34 books directly related to elves 📚

All 34 elf books as recommended by authors and experts. Updated weekly.

Book cover of The Silmarillion

The Silmarillion

By J.R.R. Tolkien,

Why this book?

If you thought Smaug was cool, the dragons in The Silmarillion are even cooler! Glaurung, the Father of Dragons; Ancalagon the Black, the first winged dragon; and Scatha, among others. This book is one of the most breathtakingly beautiful I have ever read, though it does take some effort on the part of the reader. I took the time to look up every name and placename that I didn’t understand, and that led me to fully understand everything and love it that much more. It’s totally worth the effort.
From the list:

The best fantasy books featuring dragons

Book cover of The Spirit of Things: A Gripping Young Adult Coming of Age Fantasy (Beyond Horizon)

The Spirit of Things: A Gripping Young Adult Coming of Age Fantasy (Beyond Horizon)

By Ben McQueeney,

Why this book?

I won’t lie, I am an audiobook fan because I can listen to them as I work. The story in The Spirit of Things, combined with the excellence of Nigel Peever as a narrator, is seriously fantastic! A Human boy raised among elves wants to find his way to finally being accepted. After having a vision, Fulco realizes what just might be his answer – he needs to find a way to possess magic.

From the list:

The best books of action driven young adult fiction

Book cover of Dawnthief: Chronicles of the Raven 1

Dawnthief: Chronicles of the Raven 1

By James Barclay,

Why this book?

The Raven is your classic band of mercs, a found-family of warriors caught up in world-ending levels of chaos. This is much more 90s style fantasy and unashamedly so – serious, sword-swinging, spell-casting stuff. As a result, you have to buy into that a bit given how the genre has changed, but at the same time, the series is all about the consequences of actions rather than any pretence about happily ever after so there’s real meat to it.

From the list:

The best books about the best mercenary bands money can hire

Book cover of The Sword of Shannara

The Sword of Shannara

By Terry Brooks,

Why this book?

I’m going to be honest with you... I am a cover junkie, and that is how I came to purchase The Sword of Shannara. I found the book in a used bin of a bookstore, and I remember looking at the worn and cracked cover of a human, elf, and dwarf staring at the mystical blade thinking; what I story this must be. The story is about a half-elfin lad named, Shea Ohmsford. Shea is the last of the Shannara bloodline and the only one capable of wielding the sword of Shannara against the Power of Darkness known as…

From the list:

The best fantasy novels filled with action and mayhem

Book cover of Sanyare: The Last Descendant

Sanyare: The Last Descendant

By Megan Haskell,

Why this book?

Rie is a kickass heroine who must survive in a world where humans like her don’t fit in and are not respected. The story mixes creatures of different types, high elves, dark elves, pixies, goblins, imps, and more. Handles the problem of an inferior trying to deal with more powerful friends and enemies. Great story.

From the list:

The best books where different cultures mix in a fantastical world

Book cover of Rise of the Ranger

Rise of the Ranger

By Philip C. Quaintrell,

Why this book?

About as classic as modern fantasy gets, Rise of the Ranger nevertheless breathes fresh air into the genre. Both an epic and a quest story, it features characters spread out across the entirety of the world, yet their fates slowly become connected in the grand war that is only beginning. Witness the conflicts between elves, assassins, mages, and dragons all navigated by a host of likable and interesting protagonists, and enjoy a quest as it was meant to be.

From the list:

The best fantasy books that make you want to go on an adventure

Book cover of The Elf Tangent

The Elf Tangent

By Lindsay Buroker,

Why this book?

The Elf Tangent is an adorable (yet surprisingly dangerous) romp through the woods. Our heroine, Aldari, is an intellectual princess who has reluctantly agreed to marry the prince of a neighboring kingdom (sight unseen!) to save her own people. As she travels to her wedding day, her party is attacked and she and her bodyguard are kidnapped by elves who need her help to break a generations-old curse. For once, someone needs—and appreciates—her brains! Caught between the needs of her people and the intriguing puzzle presented by the elves (oh, and the enticing commander of their party), Aldari must use…

From the list:

The best unconventional heroines in fantasy by female authors

Book cover of Tinker

Tinker

By Wen Spencer,

Why this book?

Tinker is an inventive, imaginative, and fun fantasy story. The eponymous main character—a girl genius who works at a scrap yard—is unconventional and incredibly sympathetic; I rooted for her from the start. The intersection of magic, elves, parallel worlds, the setting of the disrupted, and dying on the vine rust-belt city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (my hometown—yay!) is exceptionally well done. This story is original from start to finish. Spencer's writing is crisp, engaging, and there’s no filler. Every word in this book moves the story forward. If you like fantasy, read Tinker (and the entire Elfhome series). Don’t be put…

From the list:

The best science fiction, fantasy, and post-apocalyptic novels that you’ll read in one sitting

Book cover of Keeper of the Lost Cities

Keeper of the Lost Cities

By Shannon Messenger,

Why this book?

I’ll be honest and admit that I gave up on this series after the second or third book, and yet I strongly suspected that my daughter would enjoy them—and she absolutely did. She loves the elvish cities and how keenly they’re described, and the idea that they’re here, somehow hidden on our world, captured her imagination. Oh, and I’m supposed to tell you that Keefe is hilarious.

From the list:

The best book series according to my twelve-year-old

Book cover of Fear No Evil: A Towers of Light family read aloud

Fear No Evil: A Towers of Light family read aloud

By Allen Brokken,

Why this book?

Fear No Evil is the first in Allen’s Towers of Light series of family reads. In similar fashion to the Wingfeather Saga, a group of siblings must navigate a new world to save their parents. Allen’s world enables us to see a world untouched by sin and then the damage done when sin begins to taint the landscape and its inhabitants. I love these stories so much because of Allen’s unique fireside storytelling style. The easy and almost rhythmic flow of his prose lends itself to read-alouds that adults, middle graders, and younger siblings can all enjoy.

From the list:

The best middle grade fantasy books about dragons, sword fights, elves, and such

Book cover of The Christmas Witch

The Christmas Witch

By Steven Kellogg,

Why this book?

Steven Kellogg has written wonderfully imaginative stories with illustrations that should be pored over. Both of my adult children wanted this book from my stash. It’s an atypical Christmas book, yet shows us that love and generosity can turn enemies into friends. Gloria is training to be a witch, but she’d rather smile than scowl. She’s sent by an angel to a dark planet where the Pepperwills and Valdoons have been feuding for centuries. With some help from elves, Gloria figures out how to bring light to the planet. The clans finally end their feud when Gloria asks them, “remember…

From the list:

The best picture books about finding and helping friends

Book cover of Lords and Ladies

Lords and Ladies

By Terry Pratchett,

Why this book?

I love this book because it shows a character who starts off as a bit of a wallflower transforming into a warrior queen, and, as someone who isn’t as fierce as she’d like to be, I can definitely relate. In this installment of the brilliant Discworld series, ex-witch Magrat Garlick is engaged to King Verence, and finds the big dresses and court etiquette a bit of a bore. But when the kingdom is attacked by evil elves she comes into her own, channeling the Discworld equivalent of Boudicca (sort of) and rocking a pointy breastplate to successfully defend her fiancé…

From the list:

The best fantasy novels featuring fierce queens

Book cover of Cloaked in Shadow

Cloaked in Shadow

By Ben Alderson,

Why this book?

This has a quite classic theme of good versus bad. I was really rooting for Zacriah from the start. He was more of your “has hidden magic” hero, but he came from humble beginnings. I do like an underdog, but more than that I like everyday people (or elves!) and seeing how they rise against adversity. Maybe because, especially in the current climate, it feels like we need to do this more and more. Zacriah is an everyday hero. Hadrian, the other protagonist is, however, a prince. The writing is such though that I was rooting for him too. Maybe…

From the list:

The best British YA fantasy with characters I fell in love with

Book cover of Elfland

Elfland

By Freda Warrington,

Why this book?

The elves in this small English town have to blend in with their human neighbors. And a good job of it they do, too. I like the tenacity of Rosie Foxx. Her brother insists that she marry a human, and going along to get along seems the best course of action. But her elven heritage will not be denied. In a way, she is like the positrons in queen of the Quantum Realm—outcasts as they are, they think it better to be transformed into something they are not. this is very human.   

From the list:

The best science fantasy novels about non-human worlds that act very human

Book cover of The Elfin Ship

The Elfin Ship

By James P. Blaylock,

Why this book?

Blaylock may be an unknown name to many traditional fantasy readers, and if that’s the case for you, consider The Elfin Ship as your gateway drug to his work. This fantasy novel is very much in the vein of The Hobbit in that it has dwarves, elves, and a good bit of pipe smoking, but it does so with Blaylock’s one-of-a-kind voice that shines with understated American wit and humor. It also has airships! (Which crossover into Blaylock’s more well-known steampunk works.) The adventure is both action-filled and hilarious, never taking itself too seriously but at the same time embracing…

From the list:

The best fantasy novels with storyteller voices that reach out and grab you

Book cover of The Elvenbane

The Elvenbane

By Andre Norton, Mercedes Lackey,

Why this book?

Probably the most traditional book on this list, I am starting with The Elvenbane because it is my measuring stick for other fantasy. I read it first as a preteen, and I have revisited it many years since, always to be delighted by the world Norton and Lackey created. The detailed illusions, varied settings, the disparate magics, and the mischievous dragons all kept me guessing and in a haze of delight. There was so much that was familiar but with fresh twists that made it new again. It might not be as novel as the other books on my list,…

From the list:

The best fantasy books if you want to be truly wonderstruck

Book cover of Dragon Soul: A Reverse Harem Fantasy Romance

Dragon Soul: A Reverse Harem Fantasy Romance

By LJ Swallow,

Why this book?

This is a box set containing the complete Daughter of Shadow series. Four full-length books filled with spellbinding fantasy romance. The Daughter of Shadow series is a slow-burn and slow-build romantic fantasy that will have you on the edge of your seat sometimes. This is absolutely perfect for those who love reading about unique worlds combined with supernatural creatures such as elves and dragons. This series will draw you into a fantastic world of pure fantasy featuring strong, fiercely protective men who will do anything for the story's heroine, who just so happens to be the centre of their world.…

From the list:

The best fantasy novels you will get lost inside of

Book cover of A Deal with the Elf King

A Deal with the Elf King

By Elise Kova,

Why this book?

A Deal with the Elf King is one of those fantasy books that draws the reader in with tropes while still drawing the reader in and keeping them guessing. While this book would be considered a fantasy romance rather than a fantasy with romance, it’s almost refreshing. The reader is guaranteed a happily ever after. Seeing different magical creatures, rather than just fae, is nice. It’s something I aspired to in my own writing. I love fae, don’t get me wrong, but seeing other types of love interests is amazing.

From the list:

The best fantasy novels with a little zingy romance thrown in

Book cover of The Deed Of Paksenarrion: The Deed of Paksenarrion Omnibus

The Deed Of Paksenarrion: The Deed of Paksenarrion Omnibus

By Elizabeth Moon,

Why this book?

I stole time out of math class to read this epic fantasy. It was huge and I finished it in 2 days. This is a true hero’s journey story from farmer to powerful earn, with all heavy-hitting emotional beats earned. It also presents a true crisis of faith to the main character and earning one’s courage back.

From the list:

The best books to explore new fantasy worlds

Book cover of Blood of Elves

Blood of Elves

By Andrzej Sapkowski,

Why this book?

Stunning character visualization and world-building make for a good read. Throw in some good humor, some daring fights and beasts to slay, and a plot filled with twists and you have yourself a great read. Andrzej Sapkowski has done a fantastic job of carving great characters for your enjoyment.
From the list:

The best books to take you away from reality

Book cover of Homeland

Homeland

By R.A. Salvatore,

Why this book?

There are so many good things to say about the Dark Elf Trilogy but the reason I read it was because my brother gave it to me and said, “You should read this. It’s got lots of good fighting.” The way Salvatore wrote his fights completely engrossed me. And not just me. Heavy readers of fantasy (I’m a lightweight as I split my time between fantasy and historical fiction) say he is one of the best. Sure the fight scenes were fantastical, but Salvatore has a way of grounding them in reality with little things (like Drizzt’s double downward block…

From the list:

The best books with realistic fight scenes

Book cover of The Oracle Betrayed

The Oracle Betrayed

By Catherine Fisher,

Why this book?

Catherine Fisher uses myths brilliantly in all her books, but best of all in the trilogy of which The Oracle is the first volume. It’s a wonderful mash-up of Egyptian and Greek legends with characters you will grow to care about more and more with every page. Junior priestess Mirany begins to doubt the existence of the God she serves. The land where she lives is dying of drought, but the God doesn’t seem to listen to his people anymore, and a struggle for power that could destroy them all is about to take place. 

From the list:

The best fantasy novels based on legends, that don’t include elves, dwarfs or dragons

Book cover of The Elves And The Shoemaker

The Elves And The Shoemaker

By Jim LaMarche, Grimm Brothers,

Why this book?

Christmas is a wonderful time for magical tales that children love. In this one, a poor but good-hearted cobbler is rewarded for his honesty during the night, when clever elves sneak into his shop and make shoes for him to sell. It gives children the chance to imagine invisible helpers, and also the thrill of doing good deeds in secret.
From the list:

The best classic Christmas books

Book cover of Dragon Rider

Dragon Rider

By Cornelia Funke,

Why this book?

I am a huge fan of Cornelia Funke, whose children’s fantasy novels have a deliciously dark, dangerous element. Dragon Rider is a thrilling, magical adventure and if you enjoy it, why not try Inkheart and The Thief Lord next! 

In Dragon Rider, dragons are dying out and Firedrake, a young silver dragon, is picked to go on a quest to find their ancient mythical home. In the company of his friend Sorrel, a brownie; and Ben, a lonely orphan, Firedrake sets off on a long and dangerous journey to find the dragons’ home and defeat Nettlebrand, the evil golden…

From the list:

The best children’s books about mythical creatures

Book cover of Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard

Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard

By Rick Riordan,

Why this book?

Technically a trilogy, I know, but I can’t in good faith add the first book of the trilogy to this list, and it just seems wrong to recommend the third book without recommending the first two – especially when the third one is arguably the weakest. However, the third book also includes one of the greatest written scenes my eyes have ever perused. Drip. Drip. (If you know, you know. If you don’t, you oughtta). Also, Riordan warrants a mention for doing fun mainstream fantasy for kids that has really stepped up to try and include minority representation. If you’re…

From the list:

The best feelgood fantasy with rainbow characters that will make your heart sing

Book cover of Lyonesse Book 1

Lyonesse Book 1

By Jack Vance,

Why this book?

I was instantly transported by this epic saga of high fantasy steeped in legend and myth. The beautiful descriptions of the rugged, dreamlike, and sometimes sinister lands and fabulous otherworld dimensions of the Elder Isles, make Lyonesse an incomparable read. I love Vance’s stunning prose style, his razor-sharp dry humour, and the complexity of his characters. It is boundary-defying fantasy, mercifully devoid of elves, dwarves, and dragons but brimful with intrigues and subplots, unexpected twists, sudden violence, acts of heroism, and scenes of tragedy, love, strangeness, and betrayal. Lyonesse is magic from beginning to end.

From the list:

The best fantasy books that break the mould

Book cover of The Dark Is Rising

The Dark Is Rising

By Susan Cooper, Alan Cober (illustrator),

Why this book?

I fell in love with this book, which weaves together all sorts of British legends and bits of history, when I was a child. Although it’s nominally a children’s book, I still re-read it every couple of years – it's a perfect book to read round about Christmas, full of snow and magic. It’s also been a huge influence on my own writing, so I’ve got a particularly soft spot for it. It’s part of a sequence of five books – all very good – which follow the eternal battle between good and evil, bringing in Celtic, Norse, and Arthurian…

From the list:

The best fantasy novels based on legends, that don’t include elves, dwarfs or dragons

Book cover of Lingeria: Book One of One

Lingeria: Book One of One

By Daniel Kozuh, Rocky Negron (illustrator),

Why this book?

Lingeria is a sarcastic, humor-infused take on the portal fantasy, which forces the author of a beloved fantasy series into the world that he's written - and come to despise.

It's a solidly entertaining book that appropriately skewers a lot of the tropes of fantasy fiction and the associated fandom.

I enjoyed the world of Lingeria and it's definitely a fun read for people seeking to scratch that Discworld itch.

From the list:

The best comedic fantasy/sci-fi to fill the void of Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett

Book cover of Two Necromancers, a Bureaucrat, and an Elf

Two Necromancers, a Bureaucrat, and an Elf

By L.G. Estrella,

Why this book?

This is a truly remarkable series. It made me laugh, and it only gets better as time goes on. If you’re tired of the darkness that seems to be creeping into modern fantasy, then this is the series for you. The characters are delightful, the stories are engaging, the writing style is spot on, and nothing terrible happens to anyone you like.

From the list:

The best light reading from heavy genres

Book cover of Guardians of the Flame: The Heroes

Guardians of the Flame: The Heroes

By Joel Rosenberg,

Why this book?

Guardians of the Flame is a fantasy series where seven college students get together for a night of role-playing games and suddenly find themselves in an alternative world of swords, magic, and deadly fire-breathing dragons. To get home they must find the mysterious “Gate Between World.” It is a witty adventure story any fan of fantasy can appreciate. It explores the question—what would happen if readers of fantasy were transported into their favorite fantasy world?
From the list:

The best forgotten fantasy books

Book cover of Monster Hunter International

Monster Hunter International

By Larry Correia,

Why this book?

I found this book so much fun! Great action and humor when an accountant and total supernatural skeptic wakes up in a hospital with no memory of murdering his boss-turned-werewolf in self-defense. Turns out all the monsters are real! He gets a job offer while in the hospital to work for…  Monster Hunter International.
From the list:

The best heroic journey books

Book cover of The Land: Founding: A LitRPG Saga

The Land: Founding: A LitRPG Saga

By Aleron Kong,

Why this book?

The Land by Aleron Kong is the third litRPG on this list, and probably the most famous. Every litRPG uses a few ways to denote progression, but this book has an almost unending series of charts, numbers, rules, and powers for everything. And I do mean everything.

Character growth. Weapon quality. Town building. To career building. Even dungeon building.

Everything progresses. Everything has level-ups. The world is huge, and the events feel extremely epic. This is also the longest series on the list, with books so massive, you could knock a fool out with one.

Definitely worth the time, though.…

From the list:

The best progression fantasy books

Book cover of A Threat of Shadows (The Keeper Chronicles Series)

A Threat of Shadows (The Keeper Chronicles Series)

By J.A. Andrews,

Why this book?

The words I would use to describe Andrews’ writing are as follows: spirit, strength, impact. Not only does each sentence read like melted butter circling a saucepan, but they are written with purpose. Filled with characters so likable you’ll wish they were your real friends, Andrews puts them through hell and back again in a way that makes you want to cheer for them, or even fight by their sides. If you haven’t read A Threat of Shadows and the rest of The Keeper Chronicles, be prepared to count plenty of sheep to fall asleep afterward. 

From the list:

The best epic fantasy novels to deprive you of sleep

Book cover of The Weight of Blood

The Weight of Blood

By David Dalglish,

Why this book?

This book really introduced me to the darker side of fantasy, and in fact, this is more grimdark. While most fantasy books have a good versus evil theme, a lot tend to water down the actions of the evil characters to make them more palatable or more accessible to a wider range of readers. This really describes the evil actions in detail so be warned it is not Harry Potter! I realized when reading this that you can bring horror aspects into fantasy, which makes sense as it’s a genre that’s full of evil, monsters, and people armed with…

From the list:

The best books that feature Orcs