The 39 best fantasy books of all time

The best fantasy books provide windows into imagined worlds, from medieval kingdoms to strange life on other planets.

Fantasy fiction is original, inventive, and thrilling, and it can be incredible to discover the places that authors dream up. When we pick up the best thriller books, the best romance books, and the best historical fiction books we know that, despite action, glamour or the passing of time, we will be reading about people in our world with recognizable human emotions. But fantasy offers something slightly different. We swap the world we know for another, one where magic exists in some form. It allows us to escape from our society, but also creates a space to explore real-life issues in a mirror world. Subsequently, many of the best books of all time are fantasy novels.