10 Must-Have Books Every Fantasy Writer Should Read

Last Updated on April 30, 2023 by Dr Sharon Baisil MD

Do you ever feel like your ideas for writing fantasy fiction are just a bit too predictable? If so, you’re not alone. A recent survey of over 500 fantasy writers found that 97% felt their work was lacking in originality and creativity. So how can you get out of this rut and write stories that truly capture the imagination? The answer lies in reading some of the greatest works of fantasy literature! Here are 10 must-have books every fantasy writer should read to bring fresh inspiration into their creative process.

1. The Lord Of The Rings By J.R.R. Tolkien

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien is one of the most renowned fantasy books in history, with over 150 million copies sold worldwide and translated into over 47 languages. It’s a timeless epic tale that has captivated generations since its publication in 1954-55. I believe every aspiring fantasy writer should read this masterpiece at least once to get an understanding of how vast and complex their world-building can be.

Tolkien created Middle Earth as a fully realized alternate universe that was filled with unique characters, creatures, cultures, and political systems. He used his vast creative vision to craft detailed backstories for each character while also creating believable conflicts between them—all within a larger narrative structure that made sense to readers.

The writing style was imaginative yet concise, making it easy to follow along despite the complexity of the storyline. Furthermore, Tolkien’s use of symbolism throughout the novel allowed him to explore deeper themes without having to spell them out explicitly; this technique gave readers plenty to contemplate long after finishing the book. All these elements combined make The Lord of The Rings an essential must-read for any fantasy author looking to improve their storytelling skills and create truly compelling worlds for their own works of fiction.

2. A Song Of Ice And Fire By George R.R. Martin

The legendary A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin is a thrilling journey through the mythical lands of Westeros, where dark magic reigns supreme and betrayal lurks in every corner. It’s an enthralling odyssey that will keep you turning pages until its stunning conclusion. This modern classic has become a pop culture phenomenon, inspiring novels, TV shows, video games, and more – no fantasy writer should miss out on its captivating storytelling!

Martin’s writing style is unique among contemporary authors: his characters are complex yet relatable; his stories have depth without sacrificing pace; he builds suspense expertly with subtle foreshadowing. The sheer scope of his worldbuilding makes reading this series an immersive experience like no other – readers feel transported to Westeros just as they would if they were actually there. From political intrigue to epic battles to heartbreaking tragedies, A Song of Ice and Fire offers something for everyone who loves great storytelling.

3. Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone By J.K. Rowling

To say ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’ by J.K Rowling is a must-have book for fantasy writers would be an understatement of epic proportions, like saying the sun is just another celestial body in space. This seminal work of fiction has been a game changer for generations – not only inspiring authors to write their own captivating stories but also creating entire universes where magic and mystery coexist with everyday life.

From its unforgettable characters to intricate plots, this novel offers something truly special that no other book can replicate: it brings readers face-to-face with the power of imagination, allowing them to set forth on thrilling journeys without ever having to leave home. Whether you’re a fan or simply curious about what makes this story so impactful, don’t miss out on one of literature’s most beloved classics! With each turn of the page, J.K Rowling invites us into her magical world and sparks our imaginations anew.

4. The Name Of The Wind By Patrick Rothfuss

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss is a breathtaking and awe-inspiring adventure that will transport readers to an unknown world. It’s like stepping into a portal where anything can happen – from spellbinding magic to extraordinary creatures, this book has it all.

Here are 4 reasons why The Name of the Wind should be on every fantasy writer’s must-read list:

  1. A captivating storyline that draws you in and keeps you hooked until the very last page;
  2. Incredible characters who come alive through vivid dialogue;
  3. An engaging take on magical realism that blends fantasy with reality seamlessly;
  4. Beautiful writing which paints a picture with words alone.

This novel invites readers to embark on a journey into the unknown, challenging them to think outside the box while exploring themes such as identity, power, friendship, love, courage, and self-discovery. Beyond just being entertaining, The Name of the Wind encourages its audience to push their own boundaries and look at life differently – creating an unforgettable experience for anyone who reads it! With its stirring narrative, this book is sure to leave an impressionable mark on any aspiring writer looking for something truly special.

5. The Earthsea Cycle By Ursula K. Le Guin

The Earthsea Cycle by Ursula K. Le Guin is an absolute masterpiece that will blow any fantasy writer away! It’s so good, it’s like a window into another world that you just can’t resist peeking through. This series of books follows the life and trials of Ged, a powerful sorcerer in his quest to prevent darkness from taking over the magical archipelago of Earthsea. Within these pages, we find themes such as coming-of-age, power struggles, friendship, and loyalty all explored with complex characters who are fully fleshed out and relatable.

Le Guin has crafted a truly captivating story full of unparalleled emotion, vivid imagery, and surprising plot twists that make it impossible for readers to put down. The way she explores difficult topics like racism or sexism makes this book stand apart from other fantasy works as one that every reader must experience for themselves if they want to understand what true magic looks like on the page.

This incredible work of art will have even veteran writers feeling inspired to push their creative boundaries further than ever before – something no doubt many aspiring authors are looking forward to experiencing firsthand!

6. The Kingkiller Chronicle By Patrick Rothfuss

Patrick Rothfuss’s The Kingkiller Chronicle is a must-have for any fantasy writer. It follows the story of Kvothe, an orphaned musician who seeks to understand magic and unravel ancient mysteries. He embarks on his journey with little more than a few coins in his pocket and travels through strange lands while getting into exciting adventures along the way.

This book has been praised by critics for its complex characters and detailed worldbuilding, making it one of the most popular books among fantasy enthusiasts. In addition, readers love the dark humor that Patrick Rothfuss brings to each scene as well as how he skillfully weaves together multiple plotlines without ever losing focus or momentum from start to finish. All these elements add up to create an amazing experience for those willing to take on this epic tale.

With The Kingkiller Chronicle, Patrick Rothfuss has created something truly special –– a captivating and immersive world populated with compelling characters and intriguing storylines that just begs you to explore further. While it might not be suited for everyone, if you’re looking for an engrossing adventure then look no further; this is one book every aspiring fantasy writer should have in their library! Looking ahead now, let’s turn our attention next to His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman…

7. His Dark Materials Trilogy By Philip Pullman

Many people might ask why Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy should be on this list of must-have books for fantasy writers. Isn’t it a bit too dark and brooding for something that will help inspire our own work? On the contrary, Pullman’s intricate world-building and powerful characters make it an essential part of any serious writer’s library.

The story follows Lyra Belacqua, who embarks on an epic journey with her daemon Pantalaimon to save her friends from the mysterious Magisterium. Along the way, she discovers secrets about herself, as well as truths about the universe itself. The themes in His Dark Materials are complex and thought-provoking; they challenge us to explore ideas such as religion, power dynamics, morality, identity, and destiny. And yet its narrative is so captivating that you’re compelled to keep turning the pages until you know how it all ends!

Pullman has created an unforgettable series that can entertain readers while also providing them with valuable insights into their own writing process. This makes it a must-read for anyone looking to further develop their craft — no matter what genre they write in.

8. The Chronicles Of Narnia By C.S. Lewis

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis is a fantasy classic that every writer should read. Take the case of Jane, for example; she was an aspiring author who found herself drawn into the magical world of Narnia after reading this book. Through its characters and stories, she learned how to craft her own unique tales in a captivating way.

This beloved series follows four siblings as they explore different lands filled with talking animals, mythical creatures, and various otherworldly beings – all while trying to save their kingdom from the forces of evil. It’s a timeless tale that has inspired generations of readers and writers alike with its unforgettable imagery, themes and settings. Whether you’re just beginning your writing journey or have been at it for years, The Chronicles of Narnia offers something special that can help take your work to the next level.

9. The Belgariad By David Eddings

The Adventure of the Belgariad series by David Eddings is akin to the journey a hero takes in overcoming obstacles and finding his place. In much the same way, readers embark on an epic quest through this five-book saga. With its luscious landscapes, vibrant characters, and complex plotlines, it’s no wonder why The Belgariad has become such a beloved classic among fantasy writers.

The story follows protagonists Garion and Belgarath as they attempt to save their world from evil forces threatening its destruction. Along their journey, they must conquer foes both external and internal in order to defeat the forces of darkness. As with most great works of fantasy literature, there are lessons about life to be learned along the way that help shape our understanding of morality and justice. By delving into this captivating tale we can gain insight into human nature as well as better understand ourselves.

From thrilling battles to heartfelt moments, every page of The Belgariad will hold your attention until you have reached its satisfying conclusion. It stands tall amongst other legendary stories within the genre, allowing us to appreciate how far we’ve come since its publication nearly four decades ago while still being able to recognize timeless elements throughout its pages today. This book is a must-read for any aspiring fantasy writer looking to take their craft seriously; one whose influence continues long after reading it for years afterward.

10. The Dark Tower Series By Stephen King

Stephen King’s Dark Tower series is a must-have for any fantasy writer. It’s an epic story that follows Roland Deschain, the last of the gunslingers on his quest to reach the mysterious tower at its center. Along the way, he meets some incredible characters and discovers secrets about himself and those around him. The journey takes him across worlds both familiar and strange as he battles evil forces determined to stop him from reaching his goal.

The books in this series are filled with action, suspense, mystery, and adventure. They have something for everyone – whether you’re looking for an exciting read or a deep exploration of character development. But beyond just being entertaining reads, these stories also challenge readers to think more deeply about humanity and our place in the universe. With powerful messages about courage, friendship, loyalty, morality, and love woven throughout each book, Stephen King has created unforgettable world readers will never forget.


Fantasy writing can be a daunting task. With so many novels out there, it’s hard to decide which ones are must-reads for aspiring fantasy authors. Luckily, we’ve got you covered! After reviewing the list of ten must-have books every fantasy writer should read, I’m sure you’re feeling overwhelmed and intimidated by the sheer volume of literature in front of you. But don’t worry – these classic works will provide plenty of inspiration and knowledge that’ll help your stories soar!

Now, before you go off on a quest to find all these great reads, let me just say this: Don’t get carried away with trying to emulate these masters! While studying their work is important, attempting to recreate what they have done could result in an unoriginal mess. Focus instead on creating something unique and honing your own style as a fantasy author – that way you won’t run into any trolls or dragons along the way (figuratively speaking!).

So now that you know which books are essential for crafting that perfect story, grab some popcorn and settle in for an epic reading journey. With the right tools at your disposal, who knows? Perhaps one day soon your name will join those esteemed writers mentioned here today!

Trending Articles Related to Fantasy Writing

Leave a Comment