For a genre theoretically bound only by the author’s imagination, fantasy novels are too often depressingly unimaginative: simplistic tales of good and evil that slavishly riff of genre tropes. Yet every now and then a fantasy novel comes along which breaks the mould and raises the bar for all that follow. Here’s my list of the best fantasy books around.
The Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
A series of seven books published between 1950 and 1956 (beginning with a little book called The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe), for many The Chronicles of Narnia remain the template for what great fantasy novels should look like. Centring on a magical land populated by talking animals and ruled over by a mighty lion, the Chronicles are rip-roaring stories of adventure and magic, even if the overt religious themes can occasionally make things a bit impenetrable for non-believers. Though The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe remains the most well-known and beloved title in the series, for me it’s third book The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, recounting a physical and spiritual journey to the ends of the earth, which remains the most entertaining and evocative. Continue reading “The Best Fantasy Books Of All Time”