The best fantastic fantasy books to get lost in

Who am I?

My name is Toni Cox and I’m a German-born author currently residing in South Africa. I write Epic Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, and Dystopian Urban fantasy. Aside from the fact that I passionately consume books in my genre, I have done extensive research for my own books and have come to be a champion of the genres I write in. I love to take the readers on their own adventure, something they can identify with and feel. Emotion is most important to me and readers should feel connected to the books they are reading.


I wrote...

Elemental Rising

By Toni Cox,

Book cover of Elemental Rising

What is my book about?

An epic fantasy that was written with adventure in mind, this book will immerse you into Maia’s world. A life elemental and elf, she is destined to lead her people to greatness, but a shadow befalls the land; an unknown threat is hovering on the horizon. With the appearance of the death elemental, Maia knows things are going to change forever. She must protect her human family who she accidentally brought into her world, protect her people and protect herself. 

The books I picked & why

Shepherd is reader supported. We may earn an affiliate commission when you buy through links on our website. This is how we fund this project for readers and authors (learn more).

The Clan of the Cave Bear: Earth's Children, Book One

By Jean M. Auel,

Book cover of The Clan of the Cave Bear: Earth's Children, Book One

Why this book?

Although an older book, this is a well-written book (and series) that takes you through a prehistoric journey that really challenges you because there are no modern amenities to really aid our hero through her journey. Aside from that, she is challenged from a tender age already and has to fight to survive horrid circumstances starting when she is five years old. She is at a disadvantage against the people who adopt her, and later brutalize her. But there’s a strong resonance of independence and fighting spirit that the reader can connect with. 

The Clan of the Cave Bear: Earth's Children, Book One

By Jean M. Auel,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Clan of the Cave Bear as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

By J.K. Rowling,

Book cover of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Why this book?

What fantasy adventure-loving author wouldn’t recommend one of the most prolific books of the modern time for young adults and adults alike. This coming-of-age story has everything a good fantasy book should have from magical schools and fantastic beasts to a game played in the air with its own rules (death is a possibility—but we don’t talk about that.) I love this book and I love this series, it makes me feel younger than I am and I often wonder where my letter from Hogwarts got lost. The books do so much more than the movies, after all, who wouldn’t want to see what Peeves is up to?

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

By J.K. Rowling,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Galloping gargoyles ... 2022 is the silver anniversary of J.K. Rowling's magical classic Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone!

The boy wizard Harry Potter has been casting a spell over young readers and their families ever since 1997. Now the first book in this unmissable series celebrates 25 years in print! The paperback edition of the tale that introduced us to Harry, Ron and Hermione has been updated and dressed in silver to mark the occasion. It's time to take the magical journey of a lifetime ...

Harry Potter has never even heard of Hogwarts when the letters start dropping…

Dragon Keeper

By Robin Hobb,

Book cover of Dragon Keeper

Why this book?

Dragons. Do I need to say more? And not just any dragons, no. These hatchlings are weak and malformed and the woman who wants to study them is fierce and intimidating. This story is not about giant, fire-breathing dragons burning down the countryside. This is more than that. This is a story with more details and inside looks at dragons when they are not as they are expected to be. The characters are certainly colorful as is common in Robin Hobb’s books and she takes you on unexpected twists and turns that you couldn’t imagine coming. 

Dragon Keeper

By Robin Hobb,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Dragon Keeper as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Return to the world of the Liveships Traders and journey along the Rain Wild River in this standalone adventure from the author of the internationally acclaimed Farseer trilogy.

Guided by the great blue dragon Tintaglia, they came from the sea: a tangle of serpents fighting their way up the Rain Wilds River, the first to make the perilous journey to the cocooning grounds in generations. Many have died along the way. With its acid waters and impenetrable forest, it is a hard place for any to survive.

People are changed by the Rain Wilds, subtly or otherwise. One such is…


Eragon: Book I

By Christopher Paolini,

Book cover of Eragon: Book I

Why this book?

You might be noticing a trend in my recommendations. I have a thing for dragons. Eragon is a brilliant tale about, well, Eragon and his dragon. After an attack on his home, Eragon swears revenge against those who killed his only family. With his dragon, and a mentor, he sets out on his adventure. But there’s so much more to this story than a simple hero who suffers tragedy/hero sets out on a quest plot. There are elves and surprises, magic and hidden heroes. This is a coming-of-age tale that can remind you that even when you feel you’re the only one of your kind, there are others there who will fight alongside you. 

Eragon: Book I

By Christopher Paolini,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Eragon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first book in The Inheritance Series

When poor farm boy Eragon finds a polished stone in the forest, he thinks it's a lucky discovery. Perhaps, he will be able to buy his family food for the winter.

But, when a baby dragon hatches out of the stone, Eragon realises he's stumbled upon a legacy nearly as old as the Empire itself.

His simple life is shattered, and he's thrust into a perilous new world of destiny, magic and power. To navigate this dark terrain, and survive his cruel king's evil ways, he must take up the mantle of the…


Twilight

By Stephenie Meyer,

Book cover of Twilight

Why this book?

Let’s look at one of my other favorite things. Paranormal Romance was thrust back into the spotlight with the release of Twilight whose main focus is on a girl who discovers a handsome peer is a vampire. From there she’s taken through unimaginable danger and culture shock, but she doesn’t want to withdraw from him to save herself. The inevitable adventure just seems to cement her love for him. Of course, there are wolves as well later on in the series which is definitely where my heart rests. It’s a well-written story and is a unique take on vampires. 

Twilight

By Stephenie Meyer,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Twilight as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When 17 year old Isabella Swan moves to Forks, Washington to live with her father she expects that her new life will be as dull as the town.

But in spite of her awkward manner and low expectations, she finds that her new classmates are drawn to this pale, dark-haired new girl in town. But not, it seems, the Cullen family. These five adopted brothers and sisters obviously prefer their own company and will make no exception for Bella.

Bella is convinced that Edward Cullen in particular hates her, but she feels a strange attraction to him, although his hostility…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in dragons, prehistory, and Washington state?

6,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about dragons, prehistory, and Washington state.

Dragons Explore 117 books about dragons
Prehistory Explore 30 books about prehistory
Washington State Explore 46 books about Washington state

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like The Lord of the Rings, Power vs. Force, and Separate Reality if you like this list.