Fantasy is one of my favorite genres, and if you have the same inclinations, this list is for you.
This genre goes back such a long way that an all-encompassing list of the best fantasy writers will take eons to compile – and read – so I’m sharing my favorites, which I will recommend any day.
Here are 7 of the best fantasy writers I guarantee you’ll read over and over again.
Katherine Kurtz may not be that well known, but her books are sure to keep you in bed all day and night – with a few breaks to make coffee in between.
Her work revolves around the Deryni, a race practically human except that they have powers. The storylines are set in the medieval ages, and the way she has woven her stories are so detailed and yet consistent.
I suggest starting with the trilogy “The Chronicles of the Deryni“, then check out the rest of her work to decide which to read next.
Brandon Sanderson is most known for his Mistborn Trilogy,an epic fantasy that is full of political intrigue, alchemy-magic, and lots of action. Lack of pace is something you won’t experience.
I also recommend “The Stormlight Archive”, another epic tale of politics and ancient magic that is only beginning to be rediscovered. The ancient oaths:
Life before death.
Strength before weakness.
Journey before Destination.
Unfortunately for us, only two books of the trilogy have been published. If you have not read any of these two, I suggest waiting for the third to be released so you don’t have to be kept in suspense.
Fantasy enthusiasts also recognize him for completing the work of the late Robert Jordan, whose passing away broke many a heart.
I’m totally biased, but Robert Jordan had this thing with words that is incomparable. Honestly, I shed a tear or two when I heard about his passing. And not only because his work was incomplete!
While he was not able to finish “The Wheel of Time series“, Brandon Sanderson and Harriet (RJ’s wife) were able to put together what remained of the epic story using RJ’s notes.
Warning: When you finish the last book, you’ll feel as if part of your life is over.
Patrick Rothfuss is relative new to the scene, but his “Kingkiller Chronicle” has made waves round the world. We’re waiting on the third book, but the first two – “The Name of the Wind” and “The Wise Man’s Fear” – are must-reads. There are some slow moments, we have to admit, but this is another fantasy writer who lovingly plays with words that you can’t help but be enraptured.
He has a new piece of work, “The Slow Regard of Silent Things“, which is a spinoff from the main trilogy. It’s on my shelf waiting to be read, but known the main character, I am sure I’ll be in for a great ride.
Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman
These two writers have brought us one of the best fantasy material ever. What fantasy fan hasn’t imagined himself living in the world of Dragonlance?
Of course, there be dragons; intense love-hate relationships tinged with respect, and doubts from the readers. And, did I mention dragons?
There’s plenty of books to go about, so you won’t lack for stories. You’ll probably get confused as to where to start and what to read next, so check out this comprehensive Dragonlance reading list/order.
Ursula Le Guin
Fantasy and sci-fi writer, Ursula Le Guin is a must-read for any love of these genres. For some, she is the mother of fantasy, and I won’t argue with that.
“The Earthsea Cycle” is a classic which you will definitely read, re-read, and read once more. It has even been turned into an animated movie by Studio Ghibli, and although it isn’t very accurate, you also will want to watch it.
This series is not her only creation, of course. The list is too long to mention, so take a look at all her work here.
George R.R. Martin
I was torn about adding GRRM to this list for two reasons.
One, everyone knows his work by now, thanks to HBO. Although I bet people who have read the books are far fewer than those who have seen the series.
Two, he has threatened to kill Tyrion if we don’t stop bugging him about the next book. Need I say more?
While “A Song of Ice and Fire” is the first thing that comes to mind when his name is mentioned, GRRM has a lot of other books that will make any fantasy lover happy.
You’ll notice there are high profile writers not included in the list, but you probably don’t need any prodding to read them. They’re probably in your shelves already.
I’d like to know what you think about the authors above, though. Have you read any of them? Would you recommend them? Or do you have other fantasy writers you think should be added to this list?