Hello, Bibliomancers and TAY-ers! I recently went through many of my fantasy books, (for some reason that I’ll never remember) abd decided to rank the top ten out of them!
Here’s the ten books! All of them are in the fantasy genre, though they were written for different age groups. Fantasy is my favorite genre. Fantasy books give me release from my boring life, letting me experience things I never thought I would, flying high upon the back of a dragon; stalking prey in lightless caverns; travelling across uncharted lands, and much more!
Of course, this is an opinion article, so feel free to disagree with my list, though I’d appreciate it if you guys would give these books a try! Don’t worry, I won’t include too many spoilers, so you can enjoy the books if you wish!
10. Tales of the Otori series - Lian Hearn (Gillian Rubenstein)
A fantasy tale which was meant to be set in feudal Japan, the Tales of the Otori series is as remarkably un-Japanese as it could be. There are many details in the book which were meant to provide a Japanese feel, yet it doesn’t manage to do that. But if it is taken as a coming-of-age fantasy which just happens to include names and details similar to feudal Japan, it’s honestly a pretty good story.
I like the concept of a nightingale floor, which sings when touched. I like the idea behind the protagonist, an orphan belonging to a tribe of assassins. This book has many good things going for it, and it manages to provide entertainment, though I ended it feeling that it could’ve been more.
9. Throne of Glass series - Sarah J. Maas
This is my guilty pleasure book. Was, actually. The debut series for an unknown author, Throne of Glass is about the journey of an assassin through the inner circles of royalty, and the trials she must go through to survive. There are tones of love, which was why I called it a guilty pleasure, but I found that that changed when I reached the third book, Heir of Fire.
The story in the third book changed my view of the series entirely, because it started to become even more like the type of heavy fantasy I’m accustomed to. The ending also hints that the fourth book will be even better, and I can hardly wait for it.
8. The Neverending Story - Michael Ende
I’m pretty sure this is a book many of you have read. To me, it’s a staple of modern fantasy, as much as Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter is. It’s story involves an individul named Bastion Balthazar Bux (awesome name) falling into a book, discovering his true self in the adventure. The book sometimes seems to speak to the reader, which is quite a unique experience. There’s even a movie based on it!
7. Farseer Trilogy, The Tawny Man Trilogy, Fitz and the Fool Trilogy - Robin Hobb
Yet another story featuring assassins, this time the royal bastard is our main character. FitzChivalry, bastard of Sir Chivalry (yes, it’s his name), is apprenticed to Chade, another royal bastard serving as the Royal Assassin, and the first trilogy follows his journey to manhood, battling threats from Prince Regal and Forged Ones (zombies, sorta), while learning his role.
The lengthy series is excellent, though the more recent entry, Fool’s Assassin (first book in the third trilogy) isn’t as great as the others. The first trilogy is however one of the best trilogies I’ve read, being highly self-contained yet having enough scope for future entries. It’s a darker fantasy, not really meant for children, so do exercise some caution.
6. The Legend of Drizzt - R.A. Salvatore
The first ever Drow hero, Drizzt, made his first appearance in R.A. Salvatore’s amazing tale of redemption and trust. Drizzt was born into one of the worst worlds possible: Menzoberranzan, the city of the Drow. Raised to believe that might makes right, and cruelty is the best option, Drizzt’s remarkably clear and pure heart allow him to escape his dark legacy, to venture into a world of light.
Drizzt’s journey is one that goes very far, spanning more than 10 books, each a tale itself. Take a look at this article below for more information on Drizzt!
5. Inheritance Cycle - Christopher Paolini
It all began with the meeting between human and dragon, which created a bond that nothing else could transcend. Eragon started out very human, before being warped by both Saphira and the terrors he’s faced, and that makes him very easy to relate to. A wish to depose a mad king becomes reality, as he struggles to learn hundreds of years of knowledge in order to achieve the goal of the Varden.
Featuring three fantasy languages, this series is undoubtedly a labor of love. Christopher Paolini’s passion can be seen very well through the books, which are meant for teen readers, but still contains enough depth to satisfy adults. It’s definitely worth the time it takes to read through!
4. The Belgariad and Mallorean - David Eddings
The only series that I can say I’ve read six times, The Belgariad definitely holds a dear place in my heart. It simply never gets old for me. Being a high fantasy tale, it contains many fantasy tropes, and is an excellent first book for those new to fantasy.
Check out my review of it here:
3. The Seven Realms Trilogy - Cinda Williams Chima
Destinies entwined ages ago, Raisa, the princess of the Fells, and Han, reformed street thief, are both the descendants of a lost love that wasn’t meant to be. A tiwst of fate forces them together, but the tides of war have other plans. As they struggle to learn their parts in the coming storm, a mystery that has stood for an eon threatens to rend their world asunder.
I’m very proud of the above paragraph. It’s the best thing I’ve ever written! I digress.
This series, while meant for teens, is still a great coming-of-age fantasy tale, as good as any I’ve read. Cinda Williams Chima weaves a good tale, spinning the threads into an intricate book that is deserving of your time.
2. Mistborn Trilogy - Brandon Sanderson
Brandon Sanderson is without a doubt, one of my favorite authors. All of his series are well thought out, distinct, and heavily entrenched in their own world. And Mistborn is no different. Set in a dark and brutal world ruled by a tyrant of near god-like power, Mistborn is the story of Vin, a Mistborn struggling to learn to control her powers of Allomancy, and of course, trying to depose the Lord Ruler.
I’ve never read of another ‘magic’ system as cool and unique as Allomancy, which involves the ‘burning’ of ingested metals to allow the user to gain various abilities, which vary based on the metal burnt. This is seriously the coolest magic system I’ve read about. Go read this series. You really should.
1. The Kingkiller Chronicles - Patrick Rothfuss
This is by far the best fantasy series I’ve read. The series focuses on Kvothe, both in the ‘present’ and the ‘past’, recounting his incredible adventures through Temerant, one of the liveliest worlds ever in fantasy. Combining elements from the Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, Patrick Rothfuss creates one of the deepest adventures I’ve read.
Mixing equal parts mystery, coming-of-age, philosophy, adventure......., The Kingkiller Chronicles has something for everyone, and is still deep enough for the heavy fanasy fan to enjoy. You really owe it to yourself to go and read this amazing series.
Honestly, the only qualm I have with this series is how long it takes Patrick Rothfuss takes to write a book. Though I guess that’s a sign of its quality.
There you go, my top ten fantasy picks as of now. I would love to hear what you guys think of my selections, and of course, please give me a few recommendations! I still have a ton to read through, but I’ll definitely give any recommendations a look through.
Thanks for reading, and I hope you’ve enjoyed this article!
This article was written by the Ascendant - Izanagi, who uses TAY as an excuse to read too many books and play too many games, and Ani-TAY as an excuse to watch too much anime. Check out his other works here.