Best Fantasy: Characters and Character Development

Fantasy offers authors the opportunity to illustrate the best, worst and, most significantly, somewhere-in-between of human beings by setting them within a context that allows the reader to experience all the foibles of humanity through a more comfortable lens.

This list is intended to provide a forum for the most character-centric and thought-provoking fantasy novels. Kudos for world-building and other skills reside elsewhere.

However, if you've read a fantasy novel that made you consider who you are as a person--one that called into question or reverberated with the choices you've made in your life--in other words, a book that seemed to be about you despite its fantastic setting, please add it here.
1

by
4.54 avg rating — 629,332 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
2

by
4.56 avg rating — 2,437,419 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
3

by
4.47 avg rating — 6,198,009 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
4

by
4.45 avg rating — 338,745 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
5

by
4.41 avg rating — 2,394,306 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
6

by
4.61 avg rating — 2,526,670 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
7

by
4.56 avg rating — 2,171,163 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
8

by
4.49 avg rating — 2,225,701 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
9

by
4.55 avg rating — 2,280,734 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
10

by
4.15 avg rating — 208,606 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
11

by
4.76 avg rating — 171,713 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
12

by
4.33 avg rating — 5,854,339 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
13

by
4.18 avg rating — 105,891 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
14

by
4.65 avg rating — 249,159 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
15

by
4.45 avg rating — 1,823,523 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
16

by
4.21 avg rating — 48,653 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
17

by
4.23 avg rating — 136,265 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
18

by
4.49 avg rating — 225,979 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
19

by
4.41 avg rating — 727,822 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
20

by
4.37 avg rating — 241,787 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
21

by
4.57 avg rating — 377,407 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
22

by
4.54 avg rating — 620,090 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
23

by
3.89 avg rating — 1,321,495 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
24

by
4.13 avg rating — 574,505 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
25

by
4.31 avg rating — 69,089 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
26

by
4.17 avg rating — 169,150 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
27

by
3.79 avg rating — 231 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
28

by
4.49 avg rating — 514,685 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
29

by
4.03 avg rating — 66,066 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
30

by
3.92 avg rating — 247,608 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
31

by
4.10 avg rating — 20,129 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
32

by
3.72 avg rating — 40,678 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
33

by
4.01 avg rating — 107,078 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
34

by
4.22 avg rating — 740,173 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
35

by
4.01 avg rating — 12,347 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
36

by
4.10 avg rating — 38,576 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
37

by
4.09 avg rating — 356,067 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
38

by
4.01 avg rating — 23,432 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
39

by
4.28 avg rating — 76,084 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
39

by
4.14 avg rating — 55,389 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
41

by
4.29 avg rating — 100,249 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
42

by
4.30 avg rating — 189,495 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
43

by
3.88 avg rating — 338,724 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
44

by
4.22 avg rating — 106,628 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
45

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 37 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
45

by
4.13 avg rating — 122,628 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
45

by
4.08 avg rating — 49 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
45

by
4.22 avg rating — 500,541 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
49

by
4.64 avg rating — 23,399 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
50

by
3.79 avg rating — 8,577 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
50

by
3.97 avg rating — 1,175,555 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
52

by
3.82 avg rating — 180,917 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
52

by
4.08 avg rating — 17,615 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
52

by
3.69 avg rating — 8,181 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
52

by
4.16 avg rating — 142,563 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
56

by
4.24 avg rating — 12,772 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
57

by
3.99 avg rating — 3,906 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
58

by
4.21 avg rating — 12,246 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
59

by
3.88 avg rating — 4,356 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
60

by
3.66 avg rating — 2,567 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
60

by
4.17 avg rating — 390,062 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
62

by
4.62 avg rating — 91,839 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
63

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 24,387 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
63

by
4.25 avg rating — 195,129 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
65

by
4.01 avg rating — 8,432 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
66

by
4.01 avg rating — 22,211 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
66

by
4.23 avg rating — 203,306 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
68

by
4.19 avg rating — 344,795 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
69

by
4.33 avg rating — 60,252 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
70

by
4.41 avg rating — 59,298 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
71

by
4.11 avg rating — 689,661 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
72

by
4.07 avg rating — 5,741 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
72

by
4.17 avg rating — 11,736 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
72

by
3.92 avg rating — 263 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
72

by
3.31 avg rating — 13 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
72

by
4.50 avg rating — 8 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
72

by
3.59 avg rating — 680 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
72

by
3.62 avg rating — 253 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
72

by
4.36 avg rating — 90 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
72

by
3.39 avg rating — 15,536 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
72

by
3.81 avg rating — 2,184 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
72

by
4.18 avg rating — 5,203 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
72

by
3.91 avg rating — 100,623 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
72

by
4.07 avg rating — 165,854 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
85

by
3.45 avg rating — 1,338 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
85

by
4.07 avg rating — 27 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
85

by
4.04 avg rating — 2,065 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
85

by
3.89 avg rating — 19,672 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
85

by
4.77 avg rating — 39 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
85

by
3.64 avg rating — 1,713 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
85

by
4.68 avg rating — 22 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
85

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 1,119 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
85

by
3.96 avg rating — 33,724 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
85

by
4.21 avg rating — 15,096 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
85

by
3.97 avg rating — 1,175,555 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
96

by
3.61 avg rating — 631 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
96

by
4.10 avg rating — 1,017 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
96

by
3.95 avg rating — 5,636 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
96

by
4.25 avg rating — 132,789 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
100

by
3.90 avg rating — 5,223 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
flag this list (?)
172 books · 105 voters · list created August 9th, 2009 by Jennifer (votes) .
12 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Jennifer 46 books
4 friends
Shalimar 284 books
16 friends
Kait 33 books
0 friends
Nina 1166 books
83 friends
Greyweather 2653 books
72 friends
Sofia 1147 books
179 friends
Nova 1260 books
16 friends
Molly 694 books
0 friends

More voters…


Comments Showing 1-6 of 6 (6 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Michaelbrent (new)

Michaelbrent Collings For consideration on this list:

Billy: Messenger of Powers by Michaelbrent Collings (check it out at www.whoisbillyjones.com)


message 2: by Zak (new)

Zak I haven't read it, but from all I've heard about it The Hunger Games is science fiction, not fantasy. I love both genres, but this list is only for fantasy. Also a bit surprised I was the first person to vote for The Blade Itself


message 3: by Garrett (new)

Garrett Gatlin There's so much Harry Potter on this list, I don't think I can take any of the other suggestions seriously. The characters in that series are so stagnant and shallow it's mind-numbing.

At least The Name of The Wind was on the list.


message 4: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer I stoutly believe that I was right in including the first Harry Potter--I never intended this list to become a recommendation for the entire series.

Sorting through how this list has grown in my absence, if you like Mistborn, I strongly recommend Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind) and Hobb (Assasin's Apprentice), if you haven't found them yet.

And a lot of the other titles look interesting--can't wait to start my summer reading. Thanks, everyone, for adding your suggestions!


message 5: by Garrett (new)

Garrett Gatlin I love Sanderson and Rothfuss. I will definitely check out Hobb. Thank you!


message 6: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Oops--dizzied by how this list has grown, I mixed up my reply. Glad you understood :)

If you enjoy Assasin's Apprentice and the rest of the Farseer Trilogy, don't let yourself get bogged down in Mad Ship--skip to Tawny Man. These books are my number one overall, but that doesn't mean that every one is a masterpiece.

Enjoy--and thanks for bringing me back to this list with your comment!


back to top