Top 100 Fantasy Books

This is one of the 305 lists we use to generate our main The Greatest Books list.

  • A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

    This epic fantasy novel is set in the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, where 'summers span decades and winters can last a lifetime'. The story follows three main plot lines: the Stark family's struggle to control the North; the exiled Targaryen siblings' attempt to regain the throne; and the Night's Watch's fight against the supernatural beings beyond the Wall. As these stories intertwine, a game of power, politics, and survival unfolds, where you either win or you die.

    The 565th Greatest Book of All Time
  • The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett

    This book introduces readers to a flat, disc-shaped world balanced on the back of four elephants who stand on a giant turtle. The story follows an inept and cowardly wizard named Rincewind who is tasked with guiding a naive tourist through this chaotic and fantastical world filled with dragons, trolls, and magic. The narrative is a satirical take on fantasy genre clichés, with humorous and witty commentary throughout.

    The 556th Greatest Book of All Time
  • The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien

    This epic high-fantasy novel centers around a modest hobbit who is entrusted with the task of destroying a powerful ring that could enable the dark lord to conquer the world. Accompanied by a diverse group of companions, the hobbit embarks on a perilous journey across Middle-earth, battling evil forces and facing numerous challenges. The narrative, rich in mythology and complex themes of good versus evil, friendship, and heroism, has had a profound influence on the fantasy genre.

    The 17th Greatest Book of All Time
  • Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke

    Set in a parallel 19th-century England, this novel tells the story of two practicing magicians, Mr. Norrell and Jonathan Strange. Norrell, who aims to restore magic to respectability in England, is initially thrilled by Strange's natural aptitude for magic, and the two form a student-teacher relationship. However, their partnership soon deteriorates into rivalry as Strange, driven by the loss of his wife to the fairy realm, seeks to reintroduce the old, wilder forms of magic that Norrell disdains. Their conflict escalates, culminating in a magical duel that has profound consequences for the future of magic in England.

    The 890th Greatest Book of All Time
  • The Name Of The Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

    This fantasy novel follows the tale of a gifted young man who grows from a precocious child into a notorious wizard, known as the most notorious magician, musician, thief, and assassin. His life is one of hardship and danger, as he seeks knowledge and revenge following the tragic murder of his family by a group of supernatural beings. The story is told in retrospect as the protagonist recounts his past to a chronicler over the course of three days, revealing the truth behind the myths and legends that have come to surround his enigmatic persona.

    The 1891st Greatest Book of All Time
  • The Lies Of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

    The book follows the tale of a cunning young thief, raised among a band of con artists and pickpockets, as he navigates the perilous underworld of a Venice-like city. Gifted in the art of deception and driven by a love for adventure and riches, he orchestrates elaborate heists, outwitting the wealthy nobility and rival gangs. However, when a mysterious and powerful adversary threatens the fragile peace of the criminal world, the protagonist must use all his wits and bravery to protect his friends, challenge the status quo, and survive the escalating dangers of his chosen life of crime.

    The 8580th Greatest Book of All Time
  • American Gods by Neil Gaiman

    A recently released convict discovers that his wife and best friend died in a car accident. He then meets a mysterious stranger who hires him as a bodyguard. As they journey across America, it is revealed that the stranger is an old god, traveling to rally his fellow forgotten deities to wage a war against the new American gods born from society's modern obsessions with media, technology, drugs, celebrity, and more. The story blends elements of fantasy, mythology, and Americana to explore themes of faith, belief, and the nature of American identity.

    The 1051st Greatest Book of All Time
  • The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin

    A woman searches for her kidnapped daughter in a world ravaged by a catastrophic climate change event known as the Fifth Season. Simultaneously, the narrative follows a young girl with destructive powers and a man struggling to control his own similar abilities. The story explores themes of oppression, survival, and the destructive power of nature, all set in a dystopian world where the earth is constantly in flux, and society is strictly divided and controlled.

    The 1261st Greatest Book of All Time
  • A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin

    This fantasy novel follows the story of a young boy named Ged who lives in a world of islands called Earthsea. Ged discovers he has a natural talent for magic and is sent to a school for wizards on the island of Roke. As he grows and learns, his arrogance leads him to unleash a shadow creature that he must then spend years trying to defeat. The book explores themes of balance, power, and the danger of hubris, as Ged learns to control his abilities and accept responsibility for his actions.

    The 199th Greatest Book of All Time
  • The Tombs Of Atuan by Ursula K. Le Guin

    In this fantasy novel, a young girl named Tenar is taken from her home to become the high priestess of the Nameless Ones at the Tombs of Atuan, a labyrinthine and sacred underground complex. As she grows into her role, her life of solitude and ritual is disrupted by the arrival of Ged, a wizard from the archipelago of Earthsea, who seeks a lost treasure hidden within the tombs. The encounter challenges Tenar's beliefs and her allegiance to the Nameless Ones, leading her on a journey of self-discovery and liberation, as she begins to question the darkness that has defined her existence and contemplates the possibility of a life beyond the confines of the tombs.

    The 2752nd Greatest Book of All Time
  • The Farthest Shore by Ursula K. Le Guin

    In this third installment of a high-fantasy series, a young prince and an archmage set out on a harrowing journey to discover the cause of a mysterious blight that is draining magic and life from their world. As they travel to the farthest reaches of their archipelago, facing dragons and confronting death itself, they must unravel a complex web of greed and power. The narrative explores profound themes such as the balance between life and death, the true cost of immortality, and the necessity of accepting one's own mortality, culminating in a quest that is as much about inner discovery as it is about saving their realm from the encroaching darkness.

    The 8579th Greatest Book of All Time
  • Tehanu: The Last Book of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin

    In this fantasy novel, the narrative shifts focus to a woman named Tenar, who has left behind her powerful past to live a quiet life on Gont Island. When she adopts a horribly burned girl named Therru, Tenar's life intertwines with that of the once-mighty wizard Ged, who has lost his magical powers. Together, they navigate a world where the balance of power is shifting, confronting both personal challenges and broader societal changes. The novel explores themes of gender, power, and the value of the mundane in contrast to the heroic, as it brings a new perspective to the rich tapestry of the series' universe.

    The 9161st Greatest Book of All Time
  • Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb

    The novel follows the journey of Fitz, the bastard son of a noble prince, who is taken into the royal household of the Six Duchies and secretly trained in the art of assassination. As he grows, Fitz is caught between his loyalty to the throne and his own moral compass. He must navigate a court rife with political intrigue, magic, and treachery, all while grappling with his own identity and the magical Skill that he possesses. His quest for acceptance and purpose is further complicated by the kingdom's need for his unique talents to protect the realm from internal and external threats.

    The 3413th Greatest Book of All Time
  • Gardens Of The Moon by Steven Erikson

    In a dark and complex fantasy world, an elite group of soldiers known as the Bridgeburners navigate political intrigue and ancient magic as part of a vast empire's expansionist wars. The city of Darujhistan becomes the focal point of conflict, where gods, mages, and various factions vie for power. Amidst the chaos, an ancient force is awakening, threatening to change the balance of power. The soldiers and citizens alike must contend with betrayal, ancient prophecies, and their own personal demons in a struggle that blurs the lines between heroism and ambition, with the fate of the empire and the world itself hanging in the balance.

    The 6655th Greatest Book of All Time
  • His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

    "His Dark Materials" is a fantasy trilogy that follows the journey of a young girl named Lyra Belacqua and her daemon, Pantalaimon, across parallel universes. Throughout their adventures, they encounter a variety of mythical creatures, confront religious and political systems, and grapple with complex themes such as free will, original sin, and the nature of consciousness. The series also delves into the mysteries of Dust, a strange particle integral to the multiverse's function.

    The 342nd Greatest Book of All Time
  • Perdido Street Station by China Mieville

    In a sprawling steampunk metropolis teeming with bizarre creatures and arcane technologies, a gifted scientist unwittingly unleashes a nightmare upon the city. When his experiment with a rare caterpillar goes awry, monstrous, dream-eating moths are set loose, preying upon the citizens' minds and plunging the city into terror. As the scientist grapples with the consequences of his actions, a motley group of individuals, including a renegade artist, a wingless bird-man, and other outcasts, come together in a desperate attempt to save their city from the eldritch horrors that now haunt its shadowy streets. Their journey takes them through the city's various layers, from the opulent heights to the grimy depths, revealing the complex tapestry of cultures and conflicts that define this urban labyrinth.

    The 4540th Greatest Book of All Time
  • Lord Foul's Bane by Stephen R. Donaldson

    In "Lord Foul's Bane," a man suffering from leprosy is unexpectedly transported to a mystical land called the Land, where he is mistaken for a reincarnated hero destined to save the world. Despite his disbelief and self-doubt, he is thrust into a conflict against the evil entity known as Lord Foul, who sends him on a quest to deliver a message to the Council of Lords. Struggling with his own inner demons and the physical and moral challenges of his journey, the protagonist must come to terms with his identity and the reality of the Land, all while grappling with the implications of his actions on both the fantastical world and his own condition.

    The 8080th Greatest Book of All Time
  • Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone by J. K Rowling

    The story follows a young boy, Harry Potter, who learns on his 11th birthday that he is the orphaned son of two powerful wizards and possesses unique magical powers of his own. He is summoned from his life as an unwanted child to become a student at Hogwarts, an English boarding school for wizards. There, he meets several friends who become his closest allies and help him discover the truth about his parents' mysterious deaths, the dark wizard who wants to kill him, and the magical stone that holds immense power.

    The 134th Greatest Book of All Time
  • The Gunslinger by Stephen King

    In a desolate and archaic world that mirrors the Old West, a stoic and enigmatic gunslinger embarks on a relentless quest across a desolate landscape to find the mysterious figure known as the Man in Black. Along his journey, he encounters strange characters, reflects on his troubled past, and confronts both physical and metaphysical challenges. His ultimate goal is to reach the elusive Dark Tower, a place that is said to be the nexus of all universes, where he believes he can right the wrongs of his decaying world. The narrative blends elements of fantasy, horror, and Western genres, creating a unique and haunting tapestry that sets the stage for an epic series of interdimensional proportions.

    The 1668th Greatest Book of All Time
  • The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

    In a world ravaged by ferocious storms and embroiled in war, three main characters navigate their own paths. Kaladin, a skilled soldier turned slave, struggles to protect his fellow slaves while grappling with his own inner demons. Shallan, a brilliant and ambitious scholar, is on a dangerous quest to steal a powerful artifact to save her family from ruin. Dalinar, a high-ranking military leader, is plagued by visions of ancient times and a mysterious warning. As their lives intertwine, they must confront their own truths and fight for survival in a world on the brink of destruction.

    The 2631st Greatest Book of All Time
  • The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis

    Four siblings are evacuated from London during World War II and sent to live with an old professor in the countryside. In his house, they discover a magical wardrobe that serves as a portal to the land of Narnia, a world filled with mythical creatures and ruled by an evil White Witch. The children are soon caught up in a struggle to free Narnia from the witch's eternal winter, aided by the majestic lion Aslan. The story combines elements of fantasy, adventure, and Christian allegory.

    The 210th Greatest Book of All Time
  • The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie

    In a grim fantasy world where war looms and politics are cutthroat, a crippled torturer with a complicated past, a vain and self-absorbed swordsman, and a fierce but inexperienced young woman navigate their personal ambitions and struggles for power. As their paths intertwine, they are drawn into a dangerous game orchestrated by a cunning and secretive mage. Together, they must confront their own demons and decide what they're willing to sacrifice for a chance at glory or redemption, all while the threat of an ancient evil and an impending conflict casts a dark shadow over the land.

    The 10296th Greatest Book of All Time
  • The Eye Of The World by Robert Jordan

    In a high fantasy realm woven with magic, prophecy, and conflict, a group of young villagers is thrust into an epic quest when their tranquil lives are shattered by the arrival of a mysterious stranger and a dark pursuing force. Guided by a wise and powerful mentor, they embark on a perilous journey, discovering that one among them might be the reincarnation of an ancient hero destined to confront a malevolent entity threatening the world. As they traverse diverse landscapes and face myriad dangers, they must come to terms with their own burgeoning abilities and the weight of fate upon their shoulders.

    The 1825th Greatest Book of All Time
  • Good Omens by Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman

    "Good Omens" is a humorous take on the biblical Apocalypse, following an angel and a demon who have grown fond of Earth and its inhabitants, and are not too keen on the impending end of the world. As they try to locate the misplaced Antichrist and prevent the Four Horsemen from bringing about Armageddon, they encounter an array of quirky characters, including witch-hunters, modern-day witches, and the Four Horsemen themselves. The novel combines comedy, fantasy, and philosophical themes, offering a satirical critique of religious prophecy and human nature.

    The 916th Greatest Book of All Time
  • The Once and Future King by T. H. White

    This novel is a retelling of the Arthurian legend, from Arthur's childhood tutelage under the wizard Merlyn to his eventual death. The story follows Arthur's journey from a naive boy to a wise and just king, his establishment of the Round Table, his marriage to Guinevere, and his complex relationship with his illegitimate son, Mordred. The narrative explores themes of power, justice, war, and human nature, offering a nuanced and humanizing portrayal of a well-known mythical figure.

    The 232nd Greatest Book of All Time
  • Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay

    Set in a world inspired by Tang Dynasty China, the novel tells the story of Shen Tai, a man who has spent two years honorably burying the bones of the dead from a brutal battle between rival empires. As a reward for his dedication, Tai receives an unexpected gift that catapults him into the treacherous world of politics, intrigue, and betrayal that surrounds the imperial court. With this gift, he becomes a pawn in a power struggle between factions vying for control, forcing him to navigate the complex and dangerous waters of courtly life while attempting to honor his own sense of duty and destiny. The story weaves together themes of loyalty, love, and the heavy cost of power and ambition.

    The 10436th Greatest Book of All Time
  • The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N. K. Jemisin

    In this fantasy novel, a young woman finds herself thrust into a volatile and treacherous world of politics and power when she is unexpectedly named an heir to the ruling family of a vast empire. As she navigates the dangerous court intrigues, she discovers her own latent magical abilities and forms complex relationships with the enslaved gods who are the source of the family's power. With the throne at stake, she must contend with deadly scheming, her own family's dark secrets, and the weight of her potential role in reshaping the kingdom's future.

    The 6480th Greatest Book of All Time
  • The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

    In a bleak world shrouded by ash falls and ruled by the immortal Lord Ruler, the skaa people live in oppression and fear. Hope emerges from the shadows when a charismatic criminal mastermind and a young skaa girl with a mysterious power join forces to lead a daring uprising. Together, they rally a band of outcasts and plot to overthrow the seemingly invincible empire. Through a blend of political intrigue, magical battles, and personal growth, they must unlock ancient secrets and foster an unlikely revolution to end centuries of tyranny.

    The 10304th Greatest Book of All Time
  • The Shadow Of The Torturer by Gene Wolfe

    In this science fiction novel set in a far-future Earth, the protagonist, an apprentice in the guild of torturers, is exiled for showing mercy to a prisoner. His journey outside the walls of his guild leads him through a world rich with dying technologies and ancient rituals. Along the way, he encounters a variety of characters and becomes embroiled in events that hint at his larger destiny. The novel is known for its dense prose, complex themes, and the unreliable narration of its protagonist, which challenges readers to piece together the truth of his world and history.

    The 9084th Greatest Book of All Time
  • Jade War by Fonda Lee

    In the gripping sequel to a fantasy saga set in an Asia-inspired metropolis, two clans wage a violent turf war for control of magical jade, which grants its users enhanced abilities. As the struggle for supremacy escalates, the Kaul family of the No Peak clan must navigate dangerous political waters, both within their city and on the international stage, to protect their hold on power. Amidst betrayal, bloody skirmishes, and complex alliances, the Kauls are also confronted with the personal costs of their ambitions, as they strive to uphold their family's honor and legacy in a world where loyalty is scarce and enemies are everywhere.

    The 10617th Greatest Book of All Time
  • Magician by Raymond E. Feist

    The book is a fantasy epic that follows the journey of a young boy named Pug, who rises from humble beginnings as an orphaned kitchen boy to become a powerful magician in the Kingdom of the Isles. His life takes a dramatic turn when he and his friend Tomas are swept into a conflict against an ancient enemy from another world, threatening not only their homeland but also the very fabric of reality. As Pug masters the arts of magic under the tutelage of the enigmatic magician Kulgan, he must navigate a path fraught with danger, political intrigue, and war. Alongside a diverse cast of characters, Pug's destiny unfolds as he becomes a key player in the struggle to save his world from destruction.

    The 1331st Greatest Book of All Time
  • Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay

    In a land where a ruthless sorcerer has erased the name and history of a once-proud province, a group of rebels fights to reclaim their identity and homeland. The story unfolds in a richly detailed fantasy world where magic and political intrigue intertwine, and the power of memory and the resilience of the human spirit are central themes. The rebels, each with their own personal vendettas and dreams, must navigate complex alliances and confront their own pasts as they strive to restore the name of their province and free it from the grip of tyranny. Their quest is fraught with challenges, as they face not only the sorcerer's formidable powers but also the difficulties of uniting a fractured people under a forgotten banner.

    The 4028th Greatest Book of All Time
  • The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle

    In this enchanting fantasy tale, a solitary unicorn, believing she is the last of her kind, embarks on a poignant journey to discover what has become of the other unicorns. Along the way, she is joined by a bumbling magician and a tough yet tender-hearted woman. Together, they face trials and confront an evil king to unravel the mystery of the missing unicorns. The unicorn must also grapple with the complexities of love, the loss of innocence, and the painful beauty of existence, as she seeks to restore her kind and witness the return of magic to the world.

    The 971st Greatest Book of All Time
  • Watership Down by Richard Adams

    This novel follows a group of rabbits as they flee their warren due to a foreseen catastrophe. The rabbits, led by Hazel and his psychic brother Fiver, face numerous challenges and adventures as they search for a new home. They encounter predators, hostile rabbit communities, and human threats. The book explores themes of leadership, survival, and freedom, all set within the natural world and its inherent dangers.

    The 179th Greatest Book of All Time
  • The Magicians by Lev Grossman

    The book follows a young man with a deep-seated love for a series of fantasy novels, who discovers that the magical world he's always dreamed of is real when he is unexpectedly admitted to an elite college of magic. As he learns to navigate the complexities of spellcasting and the social dynamics of his fellow magicians-in-training, he struggles with the darker sides of this fantastical world and his own desires. The story is a coming-of-age tale that blends the wonders of magic with the painful journey into adulthood, exploring themes of disillusionment, desire, and the search for identity and meaning in a world where even the impossible can happen.

    The 10084th Greatest Book of All Time
  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

    This novel follows the story of a young girl named Alice who falls down a rabbit hole into a fantastical world full of peculiar creatures and bizarre experiences. As she navigates through this strange land, she encounters a series of nonsensical events, including a tea party with a Mad Hatter, a pool of tears, and a trial over stolen tarts. The book is renowned for its playful use of language, logic, and its exploration of the boundaries of reality.

    The 22nd Greatest Book of All Time
  • The Princess Bride by William Goldman

    This book is an illustrated edition of a classic tale of true love and high adventure. It tells the story of a beautiful princess and her one true love. After he is reportedly killed, she agrees to marry a wicked prince instead, only to be kidnapped and face numerous dangers. The story is filled with humor, romance, and swashbuckling action, all brought to life by vivid illustrations.

    The 720th Greatest Book of All Time
  • Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey

    In a world where political intrigue and divine destinies intertwine, a young woman born with a scarlet mote in her eye is marked by the gods for a unique destiny. Trained in the arts of love and espionage, she navigates the complex web of courtly life in a realm where sensuality and pain are intertwined. As a pawn and a player in the game of thrones, she uses her unique gifts to uncover secrets and protect her homeland, all while serving a mysterious patron whose motives are as enigmatic as the unfolding divine plan. Her journey is one of self-discovery, loyalty, and betrayal, set against a backdrop of opulence, ritual, and power struggles, where love can be both a weakness and a formidable weapon.

    The 6852nd Greatest Book of All Time
  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

    The novel tells the story of two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who are unknowingly bound to each other in a lifelong competition set up by their mentors. The stage for their contest is an enchanting, nocturnal circus that travels around the world, known as Le Cirque des Rêves. As the competition progresses, the pair fall in love, which leads to dangerous consequences and threatens the existence of the circus.

    The 3242nd Greatest Book of All Time
  • Dune by Frank Herbert

    Set in a distant future, the novel follows Paul Atreides, whose family assumes control of the desert planet Arrakis. As the only producer of a highly valuable resource, jurisdiction over Arrakis is contested among competing noble families. After Paul and his family are betrayed, the story explores themes of politics, religion, and man’s relationship to nature, as Paul leads a rebellion to restore his family's reign.

    The 110th Greatest Book of All Time
  • Sailing To Sarantium by Guy Gavriel Kay

    In this historical fantasy novel, a skilled mosaicist from a distant city is summoned to the grand capital of Sarantium to work on a magnificent sanctuary for the divine. The journey transforms into an odyssey filled with political intrigue, personal ambition, and spiritual questioning. As he navigates the complex web of power and plots, the artist encounters emperors and chariot racers, alchemists and holy men, while his own creative passion and the fate of empires become inextricably intertwined. The narrative weaves a rich tapestry of human experience, exploring themes of art, power, and the nature of civilization itself.

    The 9933rd Greatest Book of All Time
  • City Of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett

    In a world where gods once walked among humans, the city of Bulikov stands as a shadow of its former glory, its divine beings vanquished and their miraculous feats erased from history. The once-powerful city, now subjugated and stripped of its cultural identity, serves as the backdrop for a complex tale of political intrigue and murder. When a historian is found dead, a shrewd intelligence operative arrives to investigate the killing, only to find herself entangled in a web of conspiracies, secrets, and an emerging threat that could reignite an age of miracles and chaos. As she delves deeper into the city's forbidden history, she confronts the true nature and potential resurgence of the divine powers that once dominated the world.

    The 10493rd Greatest Book of All Time
  • The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker

    "The Golem and the Jinni" is a novel that explores the lives of two mythical creatures, a golem and a jinni, who find themselves in New York City in the late 19th century. The golem is created by a Jewish rabbi to be a companion for a man who dies on the voyage to America, while the jinni is released from a copper flask by a Syrian tinsmith. As they navigate their new lives, they encounter other immigrants and face challenges that force them to confront their own identities and desires. The novel is a rich and complex exploration of identity, culture, and the human experience.

    The 8182nd Greatest Book of All Time
  • Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey

    In a world where telepathic dragons and their riders protect the land from the destructive Thread that rains down from the sky, a young woman unexpectedly becomes the new Weyrwoman, bonding with the last queen dragon. As the traditional ways of the past clash with the urgent need to defend their world, she and her enigmatic dragonrider ally must rediscover ancient secrets and take to the skies in a perilous quest to unite the dragonriders and save their planet from annihilation. Their journey is fraught with challenges, both political and personal, as they strive to harness the full power of the dragons and ensure the survival of their way of life.

    The 1197th Greatest Book of All Time
  • The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell

    This novel weaves together the lives of diverse characters through a narrative that spans decades, centering on a teenage runaway with psychic abilities. As she becomes embroiled in a covert war between immortal factions, the story explores themes of mortality, power, and the interconnectedness of human lives. The intricate plot moves through different times and places, revealing a hidden world of mysticism and a looming apocalyptic crisis, all while examining the impact of our actions on the future of the planet.

    The 6585th Greatest Book of All Time
  • The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

    In this fantasy novel, a timid and unadventurous hobbit named Bilbo Baggins is whisked away on a grand adventure by a wizard and a group of dwarves. Their mission is to reclaim the dwarves' homeland and treasure from a fearsome dragon. Throughout the journey, Bilbo grows in courage and cunning, proving himself a true hero as he encounters trolls, goblins, giant spiders, and other perils. The novel culminates with a great battle involving various races of Middle Earth, after which Bilbo returns home, forever changed by his experiences.

    The 188th Greatest Book of All Time
  • The Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams

    In this epic fantasy novel, a young kitchen boy named Simon is swept up in a massive struggle when the ancient evil of the Sithi threatens the land. As the kingdom is torn by war and treachery following the death of its king, Simon discovers his destiny is intertwined with the fate of the realm. He embarks on a perilous journey, armed with only his wits and a mysterious sword, to awaken the legendary Storm King and confront the dark forces that seek to conquer the world. Along the way, he encounters a rich tapestry of characters, including noble allies, magical creatures, and fierce enemies, all while uncovering the secrets of his own hidden heritage and the mystical Dragonbone Chair.

    The 9487th Greatest Book of All Time
  • The Black Company by Glen Cook

    The book follows an elite mercenary unit, known as the Black Company, through its grim and morally ambiguous adventures on a fantasy continent. Bound by a sense of camaraderie and an unbreakable contract, the company navigates treacherous political landscapes and battles supernatural forces while chronicling their deeds through the eyes of the company's physician and annalist. As they align with powerful sorcerers and face formidable enemies, the soldiers of the Black Company must reconcile their desire for survival with the dark nature of the work they are hired to perform.

    The 9278th Greatest Book of All Time
  • The Silmarillion by J. R. R. Tolkien

    The book is a collection of mythopoeic stories that form the prelude to a well-known fantasy saga, detailing the creation of the world and the history of its early ages. It encompasses the tragic tale of the quest for the titular jewels, which imbue their creators with great power and beauty. The narrative follows the rebellion of a group of elves against the gods, the subsequent wars and the downfall of noble houses, interwoven with themes of heroism, fate, and the struggle against the ultimate evil. The work is rich with languages, cultures, and epic poetry, setting the stage for the later adventures in the renowned fantasy realm.

    The 1253rd Greatest Book of All Time
  • Titus Groan by Mervyn Peake

    The novel is a gothic fantasy set in the bizarre and intricate world of Gormenghast Castle, home to the ancient and eccentric Groan family. The story begins with the birth of Titus Groan, the seventy-seventh Earl, who stands to inherit the castle and its strange traditions. The narrative follows the castle's eccentric characters and their bizarre rituals, including the ambitious kitchen boy, Steerpike, who seeks to manipulate the castle's traditions for his own gain. It's a dark and surreal exploration of ritual, power, and madness.

    The 538th Greatest Book of All Time
  • The Sword Of Shannara by Terry Brooks

    In a classic epic fantasy tale, a young man named Shea Ohmsford discovers his royal heritage and embarks on a perilous quest to retrieve the legendary Sword of Shannara. With the guidance of the mysterious druid Allanon, Shea and a diverse group of companions must navigate treacherous lands filled with malevolent creatures and dark magic. Their mission is critical: to use the Sword's power to vanquish the fearsome Warlock Lord and prevent his dominion over the Four Lands. The journey tests their courage and bonds, as they confront the darkness both around them and within themselves.

    The 1876th Greatest Book of All Time
  • Circe by Madeline Miller

    The novel is a reimagining of the life of Circe, a minor goddess and witch from Homer's Odyssey. Born into the house of Helios, god of the sun, Circe is scorned by her family and turns to mortals for companionship, leading her to discover her powers of witchcraft. After transforming her mortal lover into a sea monster, she is banished to a deserted island by Zeus. Over the centuries, she hones her magical abilities, encounters famous mythological beings, and struggles with her immortality, loneliness, and desire for love and freedom.

    The 4021st Greatest Book of All Time
  • The Way Of Shadows by Brent Weeks

    The book is a gripping tale set in a gritty world of political intrigue and dark magic, where a street orphan becomes apprenticed to a master assassin. Under his mentor's guidance, the young apprentice learns the lethal skills necessary to survive in a treacherous city where nobles vie for power. As he hones his craft, he is drawn into a web of conspiracy, and must navigate a complex landscape of loyalty, honor, and betrayal. With his newfound abilities, he confronts the shadows of his past and the uncertain promise of his future in a dangerous quest for redemption and power.

    The 10371st Greatest Book of All Time
  • Storm Front by Jim Butcher

    In this urban fantasy novel, a professional wizard in modern-day Chicago acts as a private investigator, taking on cases that often intersect with the supernatural. He is hired to find a missing person and investigate a series of brutal murders that appear to be committed with black magic. As he delves into the gritty underworld of magic and monsters, he must navigate dangerous political machinations within the wizarding community, dodge the suspicions of the police, and confront a powerful and malevolent sorcerer. All the while, he struggles to maintain his own ethical code and protect the innocent from the dark forces at play.

    The 10022nd Greatest Book of All Time
  • Rivers Of London by Ben Aaronovitch

    In this urban fantasy novel, a young London police constable discovers he has a unique talent for magic after encountering a ghostly crime witness. Recruited into a secretive unit that deals with supernatural threats, he finds himself navigating a world where magic is real, and the city's rich history comes alive in dangerous ways. As he learns to master his newfound abilities, he must solve a puzzling murder case that intertwines with dark magical forces, all while trying to maintain peace between the mundane and the magical realms that coexist within the vibrant and historic landscape of London.

    The 8407th Greatest Book of All Time
  • James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

    A young boy named James, after being orphaned and forced to live with his cruel aunts, embarks on a magical adventure inside a giant peach. Alongside a group of anthropomorphic insects who also reside in the peach, James navigates through a series of fantastical events, including battling pirate-like creatures and flying across the Atlantic Ocean to New York City. This whimsical journey helps James escape his miserable life and find a new family amongst his insect friends.

    The 849th Greatest Book of All Time
  • Prince Of Thorns by Mark Lawrence

    In a brutal, post-apocalyptic medieval world, a young, vengeful prince leads a band of outlaws on a bloody quest to reclaim his stolen birthright. Scarred by the horrors of his past and the dark magic that lurks within him, the prince is determined to ascend to the throne, no matter the cost. His path is one of ruthless ambition and savage violence, challenging the remnants of a broken empire and the forces of a corrupt church. As he navigates treachery, betrayal, and his own inner demons, the prince's journey questions the very nature of power and the price of redemption.

    The 10471st Greatest Book of All Time
  • Swan Song by Robert R. McCammon

    In the aftermath of a nuclear war that devastates the United States, a group of survivors, including a professional wrestler, a young girl with mystical powers, and a bag lady, embark on a journey across a ravaged America. They must navigate the horrors of a post-apocalyptic world and battle a malevolent force known as the Man with the Scarlet Eye, who seeks to claim the wasteland as his own. Throughout their journey, they discover the power of hope, community, and resilience in the face of unimaginable hardship.

    The 1602nd Greatest Book of All Time
  • The Stand by Stephen King

    This post-apocalyptic horror/fantasy novel presents a world devastated by a deadly plague, killing 99% of the population. The survivors, drawn together by dreams of a charismatic and benevolent figure, gather in Boulder, Colorado to form a new society. However, a malevolent figure also emerges, attracting a following of his own and setting the stage for a classic battle between good and evil. The story delves into themes of community, morality, and the capacity for both destruction and regeneration within humanity.

    The 227th Greatest Book of All Time
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

    The protagonist, a middle-aged man, returns to his childhood home for a funeral and is drawn to the farm at the end of the road where he encounters a pond that was once an ocean in his childhood memories. He recalls a series of strange and terrifying events that occurred when he was seven, involving the mystical Hempstock women who live on the farm and their battle against malevolent supernatural entities that threatened his existence. The book explores themes of memory, magic, and the darkness that lies beneath the surface of everyday life.

    The 5867th Greatest Book of All Time
  • All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders

    This novel blends science fiction and fantasy, telling the story of two outcasts, a witch and a tech genius, who meet as children and then part ways, only to reunite as adults in a world teetering on the brink of catastrophe. As the planet faces environmental collapse and the threat of war, the pair must navigate their differences and their past to harness their extraordinary abilities. Their friendship becomes the key to survival, as they confront forces that could either save humanity or lead to its destruction, blurring the lines between magic and science in an uncertain future.

    The 6452nd Greatest Book of All Time
  • It by Stephen King

    A group of seven childhood friends, known as The Losers Club, come together in their small hometown to confront an evil entity that they first battled as children. This malevolent force, which often takes the form of a terrifying clown, preys on the children of their town by exploiting their deepest fears. The friends must confront their own personal demons and past traumas in order to once again face this entity, and the novel alternates between their childhood and adult experiences with this evil.

    The 677th Greatest Book of All Time
  • The Ninth Rain by Jen Williams

    In a fantasy world plagued by the cyclical invasions of monstrous creatures, a scholar with a thirst for adventure, a disgraced noblewoman with a secret, and a fell-witch with mysterious powers form an unlikely alliance. Together, they embark on a perilous quest to uncover the truth behind the long-lost race known as the Eborans and the source of the deadly rains that bring forth the terrifying creatures. As they journey through a landscape filled with ancient ruins, dark magic, and political intrigue, they must confront their own demons and unite to prevent the impending Ninth Rain, which threatens to destroy their world.

    The 10539th Greatest Book of All Time
  • The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang

    The book is a fantasy novel set in a world inspired by China's 20th century history. The protagonist, a war orphan, defies societal expectations by acing the empire-wide examination and earning a place at the prestigious military academy. However, her triumph is short-lived as she becomes embroiled in a violent conflict, which forces her to delve into the depths of her own magical abilities, inspired by shamanism. The story intertwines the brutal realities of war, mythology, and the exploration of power in a deeply divided society.

    The 6495th Greatest Book of All Time
  • A Brightness Long Ago by Guy Gavriel Kay

    Set in a world evoking Renaissance Italy, the novel weaves a tale of fate and consequence where the lives of a healer's daughter and a mercenary's son become intertwined with those of powerful rulers and skilled assassins. As past choices and chance encounters reverberate through the tapestry of their world, the characters navigate a landscape of beauty and violence, where the paths of the mighty and the humble cross in unexpected ways. The narrative explores the impact of memory, the weight of history, and the nature of human ambition, all while painting a vivid portrait of a society on the cusp of transformative change.

    The 10658th Greatest Book of All Time
  • The Priory Of The Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

    In this epic fantasy novel, a divided world faces the threat of awakening draconic forces. The narrative weaves together the stories of a queendom without an heir, a hidden priory dedicated to a secret mission, and distant lands with contrasting beliefs about dragons. As the ancient enemy stirs, a disparate group of characters, including a queen who must secure her throne, a dragon-riding warrior from the East, and a mage with a personal vendetta, must overcome deep-seated prejudices and historical enmities to forge an alliance. The fate of their world hinges on their ability to unite and confront the encroaching darkness brought forth by the return of a legendary fire-breathing beast.

    The 10041st Greatest Book of All Time
  • The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie

    In this fantasy novel, gods and humans coexist in a world where the divine can directly influence the physical realm, but at a cost. The story unfolds through the eyes of an ancient god, bound to a stone, who watches over the kingdom of Iraden. When the rightful ruler goes missing, a power struggle ensues, and the god's power is invoked by the new ruler in a way that could unravel the very fabric of their existence. Told with a unique narrative voice and structure, the book explores themes of power, loyalty, and the intricate dance between human ambition and the will of the divine.

    The 10659th Greatest Book of All Time
  • The 10,000 Doors Of January by Alix E Harrow

    In this enchanting novel, a young girl named January Scaller discovers a mysterious book that reveals a world of secret doorways leading to other realms, each unique and wondrous. As she delves deeper into its pages, she learns about her own family's connections to these other worlds and their role in guarding these portals. Set against the backdrop of the early 1900s, the story weaves a tale of adventure, self-discovery, and the power of words and stories to open doors to new possibilities. January must navigate a complex web of historical societies, hidden powers, and her own identity as she seeks to unlock the truth of her past and shape her destiny.

    The 10660th Greatest Book of All Time
  • Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

    The book revolves around a young woman with a troubled past who is given a second chance through a scholarship to an elite university, where she becomes involved with the secretive societies that practice magic and the occult. Tasked with monitoring their activities, she uncovers a series of supernatural crimes and mysteries that she must solve, using her own newfound magical abilities and wits. As she delves deeper into the university's hidden world, she confronts the dark power and privilege that fuel these ancient organizations, while also grappling with her own personal demons and histories.

    The 9610th Greatest Book of All Time
  • Some Kind Of Fairy Tale by Graham Joyce

    The novel is a captivating exploration of the thin line between reality and the otherworldly, telling the story of a woman who mysteriously reappears after vanishing for twenty years. Her family, having mourned her loss and moved on, is thrown into disarray upon her return, especially as she looks barely a day older. As she recounts an incredible tale of having been taken by fairies, her loved ones struggle with disbelief and the possibility that her story might be true. The narrative weaves through themes of time, memory, and whether the fantastical can coexist with the mundane, challenging the characters and readers to reconsider the boundaries of their own beliefs.

    The 10361st Greatest Book of All Time
  • Gideon The Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

    In a universe where necromancers hold power, Gideon, a skilled swordswoman, is reluctantly paired with her childhood rival, Harrow, to compete in a deadly trial that could grant them immortality. As they venture into an ancient, decaying mansion filled with secrets and puzzles, they must unravel the mysteries of their world and face sinister forces lurking within. With a blend of dark humor, complex characters, and a gripping plot, "Gideon The Ninth" is a thrilling and unique blend of science fiction and fantasy.

    The 8150th Greatest Book of All Time
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

    Set in Nazi Germany during World War II, the novel follows the story of a young girl who finds solace in stealing books and sharing them with others. In the midst of the horrors of war, she forms a bond with a Jewish man her foster parents are hiding in their basement. The story is narrated by Death, offering a unique perspective on the atrocities and small acts of kindness during this period. The girl's love for books becomes a metaphor for resistance against the oppressive regime.

    The 552nd Greatest Book of All Time
  • The Forgotten Beasts Of Eld by Patricia A. McKillip

    This fantasy novel centers around a powerful and reclusive young sorceress who lives alone in her magical sanctuary, surrounded by a menagerie of mystical creatures with whom she communicates. Her life of solitude is disrupted when a baby is brought to her for protection, setting off a chain of events that leads her into the complexities of human relationships and power struggles. As she navigates love, revenge, and the desire for independence, the sorceress must confront her own heart and the consequences of wielding great magical power, ultimately seeking a path that balances her own peace with the world's demands.

    The 2329th Greatest Book of All Time
  • Duncton Wood by William Horwood

    This novel is a rich tale of adventure, heroism, and romance set within an ancient British woodland inhabited by a society of moles. The story follows the life of a young mole named Bracken and his quest for love and meaning amidst the traditions and spiritual life of the mole community. As Bracken and his beloved embark on a journey that will test their courage and faith, they must confront an evil tyrant who seeks to control Duncton Wood. Their struggle is one of both physical and spiritual significance, as the fate of their home and the very essence of their molehill beliefs hang in the balance. Through their trials, the narrative explores themes of power, freedom, and the enduring search for truth.

    The 9160th Greatest Book of All Time
  • Legend by David Gemmell

    In a post-apocalyptic world, an aging warrior known as Druss comes out of retirement to defend his homeland from invading hordes. Despite his advanced age, he is still a formidable fighter and is revered as a living legend. As he prepares for a seemingly impossible battle, he must confront not only his enemies but also his own personal demons and the specter of his own mortality. The novel is a compelling blend of action, adventure, and introspection, exploring themes of heroism, honor, and the human capacity for courage in the face of overwhelming odds.

    The 1778th Greatest Book of All Time
  • Wizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind

    In a world where magic is both wondrous and perilous, a young woods guide named Richard Cypher embarks on a monumental quest after his father's murder leads him to the discovery of his own latent magical abilities. Guided by a mysterious woman named Kahlan and a wizard named Zedd, Richard must navigate treacherous lands and confront a malevolent tyrant who seeks to enslave the world. As he grapples with his destiny as the Seeker of Truth, he learns that love, like magic, comes with a price, and that the titular rule—trust no one—may be the most important lesson of all.

    The 5385th Greatest Book of All Time
  • Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

    In this dark and imaginative fantasy, a young Londoner named Richard Mayhew finds his mundane life turned upside down when he stumbles upon a young woman named Door, bleeding on the sidewalk. After aiding her, he is thrust into the shadowy, parallel world of London Below, a realm of magic, danger, and intrigue that exists beneath the streets of London Above. As Richard journeys through this eerie underworld with a cast of bizarre and fantastical characters, he must confront malevolent forces and unravel a complex conspiracy to help Door discover why her family was murdered, all while trying to find a way back to his old life.

    The 1657th Greatest Book of All Time
  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

    The novel follows the unusual life of a boy named Nobody "Bod" Owens who, after his family is murdered, is raised by the supernatural inhabitants of a graveyard. Under the protection of ghosts and his guardian, who is neither living nor dead, Bod learns about the living world and the dangers it holds, including the man Jack who continues to hunt for him. As he grows up among tombstones and crypts, Bod explores the limits of his graveyard home, encounters creatures of the night, and ultimately confronts the sinister forces that took his family from him, all while trying to lead a normal life despite his extraordinary upbringing.

    The 4061st Greatest Book of All Time
  • The City & the City by China Miéville

    In a unique blend of noir detective fiction and speculative fantasy, the book explores the coexistence of two distinct cities occupying the same geographical space, yet remaining invisible to each other due to a strict set of societal rules and the mysterious force of "Breach" that enforces them. When a young woman is found murdered, a seasoned inspector must navigate the complex and often perilous overlap of these two cities to solve the crime. His investigation challenges the rigid separation of the cities, uncovering a conspiracy that blurs the lines between the two and threatens the very fabric of their existence.

    The 3427th Greatest Book of All Time
  • Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan

    "Tender Morsels" is a dark and evocative fantasy novel that explores themes of trauma, healing, and the complexities of human emotion. The story follows Liga, a young woman who, after enduring unspeakable abuse, escapes to a parallel world where she can raise her daughters in peace, away from the horrors of her past. However, the barrier between her safe haven and the real world begins to weaken, and the intrusion of outsiders threatens the sanctuary she has created. As her daughters grow and encounter the challenges of their own desires and the allure of the harsher, real world, the novel delves into the difficult journey of confronting pain, the power of resilience, and the bittersweet process of letting go for the sake of growth and transformation.

    The 9681st Greatest Book of All Time
  • Palimpsest by Catherynne M. Valente

    The book is a richly woven tale that follows four strangers who find themselves linked by a dream-city named Palimpsest, which they can only access through their sleep. Each of them is marked by a map of the city on their skin, a living remnant of their nocturnal visits. To return to the city, they must engage in intimate acts with other strangers bearing the map. As they navigate their lives in the waking world and the enigmatic streets of Palimpsest, they are drawn deeper into the city's mysteries and must confront their own desires and heartaches, while the fate of this otherworldly place becomes increasingly intertwined with their personal transformations.

    The 10427th Greatest Book of All Time
  • The Shadow Year by Jeffrey Ford

    In "The Shadow Year," a coming-of-age tale is woven around a young boy and his siblings as they navigate the complexities of childhood in 1960s suburban America. The novel captures the essence of innocence and the loss thereof, as the siblings create a miniature replica of their town in their basement, which becomes a fantastical escape from reality. However, their make-believe world is threatened by a series of mysterious and sinister events in their actual town, leading them to confront a creeping darkness that parallels their transition from the simplicity of childhood to the murkier shades of adult life. The story is a poignant exploration of memory, reality, and the shadows that linger at the edges of innocence.

    The 9682nd Greatest Book of All Time
  • Boy's Life by Robert R. McCammon

    Set in the 1960s in the fictional town of Zephyr, Alabama, the novel follows the life of 12-year-old Cory Mackenson, whose life takes a mysterious turn when he witnesses his father attempt to save a man from a sinking car. The man is already handcuffed to the steering wheel, dead by strangulation. This event triggers a series of adventures and mysteries that Cory must unravel, all the while dealing with the challenges and joys of growing up. The book is a rich blend of nostalgia, magic realism, and the dark undercurrents of life in the American South.

    The 2223rd Greatest Book of All Time
  • The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon

    In an alternate reality where Jewish refugees found sanctuary in Alaska during World War II, the book follows a homicide detective in the Yiddish-speaking metropolis of Sitka as he investigates the murder of a former chess prodigy. The detective's quest takes him from the city's seedy underbelly to the highest echelons of power, and he uncovers a vast conspiracy that threatens the very existence of the Jewish homeland in Alaska. The novel is a blend of detective fiction, alternate history, and Jewish humor.

    The 3436th Greatest Book of All Time
  • The Moon and the Sun by Vonda N. McIntyre

    Set in the court of Louis XIV, the story blends historical fiction with elements of fantasy as it follows a young woman who serves as the king's natural philosopher. Tasked with studying a sea creature captured by the king, believed to be a mermaid, she discovers its intelligence and humanity, challenging the prevailing views of her time. As she forms a bond with the creature, she must navigate the treacherous waters of court intrigue and scientific discovery, while confronting ethical dilemmas about the treatment of sentient beings and the pursuit of knowledge at any cost. The novel explores themes of power, gender, and the clash between science and superstition.

    The 9586th Greatest Book of All Time
  • Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice

    The novel is a dark and atmospheric tale of a centuries-old vampire, Louis, who shares his life story with a young reporter. He recounts his transformation into a vampire by the charismatic and ruthless Lestat, their complex relationship, and their encounters with other supernatural beings. The narrative explores themes of immortality, loss, identity, and the human desire for love and companionship. The book is known for its rich detail and its philosophical and historical depth.

    The 537th Greatest Book of All Time
  • Anno Dracula by Kim Newman

    In this alternate history novel, the world is a macabre tapestry where Count Dracula has not only survived but triumphed, marrying Queen Victoria and spreading vampirism throughout the British Empire. The narrative weaves a complex, gothic tale where historical and fictional characters coexist. As the vampire elite rise to power and influence, a gripping story of political intrigue, horror, and murder unfolds, with a Jack the Ripper-like figure preying on vampire prostitutes in London's shadowy streets. The book explores themes of class, power, and the nature of monsterhood, all set against the rich backdrop of a Victorian society transformed by the undead.

    The 9659th Greatest Book of All Time
  • The Silent Land by Graham Joyce

    In "The Silent Land," a couple on a ski vacation in the French Alps is engulfed by an avalanche, and upon emerging from the snow, they find the world around them eerily silent and deserted. As they struggle to understand their situation, they discover that time seems to be behaving strangely, and they are unable to leave the town. The novel explores themes of love, loss, and the nature of reality as the couple confronts their past and faces the unsettling possibility that they may be trapped in a liminal space between life and death, forcing them to re-examine their relationship and the depth of their connection to each other.

    The 10456th Greatest Book of All Time
  • 11 22 63 by Stephen King

    "11/22/63" is a science fiction novel by Stephen King that follows the story of Jake Epping, a high school English teacher who discovers a portal that leads to 1958. After being convinced by his friend Al to use the portal to prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Jake embarks on a journey through time to change the course of history. Along the way, he falls in love with a woman named Sadie and faces various obstacles that threaten to alter the timeline he is trying to change. The book explores themes of love, loss, and the consequences of trying to change the past.

    The 2430th Greatest Book of All Time
  • The Killing Moon by NK Jemisin

    In a world inspired by ancient Egypt, where magic is wielded through the power of dreams, priests known as Gatherers harvest the magic of the sleeping for the use of the city-state of Gujaareh, all in the name of peace. However, when Ehiru, one of the most respected Gatherers, is sent on a mission, he discovers a conspiracy that threatens the very fabric of his society. As he delves deeper into the mystery, he must question his own beliefs and the morality of his actions, navigating political intrigue, and the dangerous waters of power and corruption that could bring about the downfall of everything he holds dear.

    The 10512th Greatest Book of All Time
  • Alif The Unseen by G. Willow Wilson

    In a Middle Eastern city teetering on the edge of revolution, a young Arab-Indian hacker, who goes by the alias Alif, finds himself on the run from the state's oppressive security forces. After his computer-savvy skills and underground network are compromised by a heartbreak, he discovers the existence of the supernatural world of the jinn. With the help of an ancient and mystical book, Alif must bridge the gap between the seen and the unseen, blending technology with ancient Arabic lore, to protect himself and his community from the encroaching forces that threaten to engulf both the physical and the magical worlds.

    The 9995th Greatest Book of All Time
  • Nights At The Circus by Angela Carter

    "Nights at the Circus" is a fantastical tale set in the late 19th century, centering around a trapeze artist who claims to be a swan princess with wings. A journalist is intrigued by her story and joins the circus to uncover the truth. As the troupe travels from London to Siberia, the journalist becomes increasingly enchanted by the strange world of circus performers and his relationship with the trapeze artist deepens. The book explores themes of love, freedom, and the blurred lines between reality and illusion.

    The 389th Greatest Book of All Time
  • Zoo City by Lauren Beukes, Philibert-Caillat Laurent Beukes Lauren

    "Zoo City" by Lauren Beukes is a gripping urban fantasy novel set in a gritty Johannesburg where people who have committed a crime are magically bonded with an animal familiar. The story follows Zinzi December, a former journalist with a sloth on her back, as she becomes embroiled in a dangerous mystery involving a missing pop star and a dark conspiracy that threatens her newfound stability. With its unique blend of crime, magic, and social commentary, "Zoo City" explores themes of redemption, identity, and the consequences of our actions in a captivating and thought-provoking way.

    The 9790th Greatest Book of All Time
  • The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper

    In "The Dark Is Rising," a young boy named Will Stanton discovers on his eleventh birthday that he is the last of the Old Ones, a group of immortal beings who must protect the world from the forces of darkness. As he embarks on a dangerous quest to find six powerful signs, Will must navigate a treacherous battle between good and evil, facing ancient magic, time travel, and his own inner demons along the way. With the fate of the world hanging in the balance, Will must embrace his destiny and harness his newfound powers to save humanity from the rising darkness.

    The 1217th Greatest Book of All Time
  • Weaveworld by Clive Barker

    In this dark fantasy novel, the reader is transported to a world where a magical carpet, known as the Fugue, contains an entire realm within its intricate weaves. This tapestry serves as a sanctuary for a race of beings and their rich culture, hidden from the dangers of the human world. When a young man accidentally discovers the carpet, he becomes entangled in a struggle to protect the Fugue from malevolent forces that seek to destroy it. As the story unfolds, the characters must navigate a perilous landscape of treachery and sorcery, where reality and fantasy intertwine, and the fate of both worlds hangs in the balance.

    The 3776th Greatest Book of All Time
  • A Darker Shade Of Magic by V. E. Schwab

    In this fantasy novel, we follow the story of a rare magician with the ability to travel between parallel Londons—Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black. Each London has a different level of magic, and the balance of power is precarious. The protagonist serves as a messenger and smuggler between the Londons, adhering to a strict set of rules to keep these worlds separate. However, when an unexpected encounter leads to the discovery of a dangerous artifact from the forbidden Black London, the magician must navigate treacherous political waters and dark magic, with the help of an adventurous thief, to prevent catastrophic destruction.

    The 10537th Greatest Book of All Time
  • The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison

    "The Goblin Emperor" is a fantasy novel set in a world where goblins are considered lower-class citizens. When the half-goblin, half-elf Maia unexpectedly becomes emperor, he must navigate court politics, assassination attempts, and the challenges of ruling a kingdom filled with treachery and deceit. With his kind heart and determination to bring justice, Maia strives to prove himself as a capable leader while uncovering the truth behind his father's mysterious death.

    The 8965th Greatest Book of All Time
  • The Sudden Appearance Of Hope by Claire North

    The novel centers around Hope Arden, a woman who is afflicted with a peculiar condition that makes her unmemorable to everyone she encounters, effectively rendering her invisible in society. Despite her unique challenge, Hope becomes a master thief, capitalizing on her ability to slip through the cracks of people's consciousness. Her life takes a dramatic turn when she steals a piece of jewelry that ties her to a sinister technology company with a global influence. As she delves deeper into the company's operations, she uncovers a conspiracy that threatens her anonymity and the very fabric of her existence, leading her on a journey that challenges the nature of identity, memory, and what it means to be truly seen.

    The 10295th Greatest Book of All Time
  • Blackwing by Ed McDonald

    In a gritty, post-apocalyptic world ravaged by otherworldly forces and magic, a battle-scarred bounty hunter navigates a landscape of devastation and corruption. Tasked with protecting a powerful noblewoman who may hold the key to turning the tide against the encroaching darkness, the hunter is drawn into a web of political intrigue and ancient powers. As monstrous enemies and twisted magic threaten to overrun humanity, he must confront his own demons and make impossible choices to save the remnants of a world on the brink of collapse.

    The 10619th Greatest Book of All Time
  • Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett

    In a city where magic is harnessed through intricate sigils and the industrial revolution meets sorcery, a talented thief with a unique ability is drawn into a heist that uncovers a nefarious plot threatening the very essence of reality. As she navigates a world of powerful merchant houses, technological marvels, and ancient artifacts, she must ally with unlikely partners to confront a force that could shatter the delicate balance of power and spell doom for her city and its inhabitants. With the lines between her personal quest for freedom and the greater good blurring, the thief's actions will determine the fate of magic and mankind alike.

    The 10638th Greatest Book of All Time
About this list

Fantasy Book Review, 103 Books

Fantasy Book Review lists their Top 100 Fantasy Books of all time, with links to their reviews of each one. Here's what their description says:

The 100 fantasy books that we - and other readers - simply cannot recommend highly enough; books that we've all loved reading. Click on a book title to read the full review.

Added 3 months ago.

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