The 100 Most Popular Fantasy Books on Goodreads

Posted by Sharon on July 13, 2020


Dragons, demons, kings, queens, and the occasional farm boy (with a special destiny, of course): Fantasy literature has it all! To celebrate our favorite fictional worlds and characters, we went on a quest for the 100 most popular fantasies of all time on Goodreads, as determined by your fellow members.

Of course, as fantasy readers know, the journey itself matters just as much as the destination. To create our list, we first sought out the most reviewed books on our site. Additionally, each title needed at least a 3.5-star rating to join our fellowship of titles. And, since fantasy is known for its epic sagas, in the case of multiple titles from the same series we chose the one with the most reviews.

Here are the top fantasy books on Goodreads, listed from 1 to 100.

How many have you read? Tell us in the comments below, and don’t forget to add titles that catch your eye to your Want to Read shelf!


#1

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#2

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#3

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#4

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#5

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#6

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#7

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#8

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#9

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#10

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#11

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#12

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#13

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#14

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#15

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#16

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#17

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#18

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#19

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#20

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#21

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#22

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#23

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#24

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#25

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#26

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#27

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#28

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#29

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#30

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#31

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#32

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#33

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#34

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#35

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#36

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#37

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#38

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#39

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#40

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#41

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#42

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#43

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#44

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#45

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#46

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#47

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#48

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#49

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#50

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#51

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#52

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#53

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#54

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#55

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#56

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#57

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#58

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#59

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#60

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#61

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#62

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#63

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#64

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#65

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#66

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#67

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#68

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#69

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#70

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#71

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#72

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#73

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#74

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#75

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#76

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#77

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#78

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#79

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#80

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#81

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#82

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#83

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#84

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#85

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#86

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#87

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#88

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#89

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#90

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#91

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#92

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#93

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#94

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#95

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#96

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#97

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#98

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#99

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#100

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How many of these books have you read? What’s your favorite fantasy novel of all time? Let’s talk books in the comments!
 

Comments Showing 1-50 of 289 (289 new)


message 1: by Anna (new)

Anna I'm surprised by how many of these I haven't read, compared to the sci-fi list! I usually say I prefer fantasy, but apparently, the numbers say otherwise? :)
I marked a bunch for my TBR, though.


message 2: by Boradicus (new)

Boradicus I'm surprised that one of Sabaa Tahir's isn't on this list.


message 3: by Ashley (new)

Ashley Only read 2 of them. Got and Practical Magic but so many more are on my tbr.


message 4: by Bellaconboy (new)

Bellaconboy Favourite fantasy of all time? You expect me to CHOSE?????? I don’t think I Even possess such ability.......But if my life depended on ONE single answer I would probably choose; “A darker shade of magic” by V.E Schwab.


message 5: by Dikshita (new)

Dikshita Where is Harry Potter?


message 6: by Abigail (new)

Abigail  Mulroe I added so many of these to my TBR list!

There's a couple on here that I've forgotten about that I had read (and will probably go reread now!)


message 7: by Metius (new)

Metius Wolfborn I fail to see why Harry Potter or Throne of Glass aren't on the list. Both are very popular, fantasy and have above 3.5 avg rating.
Are there any other requirements the book has to meet that you forgot to mention above?


message 8: by Alexandre (new)

Alexandre Wow lots of great titles on this list , added many to my read list.


message 9: by Jain (new)

Jain Dikshita wrote: "Where is Harry Potter?"

Seriously, this fantasy list is bizarre. The earlier SF list was annoying in that it excluded children's and YA books without actually saying that it was excluding children's and YA books.

But this list obviously doesn't have the same restriction--see the presence of The Hobbit; The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; A Wrinkle in Time; A Wizard of Earthsea; Howl's Moving Castle; and The Neverending Story--while still excluding some hugely popular children's and YA fantasy.

A partial list of books that, according to the stated criteria, should've appeared on this list: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, The Lightning Thief, Eragon, The Golden Compass, City of Bones, Twilight, Six of Crows, Red Queen, Throne of Glass, Graceling, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, The Cruel Prince, and Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.

Goodreads, if you didn't want your 100 Most Popular Fantasy Books list to be 70% children's and YA (which is an understandable desire), then why not just make two lists, one for adult fantasy and one for juvenile fantasy? Rather than making an adult fantasy list with a random smattering of juvenile fantasy, with no obvious rationale determining why certain juvenile works were included over others.


message 10: by Veronica (new)

Veronica This list is a joke. The Ten Thousand Doors Of January was rated by 30k people and it's on here, but you didn't include titles like Harry Potter (7M) or ACOTAR (500k) or Throne of Glass (700k) ....... just LOL


message 11: by Randy (last edited Jul 13, 2020 03:22AM) (new)

Randy Deryni Rising by Katherine Kurtz
Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings
Swords and Deviltry by Fritz Leiber

First books in a few other series that would seem to meet the criteria mentioned.


message 12: by Lulu (new)

Lulu this must exclude children’s and YA, but why not say that if it does??


message 13: by Andrea (new)

Andrea I've read 6 out of 100. I really need to up my game.


message 14: by Literaturtee (new)

Literaturtee Jain wrote: "Dikshita wrote: "Where is Harry Potter?"

Seriously, this fantasy list is bizarre. The earlier SF list was annoying in that it excluded children's and YA books without actually saying that it was e..."


You are so right, this does appear to be a little arbitrary. If Narnia can be on the list, Harry Potter should be there too.


A_ bookbound _soul I really hope Dart Dart by Dale Renton makes its way to this list someday...


A_ bookbound _soul Also, where is Harry Potter, The Lightening Thief and Six of Crows?!!!


message 17: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Knudsen Anna wrote: "I'm surprised by how many of these I haven't read, compared to the sci-fi list! I usually say I prefer fantasy, but apparently, the numbers say otherwise? :)
I marked a bunch for my TBR, though."


I'm honestly surprised by how many I HAVE read. I usually rant about how much I hate fantasy, yet here we are.


message 18: by Jain (last edited Jul 13, 2020 04:49AM) (new)

Jain Randy wrote: "Deryni Rising by Katherine Kurtz
Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings
Swords and Deviltry by Fritz Leiber

First books in a few other series that would seem to meet the criteria mentioned."


Deryni Rising and Swords and Deviltry don't have enough GR ratings/reviews to make the top 100. (Compare them to The Curse of Chalion at the bottom of the list, currently at 31,499 ratings and 2,221 reviews.)

You're right that Pawn of Prophecy--at 91,241 ratings and 2,963 reviews--should be on the list, though.


message 19: by Niyati (new)

Niyati Jain wrote: "Dikshita wrote: "Where is Harry Potter?"

Seriously, this fantasy list is bizarre. The earlier SF list was annoying in that it excluded children's and YA books without actually saying that it was e..."


Agreed! I am so tired of the usual YA Fantasy vs Adult Fantasy battles. Either makes separate lists for both of them, or give YA Fantasy the place it deserves in Fantasy book lists.
Many are scared to admit it, but fantasy as a genre has been repopularized because of YA fantasy and books by Cassandra Clare, Sarah J. Maas. While one can have an opinion that these are not the pinnacle of writing, their impact on the genre should not be ignored.


message 20: by Aleesya (new)

Aleesya Boradicus wrote: "I'm surprised that one of Sabaa Tahir's isn't on this list."

EXACTLYYY


message 21: by Cody (new)

Cody Love these lists! Makes it easy to add a bunch of good books to my TBR quickly.

Thank you!


message 22: by Charles (last edited Jul 13, 2020 06:11AM) (new)

Charles 45


message 23: by Natasa (new)

Natasa 15 (+2 dnfs)/100


message 24: by Julia (last edited Jul 13, 2020 06:40AM) (new)

Julia Niyati wrote: "I am so tired of the usual YA Fantasy vs Adult Fantasy battles."

Yes, I am too. YA Fantasy and Adult Fantasy should be in the same list because pretty much anyone of all ages (not babys) can read YA Fantasy.


message 25: by Anty (last edited Jul 13, 2020 07:15AM) (new)

Anty Notosapoetro How about Celine Jeanjean’s The Viper and The Urchin series? They are great stories, fantasy with up to date world’s problems.


message 26: by Jim (new)

Jim Huh. Not the books I expected at all.
I enjoy the flabbergasted comments from GR members more than any list GR ever compiles. Do readers really care that much if a list leaves out a book, your favorite book, or doesn't include Neil Gaiman, always?!? Are these the same people that rant about GR being "owned by Amazon" and therefore spurious in the book world? Don't like the list? Try Listopia, where you can make you own list(s). I find it a great way to collect book types (genres, favorites, female authors, social justice themes, etc.) and send them to GR friends/followers to add to or vote on or to pass along to others. Or just wait until tomorrow, or next week, when GR will send out another list for you to embrace or flagellate, whichever works.


message 27: by Holly (new)

Holly Julia wrote: "Niyati wrote: "I am so tired of the usual YA Fantasy vs Adult Fantasy battles."

Yes, I am too. YA Fantasy and Adult Fantasy should be in the same list because pretty much anyone of all ages (not ..."


There are many of us adults who prefer adult literature. I agree that adult titles should be separate from YA titles for that reason.


message 28: by Christopher (new)

Christopher York 13 of this list.


message 29: by Avedon (new)

Avedon Arcadio Added a few new titles to my list!


message 30: by Michaela M Kelly (new)

Michaela M Kelly Any thing by Kurtz


message 31: by John (new)

John Burns Only 9, although I don't share GR users penchant for contemporary literature.


Kaitlin Marie-Brown Salter Jain wrote: "Dikshita wrote: "Where is Harry Potter?"

Seriously, this fantasy list is bizarre. The earlier SF list was annoying in that it excluded children's and YA books without actually saying that it was e..."

I think they made a mistake on this list- The ones you have listed should be on here. The algarythim or whatever they used only collected things listed as "adult fantasy". They left out any children's or YA


message 33: by Aenea (new)

Aenea Jones I read 10 of those listed, with another 11 on my "to read" list.

Must say, I'm not too eager to read fiction, I've been often disappointed with the lacking impact. I guess I'm too picky, too restricted with what makes me like a novel.
Not everyone can write prose like Donna Tartt, and not everyone can tell stories like Stephen King, or make you immersed in their characters' life like Maria McCann, Elizabeth Knox or Hanya Yanagihara.
Those are one-of-a-kind type of authors. Bless them.


message 34: by Katie (new)

Katie I have read 17 of these, fantasy is not really my thing and a few of these I would consider children's books and I read them as a child, so do they really count?


message 35: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Wilson Missing out if Nalo Hopkinson doesn't make the list


message 36: by Karen (new)

Karen I've read 38 of these. I have many others on my TBR.


message 37: by [deleted user] (new)

Boradicus wrote: "I'm surprised that one of Sabaa Tahir's isn't on this list."
Same!


message 38: by [deleted user] (new)

Surprised to not see any of Rick Riordan's novels on the list!


message 39: by Shelby (new)

Shelby Naylor I have read eight of these but did notice a ton missing.


message 40: by Jain (last edited Jul 13, 2020 12:02PM) (new)

Jain Jim wrote: "I enjoy the flabbergasted comments from GR members more than any list GR ever compiles. Do readers really care that much if a list leaves out a book, your favorite book, or doesn't include Neil Gaiman, always?!?"

If this were a curated list, I'd agree with you, but it's not. GR explains in the description that they used objective criteria to create the list. The problem--and the reason for most of the flabbergasted responses--is that the end result doesn't look very objective at all.

I don't expect to like a 100 Most Popular Books list (though it's always a pleasant surprise when it happens). Instead, what I expect from a 100 Most Popular Books list is that it present accurate information about members' reading habits. This one...doesn't seem to do that.


message 41: by Caitlin (new)

Caitlin Elantris is one of my all-time favorite books! Glad to see it here. I think it may be time for a re-read.


message 42: by Elise (last edited Jul 13, 2020 02:08PM) (new)

Elise Have read 39 of those. Quite a few are on my "to read" list. Currently reading A Darker Shade of Magic and loving it. :) Considering Fantasy is my favorite genre I think I can probably do better.


message 43: by Rasheeq (new)

Rasheeq Farooq Good list... Surprised no Harry Potter


message 44: by Scott (new)

Scott  Neumann I've 32 of these on the list, but I've read a hell of a lot more that aren not on the list.


message 45: by King (new)

King Maria Honestly the most shocking thing to me here is that SJM's House Earth and Blood is more popular than the first two series.


 ♥ Rebecca ♥ I’ve read 24/100. I almost read the top 10. I haven’t read #10 itself but I’ve read 11-12. 😛


message 47: by Marta (new)

Marta I read way more fantasy than sci-fi and scored lower on this list than the sci-fi list (35 vs. 45). I agree that there is something off with the criteria being used here. The results do not add up with the experience.

The division between YA and adult fantasy is blurry. I fail to see a criteria that would include The Chronicles of Narnia but exclude Harry Potter.


message 48: by Angela (new)

Angela I've only read The Hobbit but am currently reading The Night Circus and A Discovery of Witches. Added a bunch to my TBR list.


message 49: by Donna (new)

Donna Dikshita wrote: "Where is Harry Potter?"

Exactly!


TheBohemianBookworm Why isn't Harry Potter on here?


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