Fantasy often comes across as a tough genre for those who have just started reading and even for seasoned bookworms. However, the feeling of submerging oneself in a completely new world is mind-blowing and is something that fantasy novels do well. The highly detailed world building and character driven stories are the hallmarks of this genre. Here is my top five picks of fantasy series to get you started on this journey:
- Harry Potter Series by J.K Rowling
Honestly, this is a no brainer. Harry Potter is a fantasy novel series written by J.K Rowling, chronicling the life of protagonist Harry and his friends as they face epic adventures in their seven years of schooling at Hogwarts School for Witch Craft and wizardry. Part of the epic fantasy sub-genre, this series has reached the heights of critical and mass acclaim and is often dubbed as a modern classic. As a fan of this series, I could not recommend this series more. It has the magnificent effect of taking over imagination and transporting you to the scenic Scotland castle and makes you want to be a part of the Golden Trio’s shenanigans. Rowling, with her elegant and detailed prose builds a world which draws the audience in and makes them genuinely care for the characters and the story. Also, reading and watching the movies give you a direct in to the biggest fandom in the world (a topic which calls for a blog post of its own).
- The Chronicles of Narnia by Lewis Carroll:
I bet most of you must have watched the movies at least once in your life, either at home or in school. Set in WW II, it revolves around the Pevensie siblings and their unique adventures in Narnia. The Chronicles of Narnia have transcended the fantasy genre to become part of the canon of classic literature. This seven part series is a masterpiece. C.S Lewis manages to create the perfect plot where magic meets reality. It is a great series for those who wish to indulge themselves in some good ol’ nostalgia.
- The Shiva Trilogy by Amish Tripathi:
This series is extremely popular in India for the most obvious reasons. This fantasy series is for those who have always used the excuse of fantasy novels being to obscure and ‘out here’. Amish Tripathi has cleverly used characters and stories from Indian mythology to create a highly entertaining plot. While the writing style leads much to be desired, it is perfect for those who are just starting to read fantasy.
- The Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin:
If you thought that the T.V series was out of this world, wait till you read the books that started it all. Starting in 1997, this series has a wide and dedicated fan base and is known for its detailed world building. Martin creates a highly subversive experience through his writing Fans of this show should definitely invest their time in reading the books to gain a greater understanding of the Game of Thrones universe and the differences between the book and the TV world.
- Lord of the Rings Series by J.R.R Tolkien:
Fantasy does not get better than this. Tolkien’s ground breaking series, Lord of the Rings is a literary and movie classic. It is one of the best books to be written and has laid the foundation for modern day fantasy novels.
The basic plot of the story follows Frodo Baggins and his companion Sam, as they go on an epic journey to protect the Ring. I really can’t say more than this without making this super spoilery. But I urge you all to read this masterpiece, or at least watch the original movies based on the books.
Other notable series include Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan, Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer etc. You really should go to goodreads.com to explore this genre more.