The best books with fantasy characters that will keep you coming back to read again

Allen Ballantine Author Of Knight of the Wood
By Allen Ballantine

Who am I?

I love to read, and a good story is one thing. But once you’ve read the story, you know how it ends. It’s the characters in the story that determine if you want to go back and read them again. These are stories that I enjoy reading over again, (some several times) although I know how the story ends. The characters in these stories have inspired me to write my own.


I wrote...

Knight of the Wood

By Allen Ballantine,

Book cover of Knight of the Wood

What is my book about?

Avery Shaw is the young captain of the Oakvale Rangers. Together with his squad of rangers, who are more than just elite fighters, they are good buddies who like to razz each other (especially their captain) They defend the Wilderlands from incursions of any creature that threatens the frontier towns. And he has developed a reputation that he’s not in favor of. 

Eva Micheroux is a promising sorceress in a lesser noble family in the kingdom of Aiveroquia, but she’s hiding a secret. She’s a half elf who was adopted by her aunt and uncle. When a prince asks her to assist on a mission in the wilderlands she will get to meet the infamous ranger she has read about in books.

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).

Balanced on the Blade's Edge

By Lindsay Buroker,

Book cover of Balanced on the Blade's Edge

Why this book?

Lindsay Buroker is probably my favorite fantasy author, her books are full of fun, quirky characters who even have me reading genres I don’t normally read. In this book, Colonel Ridgewalker Zirkander, a cocky war hero pilot in a world where magic is hated and feared, meets Sardelle Terushan, a sorceress from an earlier era who was preserved in a stasis chamber. Along with her snarky sentient sword Jaxi, Sardell must help Ridge fend off an attack while hiding her magical ability. An ability that would have everyone wanting to kill her. This is the first book of a series featuring adventures of Ridge, Sardell, Jaxi, and Ridge’s squadron of young goofy pilots.

Balanced on the Blade's Edge

By Lindsay Buroker,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Balanced on the Blade's Edge as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Colonel Ridge Zirkander isn’t the model of military professionalism—he has a tendency to say exactly what’s on his mind, and his record has enough demerits to wallpaper the hull of an airship—but as the best fighter pilot in the Iskandian army, he’s used to a little leniency from his superiors. Until he punches the wrong diplomat in the nose and finds himself issued new orders: take command of a remote prison mine in the inhospitable Ice Blades Mountains. Ridge has never been in charge of anything larger than a flier squadron—what’s he supposed to do with a frozen fortress full…


Fierce Heart

By Tara Grayce,

Book cover of Fierce Heart

Why this book?

Another thing I like in stories is seeing the characters having a normal family life, other than having one terrifying adventure after another. In this book, princess Essie, and her older brother Averette, who has recently ascended to the throne are trying to establish peace with their elven neighbors. As an opening ploy in negotiations, Essie offers herself for a marriage alliance, one she and her brother are positive the elves will reject. They are surprised when the elven prince Laesornysh, whose name means Death on the Wind accepts their proposal. Now Essie has to get used to living with elves, while the reclusive prince has to get used to an outgoing wife. Both are helped by the support of their families.

Fierce Heart

By Tara Grayce,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Fierce Heart as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Essie would do anything for her kingdom…even marry an elf prince she just met that morning.

The human kingdom of Escarland and the elven kingdom of Tarenhiel have existed in an uneasy peace after their last wars ended with both kings dead. As tensions rise once again, desperate diplomacy might be the only way to avert war. If only negotiations between elves and humans were that simple.

When a diplomatic meeting goes horribly wrong, Essie, a human princess, finds herself married to the elf prince and warrior Laesornysh. Fitting in to the serene, quiet elf culture might be a little…


A Princess of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs,

Book cover of A Princess of Mars

Why this book?

This is the book that got me interested in sci-fi/fantasy. If you like classical strong heroes and beautiful heroines, the Martian Chronicles is the series for you. John Carter, the honorable gentleman from Virginia and civil war veteran is transported to mars where he meets a warlike band of green martians and their red martian captive, the beautiful Princess Dejah Thoris. Carter, with his faithful martian hound Woola, have to figure out how to rescue the princess and defend her country of Helium.

A Princess of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked A Princess of Mars as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Rediscover the adventure-pulp classic that gave the world its first great interplanetary romance-now featuring an introduction by Junot Diaz

In the spring of 1866, John Carter, a former Confederate captain prospecting for gold in the Arizona hills, slips into a cave and is overcome by mysterious vapors. He awakes to find himself naked, alone, and forty-eight million miles from Earth-a castaway on the dying planet Mars. Taken prisoner by the Tharks, a fierce nomadic tribe of six-limbed, olive-green giants, he wins respect as a cunning and able warrior, who by grace of Mars's weak gravity possesses the agility of a…


A Thief In Farshore: The Farshore Chronicles, Book 1

By Justin Fike,

Book cover of A Thief In Farshore: The Farshore Chronicles, Book 1

Why this book?

A feisty thief, sentenced to fight in the arena at Farshore, a colony in the new world, meets races she thought were only mythical. She ends up teaming with a group of outcasts, an arrogant elf, an enigmatic orc shaman, a brawling dwarf, a reclusive and dangerous halfling and a surly guard to not only survive the arena, but save the new continent in this first book of the Farshore Chronicles series.

A Thief In Farshore: The Farshore Chronicles, Book 1

By Justin Fike,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Thief In Farshore as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A New World.
A Fight To The Death.
Her Adventure Has Only Just Begun...

"Charity is my kind of badass! She's mouthy and stubborn and gets herself into and out of a whole lotta trouble." - Amazon ★★★★★

I'm Charity, and before I saved the world I was just a common thief.

Also a drunk, rabble-rouser, harlot, and blasphemer according to the magistrate who sentenced me to ten years of forced labor in Farshore, the emperor's new colony across the great sea. You'd think that stepping off of a prison ship on the ass-end of the world was bad enough,…


Babylon Rising

By Tim LaHaye, Greg Dinallo,

Book cover of Babylon Rising

Why this book?

Although this technically isn’t a fantasy book, it’s still one of my favorites. Dr. Michael Murphy is a biblical prophecy scholar and archaeologist. A modern-day Indiana Jones with a mysterious and dangerous benefactor who gives him clues to find ancient biblical artifacts while a diabolical cabal is intent on stopping him. A thrilling read that’s hard to put down.

Babylon Rising

By Tim LaHaye, Greg Dinallo,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Babylon Rising as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Tim LaHaye created the Left Behind Series, which has become one of the most popular fiction series of all time. Those novels, with more that 50 million copies sold, presented a unique combination of suspense and substance drawn from his lifelong study of Biblical prophecy.

Now Tim LaHaye has created a new series that begins with Babylon Rising. The novels in this new series are even faster-paced thrillers based on prophecies that are not covered in the Left Behind books and that have great relevance to the events of today.

Babylon Risingintroduces a terrific new hero for our time. Michael…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Mars, romantic love, and London?

7,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Mars, romantic love, and London.

Mars Explore 55 books about Mars
Romantic Love Explore 506 books about romantic love
London Explore 515 books about London

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like The Colour of Magic, The Stars My Destination, and Triplanetary if you like this list.