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The best fantasy book authors

Updated on April 3, 2012

List of top fantasy novels, books and series

Most of us fantasy litterature fans have read Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, but what happens when we are done with these? No need to panic, I have compiled a list of fantasy series, authors and writers that you will enjoy if you like Tolkien and Rowling.

The books listed here are by some of the best fantasy writers of all times and they will rekindle your love for fantasy litterature for certain.

I have sorted the article so every fantasy book writer is listed along with the recommended books by him/her and a list of writers you might enjoy reading the works of if you liked the fantasy author featured.

Not only will you find good fantasy books here, you will also get recommendations for other authors to dig into once you have finished one of the lists. I have included fantasy book recommendations for young adults, teenagers and grown ups alike and the books listed here are all on my top 100 over the very best fantasy books of all times.

I have very little critic on any of these authors, however I will note it if there was something that stuck out to me as not fantastic. That being said I highly recommend all of the books listed in this article as they are all worthy of your attention and they will all spark your imagination.

(if you are looking for inspiration for your children, then check out my Fantasy Books for Children article )

Picture taken by Mistel

Tolkien is probably one of the best known fantasy novel writers. His trilogy Lord of the Rings has sold more than 100 million copies and the same goes for the Hobbit.

Tolkiens descriptive language and ability to create deep interesting characters have made him a fantasy author you absolutely must add to any list of important fantasy books.

If you have not already read the trilogy and the hobbit, then this is a good place to start. If you have, then you can have a look at the Silmarillion to expand on the universe Tolkien created. It can be a bit of a dry read though, so only go there if you are completely facinated by Middle-earth and its people and just need to know more.

Finally I recommend reading Christopher Tolkiens Unfinished Tales of Numenor and Middle-earth it contains even more stories based on notes by J.R.R Tolkien and compiled by his son

If you have already read all the books below, then you might be interested in these authors like Tolkien:

David Eddings

Robin Hobb

Robert Jordan

Trudi Canavan

C.S. Lewis

Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman

Christopher Paolini

If you like Tolkien then check out the books by the authors above by clicking on the link

Trudi Canavans is a modern fantasy writer who likes to bring under represented topics and themes into her books. She show case strong female characters who take the lead in resolving issues and she even spot light romances between same sex couples.

Her focus never waivers from telling a great story and she doesn't let her themes run the story, instead she makes the contribute to the tales and with them creates a living, breathing and very believable universe.

I have listed the books I have read by Canavan below and I can heartily recommend all of them. They are fantastic fantasy novels.

(note the Traitor Queen is not yet published and is currently set to release August 14th 2012. You can however pre-order it now by clicking the link below.)

If you like Trudi Canavan you might also enjoy reading:

Maria V. Snyder

J.K. Rowling

Christopher Paolini

Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman

Kristin Cashore

Anne McCaffrey

 

Unfortunately Robert Jordan passed away before he could finish his epic tale about the village boy Rand and his fight against the Dark One.

Robert Jordan (Real Name James Oliver Rigney Jr.) started writing the first book in 1984. In 2007 he passed away leaving the series unfinished. Brandon Sanderson was chosen by Jordans wife to write the final books of Wheel of Time based on notes left behind by Robert Jordan. The Gathering Storm and Towers of Midnight are the first two books finished by Sanderson and released in 2009 and 2010. The last volume; A Memory of Light is set to release in 2013 to finally round off the series and let the reader know what happens at the final battle.

If you like Robert Jordan, you might also enjoy reading:

J.R.R. Tolkien

David Eddings

Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman

Christopher Paolini

Trudi Canavan

 

David Eddings and authors like him

David Eddings is a generation younger than Tolkien and his writing style makes his books very easy to jump into.

The first fantasy books David Eddings had published were great stories about magic and the fight against evil. They are slightly linear, however it doesn't take away from the enjoyment of the overall story.

The books written by Eddings in the first part of his author career are a great introduction to the fantasy genre.

While Eddings first novels may be an easy read his later books becomes a bit more drawn out and slow, almost boring as they start dwelling more on politics and interpersonal relationships.

I would recommend reading the books on the list below and leave it at that.

If you like David Eddings you might also enjoy reading:

Robert Jordan

Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman

Christopher Paolini

J.R.R. Tolkien

Trudi Canavan

 

Robin Hobb and authors like her

Robin Hobb is the pen name of fantasy writer Margaret Astrid Lindholm Ogden. She also writes under the name Megan Lindholm. Hobb has a very unique writing style, it can be a bit hard to get into as you kind of have to get used to the way she build up her stories.

Stick to it though, as once you have allowed the universe of Robin Hobbs imagination absorb you, you will want to read every last bit of fiction she has ever produced.

The Soldier Son trilogy was the first novels of Hobbs I read, they are an interesting coming of age fantasy story, set in a universe that has parallels to the colonization of America. The White Man vs the Native Americans. Robin Hobbs style is slow paced, but very unique.

If you like Robin Hobb you might also enjoy reading:

David Eddings

J.R.R. Tolkien

Maria V. Snyder

 

Maria V. Snyder and authors like her

I picked up Poison study on a whim, I had just finished all my Trudi Canavan books and I was looking for another fantasy book with a female antagonist. I am so glad I did. Yelena is the main character of the Studies series and you immediately get a connection to her.

Snyder is one of those authors that can conjure intense action on every page, even when there is no actual action going on.

She makes you laugh, cry and dream with the good guys and really absolutely hate the villain.

The story is generally lighthearted, however there are some very dark undertones that grounds the story and makes its impact much greater on the reader.

Maria V. Snyder has written some of the best fantasy books for adults and both the Studies trilogy and the Glass series makes it into my top 100 fantasy book list.

If you like Maria V. Snyder you might also enjoy reading:

Trudi Canavan

Anne McCaffrey

Kristin Cashore

J.K. Rowling

Robin Hobb

 

C.S. Lewis and authors like him

C.S. Lewis is one of the really oldschool fantasy writers. Like Tolkien he has had a huge impact on the fantasy genre. The land of Narnia has become known to most children in english speaking countries.

His fantasy books are mainly for young adults and children, however adults can also get enjoyment out of reading the popular books. The story about the Lion, the witch and the wardrobe is a perfect choice to read aloud for your kids and I can only recommend it as an introduction into the magical world of fantasy novels.

If you like C.S. Lewis you might also enjoy reading:

J.R.R. Tolkien

J.K. Rowling

 

Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman and authors like them

The Dragonlance serie is an easy going and lighthearted collection of fantasy books. There are multiple different authors involved in the series and generally they all have a very high level of writings. However I will strongly recommend at least reading the books written by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman.

Their writing style is a breath of fresh air in a genre that can sometimes take itself a bit too serious. The Chronicles trilogy in particular had me in stiches several times as these fantasy books has some extremely funny episodes.

That being said the story is not always humorous and there are some very touching and emotional topics being presented to the reader.

A great fantasy read for young adults and teenagers and also very recommendable for grown ups that loves fantasy.

If you like Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman you might also enjoy reading:

David Eddings

J.R.R. Tolkien

Christopher Paolini

Terry Prachett

 

Christopher Paolini and authors like him

Christopher Paolini is a relatively new fantasy book writer. So far he has only released 4 books, all about the Dragon Rider Eragon. The 4th and last book of the series, Inheritance, was sent on the market in 2011, making it one of the newest Fantasy book recommendations in this article.

Paolinis writing style seems very inspired by Tolkien and you see the same level of details when places, items and people are described.

I enjoyed the first 3 books a lot and devoured them in a short frame of time. The last book however was a bit of a disappointment. It felt a bit drawn out, not as magical as I would like from a fantasy novel and finally I really did not like the ending.

I still recommend reading the series though as it is a good story and well written for the most part.

If you like Christoper Paolini you might also enjoy reading:

Robert Jordan

David Eddings

Trudi Canavan

J.R.R. Tolkien

 

J.K. Rowling and authors like her

J.K. Rowling is arguably the most popular fantasy author of newer time. Her coming of age fantasy stories about Harry Potter and his friends are highly popular amongst fantasy fans of all ages. We have a whole generation of fantasy lovers that grew up with the Harry Potter universe and who are die hard fantasy enthusiasts because of Rowling.

The mixture of real places and the made up universe of the wizards makes the books almost revolutionary. (before anyone yells as me, yes I know this has been done before, but not with the same success.)

No matter your age you should have a read through Harry Potter, because while it is a fantasy book mainly targetted at children, teenagers and young adults, it also is a good story for any grown up who remembers how it is to be a child.

If you like J.K. Rowling you might also enjoy reading:

J.R.R. Tolkien

Maria V. Snyder

David Eddings

Trudi Canavan

Kristin Cashore

Anne McCaffrey

 

Kristin Cashore and authors like her

Graceling was the debut novel of Kristin Cashore and was very well received. It is the story of young Katsa and how she stands up to her evil uncle.

It is a pretty standard fantasy world with a slight twist. Magic exists in the form of "Graces" some people are born with different colored eyes and graced with special abilities. Katsa is one of those people.

While it is a story of adventure, magic, romance and evil kings Graceling is also a tale of learning to love yourself even though you are different and as such it makes for a splendid fantasy teenage story.

If you like Kristin Cashore you might also enjoy reading:

Trudi Canavan

Maria V. Snyder

Anne McCaffrey

J.K. Rowling

 

Anne McCaffrey and authors like her

McCaffrey has stated in an interview that she is not a fantasy writer, but rather a science fiction author. For me though her stories of the Dragonriders of Pern will always fall into the fantasy genre.

The dragonrider books are full of adventure, danger and well dragons.

The Harper Trilogy is about a young girl named Menolly and her struggle against the rules of society that keeps her back from practicing her one big passion; music.

Pern is a male dominated society and it is not until Menolly runs away from home that her life starts taking off. While hiding from one of the many dangers of the inhospitable world of Pern Menolly comes across a nest of fire-lizards. She takes care of them and they become her friends and companions.

Anne McCaffrey is one of the most talented fantasy book authors out there and her novels are highly popular. I would place the series on the top 10 fantasy book list.

If you like Anne McCaffrey you might also enjoy reading:

Trudi Canavan

Kristin Cashore

Maria V. Snyder

J.K. Rowling

Christopher Paolini

 

Your favourite Fantasy book author

Who writes the best fantasy novels?

Opinions, Feedback, Ideas? - Comments and discussion topics are very welcome. :)

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    • Lionrhod profile image

      Lionrhod 3 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Lots of great books here! I love fantasy (and write it too!) Some of these I've read, some not, and will have to check out! Linking to you on my newest lens!

    • artbyrodriguez profile image

      Beverly Rodriguez 5 years ago from Albany New York

      I've never explored fantasy books, but after reading this lens, I will definately check them out. They sound very interesting!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Great article.

    • rhodacks profile image

      rhodacks 6 years ago

      Great recommendations. I would love to read these books.

    • agoofyidea profile image

      agoofyidea 6 years ago

      I agree with you. Books are awesome! Nice lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      enjoyed my visit tonight, happy to give you a 'thumbs up' from this avid reader.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Thank you for taking the time to publish this lens and for sharing it with us fellow squids.

      Its a fantastic lens. One squid thumbs up vote given!

    • THNeto profile image

      THNeto 6 years ago

      Nice lens. Lord of the Rings is one of my favourites although Harry Potter certainly took our household by storm too!

    • wolfie10 profile image

      wolfie10 6 years ago

      never enough time to read in my day. nice lens

    • cinstress profile image

      cinstress 6 years ago

      welcome, great couple of lenses you have going

    • zentao profile image

      zentao 6 years ago

      Great lens, I am a fan of reading, and fantasy in particular also. Although I like my fantsy with a realism bent, Like George RR Martin

    • profile image

      JoshK47 6 years ago

      I need to read more... just haven't had time lately. Great lens. :)