Fantasy is a subgenre of speculative fiction based on a hypothetical realm and frequently influenced by myth and folklore from the actual world. It has its origins in oral traditions. Fantasy literature is fiction set in a fantastical realm with no real-world locales, events, or characters. Some fantasy novels have exotic and fascinating realms, while others are closer to home. From strange underworld events to wizards and werewolves, a list of the best fantasy books has been pulled off here.
With the recognition of hit series like Harry Potter and A Song of Ice and Fire, the fantasy genre has exploded in recent years. Fantasy first gained traction in popular culture with sword-and-sorcery pulp stories like Conan the Barbarian and sword-and-planet sagas like The Princess of Mars.
Later, J.R.R. Tolkien sparked the fashionable era of fantasy fiction with The Hobbit. Therefore, the Lord of The Rings successively inspired countless other authors to pen myriad tales of magic and adventure and even led to the arrival of Dungeons & Dragons and many other tabletop games.
Why Read Fantasy Novels?
Imagination begins as a psychological process in which a kid learns to bridge the gap between reality, knowledge, and experience and evolves into an essential coping strategy for adults. One of the most apparent benefits of fantasy is that it allows readers to explore the world from various perspectives. A fantasy story writer takes a hypothetical situation and invites readers to make connections between this fictional scenario and their social reality. The best fantasy books help us escape the pressures of everyday life temporarily. They also enable readers to understand this world by breaking the chain of evil and pain through a magical lens so that we can see them more clearly and meet them face to face.
The Ultimate List
Novels, including Fantasy novels, are innumerable. There are various lists too! But here, based on all quality parameters, popularity, uniqueness, impact, etc., the right set is chosen.
1. The Fellowship of The Ring, by J.R.R Tolkien
The Lord of the Rings was written in sections between 1937 and 1949. A single powerful ring rules all the characters. The Dark Lord concentrated all his power in a single ring stolen from him. After many years in Middle-earth, Bilbo Baggins obtained the ring. After he reaches the age of eleventy-one, he vanishes, and the ring is given to his cousin, Frodo. As a result, the epic journey to destroy the ring and everything it represents begins.
However, there is a catch. Although power is not necessarily evil, those who use it will always be corrupted, maybe as a metaphor for human nature. Tolkien created the classic tale of Good vs. Evil by interweaving the different individuals with a genuinely malignant evil power in Sauron. It is multi-themed on good vs. evil, friendship, hope, perseverance, grace, compassion, forgiveness, fear, strength, skill, and race.
2. The Hobbit, by J.R.R Tolkien
Though a childhood classic, The Hobbit introduces adult fantasy readers to one of the genre’s most personable protagonists – a middle-aged househusband who wants to relax. But we can all strive to discover the reserves of Bilbo-like heroism within us; yes, although a career as a chosen one may be out of reach, we can all strive to be Bilbo Baggins. Easy to read, light, whimsical, and humorous at times, The Hobbit varies from the rest in an old-fashioned style. The primary subject of The Hobbit is Bilbo’s transformation into a hero, which reflects the transformation of a regular person into a hero more widely. The Hobbit’s personal and exterior journeys and conflicts might be most relevant now. In an era when young men, in particular, appear disaffected, unmoored, prone to violence and radicalization, and are dying at alarming rates from “deaths of despair” — mostly suicides and drug overdoses — the book’s central lessons aren’t found in the fantastic elements, in Tolkien’s map’s scope or on some Eagles back.
Thorin, Balin, Fili, and Kili symbolize the dignity of humanity, the virtue of generosity, respect for life, and a duty to do good. In his last hours, Thorin understands the importance of happiness and experiences over wealth and riches, and the story shows that money is not the only essential thing. In a world where nuclear catastrophe looms over every country, efforts to strive for the common good seem to collapse, and inequality and hegemony seem destined to remain in eternity, those antiquated principles are more important now than ever.
3. Game of Thrones, by George R.R Martin
If you find complications interesting, the novel Game of Thrones, with many characters where no one is immune from death, and a universe full of lords, knights, bastards, wizards, ladies, and more, is for you. In essence, it has magic, intrigue, mystery, and romance. Despite the deaths of important characters, the narrative threads remain very compelling. Themes of honor, justice, vengeance, and redemption are intertwined with questions of ethics, morality, and familial connections. The battle for the Iron Throne has begun in a world where summer lasts for decades, and winter can endure for a lifetime. The universe of the show is primitive and insanely violent. Their stories, as they refused to succumb, were the highlight. Game of Thrones doesn’t simply hint at goodness randomly; through character development, the novel teaches that individuals may change for the better and that virtues like courage and forgiveness can be learned.
4. The Master and Margarita, by Mikhail Bulgakov
The book is not intended for children. Written during the height of Stalinist persecution, it weaves two narrative strands: a psychologically nuanced perspective on Christ’s death and a wicked parody of Soviet intellectual life. And where does the Master, the enigmatic Muscovian author, fit into this? In truth, afraid of political repression, Mikhail Bulgakov burned his initial attempt at this narrative; thankfully, for Russophiles and demonologists everywhere, he tried again.
5. Harry Potter, by J.K Rowling
JK Rowling swept the globe by storm in 1997. Rowling, a British author, and philanthropist, wrote one of her finest works, Harry Potter, and audiences received their modern-day wizard. It took her approximately seven years to construct “The Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry”.
It was not only a revolution in the realm of fantasy literature, but it also altered our childhood recollections of wizards and how we imagined them to be. Young readers were introduced to a whole new lexicon of magic and fantasy. Harry Potter is far more than a regular fantasy. Like it or not, Harry Potter’s novels are still influential, with Hogwarts houses being valid sources of zodiac sign identification.
6. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, by C.S Lewis
Lucy, Peter, Susan, and Edmund, tumbling from some wardrobe, come to a hidden nation. Lucy is the first to discover it, followed by Edmund and the rest of the group. They find magic and the Great Lion Aslan there. And it has a lasting impact on their life. The primary pursuit was to free Narnia from the White Witch’s rule. When missions are completed in contemporary fantasy, the hero develops and becomes a complete person.
7. The Colour of the Magic, by Terry Pratchett
What if people from a mythical realm grew up and found they had modern concerns and problems? What is the finest job in town for a troll? This 1983 novel delves into the solutions to questions about fantasy heroes that everyone has but is scared to ask. Rincewind, the primary character, is an inept and cynical Wizard. He unwittingly becomes a tour guide for the inexperienced visitor, Twoflower. They go on a voyage across the Disc after being forced to depart the city of Ankh-Morpork to escape a horrific fire. Unbeknown to them, their trip is guided by the Gods as if they were playing a board game.
They go to the Bel-Shamharoth temple and meet the Hero, Hrun. They then proceed to the Wyrmberg, an upside-down mountain inhabited by dragons that exist only in imagination. After escaping (and leaving Hrun behind), Twoflower and Rincewind nearly fall off the Disc, only to be saved by Tethis the Sea Troll and transported to Krull. The Krullians want to know the gender of Great A’Tuin, the gigantic turtle that drags the Discworld through space, so they created a space capsule to send over the edge. They want to sacrifice Rincewind and Twoflower to make Fate happy about the journey. Instead, in an attempt to escape, Rincewind and Twoflower steal the capsule and are blasted off the Disc themselves.
8. Assassin’s Apprentice, by Robin Hobb
Fitz is born a royal bastard with a mystical bond to animals known as Wit. When he is ultimately adopted into the royal family, he must abandon his connection to animals to accept a new way of life and being — he trains to become a royal assassin. FitzChivalry Farseer, or Fitz, is an illegitimate son abandoned at the royal court in the medieval country of the Six Duchies. His father is no longer alive and is reared in the stables by his uncle Chade. Fitz also has a knack for magic, a hazardous, uncommon skill. The skill is a sort of magical telepathy that exists in the Elderlings’ Realm. In its most frequent form, this magic enables skilled persons to have long-distance discussions and affect the minds of others. Hobb derived the landscape of the Six Duchies from Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, where she and her husband resided for many years. She included the notion of “the Wit”, criticized as the “beast magic”. And the mysterious, enigmatically gendered Fool, who had had a walk-on part, took center stage, helping to elevate Assassin’s Apprentice above the conventional swords and sorcery fantasy.
9. Girl, Serpent, Thorn, by Melissa Bashardoust
A young adult fantasy book with a fairy tale twist. In this terrible story, it is not the princess who has to be saved. Soraya was cursed as a newborn, and now poison pours through her veins. Anyone who comes into contact with her skin shall be executed. As a result, she’s been imprisoned to safeguard her family’s royal title. When a demon is kidnapped and brought to her palace, she sees a chance to learn how to break the curse; however, battling with a demon may force her to turn against her family. The Persian folklore inspirations that serve as the story’s backbone are lovable.
10. The Name of the Wind, by Patrick Rothfuss
Kvothe is a wizard, a villain, a warrior, and a slave. But beneath the mythology lies a straightforward narrative of a kid, a lady, and a world that will never be the same. The Name of the Wind, the legend’s biography, dives deeply into the inner workings of Kvothe, a kid who dares to defy fate. Kvothe’s narrative, as unwillingly narrated by the elderly innkeeper, is as fascinating, dramatic, and inventive as any fantasy novel ever written. Kvothe’s life is turned upside down when the fabled Chandrian murders his family. He becomes a hapless pickpocket and thief before discovering more about his parents’ murderers and deciding that the final answers can only be obtained by attending university. His time there was filled with young love, competition with wealthier peers, and music. Despite the narrator being a singer, sword fighter, and world-renowned magician, his autobiography is a coming-of-age narrative filled with drama and hardship.
While fantasy stories have existed since before the written word, they have come and gone throughout history. However, the twenty-first century has been particularly fertile for fantasy writing. Many readers have made their way back from movies like the Lord of the Rings trilogy or TV shows like Game of Thrones to their fantasy novel roots, searching out new authors after consuming J.R.R. Tolkien and George R.R. Martin’s works.
The finest fantasies, whether in novels, movies, or TV series, generally deal with genuine human tragedies, sufferings, sacrifices, and ties, even while functioning in a purely fictional environment. We can understand their feelings. Hope you like our list.
People are also reading: