22.2k voters

The Best Fantasy Book Series

Updated September 27, 2020 174.7k votes 22.2k voters 144.7k 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 Lord of the Rings1

    The Lord of the Rings

    J. R. R. Tolkien

    First Published1954-07-29

    SubjectsLiterary, Epic film, Literature, Classics, Drama

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Chivalric romance, Fiction, Adventure fiction, Fantasy

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    The Lord of the Rings is an epic high-fantasy novel written by English author J. R. R.... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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    #45 of 331 The Top Must-Read Books of All Time#6 of 94 The Best Books for Teens

  • The Harry Potter Series2
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  • A Song of Ice and Fire3

    A Song of Ice and Fire

    George R. R. Martin
    ie, Game of Thrones
    A Song of Ice and Fire is a series of epic fantasy novels by the American novelist and... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • The Stormlight Archives4
    The Way of Kings, Words of Radiance
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  • The Wheel of Time5

    The Wheel of Time

    Robert Jordan

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Fiction, Fantasy

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  • The Mistborn Series6
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  • The Dresden Files7

    Genres (Book)Detective fiction, Urban fantasy, Contemporary fantasy

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    The Dresden Files is a series of contemporary fantasy/mystery novels written by Jim Butcher.... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Dragonlance Chronicles8
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  • The Kingkiller Chronicle9

    The Kingkiller Chronicle

    Patrick Rothfuss
    Amazon buy button
  • Dune10


    Frank Herbert

    First Published1965

    SubjectsGalaxy, Space opera, Adventure

    Genres (Book)Philosophy, Planetary romance, Military science fiction, Conspiracy fiction, Psychological thriller

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    Dune is a 1965 epic science fiction novel by Frank Herbert. It won the Hugo Award in 1966, and... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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    #81 of 103 The Best Selling Books of All Time#47 of 154 The Greatest American Novels

  • Tales of Discworld11

    Tales of Discworld

    Terry Pratchett

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction

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  • 12
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  • The Chronicles of Narnia13
    The Chronicles of Narnia is a series of seven high fantasy novels by C. S. Lewis.
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  • The Legend of Drizzt Boxed Set, Books I-III14

    Genres (Book)Fiction, Fantasy

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  • Percy Jackson Series15
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  • The Silmarillion16

    The Silmarillion

    J. R. R. Tolkien

    First Published1977

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Fantasy

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    The Silmarillion is a collection of J. R. R. Tolkien's mythopoeic works, edited and published... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • The Riftwar Cycle by Raymond E. Feist17
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  • Assassin's Apprentice18

    First Published1995

    Genres (Book)Fantasy

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    Assassin's Apprentice is the first novel in Robin Hobb's Farseer Trilogy. It was her first... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • The Hunger Games19

    The Hunger Games

    Suzanne Collins

    First Published2008-09-14

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Utopian and dystopian fiction, Alternate history, Young adult literature, Adventure fiction

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    The Hunger Games is a 2008 science fiction novel by the American writer Suzanne Collins. It is... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • The Name of the Wind20

    The Name of the Wind

    Patrick Rothfuss

    First Published2007-03-27

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Heroic fantasy, Fiction, Fantasy

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    The Name of the Wind is a fantasy novel by Patrick Rothfuss, the first book in a series called... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • The Belgariad21

    The Belgariad

    David Eddings

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Fiction, Fantasy

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    The Belgariad is a five-book fantasy epic written by David Eddings, following the picaresque... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Shannara series22
    The Original Shannara Trilogy consists of the first three Shannara novels by Terry Brooks.... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • The Once and Future King23

    First Published1958

    SubjectsPopular literature

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Fantasy

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    The Once and Future King is an Arthurian fantasy novel written by T. H. White. It was first... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Mercy Thompson Series24

    Mercy Thompson Series

    Patricia Briggs
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  • The Dark Tower25

    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 on WikipediaAmazon buy button


    #37 of 67 The All-Time Greatest Works of Stephen King#43 of 99 NPR's Top 100 Science Fiction & Fantasy Books