I hear adults dismiss fantasy (especially YA) so quickly, without giving them a try. That’s why I’m sharing over 90 recommendations.
Fantasy has always been my favorite genre. It all began when I read The Chronicles of Narnia with my family at six years old. I was immediately hooked on the world-building, the creatures, and the way that it allowed me to escape the mundane of everyday life and explore new places. There’s a quote that says, “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, the man who never reads lives only one.” I believe this to be incredibly accurate, and also, thanks to fantasy novels, I have not only lived a thousand lives, but I’ve traveled to a thousand far-away places without ever leaving the comfort of my room.
Honestly, talking about fantasy books gets me seriously pumped up. So I wanted to share the best of the best when it comes to what I’ve read over the years. There will be familiar names on this list, but I’m also hopeful that it will also introduce you to new and unique (and often underrated) stories that I highly recommend.
Below, you’ll find a list of series and standalone novels. Let’s be honest – I think you should read them all!
The Best Fantasy Books to Read When You Need an Escape
Strange the Dreamer – Laini Taylor, The Chronicles of Narnia – C.S. Lewis, All the Stars and Teeth – Adalyn Grace, Three Dark Crowns – Kendare Blake, The Lunar Chronicles – Marissa Meyer, Red Queen – Victoria Aveyard, Wicked Lovely – Melissa Marr, Shades of Magic – V.E. Schwab, Echo North – Joanna Ruth Meyer, Caraval – Stephanie Garber, Twilight Saga – Stephenie Meyer, The Wolves of Mercy Falls – Maggie Stiefvater, Serpent & Dove – Shelby Mahurin
Harry Potter – J.K. Rowling, Waterfire Saga – Jennifer Donnelly, The Infernal Devices – Cassandra Clare, Nightshade – Andrea Cremer, Firelight – Sophie Jordan, Gumiho – Kat Cho, The Arc of the Scythe – Neal Shusterman, The Falconer – Elizabeth May, The Aurelian Cycle – Rosaria Munda, Bone Grace – Kathryn Purdie, The Blood of Stars – Elizabeth Lim, The Folk of the Air – Holly Black, The Kyoshi Novels – F.C. Yee & Michael Dante Dimartino
Heartless – Marissa Meyer, The Starless Sea – Erin Morgenstern, Into the Heartless Wood – Joanna Ruth Meyer, The Kingdom – Jess Rothenberg, Beneath the Haunting Sea – Joanna Ruth Meyer, Stain – A.G. Howard, As Old as Time – Liz Braswell, Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book – Jennifer Donnelly, Stepsister – Jennifer Donnelly, Ashen Shadows – Ewe Linka, Beyond the Shadowed Earth – Joanna Ruth Meyer, Reflection – Elizabeth Lim, The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern