Best Fantasy Novels
The best fantasy novels from Harry Potter & Hogwarts to The Wheel of Time or to A War of Souls where Dragons Reign or from Smallville where a man can fly
When it comes to some of the best fiction books this genre is in a class of its own for richness of storylines and ability to cater for varying tastes.... as demonstrated by JK Rowling whose books appeal to a wider audience than her initial target group.
Whereas historical novels can offer many story variations within the whole span of humankind’s history, the fantasy genre proffers top selling fiction books that are not limited by any parameters.
From worlds only real in the fertile minds (or is it febrile?) of a myriad of writers the fantasy genre is not limited by reality or the short span of human history.
Yet the genre, like good crime thrillers or historical novels, is imbued with some truly great writers – great in the sense that their books:
- Are written with skill
- feeling and imagination
- Have main characters who grow and change in believable ways
- Are timeless and varied in their subject matter
- Maintain a reader’s interest
- Communicate without pretentious attitude
- Are great books to read for relaxation and pleasure
Many of the best fantasy authors could teach the more ‘serious’ writers (viz: Nobel or Booker Prize winners) a lesson or two on narrative construction, skillful characterisation, great use of language, imaginative storylines, understanding of human nature and suspenseful unfolding of tales that enthrall readers right to the end and leaving them wishing for more ….. and, unlike others, they do often give it.
Horror – Shock – lowbrow reading …… you say!
...... Or Fairy Tales for adults?
Well, most of us grow up loving fairy tales – and reading fantasy books is an extension of that – only with the mindset of matured adults that keep us grounded and unafraid of our imaginations
A matter of Taste or Preference
I have my favourites, and yet there are many best selling books and authors that I don’t or haven’t read …. because of time or preference … e.g. I don’t like Harry Turtledove or Terry Pratchett – but many do – as theirs are best selling books.
So lack of inclusion doesn’t mean they aren’t good books to read. And, I have forgotten some that I have read …… shame on me!
- Good fantasy books are not limited to sword and sorcery …… and some are set in worlds:
created by authors (Feist’s Midkemia & Kelewan)
others set in this world (Tom Dietz’s Fey series in Georgia)
Others mix them both (Thomas Covenant Chronicles)
or with an added twist like the Tales of Alvin Maker
Explore to your hearts content
The range of really good fantasy authors and their books is almost endless - and I can only touch on a few here.
The formats vary so much - from tales of Beowulf to ancient Greece to imagined worlds peopled with magic, dragons and conflicts between good and evil to Arthur and the Round Table - to Superman and Smallville and everywhere in between.
There are newer authors like Christopher Paolini and his Eragon saga and the tried and true like Stephen Lawhead; George R R Martin; Mercedes Lackey; Anne McCaffrey; Stephen Donaldson; Sheri S Tepper; Janny Wurts; Judith Tarr;Trudi Canavan
.... and many more to suit the bookworm in you. They can be really satisfying recreational reading and can offer good reading motivation for kids too.
And you can't go wrong if you try:
- Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman (Dragonlance and many more great books to read)
- Raymond E Feist - starting with The Magician
- The wonderful Shannara stories from Terry Brooks
- David Eddings and the Belgariad
- Orson Scott Card's "Tales of Alvin Maker"
- J.K. Rowling and her Harry Potter
- Eric Van Lustbader's exceptional trilogy
The Ring of Five Dragons;
The Veil of a Thousand Tears
And, of course there is J R R Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" I couldn't get into these years ago - then after seeing the great film trilogy - I tried again - and thoroughly enjoyed them.
Or give Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time a go - if you have patience!
Heroic fantasy; Dragons; Shapeshifters, Magic, Mages and Magicians; elves, faeries, goblins, trolls Demons, Dwarves – with power struggles between good and evil – this is the stuff of good fantasy novels.
Go to Raymond E Feist Best Fantasy Novels
Go to Orson Scott Card Fantasy Master
Go to Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman
Go to Magic at Hogwarts, LOTR and the Wheel of Time
Go to David Gemmell, Lord of the Silver Pen
Discover Tom Deitz and Terry Brooks, great Fantasy writers
Check out Fantasy and Films page
See more recommended authors of great fantasy novels
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