lists that are more current.

      1. chris g gurin says:

        Really needs some Jack Vance and Gene Wolfe for both singular books and collected contributions to the genre.

  6. Anonymous says:

    A list of “must read novels” should probably try to stick to novels and not be a list of entire fantasy series.
    I’m a massive fan and have read the entire list, but you are doing the genre no favours by totally misleading new readers who maybe want to pick up A book, not a series of books.

  7. RonNYC says:

    Has anyone read the mistborn series? The author has interesting ideas but is a terrible writer. He needs a ghost writer or writer partner or something. It really bothers me that some people can’t see the difference between his writing and that of Martin or Herbert.

  8. Kenneth Brooks Jr says:

    Terry Brooks Shannara series should be in this list.

  9. Anonymous says:

    That’s a lot of books, only Discworld got like 50. Also, no Narnia?

  10. Anonymous says:

    I never see Modesitt listed in any of your lists. Both the Recluce and Imager series
    are enjoyable reads.
    I agree that while Dune is one of the best SF books ever written it is not dantasy

    1. Anonymous says:

      Modesitt’s Corean Chronicles is also very good.


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