Welcome to the world of fantasy. Fantasy is something that all of us relate to. All of us, at some point of time, want to be able to fly, be wizards, fight in godly battles, live in a land that isn’t on earth and speak to mythical creatures. Authors strive to make us live our dreams through their books. Almost everyone who is an avid reader has gone through the world of fantasy. Even though there are many single fantasy books, nothing is more thrilling than waiting anxiously for the release of the next book in your favourite series. Fantasy books let you enter a whole new land, a land of surprises, and live the journey of the characters as they face a world that is completely unknown to you. Here are the Top 10 Fantasy book series.
10. The Twilight Saga – Stephanie Meyer
The Twilight Saga is a 4 book series written by Stephanie Meyer. According to the book, vampires and werewolves live among us and look like us. Isabella Swan moves to Fork, Washington and meets Edward Cullen. Edward turns out to be a 104 year old vampire. They fall in love and Bella is thrown into the world of monsters and Edward must protect her at all costs. Jacob Black, a werewolf, also joins the fray after he starts falling in love with Bella. In this twisted tale of romance, mystery and action, love is lost and regained, loyalties are tested, enemies are created and new friendships are formed. The books were a major success as over 100 million books were sold. This resulted in the adaptation of the books as films. The film series was also a modest success but that was mainly because of the fan following that the books generated. However this series is also widely ridiculed and the movies were nominated for many Razzie awards and also won many including Worst Film and Worst Actress several times.
9. Bartimaeus Trilogy – Jonathan Stroud
The Bartimaeus Trilogy written by Jonathan Stroud is a story based on an alternate history. The story revolves around magicians in London and the main plot is the rise and fall of the England as a superpower and the role of the magicians in many historic moments. Nathaniel, a promising young magician, uses old magic to summon the five-thousand year old djinni Bartimaeus from the Other World (the world of the demons). Bartimaeus is a mid-level spirit who is bound by Nathaniel’s magic to serve his needs. The turn of events forces them to work together to defeat evil and they are finally able to earn each other’s trust. The Amulet of the Samarkand, The Golem’s Eye and Ptolemy’s Gate are the three books in the series. A prequel called Solomon’s Ring was added to the series later. The series was modestly successful and had a lot of critical acclaim.
8. The Chronicles of Narnia – C.S.Lewis
The Chronicles of Narnia is a seven book fantasy series written by C.S.Lewis. The story is based in the fictional land of Narnia. Over 100 million copies have been sold in 47 different languages. The series starts with the creation of the land, Narnia, in the first book The Magician’s Nephew and continues to follow the adventures of kids of the real world who answer the call of the lion, Aslan, to help the good win their battles over evil. In the final book, The Final Battle, the mythical land is eventually destroyed. All creatures from Minotaurs and fauns to beavers and badgers live in Narnia and all of them can talk. The movie adaptation of the books was a big hit. The most popular movie was The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe which later also became the most popular book. The story of this book is about the transportation of 4 siblings (The Pevensies) to Narnia and how their fates are intertwined with an age old prophecy that predicts that 2 sons of Adam and two daughters of Eve will defeat the white witch and bring peace, harmony and freedom to Narnia. The powerful and wise lion, Aslan, guides them along their way and finally helps them fulfill their destinies. The series continues with the return of these children and introduction of many others.
7. The Inheritance Cycle – Christopher Paolini
The concept of dragons has always been catchy. The Inheritance Cycle is a four book series written by Christopher Paolini that revolves around dragons and their riders in the land of Alagaesia, the land of men. A farm boy, Eragon, discovers a queer looking stone while he is out hunting in the Spine, only to find out later that it is a dragon egg. The dragon, Saphira, chooses Eragon as her rider. The land is ruled by the traitor King, Galbatorix who, in a fit of rage, killed all the dragons and their Riders and brought Alagaesia under his command. The elves, dwarves and some men join together and form the rebellion, The Varden. The creator of the Varden, Brom, who is a dragon rider whose dragon was slain, trains Eragon. Eragon and Saphira form a very close bond and become the face of the rebellion. The series sold over 33.5 Million copies. The four books are named, Eragon, Eldest, Brisingr and Inheritance. The first book was adapted into a movie with the same name in 2006 which didn’t run well in the Box-Office and received many negative reviews.
6. Artemis Fowl – Eoin Colfer
The story of the 8 book series about the boy-criminal Artemis Fowl written by Eoin Colfer starts with the kidnapping of the LEPrecon police officer Holly Short, who is a fairy. But Holly is not the fairy that you find in your bedtime story. These fairies are dangerous creatures with high intellect and advanced technology. Artemis and his bodyguard Butler hold Captain Short in The Fowl Estate and demand gold in return. A weird turn of events results in Holly and Artemis forming a friendship. They help each other several times and go through dangerous adventures together in the later books, including the encounters with the mad pixie, Opal Koboi. The first book was named after the main character, Artemis Fowl which released in 2001 and the last book The Last Guardian was released in 2012. The young criminal mastermind became a huge hit as close to 20 million books were sold. The series follows young Artemis as he transforms from a ruthless criminal to a person who can sacrifice for the good. Though talks of a film adaption have been going on since 2001, the film was never able to take off.
5. The Hunger Games – Suzzane Collins
The Hunger Games, written by Suzzane Collins, is set in the future, where a single country called Panem is separated into 12 Districts and is ruled by the Capitol. The Districts had once rebelled against the Capitol, but they were defeated. As a punishment, a boy and girl were chosen from each district every year and put in an arena to contest in The Hunger Games, which is a cruel contest for survival that is telecasted as sport all over the Capitol and the 12 Districts. The last person standing would be crowned champion and would have all the riches in the world. The series follows Katniss Everdeen from District 12 who volunteers to participate in place of her younger sister who was chosen. As Katniss braves the dangers of the arena, her fight for survival unintentionally becomes a symbol of hope, defiance and resistance. The Hunger Games was followed by Catching Fire and Mockingjay. Over 50 million copies of these books have been sold and the movie adaptation of the first book was a huge success and made close to $700 Million. The second movie, Catching Fire is set to release later this year.
4. Percy Jackson and the Olympians – Rick Riordan
Greek gods are immortal right? So, what if they are still alive? The 5 book Percy Jackson series is based on these questions. The Greek gods live among us. Mount Olympus is on the 600th floor of the Empire State building. The gods often mate with humans and have children. These children are demigods. They are mostly Dyslexic as their minds are hardwired to read Greek. But the world is a dangerous place for demigods as they are not immortal and their scent is distinct for all the ancient monsters out there. So they are sent to Camp Half-Blood to train and then go on quests to the outside world. The Big Three, Zeus, Poseidon and Hades swore an oath that they would never have children because of a prophecy that claims that a child of the Big Three would change the fate of Olympus. So when young Percy Jackson is recognized by Poseidon as his son, all hell breaks loose. Percy is dragged into the politics of the gods and it is up to him to save the day and maintain peace on Olympus. Also the titan Kronos is rising from the pits of Tartarus again and the demigods must stop him and save the world. The series written by Rick Riordan sold over 15 million copies worldwide. The first book was adapted as a film but it was only modestly successful. The adaptation of the second book is set to release next month.
3. A Song of Ice and Fire – George R.R. Martin
The author of the series A Song of Fire and Ice is George R.R. Martin. In the land of Westeros, Ned Stark, warden of the North, is appointed as the Hand of the King by King Robert Baratheon who is Ned’s close friend, after the mysterious death of the previous Hand of the King, Jon Arryn. Ned and Robert had led the rebellion to overthrow the mad king Aerys Targaryen and take the Iron Throne of Westeros. Far East, Daenerys Targaryen leads the quest to regain her rightful throne. The events that follow start a massive war for the Iron Throne with Ned’s son Robb Stark, leading the Northeners into battle and Robert’s brothers, Stannis and Renly each claiming that they are the rightful heirs to the throne. The book series was a huge hit and it was adapted into a television series by HBO which is a bigger success than the books. The Series is still on-going and two more books are scheduled to release. 3 seasons of the TV series have been aired and the fourth season will release early next year.
2. Lord of the Rings – J.R.R. Tolkien
The most successful trilogy till date, the Lord of the Rings written by J.R.R.Tolkien follows the battle of good versus evil as a young hobbit (small human like creatures but taller than dwarves) Frodo Baggins is given the task of destroying the ring of power which belonged to the evil Sauron, whose power will continue as long as the ring exists. The ring is pure evil and has a mind of its own. It attracts people to it and uses their greed to make them evil. The only person who is not attracted by its power is Frodo. He is assisted in this task by The Fellowship of the Ring which consists of the old wizard Gandalf the Grey, the elf Legolas, the dwarf Gimly, the Hobbits Sam, Merry and Pippin, Boromir and the true heir to the throne of Gondor (the largest standing Kingdom of men), Aragon. As middle earth struggles to hold off further attacks from Sauron’s army, the key to victory lies with the destruction of the Ring. But the ring can only be destroyed where it was made; in the Mountain of Doom, inside Mordor, which is Sauron’s own Kingdom. The books were adapted into films and were immensely successful. The movies, directed by Peter Jackson made around $3 Billion and the books sold over 150 million copies. A prequel called The Hobbit was also written which alone sold 100 million copies. The film adaptation of this book is currently being done by Peter Jackson and it has been split into three parts, the first of which was released late last year and the next one releasing late this year. It is hailed widely as the most successful book and movie franchise till date.
1. Harry Potter – J.K.Rowling
Statistically the best and most successful fantasy series ever, in books and movies, the Harry Potter series is an epic that will last for centuries to come. The 7 book series written by J.K.Rowling amassed a huge fan following that just kept increasing drastically through the length of the series which lasted for a decade. Wizards and witches exist. They look like us and live among us in secrecy. When young Harry Potter, an orphan who lives with his aunt, uncle and cousin who hate him very much, is told that he is wizard and that he is to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, his life turns for the better. But Harry Potter is no ordinary wizard. When he was just a baby, the darkest and most feared wizard of all time, Lord Voldemort, killed his parents and turned his wand on Harry to kill him. But he couldn’t. The curse backfired and all of Lord Voldemort’s powers were gone while he escaped with nothing but a lightning shaped scar. Harry Potter was famous in the wizarding world even before he could talk. With the guidance of the great wizard, Headmaster Albus Dumbledore and the other professors at Hogwarts and with the help of his two best friends, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, Harry thwarts Voldemort and his followers, the Death Eaters, at every turn and in the process, trains himself for the inevitable clash between The Boy Who Lived and He Who Must Not Be Named. The series covers the transformation of Harry from an underfed young orphan to a great leader who has undergone loss and suffering and who will bravely fight to his last breath for his people. The 7 books and 8 movies (last movie was split in two) were a huge success as over 450 million books were sold and $8 billion was made from the movies and just like the dialogue in the book, “There isn’t a child who doesn’t know his name”.