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Top 10 Best Fantasy Books in 2021

A summary for the top 10 Fantasy books for you to read which will make you rekindle your love for exploration and travelling.

Reasons to look for a good fantasy book

With the popularity of fantasy novels going through the roof now more than ever; many readers are looking for the ideal novel for their lazy Sunday reading binge. Thousands of people are searching through countless sites and blogs to find the best fantasy novels to read; leaving many perplexed and agitated when they do not find the right book for themselves. We have decided to make your reading experience all the more easier; by breaking down the contents of some of the most popular fantasy novels of all time. Now instead of judging a book just by its cover; you can judge it on the basis of the characters, the story, the plot as well as all the entertainment factor. Without further ado, here are the top 10 Fantasy book that we at ‘OwlRatings’ have picked for you to choose from.

Best overall

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone fantasy book

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone fantasy book

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Harry Potter and the Philospher’s stone is the first chapter of the world famous seven book Harry Potter series. This eccentric tale that follows the life of a young wizard grew to become arguably a fan favourite book for most of the world; beautifully written by the talented yet controversial author, J. k. Rowling. After being treated abusively by his aunt and uncle, Vernon and Petunia Dursley, a young Harry Potter sets out on a beautiful journey to the school of magic; Hogwarts. This first instalment of the series brilliantly sets forth a chaotic and powerful world  filled with magic, sorcerers and memorable villains which Harry Potter and his best friends Ronald Weasley and Hermione Granger interact with. Amidst the larger world building aspects that the book delves into; the entertaining moments of the wizards engaging in a game of Quidditch and fighting random monsters around the university halls makes for a very interesting read. Rowling has done a brilliant job of introducing different personalities that often clash during the events of the book; giving even the most minor characters memorable moments. Not only will you connect with some of the characters on a very deep level; be ready to have many chaotic arguments with friends and families over your favourite characters; whether it be anyone from Professor Snape to Dobby the dwarf. This is the perfect read for fans of the fantasy and magic genre; fans claiming it to be arguably the best series of all time.

Best for adults

A Game of Thrones fantasy book

A Game of Thrones fantasy book

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From arguably one of the most popular authors of all time; comes the extravagant, shocking bloody and cut-throat first instalment of ‘A song of Ice and Fire’ series. The name ‘Game of Thrones’ is sure to ring a bell in everyone’s ears; only being arguably the biggest and most popular television series of the last decade. George R. R. Martin has written one of the most vast and complex books you will ever see; consisting of seven different kingdoms and hundreds of complicated names which will take you a lifetime to remember. This R-rated book is set in the world of Westeros; with every one of the most noble families fighting for the right to the elusive throne; gaining the power to control the seven kingdoms. The first instalment has paved the way for the future books; introducing the series villains, establishing complicated relationships and most importantly warning us to never get to attached to any single character; because no one is safe. Readers will fall in love with the orphan child of Ned Stark of house Stark; Jon Snow and at the same time won’t be able to get enough of Lannister’s and their cunningness. The writing is so profound and detailed that you will not want to overlook a single line. Be prepared for some serious cursing, ruthless ploys of power and an amazing journey that corners every land that the mystical world of Westeros has to offer.

Best author

The Hobbit fantasy book

The Hobbit fantasy book

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“The Hobbit”, is the fantasy epic novel written by the great, J. R. R. Tolken. This novel is particularly remembered because of it being a prequel to the legendary series ‘The Lord of the Ring’ written by Tolken himself. Although Tolkien wrote “The Hobbit” as a story for his children, it is a book that people well above the age of 12 like to engross in. The mystical world of middle-earth and i’s tiny hobbits return in this prequel; where dragons and other mystical creatures roam freely. With its adventurous story and brilliant setting; The Hobbit makes for some great entertainment. The story follows Bilbo Baggins; a hobbit who decides to go on a life-changing quest with the magician Gandalf and his thirteen dwarfs. This journey has the characters embark across all sorts of terrains where the elusive ring that dictates the ‘Lord of the Rings series is found. The story set for an exciting climax as our heroes have to encounter the evil dragon known as Smaug. While “The Hobbit” is written with a simple, friendly language, each character has a unique voice. Readers of the LOTR series would love to give it a read since many of the big characters have roles to play in this prequel.

Best series

The Lord of the Rings fantasy book

The Lord of the Rings fantasy book

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The Lord of the Rings : The fellowship of the ring; is one of those books that will make you fall in love with the fantasy world. Written by J. R. R. Tolken; this book that follows the story of a hobbit and his quest to save the world was first released in 1954. The book starts with a gripping narrative; as Frodo Baggins is given the responsibility of safe-guarding the elusive ring while on his way half-way across the world to destroy it. The author created so many memorable characters from Gandalf the great to the dwarf Legolas; who we all fell in love with instantly. Tolkien has created something so unique, so intelligent, that even all these years later it is the paragon of high fantasy. Tolken has a very simplistic writing style; never losing track of the main narrative; rather allowing the reader to feel like they are part of this immersive experience. For all those who are in love with the film series; be sure to give this a read to find out the tiny details that even a 4 hour movie could not fit in. The Lord of the Rings has been the number one best-selling book on Amazon; and with good reason, so make sure to put this right on top of your reading list.

Best for teens

The Way of Kings fantasy book

The Way of Kings fantasy book

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The Way of Kings is the first book of the saga The Stormlight Archive, which has been written by the American author, Brandon Sanderson. With interesting plots set in a mystical world full of morally grey characters; the first instalment of the Stormlight saga makes for an intense and exciting read. Cosmere is the imaginary universe elaborated by Brandon Sanderson for most of his epic novels; where we get to witness the compact galaxy. Taking place in the world of Roshar; which is a super-continent constantly being hit by new events as the saga unfolds; we witness the rise of fan-favourite characters like Shalan Darvar and Kaladin who take us on this terrifying yet exhilarating journey. Being more of an ensemble story; we are introduced to new parts of the world through the various characters; the author slowly introducing the readers to the various parts of the world. Sanderson knows how to capture the reader and throw them into his fantasy world with immense details; with the story building to a fascinating climax which will leave you on the edge of your seats.

Best for historical entertainment

Outlander fantasy book

Outlander fantasy book

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American author Diana Gabaldon introduces us to this mind-bending world full of sci-fi,  romance and history with his first entry to the Outlander series. Set in the period right after the second world war; we follow the story of Claire Randall who comes across a completely new world. After coming across ancient stones; she falls into trance and wakes up in an almost dystopian future. The people are aggressive and live together in clans; something she could have only heard about in the history books. Diana Gabaldon has created a solid base to make this story seem realistic and exciting at the same time; carving the story on the back of extensive research giving us an idea of Scotland in the older days with the inclusion of clans and how they function and impact a society as a whole. The storyline is extremely well balanced, with impressive details that genuinely take you to the time and setting. Claire Elizabeth Beauchamp Randall carries this story, but the inclusions of interesting characters such as James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser makes and Frank Randall makes for an even more comprehensive read.

Best for middle schoolers

Dune fantasy book

Dune fantasy book

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With many adventures, political games, betrayals, mysticism, philosophy, Dune makes for a wonderful, deep and complex space opera. It is, in fact, an easy-reading mythology that offers deep insights into humans and life in general; showcasing the brilliance of the author Frank Herbert who has written one of the most important sci-fi novels of history. Dune tells the story of the boy and the messiah, Paul Atreides, heir to a noble family, ruling an inhospitable world where the only valuable thing is the “spice,” a drug capable of enhancing consciousness. It is an epic space opera with its reasonable share of conspiracy dialogues and palace intrigues, a classic self-search adventure with magical and messianic echoes that build in detail one of the wealthiest mythologies of the genre. Set in a feudal society where different alliances and enemies exist; the characters all have a fantastic background and focus throughout the novel. Anti-heroes such as Paul Atreided and Duke Leto all have roles to play to fight off their sworn enemies Baron Harkonnen and his heir Feyd-Rautha. The book beautifully encapsulates the journey of each of the characters while never loosing track of the plot; culminating in one of the most interesting novels that has been created.

Best for fantasy

The Name of the Wind fantasy book

The Name of the Wind fantasy book

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The Name Of The Wind: The Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss is the first book of the epic fantasy saga about the story of Kvothe, the mysterious innkeeper at the Guia Rock inn with a haunting past. Patrick Rothfuss has created one of the most original stories written with its well-created detailed universe and its own languages inside. With several narrators that give different perspectives to the story and a vastly complex universe, the novel is heavy yet highly entertaining. The scenes are beautifully structured; one following  another with an agile pace, pushing Kvothe and the reader to the limit, forcing the reader to turn the page to find out what will happen next. He has created characters that are easy to recognize and with whom the reader can empathize. With 92 chapters filled with detail, action and romance; this novel is going well until the end, but in the last quarter of the book, the romance exceeds the adrenaline of the story, which could be unexpected for some. It proposes an enjoyable and sentimental journey of the hero, with a little bit of cynicism in the middle. It is indeed a different novel than the rest of fantasy literature.

Best for kids

A Discovery of Witches fantasy book

A Discovery of Witches fantasy book

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A Discovery of Witches: The All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness is the first book of the romance-vampire saga about the story of the historian Diana Bishop and an enigmatic geneticist Mathew Clairmont. The book follows Diana Bishop who comes across an ancient manuscript. The protagonist does not know that this historical piece is an alchemical manuscript that has been lost for centuries and whose discovery has triggered hordes of daemons, vampires, and witches to emerge from the reading rooms of the library. A secret and enchanted relationship begins between Diana and Matthew Clairmont that will shake the taboos established for a long time in the world; as they embark on this glorious journey together. Unique settings and characters are described in rich details to make the reader get into the world deeply. From Darwin’s Book Of Species to an original copy of Luther’s Bible, there are many great historical details. The book is well planned and researched, and it has a surprisingly complex story, where the author puts scientific, historical, and supernatural things into it. The characters of Diana and Matthew slowly succumb to one another; as the story picks up quickly and puts our favourite characters through various obstacles.

Best for sixth graders

The Eye of the World fantasy book

The Eye of the World fantasy book

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The Eye of the World: The Wheel of Time Series by Robert Jordan is the first book of New York Times bestselling epic fantasy series that introduces readers to the dark yet curious world of nineteen-year-old Rand al’Thor. This fantasy epic considered one of the greatest milestones of fantasy literature with its vast world and diverse characters. With its similarities to The Lord Of The Rings saga, The Wheel Of Time is more than enjoyable, especially for readers who like medieval fantasy settings. Since the horrible moment when Lews Therin, who was Lord of Light, slew all his own to be driven by the forces of darkness, the struggle between light and darkness, life and death,  good and evil, has never stopped. Our main characters, Rand and his companions escape their solitary town after a powerful magician, Moiraine warns them of enemies circling their area. This is the beginning of an exhilarating journey where they encounter beasts, challenges and many more vicious enemies. The characters of Matt Cauthon and Perrin Aybara make you feel connected to the story; which is surely going to be an interesting read for all fantasy readers.

What’s important when choosing a good fantasy book

Choosing the right fantasy book can be quite the task, considering the sheer volume of fantasy novels out there that claim to be the best of the lot. Since many can find the fantasy genre quite complex and chunky to read; we are taking it upon ourselves to break down these epic novels on four very different yet equally important evaluation criteria.

The first criteria is the summary of the book. At the end of the day, no matter how exciting your friend may say this book is; the story has to connect with you on a personal level. Each person has a different taste; and this is all the more prominent when it comes to selecting a book which can be up to a 1000-pages long. We have briefly summarised the events of the book and the journey our characters are going to be taken on; allowing you to make clear decision on which story you wish to follow.

Our next criteria is the entertainment factor. Arguably the most important, the book has to keep you interested. It all depends on what you like. Are you a fan of bloodshed, cut-throat betrayals and violence ? Then maybe George R. R. Martin’s ‘A song of Ice and Fire’ may be the right pick for you. If you are into magic and the classic story of evil vs good; then maybe you would want to give ‘The Lord of the Rings’ a read. We have summarised what makes the book exciting so you don’t have to waste your time reading the first few pages to decide it for yourselves.

We have also given an in-depth copy on the story. Now, we have not mentioned any spoilers that would hinder your reading experience but instead broken down what the majority of the story would look like. We have assessed the major themes and plots and what kinds of characters would you be following on this journey.

Finally, no story is perfect without its characters. Since more often than not we learn about the world through our main characters; we would want to know if these characters are even worth following in the first place. Whether you like the good guys or you are a fan of the morally grey character who is well-written and put through many obstacles; we have it all for you.

FAQ

What is the most popular Fantasy Novel?

A Game of Thrones, by George R. R. Martin

Who is the best Fantasy Author of all time?

J . R. R. Tolkien

What is the highest rated Fantasy Novel on Goodreads?

The Fellowship of the Ring, J. R. R. Tolkien

Which Fantasy series has sold the most copies?

The Harry Potter series, J. K. Rowling

Final verdict

We hope to have made your decision making process at least a little bit easier by breaking down the top 10 fantasy books. Hopefully, our criteria’s will allow you to know more about each of the novels to come to the right decision.

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