50 best fantasy books everyone should read

Dive into realms of wonder, where magic dances with the imagination and heroes embark on quests that challenge the very fabric of reality. Fantasy literature, with its intricate tapestries of lore and legend, has always held a special place in the hearts of readers.

It offers an escape, a doorway to worlds where dragons soar and kingdoms rise and fall on the whims of wizards. From timeless classics to modern masterpieces, the genre has given us countless tales that linger long after the last page is turned.

In this compilation, we journey through the 50 best fantasy book series ever penned, inviting you to lose yourself in sagas that redefine the boundaries of the imaginable. Join us, and let the adventure begin!

Pointers that were considered during the selection process of the “50 Best Fantasy Book Series”:

  1. Literary Merit: The series’ writing quality, showcasing intricate plots, profound character arcs, and a captivating narrative, setting it apart in the vast sea of fantasy literature.
  2. World-Building: The series’ ability to craft immersive, detailed universes, making readers feel they’ve stepped into another realm, rich with history, culture, and unique landscapes.
  3. Reader Reviews: Feedback from the reading community, reflecting genuine reactions, praises, and critiques, ensuring the series resonates with its intended audience.
  4. Awards and Recognitions: Accolades the series has garnered, indicating its excellence and standing in the literary world, and validating its place among the best.
  5. Re-readability: The series’ enduring charm, enticing readers to revisit its pages multiple times, discovering new layers and nuances with each read, showcasing its depth and complexity.

50. The Divine Cities

  • Logline: Gods have fallen, and their once-magical cities navigate a new era of politics and power.
  • Author Name: Robert Jackson Bennett
  • First Book Published: “City of Stairs” (2014)
  • Total Books in Series: 3
The Divine Cities by Robert Jackson Bennett

49. The Moontide Quartet

  • Logline: Every twelve years, a bridge emerges, igniting war, trade, and intrigue between continents.
  • Author Name: David Hair
  • First Book Published: “Mage’s Blood” (2012)
  • Total Books in Series: 4
The Moontide Quartet by David Hair

48. A Pattern of Shadow & Light

  • Logline: Five strands of power weave a tapestry of war, treachery, and hope.
  • Author Name: Melissa McPhail
  • First Book Published: “Cephrael’s Hand” (2010)
  • Total Books in Series: 5
The A Pattern of Shadow Light by Melissa McPhail

47. The Books of Babel

  • Logline: A man’s search for his lost wife in a towering, mysterious structure.
  • Author Name: Josiah Bancroft
  • First Book Published: “Senlin Ascends” (2013)
  • Total Books in Series: 4
The Books of Babel by Josiah Bancroft

46. The Sevenwaters Trilogy

  • Logline: Ancient magic, love, and family ties shape Ireland’s fate.
  • Author Name: Juliet Marillier
  • First Book Published: “Daughter of the Forest” (1999)
  • Total Books in Series: Originally a trilogy, but expanded to 6 books.
The Sevenwaters Trilogy by Juliet Marillier

45. The Sword of Truth

  • Logline: A woods guide is thrust into a battle between good and evil, wielding a powerful sword.
  • Author Name: Terry Goodkind
  • First Book Published: “Wizard’s First Rule” (1994)
  • Total Books in Series: 15
The Sword of Truth by Terry Goodkind

44. Valdemar Series

  • Logline: In a magical kingdom, Heralds and their telepathic companions uphold justice and face challenges.
  • Author Name: Mercedes Lackey
  • First Book Published: “Arrows of the Queen” (1987)
  • Total Books in Series: Over 40 (including trilogies and standalone)
The Valdemar Series by Mercedes Lackey

43. The Pern Series

  • Logline: On the planet Pern, dragonriders combat a deadly spore with the help of telepathic dragons.
  • Author Name: Anne McCaffrey
  • First Book Published: “Dragonflight” (1968)
  • Total Books in Series: 24
The Pern Series by Anne McCaffrey

42. Book of the Ancestor

  • Logline: In a convent, young girls are trained to be assassins, mages, and warriors.
  • Author Name: Mark Lawrence
  • First Book Published: “Red Sister” (2017)
  • Total Books in Series: 3
The Book of the Ancestor by Mark Lawrence

41. The Winternight Trilogy

  • Logline: In medieval Russia, a girl bridges the mortal world and mythological realms.
  • Author Name: Katherine Arden
  • First Book Published: “The Bear and the Nightingale” (2017)
  • Total Books in Series: 3
The Winternight Trilogy by Katherine Arden

40. The Demon Cycle

  • Logline: Humanity battles nocturnal demons using magical symbols and the power of daylight.
  • Author Name: Peter V. Brett
  • First Book Published: “The Warded Man” (also known as “The Painted Man”) (2008)
  • Total Books in Series: 5
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The Demon Cycle by Peter V. Brett

39. The Red Queen’s War

  • Logline: A prince and a Norse warrior embark on a perilous quest in a post-apocalyptic Europe.
  • Author Name: Mark Lawrence
  • First Book Published: “Prince of Fools” (2014)
  • Total Books in Series: 3
The Red Queens War by Mark Lawrence

38. The Shadow Campaigns

  • Logline: A blend of military strategy and ancient magic shapes the fate of an empire.
  • Author Name: Django Wexler
  • First Book Published: “The Thousand Names” (2013)
  • Total Books in Series: 5
The Shadow Campaigns by Django Wexler

37. The Books of Pellinor

  • Logline: A young girl’s destiny unfolds amidst ancient prophecies and magical gifts.
  • Author Name: Alison Croggon
  • First Book Published: “The Naming” (2002)
  • Total Books in Series: 4
The Books of Pellinor by Alison Croggon

36. Powder Mage Trilogy

  • Logline: In a world of gunpowder and gods, a coup threatens an established order.
  • Author Name: Brian McClellan
  • First Book Published: “Promise of Blood” (2013)
  • Total Books in Series: 3
The Powder Mage Trilogy by Brian McClellan

35. The Chronicles of the Black Company

  • Logline: A mercenary band navigates wars, dark sorcery, and shifting allegiances.
  • Author Name: Glen Cook
  • First Book Published: “The Black Company” (1984)
  • Total Books in Series: 9
The Black Company by Glen Cook

34. The Licanius Trilogy

  • Logline: In a land of prophecy and war, the past confronts the future.
  • Author Name: James Islington
  • First Book Published: “The Shadow of What Was Lost” (2014)
  • Total Books in Series: 3
The Licanius Triology

33. The Inheritance Cycle

  • Logline: A farm boy and his dragon embark on a quest against an evil empire.
  • Author Name: Christopher Paolini
  • First Book Published: “Eragon” (2002)
  • Total Books in Series: 5
The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini

32. The Temeraire Series

  • Logline: The Napoleonic Wars reimagined with intelligent dragons as aerial combatants.
  • Author Name: Naomi Novik
  • First Book Published: “His Majesty’s Dragon” (2006)
  • Total Books in Series: 9
The Temeraire Series by Naomi Novik

31. The Magicians

  • Logline: A brilliant student discovers magic is real, and reality is painful.
  • Author Name: Lev Grossman
  • First Book Published: “The Magicians” (2009)
  • Total Books in Series: 3
The Magicians by Lev Grossman

30. Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn

  • Logline: An orphaned scullion’s fate intertwines with an ancient, malevolent force.
  • Author Name: Tad Williams
  • First Book Published: “The Dragonbone Chair” (1988)
  • Total Books in Series: 3 (Original trilogy)
The Memory Sorrow and Thorn by Tad Williams

29. Codex Alera

  • Logline: A young man’s journey in a land where elemental spirits fuel powerful magics.
  • Author Name: Jim Butcher
  • First Book Published: “Furies of Calderon” (2004)
  • Total Books in Series: 6
The Codex Alera by Jim Butcher

28. The Broken Earth Trilogy

  • Logline: A shattered world’s fate hinges on its most despised inhabitants.
  • Author Name: N.K. Jemisin
  • First Book Published: “The Fifth Season” (2015)
  • Total Books in Series: 3
The Broken Earth Trilogy by N.K. Jemisin

27. Abhorsen Series

  • Logline: In a world of necromancy, one family stands against the dead’s return.
  • Author Name: Garth Nix
  • First Book Published: “Sabriel” (1995)
  • Total Books in Series: 6
The Abhorsen Series by Garth Nix

26. Bartimaeus Trilogy

  • Logline: A young magician summons a sarcastic djinni, sparking adventures and political intrigue.
  • Author Name: Jonathan Stroud
  • First Book Published: “The Amulet of Samarkand” (2003)
  • Total Books in Series: 3
The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud

25. Night Angel Trilogy

  • Logline: An assassin’s path intertwines with dark magic and destiny.
  • Author Name: Brent Weeks
  • First Book Published: “The Way of Shadows” (2008)
  • Total Books in Series: 3
The Night Angel Trilogy by Brent Weeks

24. Riyria Revelations

  • Logline: Two thieves find themselves embroiled in kingdom-wide conspiracies.
  • Author Name: Michael J. Sullivan
  • First Book Published: “Theft of Swords” (2011)
  • Total Books in Series: 6
The Riyria Revelations by Michael J. Sullivan

23. Gentleman Bastard

  • Logline: Con artists navigate a world of danger, politics, and revenge.
  • Author Name: Scott Lynch
  • First Book Published: “The Lies of Locke Lamora” (2006)
  • Total Books in Series: 3 published, with more planned.
The Gentleman Bastard by Scott Lynch

22. The Chronicles of Amber

  • Logline: A royal family’s power struggles span parallel worlds.
  • Author Name: Roger Zelazny
  • First Book Published: “Nine Princes in Amber” (1970)
  • Total Books in Series: 10
The Chronicles of Amber by Roger Zelazny

21. The Inheritance Trilogy

  • Logline: Gods, mortals, and power dynamics shape a complex world.
  • Author Name: N.K. Jemisin
  • First Book Published: “The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms” (2010)
  • Total Books in Series: 4
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The Inheritance Trilogy by N.K. Jemisin

20. The Earthsea Cycle

  • Logline: A young wizard’s journey in a world of islands and magic.
  • Author Name: Ursula K. Le Guin
  • First Book Published: “A Wizard of Earthsea” (1968)
  • Total Books in Series: 6
The Earthsea Cycle by Ursula K. Le Guin

19. The Liveship Traders

  • Logline: Sentient ships, sea serpents, and traders’ tales in a rich maritime world.
  • Author Name: Robin Hobb
  • First Book Published: “Ship of Magic” (1998)
  • Total Books in Series: 3
The Liveship Traders by Robin Hobb

18. The Farseer Trilogy

  • Logline: A royal bastard becomes an assassin in a kingdom of intrigue.
  • Author Name: Robin Hobb
  • First Book Published: “Assassin’s Apprentice” (1995)
  • Total Books in Series: 3
The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb

17. Lightbringer Series

  • Logline: Magic based on light’s spectrum shapes empires and destinies.
  • Author Name: Brent Weeks
  • First Book Published: “The Black Prism” (2010)
  • Total Books in Series: 5
The Lightbringer Series by Brent Weeks 1

16. The Broken Empire

  • Logline: A prince’s ruthless journey to power in a post-apocalyptic world.
  • Author Name: Mark Lawrence
  • First Book Published: “Prince of Thorns” (2011)
  • Total Books in Series: 3
The Broken Empire by Mark Lawrence

15. The First Law

  • Logline: War, magic, and politics collide in a gritty fantasy world.
  • Author Name: Joe Abercrombie
  • First Book Published: “The Blade Itself” (2006)
  • Total Books in Series: 3 main books, with additional standalones and a new trilogy set in the same world.
The First Law by Joe Abercrombie

14. Discworld Series

  • Logline: A satirical fantasy series set on a flat world balanced on elephants.
  • Author Name: Terry Pratchett
  • First Book Published: “The Colour of Magic” (1983)
  • Total Books in Series: 41
The Discworld Series by Terry Pratchett

13. The Witcher

  • Logline: A monster hunter navigates political intrigue and ancient evils in a war-torn world.
  • Author Name: Andrzej Sapkowski
  • First Book Published: “The Last Wish” (1993, English translation)
  • Total Books in Series: 8 (including short story collections)
The Witcher by Andrzej Sapkowski

12. His Dark Materials

  • Logline: Parallel universes, a powerful substance, and a girl’s journey to understand her destiny.
  • Author Name: Philip Pullman
  • First Book Published: “Northern Lights” (1995) (Published as “The Golden Compass” in North America)
  • Total Books in Series: 3 (Original trilogy)
His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

11. The Dark Tower

  • Logline: A gunslinger’s quest to reach a mysterious tower in a world blending fantasy and the Old West.
  • Author Name: Stephen King
  • First Book Published: “The Gunslinger” (1982)
  • Total Books in Series: 8
The Dark Tower by Stephen King

10. The Dresden Files

  • Logline: A wizard detective in modern-day Chicago battles supernatural threats.
  • Author Name: Jim Butcher
  • First Book Published: “Storm Front” (2000)
  • Total Books in Series: 17
The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher

9. The Malazan Book of the Fallen

  • Logline: An epic tale of empires, gods, and magic spanning continents and millennia.
  • Author Name: Steven Erikson
  • First Book Published: “Gardens of the Moon” (1999)
  • Total Books in Series: 10
The Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson

8. The Stormlight Archive

  • Logline: Heroes, magic, and ancient evils clash on the storm-ravaged world of Roshar.
  • Author Name: Brandon Sanderson
  • First Book Published: “The Way of Kings” (2010)
  • Total Books in Series: 6 (with more planned)
The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson

7. Mistborn

  • Logline: In a world where ash falls from the sky, rebels aim to overthrow a dark lord.
  • Author Name: Brandon Sanderson
  • First Book Published: “Mistborn: The Final Empire” (2006)
  • Total Books in Series: 8
Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

6. The Kingkiller Chronicle

  • Logline: A legendary figure recounts his life, from orphaned child to famed magician and adventurer.
  • Author Name: Patrick Rothfuss
  • First Book Published: “The Name of the Wind” (2007)
  • Total Books in Series: 2 main novels (with a third planned)
The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss

5. The Chronicles of Narnia

  • Logline: Children discover a magical land where they battle evil and fulfill prophecies.
  • Author Name: C.S. Lewis
  • First Book Published: “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” (1950)
  • Total Books in Series: 7
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

4. The Wheel of Time

  • Logline: A destined savior and his allies confront the Dark One in an epic battle of fate.
  • Author Name: Robert Jordan (and later Brandon Sanderson)
  • First Book Published: “The Eye of the World” (1990)
  • Total Books in Series: 14
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The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan and later Brandon Sanderson

3. A Song of Ice and Fire

  • Logline: Noble houses vie for the Iron Throne in a brutal, intricate game of power.
  • Author Name: George R.R. Martin
  • First Book Published: “A Game of Thrones” (1996)
  • Total Books in Series: 5 published, with 2 more planned.
A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin

2. The Lord of the Rings

  • Logline: A hobbit’s quest to destroy a powerful ring and defeat the Dark Lord Sauron.
  • Author Name: J.R.R. Tolkien
  • First Book Published: “The Fellowship of the Ring” (1954)
  • Total Books in Series: 3
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

1. Harry Potter

  • Logline: A young wizard battles the dark lord Voldemort while discovering his own destiny.
  • Author Name: J.K. Rowling
  • First Book Published: “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” (1997)
  • Total Books in Series: 7
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

Guide: How to Select the Perfect Fantasy Book Series to Read

With so many captivating worlds, intriguing characters, and epic adventures to explore in the realm of fantasy literature, it can be overwhelming to decide which series to dive into next. Whether you’re a seasoned fantasy reader or just starting your journey, this guide will help you make an informed choice and discover your next favorite read.

1. Know Your Preferences

Before you start your search, it’s essential to understand your reading preferences. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you prefer high fantasy (complex magical worlds) or low fantasy (magic in a real-world setting)?
  • Are you interested in character-driven stories or intricate world-building?
  • Do you enjoy epic quests, political intrigue, or a combination of both?
  • Is a fast-paced plot or lyrical prose more appealing to you?

Knowing your preferences will help narrow down your choices.

2. Explore Subgenres

Fantasy is a vast genre with numerous subgenres, such as:

  • Epic Fantasy: Grand adventures set in expansive worlds.
  • Urban Fantasy: Fantasy elements in contemporary urban settings.
  • Magical Realism: Fantasy elements seamlessly integrated into the real world.
  • Steampunk: A mix of fantasy and technology in Victorian settings.
  • Sword and Sorcery: Action-packed tales with sword-wielding heroes.
  • Grimdark: Dark and morally complex fantasy.

Exploring these subgenres can lead you to books that align with your specific interests.

3. Read Reviews and Recommendations

Research is your best friend when choosing a book. Look for book reviews and recommendations from trusted sources, including friends, online book communities, and literary websites. Pay attention to reviews that mention elements you enjoy in a fantasy novel, and consider both positive and negative feedback to make an informed decision.

4. Consider Book Length

Fantasy books come in various lengths, from standalone novellas to multi-book epics. Consider how much time you’re willing to invest in a story. If you prefer shorter reads, look for standalone novels or series with manageable book lengths.

FAQs: Common Questions About Choosing Fantasy Books

Q1: Can I start with a classic fantasy book even if I’m new to the genre?

A: Absolutely! Classic fantasy books like “The Hobbit” or “A Song of Ice and Fire” are excellent starting points.

Q2: What if I’m overwhelmed by the sheer number of fantasy books available?

A: Start with recommendations from friends or online communities. It’s a great way to discover hidden gems.

Q3: Are there any fantasy books suitable for young readers?

A: Yes, many fantasy books are suitable for all ages. Look for Young Adult (YA) or Middle Grade fantasy novels.

Q4: How can I find diverse and inclusive fantasy books?

A: Seek out book lists and recommendations that focus on diversity and inclusivity in literature. There are many excellent options available.

Conclusion

Selecting the perfect fantasy book to read is an adventure in itself. By understanding your preferences, exploring subgenres, reading reviews, and considering factors like book length and series status, you can make an informed choice and embark on a literary journey that will transport you to magical realms and unforgettable adventures. Happy reading!

Written by

Rajat Mehta

Meet Rajat, the coolest cat at The Serial Binger! This writer is all about that Manga/Manhwa and Book life. With an unbreakable love for the lovely stories, Rajat hooks readers up with the freshest and mind-blowing updates. Get ready to groove and geek out with Rajat's funky articles!