These fantasy novels are truly spellbinding!
Wish you could escape to a magical world full of wonder and adventure? Want to meet quirky characters, discover hidden secrets, and face epic quests? If you answered yes, then getting lost in a fantasy novel is the perfect past-time!
Whether you are a fan of epic quests and magical powers, a one-of-read or a multi-book odyssey, Hunter and Bligh have adventured out to find the top 10 fantasy books for adults of all time. For the brave and curious souls who dare to explore the unknown, start reading!
Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J R. R. Tolkien
Do we even have to say it? One of the most iconic and legendary fantasy novels ever written, the Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J R. R. Tolkien is the genesis for almost all Western fantasy stories. Set across three novels, the epic quest of Frodo, Sam, Gandalf and the Fellowship to bring the One Ring to Mount Doom to defeat the dark evil Sauron. Originally published in 1945, reading this classic fantasy trilogy today is an even more immersive and grand experience than the sensational film adaptation from Peter Jackson. So start reading this classic fantasy series as soon as possible!
His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
Starting with The Golden Compass published in 1995, Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy is one of the most beloved fantasy stories ever written. Following the exploits of Lyra Belacqua and Will Parry as they come of age and explore a multiverse of many magical parallel worlds, mixing delightful whimsey with heavy topics around philosophy and theology. With armoured polar bears, witches and plenty of magic, make sure to read His Dark Materials for a fantastical reading experience!
A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin
A classic coming of age story, A Wizard of Earthsea — penned by Ursula K. Le Guin — is a remarkable classic of the fantasy genre. Follow the story of a young boy named Duny as he discovers his magic powers, and eventually his journey to fix a terrible mistake he made. Published all the way back in 1968, this fantasy masterpiece has aged like fine wine more than 50 years later. A Wizard of Earthsea is sure to cast a spell over you!
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
A fantasy novel from Nigerian-American author Tomi Adeyemi, Children of Blood and Bone has already established itself as a modern classic since its release in 2018. Set in a fictionalised, pre-colonial African country called Orïsha, the story follows protagonist Zélie Adebola as she tries to return magic to her home country and overthrow the tyrannical king who banned it. One of the best modern fantasy novels for adults, Children of Blood and Bone breathes new life into a staid genre.
The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
The first book in the ongoing fantasy epic The Stormlight Archives, The Way of Kings shows that modern novels can stand toe-to-toe with the classics of the genre. Written by fantasy aficionado Brandon Sanderson, you’ll feel swept away by the grand epic Sanderson is known for. The novel follows three characters as they work through the various facets and perspectives of the conflict taking place on the Shattered Plains. Rich with character detail and world-building, there’s never a dull page with The Way of Kings!
Dragonflight by Anne Mccaffrey
The first book in Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series, Dragonflight follows Lessa, the sole survivor of the noble who is now a lowly kitchen girl. But everything changes when she meets a queen dragon, starting Lessa on an adventure that will change her life and save her world. A trailblazing woman of the fantasy genre, Anne McCaffrey weaves a beautifully told story of self-discovery and ambition. One of the best fantasy novels of all time, Dragonflight is sure to give you a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
What is there to say about Game of Thrones? The smash hit television adaptation had audiences on the edge of their seats for eight seasons of political intrigue, brutal conflict, and plenty of saucy romance. But don’t miss out on the books that started it all. A Game of Thrones, the first novel in the legendary Fire and Ice series of novels, has delighted readers since 1996. And while the final novel is not yet out, that shouldn’t stop you from exploring Westeros with A Game of Thrones.
American Gods by Neil Gaiman
Written by the sensational Neil Gaiman, American Gods captures a unique blend of Americana, ancient mythology, and a healthy dose of modern fantasy. Published at the dawn of the century in 2001, follow the travails of Shadow, an ex-convict just released from prison, on a mythical road trip across America that delves into life and death, deception, and American identity. Winning some of the most renowned sci-fi and fantasy fiction awards, start believing in the power of the American Gods!
Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
Often compared with Lord of the Rings, C.S. Lewis’ high fantasy classic novels are no less important in the cultural zeitgeist. Across seven fantastic novels including the beloved The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis crafts a captivating and engrossing world enjoyed by readers of all ages, with influences from Christianity and other classic literature. So if you’re looking to be transported into another world, open up the ‘wardrobe’ to some of the best fantasy novels ever written.
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
Science fiction and fantasy are often seen next to each other in the bookshop, but what if they are brought together? Enter The Fifth Season, a science fantasy novel that brings the best of both genres together. Written by N. K. Jemisin and published in 2015, the story takes place on a planet with a single supercontinent called the Stillness, with three separate stories that tell the effects of catastrophic climate change. So for those after a complex and satisfying adventure through a new and unique fantasy setting, then pick up The Fifth Season!
To read these fantasy classics, then head on down to Australia’s 10 Best Bookstore Cafes to Read at in 2023. Want something more visual? Then flick through the Top 10 Graphic Novel Books for Adults to Read.