Immerse yourself in another world with our fantasy book recommendations.
"Take a giant step back and you can’t help but notice that the greater part of all human literature is fantasy"
—Lev Grossman discussing his choices of the best fantasy books.
Our selections of fantasy books include the classic fantasies of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien as well as some more recent authors like George R.R. Martin, (Game of Thrones), Neil Gaiman (Norse Mythology, American Gods), Susanna Clarke (Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell), China Miéville (The City & the City) and Philip Pullman (His Dark Materials).
J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books are among the bestselling books ever written, with half a billion copies sold since the first novel in the series was published in 1997. Since then, the fantasy world the books created—where a wand can clean up your room and school is an exciting place where you fight evil with your friends—has taken on a life of its own, with Harry Potter societies created by students at universities across Britain. Here, Katie Savva, of Warwick University’s Harry Potter and Quidditch Society and captain of its quidditch team, talks us through her group’s favourite Harry Potter books and explains how to play the game without a flying broomstick.
Ken Liu, the multi-award winning author of The Paper Menagerie, explains how using elements of fantasy and science fiction can help us examine deep truths about the human condition, as he recommends the best of contemporary speculative fiction.
From wizards to alchemy and fairies to folklore, Cressida Cowell reveals the magical stories that were most important to her as a child (and which she now delights in sharing with her own children), and her own inspirations for writing about magic and magical worlds today.
Alan Lee, illustrator of such classics as The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, talks to Five Books about his favourite stories drawn from myth and fairy tale, what they mean to him, and how important it is for young readers today to experience these ancient stories.