Fantasy (fan-ta-sy) noun
- “a form of literary genre in which a plot cannot occur in the real world. Its plot usually involves witchcraft or magic, taking place on an undiscovered planet of an unknown world.”
- “the faculty or activity of imagining things, especially things that are impossible or improbable.”
Many books fall into the fantasy genre, but only a select few are fantastic enough to make it onto the following list. I love exploring the magical and complex worlds that authors within the genre create — it is exciting to escape the real world from time to time and dive into improbable and impossible places that contain dynamic and interesting characters.
I had a tough time narrowing down the list to only five titles, but I managed. The books I ultimately chose are captivating and, though the pages are filled with magic, the characters ground the stories in reality, making the plots, however mystical, believable and transfixing.
The Night Circus
A mysterious, elaborate, and whimsical read, The Night Circus takes the fantasy genre to a unique new level. One of the most striking components of this novel is the use of multiple omniscient viewpoints that put the reader above the narrative. This adds to the air of mystery surrounding the plot while not sacrificing character emotionality. Add The Night Circus to your TBR!
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
C. S. Lewis
You cannot think of fantasy and not think The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. The compelling nature of magic knows no age and this novel is wonderful for all ages. If you have seen the movies, you should give the book a try, and if you have neither seen the movie nor read the book, well, what are you waiting for!
A Discovery of Witches
Described as “Harry Potter for adults,” this book is a more mature fantasy novel for those who love YA fantasy but who want to try something new. Romance in A Discovery of Witches is more central to the story than it is in many other fantasy books, so for readers who enjoy a little romance and a little supernatural, this book is for you!
One of my favorite fantasy novels, Caraval contains all the magic and intriguing worlds that a reader could want. Though this novel is uniquely its own, I was reminded of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and The Night Circus while reading it, which is perhaps one of the best combinations of books I can imagine. Plus, Caraval is only the first book in a trilogy, so if you are looking for a fantasy series, look no further.
Strange the Dreamer
This is one of those books that feels like it should be older than it actually is. The magic and the world of Strange the Dreamer have a sense of being timeless, like an old folktale, or an ancient epic narrative. Books like that are hard to find, and it amazes me what fantasy novels can transcend time and make the reader believe in a world full of magic.
Hopefully one of the books on this list caught your interest! Fantasy is one of my favorite genres, and I am always looking for new books in the category to entertain my mind, so if you know of any other fantastic fantasy reads, do not hesitate to tell me about it! Happy reading!
Did I miss your favorite fantasy novel? Tell me about it in the comments!