The best books with the best world building

Who am I?

Ever since I was young, books have fascinated me. They contain entire worlds, just waiting to be explored. I believe creativity is an important part of life, and there’s nothing more creative than writing your own world! World building is one of the most vital aspects of any fictional series. It’s why I got into writing; I wanted to bring to life the visions of the fantastical creatures and places I had in my head. 

I wrote...

Chronicles of a Royal Pet: A Princess and an Ooze

By Ian Rodgers, Damien Sim (illustrator),

Book cover of Chronicles of a Royal Pet: A Princess and an Ooze

What is my book about?

It is important to understand you do not have to fit the molds made by other people. Jelly, an Ooze as well as the pet of a princess, learns this the hard way, as he slowly becomes self-aware through the love (and a healthy dose of magic!) he is showered with by his owner. Does Jelly want to spend the rest of his life as a pet? Can he be more than just a monster, in a world where he is the only one of his kind? He will have to explore the land of Erafore in order to find out just what it is he wants, and what Fate has in store for him. 

The books I picked & why

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

The Wee Free Men

By Terry Pratchett,

Book cover of The Wee Free Men

Why this book?

This is the first book by Terry Pratchett I ever read, and it changed my life, simply because it got me into reading his other books. Terry Patchett is able to breathe life into his characters in such a way that you’d swear you know people just like them. Who hasn’t known a Nobby Nobs, or Tiffany Aching? Not to mention his world is built in such an intriguing way, you can’t help but read on!

This book, really all of the Discworld novels, acts as a mirror to see our own world through the lens of the fantastical and absurd.

The Crystal Gryphon

By Andre Norton,

Book cover of The Crystal Gryphon

Why this book?

One of the earliest books of fiction I ever read, Andre Norton’s character Kerovan and his adventures has stuck with me ever since. The way she wrote the tale of a young outcast exploring a fantastical world of magic and myth and discovering who they are in the process was truly engaging. The world came to life through the eyes of the characters themselves. Ever since, I have loved the trope of the young hero who travels the world, exploring and learning. It is something I feature in my own work heavily, as I truly believe that the best way to grow a character is to have them get to know themselves and others.

Dark Lord of Derkholm

By Diana Wynne Jones,

Book cover of Dark Lord of Derkholm

Why this book?

What better way to appreciate what we have than to explore a world where fantasy and adventure have become just another corporate commodity. When the position of ‘Dark Lord’ is nothing more than the equivalent of a theme park mascot, is there any magic or mystery left in the world? Exploring the world from the eyes of its inhabitants, who are forced to give heavily scripted tours to wealthy people from other worlds, really brings to light how similar people can be, even across different cultures. 

The Ropemaker

By Peter Dickinson,

Book cover of The Ropemaker

Why this book?

When it comes to building a world the readers can get involved in, you have to be careful not to reveal too much in the beginning. You want to captivate your readers, have them invest more and more time into exploring the world, allowing it to open up. The Ropemaker shows how well a fantasy story can be written this way. The distant and frightful empire is shrouded in mystery as Tilja and the others begin their adventure, but said mystery is slowly dismantled as they progress through their journey, coming to understand their enemy by living amongst them, all while seeking out a way to protect their home from invasion. 

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

By J.K. Rowling,

Book cover of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Why this book?

You cannot go wrong with a coming-of-age story, especially when the main character has to do so in a world so similar yet at the same time utterly alien and divorced from everything he once knew. The magical world grows and expands with every book in the series, allowing the reader to easily imagine themselves within it. 

It's the kind of story anyone of any age can enjoy, because everyone can relate to something within its pages.

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in wizards, magic-supernatural, and witches?

5,309 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about wizards, magic-supernatural, and witches.

Wizards Explore 63 books about wizards
Magic-Supernatural Explore 322 books about magic-supernatural
Witches Explore 81 books about witches

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like A Wizard of Earthsea, Skulduggery Pleasant, and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix if you like this list.