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Best Fantasy Books: The 70 Best Fantasy Novels Of All Time (2020)

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Best Fantasy Books

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Looking for the best fantasy books of all time? You’re in the right place!

From Middle Earth to Narnia; from world-building to world-ending epics, I’ve done the adventuring for you and hoarded the best fantasy series and best fantasy books of all time in one list.

Note: This list of best fantasy books is strictly limited to the fantasy genre. For my top science fiction picks, go check out this reading list of the 70 best sci-fi books of all time. Or click here to explore all TAoL‘s book recommendations.

Where should you start? The first book that made me fall in love with the fantasy genre was The Hobbit (#2). But, from Lord of the Rings (#1) to Game of Thrones (#5) to Harry Potter (#4) and beyond, you can’t go far wrong with ANY of the epic fantasy books mapped out below.

My advice? Don’t overthink it.

Start at the top, pick the first book that excites you and get reading.

And whatever you choose, I hope you find wonder, I hope you find wisdom and I hope you live happily ever after, till the end of your days.

The 70 Best Fantasy Books Of All Time

Why these best fantasy books and not others? The best fantasy books below are the top picks from my long list of hundreds of books, ranked by a combination of Goodreads rating, number of Goodreads reviews and first publication date. The aim is to surface what’s most loved, what’s most popular and what’s proven timelessly relevant.

Note: To maximise diversity I’ve only included the top-ranked fantasy book from any book series where multiple books from that series would have made the list. Where the book listed below is not the first in a sequence, you may want to click through start with the first in the series.

Think something’s missing? Leave a comment or email me and I’ll add it to the next round of updates. I honestly love hearing from you so please, do get in touch!

  1. The Return of the King (The Lord of the Rings, #3) (1955), J.R.R. Tolkien
    404 pages. Rated 4.5 over 664,100 reviews on Goodreads.
  2. The Hobbit, or There and Back Again (1937), J.R.R. Tolkien
    366 pages. Rated 4.3 over 2,835,700 reviews on Goodreads.
  3. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Chronicles of Narnia, #1) (1950), C.S. Lewis
    206 pages. Rated 4.2 over 2,085,000 reviews on Goodreads.
  4. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Harry Potter, #1) (1997), J.K. Rowling
    322 pages. Rated 4.5 over 6,867,000 reviews on Goodreads.
  5. A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1) (1996), George R.R. Martin
    835 pages. Rated 4.5 over 1,966,500 reviews on Goodreads.
  6. The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1) (2007), Patrick Rothfuss
    662 pages. Rated 4.5 over 695,500 reviews on Goodreads.
  7. Good Omens (1990), Terry Pratchett
    The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch
    491 pages. Rated 4.2 over 525,800 reviews on Goodreads.
  8. Guards! Guards! (Discworld, #8) (1989), Terry Pratchett
    376 pages. Rated 4.3 over 158,700 reviews on Goodreads.
  9. A Wrinkle in Time (Time Quintet, #1) (1962), Madeleine L’Engle
    218 pages. Rated 4.0 over 1,035,500 reviews on Goodreads.
  10. The Dragon Reborn (The Wheel of Time, #3) (1991), Robert Jordan
    624 pages. Rated 4.3 over 208,600 reviews on Goodreads.
  11. The Drawing of the Three (The Dark Tower, #2) (1987), Stephen King
    463 pages. Rated 4.2 over 210,800 reviews on Goodreads.
  12. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Alice’s Adventures, #1) (1865), Lewis Carroll
    96 pages. Rated 4.0 over 232,200 reviews on Goodreads.
  13. The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive, #1) (2010), Brandon Sanderson
    1,007 pages. Rated 4.6 over 286,900 reviews on Goodreads.
  14. Magician: Master (The Riftwar Saga, #2) (1982), Raymond E. Feist
    499 pages. Rated 4.3 over 64,400 reviews on Goodreads.
  15. The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastard, #1) (2006), Scott Lynch
    752 pages. Rated 4.3 over 211,700 reviews on Goodreads.
  16. A Wizard of Earthsea (Earthsea Cycle, #1) (1968), Ursula K. Le Guin
    183 pages. Rated 4.0 over 232,700 reviews on Goodreads.
  17. Royal Assassin (Farseer Trilogy, #2) (1996), Robin Hobb
    675 pages. Rated 4.2 over 145,700 reviews on Goodreads.
  18. Dragonflight (Pern, #1) (1968), Anne McCaffrey
    299 pages. Rated 4.1 over 122,900 reviews on Goodreads.
  19. Sabriel (Abhorsen, #1) (1995), Garth Nix
    491 pages. Rated 4.2 over 178,700 reviews on Goodreads.
  20. The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials, #2) (1997), Philip Pullman
    370 pages. Rated 4.1 over 356,800 reviews on Goodreads.
  21. Summer Knight (The Dresden Files, #4) (2002), Jim Butcher
    446 pages. Rated 4.3 over 122,500 reviews on Goodreads.
  22. The Blue Sword (Damar, #1) (1982), Robin McKinley
    256 pages. Rated 4.2 over 55,200 reviews on Goodreads.
  23. Pawn of Prophecy (The Belgariad, #1) (1982), David Eddings
    304 pages. Rated 4.2 over 91,700 reviews on Goodreads.
  24. Wizard’s First Rule (Sword of Truth, #1) (1994), Terry Goodkind
    836 pages. Rated 4.1 over 225,400 reviews on Goodreads.
  25. American Gods (2001), Neil Gaiman
    635 pages. Rated 4.1 over 742,900 reviews on Goodreads.
  26. The Last Wish (The Witcher, #0.5) (1993), Andrzej Sapkowski
    360 pages. Rated 4.1 over 176,000 reviews on Goodreads.
  27. The Silmarillion (1977), J.R.R. Tolkien
    386 pages. Rated 3.9 over 212,200 reviews on Goodreads.
  28. Before They Are Hanged (The First Law, #2) (2007), Joe Abercrombie
    441 pages. Rated 4.3 over 109,700 reviews on Goodreads.
  29. Kushiel’s Avatar (Phèdre’s Trilogy, #3) (2003), Jacqueline Carey
    702 pages. Rated 4.4 over 33,100 reviews on Goodreads.
  30. The Graveyard Book (2008), Neil Gaiman
    307 pages. Rated 4.1 over 426,300 reviews on Goodreads.
  31. Warbreaker (Warbreaker, #1) (2009), Brandon Sanderson
    688 pages. Rated 4.3 over 110,200 reviews on Goodreads.
  32. The Courts of Chaos (The Chronicles of Amber, #5) (1978), Roger Zelazny
    189 pages. Rated 4.2 over 20,500 reviews on Goodreads.
  33. Blood Song (Raven’s Shadow, #1) (2011), Anthony Ryan
    591 pages. Rated 4.4 over 70,000 reviews on Goodreads.
  34. The Warded Man (Demon Cycle, #1) (2008), Peter V. Brett
    416 pages. Rated 4.3 over 105,500 reviews on Goodreads.
  35. Harpist in the Wind (Riddle-Master, #3) (1979), Patricia A. McKillip
    263 pages. Rated 4.2 over 7,000 reviews on Goodreads.
  36. Eragon (The Inheritance Cycle, #1) (2002), Christopher Paolini
    503 pages. Rated 3.9 over 1,410,400 reviews on Goodreads.
  37. The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth, #1) (2015), N.K. Jemisin
    468 pages. Rated 4.3 over 135,100 reviews on Goodreads.
  38. Cugel Saga (The Dying Earth, #3) (1983), Jack Vance
    347 pages. Rated 4.2 over 2,300 reviews on Goodreads.
  39. The Way of Shadows (Night Angel, #1) (2008), Brent Weeks
    645 pages. Rated 4.2 over 145,200 reviews on Goodreads.
  40. Tigana (1990), Guy Gavriel Kay
    676 pages. Rated 4.1 over 40,500 reviews on Goodreads.
  41. The Night Circus (2011), Erin Morgenstern
    391 pages. Rated 4.0 over 663,300 reviews on Goodreads.
  42. The Elfstones of Shannara (The Original Shannara Trilogy, #2) (1982), Terry Brooks
    23 pages. Rated 4.0 over 64,200 reviews on Goodreads.
  43. The Curse of Chalion (2000), Lois McMaster Bujold
    490 pages. Rated 4.2 over 31,900 reviews on Goodreads.
  44. The Sword in the Stone (The Once and Future King, #1) (1938), T.H. White
    352 pages. Rated 3.9 over 23,000 reviews on Goodreads.
  45. The Crimson Campaign (Powder Mage, #2) (2014), Brian McClellan
    596 pages. Rated 4.4 over 27,800 reviews on Goodreads.
  46. Emperor of Thorns (The Broken Empire, #3) (2013), Mark Lawrence
    434 pages. Rated 4.3 over 43,200 reviews on Goodreads.
  47. The Dragonbone Chair (1988), Tad Williams
    672 pages. Rated 4.0 over 60,400 reviews on Goodreads.
  48. Moreta (1983), Anne McCaffrey
    Dragonlady of Pern (Pern, #7)
    286 pages. Rated 4.0 over 25,800 reviews on Goodreads.
  49. The Last Unicorn (2010), Peter S. Beagle
    167 pages. Rated 4.3 over 8,300 reviews on Goodreads.
  50. The Black Company (1984), Glen Cook
    319 pages. Rated 3.9 over 39,600 reviews on Goodreads.
  51. Stand on Zanzibar (1968), John Brunner
    672 pages. Rated 4.0 over 14,200 reviews on Goodreads.
  52. The Goblin Reservation (1968), Clifford D. Simak
    192 pages. Rated 4.0 over 3,100 reviews on Goodreads.
  53. Warbound (Grimnoir Chronicles, #3) (2013), Larry Correia
    448 pages. Rated 4.4 over 7,600 reviews on Goodreads.
  54. His Majesty’s Dragon (Temeraire, #1) (2006), Naomi Novik
    353 pages. Rated 4.1 over 75,400 reviews on Goodreads.
  55. Paladin of Souls (2003), Lois McMaster Bujold
    470 pages. Rated 4.2 over 21,400 reviews on Goodreads.
  56. The Wind Through the Keyhole (2012), Stephen King
    322 pages. Rated 4.2 over 65,100 reviews on Goodreads.
  57. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (2004), Susanna Clarke
    1,006 pages. Rated 3.8 over 191,900 reviews on Goodreads.
  58. Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality (2015), Eliezer Yudkowsky
    2,184 pages. Rated 4.4 over 13,300 reviews on Goodreads.
  59. The Immortals of Meluha (Shiva Trilogy, #1) (2010), Amish Tripathi
    436 pages. Rated 4.1 over 98,700 reviews on Goodreads.
  60. The Magicians (The Magicians, #1) (2009), Lev Grossman
    402 pages. Rated 3.5 over 225,800 reviews on Goodreads.
  61. Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orïsha, #1) (2018), Tomi Adeyemi
    544 pages. Rated 4.1 over 138,400 reviews on Goodreads.
  62. Night Watch (Watch, #1) (1998), Sergei Lukyanenko
    455 pages. Rated 4.0 over 39,300 reviews on Goodreads.
  63. Gardens of the Moon (1999), Steven Erikson
    657 pages. Rated 3.9 over 87,200 reviews on Goodreads.
  64. Seventh Son (Tales of Alvin Maker, #1) (1987), Orson Scott Card
    241 pages. Rated 3.9 over 33,100 reviews on Goodreads.
  65. Uprooted (2015), Naomi Novik
    435 pages. Rated 4.1 over 157,200 reviews on Goodreads.
  66. Witch World (1963), Andre Norton
    288 pages. Rated 3.8 over 4,300 reviews on Goodreads.
  67. Tea with the Black Dragon (Black Dragon, #1) (1983), R.A. MacAvoy
    128 pages. Rated 4.0 over 4,600 reviews on Goodreads.
  68. The Dragon Republic (The Poppy War, #2) (2019), R.F. Kuang
    658 pages. Rated 4.3 over 10,000 reviews on Goodreads.
  69. Half the World (Shattered Sea, #2) (2015), Joe Abercrombie
    366 pages. Rated 4.2 over 28,800 reviews on Goodreads.
  70. The Aeronaut’s Windlass (The Cinder Spires, #1) (2015), Jim Butcher
    630 pages. Rated 4.2 over 36,100 reviews on Goodreads.

Enjoyed this list of the best fantasy books of all time? You might also like…

II. Best Books Of All Time

These are the overall best books to read (by type).

III. Best Nonfiction Books (A-Z)

These are the best nonfiction books to read (by topic).

IV. Best Fiction Books (A-Z)

These are the best fiction books to read (by genre).

Or, you can read all my book recommendations.
Arthur Worsley
Arthur Worsley
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