Well, I was going to pick a theme for this week’s post, but who really needs a reason to list some awesome fantasy books?
These stories, old and new, each hold a special place within my heart. While most of them are already quite popular (and most of them are YA, there are some hidden gems that I hope you’ll find enchanting!
So, without further ado, here are my all-time favorite fantasy books.
The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien
While Tolkien is more well-known for his three-volume epic fantasy, The Lord of the Rings (and don’t get me wrong, those books are amazing), I quickly lost myself in the adventure of Bilbo Baggins as his eyes are opened to a world of adventure when the wizard, Gandalf, comes knocking at his door with a gaggle of dwarves in tow. Thorin Oakenshield is on a journey to reclaim his home from the dragon, Smaug, and he and his dwarven brethren will stop at nothing to see it done.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, J.K. Rowling
I can’t recommend this series enough! I didn’t read them until a few years ago, and the nostalgia factor is still going strong for me (I don’t even know how that works, seeing as I didn’t even grow up with the series).
After his parents are killed, Harry spends his days being mistreated by his abusive aunt, uncle, and cousin…until a stranger named Hagrid tells him he’s a wizard and offers to take him to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. There, he’s amazed by the world of magic, and, along with his newfound friends, begins his journey to becoming a wizard and fighting the evil Lord Voldemort.
Throne of Glass, Sarah J. Maas
This book gripped me from the very start and never once let go. The entire 8-book series and its accompanying novella create a huge and complicated world of assassins, evil kings, witches, Fae, destruction, and rising from the ashes.
Celaena Sardothien has been a slave of Endovier, leading a hopeless existence until Prince Dorian offers her a way out: compete against other fighters, tricksters, and enemies to become the King’s Champion. Along the way, Celaena gets caught up in a string of murders related to the competition, stumbling across a larger plot so twisting and turning that takes all her inner strength to unravel.
Falling Kingdoms, Morgan Rhodes
Right up there with Throne of Glass, Falling Kingdoms is a magical and plot-twisting series that will gut you over and over again, leave you heartbroken, and pieces you back together again.
On the continent of Mytica, magic has been forgotten, but bloodlust continues to live on. As war brims on the horizon, four important figures are thrown into the middle of the conflict. Princess Cleo, having lived a pampered life, must go in search of ancient magic to save someone dear to her. After witnessing cruel injustice, Jonas becomes a rebel to exact his revenge. Prince Magnus struggles with his own dangerous heart, while his sister Princess Lucia discovers her own magical destiny.
Six of Crows, Leigh Bardugo
Darkly engaging and smartly humorous, Six of Crows will go down in history as the coolest heist fantasy I’ve ever read. It’s a superb mixture of Throne of Glass and Ocean’s Eleven; while it doesn’t have as grand a scale as a lot of these books on the list, this story gets up close and personal with its characters and fully delivers with an action-packed tale.
Kaz Brekker, known in Ketterdam as the Bastard of the Barrel, is a brilliant mind with a dark, gritty past. And this next job could prove extremely lucrative. But first, he needs a team. A thief. A sharpshooter. A convict. A runaway. And a Grisha known as a Heartrender. As they struggle to figure out the intricate details of their plan, Kaz and his team face their deadliest heist.
The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis
Classical children’s fantasy at its finest, The Chronicles of Narnia, a 7-book series, takes you on breath-taking journeys to different worlds, worlds of talking mice, kingly lions, and the coldest of witches, all within the confines of your wardrobe.
Young siblings Lucy, Edmund, Susan, and Peter stumble into a magical world doomed to an eternity of winter at the hand of the evil White Witch. As the children navigate through this new and wondrous world, they meet the fantastical Narnians and their leader, Aslan, and join to fight against the evil plaguing Narnia.
The Savior’s Champion, Jenna Moreci
From the darkly witty mind of YouTube sensation Jenna Moreci, The Savior’s Champion is dark and funny, suspenseful and romantic…and most definitely rated R (this one’s adult, not YA). Definitely wait to read this one till you’re grown up, kids.
Tobias, a lowly laborer, decides to enter the Sovereign’s Tournament for the sole purpose of giving his poor family financial stability. But his choice comes at a price: he must now compete against nineteen other men for the affections of the beautiful Savior…whom he couldn’t care less about. Along the way, Tobias discovers the other competitors are much more murderous than he could have imagined, and the Tournament is not for the faint of heart. Things get even more complicated when Tobias finds himself tangled in a romance that proves just as deadly.
Allies and Assassins, Justin Somper
I feel like this book is a bit of a diamond in the rough. Its interesting combination of genres is both compelling and emotional. Much like Six of Crows mixes fantasy with heist, Allies and Assassins combines fantasy with mystery.
Following the sudden murder of Prince Anders of Archenfield, his younger brother, Jared, is left to ascend the throne in his stead. Young and underprepared, Jared relies on the twelve officers of his court…only, he suspects that one of them killed his brother. Unknowing of who to trust, Jared hunts down the murderer himself, launching him into a plot of betrayal, broken trust, and political intrigue.
The False Prince, Jennifer A. Nielsen
This book blew my expectations out of the water. Set in a fantasy world with little to no magic, The False Prince is both refreshing and unique. How can you have a good fantasy without magic, you ask? Read this book and find out.
Sage is an orphan living in a kingdom on the verge of cutting itself to pieces when he and three other orphans are taken by a nobleman, Conner, for a plan to unite the kingdom through dubious means. Conner is searching for the perfect candidate to impersonate the long-lost prince so he can rule from behind the throne. In order to survive the plot, Sage must become the false prince. But in a situation filled with lies and treachery, the truth can be just as dangerous.
There are, of course, many more fantasy books that I love. But those will have to wait for another day. For now, these are the ones closest to my heart. I hope you enjoy them just as much as I do!
May you find the magic!