22.2k voters

The Best Fantasy Book Series

Updated September 27, 2020 174.9k votes 22.2k voters 144.9k views120 items

List RulesList is ranked according to how good the series is as a whole. No science fiction!

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 Dark Tower26

    The Dark Tower

    Stephen King

    First Published2004-09-21

    SubjectsLiterary, Epic film, Suspense, Horror Film, Maine

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Suspense, Horror Film, Fiction, Western fiction

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    The Dark Tower is the seventh novel in Stephen King's Dark Tower series, published by Grant on...  more
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  • Eragon27


    Cristopher Paolini

    First Published2002

    SubjectsYoung adult, Adventure, Folklore

    Genres (Book)Fantasy

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    Eragon is the first novel in the Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini, who began writing...  more
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  • Earthsea Cycle28
    by Ursula Le Guin
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  • The Mists of Avalon29

    The Mists of Avalon

    Marion Zimmer Bradley

    First Published1983-01

    SubjectsMorgause, Feminism, History, Great Britain

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Fiction, Fantasy

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    The Mists of Avalon is a 1983 novel by Marion Zimmer Bradley, in which she relates the...  more
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  • Redwall30


    Brian Jacques

    First Published1986-10

    SubjectsAdventure, Animal, Comics

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Children's literature, Fiction, Fantasy

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    Redwall is a fantasy novel by Brian Jacques. Originally published in 1986, it is the first...  more
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  • Sword of Truth Series31

    Sword of Truth Series

    Terry Goodkind
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  • The Dresden Files (Storm Front, Full Moon, Grave...)32

    First Published2000-04-01


    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Horror Film, Fiction, Science Fiction, Fantasy

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    Noted as: Urban Fantasy
    Storm Front is a 2000 novel by science fiction and fantasy author Jim Butcher. It is the first...  more
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  • Artemis Fowl33

    Artemis Fowl

    Eoin Colfer

    First Published2001-04

    SubjectsGold as an investment

    Genres (Book)Children's literature, Young adult literature, Fantasy

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    Artemis Fowl is a young-adult fantasy novel written by Irish author Eoin Colfer. It is the...  more
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  • Conan34


    L. Sprague de Camp, Robert E. Howard

    Genres (Book)Sword and sorcery, Short story, Science Fiction, Fantasy

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    Entertaining, influential and well written.
    Conan is a 1967 collection of seven fantasy short stories and associated pieces written by...  more
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  • Land of Oz Series35

    Land of Oz Series

    L. Frank Buam
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  • His Dark Materials36

    His Dark Materials

    Nicholas Wright
    His Dark Materials is a play written by British playwright Nicholas Wright, adapted from the...  more
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  • Dragonlance Legends Trilogy37
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  • Magic Kingdom of Xanth Series38
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  • The Malazan Book of the Fallen39
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  • Alpha & Omega Series40

    Alpha & Omega Series

    Patricia Briggs
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  • The Elenium41

    The Elenium

    David Eddings

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Fiction, Fantasy

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    The Elenium is a series of fantasy novels by David Eddings. The series consists of three...  more
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  • The Colour of Magic42

    The Colour of Magic

    Terry Pratchett

    First Published1983

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Fiction, Science Fiction, Fantasy

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    The Colour of Magic is a 1983 comic fantasy novel by Terry Pratchett, and is the first book of...  more
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  • The First Law43
    Joe Abercrombie
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  • A Game of Thrones44

    A Game of Thrones

    George R. R. Martin

    First Published1996-08-06

    SubjectsEpic film, Literature, Classics

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Political strategy, Fiction, Fantasy

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    A Game of Thrones is the first novel in A Song of Ice and Fire, a series of high fantasy...  more
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    #173 of 331 The Top Must-Read Books of All Time#111 of 1,235 The Best Novels Ever Written

  • Night Angel Trilogy45
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  • The Elric Saga46

    The Elric Saga

    Michael Moorcock
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  • Death Gate Cycle47

    Death Gate Cycle

    Margaret Weis, Tracy Hickman

    First Published1990

    SubjectsEpic film

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Fiction, Science Fiction, Fantasy

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    Dragon Wing is the first novel by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman in their Death Gate Cycle...  more
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  • The Chronicles of Amber48

    First Published1999

    Genres (Book)Fantasy

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    Chronicles of Amber is the title of several different omnibus anthologies of Roger Zelazny's...  more
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  • The foundation trilogy49
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  • The Farseer50

    The Farseer

    Robin Hobb
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