Ten Best Fantasy Series of All Time

I recently read a list of best fantasy series and I was surprised that they left out some of the best fantasy ever written.

I an not trying to say the books on the other list are bad, but they did leave out most of my favorites. I can only conclude that the blogger has not read all that much. We only agree on one series.

Here’s my alternate list.

10) The Chronicles of Amber by Roger Zelazny
Very good series of Fantasy novels featuring rich settings, very real characters and (almost) believable world building.

9) The Fairy Books, by Andrew Lang
Like the Arthur romances, fairy tales are one of the main sources for modern fantasy. Lang has collected a wonderful assortment in his books.

8 ) The Once and Future King, by T. H. White
The Arthurian cycle is the basis for what we call fantasy, and T. H. White’s version is richly done with three dimensional characters and a grand treatment.

7) Biography of Manuel by James Branch Cabell
Lushly written, this series, the descendants of Cabell’s Jurgen fantasy farce, are subtle and sometimes difficult, but well worth reading. The plots, characters and settings are distinctly Fantasy. I am a fan of Cabell’s rich musical style of writing.

6) Witch World Series by Andre Norton
Much of modern fantasy has been influenced by Norton’s seminal Witch World books. The first three or four books are wonderful, but Norton became a brand name late in her life and much of what appeared under her name she did not actually write, so avoid the later books.

5) The Martian Novels, By Edgar Rice Burroughs
Better than Burroughs’ Tarzan novels, the Barsoom stories are pure fantasy, in spite of taking place on another planet.

4) Conan, By Robert E. Howard
Somewhat dated, but some of the best action adventure stories ever written, full of magic, gods, and blood.

3) Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, Fritz Leiber
These stories have wit and adventure. I read and then reread them.

2) The Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis
Written for children, but loved by adults. Aside from a little too much Christian based allegory, some of the best fantasy stories ever written. Voyage of the Dawn Treader is one of my favorite books of all time.

1) The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien.
Best plot, best characters, best writing – best bar none.

 

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I started reading Science Fiction in the 1950s. I started Writing SF in the 1960s. Then, I had a life. Now I am retired, raising chickens and keeping bees. I am still an avid reader and I have sold about 70 stories in the last 20 years.
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