A votable list of the all-time best fantasy book series, ranked by readers of fantasy fiction. Of fantasy books, readers can expect an intricately-created imaginary world with its own culture, history and rules of engagement. The setting of most popular fantasy book series is internally consistent or self-coherent, where inspiration from mythology or folklore remains a consistent theme.
Most authors of the top fantasy books use magic and other supernatural phenomena as a primary plot element, theme, or setting. In the structure of a good fantasy book, the fantastical element of the story can be anywhere: the story may occur entirely in a fantasy world (like J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings series) or fantastic elements like magic can exist alongside an apparently real world setting (as in the seven Harry Potter novels by J.K. Rowling). Fantasy follows rules of its own making, but the great fantasy books are consistent with the rules that they lay out for themselves. In the best fantasy books, the reader suspends disbelief and loses himself in the imaginary world of the book.
Some of the fantasy book series included in this list are of the grand epic fantasy genre, some are more character-driven fantasy or coming of age tales, some may be simply fantasy that's part of a series. Vote up your favorites to determine the best fantasy series of all time. And if we missed any epic tales you love, be sure to add them to this list of the best fantasy book series. Then, check out the best new fantasy books - many the start of series that may soon be new favorites.
- The Lord of the Rings is an epic high-fantasy novel written by English author J. R. R. Tolkien. The story began as a sequel to Tolkien's 1937 fantasy novel The Hobbit, but eventually developed into a ...more
- Dune is a 1965 epic science fiction novel by Frank Herbert. It won the Hugo Award in 1966, and the inaugural Nebula Award for Best Novel. Dune is the world's best-selling science fiction novel and is ...more
- ie, Game of ThronesA Song of Ice and Fire is a series of epic fantasy novels by the American novelist and screenwriter George R. R. Martin. The first volume of the series, A Game of Thrones, was published in 1996. ...more
- The Way of Kings, Words of Radiance
- The Silmarillion is a collection of J. R. R. Tolkien's mythopoeic works, edited and published posthumously by his son, Christopher Tolkien, in 1977, with assistance from Guy Gavriel Kay, who later ...more
- The Dresden Files is a series of contemporary fantasy/mystery novels written by Jim Butcher. The first novel, Storm Front, was published in 2000 by Roc Books. The books are written as a first person ...more
- The Chronicles of Narnia is a series of seven high fantasy novels by C. S. Lewis.
- Assassin's Apprentice is the first novel in Robin Hobb's Farseer Trilogy. It was her first book under this pseudonym, and was published in 1995. The book was written under the working title ...more
- The Once and Future King is an Arthurian fantasy novel written by T. H. White. It was first published in 1958, and is mostly a composite of earlier works written between 1938 and 1941. The central ...more
- The Name of the Wind is a fantasy novel by Patrick Rothfuss, the first book in a series called The Kingkiller Chronicle. It was published in 2007 by DAW Books with two possible hardcovers: one ...more
- The Mists of Avalon is a 1983 novel by Marion Zimmer Bradley, in which she relates the Arthurian legends from the perspective of the female characters. The book follows the trajectory of Morgaine, a ...more
- Noted as: Urban FantasyStorm Front is a 2000 novel by science fiction and fantasy author Jim Butcher. It is the first novel in The Dresden Files, his first published series and it follows the character of Harry Dresden, ...more
- The Hunger Games is a 2008 science fiction novel by the American writer Suzanne Collins. It is written in the voice of 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives in the dystopian, post-apocalyptic ...more
- A Game of Thrones is the first novel in A Song of Ice and Fire, a series of high fantasy novels by American author George R. R. Martin. It was first published on August 6, 1996. The novel won the ...more