The best fantasy books that transport you into other worlds

Why am I passionate about this?

I have loved escaping into different worlds for most of my life and all of these authors have inspired me to delve into worlds that don’t exist. They have taught me how to craft and expand my own made-up fantasy worlds. Not only inspiring my writing, but also giving me moments where I can escape from the world for a time and let my imagination run riot. I wanted to give readers the same chance to do just that in my latest book Realm of Dragons, Fight for the Crown, and I have these tales to thank for that. Truly great fantasy writers give us the chance to escape.


I wrote...

Realm of Dragons: Fight for the Crown

By L.C. Conn,

Book cover of Realm of Dragons: Fight for the Crown

What is my book about?

The Realm of Dragons is in peril from hidden plots and conspirators, which threaten not only the crown but the dragons at the very heart of it. Teagan Loinsigh, banished from her magical home of dragons now lives on Earth. Her dreams and memories of dragons are put down to fantasies. Until one day she comes across an anomaly in the land she lives in. A baby dragon. Muniath Magaoidh, a fallen Dragon Warden, must be brought back from his despair to retrieve what is lost. Scetis Mordha, alone in the world since he was a child, finds himself in the middle of intrigue and conspiracy. Tying them all together is The King of Dragons.

Can these four save the Realm of Dragons?

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Daughter of the Empire

L.C. Conn Why did I love this book?

This is the first of a trilogy, which involves the struggle of a woman who finds herself as sole heir and Ruling Lady of her family, facing against rival houses, and the Assembly of Magicians, who see her as a threat to their ancient power. Mara is a brilliant female main character and is a splendid example of how to write one. I still take inspiration from her when writing my own female leads. Both Wurts and Feist have melded the magical story of her struggles into a backdrop of stunning descriptions of the landscape and class system, transporting you into the story to be fully immersed and invested in Mara’s fate. It is very much unlike any other series I have read.

By Raymond E. Feist, Janny Wurts,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Daughter of the Empire as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the imagination of two of fantasy's greatest names comes a magnificent epic of heroic and dynastic struggle.

At age 17, Mara's ceremonial pledge of servantship to the goddess Lashima is interrupted by the news that her father and brother have been killed in battle on Trigia, the world through the rift.

Now Ruling Lady of the Acoma, Mara finds that not only are her family's ancient enemies, the Minwanabi, responsible for the deaths of her loved ones, but her military forces have been decimated by the betrayal and House Acoma is now vulnerable to complete destruction.


Book cover of Magician: Apprentice

L.C. Conn Why did I love this book?

Magician takes place at the same time as my first pick. It shows the world of Midkemia and the almost Arthurian tale that is woven into it. The rift between the two worlds is open and the invading armies must be kept at bay. It has epic battles and heartbreaking moments. It follows the character of Pug, who is growing up in a keep a long way from the court. But life is not meant to be commonplace for this boy. He is plunged into matters he cannot hope to understand, just yet, and we follow his story as he comes into his own. I highly recommend it as a must-read if you are thinking of writing fantasy, or just want to get lost for hours on end.

By Raymond E. Feist,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the westernmost province of the Kingdom of the Isles, upon the world of Midkemia, an orphan kitchen boy named Pug was made apprentice to the magician Kulgan.

Here starts an adventure that will span lifetimes and worlds. Discover where the story begins.

The world had changed even before I discovered the foreign ship wrecked on the shore below Crydee Castle, but it was the harbinger of the chaos and death that was coming to our door.

War had come to the Kingdom of the Isles, and in the years that followed it would scatter my friends across the world.…


Book cover of The Dragonbone Chair

L.C. Conn Why did I love this book?

This series follows Simon, a lowly kitchen boy who has the habit of daydreaming while he should be working. Little knowing that some of those daydreams would become waking nightmares that sees him travelling the world searching for the lost swords of power. It is set in the world of Osten Ard and the king is dead. A long-dormant evil is unleashed into the world which seeks dominion overall. Tad Williams is a brilliant storyteller and I have learned a lot from his writing. The series is well worth diving into and immersing yourself in this amazing tale. I have read it quite a few times now, and each time I do I find something I had forgotten. I can’t recommend it enough!

By Tad Williams,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Dragonbone Chair as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first book of the trilogy "Memory, Sorrow and Thorn" tells the story of Simon, a kitchen boy and sorceror's apprentice, who must find the solution to the riddle of the long-lost swords of power, in order to combat the evil of the undead Sithi Ruler, the Storm King.


Book cover of Assassin's Apprentice

L.C. Conn Why did I love this book?

If you have never read this series or all the others that are based in this world then you are missing out. The main character of Fitz is one we follow from childhood and as he grows up as the bastard of the court. His life is not his own to follow and must bow down to the will of his uncle, the king. He is taken from the stables where he has grown up to become the royal assassin’s apprentice and all the perils that come with it, both physical and ethical. Hobb’s writing is one that keeps inspiring me in my own. She crafts each scene so well, you can smell the sea that batters the cliff the castle sits on and gives her characters such wonderful flaws. 

By Robin Hobb,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked Assassin's Apprentice as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Voyager Classics - timeless masterworks of science fiction and fantasy.

A beautiful clothbound edition of Assassin's Apprentice, the first book in the critically acclaimed Farseer Trilogy.

In a faraway land where members of the royal family are named for the virtues they embody, one young boy will become a walking enigma.

Born on the wrong side of the sheets, Fitz, son of Chivalry Farseer, is a royal bastard cast out into the world, friendless and lonely. Only his magical link with animals - the old art known as the Wit - gives him solace and companionship. But the Wit, if…


Book cover of The Redemption of Althalus

L.C. Conn Why did I love this book?

A simple explanation of this book is Althalas is a thief and lives his life looking for the next heist he can pull off, until the Goddess Dweia hires him to save the world from the desolations of her evil brother Daeva and his henchman Ghend. The telling of this tale is anything but simple. The authors have drawn on past civilisations that can be easily recognised to the reader, such as the Roman and Viking, adding their own lore and history to it. It is richly described and draws the reader to become invested in Althalas’s troubles and successes, along with all of his personable and flawed companions. It is an enjoyable read, and I dare you not to fall in love with Emmy.

By David Eddings, Leigh Eddings,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Redemption of Althalus as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A fabulous brand new Eddings standalone fantasy, set in an entirely new magical world.

Burglar, armed robber and sometime murderer, our hero Althalus is commissioned to steal a book from the House at the End of the World by a mysterious cloaked stranger named Ghend.
At the House at the End of the World, he finds a talking cat... in the same room as the book Ghend described. What he can't find once he's in the house is the door by which he entered. Only 2467 years and an ice age later does Althalus re-emerge with the cat, Emmy. He's…


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By Darlene Marshall,

Book cover of Sea Change

Darlene Marshall Author Of Sea Change

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Romance Reader Regency Romance Fan History Buff SF & Fantasy Fan

Darlene's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

David Fletcher needs a surgeon, stat! But when he captures a British merchantman in the Caribbean, what he gets is Charley Alcott, an apprentice physician barely old enough to shave. Needs must, and Captain Fletcher takes the prisoner back aboard his ship with orders to do his best or he’ll be walking the plank.

Charley Alcott’s medical skills are being put to the test in a life-or-death situation, Charley’s life as well as the patient’s. Even if she can save the American privateer's brother there will still be hell to pay—and maybe a plank to walk—when Captain Fletcher learns Charley…

Sea Change

By Darlene Marshall,

What is this book about?

High Seas, #1

David Fletcher needs a surgeon, stat! But when he captures a British merchantman in the Caribbean what he gets is Charley Alcott, an apprentice physician barely old enough to shave. Needs must, and Captain Fletcher takes the prisoner back aboard his ship with orders to do his best, or he'll be walking the plank.

Charley Alcott's medical skills are being put to the test in a life-or-death situation, Charley's life as well as the patient's. Even if she can save the pirate's brother there will still be hell to pay--and maybe a plank to walk--when Captain Fletcher…


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