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Reddit’s 15 Best Fantasy Books Are Essential Reads

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Reddit’s 15 Best Fantasy Books Are Essential Reads

The fantasy genre is one of the most beloved and enduring storytelling types in the history of the written word. Still, some have never embarked on the magical journey through the enchanting worlds of the best fantasy novels. Thankfully, Reddit’s passionate community of fantasy lovers has spoken. Across various subreddits, online users have listed their favorite epic quests, mythical creatures, imaginative realms, and heroic characters to determine the best fantasy novels ever written. We’ve assembled the fifteen books Reddit mentioned most often below.

Where to Find Reddit’s Best Fantasy Book Recommendations

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Reddit stands apart from rival social media platforms for its focus on mini-forums called subreddits.

If you want to find the best fantasy books to read, then Reddit is the place to look. On Reddit, you’re going to get real readers sharing their real recommendations from their real reading experiences. You’ll rarely encounter a sponsored or promoted post in one of the platform’s many subreddits. It’s a lot more authentic than other social media sites out there. But where do you look for the best fantasy book recommendations? Try r/books, r/fantasy, or r/suggestmeabook to start with. 

r/books

r/books is a subreddit where people discuss all kinds of books, including — but not limited to — fantasy. This subreddit is worth your time because its community of book lovers is vast and spans every genre. This is good for those new to fantasy and unsure of what fantasy books to start with. Plus, you’ll encounter plenty of fantasy recommendations that stretch across multiple genres in r/books. With over 20 million members, there’ll be no shortage of posts here.

r/fantasy

Unlike r/books, r/fantasy is a specific subreddit dedicated exclusively to the fantasy genre. If you’re no newbie to fantasy books, then this may be the subreddit for you. This is a place for fantasy loyalists to gather and discuss their favorite picks. You can trust these fantasy enthusiasts because they live and breathe the genre. From avid fantasy readers to those just diving into fantasy, r/fantasy will also provide you with recommendations for video games, board games, and other fantasy-themed media and entertainment.

r/suggestmeabook

Like r/books, r/suggestmeabook is a subreddit dedicated to book devotees. What sets it apart, however, is its focus on recommendations and suggestions. Here, users ask for personalized book recommendations based on their preferences. It’s not all fantasy, but the genre often comes up in conversations in r/suggestmeabook. You can consider this subreddit trustworthy because the community is active and responsive, willing to tailor suggestions to meet your tastes.

15. The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle

The Journey
The Last Unicorn
$13.21
  • Author: Peter S. Beagle
  • Page count: 320
  • First published: 1968
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02/17/2024 02:42 am GMT

Peter S. Beagle’s The Last Unicorn has been captivating fantasy lovers for decades now. This enchanting tale tells of a unicorn on a quest to discover more of her kind. The novel’s lyrical prose and beautiful imagery evoke a sense of wonder and nostalgia, making it a timeless classic that remains immensely readable to audiences today. Reddit users admire the depth of its characters and the emotional journey they undertake, while its themes of love, loss, and identity resonate with readers of all ages.

14. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis

Narnia
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
$7.19
  • Author: C. S. Lewis
  • Page count: 224
  • First published: 1950
  • Part of the Chronicles of Narnia series
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02/17/2024 02:42 am GMT

We’d be remiss to exclude C. S. Lewis’s masterpiece The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe from this list of Reddit’s best fantasy novels. Genre enthusiasts have adored Lewis’s imaginative world of Narnia and the adventures of the Pevensie children since the ’50s. The novel’s allegorical elements add layers of meaning that appeal to both young and adult readers. Plus, its gripping narrative, memorable characters, and the battle between good and evil span numerous entries in the series that follow this book.

13. Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb

Immersive Series
Assassin's Apprentice
$2.62
  • Author: Robin Hobb
  • Page count: 448
  • First published: 1995
  • Book one of the Farseer Trilogy
  • Book one of the Realm of the Elderlings Saga
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02/17/2024 02:43 am GMT

Robin Hobb’s “Realm of the Elderlings” series is truly epic. Spanning 18 books and six sub-series, Hobb’s immersive saga is made up of intricate world-building and complex characters alike. It all begins with Assassin’s Apprentice, a favorite among Reddit fantasy lovers. It’s a coming-of-age tale about Fitz, a royal bastard trained as an assassin to protect the throne. The novel’s exploration of loyalty, betrayal, and self-discovery resonates deeply with readers. Plus, its emphasis on building relationships and personal growth makes it a favorite among younger readers.

12. The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett

Humorously Intelligent
The Color of Magic
$8.99
  • Author: Terry Pratchett
  • Page count: 288
  • First published: 1983
  • Book one in the Diskworld series
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02/17/2024 02:47 am GMT

Terry Pratchett’s The Colour of Magic is a hit on Reddit because of its hilarious and satirical take on the fantasy genre. The novel’s witty humor, unique setting, and colorful characters offer a refreshing departure from traditional fantasy tropes. If you love this one — and, according to Reddit, you probably will — there are more than 40 other entries in the Discworld series. Pratchett’s clever observations and witty commentary on society appeal to fans who appreciate intelligent humor and a fresh perspective on fantasy.

11. The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan

Captivating Story
The Eye of the World
$11.98
  • Author: Robert Jordan
  • Page count: 784
  • First published: 1990
  • Book one in the Wheel of Time series
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02/17/2024 02:48 am GMT

The Eye of the World is cherished by Reddit’s fantasy community because it launches Robert Jordan’s epic Wheel of Time series. That’s not to say it can’t stand alone, however. With its vast world, intricate magic system, and expansive character arcs, the novel immerses readers in a grand adventure in its own right. Jordan’s skillful pacing and captivating storytelling keep readers hooked. Likewise, the richly detailed world-building leaves fans eager to explore more of his complex universe.

10. Sabriel by Garth Nix

Female Protagonist
Sabriel
$8.69
  • Author: Garth Nix
  • Page count: 311
  • First published: 1995
  • Book one of the Old Kingdom series
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02/17/2024 02:48 am GMT

Garth Nix’s Sabriel has won over the fantasy fans of Reddit with its dark and imaginative tale of a young necromancer’s journey to rescue her father. The novel’s unique blend of magic, mythology, and a strong female protagonist make it a contemporary staple of the genre. Readers won’t soon forget Nix’s skillful storytelling and dynamic characters. Set against the richly developed world of Ancelstierre and the Old Kingdom, reading the novel is an engaging and unforgettable experience. The story continues in later books from the Old Kingdom series.

9. The Neverending Story by Michael Ende

Now a Movie
The Neverending Story
$8.98
  • Author: Michael Ende
  • Page count: 448
  • First published: 1979
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02/17/2024 02:53 am GMT

You’ve probably seen the movie before, but did you know that The Neverending Story began as a fantasy novel? Michael Ender’s novel has enchanted Reddit’s fantasy readers with its metafictional adventure that blurs the line between reality and fable. The novel’s unforgettable characters — such as Bastian and Atreyu — and its magical realm of Fantastica are iconic to those with a real love for the genre. Plus, Ende’s exploration of imagination and the power of storytelling captivates readers of any age.

8. The Princess Bride by William Goldman

Movie Adaptations Available
The Princess Bride
$13.59
  • Author: William Goldman
  • Page count: 464
  • First published: 1973
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02/17/2024 02:57 am GMT

Next in the ranking of Reddit’s best fantasy novels is another book-turned-film adaptation: The Princess Bride by William Goldman. It’s a classic filled with witty humor, swashbuckling action, and timeless romance. William Goldman’s masterful storytelling framed within a clever narrative keeps readers entertained from start to finish. It’s the novel’s unique blend of adventure, fantasy, and fairy tale elements that has made it a beloved classic that continues to enchant new generations of fantasy readers to this day.

7. The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

Coming-Of-Age
The Golden Compass
$8.07
  • Author: Philip Pullman
  • Page count: 448
  • First published: 1995
  • Book one in the His Dark Materials series
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02/17/2024 02:58 am GMT

Though it’s been subjected to more than one screen adaptation in its lifetime, nothing compares to actually reading Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass. The first entry in the His Dark Materials series, its imaginative world of daemons and parallel universes, makes for an all-time great fantasy read. Philip Pullman’s intricate storytelling and philosophical themes, woven into a gripping narrative, create a thought-provoking and emotionally resonant fantasy experience. Main character Lyra’s coming-of-age journey is one for the ages.

6. Storm Front by Jim Butcher

Mystery Detective Novel
Storm Front
$8.59
  • Author: Jim Butcher
  • Page count: 372
  • First published: 2000
  • Book one in the Dresden Files series
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02/17/2024 02:58 am GMT

Storm Front ranks highly on Reddit’s list of the best fantasy books. Lovers of the genre heap tons of praise on charismatic wizard-detective Harry Dresden any chance they get. Set in a thrilling urban fantasy setting, author Jim Butcher’s fast-paced plot, engaging magical world, and witty humor appeal to fans seeking a fantastically action-packed adventure. The blending of noir detective elements with supernatural mysteries keeps readers hooked, making the Dresden Files series a favorite on the platform.

5. A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin

An Examination of Human Nature
A Wizard of Earthsea
$8.99
  • Author: Ursula K. Le Guin
  • Page count: 264
  • First published: 1968
  • Part of the Earthsea Cycle
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02/17/2024 03:07 am GMT

While often talked about as a science fiction author, Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea Cycle functions just as well as a series of fantasy books. (As far as Reddit is concerned, that is.) A Wizard of Earthsea is the first in the six-book series. Le Guin’s words reel readers in with elegant prose, philosophical themes, and masterful world-building. This first book tells the coming-of-age tale of Ged, a young wizard. It delves into the balance of power and the consequences of one’s actions, exploring the nature of magic and the complexities of human nature in the process.

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

The Cliffhanger
A Game of Thrones
$12.40
  • Author: George R. R. Martin
  • Page count: 704 pages
  • First published: 1996
  • Book one in the Song of Ice and Fire series
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02/17/2024 03:07 am GMT

Could it be a ranking of Reddit’s best fantasy novels without A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin? This book — and the larger series of books it’s a part of — is a huge sensation among Reddit’s fantasy community. From its intricate political intrigue, morally gray characters, and shocking plot twists, Martin’s ruthless and unpredictable storytelling makes for a gripping tale of power, ambition, and betrayal. And who knows? Maybe you can catch up before the long-awaited sixth book in the Song of Ice and Fire series is published.

3. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Timeless Classic
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
$22.64
  • Author: Lewis Carroll
  • Page count: 192 pages
  • First published: 1865
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02/17/2024 03:07 am GMT

It might not be the first book that comes to mind when you think about fantasy, but Reddit believes Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland deserves a key spot on this list. It makes sense. Lewis Carroll’s book is incredibly iconic. Its whimsical and nonsensical journey into a fantastical realm has captured imaginations for over 150 years now. The book’s imaginative, dreamlike narrative, coupled with iconic characters like the Cheshire Cat and the Mad Hatter, continues to enchant 21st-century readers. It’s the definition of a timeless fantasy classic.

2. The Once and Future King by T. H. White

King Arthur Legend
The Once and Future King
$14.99
  • Author: T. H. White
  • Page count: 656
  • First published: 1958
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02/17/2024 03:07 am GMT

The legend of King Arthur and the fantasy genre have gone hand in hand for centuries. T. H. White helped reinvigorate this legendary tale for modern audiences with The Once and Future King A retelling of the Arthurian legends based on Sir Thomas Mallory’s 1485 text, Le Morte d’Arthur. T. H. White’s epic saga captures the essence of chivalry, virtue, and the complexities of leadership that have enamored readers for centuries. The novel’s timeless themes, endearing characters like Merlin and Lancelot, and White’s engaging prose make it a cherished fantasy classic on the platform.

1. The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

Lord of the Rings
The Hobbit
$10.73
  • Author: J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Page count: 300
  • First published: 1937
  • Part of the Lord of the Rings series
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02/17/2024 03:13 am GMT

Reddit’s absolute favorite of all the fantasy books? It’s The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien, of course. Complete with The Lord of the Rings series and The Silmarillion, Tolkien’s series holds the most special place in the hearts of Reddit’s fantasy lovers. For many, this was the book — this was the series — that introduced them to fantasy as a genre. It’s #1 for a very good reason. J. R. R. Tolkien’s captivating tale of Bilbo Baggins’ unexpected journey is a beloved cornerstone of the fantasy genre and Reddit’s fantasy community alike.

Summary Table

RankBookAuthor
15The Last UnicornPeter S. Beagle
14The Lion, the Witch, and the WardrobeC. S. Lewis
13Assassin’s ApprenticeRobin Hobb
12The Colour of MagicTerry Pratchett
11The Eye of the WorldRobert Jordan
10SabrielGarth Nix
9The Neverending StoryMichael Ende
8The Princess BrideWilliam Goldman
7The Golden CompassPhilip Pullman
6Storm FrontJim Butcher
5A Wizard of EarthseaUrsula K. Le Guin
4A Game of ThronesGeorge R. R. Martin
3Alice’s Adventures in WonderlandLewis Carroll
2The Once and Future KingT. H. White
1The HobbitJ. R. R. Tolkien

Frequently Asked Questions

What is fantasy fiction?

Fantasy fiction is a genre of storytelling that includes magical or supernatural elements set in imagined worlds. It often features mythical creatures, powerful wizards, epic quests, and extraordinary adventures. Fantasy books allow readers to escape into fantastical realms beyond the bounds of reality.

What's the difference between fantasy and science fiction?

While there is often some crossover, fantasy and science fiction are different genres. Both involve imaginative settings, but fantasy focuses on magic, mythical creatures, and ancient lore. Science fiction, on the other hand, explores futuristic technology, space travel, and scientific concepts.

What are the most essential fantasy books?

Fantasy books one might deem “essential” include J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, series C. S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia series, and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. These timeless tales have influenced the fantasy genre and continue to captivate readers worldwide.

How do you write a good fantasy protagonist?

A good fantasy protagonist is relatable, possesses unique strengths and flaws, and undergoes personal growth during their hero’s journey. They face challenges that test their courage and determination, ultimately resonating with readers as they triumph over adversity.

Where can you find good fantasy books to read?

To discover new fantasy books, you can explore recommendations from book communities like Reddit’s r/fantasy or Goodreads. Following your favorite fantasy authors, checking book lists, and joining book clubs or online forums are also excellent ways to find exciting new reads within the fantasy genre. You can also scour your local library or bookstore’s fantasy section for popular titles.

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