Top 10 Best Epic/Fantasy Book Series of All Time

The Top Ten
1 Lord of the Rings/Middle Earth Books - J.R.R. Tolkien

Where to start with the Lord of the Rings? Such a landmark in literary history has not had such a profound effect on the world in modern history. Tolkien spent an entire adult life creating the mythical world of Middle Earth. It is this dedication to his work that led Tolkien's brainchild to ascend past mere Epic Fantasy. A timeless classic that continues to profoundly affect millions, if not billions, of lives even now.

The (re)birth of fantasy was almost solely down to Tolkien, and almost every author of such fiction can trace their influences directly to his work. A new world, several new languages, and thousands of pages of fictional history have captivated people since its inception. Any member of the RPG community has Tolkien to thank. The creators of D&D were inspired by the cartography of Tolkien in his books, which led to the creation of the most famous RPG of all time. This also means that every board game, card game, and video game inspired by D&D is, inevitably, inspired by Tolkien's work.

This work is among the most influential pieces of literature in the past millennium and will continue to bear fruit for the rest of this millennium.

2 Harry Potter Series - J.K. Rowling

I owe so much to Harry Potter. My life right now is built off of books, and what REALLY got me started on books is when I first read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone at seven years old. Without Harry Potter, more than half of my childhood would never exist. I adore LOTR, but for me, Harry Potter ties with it for first place.

Harry Potter is definitely #1 by far. I will never forget Harry Potter and everything these books have taught me. Especially about friendship, like what it means to stand by your friends, and bravery, and the decisions you have to make to benefit others.

Thank you, Hedwig, for inspiring me in many ways to be someone you go to for support, and for being a shoulder to cry on. I cried for hours when Hedwig died, but she, like Dobby, died in the perfect way.

Thank you, Luna Lovegood and Neville Longbottom, for showing me that a good friend isn't the most popular, but the most loyal and who will always be at your side. I think these two demonstrate what a friend is, and that it's okay to be different.

Thank you, Remus Lupin, for being a role model, and someone who I hope to be when I am older.

This list of characters could go on forever because all of them touched my heart. This series is without a doubt, the best read ever. It deserves to be #1.

Oops! I almost forgot! Thank you, J.K. Rowling, for completing my childhood.

3 A Song of Ice and Fire Series - George R.R. Martin

I think it's definitely equal to Lord of the Rings! The characters are amazing, and each one has a distinct personality that develops throughout the series. The story is completely unpredictable because any character can die at any time, even if they seem like the main character. You should always be on edge.

The way George R.R. Martin writes keeps you engrossed in the books, and you kind of lose track of what's going on around you. You're just in the book. It's an incredibly amazing story that becomes more and more interesting! It's one of those books you have to read! And I'm happy the TV series (Game of Thrones) is as enjoyable as the book, and the adaptation was not ruined!

4 Percy Jackson and The Olympians Series - Rick Riordan

It's written so well, it's incredibly funny, and you really see the characters develop over time. As a Greek mythology nerd, I'd recommend this to everyone.

Listen, Heroes of Olympus was good, but it didn't live up to the original. In HOO, they gave Percy's humor to Leo, his awkwardness to Frank, and everything else about him to Jason. HOO didn't have Grover, who is an amazing character.

PJO has great moments. It's a feel-good coming-of-age story about a boy who gets thrown into something he never wanted but learns to love it anyway. Percy Jackson is the best fictional character ever. Harry Potter is an extremely close second.

5 The Wheel of Time Series - Robert Jordan

My personal favorite. Amazing cultures, world building, characters, relations, everything. It's 1000 times better than Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, and the Hunger Games combined. They aren't even Epic Fantasy to begin with. And I am not going to get started on the Sword of Truth. Terry Goodkind plagiarized so much. Like, even the title of one of his books came from a location in Robert Jordan's book (Stone of Tear(s)). The only books in the present that deserve to be equal or maybe higher than the Wheel of Time are books by Brandon Sanderson, George R.R. Martin, and J.R.R. Tolkien.

6 The Chronicles of Narnia - C.S. Lewis

I've only read the first two so far, but they're incredibly written, and what really gets to me was that C. S. Lewis was a close friend of J. R. R. Tolkien.

This book is the best for teens and young adults. Though it might have hard words for kids, it's a fun fantasy book and deserves a better rating. It's hard to argue with Harry Potter, but JK Rowling makes the books really long, uses hard-to-say made-up words, and the sequence order and fantasy elements don't always make sense. They say they are going to get in trouble, but a teacher always saves them, and so on.

In Narnia, the books are shorter, and the order makes a lot more sense. We aren't left to decide if Harry Potter lives a life in magic or not. In Narnia, we see the life they live and are not left in an everlasting cliffhanger. I love this book! 5 stars!

7 Heroes of Olympus - Rick Riordan

Percabeth. One word you will be reciting over and over after you have read this series. Bob. One word you will cry over every time it is mentioned. I could go on all day, but that might waver your attention span.

This series is amazing, and I got so into it, I wrote a small, maybe just a little bit long, and awesome continuation. Leo being the main character, of course. (How could it be anybody else?!)

The best series ever! I don't know why people like the Percy Jackson series more...

8 The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins

I love this series so much. It's not real, of course, it's fiction, but it feels so real. Suzanne doesn't try to hide how vicious humans are and how deep trauma can cut. It's wonderful.

I don't even know why The Hunger Games is on here, as it's a futuristic sci-fi dystopian novel, but whatever because it's still awesome! The plot is intense. You never know where the story is going to go, and you never know what's going to happen aside from Katniss and Peeta winning the first Hunger Games. Everything, especially the deaths, are unexpected. Anything can happen in the Hunger Games, and it's unpredictable. It's really amazing and great for teens.

9 Shannara Series - Terry Brooks

These books are the best fantasy books ever! I have read all of the books, and they are just simply amazing, better than any other fantasy book! I first fell in love with the series when I picked up the first book. It was just simply amazing. I have not stopped reading them since.

These are the books that got me into epics. Not only did he create a whole world, but he created its future as well. To say the least, this is my favorite series.

These books are well-written and have a great story. I love these books. People say they are ripoffs of The Lord of the Rings, but I still think they are better.

10 The Dark Tower Series - Stephen King

The Dark Tower Series is one of the few book series, consisting of more than four books, that doesn't feel like it runs out of steam after the third book. The Harry Potter series was one of my favorites when I was in fifth grade, but it became a chore to read after The Half-Blood Prince. It felt like it had a lot of filler and too much character building the second time around. I understand the kids grew up, but their actions told me everything I needed to know.

The Dark Tower series never sputters, slows down, or loses touch with the reader. And there's no sappy tween romance drama or sparkling vampires! No cheap attention getters. Just a great sci-fi story that reaches beyond the typical standards of a great sci-fi story.

The Contenders
11 The Sword of Truth Series - Terry Goodkind

The Sword of Truth is so easy to read and dive into. Is it the most twisted plot or the most intricate political book? No. Is it full of grey characters that you never know who will die? Not really. Is it heart-stopping, mad gallop, hold-on-to-your-pants action? YES. Is it deep and meaningful and forces you to look at yourself and where you find your truth? Yes. Is it deeply romantic, frighteningly bloody, and wonderfully filled with anything and everything someone would want from an amazing series? ABSOLUTELY.

This series will make you cry, pump your fist in adulation, and chew your nails till you have none left. Start reading and buckle up because this book starts with a bang and doesn't really stop until the series is over.

12 Inheritance Cycle - Christopher Paolini

I love each and every series above this one, but people, read the list title! This is by far the most imaginative and multi-dimensional series of all time. Everything is described with intimate detail, all the way down to the very laws of magic and how it manages to interweave with the laws of physics as we know them. The experience of being with Eragon through his entire journey and watching him develop as both a person and a character, along with the bond between Eragon and Saphira, is unrivaled by any book or series that anyone could possibly name. The sheer multitude of facets to the story provide an experience like none other when you read these books. I literally couldn't put the books down. People, you have to vote for this!

13 Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel - Micheal Scott

This series brings historical and fictional characters to life, focusing the reader's attention on the characters' lives, personalities, and characteristics, along with just the storyline.

I'm so happy this is above Hunger Games. Less known it may be, but a truly remarkable series.

This is the best series I have read so far. He should make more like this.

14 The Way of Kings (Stormlight Archive, Book One) - Brandon Sanderson

It is the book that saved me from the "pop culture" trap. None of this teenage heartthrob and protagonist nonsense. A truly wonderful, expansive, enriching, and unrivaled experience. I can't say much else about what I've read holds a candle to the genius that is Brandon Sanderson.

Do keep in mind that there are many characters with many motivations. No one truly fills a role for the sake of the role. Every character is unique and will carve a special alcove in your heart.

The author just knows how to build the most fascinating worlds and fill them with the most diverse and painfully beautiful personalities. Anything by Brandon will have you begging for more.

I would ask you to kindly direct yourself to the nearest bookstore or library and pick up as many copies of as many books by this god among men as you can fit in your '02 Taurus. God knows once you clear out all the empty Red Bulls and paper sacks from Wendy's, you'll have plenty of room.

Happy reading,


15 Warriors Series - Erin Hunter

This is absolutely the best. It's not as advanced as Harry Potter or The Lord of the Rings, but honestly, I think it should be way higher up! I have read many of the other books on this list, but this one surpasses them all. You will only understand if you read it!

How is this not higher up? I mean, the plot gets boring after reading through Broken Code, but it's a great series that deserves more credit!

In my opinion, Warriors and Wings of Fire are better than Harry Potter. They should switch places. Warriors is about amazing cats and has so much suspense. There are a lot of books in the series. Warriors should be higher on the list. The cats are amazing, and everything about the books is amazing.

16 The Kane Chronicles - Rick Riordan

Should be higher on the list! This series got me into Egyptology, and it's so amazing! I love how well Rick Riordan combines modern day with the past, and fact with fiction. Pure genius.

Even though I hate Rick Riordan, this is a good series, like Magnus Chase.

17 The Pendragon Series - D. J. MacHale

I've read Harry Potter, the Lord of the Rings, The Hunger Games, started the Eragon series, the Dark Tower series, and many others. I can, without question, say this will be my favorite book series of all time!

This is the best book of all time! I have read the entire series three times and have loved it even more every time. This book has given me tons of confidence because of all that Bobby had gone through.

Amazing book. This series belongs higher in the list. "That is the way it was meant to be." There's a double meaning in that last sentence, if you read the books, you would know what I mean.

18 Rift War Series - Raymond E. Feist

Still one of my favorite series, right up there with Lord of the Rings. Raymond Feist is a master author who brings his land and people to life.

19 Wings of Fire - Tui T. Sutherland

How is this not ranked higher? It has so much content on YouTube and is only ten years old! The books are released quickly and they have more relevance to our real world than those outside the fandom allow themselves to believe. It touches on many genres and personalities.

There are villains with complex objectives doing various things. For example, Queen Coral treats her daughters like gold, yet if one of her sons died, she probably wouldn't even know or care, similar to Queen Magnificent and her subjects in general. Darkstalker killing his father was brutal, along with the lasting injuries he caused. There is bound to be a Wings of Fire plot for everyone, a relatable hero, and a beautiful message for you, the reader.

20 Broken Empire Trilogy - Mark Lawrence

This series is one of my favorites. I have never read a fantasy with an anti-hero before. I found it extremely dark but found myself in love with Jorg. The characterization was good. I really felt for him.

21 Ranger's Apprentice - John Flanagan

Pure genius. I love this series. There are so many action scenes, and the description is amazing. I've read the series twice and I can't wait to read the next and last book of the series, The Royal Ranger.

These books are impossible to put down. They are so good. I read the series in two months, and there are at least ten books. They are humorous, action-packed, and also addicting!

The books are individually a bit short, but the series is great all the same. I love how it really makes you want to be a ranger and the effort Flanagan puts into building his world.

22 The Mortal Instruments - Cassandra Clare

I'm including her other series in the Shadowverse here too, because there isn't space on the list.

I love how the characters are relatable and the plot is amazing. The romance is very well done, and the movie doesn't do it justice.

Also, I really liked the TV show even though it wasn't always like the books. The alternate ending and Jonathan Morgenstern's portrayal was really good.


Clare just took urban fantasy to a whole new level. Great characters, great character development, dialogue, plot, and everything. I love the concept and execution. Cheers to her!

23 Magic Tree House - Mary Pope Osborne

Aww, good ol' Magic Tree House. I loved those books as a kid. I don't really read them anymore, but I have lots of fond memories of them.

Maybe not the best series ever, but still educational with interesting plotlines.

24 Peter and the Starcatchers - Ridley Pearson and Dave Barry

One of the best I have ever read! Peter and the Starcatchers has an amazing twisting plot with a change of pace every few books. This amazing series deserves more readers than it gets.

25 Mistborn Series - Brandon Sanderson

A bleak world where ash falls from the skies, the world is black and soot-covered, nothing is green, but red, brown, and black. A dirty city ruled by a powerful villain. Innovative magic that actually makes sense with its powers and drawbacks, political intrigue, a sensible plot, endearing leads, inner conflicts of the point-of-view characters. Each book builds up to a powerful, satisfying climax. This, along with Stormlight Archive, is a series every fantasy reader should read.

Between this and Name of the Wind, everything else is far behind.

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