Top 100 Must-Read Fantasy Novels

This list I got from Fantasy Book Review. Since lists are not copyrightable, I’m duplicating it here.

Same as in the Science Fiction post, green and bold means I’ve read it and green with no bold means I’ve only watched the movie…

  1. The Lord of the Rings – J R R Tolkien
  2. Assassins Quest – Robin Hobb
  3. The Earthsea Quartet – Ursula Le Guin
  4. Ship of Destiny – Robin Hobb
  5. The Hobbit – J R R Tolkien
  6. Magician – Raymond E Feist
  7. Gardens of the Moon – Steven Erikson
  8. The Mad Ship – Robin Hobb
  9. Wolf Brother – Michelle Paver
  10. House of Chains – Steven Erikson
  11. Duncton Quest – William Horwood
  12. Memories of Ice – Steven Erikson
  13. The Other Wind – Ursula Le Guin
  14. Duncton Wood – William Horwood
  15. Before They Are Hanged – Joe Abercrombie
  16. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – J K Rowling
  17. The Black Company – Glen Cook
  18. Tales From Earthsea – Ursula Le Guin
  19. Mort – Terry Pratchett
  20. Last Argument of Kings – Joe Abercrombie
  21. Deadhouse Gates – Steven Erikson
  22. The Forgotten Beasts of Eld – Patricia McKillip
  23. Tigana – Guy Gavriel Kay
  24. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell – Susanna Clarke
  25. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – J K Rowling
  26. Waylander II – David Gemmell
  27. Lord of the Silver Bow – David Gemmell
  28. Soul Eater – Michelle Paver
  29. A Game of Thrones – George R R Martin
  30. Waylander – David Gemmell
  31. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – J K Rowling
  32. The Wounded Land – Stephen Donaldson
  33. Spirit Walker – Michelle Paver
  34. The Ladies of Grace Adieu – Susanna Clarke
  35. Ship of Magic – Robin Hobb
  36. Legend – David Gemmell
  37. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – J K Rowling
  38. The Subtle Knife – Philip Pullman
  39. The Light Fantastic – Terry Pratchett
  40. The Silmarillion – J R R Tolkien
  41. Royal Assassin – Robin Hobb
  42. The Blade Itself – Joe Abercrombie
  43. The Illearth War – Stephen Donaldson
  44. The Sum of All Men – David Farland
  45. Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone – J K Rowling
  46. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – J K Rowling
  47. The Amber Spyglass – Philip Pullman
  48. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – J K Rowling
  49. The Last Guardian – David Gemmell
  50. Lirael – Garth Nix
  51. The Lions of Al-Rassan – Guy Gavriel Kay
  52. Fools Errand – Robin Hobb
  53. The Colour of Magic – Terry Pratchett
  54. The Power That Preserves – Stephen Donaldson
  55. Wolf In Shadow – David Gemmell
  56. Lord Fouls Bane – Stephen Donaldson
  57. The Dragonbone Chair – Tad Williams
  58. Assassins Apprentice – Robin Hobb
  59. Wizards First Rule – Terry Goodkind
  60. Abhorsen – Garth Nix
  61. The Diamond Throne – David Eddings
  62. The Legend of Deathwalker – David Gemmell
  63. Knights Dark Renown – David Gemmell
  64. Northern Lights – Philip Pullman
  65. Sabriel – Garth Nix
  66. A Clash of Kings – George R R Martin
  67. The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe – C S Lewis
  68. The Gunslinger – Stephen King
  69. The Magicians Guild – Trudi Canavan
  70. Brotherhood of the Wolf – David Farland
  71. The Darkest Road – Guy Gavriel Kay
  72. Prince Caspian – C S Lewis
  73. Dragonlance Chronicles – Margaret Weis
  74. Silverthorn – Raymond E Feist
  75. Wizardborn – David Farland
  76. The Wandering Fire – Guy Gavriel Kay
  77. The Last Battle – C S Lewis
  78. The Crystal Shard – R A Salvatore
  79. The Silver Chair – C S Lewis
  80. Magicians Gambit – David Eddings
  81. Into the Wild – Erin Hunter
  82. Gifts – Ursula Le Guin
  83. Queen of Sorcery – David Eddings
  84. The Lair of Bones – David Farland
  85. The Summer Tree – Guy Gavriel Kay
  86. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader – C S Lewis
  87. Enchanters End Game – David Eddings
  88. The Magicians Nephew – C S Lewis
  89. The Children of Hurin – J R R Tolkien
  90. Guardians of the West – David Eddings
  91. The Horse and His Boy – C S Lewis
  92. Pawn of Prophecy – David Eddings
  93. Eldest – Christopher Paolini
  94. Eragon – Christopher Paolini
  95. Castle of Wizardry – David Eddings
  96. Nine Princes in Amber – Roger Zelazny

Seriously, their top 100 list ends at 96. How does that happen?

The other thing is that this list could be more properly definited as “Top 100 Most Popular Modern Fantasy Novels”. I would not, in my wildest dreams, classify Eragon by Christopher Paolini as a “must read” unless you’re talking about how not to publish a novel riddled with so many errors and logic holes and cliches. Plus this list is mostly of novels published more recently, certainly not going back as far in time as the science fiction list does with as many classics in fantasy.

Nevertheless, I’ve read 39. If I can count. And one more in a movie only. Whew!

Author: LMAshton
Howdy! I'm a beginner artist, hobbyist photographer, kitchen witch, wanderer by nature, and hermit introvert. This is my blog feed. You can find my fediverse posts at

8 thoughts on “Top 100 Must-Read Fantasy Novels

  1. Yeah, that list seems a little bit haphazard. The Earthsea Quartet is one book, but the Narnia Chronicles is seven books (each of which gets a mention, but only the first book of the Amber series is listed)? Paolini and Goodkind are on the list? And what’s with the disproportionate number of works by certain authors?

    Also I can’t help but feel like they forgot a few like, oh say, THE ODDYSSEY and A CHRISTMAS CAROL, just off the top of my head. It looks more like somebody just rambled off the first 96 (subjectively) good fantasy novels they could think of.

    p.s. I’ve read 28

  2. Wizards First Rule is the only book of Terry Goodkinds Sword of Truth series on here and yet all the Harry Potter ones make it? Was this list written by an 11 year old? Granted I thought Rowlings works weren’t bad by any means but compared to Goodkind they come up a little short.

  3. I’m glad to see Feist’s work in there, the Magician (not the mention the many, many books about Midkemia) are often omitted.

  4. I don’t love how some authors and series are overrepresented.

    There’s no Mercedes Lackey, Anne Bishop, Anne McCaffrey, Piers Anthony, Raymond Feist, etc. While some YA authors and books are included, there’s a ton of oversight there, as well–Tamora Pierce is the biggest glaring omission there.

    Paolini? Really? If anything, I found Eragon unreadable and I kept reaching for my red pen–it read exactly as if a 15/16 year old had written it–which wasn’t a selling point. There’s plenty of great YA fantasy out there–Eragon just isn’t one of those books imo, and it certainly isn’t in a top 100 combined list.

    Why *does* it end at 96? I’m going with consensus that it was a rambly list as opposed to one with actual values being places (LOTR is the best fantasy book ever—um, not in my opinion, even though my elder daughter is named Elanor).

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