The most recommended fantasy books

Who picked these books? Meet our 2,201 experts.

2,201 authors created a book list connected to fantasy, and here are their favorite fantasy books.
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Book cover of Of Cages and Crowns

H.J. Nelson Author Of The Last She

From my list on reads according to your favorite Taylor Swift song.

Who am I?

I’m a Sci-Fi and Fantasy author who loves all things young adult! I always listen to Taylor Swift when I write, because I love how her songs are full of nostalgia, romance, humanity, and a lust for adventure—just like my books. If you couldn’t make it to the Era’s tour, no fear, check out some of these books below! 

H.J.'s book list on reads according to your favorite Taylor Swift song

H.J. Nelson Why did H.J. love this book?

If your favorite song is “Look What We Made You Do” try Of Cages and Crowns by Brianna Crump.

Think Hunger Games but with more romance, and very much the vibe of “I got my but you’ll all get yours.” There’s revenge, survival, romance, and revenge and a rebellion brewing in the background, but I was surprised at how much this book surprised me.

Every time I thought I knew what was coming next, some new secret or shocking twist surprised me.

By Brianna Joy Crump,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Of Cages and Crowns as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

For goddess-touched girls, there is only one destiny: the Culling

From the moment Monroe Benson is born with a mark on her hand and the ability to summon fire from her fingertips, her life will never be her own. She’s goddess-touched, which means she’s destined to participate in the Culling, an age-old competition to determine the next queen of Erydia. For most of her seventeen years, her family has managed to keep Monroe―and her powers―hidden. But now, as Queen Viera calls for the Culling to start, and war looms on the horizon, Monroe can no longer hide. She must face…


Book cover of Llana of Gathol

Charles Carfagno Jr. Author Of A Demon's Quest: The Beginning of the End

From my list on fantasy filled with action and mayhem.

Who am I?

I am an international award-winning fantasy author, who’s been writing since 2003. My love of Dungeon and Dragons and Martial Arts have influenced my writing and created a world full of wonder. I have an extensive background in both Western (Sword fighting) and Eastern Martial Arts, and I use that knowledge to create so many memorable fight scenes throughout the series.

Charles' book list on fantasy filled with action and mayhem

Charles Carfagno Jr. Why did Charles love this book?

Llana of Gathol is book 10 of the John Cater series and in my opinion, the best. Published in 1948, the story is about an earthling named, John Carter. The reason why I liked this book is because John Carter can transform his mind into another body on Mars. That in itself is a pretty cool concept and the reason why I was drawn to it in the first place. The action is fast-paced as Carter gets captured by the inhabitants of Horz, one of the supposedly “dead” cities of Mars. He is sentenced to death along with his captor Pan Dan Chee for bringing Carter into Horz. They are sent down to the pits under the city where they discover the remnants of a maritime race which had existed hundreds of thousands of years ago, suspended in animation unaware of the changes that happened to the world. 

Book cover of Nightfall

Steven Bannister Author Of The Black Net

From my list on combining real world drama with something otherworldly.

Who am I?

I have written seven novels to date that have at their heart the idea that there is a wider, unseen game afoot that is being played out in realms about which normal humans are unaware. Six of them form the Allie St Clair ‘Black’ series, and the seventh is a stand-alone novel called The Unforgiver. Why do I write about these things? Very probably my teenage reading of Stephen King’s early work, HP Lovecraft’s collection, and my personal connection to Satan. Just kidding. I’ve never read any Lovecraft. To be serious, how can you not gaze into the infinite cosmos above and not wonder if there’s a lot more going on than we comprehend?

Steven's book list on combining real world drama with something otherworldly

Steven Bannister Why did Steven love this book?

U.K. author Stephen Leather has written so many books and in a variety of genres. His supernatural Detective Jack Nightingale series is of interest to me here. In Nightfall and subsequent Jack Nightingale novels, our hero is struggling against demonic forces brought into his orbit courtesy of his now-dead father. Unusual, certainly. Many readers, I suspect, enjoy the injection of a new element into the now-crowded police procedural genre. 

By Stephen Leather,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'You're going to hell, Jack Nightingale': They are words that ended his career as a police negotiator. Now Jack's a struggling private detective -- and the chilling words come back to haunt him. Nightingale's life is turned upside down the day that he inherits a mansion with a priceless library; it comes from a man who claims to be his father, and it comes with a warning. That Nightingale's soul was sold at birth and a devil will come to claim it on his thirty-third birthday -- just three weeks away. Jack doesn't believe in Hell, probably doesn't believe in…


The Festival of Sin: and other tales of fantasy

By J.M. Unrue,

Book cover of The Festival of Sin: and other tales of fantasy

J.M. Unrue Author Of The Festival of Sin: and other tales of fantasy

New book alert!

Who am I?

I’m an old guy. I say this with a bit of cheek and a certain amount of incongruity. All the books on my list are old. That’s one area of continuity. Another, and I’ll probably stop at two, is that they all deal with ordinary people caught in extraordinary circumstances—those curveballs of life we flail at with an unfamiliar bat; the getting stuck on the Interstate behind a semi and some geezer in a golf cap hogging the passing lane in a Buick Le Sabre. No one makes it through this life unscathed. How we cope does more to define us than a thousand smiles when things are rosy. Thus endeth the lesson.

J.M.'s book list on showing that somebody has it worse than you do

What is my book about?

The Festival of Sin is a three-story light sci-fi arc about a young boy rescued in 6000 BCE and taken to the home planet of the Hudra. Parts two and three are exploratory excursions. It's a fish-out-of-water series. More than fish-out-of-water. Fish-on-another-planet.

Plus, there are two fantasy stories dealing with people who must overcome "supernatural" circumstances, things well beyond the realm of common understanding. 

The Festival of Sin: and other tales of fantasy

By J.M. Unrue,

What is this book about?

The Festival of Sin is a three-story light sci-fi arc about a young boy rescued in 6000 BCE and taken to the home planet of the Hudra. Parts two and three are exploratory excursions. It's a fish-out-of-water series. More than fish-out-of-water. Fish-on-another-planet.

Plus, there are two fantasy stories dealing with people who must overcome "supernatural" circumstances, things well beyond the realm of common understanding. 


Book cover of The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories

Kenneth W. Cain Author Of Embers: A Collection of Dark Fiction

From my list on short story collections.

Who am I?

I grew up reading short stories in the annual Reader’s Digest books my parents collected, so I’ve always liked the short form. Perhaps that is why I pursued it in college, wanting to know what made them work. So I took a lot of classes in college to do just that, to dissect stories to see what made them resonate with readers. And although I’ve been trying to push myself to write longer fiction, I’ll never be able to fully abandon the short fiction. I love a story you can read in a day and think about all night.

Kenneth's book list on short story collections

Kenneth W. Cain Why did Kenneth love this book?

I love, love, love "The Paper Menagerie". It’s one of my favorites. In fact, I’ve not come across one story by Liu yet that failed to take me to another place. His work has appeared in numerous pro markets and featured in the Netflix series, Love, Death, & Robots. Now you can get the wealth of it in one place, and I’m thankful for it. Liu is a fantastic writer with unique and diverse ideas and world-building. 

By Ken Liu,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Featured in the Netflix series Love, Death & Robots

Bestselling author Ken Liu selects his multiple award-winning stories for a groundbreaking collection—including a brand-new piece exclusive to this volume.

With his debut novel, The Grace of Kings, taking the literary world by storm, Ken Liu now shares his finest short fiction in The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories. This mesmerizing collection features many of Ken’s award-winning and award-finalist stories, including: “The Man Who Ended History: A Documentary” (Finalist for the Hugo, Nebula, and Theodore Sturgeon Awards), “Mono No Aware” (Hugo Award winner), “The Waves” (Nebula Award finalist), “The Bookmaking Habits…


Book cover of Kenogaia (A Gnostic Tale)

Tariq Goddard Author Of Nature and Necessity

From Tariq's 17-year-old's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Enthusiast Absolute beginner Publisher Good sport

Tariq's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Plus, Tariq's 9, 11, and 17-year-old's favorite books.

Tariq Goddard Why did Tariq's 17-year-old love this book?

Writing for "young adults" is fraught with difficulty. Are they children who think like grown-ups or borderline adults with children's taste? Bentley Hart evades the problem by writing a book that neither talks down to nor seeks to educate his potential readers, instead treating them with respect and assuming that they will find what he does interesting. Which in the case of my teenage daughter proved correct; the story was fantastical and the characters completely relatable.  

By David Bentley Hart,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Kenogaia (A Gnostic Tale) as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The “genre” of the modern Gnostic novel encompasses an especially eclectic range of works. With this book—a fantasy by turns dark, absurd, comic, frantic, and lyrical—David Bentley Hart joins a company that includes figures as diverse as Georges Bernanos, Anatole France, David Lindsay, Philip K. Dick, Patrick White, Umberto Eco, William Gaddis, Harold Bloom, Jorge Luis Borges, Vladimir Nabokov, John Crowley, and Philip Pullman. In Kenogaia, a clockwork universe, an oppressive global society of ever-present surveillance, and the coming of age of its protagonist, Michael Ambrosius, are all disrupted by the arrival of a mysterious child from beyond the stars.…


Book cover of Guardians of the Garden

J. Trevor Robinson Author Of The Mummy of Monte Cristo

From my list on fantasy novels with unforgettable characters.

Who am I?

Monsters and magic have always had a hook on me, ever since I was just a kid going through a stack of Stephen King paperbacks that I was definitely too young for my brother to have given me – not that many would call his work “fantasy” exactly, despite the amount of vampires ghosts and magic that say otherwise. Urban fantasy, blending those elements with the familiar world we know, is a particular favourite of mine. So much so, that I wrote my own! Granted, the urban area in question is 19th-century Paris, but I say that still counts.

J.'s book list on fantasy novels with unforgettable characters

J. Trevor Robinson Why did J. love this book?

Superpowered people, living like the Amish, guarding the secret to eternal life. Like Blue Shadows Fall, this sets up a location so unique in the town of Edenia that it’s nearly a character by itself. Unlike that book, Edenia is less a place you’d want to live and more a mystery you want to unravel. This book really drills into the teenage frustration of having no control over your location or circumstances from some very different perspectives in the variety of POV characters. A lot of the story’s tension comes from the main cast’s refusal or inability to come clean with each other, but the underlying reasons for them to keep their secrets are very convincingly layered.

By Theresa Pocock,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Guardians of the Garden as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Award-winning YA Fantasy for fans of Good Omens and Cruel Prince

All that stands between the 6000 year old secret of immortality and the end of the world are the Guardians of the Garden.  

Rejected by her family and her town, Miriam  Miller wants nothing more than to turn her back on Edenia and forsake the new, invasive magic which makes her a Guardian of the Garden of Eden. In the outside world she could be free from the garden, free to lead her own life, and free to forget that she is a freak. 

When Seth Johnson's sister starts…


Book cover of Feed Them Silence

Sarah Gailey Author Of Just Like Home

From my list on for making you lose sleep.

Who am I?

I love books that keep me up at night. I'm constantly trying to get into a good, healthy bedtime routine—but I am also constantly sabotaging that effort by finding books that I simply can’t put down. The feeling of being drawn so deep into a story that the hours slip away is easily one of my favorite feelings in the world. I also love books that make me wake up in the middle of the night, books that slide into my brain and plant new ideas there. As an author, I am always striving to write those books. I can think of no higher compliment than “I stayed up all night reading it.”

Sarah's book list on for making you lose sleep

Sarah Gailey Why did Sarah love this book?

When I was a kid I was very excited about wolves. Not in the sense that I knew a lot about wolves—I didn’t study them and learn about them—so much as I felt certain, in my heart of hearts, that if I met a wolf, we would understand each other in a way no two creatures ever have. Feed Them Silence is a book that returned me to that sense of certainty, but with a more fundamentally realistic understanding of the nature of animals as existing outside of human understanding. I couldn’t put it down, and the hours slipped right past me.

By Lee Mandelo,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Feed Them Silence as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Lee Mandelo dives into the minds of wolves in Feed Them Silence, a novella of the near future.

What does it mean to "be-in-kind" with a nonhuman animal? Or in Dr. Sean Kell-Luddon’s case, to be in-kind with one of the last remaining wild wolves? Using a neurological interface to translate her animal subject’s perception through her own mind, Sean intends to chase both her scientific curiosity and her secret, lifelong desire to experience the intimacy and freedom of wolfishness. To see the world through animal eyes; smell the forest, thick with olfactory messages; even taste the blood and viscera…


Book cover of Wander Dust

Christy Sloat Author Of The Wordsmith

From my list on time travel you probably haven’t read.

Who am I?

I’ve always been a sucker for a good time travel novel. So when I started writing my Librarian Chronicles I quickly learned that there is just so much you can do with the theory of time. My characters have gone to many places and times and in order to perfect these locations and eras that required tons of research. For my first novel, The Librarian, I researched for nearly a year before I wrote the book. I sincerely hope you’ll enjoy my Librarian Chronicles and I look forward to writing more in the series. Each novel is unique and they can all be read in any order.

Christy's book list on time travel you probably haven’t read

Christy Sloat Why did Christy love this book?

I was lucky enough to read this book when it was first released in 2011. I had just gotten my first eReader, a Nook, and downloaded this book based on the cover. I won’t lie, I am a cover fanatic. Once I read it though, I quickly realized this book was more than the cover. It is well-written and pulled me out of a pretty deep reading slump.

Even better, it's an independently published book and I love to support Indie’s. But let’s get into why I love this book so much. Wander Dust dances that line between fantasy and time travel, and has all the allure of romance that I just love about a book. There is a lot of information thrown at you from the very beginning about the society in which our young character is thrust into, which for me is just what I need when I…

By Michelle Warren, Pam Berehulke (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Ever since her sixteenth birthday, strange things keep happening to Seraphina Parrish.

The Lady in Black burns Sera’s memories.

Unexplainable Premonitions catapult her to other cities.

The Grungy Gang wants to kill her.

And a beautiful, mysterious boy stalks her.

But when Sera moves to Chicago, and her aunt reveals their family connection to a centuries old, secret society, she is immediately thrust into an unbelievable fantasy world, leading her on a quest to unravel the mysteries that plague her. In the end, their meanings crash into an epic struggle of loyalty and betrayal, and she’ll be forced to choose…


In The Pines

By Mariah Stillbrook,

Book cover of In The Pines

Vicki-Ann Bush Author Of Alex McKenna and the Geranium Deaths

From my list on paranormal books for talking with the dead.

Who am I?

Since I was very young, I’ve had experiences with the paranormal. Whether it be a soft graze along my cheek or a spirit standing in front of me, I’ve always been drawn to things behind the veil. Joining the world of the living with the dead comes natural for me, and reading the genres of paranormal and fantasy is like a cup of hot tea on a chilly winter afternoon.

Vicki-Ann's book list on paranormal books for talking with the dead

Vicki-Ann Bush Why did Vicki-Ann love this book?

This book hits all the points I love to read when I want to escape. Witches, family, mystery, and the angst of  true love. I felt a closeness to the relationship between the sisters, and the love they have for each other. It reminded me of my brother and I, and how no matter what, even if there’s disagreements, we always emerge together.

The descriptions of the area they live in and the town were amazing. I could create a vivid picture in my mind of the setting and wanted to visit. 

In The Pines

By Mariah Stillbrook,

What is this book about?

Two witches, two secrets, and a curse that could tear a family apart.

Olivia and Ellie have lived their lives knowing a dark entity is stalking their family, determined to kill them all. After the death of Olivia’s son, she abandons her magic and her family, leaving Ellie in a nightmare of heartbreak, her marriage crumbling and her sister gone. Determined to save their mother Arianna from a spell that left her comatose, the two sisters must come together to unravel the riddle of the curse that has haunted their family for generations.

But as they delve into the past,…


Book cover of The Sky Unicorn

Linda Chapman Author Of Star Friends: Mirror Magic

From my list on fiction for children who love magic and animals.

Who am I?

Growing up as an only child, books and animals were hugely important to me – they were my friends and I really wanted to believe in a magic that would allow me to talk to animals and them to me. I have now written over 250 books and pretty much all of them have either magic or animals in or a combination of both – unicorns, ponies that turn into magical horses, star animals who teach the children they bond with how to do magic, mermaids with sea creatures as pets. I really love to write – and read – about magical animals and their very lucky human friends!

Linda's book list on fiction for children who love magic and animals

Linda Chapman Why did Linda love this book?

I wanted to choose a book about unicorns (given they’re one of my favorite things to write about!) and this is the second book in a great magical series perfect for middle-grade readers who prefer shorter chapter books. Ava and her friends live in Arramia along with many magical creatures such as unicorns, dragons, firebirds, and star wolves. In this book, Ava sets out on a daring adventure to rescue a gorgeous baby unicorn who has been stolen from his herd by an evil villain. Paula Harrison is a brilliant writer for readers who like reading about magic and animals. She creates wonderful worlds and her books are hard to put down. The Royal Rescues is another great series too. 

By Paula Harrison, Sophy Williams (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Sky Unicorn as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 7, 8, 9, and 10.

What is this book about?

A brilliant series for 7+ readers full of adventure, magic and friendship from Paula Harrison, author of the Rescue Princesses and Kitty and the Moonlight Rescue series.

Maya is a dancer with a travelling troupe of entertainers. When Clover, a little unicorn, is trapped by Sir Fitzroy and used to lure the other unicorns into danger, Maya hatches a cunning plan. She and Sophy will disguise themselves and foil Sir Fitzroy's plot, and the unicorns will be safe!

Beautifully illustrated throughout by Sophy Williams, this is the perfect book for young readers who love magic and animals!

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