Top 10: Fantasy

Fantasy is one of my favorite genres to read, whether it’s elves and wizards, alternate histories, or mythical kingdoms and realms.  I’ve read them all and loved them all.  There’s just something about stepping into different worlds where reality gives way to magic, mythical creatures, and fabled nations battling for power. 

Here’s a list of some of the best fantasy stories that I’ve come across so far.  They aren’t in any particular order and many of them are series rather than individual books.  On a side note, you’ll see that Lord of the Rings is not on the list.  It’s not because I didn’t enjoy it or don’t respect it as one of the best fantasy stories of all time, it just isn’t one of my personal favorites. 

And without further ado!

1. The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

Arthurian legends have always appealed to me and this epic classic, centered around Morgaine and the magic of Avalon, absolutely swept me away. 

 

 

2. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

Before I was even halfway through this book I knew it would rank among my favorite fantasy stories.  Wonderful storytelling, appealing characters and a fascinating world!

 

 

3. Dragonlance Chronicles by Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman

This was the first fantasy series I ever tried and it’s textbook fantasy, complete with elves, dwarves, mages, and perilous journeys undertaken to vanquish evil.  I was very skeptical of the genre and refused to read these for years until I finally gave in.  I absolutely cherish these books and they’ll always be special to me since they opened up a whole new world for me. 

 

 

4. The Wayfarer Redemption by Sara Douglass

Fantastic.  I love the races she created, like the winged Icari, and the books are filled with action and adventure and fascinating characters.

 

 

5. Kushiel Series by Jacqueline Carey

Years ago I was first drawn to these because of the beautiful covers featuring Phedre and the intricate rose tattoo covering her entire back.  The world that’s almost ours but not quite and the twist on real life religions and history make these books thrilling and unique.

 

  

6. The Talisman by Stephen King & Peter Straub

I think this was the first real fantasy book by Stephen King that I’d ever read.   It’s an epic quest in which young Jack must travel between parallel realities, searching for an enchanted crystal to save his dying mother.  It’s a wonderful tale that relates to the Dark Tower, although the connection wasn’t intended at the time it was written.

 

7. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

A historical fantasy classic featuring time travel to 18th century Scotland.  Some people label the series as romance but to me it’s pure fantasy that happens to prominently feature a relationship between the two main characters, Claire and Jamie.  I couldn’t put this book down!  The whole series is great but this was my favorite.

 

8. The Dark Tower series by Stephen King

I’ve heard a lot of mixed opinions about this series, especially the ending, but to me it was brilliance, pure and simple.  It combines elements not only from fantasy, but from sci-fi, horror and even Westerns (King described it as a mix between The Lord of the Rings and The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly).  My obsession with this series when I was reading it was borderline unhealthy.  Be prepared to be glued to the page…

 

9. The Dark Elf Trilogy by R.A. Salvatore

In this prequel trilogy to the popular Icewind Dale trilogy we’re introduced to the scimitar-wielding Drizzt Do’Urden as he grows up in the matriarchal society of the underground drow city of Menzoberranzan.  I actually haven’t read Icewind Dale yet but I was instantly hooked on the tale of Drizzt’s beginnings as he journeys to the surface world.

 

10. A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin

These epic books read more like historical fiction than fantasy.  The warring kingdoms and cultures seem so real you’ll swear you’re learning about the famous battles of the kings and pretenders of old as they vie for the throne.  I’ve been waiting patiently for the next book to be released and earlier this year I had hoped to be able to include it on my Christmas wish list, but unless Santa makes it magically appear under my tree, it looks like I’ll have to wait until next year (hopefully).

What are your fantasy faves?  What should I have included?  I’m always looking for tantalizing new reads!

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4 Comments »

  1. Jody Said:

    I’m a fantasy lover too. Thanks for this great list! I’m always looking for great new fantasy reads. The Name of The Wind was already on my list, but I hadn’t heard of some of the others.

    • Jamye Said:

      Let me know what you think if you decide to read any of them. Thanks for commenting!

  2. Dionne Said:

    very nice list! i can’t wait to read The Name of the Wind (i might read that next…). 🙂

    • Jamye Said:

      You’ll love it, the main character is a badass! 😉


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