I read literary books since I remember myself and I grew up with Classic Literature, such as Austen’s, Dickens’s and Hemingway’s books. To be honest, I started reading Fantasy Novels only five years ago and I have to admit that this kind of literature is my favorite one. I’m so angry to myself because I don’t know why I didn’t read fantasy novels before. Anyway…
Maybe you’re not a big fan of fantasy literature but admit it! Who didn’t fall in love with some of the most classic and famous fantasy novels, such as “The Lord of the Rings” or “Harry Potter”? So, if you’re not a big fan but you would like to read a good fantasy novel, I think you’ll find this article very useful!
As you understood, this article is dedicated to Fantasy Literature and I’ve carefully chosen the Top 10 Fantasy books from among hundreds of series and thousands of books. I hope I chose right because I know that this list is short, although the number of fantasy books out there is huge. If my list didn’t include a Fantasy Novel that you think it’s really great, please leave me a comment. I would like to know which book is your favorite one and it will help me to learn more about this kind of literature!
This list has a wide range from old Classic Fantasy books to the best of latest year’s Fantasy releases. The goal of this list is to help all of us (including myself), who love this kind of literature, to learn more about fantasy novels and their authors, and help us choose the next fantasy novel to read. So, here is the the Top 10 Fantasy Books:
10. Harry Potter (by J. K. Rowling)
“Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” begins with Harry Potter, a shy and self-doubting boy wizard being brought up by his awful aunt Petunia and uncle Vernon along with his fat cousin Dudley. Dudley lived a life of king, whereas Harry was more like a servant.
He has a lightening shaped scar on his forehead when his parents died in a car crush when he was a baby. But ,the real fact was that he received the scar after an attack by the evil and powerful wizard Voldemort known as “You-Know-Who” who even killed Harry’s Parents. This truth is only known to the the Headmaster and Deputy Headmistress of Hogwarts school of Witchcraft who left Harry with his uncle after this awful incident and awaited to get him back until he is of age to attend the Hogwarts school.
Days went by when he receives a mail to enter into the Hogwarts school of wizards, the best wizard school in the world at the age of 11…
9. A Wizard of Earthsea (by Ursula K. Le Guin)
Ged, originally known as Duny, lives in a mountain village on the island of Gont. His aunt, the village witch, begins training him in magic. Sparrowhawk is discovered by Ogion the Silent, a powerful mage who takes him as his apprentice. On Sparrowhawk’s thirteenth birthday, as a rite of passage, he is given his “true name” – Ged. Ogion attempts to teach Ged about the “Balance,” the concept that magic can upset the natural order of the world if used improperly. In an attempt to impress a girl who doubts his abilities, Ged inadvertently summons a strange shadow, which is banished by Ogion. Ogion eventually invites Ged to attend a School for wizards on the island of Roke.
At the school, Ged’s skill inspires admiration and envy from other students. However, Ged studies magic beyond his level and ignores warnings about respecting the Balance. Moreover, he begins a rivalry with an older student named Jasper. This rivalry culminates in a duel where Ged casts a powerful spell which goes awry. A rip in the fabric of the world opens to the realm of the dead, and a shadow creature passes through, attacking Ged and scarring his face.
Ged spends months healing before resuming his studies. The new Archmage, Gensher, warns him that only Roke’s magical barriers protect him from the shadow, Gensher describes the creature as an ancient and nameless evil that wishes to possess Ged’s body. Years later, Ged graduates from the Roke School and takes a job protecting poor villagers of the Ninety Isles from dragons. While traveling, Ged learns that he is being pursued by the shadow creature he summoned on Roke.
Chased by the shadow, Ged tries to return to Roke but is blocked by the island’s protective magic. Taking the advice to seek help at the Court of the Terrenon in Osskil, Ged flees north. Meanwhile, on Osskil, the shadow nearly catches him…
8. The Blade Itself (by Joe Abercrombie)
Logen Ninefingers, infamous barbarian, has finally run out of luck. Caught in one feud too many, he’s on the verge of becoming a dead barbarian – leaving nothing behind him but bad songs, dead friends, and a lot of happy enemies.
Nobleman Captain Jezal dan Luthar, dashing officer, and paragon of selfishness, has nothing more dangerous in mind than fleecing his friends at cards and dreaming of glory in the fencing circle. But war is brewing, and on the battlefields of the frozen North they fight by altogether bloodier rules.
Inquisitor Glokta, cripple turned torturer, would like nothing better than to see Jezal come home in a box. But then Glokta hates everyone: cutting treason out of the Union one confession at a time leaves little room for friendship. His latest trail of corpses may lead him right to the rotten heart of government, if he can stay alive long enough to follow it.
Enter the wizard, Bayaz. A bald old man with a terrible temper and a pathetic assistant, he could be the First of the Magi, he could be a spectacular fraud, but whatever he is, he’s about to make the lives of Logen, Jezal, and Glokta a whole lot more difficult.
Murderous conspiracies rise to the surface, old scores are ready to be settled, and the line between hero and villain is sharp enough to draw blood…
7. Gardens of The Moon (by Steven Erikson)
The Malazan Empire simmers with discontent, bled dry by interminable warfare, bitter infighting and bloody confrontations with the formidable Anomander Rake, lord of Moon’s Spawn, and his Tiste Andii. Even the imperial legions, long inured to the bloodshed, yearn for some respite. Yet Empress Laseen’s rule remains absolute, enforced by her dread Claw assassins.
For Sergeant Whiskeyjack and his squad of Bridgeburners, and for Tattersail, surviving sorceress of the Second Legion, the aftermath of the Siege of Pale should have been a time to mourn the many dead. But Darujhistan, last of the Free Cities of Genabackis, yet holds out and it is to this ancient citadel that Laseen turns her predatory gaze.
However, it would appear that the Empire is not alone in this great game. Sinister, shadow-bound forces are gathering as the gods themselves prepare to play their hand…
6. American Gods (by Neil Gaiman)
A storm is coming…
Locked behind bars for 3 years, Shadow did his time, quietly waiting for the magic day when he could return to Eagle Point, Indiana. A man no longer scared of what tomorrow might bring, all he wanted was to be with Laura, the wife he deeply loved, and start a new life. But just days before his release, Laura and Shadow’s best friend are killed in an accident. With his life in pieces and nothing to keep him tethered, Shadow accepts a job from a beguiling stranger he meets on the way home, an enigmatic man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday. A trickster and rogue, Wednesday seems to know more about Shadow than Shadow does himself.
Life as Wednesday’s bodyguard, driver, and errand boy is far more interesting and dangerous than Shadow ever imagined. It is a job that takes him on a dark and strange road trip and introduces him to a host of eccentric characters whose fates are mysteriously intertwined with his own.
Along the way, Shadow will learn that the past never dies; that everyone, including his beloved Laura, harbors secrets; and that dreams, totems, legends, and myths are more real than we know. Ultimately, he will discover that beneath the placid surface of everyday life, a storm is brewing – an epic war for the very soul of America – and that he is standing squarely in its path…
5. The Magicians (by Lev Grossman)
Quentin Coldwater is a high school student from Brooklyn who, along with best friends James and Julia, attends an advanced school. He loves a series of books called “Fillory and Further“, which involve the children of the Chatwin family discovering a Narnia-esque land called Fillory. On the day of his Princeton interview, he instead is examined for entrance to Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy, the only school for magic in North America. He, along with 19 others, is accepted to the university and he moves there at once.
It soon becomes apparent that magic is incredibly difficult and tedious to learn, as each spell must be varied in dozens of ways. Despite this, Quentin and Alice Quinn are able to move up a year by compressing their first year of studies. One day during class, an otherworldly horror referred to as “the Beast” enters Brakebills and eats a student before the rest of the faculty are able to drive it away.
Third year students are assigned a Discipline. Though Quentin cannot be assigned one, he and Alice are sorted into the Physical magic group. The Physical Kids also include Eliot, Josh, and Janet, who are a year above them. During the spring semester of their fourth year, they are all sent to Brakebills South in Antarctica, where Quentin and Alice are turned into foxes, and fall in love. Upon graduation, Quentin and the other Physical Kids spend their days and nights in hedonistic pursuits. While still looking for a purpose, his erstwhile classmate Penny arrives with news about travel between worlds and Quentin discovers that Fillory is real…
4. A Game of Thrones (by George R.R. Martin)
What makes this book so hard to summarize is that it’s told from the point-of-view of eight different characters and, well, there’s a lot going on. But here’s a secret: A Game of Thrones can be broken down into three stories:
(1) The longest part of this book tells how the noble Stark family deals with conspiracy and court politics in the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, with particular emphasis on Eddard “Ned” Stark, the father and leader of the noble family.
His daughters Sansa and Arya depart for the royal capital of King’s Landing, while his wife Catelyna, a comatose Bran, and their other sons Robb and Rickon remain at Winterfell. During the journey south, a physical altercation between Arya and Robert’s son, Prince Joffrey, to whom Sansa has been betrothed, increases both the tension between the Starks and the Lannisters and the sibling rivalry between Arya and Sansa.
At Winterfell, an assassin attempts to kill Bran, thwarted only by his direwolf. Catelyn departs for King’s Landing to bring word of this to Ned. Shortly after that, Bran awakens as a paraplegic, with no memory of the cause of his fall. During Catelyn’s return to Winterfell, she meets Tyrion, by chance, she arrests him and takes him to her sister Lysa Arryn’s stronghold in the Vale, where Tyrion demands trial by combat and regains his freedom when his champion, a mercenary named Bronn, is victorious. In retaliation for Tyrion’s abduction, his father Lord Tywin Lannister sends soldiers to raid Catelyn’s homeland, the Riverlands.
(2) A second story follows the exiled princess Daenerys, one of the last descendants from the previous royal family, as she grows up on another continent.
In Pentos, a continent to the east of Westeros, Viserys Targaryen betroths his sister Daenerys to Khal Drogo, a warlord of the nomadic Dothraki, in exchange for the use of Drogo’s army to reclaim the throne of Westeros. Illyrio, a wealthy merchant who has been supporting the penniless Targaryens and brokered the marriage, gives Daenerys three petrified dragon eggs as a wedding gift. Initially terrified of her new husband and his people, Daenerys eventually embraces the role of Drogo’s queen.
When Drogo shows little interest in conquering Westeros, Viserys tries to browbeat his sister into coercing Drogo, but she refuses. When Viserys publicly threatens Daenerys, Drogo executes him by pouring molten gold on his head. After that, an assassin seeking King Robert’s favor attempts to poison Daenerys and her unborn child, and Drogo agrees to help her conquer Westeros. While sacking villages to fund the invasion, Drogo is wounded, and Daenerys commands a captive folk healer to save him. When he is beyond saving, the healer, angered by the Dothraki raids, sacrifices Daenerys’ unborn child to power the spell to save Drogo’s life, which restores Drogo’s health but leaves him in a vegetative state. Most of the Dothraki army departs to follow a new leader.
Daenerys smothers Drogo with a pillow and orders the healer tied to Drogo’s funeral pyre. She places her three dragon eggs on the pyre, enters it herself, and emerges unscathed with three newly hatched dragons suckling at her breasts. The remaining Dothraki and Jorah Mormont, awe-struck, swear allegiance to her.
(3) A third story follows Jon Snow, the illegitimate son of Eddard Stark, as he grows up in the north of Westeros. He is in the special military order called the Night’s Watch, which is dedicated to protecting the civilized Seven Kingdoms from the dangers beyond the Wall.
The Wall is an ancient barrier of stone, ice, and magic, hundreds of feet high and hundreds of miles long, shielding the Seven Kingdoms from the Northern wilderness. The Wall is manned by the Night’s Watch: an order of warriors sworn to serve there for life, forgoing marriage, titles, property, and children. North of the Wall, a small patrol of Rangers from the Night’s Watch encounter the Others, an ancient and hostile race of super-humans. All of the Rangers are killed except the single survivor later executed by Eddard Stark for desertion.
Jon Snow, the bastard son of Eddard Stark, is inspired by his uncle, Benjen Stark, to join the Night’s Watch, but becomes disillusioned when he discovers that its primary use is that of a penal colony for criminals, meant to keep “wildlings“, human tribesmen in relative anarchy north of the Wall, in check. At the Wall, Jon unites the recruits against their harsh instructor and protects the cowardly but good-natured and intelligent Samwell Tarly. Jon hopes that his combat skills will earn him assignment to the Rangers, the military arm of the Night’s Watch, but instead is made a steward to the leader of the Watch, Lord Commander Jeor Mormont, potentially making Jon the successor to Mormont.
When word of his father’s execution reaches Jon, he attempts to join Robb against the Lannisters but is prevented by his comrades and persuaded by Mormont to remain loyal to the Watch. Mormont then declares his intention to find Benjen – dead or alive – and to investigate the disappearance of many wildlings and the dark rumors surrounding “the King-Beyond-the-Wall“: a deserter from the Night’s Watch known as Mance Rayder…
3. The Way of Kings (by Brandon Sanderson)
The book begins with a victory. For thousands of years, the Heralds have waged war against a race of monsters, called Voidbringers, in order to protect humanity. The Voidbringers always appear in a regular cycle, called Desolations, during which the Heralds battle against them.
This plight is told from the viewpoint of a male Herald. He reveals that all the Heralds are cursed to ultimately perish in battle driving back the monsters. After dying, they are sent to a place of fire and brimstone only to eventually be reborn and start the cycle of war and death again. After countless rebirths, and weary of the tortuous cycle, the Heralds abandon and condemn one of their own to remain eternally in that place of fire, cast down their Honorblades (powerful swords similar to Shardblades), and abandon their calling, disappearing into history.
Thousands of years later, the story switches from the Heralds’ point of view to that of Kaladin, Shallan, Dalinar Kholin, Szeth, and many others, who lead seemingly unconnected lives. Szeth, who cast out by his people, is sent to murder Gavilar Kholin, King of one of Roshar’s most powerful nations, Alethkar. A peace-loving believer in non-violence, Szeth cries as he’s forced to do the bidding of his unknown master. As the story progresses, he continuously changes hands, doing his best to hide the fact that he possesses a Shardblade, a magical blade given to the Knights Radiant that can cut through any material and end lives with a single cut.
He also possesses an ability called Surgebinding (the ability to control gravity and to bind things together for a certain amount of time), once possessed by the Knights Radiant and thought lost, making him incredibly difficult to defeat in battle…
2. Lord of The Rings (by J. R. R. Tolkien)
“The Lord of the Rings” takes up the story about 60 years after the end of “The Hobbit“. The story begins when Frodo Baggins came into possession of Bilbo’s magic ring. Gandalf the Grey, discovered that it was in fact the One Ring, the instrument of Sauron’s power and the object for which the Dark Lord has been searching for most of the Third Age, and which corrupted others with desire for it and the power it held.
Sauron sent the sinister Ringwraiths, in the guise of riders in black, to the Shire, Frodo’s native land, in search of the Ring. Frodo escaped, with the help of his loyal gardener Sam Gamgee and three close friends. At the town of Bree, Frodo’s party was joined by a man called Aragorn, known as “Strider“, who led the hobbits to Rivendell on Gandalf’s request.
In Rivendell, the hobbits also learned that Sauron’s forces could only be resisted if Aragorn took up his inheritance and fulfilled an ancient prophecy by wielding the sword Andúril, which had been forged anew from the shards of Narsil, the sword that cut the Ring from Sauron’s finger in the Second Age. A high council, attended by representatives of the major races of Middle-earth; Elves, Dwarves, and Men, and presided over by Elrond, decide that the only course of action that can save Middle-earth is to destroy the Ring by taking it to Mordor and casting it into Mount Doom, where it was forged. Frodo volunteered for the task, and a “Fellowship of the Ring” were formed to aid him – consisting of Frodo, his three Hobbit companions, Gandalf, Aragorn, Boromir of Gondor, Gimli the Dwarf, and Legolas the Elf…
1. The Name of The Wind (by Patrick Rothfuss)
“The Name of the Wind” begins in the frame story, the setting of which is The Waystone Inn located in Newarre. It is owned by a man named Kote, soon revealed to be an alias of the legendary figure Kvothe. The frame story occurs several years after the beginning of the narration, which addresses the man’s lifetime as an adventurer and student of The University, being written by the Chronicler over a period of three days.
The first day of the narrative begins when Kvothe is eleven years old, being raised by his parents who lead a troupe of Edema Ruh entertainers. Shortly after this introduction, his troupe is slaughtered by the folkloric group known as The Chandrian, leading to his childhood as an orphan on the streets of Tarbean.
Approximately three years later, Kvothe meets the storyteller Skarpi whose tales spur him to attempt to enter the University, a dream he’d toyed with as a child. Kvothe then sells his meager possessions, gaining just enough to travel to the institution where he makes admissions on a scholarship.
The remainder of the novel chronicles his time here when not alternating to the present day in interludes. It encompasses approximately five years of his early life. He does very well at the University and is a very talented student. However, he is also very poor, which causes many problems for him as tuition at the university is very expensive. At the conclusion, Kvothe uses the name of the wind against his nemesis, Ambrose Jakis; while in the frame story he is accosted by a skin dancer who kills one of his patrons before being bludgeoned to death by another.