|Fantasy novels take their readers to imaginative and awe-inspiring places / Photo by: BrokenSphere via Wikimedia Commons|
Fantasy novels take their readers to imaginative and awe-inspiring places. Whether it’s dystopian, a futuristic or set in the medieval era or in a landscape where witches and dragons are as normal as the setting Sun, the world of fantasy is filled with everything you can dream up and write about and so much more.
If that kind of adventure in storytelling and world-building is your cup of tea or if you simply stumbled upon “The Lord of the Rings” movies as a kid and developed an interest in that kind of near all-encompassing, wide world-building in stories, then this list is for you.
The Dark Tower (1998) by Stephen King
By now, author Stephen King has reached the level of popularity and reputation where anything he produces becomes an instant bestseller and a most probable source material for a new movie. And he may have gotten such a rep as a horror writer but he definitely has other weapons in his arsenal. If you haven’t already read it, “The Dark Tower” is one of King’s most iconic books that is not an outright horror novel but a dark fantasy that is remembered by avid fans for its equally iconic first line: “The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.”
Wired UK, a bimonthly magazine reporting on the effects of science and technology, wrote that “The Dark Tower” was also one of King’s highlight creations in his career, and it was the story’s mix of “fantasy, Western, and elements of science fiction” that ultimately made it a big hit.
|By now, author Stephen King has reached the level of popularity and reputation where anything he produces becomes an instant bestseller and a most probable source material for a new movie / Photo by: lisistent via Needpix|
Good Omens (1990) by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
Sir Terry Pratchett may have left the mortal world for good, but his marvelous and intensely imaginative work will remain in the hearts of many book lovers everywhere. As a satirist, his work on “Good Omens” with Neil Gaiman reached acclaim for being simply spectacular. The book is filled to the brim with scathing remarks on religion presented in such a funny way that it would make anyone double over with laughter. Though it was written way back in 1990, its popularity peaked when Amazon Prime Video adapted the story for a six-episode TV series launched in May of this year.
If you haven’t read the story, all you need to know is that it’s an angels-and-demons kind of story that makes excellent use of observation, often subtle British humor, and imaginative world-building to drive the story forward. It’s hilarious and is an absolute delight to read.
Novice Dragoneer (2019) by E. E. Knight
On the more recent list of fantasy books to try is “Novice Dragoneer” by E. E. Knight because, really, nothing screams fantasy than a bunch of dragons in a story. Polygon, an American video game website that publishes news, culture, reviews, and videos, stated that “Novice Dragoneer” is a worthy read because of its roots in the coming-of-age genre mixed with the undying wonder that mythical creatures bring in fantasy novels.
It’s about Ileth, a 14-year-old “orphan who dreams of working with dragons.” Her dreams then lead her to the Serpentine Academy, where “she earns her place to become a novice dragoneer.” Her entry there presents challenges, of course, and as she ascends to the top after fighting for her place in the institution alongside wealthy classmates, her fate leads her to ever more danger.
Star Wars: Resistance Reborn (2019) by Rebecca Roanhorse
Ever since Disney acquired the Star Wars franchise, the brand has had a very busy couple of years. Now that the final installment of the sequel trilogy is due in theaters next month, Star Wars under Disney has continued to rebuild the universe with newer and newer stories all aligning with creator George Lucas’ vision.
This November, Star Wars recently released “Resistance Reborn,” a book that follows and provides an explanation of how Leia’s quest to rebuild the resistance occurred. In the movies—at least after the jump-off from “Bloodline”—it was already established that the Resistance was able to stick together. “Resistance Reborn” is kind of an explainer.
|This November, Star Wars recently released “Resistance Reborn,” a book that follows and provides an explanation of how Leia’s quest to rebuild the resistance occurred / Photo by: tunechick83 via Pixabay|
The Night Circus (2011) by Erin Morgenstern
If you’re into a slower enemies-to-lovers story set within the tents of a circus, Book Riot, a bookish site covering all things literary from book news and commentary to reading recommendations across every genre, suggests Erin Morgenstern’s “The Night Circus.” It’s riveting, mesmerizing in its details, and is an amazing enough book. Granted it may seem to lag in the middle due to the exposition and explanation of the many connections in the book, it is still beloved by fans.
Thanks to Morgenstern’s vivid prose, the book quickly achieved an average 4-star rating and has already collected a million ratings on Goodreads, a social cataloging website that allows individuals to freely search its database of books, annotations, and reviews. If you love “The Night Circus” and, like many fans, can’t get enough of Morgenstern’s prose, then all you have to do is wait a while as another one is definitely coming. No, it’s not a sequel to “The Night Circus” but you can be sure it’ll have the same lush prose that you have grown to love.
American Gods (2017) by Neil Gaiman
Yes, yes, Neil Gaiman was already mentioned in the list but, like “Good Omens,” “American Gods” is also a classic in the fantasy genre. It’s a story that “reimagines myths and gods in the modern age.” Aside from “Good Omens,” this is also one of Gaiman’s most famous works. So if you haven’t read it yet, now’s the perfect time to do so.