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Fantasy Must Read List

Discussion in 'Novels & Stories' started by Joe the Gnarled, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. I have compiled a list from the fantasy reading list thread:
    I hope no one is upset if I included something that should have been excluded, or excluded something that should have been included, but it was a good bit of information to sift through. I have sorted the works by date so people will have some idea of what they are getting into if they decide to look for a particular piece of work.

    *Disclaimer- some dates may be publication dates, and some may be the dates the work was written

    Here is the must read list:

    “Aesop's Fables”

    15th Century
    “Le Morte d'Arthur” by Sir Thomas Malory (1485)

    16th Century
    “The Faerie Queene” by Edmund Spenser (1590 first installment, 1596 second installment)
    “A Midsummer Night's Dream” and “The Tempest” by William Shakespeare (1594-1596? /1611)

    19th Century
    Grimm's Fairy Tales (1812, 1814, 1819, 1822) WHO WROTE???
    "The Water-Babies" by Charles Kingsley (1863)
    "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There" by Lewis Carroll (1865/1871)
    "The Coming Race" by Edward Bulwer-Lytton (1871)
    "The Princess and the Goblin" by George MacDonald (1872)
    "The Wood Beyond the World" and "The Well at World's End" by William Morris (1894/1896)
    "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" by L. Frank Baum (1900)

    20th Century
    "The Wind in the Willows" by Kenneth Grahame (1908)
    "The Little House in the Fairy Wood" by Ethel Cook Eliot (1918)
    "The Worm Ouroboros" by Eric Rücker Eddison (1922)
    "The King of Elfland's Daughter" by Lord Dunsany (1924)
    "Lud-in-the-Mist" by Hope Mirrlees (1926)
    "Islandia" by Austin Tappan Wright (1942 written in 1920s)
    "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings" by J.R.R. Tolkien (1937/1954-55)
    "Titus Groan", "Gormenghast", and "Titus Alone" by Mervyn Peake (1946/1950/1958)
    "The Chronicles of Narnia" by C.S. Lewis (1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956)
    “The Once and Future King” by T. H. White (1958)
    "Earthsea" series by Ursula K. LeGuin (1964, 1971, 1972, 1990, 2001)
    “Merlin” trilogy by Mary Stewart (1970, 1973, 1979)
    “Magician” by Raymond E. Feist (1982)
    “Dark Tower” series by Stephen King (1982-2012)
    “Dragonlance” series “Chronicles”, “Legends”, and “Heroes” trilogies by Margaret Weiss and Tracy Hickman (1984, 1985/1986, 1988)
    “Wheel of Time” series by Robert Jordan (1990-2010)
    “Neverwhere” by Neil Gaiman (1996)
    "Bas-Lag" series by China Miéville (2000, 2002, 2004)

    21st Century
    All works yet to be published by Members of Mythic Scribes
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2011
    pmmg, Gurkhal, S.T. Ockenner and 2 others like this.
  2. This was in response to:

    I am in the process of compiling a list of other works listed on the original thread that were mentioned but not a "must read". Hopefully I will be done by Tuesday.
    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
  3. Here is the list of books that were mentioned but did not make the “Must Read” list:

    “First Law” series by Joe Abercrombie
    “The Chronicles of Prydain” by Lloyd Alexander
    "The Books of Abarat" series by Clive Barker
    “Tithe” by Holly Black
    “Death Is A Lonely Business” by Bradbury
    “The Dresden Files” by Jim Butcher
    “Divine” series, “Partholon” series by PC Cast
    “The Heir” trilogy, “The Seven Realms” series by Cinda Williams Chima
    “Little Big” by John Crowley
    “Lord Foul's Bane” by Donaldson
    “Shanara” series by Sara Douglas
    “Belgariad” and ”Malloreon” or “Elenium” and “Tamuli” by David Edding
    “Malazan Book of the Fallen” series by Steve Erikson
    “Villains by Necessity” by Eve Forward
    “Neverwhere”, "American Gods" by Neil Gaiman
    "Good Omens" by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
    “Waylander” and “Legend” by David Gemmell
    “The Dwarves” series by Markus Heitz
    “Mythago Wood” by Holdstock
    “Watergivers” series by Glenda Larke
    “Gentlemen Bastard” series by Scott Lynch
    “Ombria in Shadow” by Patricia McKillip
    “A Song of Ice and Fire” series by George R.R. Martin
    “The Abhorsen Chronicles” by Garth Nix
    “Feed” by Mira Grant
    "Temeraire" series by Naomi Novik
    "The Fionavar Tapestry" trilogy by Guy Gavriel Kay
    “Discworld”, “Equal Rites” series by Terry Pratchett
    “The Unsuspecting Mage” series by Brian S. Pratt
    “Power & Majesty” by Tansy Rayner Roberts
    “The Anvil of Ice” by Michael Scott Rohan
    "Harry Potter" series by J.K. Rowling
    “The Last Wish” by Andrzej Sapkowski
    “Talion: Revenant” by Michael Stackpole
    "Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn" series by Tad Williams
    “Daughter of the Empire” series Janny Wurts
    “Chronicles Amber” series by Zelazny

    These authors were mentioned without any particular work being specified:

    R. Scott Bakker
    Jennifer Fallon
    Terry Goodkind
    Robin Hobb
    Robert E. Howard
    Fritz Lieber
    H.P. Lovecraft
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 25, 2013
    S.T. Ockenner and Dark Squiggle like this.
  4. Kelise

    Kelise Maester

    Yay, thanks so much for that :D

    Just a note though - the Scott Lynch series is 'Gentleman' Bastard, not Gentlemen ;)

    I think I now have a whole lot more to add to my 'to read' pile now.
    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
  5. Oops :eek: I probably missed a few things like that. I was moving a lot of things around and retyping here and there.
  6. Black Dragon

    Black Dragon Staff Administrator


    Thanks for taking the time to compile this list. Believe it or not, this very thread was featured today on The Huffington Post in their books section!
  7. Wow... It is my first published work!!! :eek: lol
  8. Eliazar

    Eliazar Scribe

    Nice list, thanks for the effort. By the way, Grimm's Fairy Tales were "written" by the Brothers Grimm, that is compiled and edited from oral stories from Germany and other parts of Europe.

    And as Beowulf is mentioned, the Scandinavian/German Nibelungen might fit in here, too. Not so sure how famous it is in anglophone countries, but here it's a big thing and one of the most important pieces of epic stories.
    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
  9. Eliazar,

    You are absolutely correct on both accounts. I was attempting keep the list uniform. I probably should have put some editorials down at the bottom. Oh well, hindsight being what it is, I know better now.

    I was hoping for a sticky... but the mod god does not smile upon me :(
    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
  10. Black Dragon

    Black Dragon Staff Administrator

    You need only ask. :)
    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
  11. Donny Bruso

    Donny Bruso Sage

    Nice list, Joe. Good to see Villains by Necessity and Talion: Revenant in there. Two of my favorite books that don't get enough exposure in my opinion.
    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
  12. Thank you Dragon. You have made my day.

    I think it is a pretty good list Donny. Everyone here came up with the titles. I just took all that input and made the list.
  13. Angharad

    Angharad Troubadour

    Great list! Many of my favorites are on there, and I will add others to my endless reading list. Thanks for posting!
  14. The Muse

    The Muse New Member

    I think everybody should have a go at The Black Jewels Series, by Anne Bishop.
    It is so richly dark and powerful. Literally every person that I have introduced it to, has fallen in love with it. =)
    Jack in the Green likes this.
  15. flyboy

    flyboy Acolyte

    Hello, this is my first day. I like the reading lists - seems I haven't read as much as I thought. I 've read some but not read a lot on the list. However, I have a short list of my favourites:

    Robert Holdstock (Mythago series) JRRT, Stephen Donaldson, David Gemmell, Terry Brookes, Charles D Lint, Raymon Fiest (Fairie Story, James Herbert (once). But I also like Scifi:Arthur C Clarke, Doc E Smith, Wastson on the Integral Trees.

    Regards: To all
    Rkcapps likes this.
  16. pskelding

    pskelding Troubadour

    Michael Stackpole - Cartomancy series, Draconis series and Dark Glory War
    Gay Gavriel Kay - Anything he's written, especially Under Heaven
    Joe Abercrombie - Heroes and Best Served Cold
  17. I would like to suggest things
    1. Trudi Canavan's "The Magician's Apprentice", "The Black Magician" trilogy, "Age of the Five" trilogy and "Traitor Spy" Trilogy(only 2 books of this one are done)
    2. Kristen Britain's "Green Rider" series
    3. J. R. R. Tolkien's "The Silmarillion"
  18. Ark1117

    Ark1117 Dreamer

    "The Farseer Trilogy" by Robin Hobb. Definitely powerful prose and an overall story that is very creative and original.
  19. Author-Vic

    Author-Vic Dreamer

    I didn't see Mercedes Lackey on this list and would venture to say that reading her work would be an entertaining visit into fantasy.
  20. markn12

    markn12 New Member

    Check out Ross Lawhead's debut work The Realms Thereunder. For a first effort, it's quite good. As the son of Stephen Lawhead, perhaps he will be measured by his father's success. However, I would advocate reading him for his own merits. If you enjoy great plots, then you won't be disappointed. Here's a link to Amazon:

    The Realms Thereunder

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