a wizard

How to Start Reading Fantasy Books


The fantasy genre is huge, and the choices in shops is only getting bigger. If you are new to the fantasy genre, I have a few places for you to start your journey!

If you want to jump in the deep end pick up Robert Jordan’s ‘Wheel of Time’ series. The first book is The Eye of the World. It’s a big book but it’s easy to read and is hugely influenced by Tolkien and other classic fantasy elements, so you can be introduced to them too. The series veers away from it’s influenced roots and makes the genre its own, so it is well worth a read.

If you want a quick read try The Hobbit by Tolkien or A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin. Both books focus on a main hero who follows the classic hero’s journey. They are perfect introductions to the genre and wonderful reads. They are also incredibly easy to read – probably 4-6 hours of reading each.

If you want politics read A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin, or Half a King by Joe Abercrombie. A Game of Thrones is a huge series and is very complicated so only go into it if you want that! Half a King is a short book and the first in a trilogy; it is also an easy read so if you don’t want to go into something too big, pick this one.

If you want to read what everyone else has read join the queue! I’m kidding, but it will take a long time! I would suggest reading the first books of popular series (keeping notes as you go along or you might forget something – I watch summary videos on youtube before picking up the next book of a series to save me having to do this). Some suggestions of series are: A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin, The Stormlight Archive and/or The Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson, The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss, and The Witcher series by Andrzej Sapkowski.

What fantasy books would people who read a lot of fantasy suggest in these categories? Do you agree with my choices? What would you remove or add to the lists?

If you want to buy any of the books mentioned above, I am a Book Depository affiliate, so if you buy any books through this link, I earn a little commission to help run the site.

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(All links in the post go to my reviews for books or the author page in my index)

8 comments on “How to Start Reading Fantasy Books”

  1. Interesting choices! I would certainly add Terry Pratchett to the list (any of the Discworld books) and Neil Gaiman for a specific type of fantasy which most of the time exists in the world as we know it (Neverwhere, The Ocean at the End of the Lane…)!

      1. Maybe Pratchett could fall in that category (comical fantasy sounds better, though), but not Gaiman! :–)

      2. That’s true – I was only thinking of their collaboration on Good Omens. I’ve only read American Gods which I thought was great. Any other Gaiman suggestions?

      3. I read and loved all his novels but above all I would recommend Stardust, Coraline, and Neverwhere (the latter especially if you know London or plan a visit there)! However, his masterpiece is, according to most people, The Sandman comics!

  2. Awesome post!! I’ve personally only read The Hobbit from this list, but I’ve been wanting to dive into more fantasy this year. I often only read titles which fell into the Young Adult genre for fantasy, but I want to branch out a bit more. I might read the Mistborn series by Sanderson at some point, and The Eye of the World sounds quite interesting! Thanks for all these recs! <3

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