Fantasy is my favorite genre to read. I can still remember my first foray into another world, slipping through an enchanted wardrobe and experiencing the breathtaking adventure beyond. Fantasy books bring the imagination to life and allow the impossible to occur. The sheer joy of escaping reality and letting go of expectations is enough to bring me back to the genre again and again.
Recently, I’ve started reading some fantasy novels to my kids. While they’re still a bit too young for most fantasy books, I’m collecting my all-time favorites now so we can read them together later.
His Dark Materials Series
A city hidden in the Northern Lights and the mystery of disappearing children make His Dark Materials an engrossing series. This complex, layered fantasy pulls you into a universe (or several) beyond your imagination.
Fantasy lovers everywhere are going crazy for this series in which dragons are brilliant, logical thinkers. When a human prince is murdered and dragons are blamed, the relationship between the two species is stretched to its limits.
The Hobbit is one of my favorite books. Although it sets the stage for the Lord of the Rings series, it stands on its own as an epic magical adventure. It has kept me turning pages long into the night on many occasions.
The Inheritance Cycle Series
When young Eragon discovers a dragon hatchling, his world changes forever. Readers of all ages love this story of a boy and his dragon. It's got all the spell casting, dragon riding, and sword fighting you can handle.
The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel Series
Twins Sophie and Josh find themselves swept into the bizarre and magical world of 700-year-old Nicholas Flamel. Immortality, legends, and a book with the power to destroy the world — this story hooks you from the very first page.
This bestselling and award-winning magical adventure will appeal to fans of The Chronicles of Narnia and Alice in Wonderland. Three years after her father disappears, Alice sets out to find him. She makes her way through the mythical land of Furthermore, where nothing is as it seems. To succeed, she must keep her wits sharp and her courage strong.
Ranger’s Apprentice Series
When 15-year-old Will gets chosen as a Ranger’s apprentice, he doesn’t know much about the mysterious group of magicians. Soon, he discovers that the Rangers are highly trained warriors tasked with protecting the kingdom. With a new threat looming, Will has no choice but to join the action. If you loved The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkein or Eragon by Christopher Paolini, read this internationally bestselling series next.
The Brotherband Chronicles
If you can’t get enough of the Ranger’s Apprentice series, you should pick up this companion series. Three outcasts band together against their opponents in an epic race on the sea. Set in the world of the Ranger’s Apprentice, this spinoff series will sweep you into a breathtaking adventure.
The Last Kids on Earth Series
I can’t resist a book that successfully combines humor, action, and fantasy elements. This wildly popular series has over 5 million copies in print and even has an animated Netflix adaptation. The action-packed story and plentiful illustrations make this series one of my all-time favorite fantasy books for tweens.
As one of the most iconic fantasy series for kids, Redwall continues to be an all-time favorite for fantasy lovers. When war threatens a group of peaceful mice, the young apprentice Matthias must find a weapon that can save them. With humor and adventure, this story has captivated readers for decades. And with a whopping 22 books in the series, your child will have plenty of books to feed their obsession.
An Ember in the Ashes Series
In a fantasy world inspired by ancient Rome, two teens find their destinies inextricably entwined. One is a slave and the other a soldier, and they both risk everything to fight against an oppressive tyranny. For fans of The Hunger Games, this thrilling fantasy series is a must-read.
Falling Kingdoms Series
Romance, magic, and a power struggle combine into an unputdownable story that will keep you glued to the page. With royals fighting for the throne and threats of revolution looming, a terrifying form of magic arises. Four teens will struggle against the odds in this epic fantasy series.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
Monsters, time travel, and a deserted island—it doesn’t get better than this. When Jacob’s grandfather dies, he leaves him with nothing but a cryptic message and mountains of questions. Looking for answers, Jacob and his father head to a remote island. There, they discover a crumbling mansion that used to house magical and possibly dangerous children.
The Trickster’s Duet
Set in the fantasy world of Tortall, this duet introduces readers to Alanna’s daughter Aly, who has a talent for espionage. If you like stories about deceptive gods, spies, rebellion, and prophecies, this duology will become one of your all-time favorite fantasy books.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in 2016 and updated in 2021.