The best humorous fantasy that isn’t Pratchett

Claire Buss Author Of The Rose Thief
By Claire Buss

The Books I Picked & Why

The Eyre Affair

By Jasper Fforde

Book cover of The Eyre Affair

Why this book?

Thursday Next is the main character of this fantastically funny series from Jasper Fford. She is a literary detective, charged with keeping fictional characters inside their books. You can imagine the mayhem, the wit, and the puns! If you love literature, then you will thoroughly enjoy this jaunt through Fford’s inspired imagination. 

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Rivers of London

By Ben Aaronovitch

Book cover of Rivers of London

Why this book?

Set in London this humorous series of books follows the magical adventures of PC Peter Grant as he discovers magic is real. And he can do it. This isn’t necessarily laugh-out-loud humour but it’s the type of cleverness that will have you smirking and appreciating the twist on the norm to create the fantastical. If you know London at all, you will find yourself nodding along as you recall the places Grant takes you and it will definitely have you thinking differently about rivers. 

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A Spell for Chameleon

By Piers Anthony

Book cover of A Spell for Chameleon

Why this book?

This is the first book in the Xanth magical series which began in the 70s so it has some legs for sure. Is it necessarily politically correct? Probably not but this was my first introduction to humorous fantasy, before dabbling in Discworld, and it has a fond place in my heart. It’s mischievous and zany and utterly mental in places. Everything you want in a humorous fantasy tale. 

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Magic Kingdom for Sale

By Terry Brooks

Book cover of Magic Kingdom for Sale

Why this book?

I read Shannara by Brooks first then picked this up and it’s completely different and yet still filled with the same literary magic that makes you want to read it from cover to cover immediately. It’s funny and frustrating and sad and also the first in a series so you can read assured there’s more to follow. 

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By Gail Carriger

Book cover of Soulless

Why this book?

I stumbled on this series by accident and rapidly devoured the lot. Alexa Tarrabotti has no soul and can remove the effects of the supernatural with her touch. Imagine the possibilities in an 18th-century London filled with vampires, werewolves, and ghosts. Amusing through social observation and full of wit, definitely recommended. 

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