Roland Deschain holding a rose in front of the Dark Tower Roland Deschain holding a rose in front of the Dark Tower

10 Fantasy Book Series You Can’t Miss!

Get ready to dive into these top fantasy book series that will leave you spellbound!

Get ready to dive into these top fantasy book series that will leave you spellbound!

Honorable Mentions

Before we dive into the main list, let’s give a shoutout to some fantastic series that just missed the cut:

10. The Dark Tower

Roland Deschain holding a rose in front of the Dark Tower - Fantasy Book
Roland Deschain holding a rose in front of the Dark Tower

Stephen King’s “The Dark Tower” series is unlike any other. Despite its Western theme and horror elements, it remains a cornerstone of fantasy literature. The journey of gunslinger Roland Deschain as he seeks the Dark Tower is packed with magical doorways, alternate realities, and sinister villains. Roland’s lineage traces back to King Arthur, adding a mythical touch to this epic tale.

“The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.” – Stephen King

King’s masterful storytelling and unforgettable characters ensure that “The Dark Tower” stays with you long after you turn the last page.

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9. The Green Bone Saga

Cover art for Jade Shards
Cover art for Jade Shards

Fonda Lee’s “The Green Bone Saga” starts with the award-winning “Jade City” and weaves a tale of feuding gangster families, martial arts, and magic. Think “The Godfather” meets Hong Kong cinema, with a twist of fantasy.

Lee infuses her narrative with rich cultural history and complex characters, making it a standout series that’s as much about human drama as it is about fantastical elements.

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8. The Wheel of Time

Semirhage attacks Rand and Min
Semirhage attacks Rand and Min

Robert Jordan’s “The Wheel of Time” is a colossal series with 14 books, totaling nearly 12,000 pages. The saga follows Rand al’Thor, a humble farm boy destined to either save or destroy the world. The journey includes a vast array of allies and enemies.

Though the series hits a slow patch midway, it regains momentum and concludes with a powerful finale, thanks to Brandon Sanderson’s contributions after Jordan’s passing.

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7. Malazan Book of the Fallen

Gardens of the Moon cover art
Gardens of the Moon cover art

Steven Erikson’s “Malazan Book of the Fallen” is a challenging yet rewarding read. Its dense plot, extensive character list, and intricate social commentary make it a rich, albeit complex, series. However, those who persevere are rewarded with a tapestry of stories and themes that are unparalleled.

Early books can be read as standalone novels, giving you a chance to catch your breath before plunging back into Erikson’s detailed world.

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6. The Earthsea Cycle

The Complete Earthsea Cycle artwork
The Complete Earthsea Cycle artwork

Ursula K. Le Guin’s “The Earthsea Cycle” captivates both young readers and adults with its profound themes of power, balance, and mortality. The series follows Ged, a young wizard, on his journey of self-discovery and growth.

Unlike many fantasy series, “The Earthsea Cycle” focuses on internal conflicts rather than external battles, offering a philosophical and introspective take on the genre.

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5. Mistborn

Mistborn cover artwork
Mistborn cover artwork

Brandon Sanderson’s “Mistborn” series is a must-read for fans of rigorous magic systems. The narrative, set in a world where metals grant magical abilities, is as polished as it is thrilling.

Sanderson’s storytelling prowess and well-constructed magic rules make “Mistborn” not only engaging but also highly satisfying for both casual readers and those who love to delve into intricate magical mechanics.

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4. The Inheritance Trilogy

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms cover art
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms cover art

N.K. Jemisin’s “The Inheritance Trilogy” is a quality-over-quantity masterpiece. Set in the floating city of Sky, the series delves deep into the relationships and societal structures of its characters.

Jemisin’s trilogy is rich with romance, intrigue, and mystery, catering to a wide array of tastes. Whether you’re here for the love stories or the clever plot twists, there’s something for everyone.

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3. A Song of Ice and Fire

A Song of Ice and Fire Tabletop Miniatures Game key art
A Song of Ice and Fire Tabletop Miniatures Game key art

George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” series, the basis for HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” is a roller-coaster of political intrigue, complex characters, and looming supernatural threats.

Martin’s world is richly detailed, and even though the series isn’t complete, the existing books offer a gripping and unpredictable journey that keeps readers on their toes.

(Read or Listen for free)

2. Discworld

Discworld's Ankh-Morpork City Watch
Discworld’s Ankh-Morpork City Watch

Terry Pratchett’s “Discworld” series stands out for its humor and wit. With 41 novels filled with satirical takes on both fantasy tropes and real-world issues, Pratchett’s work is as thought-provoking as it is hilarious.

“Discworld” explores deep themes and touching character arcs amidst its comedic backdrop, making it a series that never loses its charm.

(Read or Listen for free)

1. The Lord of the Rings

Gandalf's battle with the Balrog
Gandalf’s battle with the Balrog

J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” is a seminal work in the fantasy genre. Its detailed world-building, complete with fully developed languages and histories, sets a standard that few can match.

The timeless nature of its characters and their struggles makes the series universally relatable. Whether it’s Bilbo’s growth, Frodo’s moral dilemmas, or the grand scale of Middle-earth’s history, Tolkien’s work remains a cornerstone of fantasy literature.

(Read or Listen for free)


Conclusion

Fantasy book series have a unique way of capturing our imaginations and taking us on incredible journeys. Whether it’s the intricate worlds, relatable characters, or the sheer adventure, these series have something special to offer every reader.


FAQs

  • What makes a fantasy book series great? It’s a mix of compelling characters, imaginative world-building, and engaging storytelling.
  • Which series is best for beginners? “The Earthsea Cycle” by Ursula K. Le Guin is accessible yet profound, perfect for new readers.
  • Are these series suitable for all ages? Most series cater to adult readers, though some, like “The Earthsea Cycle,” are also suitable for younger audiences.
  • Do I need to read these series in order? Yes, to fully understand the plot and character development, it’s best to read them in order.
  • Will there be more books in “A Song of Ice and Fire”? George R.R. Martin has two more books planned, but there’s no set release date.

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