The 15 Must Read Fantasy Books of All Time

As a fantasy fanatic, I love coming across new fantasy books to read. The genre is filled with new and old classic. That is why I have made a list of the 15 must read fantasy books of all time. Keep reading to find out which books made the list!

Choosing only 15 books means that many great books will be left off. Hopefully, the books that made the list encourage you to seek out even more fantasy novels. The genre is filled with all sorts of books and even obscure books that might become your favorite series. You can see the full list below!

The 15 Must Read Fantasy Books of All Time

Must Read Fantasy Books

I 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.  

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.  

The Blade Itself book cover
The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie book review

My favorite fantasy writer has to be Brandon Sanderson without a question. He has many great fantasy series and all of them have made me a fan. His characters are likable and his world-building is great. The Stormlight Archive and the Mistborn series have made him a star in the fantasy world.  

The Stormlight Archive books
The Stormlight Archive novels


That is all for this list of the 15 must read fantasy books of all time. How many of these fantasy books have you read? What books should have made the list? Let us know in the comments below!

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43 thoughts on “The 15 Must Read Fantasy Books of All Time

  1. Benjamin says:

    You’re missing out if you’re not considering The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever by Stephen Donaldson on this list…!

    1. Robert f Armstrong says:

      Yes and also Terry Brooks shanara series and magic kingdom for sale series.

      1. Nick says:

        Magic Kingdom, great series really enjoyed it.

    1. Anonymous says:

      How about he finish the series before including it? Martin and Sanderson shouldn’t be included either.

    2. Anonymous says:

      You’ve missed out one of the greatest true fantasy series ever: ppl, wizards, heroes, and gods. The Malazan Book of the Fallen!

      1. Anonymous says:

        I think you could also add the Monarchies of God series by Paul Kearney. It’s written in third person omniscient, but I really think it’s a masterful series, honestly.

  2. Arok Wolvengrey says:

    You are missing Guy Gavriel Kay’s Fionavar Tapestry, and Tad Williams’ Osten Ard books.

  3. Finish the series says:

    Lists like this shouldn’t include an incomplete series. It lacks integrity.

  4. Hdhddb says:

    #2 get that worthless piece of trash off of the list

  5. Chad says:

    This list shows a lack of breadth and depth in reading. By the time I was 18 I had read fantasy books by over a dozen different authors. Some really strong fiction is missing here. The Riddlemaster of Hed series for one. The Dragons of Pern series, although it straddles the line between SF and fantasy. Even Stephen King’s Gunslinger saga is excellent high fantasy. You need to read more from different authors. A list like this should never have the same author twice, unless you title it “some of my favorite fantasy books”. But to try to pass this off as a list of some of the best the fantasy world has to offer makes it a travesty to include the same author twice.

    1. paulherman59859 says:

      I am surprised to not see “Gulliver’s Travels” by Johnathan Swift.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I have read the Malazan Book Of The Fallen series several times and put up there with the wheel of time

    1. Anonymous says:

      Love this series. And his newest one has started off wonderfully!

  7. paulherman59859 says:

    The title says “books” and then there’s even unfinished series… Was this done with Chat GPT?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Where is Magician by Raymond E Feist? A better book than most on this list.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Any listing of “all time best fantasy” that ignores Endings and Moorcock absolutely CANNOT be taken seriously!

    1. Jeff says:

      Eddings’ Belgarion and Moorcock’s Elric are up near the top of my list, too. I’d also include Zelazny’s Nine Princes of Amber to the list.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Sorry, but this is a generic, unimaginative list of bestsellers, with no attempt at exploring the depth and breadth of the genre.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Personally I’m disappointed that there’s no mention of any D&D authors. Between Chronicles and Drizzt let’s be honest that’s the fantasy we grew up reading.

  12. Anonymous says:

    These are almost all series, not books. How many actual books are here? Got to be close to a hundred at least.

  13. Anonymous says:

    The throne of glass novels should be added to this list

  14. Anonymous says:

    40 rules of love very kind and this book is written by Elif shafa.elif shafak is the writer ✍️ from turkey

  15. Anonymous says:

    Andre Norton…Witch World series….and an old but good one. The Well at Worlds End

  16. Anonymous says:

    No Thomas Covenant? No Memory sorrow and thorn? No Malazan? No Fionaver tapestry? No Elric of Melnibone? No Pilocene exiles? No Conan? No broken sword? This list is amatuer hour for noobs.

  17. Anonymous says:

    You have forgotten the best trilogy the rift war saga by Raymond.E. Feist. Also there is no book called disc world it’s a series

  18. Jack says:

    Enjoyed Sanderson’s Stormlight archive at least the first two books in the series, then kind of petered out. Also The Lord of the Rings was good. I haven’t read any of the others on the list. Star Wars Darth Bane Trilogy by Drew Karpyshyn was really good. Also Christopher Paollini’s Eragon series at least the first two books or so was good that I recall but I believe it petered out subsequently. I’m not a huge reader, the books have to be real page turners for me to get throught them. I was a big comic book reader and collector when I was young.

  19. AA says:

    Realm of the Elderlings by Robin Hobb over anything that Sanderson has done.

  20. Michael Hale says:

    No list of the best novels in Sci-Fi / Fantasy can be considered complete without David & Leigh Eddings’ Belgariad / Malloreon. Two five book series and two standalone novels all featuring the same characters and storyline. Hands down, the best developed characters and most engaging story I have ever had the repeated pleasure of reading. My fondest wish is that someone will make live action movies of them. I have not read all the books on your list, but the ones I have read can’t compare to Eddings’ masterpiece.

  21. Anonymous says:

    It annoys me so much that I had to come leave a comment……one incomplete series should never be included. of thrones one of the worst series I have ever read, he is a truly terrible writer.

    Otherwise great list, surprised not to malazan here though.

  22. Anonymous says:

    This is a very cis het male list, mostly. Let’s spice that up a bit.
    The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune
    The Liveship Traders by Robin Hobb
    The Nightrunners by Lynn Flewelling
    The World of Five Gods by Lois McMaster Bujold
    The Blood Ties/Shadow books by Tanya Huff
    Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune
    The Broken Earth Trilogy by NK Jemison
    The Last Herald Mage (or just Valdemar books in general) by Mercedea Lackey
    The Tamir Triad by Lynn Flewelling
    The Bards of Shkodor by Tanya Huff
    Scholomance series by Naomi Novik
    A Charm of Magpies by KJ Charles
    The Dragonriders of Pern by Anne McCaffrey
    The Locked Tomb books by Tamsyn Muir
    The Adam Binder books by David R. Slayton
    Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree
    Rules by FT Lukens
    The Extraordinaries by TJ Klune
    Dark Moon, Shallow Sea by David R Slayton
    The Fire’s Stone by Tanya Huff
    Sookie Stackhouse by Charlaine Harris
    Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
    Babel by RF Kuang
    Land Fit for Heroes by Richard K Morgan
    The Knight and the Necromancer AH Lee
    Crimson Smoke and the Emerald Flame by KC Norton and Riley Rookhouse
    The Lodestar of Ys by Amy Rae Durreson
    Kingston Cycle by CL Polk
    Tarot Sequence by KD Edwards

    40Winks – Bookseller 2 decades

  23. Anonymous says:

    I’ve read nearly all the books/series on your list (fantasy book freak that I am) and would suggest so many more but the series Cephrael’s Hand by Melissa McPhail is one that I have yet to see on any list and it deserves mentioning. You won’t be disappointed.


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