Fantastic Worlds and Where to Find Them - Fantasy

Fantasy is a genre of literature that features magical and supernatural elements that do not exist in the real world. Although some writers juxtapose a real-world setting with fantastical elements, many create entirely imaginary universes with their own physical laws and logic and populations of imaginary races and creatures. Speculative in nature, fantasy is not tied to reality or scientific fact.

Scottish author George MacDonald, whose novel Phantastes (1858) features a young man drawn into a dream world where he has a series of adventures, is credited with writing the first plainly fictitious fantasy for adults. Englishman William Morris, who’s known for medieval fantasy and specifically his novel The Well at the World’s End (1896), subsequently broke ground in the genre by completely inventing a fantasy world that existed beyond the known world.

Building upon the legacies of MacDonald and Morris, J. R. R. Tolkien penned the first high fantasy, The Lord of the Rings (1954-1955). Both creatively and commercially successful, the epic ushered the genre into the mainstream and influenced countless writers, making Tolkien the undisputed father of modern fantasy.

The Cartographers

by Peng Shepherd

Confessions Of An Ugly Stepsister

by Gregory Maguire

A Discovery Of Witches

by Deborah Harkness

Eleven Twenty-two Sixty-three

by Stephen King

The Fellowship Of The Ring

by J. R. R. Tolkien

A Game Of Thrones

by George R. R. Martin

The Hobbit

by J. R. R. Tolkien

House Of Earth And Blood

by Sarah J. Maas

The Hum and the Shiver

by Alex Bledsoe

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

by N. K. Jemisin

Interview With The Vampire

by Anne Rice

Jonathan Strange And Mr Norrell

by Susanna Clarke

The Lies Of Locke Lamora

by Scott Lynch

Lost Lake

by Sarah Addison Allen

The Mists Of Avalon

by Marion Zimmer Bradley

The Name of the Wind

by Patrick Rothfuss

The Night Circus

by Erin Morgenstern

The Once And Future King

by T. H. White

The Once And Future Witches

by Alix Harrow

Ordinary Monsters

by J. M. Miro

The Queen of the Tearling

by Erika Johansen

The Return Of The King

by J. R. R. Tolkien

The Two Towers

by J. R. R. Tolkien

The Water Dancer

by Ta-nehisi Coates