Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The 51 Best Fantasy Series Ever Written

A reader of mine pointed me to this list compiled on BuzzFeed. I think it's a pretty good representation of the genre, and I even found some series that I didn't know about that I want to check out. Of course it goes without saying I'm honored to be included on the list. Thanks to Esther Rose for letting me know about it.

  1. The Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss
  2. The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson
  3. A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin
  4. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
  5. The Lightbringer series by Brent Weeks
  6. 6. His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
  7. Discworld by Terry Pratchet
  8. The First Law by Joe Abercrombie 
  9. The Sword of Shannara Trilogy by Terry Brooks 
  10. Demon Cycle by Peter V. Brett 
  11. The Riddle-Master Trilogy by Patricia A. McKillip 
  12. Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson 
  13. Gentlemen Bastard Sequence by Scott Lynch
  14. The Inheritance Trilogy by N.K. Jemisin
  15. Liveship Traders Trilogy by Robin Hobb 
  16. The Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling 
  17. The Sword of Truth by Terry Goodkind 
  18. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis 
  19. The Earthsea Cycle by Ursula K. LeGuin 
  20. The Fionavar Tapestry by Guy Gavriel Kay 
  21. Raven’s Shadow by Anthony Ryan 
  22. The Broken Empire series by Mark Lawrence 
  23. A Land Fit For Heroes by Richard K. Morgan 
  24. Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon 
  25. The Wheel Of Time by Robert Jordan 
  26. Malazan Book Of The Fallen by Steven Erikson 
  27. The Black Company by Glen Cook 
  28. Elemental Logic by Laurie J. Marks 
  29. The Chronicles Of Amber by Roger Zelazny 
  30. The Avalon Series by Marion Zimmer Bradley 
  31. The Merlin Quintet by Mary Stewart 
  32. The Dark Elf Trilogy by R.A. Salvatore 
  33. The Elric Saga by Michael Moorcock 
  34. Redwall by Brian Jacques 
  35. Temeraire by Naomi Novik 
  36. Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini 
  37. The Riyria Revelations by Michael J. Sullivan 
  38. Prince Of Nothing by R. Scott Bakker 
  39. Dragonlance by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman 
  40. The Chronicles Of Thomas Covenant by Stephen R. Donaldson 
  41. The Powder Mage Trilogy by Brian McClellan 
  42. The Once And Future King by T.H. White 
  43. The Bartimaeus Sequence by Jonathan Stroud 
  44. The Gormenghast Series by Mervyn Peake 
  45. The Abhorsen Trilogy by Garth Nix 
  46. The Dark Is Rising Sequence by Susan Cooper 
  47. The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb 
  48. The Traitor Son Cycle by Miles Cameron 
  49. Dreamblood by N.K. Jemisin 
  50. The Riftwar Cycle by Raymond E. Feist 
  51. The Magicians Trilogy by Lev Grossman


  1. No Tad Williams? Memory Sorrow and Thorn is very good, as is the Shadowmarch series. Still, gives me more to add to my ToBeRead list :-) John Gwynne's Faithful and the Fallen is shaping up well too, if you haven't read it.

  2. The nature of the beast is there will always be items missing. Like you, I was glad ot find some new things to add to my list.

  3. No Jim Butcher? Come on! Some people were on the list twice! Sure their work really may be that good, but Dresden Files should be on there for sure. Glad you made it Mike.

  4. I would add the Dragonlance Chronicles to this list... I have a soft spot in my heart to that series, itÅ› the one that really got me into reading fantasy when I was barely a teen.

  5. Dark Elf trilogy was simple wonderful. I'll never forget siting by the pool in Florida on break from Architecture School and finishing the Crystal Shard, zipping out to the second-hand book store to grab Streams of Silver, only to find out The Halfling's Gem was coming in 2 days. From there I was hooked. Homeland, Exile, Sojourn all tap into those deep dark days of playing The Vault of the Drow years before, but from a new perspective.

    Menzoberranzan owes a lot to Gygax's Erelhei-Cinlu, For the kid inside, these romps cater right up the 1980s AD&D alley. Which oddly enough is why I became interested in your books, Michael, starting with Theft of Swords. Your characters breathe AD&D in my imagination because Hadrian and Royce flex attitudes and personality that is timeless and real.You need some Fritz Lieber on that list!

  6. @ T. Elliot Cannon
    "You need some Fritz Lieber on that list!"

    Amen brother.

  7. I'll second that Tad Williams "Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn" belongs on this list and where is Lloyd Alexander (I though Prydain was a classic and IMHO better than "The Dark is Rising")? I've read barely over a quarter of these titles (yay! more to add to my list), but I don't really agree with the ordering either. I was pleased to see "Dark Materials" near the top as that's one of my favorites, but I'd definitely rank it higher than "A Song of Ice and Fire." There are at least two on this list that I wouldn't re-read or recommend, but based on who did make the list, Its likely that I'll enjoy most of it. Thanks for posting this!

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  9. As much as I want to be like others and be indignant at the authors who are not on there, I'm fascinated how many I've read and love. The list Author obviously has a bias towards more recent series, but that's OK. I'm excited to try the ones on the list that I haven't read! If the ones that I do know are any indication then I've just found some new favorites.

  10. imo the first 2 Chronicals of Thomas Covenant by Stephen R Donaldson are by far the best fantasy book's i've read. i would advise skipping the more recently published Final Chronicals though as they were abysmal. it was almost as if they were written by a different author.

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