Best Fantasy Books of All Time

Some people enjoy a good classic such as War and Peace, or Dante’s Inferno, but not everybody is willing to read something as old as that, and not for the age of it. Some people simply prefer a different setting, something more magical. 

Magical realism might be the answer, but people often just want to move away from realism, into a world which may be similar, but essentially, it has its own set of rules. Following are the best fantasy books of all time, to help us all find solutions and problems, in other worlds.

Lord of the Rings Trilogy – J.R.R. Tolkien

Much can be said of the fantasy genre, but not enough about the Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien. Middle Earth is a place where wicked deeds happen on a daily basis, but also, lovely things such as supper, second breakfast, elevensies, luncheon, brunch and a good pint of beer, not to mention a puff of Old Toby.

Wizards, magic, chivalry, and a normal, everyday life, all of these things you can find in Lord of the Rings.

The Wheel of Time – Robert Jordan

The wheel of time is actually a fourteen book long series, but its first book, The Eye of the World, if you read it, will open your world to endless possibilities and amazing storytelling. If you thought that Tolkien built a world, well, Jordan built his own, one to rival it, especially in lore and character development. Set some time away for the book, as you will most likely be pulled in for the entire series.

Discworld – Sir Terry Pratchett

Discworld is a collection of 40 books detailing amazing stories which take place in the said world. Like with The Wheel of Time, you can start at the beginning, with The Colour of Magic, where a wizard tries to find spells in his head and other beings which should normally have their place in a fantasy setting, struggle to find their in this one, where things are upside down, yet still make a lot of sense.

The Farseer Trilogy – Robin Hobb

There is nothing like a new fantasy setting to tear you away from things that you already knew. The Farseer Trilogy starts with a book called The Assassin’s Apprentice and it tells the story of Fitz, a boy who had some luck in the world, or did he? It is up to you to decide that, but his story is an interesting one, surrounded by everything that fantasy should have, royalty, magic and friendship.

A Song of Ice and Fire – George R.R. Martin

A Song of Ice and Fire is a seven book long series which has everything from magic, treachery, friendship, animals, royalty, as well as the dead. No fantasy book is complete without the dead. A Game of Thrones is the first book in the series, and the most recognizable one, due to the eponymous TV show which took the world by storm. The sixth and seventh book are yet to be released, so beware that you don’t fall in love with the novels.

Henry Söderlund, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons – cropped

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll

This book has been one of many foundations of fantasy writing. It is one of those books that you either read or you didn’t. If you didn’t, however, be careful, or you might find out that the rabbit hole is indeed very deep and leads to various mysterious places. It is a great place to start reading fantasy if you have no experience with it.

These are some of the best fantasy books of all time. Take note that there are plenty more and an all inclusive list would be very long.