I love to read fantasy and science fiction, and I have probably read thousands of these books in my life. While I read more SF than fantasy, I still have hundreds of fantasy novels on my shelves. Some of these are among my favorite books to read and reread.
For many people, the most famous fantasy novel is “The Lord of the Rings” by J.R.R. Tolkien. This was originally published in three volumes, but it is really one long novel that was broken up for publication. This story of the hobbit Frodo and his epic quest to destroy the evil One Ring and defeat the Dark Lord Sauron created a template that has been imitated by many other writers.
Another famous series of novels was written by Tolkien’s friend C.S. Lewis. The “Chronicles of Narnia” are a series of seven books written for children, but they are equally enjoyable for adults. Four children from England find their way through a portal into the magical world of Narnia, where they have many adventures.
A much different writer, but an equally important one for the development of fantasy, was Robert E. Howard, who created the character of Conan the Barbarian. While Howard died young, he wrote many stories in his short life. His tales of Conan created a framework for the popular genre now known as “sword and sorcery.”
Another excellent writer of fantasy is Ursula K. LeGuin. She wrote a series of novels set in the world of Earthsea, featuring wizards and dragons. These novels are among the most beloved by many fans of the genre.
These are just a few of the greatest writers of fantasy novels. There are many more to discover, so any fan can easily spend a lifetime exploring all that the genre has to offer.