15 best fantasy books to escape this summer

1. A party supporter waves the Chinese flag under hundreds of flags of Hong Kong and China on a Hong Kong street ahead of the anniversary celebrations.
If you're even a little like us, fantasy books like Harry Potter and Twilight have been the gateway to a lifetime of reading. We fell in love with magical creatures and worlds that we had never seen, other than those that we knew existed between the pages of the book. Fantasy remains the perfect escape from our world to a world filled with witches, mermaids, and dragons.

Great science fiction novels rely on expert world builders, imaginary creatures, and (of course) magic. Our personal favorites live in our world, where ordinary people live their lives, unaware of the arcane magic around them. Other readers love high fantasy, where the world we find ourselves in is a world we don't recognize, filled with our own rules that we discover as we read.

Whether you're interested in fairy tales, urban fantasy, drama, or dark romance, we hope you find a new favorite from our recommendations.

15 PHOTOS

15 best fantasy books to escape this summer

1. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien.

An introduction to the mystical world of The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit is one of the most adorable fantasy adventure stories in history. It is a timeless tale of Bilbo Baggins' meeting with Gandalf when they set out to raid the treasures guarded by a dragon - undeniably a classic fantasy novel that any fantasy lover must-read.

15 best fantasy books to escape this summer

2. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Clive Staples Lewis.

Although chronologically this is the second book, it was the first Chronicle of Narnia book to be published and therefore should be read first. It tells the story of three brothers and sisters who enter the dressing room and find themselves in the magical land of Narnia, enchanted by the evil White Witch. They team up with the lion and join the battle to save Narnia. CS Lewis wrote, “Someday you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again,” and this resonates with many readers who take this book and keep it close to their hearts forever.

15 best fantasy books to escape this summer

3. Game of Thrones by George RR Martin.

The Game of Thrones series has been hailed as an undisputed classic even though it was only published in 2005. The entire series is iconic. These are families involved in an endless war over who rules the seven kingdoms. In these books, the good guys don't always win. There are very complex characters, lots of storylines, and all kinds of conflicts imaginable.

15 best fantasy books to escape this summer

4. Kingdom of Thorns and Roses, by Sarah J. Maas.

In this hugely popular fantasy, Feira is sent to a magical kingdom for killing a fairy, where she and the secrets of her captor are closely guarded. This fantasy is known for its cautious pace, beautiful romance, and nightmarish fantasy creatures. The latest book has just been released, so now you can read voraciously right to the end.

15 best fantasy books to escape this summer

5. Enchanted Ella, Gail Carson Levine.

It doesn't matter if you've watched a hilarious Anne Hathaway movie or not, this is one of those fantasy movies you need. This is the story of Ella, fascinated in infancy by the "gift" of obedience. This quickly turns into a curse as Ella cannot help but do what she is told, no matter who orders her or how stupid (or dangerous) the order may be. When Ella discovers that she might be in danger, she sets out to lift the curse and finds herself on an adventure with ogres, elves, and even a classic pumpkin carriage. We think this book is as funny as the movie.

15 best fantasy books to escape this summer

6. The Backyard, Neil Gaiman.

Back Door is a book by Neil Gaiman that simply cannot be missed. On the streets of London, Richard Mayhew stops to help a bleeding girl and ends up in the Backwoods - a dark version of London, where monsters hide in the shadows. When you’re done, you’ll ask yourself why you don’t read more of his novels.

15 best fantasy books to escape this summer

7. Wizard of Earthsea Ursula K. Le Guin.

Ged has become the most powerful sorcerer on Earthsea, yet he must face the consequences of the power-hungry actions of his younger self. This book (and the entire six-book series) continues to captivate fantasy readers 50 years after its first publication. Through graceful writing and impeccable character development, Le Guin challenges us to know and accept our true selves.

15 best fantasy books to escape this summer

8. Dark Shade of Magic, Victoria Schwab.

Kell is a smuggler and one of the last magicians to travel between parallel Londones: red, white, gray, and (long ago) black. After being robbed and then rescued by Delilah Bard, the two set off on an adventure to save themselves and the worlds they travel through. Schwab is the master-builder of the world and you are sure to travel with this couple.

15 best fantasy books to escape this summer

9. Six of Crows, Lee Bardugo.

Kaz is a professional criminal who has committed a tempting robbery that he cannot refuse, but he cannot handle alone. It's a brilliant, rough, and slightly confusing story. With six protagonists, Six of Crows is a fast-paced heist, a story that continually surprises as you never fully know any character's intentions due to their third-person perspective.

15 best fantasy books to escape this summer

10. The last unicorn of Peter S. Beagle.

This is a beautiful fairy tale with poems and songs on the pages. In this book, a unicorn who lives alone in a forest protected from death decides to find out what happened to the others. With the help of a magician and an old maid, the unicorn embarks on a journey of love and destiny, facing an evil king seeking to rid the world of the last unicorn. The lessons of life woven into this book are bittersweet, but at the same time real and honest.

15 best fantasy books to escape this summer

11. Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan.

Percy has no idea that he is a demigod, the son of Poseidon, but he has problems in school, he cannot concentrate or control his character. Percy is convinced that his teacher tried to kill him, and when his mom finds out about it, she knows she needs to tell him the truth about where he came from. He goes to a summer camp for the demigods and teams up with two friends to get to the Underworld to prevent a war between the gods. Percy is a great hero and is so easy to root for as he progresses along his path.

15 best fantasy books to escape this summer

12. Children of the blood and bones of Tomi Adeyemi.

After the ruthless king leaves the world without magic and her mother dies, Zeli discovers that she has only one chance to save her people. On a perilous journey to restore magic to earth before it is lost forever, Zela's greatest danger maybe herself. Readers agree that the best parts of this book are the characters who all embark on a transformative journey to fight for peace.

15 best fantasy books to escape this summer

13. Ink heart of Cornelia Funke.

After the ruthless king leaves the world without magic and her mother dies, Zeli discovers that she has only one chance to save her people. On a perilous journey to restore magic to earth before it is lost forever, Zela's greatest danger maybe herself. Readers agree that the best parts of this book are the characters who all embark on a transformative journey to fight for peace.

15 best fantasy books to escape this summer

14. Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer.

Very entertaining, Artemis Fowle is full of magic and fairies that you have never seen before. Artemis is only twelve, but he is a millionaire and a criminal genius. He discovers an underground world of high-tech and well-armed fairies, one of whom he kidnaps to keep for ransom, fueling a dangerous war he never expected.

15 best fantasy books to escape this summer

15. The rules of magic by Alice Hoffman.

Frannie, Bridget, and Vincent grow up in the 1950s realizing that they are different but kept under strict parental rules to keep them safe and away from magic. When they visit their aunt Isabelle in Massachusetts, where their last name has a great history, the Owens siblings learn to understand their magical sides.

Keywords: Books | Film movie | Cinema | Cinematography | Cartoon | Fiction novels | Novel | World | Famous | Popular | Book readers | Fantasy

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