25 Unforgettable Fantasy Books
“A wizard is never late, Frodo Baggins. Nor is he early. He arrives precisely when he means to.”
-Gandalf the Grey
When Bilbo reached his eleventy-first birthday he disappeared, bequeathing to his young cousin Frodo the Ruling Ring and a perilous quest: to journey across Middle-earth, deep into the shadow of the Dark Lord, and destroy the Ring by casting it into the Cracks of Doom.
11-year-old Lyra Belacqua is a precocious orphan growing up within the precincts of Jordan College in Oxford, England. It quickly becomes clear that Lyra's Oxford is not precisely like our own—nor is her world. In Lyra's world, everyone has a personal dæmon, a lifelong animal familiar. This is a world in which science, theology and magic are closely intertwined.
Beginning with The Magician’s Nephew, we are shown the glorious birth of Narnia at the hand of its unforgettable King. It is followed by six more books that collectively tell the history of a world that becomes as real as our own.
The Harry Potter books have become so popular that it might seem cliche to include them here - the fact remains, however, that they are great books, and as such, they deserve a place on the list. If you haven’t read these yet, do so!
Nathaniel is a magician's apprentice, taking his first lessons in the arts of magic.With revenge on his mind, he summons the powerful djinni, Bartimaeus. But summoning Bartimaeus and controlling him are two different things entirely.
Dragonsong, the first volume in the series, is the enchanting tale of how Menolly of Half Circle Hold became Pern's first female Harper, and rediscovered the legendary fire lizards who helped to save her world.
There has never been a magic like Merlin’s, and T. A. Barron reveals how the legend was born in his adventure-loving five-book epic featuring the heroic young wizard and his unforgettable band.
In these enchanting novels, a colorful contingent of characters takes to the skies aboard a magnificent airship–the Jerle Shannara–on a quest fraught with wonder and danger.
The hero is Matthias, a young mouse who must rise above his fears and failures to save his friends at Redwall Abbey. The villain is Cluny the Scourage, one of the most deliciously despicable rats of all time. This is the first in a long series of great books by Brian Jacques.
The Color of Magic is Terry Pratchett's maiden voyage through the now-legendary land of Discworld. This is where it all begins -- with the tourist Twoflower and his wizard guide, Rincewind.
Sent to a boarding school in Ancelstierre as a young child, Sabriel has had little experience with the random power of Free Magic or the Dead who refuse to stay dead in the Old Kingdom. But during her final semester, her father, the Abhorsen, goes missing, and Sabriel knows she must enter the Old Kingdom to find him.
Bastian embarks on a wild adventure when he enters the magical world of Fantastica, a doomed land filled with dragons, giants, and monsters, and risks his life to save Fantastica by going on a very dangerous quest.
Amber is the one real world, casting infinite reflections of itself -- Shadow worlds, that can be manipulated by those of royal Amberite blood. In a hospital on the Shadow Earth, a young man is recovering from a freak car accident; amnesia has robbed him of all his memory, even the fact that he is Corwin, Crown Prince of Amber, rightful heir to the throne -- and he is in deadly peril .
In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective Wall.
After his ship sinks, Pi finds himself alone in a lifeboat, his only companions a hyena, an orangutan, a wounded zebra, and Richard Parker, a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon the tiger has dispatched all but Pi, whose fear, knowledge, and cunning allow them to coexist with for 227 days while lost at sea.
Cimorene is everything a princess is not supposed to be: headstrong, tomboyish, smart... and bored. So bored that she runs away to live with a dragon.
In the aftermath of the brutal murder of his father, a mysterious woman, Kahlan Amnell, appears in Richard Cypher's forest sanctuary seeking help. His world, his very beliefs, are shattered when ancient debts come due with thundering violence.
The Malazan Empire simmers with discontent. Yet Empress Laseen's rule remains absolute, enforced by her dread Claw assassins.But Darujhistan, last of the Free Cities of Genabackis, yet holds out. It is to this ancient citadel that Laseen turns her predatory gaze. Meanwhile, sinister forces are gathering as the gods themselves prepare to play their hand.
He called himself Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever because he dared not believe in the strange alternate world in which he suddenly found himself. Yet he was tempted to believe, to fight for the Land, to be the reincarnation of its greatest hero...
Elantris was the capital of Arelon: gigantic, beautiful, literally radiant, filled with benevolent beings who used their powerful magical abilities for the benefit of all. Yet each of these demigods was once an ordinary person until touched by the mysterious transforming power of the Shaod. Then ten years ago, without warning, the magic failed.
When naturalist Tristam Flattery is summoned to save a plant species with magical, medicinal properties, he is drawn into a political struggle that spans generations, threatens civilization, and leads him to the ends of the known world.
Fifteen-year-old Eragon believes that he is merely a poor farm boy—until his destiny as a Dragon Rider is revealed. Gifted with only an ancient sword, a loyal dragon, and sage advice from an old storyteller, Eragon is soon swept into a dangerous tapestry of magic, glory, and power. Now his choices could save—or destroy—the Empire.
Before she even hears the words, Kaeldra already knows she must find the mother dragon whose draclings have just hatched, in order to save her foster sister’s life. Since Kaeldra can communicate with dragons, she is the only one who can accomplish the task.
When Dorothy triumphed over the Wicked Witch of the West in L. Frank Baum's classic tale, we heard only her side of the story. But what about her arch-nemesis, the mysterious Witch? Where did she come from? How did she become so wicked?
For Rand al’Thor, life in the sleepy village of Emond’s Field has been pretty dull. Until the appearance on festival night of Moiraine, a mysterious woman who claims to be an Aes Sdeai—a magician who can wield the One Power. Soon after, the village is attacked by Trollocs—a savage tribe