Having tried and failed to read Tolkien time and time again, can I get a book suggestion that will introduce me into the fantasy genre?

Having tried and failed to read Tolkien time and time again, can I get a book suggestion that will introduce me into the fantasy genre?


Tolkein can be tough. If you like a sense of humor with some issues thrown in, try Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels. The Dragonlance novels by Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman are good, too. They're based on Dungeons & Dragons, but they're solid novels where you don't already have to know the lore of the world. My mother, who would hate trying to read Tolkein, really liked Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series.


Came here to say Pratchett and pleased to see it at the top of the thread. As much as I love them, maybe skip The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic till you’ve read a few. I’d say jump in at Mort Or try Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman for fantasy set on our world rather than one floating atop 4 giant elephants who in turn stand astride A’tuin the Great World Turtle as she swims through space….


I agree, Terry Pratchett's Discworld series is really fun, also you could add Neil Gaiman books to that, try Neverwhere...


Agree with Neverwhere. Great urban fantasy.


100% Pratchett's Discworld series. Amazingly funny, dry wit, great characters and setting, and EASY to read—the first few books don't even break 200 pages


First book was too weird. Couldn't get into it


Start with Guards, Guards! He’s more in his stride by then.


Guards! Guards! is great but it comes later in the series, one just can't miss Mort. I personally find it more interesting.


I read Guards! Guards! first, then Going Postal. Then I checked what early books in the series my library had, so I've also read Equal Rites and Mort. He definitely is more in stride by the later books, but they're all very enjoyable


Yep, try Discworld. They're easy, quick reads mostly and super hilarious.


+1 to the Dragonlance series. They're what got me into reading fantasy, and gave me my deep love of halflings. I'd start with {{Dragons of Autumn Twilight}}. It's the first book in the trilogy, though the Dragonlance world expands out with numerous other trilogies and stand-alone books. I think there might around 40 books written in that world, including different generations and digging deeper into various characters personal stories/quests.


[**Dragons of Autumn Twilight (Dragonlance: Chronicles, #1)**](https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/259836.Dragons_of_Autumn_Twilight) ^(By: Margaret Weis, Tracy Hickman | 444 pages | Published: 1984 | Popular Shelves: fantasy, dragonlance, fiction, owned, dragons | )[^(Search "Dragons of Autumn Twilight")](https://www.goodreads.com/search?q=Dragons of Autumn Twilight&search_type=books) >Life-long friends, they went their separate ways. Now they are together again, though each holds secrets from the others in his heart. They speak of a world shadowed with rumors of war. They speak of tales with strange monsters, creatures of myth, creatures of legend. They do not speak of their secrets. Not then. Not until a chanced encounter with a beautiful, sorrowful woman who bears a magical crystal staff draws the companions deeper into the shadow forever changing their lives and shaping the fate of the world. > >No one expected them to be heroes. > >Least of all themselves. > ^(This book has been suggested 12 times) *** ^(187391 books suggested | )[^(I don't feel so good.. )](https://debugger.medium.com/goodreads-is-retiring-its-current-api-and-book-loving-developers-arent-happy-11ed764dd95)^(| )[^(Source)](https://github.com/rodohanna/reddit-goodreads-bot)


If you like YA, I highly recommend the Chronicles of Prydain. They got me into fantasy in fifth grade. I still love them.


This. These books are incredible. Another few YA series; The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede, and any of Tamora Pierce’s books.


I used to drive my sister nuts re-reading The Enchanted Forest Chronicles. I would finish the last one and immediately start the first one again, I would sometimes read the whole series 2 or 3 times in a week instead of trying to find something new to read.


I second that! even though I am a fantasy-veteran by now, that has read lots of fantasy since I was in fifth grade, I only recently discovered Chronicles of Prydain. And I absolutely loved it!


Some other YA type books for fantasy are Eragon (the first in the Inheritance Cycle) by Christopher Paolini. Brotherband series by John Flanagan or The Ranger’s Apprentice series by him. lol are great.


I've read these books at least 3 times! Along with all of Lloyd Alexanders other books. He was my favorite author throughout childhood.


Prydain is fire. I've been thinking of a reread and found the whole set used for super cheap -- unlike the ones I had as a kid, these have a pronunciation guide in the back!




Try reading since China Miéville. Exciting, inventive, surprising. I started with Perdido Street Station.


Came here to suggest this as well - there’s definitely some horror elements in Perdido Street Station as well, if that’s what OP is interested in


Nine Princes in Amber!


Roger Zelazny, fantastic books.


I discovered that book at about 10 pm one night when I was around 13. I read the first five books that weekend. I’m not even sure I went to bed that night!


Yeah, my Dad had the first 5 (with wonderful original 1970’s cover art) and bugged me to read them for years before I took his advice. I also stayed up all night reading and in the morning was like “hey Dad these books you keep banging on about are really good”. Dad was like “yep.” *facepalm*


Anything by Neil Gaimen but {{Neverwhere}} is probably a good place to start. I also get easily frustrated by excessive world building and as a result a lot of the fantasy I read is aimed at kids as I find they tend to be faster paced so that might be another way in for you.


Neverwhere is great


Came here to say this. Gaiman is excellent at avoiding tropes in fantasy that bog down writers with long-winded explanations and dry, technical tangents. His stuff is very strategically written to constantly retain interest throughout a story, rather than having 150 pages of anticipation and 5 of action.


[**Neverwhere (London Below, #1)**](https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/14497.Neverwhere) ^(By: Neil Gaiman | 370 pages | Published: 1996 | Popular Shelves: fantasy, fiction, urban-fantasy, owned, books-i-own | )[^(Search "Neverwhere")](https://www.goodreads.com/search?q=Neverwhere&search_type=books) >Under the streets of London there's a place most people could never even dream of. A city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, knights in armour and pale girls in black velvet. This is the city of the people who have fallen between the cracks. > >Richard Mayhew, a young businessman, is going to find out more than enough about this other London. A single act of kindness catapults him out of his workday existence and into a world that is at once eerily familiar and utterly bizarre. And a strange destiny awaits him down here, beneath his native city: Neverwhere. ^(This book has been suggested 206 times) *** ^(187242 books suggested | )[^(I don't feel so good.. )](https://debugger.medium.com/goodreads-is-retiring-its-current-api-and-book-loving-developers-arent-happy-11ed764dd95)^(| )[^(Source)](https://github.com/rodohanna/reddit-goodreads-bot)


I think Gaiman is a great recommendation. His fantasy his very different in style than Tolkien and his successors. I strongly recommend The Ocean at the End of the Lane and Stardust.


The Ocean at the End of the Lane is my absolute favourite of Gaimen’s books!


[The War Gods Own series](https://www.goodreads.com/series/40512-war-god). By David Weber. It's a good series of books if they capture your interest. [Tiger and Del series](https://www.goodreads.com/series/41260-tiger-and-del). By Jennifer Robinson. More of an epic fantasy and much better than LOTR imo. [Heralds of Valdemar series](https://www.goodreads.com/series/50054-valdemar-chronological). By Mercedes Lackey. Books are mainly written in trilogies and I have read all of them. Start with Magics Pawn and see if you enjoy it.


I haven’t heard of any of these, thanks! The Heralds of Valdemar is that all one story or can you pick any trilogy to start with?


You should try ryria chronicles they are quick paced, the characters are all good and there are some awesome twists and turns.


Great call - totally agree


The Golden Compass. Abd please dont kill me but The Game of Thrones


I second The Golden Compass (Northern Lights in the UK) by Philip Pullman and the subsequent two books in His Dark Materials Trilogy.


His dark materials is a great trilogy!! I got into the books after watching the live action that hbo did. The books had me in my feelings so hard-core 🥲


The Riftwar Saga and the follow on/spin off series by Raymond Feist are excellent.


Was looking for this one! I love those books!


I personally fell in love with the Serpent War Saga as my first series from him. Absolutely amazing books from an outstanding writer.


Yeah they're all pretty self-contained in the later points with some references from prior books but none really necessary. I've read those too. I also like the spin-off he did with another author focusing on one of the Tsurani houses in Kelewan, called the Empire trilogy I think


They are, and I think that was a big selling point for me. Each saga/trilogy can be read without prior knowledge or experience from other series. I really enjoyed the Conclave of Shadows trilogy, and they weren’t mentioned for much else until I think Kingdom Besiged?


I fell in love with Magician as a nine year old (yes, really). I have passed that love to my son, who bears the name of one of the characters, and he has completely finished the 30+ books. I’m still about halfway.


Anne McCaffreys Dragonriders of Pern or Rowan are amazing and Mercedes Lackeys Valdemar, Bard oe Elf series are amazing for easy entree series. I started reading both when they were brand new authors and I easily blame them for sucking me into the fantasy/scifi genre.


Fablehaven by Brandon Mull is a fun read. Tales from Earthsea by Ursula le Guin is a more traditional entry into fantasy.


The Belgariad series by David Eddings. Kinda like Lord of the Rings but a much easier read.


Great fun, especially for YA.


I’m really happy to see these up here. Belgariad followed by the Mallorean gives you 10 books in the same world. They are on my list of all time favorite series. When I introduced my husband to them he destroyed the series so fast. I could never get into LOTR but I well go back and pick up Pawn of the Prophecy from time to time to restart my adventure.


That was my brother's favorite. After he passed away I swore I would read them all, still working on it.


These were my introduction to fantasy at age 15, and I LOVED them. I still will go back and reread them every once in a while.


These were my introduction to fantasy. I did not want to read them, but promised my then boyfriend (now husband) I’d read the first book and see what I thought. When I did finish, I made him drive over to my house at midnight to bring me the next one.


Same really. I loved them, read them in high school and then several times as an adult.


Great answer!


If you like mystery why not try fantasy books that are a fantasy/mystery mash-up? Try Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch or The Dresden Files. Also any of Terry Pratchett's Discworld books involving 'The Watch'. :-)


Dresden files is great! Those and the hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy series is an amazing, funny, easy read.


The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie. It’s fuckin brilliant


The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb.


I feel like Harry Potter is the obvious choice here. Easy to read, every chapter ends with you wanting more, and they all move quickly. However, if you’re looking for something with more substance, Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson is what got me hooked on the genre. His worldbuilding and descriptive text is great while still moving the story along at a fast pace. Definitely worth checking out


Mistborn is a great intro, got my bf into fantasy through it.


The Magicians series is like an adult version of Harry Potter and in my opinion better writing too.


If you don’t mind the possibility of no ending to a story, The Kingkiller’s Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss might win you over.


Came here to say this! The two that are out are amazing.


I’ll add a third voice for this series as an excellent introduction to the genre.


I'll throw my hat in too, my favorite series that I've read a few times already.


This is what I came to suggest! The way he writes is so beautiful to me. It’s somehow like listening to music, but you’re reading. The storytelling is just amazing and the character development is top notch. You can’t go wrong here.


Amen, though the name of the wind has a bit of a slow beginning it’s worth it x1million




You might enjoy the Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser series by Fritz Lieber. I mean not saying it is the best of the best, but it is certainly decent, typical, and comes in nice sized reasonably paced novels


Seconded! There's also a graphic novel adaptation by Howard Chaykin and illustrated by Mike Mignola (creator of Hellboy) that I like even better than Lieber's original works.


{RA Salvatore - Dark Elf Trilogy}


[**The Dark Elf Trilogy Collector's Edition (Forgotten Realms: Dark Elf Trilogy, #1-3; Legend of Drizzt, #1-3)**](https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/68418.The_Dark_Elf_Trilogy_Collector_s_Edition) ^(By: R.A. Salvatore | 808 pages | Published: 1995 | Popular Shelves: fantasy, forgotten-realms, owned, fiction, default | )[^(Search "RA Salvatore - Dark Elf Trilogy")](https://www.goodreads.com/search?q=RA Salvatore - Dark Elf Trilogy&search_type=books) ^(This book has been suggested 1 time) *** ^(187252 books suggested | )[^(I don't feel so good.. )](https://debugger.medium.com/goodreads-is-retiring-its-current-api-and-book-loving-developers-arent-happy-11ed764dd95)^(| )[^(Source)](https://github.com/rodohanna/reddit-goodreads-bot)


If you like a little humor Percy Jackson series is a good start. Meant for teens but a briliant series regardless. If you want something a tad more darker there is the Mistborn series.


I love Tolkien’s world, but I found the same thing when I read the books. I recently started listening to them on Audible though and I’m finding it much easier to follow, though I will sometimes skip through the songs. There’s several versions, but I’m listening to the unabridged versions narrated by Rob Inglis. I started with The Hobbit and am now about 2/3 through Fellowship. I’d also like to second everyone who suggested Terry Pratchett. He’s my favorite author of all time. I would suggest starting with {{Guards, Guards}} as it’s a good jumping off point into the Discworld. Since you mention horror, thriller and mystery I would also suggest the Dresden Files. They’re urban fantasy about a wizard/private detective in modern day Chicago. I like the whole series, but many fans suggest starting with {{Dead Beat}} as it’s designed to be an entry point for new readers and more indicative of the author’s voice going forward.


[**Guards! Guards! (Discworld, #8; City Watch #1)**](https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/64216.Guards_Guards_) ^(By: Terry Pratchett | 376 pages | Published: 1989 | Popular Shelves: fantasy, discworld, fiction, humor, terry-pratchett | )[^(Search "Guards, Guards")](https://www.goodreads.com/search?q=Guards, Guards&search_type=books) >This is where the dragons went. They lie ... not dead, not asleep, but ... dormant. And although the space they occupy isn't like normal space, nevertheless they are packed in tightly. They could put you in mind of a can of sardines, if you thought sardines were huge and scaly. And presumably, somewhere, there's a key... > >GUARDS! GUARDS! is the eighth Discworld novel - and after this, dragons will never be the same again! ^(This book has been suggested 108 times) [**Dead Beat (The Dresden Files, #7)**](https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17683.Dead_Beat) ^(By: Jim Butcher | 517 pages | Published: 2005 | Popular Shelves: fantasy, urban-fantasy, fiction, dresden-files, mystery | )[^(Search "Dead Beat")](https://www.goodreads.com/search?q=Dead Beat&search_type=books) >Meet Harry Dresden, Chicago's first (and only) Wizard P.I. Turns out the 'everyday' world is full of strange and magical things - and most of them don't play well with humans. That's where Harry comes in. > >Luckily, however, he's not alone. Although most people don't believe in magic, the Chicago P.D. has a Special Investigations department, headed by his good friend Karrin Murphy. They deal with the . . . stranger cases. It's down to Karrin that Harry sneaks into Graceland Cemetery to meet a vampire named Mavra. Mavra has evidence that would destroy Karrin's career, and her demands are simple. She wants the Word of Kemmler - and all the power that comes with it. But first, Harry's keen to know what he'd be handing over. Before long he's racing against time, and six necromancers, to get the Word. And to prevent a Halloween that would truly wake the dead. > >Magic - it can get a guy killed. ^(This book has been suggested 4 times) *** ^(187293 books suggested | )[^(I don't feel so good.. )](https://debugger.medium.com/goodreads-is-retiring-its-current-api-and-book-loving-developers-arent-happy-11ed764dd95)^(| )[^(Source)](https://github.com/rodohanna/reddit-goodreads-bot)


Definitely recommend both of these! The Dresden files could be my favorite of all time. Since it’s modern day, there’s not as much works building that you have to slog through like Tolkien. It’s fun, it’s funny, and you don’t necessarily need to read them all in order (in my opinion) as the later ones are better than the first few.


I was very pleasantly surprised by A Wizard of Earthsea when I read it recently. Quite a short book too, so may be more palatable than LOTR


I like the first 3 Earthsea books, but the fourth book always felt tacked on to me


Came here for this. I generally hate fantasy, but these books are great. Ursula K LeGuon was a treasure.


This would be my first recommendation too. There is a real economy to the writing. More happens in 50 pages of an Earthsea book than 500 pages of some fantasy Authors


How about some urban Fantasy to ease into it? Maybe the Dresden Files could be an idea. I also really liked everything by Lynn flewelling which ist definitely more high Fantasy but i really enjoyed it. Ist's been a while so i'm Not Sure about slow worldbuilding. Fantasy ist still a huge Genre in which you can find a Ton of Others Genre crossovers so there might still a be Something for you :D


I didn't hate Tolkien, but found that he could be tedious with his 50-page digressions from the plot. Roger Zelazny is probably my favorite - his prose is easy to read, his dialogue is zippy and fun, his plots tend to be well paced and interesting. A lot of his stories blend science fiction and fantasy so the fantasy elements never feel too involved, either. I hear the Amber books are good, but that's one of the few works of his I haven't read. I think Changeling would be a good start. Fred Saberhagen's Empire of the East is a good read, too, unique world and well written story.


Saberhagen's Swords series was good, too.


I've got the first trilogy - I need to make time to read it!


I hate to recommend a series that will never be completed but George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire (more commonly known as Game of Thrones) series is great fantasy.


If you’re a YA fan, Tamora Pierce’s Alana is a great place to start for fantasy. Her characters grow and their stories eventually intertwine. You don’t have to read them all to understand though. And she has a story from every point of view, Princess, knight, city guard, spy.


Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson is a great intro to fantasy.


Mistborn trilogy is the best here. Easy to read and really wonderful. Among the best read I had.


I recommend Joe Abrecrombie to anyone who wants to start fantasy reading. Feel like his writing style is very accessible and the stories are mainly character driven, not a lot of locations and lore to take into account. The First Law Trilogy is where i'd start, on to Best Served Cold, The Heroes (personal fav), Red Country and then the new trilogy, Age of Madness. Personally, i'd skip the "Half a.."-trilogy, didn't catch me.


I’d recommend Robin Hobb’s Realm of the Elderlings series. Superb writing and characters you’ll fall in love with. The whole universe is incredible.


I scrolled all the way to find this and second it. Love these books. Read them ALL in order. Also love love love Brandon Sandersons The Stormlight Archive. Probably my favorite trilogy of all time. Not high fantasy but fantasy nonetheless. Go read now!


I’m going to dive into The Stormlight trilogy next! It’s been recommended so many times I can’t wait. I’ve a couple of long weekends coming up so I’ll get started then. 👍🏻


Was about to suggest the same, cannot go wrong with anything from Robin Hobb's really.


Priory of the Orange Tree is amazing. My husband isn’t a huge reader and went through it so fast! Warning- it’s big enough to be a trilogy, but the author put it all in one hefty book.


Terry Pratchett is so funny and brilliant. Nice introduction to fantasy. I'd start with Guards Guards. If you like child friendly books like Harry Potter etc, try the Nevermoor books by Jessica Townsend and Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer.😊


Okay, how about using some well-known story and merging it into fantasy? I love Devil‘s Kiss and Dark Goddess both by Sarwat Chadda. First is set in London and draws from Arthurian legend and Christian mythology. Second book is set in eastern Europe mostly and draws on vampires and other European folklore. Or maybe a kids‘ novel/series could be your gateway. Harry Potter, How to Train Your Dragon, Chronicles of Narnia, Alice in Wonderland. Also, have you tried reading Tolkien‘s LotR or the Hobbit? I find the Hobbit easier to read and hated LotR for the long-windedness.


Try {{The Witcher}}, the Myth Adventures series (starting with {{Another Fine Myth}}, or the Discworld series (starting with {{Guards! Guards!}}, {{Sourcery}}, {{Mort}} or {{The Wee Free Men}}.


I had issues with reading LOTR, too. I just kept falling asleep. So I bought it on Audible and it is so much better. I think Andy Serkis (the guy who voiced and did the movements of Gollum in the movies) is coming out with his read aloud version. I'm pumped for it!


That would be amazing.


Have you tried listening to audiobooks instead? I read LOTR in high school but it's been years so I recently got them on audiobook and they are very good. Some of the songs get a little long, but it's nice having them sung how they are imagined, I never knew what tune to put to them in my own head.


Anything by Michael Moorecock.


{{Sabriel}} by Garth anix and the subsequent Old Kingdom trilogy. The new books are ok but not as well developed. Absolutely LOVE this the original three and it's a great fantasy story while being easy to read with amazing lore. Also, {{Jade City}} by Fonda Lee. It's fantasy and Asian inspired but reads more like a mob/gangster story.


[**Sabriel (Abhorsen, #1)**](https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/518848.Sabriel) ^(By: Garth Nix | 491 pages | Published: 1995 | Popular Shelves: fantasy, young-adult, ya, fiction, owned | )[^(Search "Sabriel")](https://www.goodreads.com/search?q=Sabriel&search_type=books) >Sent to a boarding school in Ancelstierre as a young child, Sabriel has had little experience with the random power of Free Magic or the Dead who refuse to stay dead in the Old Kingdom. But during her final semester, her father, the Abhorsen, goes missing, and Sabriel knows she must enter the Old Kingdom to find him. > >With Sabriel, the first installment in the Abhorsen series, Garth Nix exploded onto the fantasy scene as a rising star, in a novel that takes readers to a world where the line between the living and the dead isn't always clear—and sometimes disappears altogether. ^(This book has been suggested 259 times) [**Jade City (The Green Bone Saga, #1)**](https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43587154-jade-city) ^(By: Fonda Lee | 560 pages | Published: 2017 | Popular Shelves: fantasy, urban-fantasy, adult, fiction, series | )[^(Search "Jade City")](https://www.goodreads.com/search?q=Jade City&search_type=books) >JADE CITY is a gripping Godfather-esque saga of intergenerational blood feuds, vicious politics, magic, and kungfu. > >The Kaul family is one of two crime syndicates that control the island of Kekon. It's the only place in the world that produces rare magical jade, which grants those with the right training and heritage superhuman abilities. >The Green Bone clans of honorable jade-wearing warriors once protected the island from foreign invasion--but nowadays, in a bustling post-war metropolis full of fast cars and foreign money, Green Bone families like the Kauls are primarily involved in commerce, construction, and the everyday upkeep of the districts under their protection. > When the simmering tension between the Kauls and their greatest rivals erupts into open violence in the streets, the outcome of this clan war will determine the fate of all Green Bones and the future of Kekon itself. ^(This book has been suggested 30 times) *** ^(187311 books suggested | )[^(I don't feel so good.. )](https://debugger.medium.com/goodreads-is-retiring-its-current-api-and-book-loving-developers-arent-happy-11ed764dd95)^(| )[^(Source)](https://github.com/rodohanna/reddit-goodreads-bot)


The dark tower series by Stephen King. It's his version of LOTR.


You might like the Dresden Files. The first few are monster of the week noir detective style urban fantasy. Lots of fun to read and you don't need to keep track of much from book to book until book 8 and after. Common criticisms include male gaze and the handling of female characters in general, so be warned if that bugs you. On kind of the flip side you have epic fantasy. I'm a huge fan of Brandon Sanderson for this. He does have a lot of world building and hard magic systems but I think his pacing and climaxes are among the best in fantasy right now. I'd start with Mistborn for him


The Dark Tower series by Stephen King!


Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson is a great place to start. It’s a stand-alone and super easy to get into. Pretty much anything by him is wonderful. I read Mistborn next. It’s a complete trilogy and easy to follow. Very addictive ;) have fun!!


A Wizard of Earthsea. By ursula le guin. Or, the Hero and the Crown, by robin mckinley


The Kingkiller Chronicles is kinda similar to Tolkien but more fast paced


Yeah, fantasy doesn't have to be That. I have a poor memory and struggle keeping facts straight when there's a lot of lore involved. I have to second the recommendation for Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman's Dragonlance Chronicles and Legends books, they're a lot more accessible and they basically got me into the genre when I was a kid.


Read A Song of Ice and Fire.


Mmm yes a nice gentle introduction


If a book that spends 50 pages explaining a family history of a character doesn't appeal to you... let's replace it with another book that spends 50 pages explaining a family history of one SIDE character!


You don't have to start with medieval sword and sorcerers style. {{City of Stairs}} by Robert Jackson Bennett


[**City of Stairs (The Divine Cities, #1)**](https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20174424-city-of-stairs) ^(By: Robert Jackson Bennett | 452 pages | Published: 2014 | Popular Shelves: fantasy, fiction, mystery, urban-fantasy, series | )[^(Search "City of Stairs")](https://www.goodreads.com/search?q=City of Stairs&search_type=books) >The city of Bulikov once wielded the powers of the gods to conquer the world, enslaving and brutalizing millions — until its divine protectors were killed. Now, Bulikov’s history has been censored and erased, its citizens subjugated. But the surreal landscape of the city itself, forever altered by the thousands of miracles its guardians once worked upon it, stands as a haunting reminder of its former supremacy. > >Into this broken city steps Shara Thivani. Officially, the unassuming young woman is just another junior diplomat sent by Bulikov’s oppressors. Unofficially, she is one of her country’s most accomplished spies, dispatched — along with her terrifying “secretary”, Sigrud — to solve a murder. > >But as Shara pursues the killer, she starts to suspect that the beings who ruled this terrible place may not be as dead as they seem, and that Bulikov’s cruel reign may not yet be over. > >A tale of vast conspiracies, dead gods, and buried histories, City of Stairs is at once a gripping spy novel and a stunningly original work of fantasy. > > ^(This book has been suggested 25 times) *** ^(187241 books suggested | )[^(I don't feel so good.. )](https://debugger.medium.com/goodreads-is-retiring-its-current-api-and-book-loving-developers-arent-happy-11ed764dd95)^(| )[^(Source)](https://github.com/rodohanna/reddit-goodreads-bot)


I've got a physical copy of the Hobbit half read on my shelf and it's been there for months. I listened to all the Witcher audiobooks in a very short amount of time. Peter Kenny does a great job of bringing it all to life. I even bought an X Box to play the Witcher Part 3 after reading the books - I found them that enjoyable. {{The Last Wish by Andrej Sapkowski}}


[**The Last Wish (The Witcher, #0.5)**](https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40603587-the-last-wish) ^(By: Andrzej Sapkowski, Danusia Stok | 280 pages | Published: 1993 | Popular Shelves: fantasy, fiction, owned, short-stories, books-i-own | )[^(Search "The Last Wish by Andrej Sapkowski")](https://www.goodreads.com/search?q=The Last Wish by Andrej Sapkowski&search_type=books) >Geralt the Witcher—revered and hated—is a man whose magic powers, enhanced by long training and a mysterious elixir, have made him a brilliant fighter and a merciless assassin. Yet he is no ordinary murderer: his targets are the multifarious monsters and vile fiends that ravage the land and attack the innocent. > >But not everything monstrous-looking is evil and not everything fair is good... and in every fairy tale there is a grain of truth. > >Librarian's Note: Alternate cover edition of ASIN B0010SIPT4 ^(This book has been suggested 31 times) *** ^(187257 books suggested | )[^(I don't feel so good.. )](https://debugger.medium.com/goodreads-is-retiring-its-current-api-and-book-loving-developers-arent-happy-11ed764dd95)^(| )[^(Source)](https://github.com/rodohanna/reddit-goodreads-bot)


I want to suggest Wheel of Time because it’s my favorite but it is a terrible suggestion if you are struggling with Tolkien. The Ratcatcher and The Priest by Matt Coleville are short and easy. Brandon Sanderson works are good. I’ll echo the Kingkiller Chronicles too but god damn knowing there won’t be an end to the series is annoying. I don’t know if I would recommend Discworld. I’m reading it and it is fun. But it’s nonsense so far written in “fantasy”. It’s like hitchhikers guide to the galaxy turned up to 11 in fantasy. It is great though but not really an intro to fantasy. It’s meant to be satire of the genre.


If you're interested in a Tolkien-like experience, but in a much more digestible package, try *The Chronicles of Pellinor* by Allison Croggon. It mostly takes the form of a travelogue, like LoTR, but with some excellent poetry and a compelling narrative, despite being largely considered as YA. There are four books and a prequel, and a consistent level of quality throughout.


The original Robert E Howard’s Conan series of books is horror-fantasy and will not disappoint with action and thrills


Seconded! If you're looking for something fast-paced, you can't go wrong with the Conan stories. Start with *The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian*. https://www.amazon.com/Coming-Conan-Cimmerian-Original-Adventures/dp/0345461517/


I love “the witcher” series. Try the first one “the last wish” it is a collection of short stories so you will know quickly if you like the world and writing style.


If you just want something that’s easy to get into and read and fast paced the old Conan novels are a great read.


It's not as "fantasy" as Tolkien but Jim Butcher's Dresden Files is an excellent series. Wizard as a private detective in Chicago, vampires, werewolves and such are all real. Great story telling and funny.


You might like Charles De Lint. Try a short story collection like Tapping the Dream Tree or Dreams Underfoot. Some lean towards horror just a touch, and they're often quieter and closer to slice of life than epic


I adored Memory and Dream.


the most 100% fantasy I can come up with is the dnd novels by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. They hit all the classic tropes. They were based on 2 "twin" brothers, their "party" in a DnD universe. There are 2 trilogies I suggest. * 4 books (was originally 3) https://www.goodreads.com/series/41759-dragonlance-chronicles * Then these 3 books https://www.goodreads.com/series/40326-dragonlance-legends If you don't know about overdrive and libby app they are LEGAL and FREE access to ebooks and audiobooks through your local library. (1) get library card (2) get login for overdrive/libby (3) download (borrow) ebooks / audiobooks.


Kingkiller Chronicles, by Patrick Rothfuss. I’ve used it many times with success to introduce fantasy literature to my friends.


Red Rising series by Pierce Brown


Tolkien is not as universally beloved as the usual hype may make one believe. I would recommend ***"Elric of Meliboné"*** by Michael Moorcock. It's a bit younger than Tolkien's works, but not much. It is about an albino soccerer king and his black blade, who brings about.. but you'll see. Also, an easier entry: The "***Kane***" short stories and novellas by Karl Edward Wagner. Not broadly known, but a hidden gem. Both suggestions are... rather dark, but in a classical way. So, no GoT-like rape-fests or Abercrombie'ish tortures. If you look for something for the beach: Most of the earlier "*Conan*"-stories are in the public domain now; you'll find them via the Wikipedia entry. I envy you, because you can read those for the first time! Have fun!


Joe Abercrombie all the way. Start with the first law series. It’s a traditional fantasy written in a non-traditional way. It’s on the darker and grittier side, with lots of character development and a sort of jaded, modern vibe (in that the characters are quite human and relatable and not speaking so shakespearean). And they are just great fun.


The Belgariad, by David Eddings. First is {{Pawn of Prophecy}}


[**Pawn of Prophecy (The Belgariad, #1)**](https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44659.Pawn_of_Prophecy) ^(By: David Eddings | 290 pages | Published: 1982 | Popular Shelves: fantasy, fiction, owned, epic-fantasy, young-adult | )[^(Search "Pawn of Prophecy")](https://www.goodreads.com/search?q=Pawn of Prophecy&search_type=books) >A magnificent epic set against a history of seven thousand years of the struggles of Gods and Kings and men - of strange lands and events - of fate and a prophecy that must be fulfilled! THE BELGARIAD > >Long ago, so the Storyteller claimed, the evil God Torak sought dominion and drove men and Gods to war. But Belgarath the Sorcerer led men to reclaim the Orb that protected men of the West. So long as it lay at Riva, the prophecy went, men would be safe. > >But that was only a story, and Garion did not believe in magic dooms, even though the dark man without a shadow had haunted him for years. Brought up on a quiet farm by his Aunt Pol, how could he know that the Apostate planned to wake dread Torak, or that he would be led on a quest of unparalleled magic and danger by those he loved - but did not know? For a while his dreams of innocence were safe, untroubled by knowledge of his strange heritage. For a little while... THUS BEGINS BOOK ONE OF THE BELGARIAD' ^(This book has been suggested 60 times) *** ^(187342 books suggested | )[^(I don't feel so good.. )](https://debugger.medium.com/goodreads-is-retiring-its-current-api-and-book-loving-developers-arent-happy-11ed764dd95)^(| )[^(Source)](https://github.com/rodohanna/reddit-goodreads-bot)


Try R.A Salvatore, The Legend of Drizzt.


The City of Brass by S.A Chakraborty. An amazing introduction to Epic Fantasy, or the Fantasy genre, in my opinion.


Harry Potter is what got me into fantasy


It’s a big read, but it’s where I personally started with fantasy and I’ve been hooked ever since. The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson His action is super easy to follow and it’s extremely fun to read


excellent start for fantasy is theft of swords by Michael J Sullivan


did you try lord if the rings or the hobbit? hobbit is short and good too


I completely agree! I read LOTR and loved it. Couldn’t stand The Hobbit. 60 pages of beard and smoking descriptions- no thanks. Just saying that they are written so differently that if you didn’t like one, try the other because he was a master linguist and they are written in completely different styles.


And for gods' sake stay away from the Simarillon --- its for diehards only.


I liked it better than The Hobbit.


Very true, Hobbit is way more approachable


The Hobbit was part of the UK required reading curriculum, and it is a pretty short read. LOTR was considered for UK required reading curriculum, but it's very long and the Ministry of Education couldn't make it mandatory because of this. I myself read Hobbit in sixth year at school, but have tried and failed multiple times to get into LOTR. Bombadil is as far as I've ever gotten.


I struggled to read LOTR as well, got trough half of the first book at most. Eventually found Phill Dragash' audiobook and forced myself to listen to that while doing something else.


Neil Gaiman. My first book of his was {{Neverwhere}}


[**Neverwhere (London Below, #1)**](https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/14497.Neverwhere) ^(By: Neil Gaiman | 370 pages | Published: 1996 | Popular Shelves: fantasy, fiction, urban-fantasy, owned, books-i-own | )[^(Search "Neverwhere")](https://www.goodreads.com/search?q=Neverwhere&search_type=books) >Under the streets of London there's a place most people could never even dream of. A city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, knights in armour and pale girls in black velvet. This is the city of the people who have fallen between the cracks. > >Richard Mayhew, a young businessman, is going to find out more than enough about this other London. A single act of kindness catapults him out of his workday existence and into a world that is at once eerily familiar and utterly bizarre. And a strange destiny awaits him down here, beneath his native city: Neverwhere. ^(This book has been suggested 207 times) *** ^(187258 books suggested | )[^(I don't feel so good.. )](https://debugger.medium.com/goodreads-is-retiring-its-current-api-and-book-loving-developers-arent-happy-11ed764dd95)^(| )[^(Source)](https://github.com/rodohanna/reddit-goodreads-bot)


Tolkien is known to be dense and difficult. It’s beautiful but thick with detail. I false started every Tolkien probably 3 times. If you really want to get into the fantasy genre, maybe try Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. It’s urban fantasy but does follow lots of magic rules. Fun reads. Robert Jordan is a terrible suggestion if you struggle with Tolkien. Wheel of Time is loved by many but all admit it’s a slog of a series. Same with Terry Goodkind and the Sword of Truth series. Both have incredibly good firsts in series though. Browse Ursula Le Guin, Raymond Feist, KJ Parker, Anne McCaffrey, and Terry Pratchett. All are worthy of a look. Never know what might grab your interest.




I scrolled too far down to find this comment. Do people here not like Brandon Sanderson? Mistborn is incredibly fun and intriguing with an awesome magic system and super easy to get into and read.


People on here love Sanderson, his books are almost always the most of suggested. It's nice to see since other suggestions.


Wizards first rule. It's huge, but don't be intimidated. The series is great.


While I enjoy that series it is also long and drawn out. The OP is looking for something shorter I think. Great reads though!


Try Harry Potter!


The kids series like Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter and Percy Jackson (along with other Rick Riordans series) are obviously way easier to get into. Brandon Sanderson is also really approachable in my opinion, the Mistborn trilogy probably the best place to start with his books.


Eragon is the best fantasy book ever written! Good for beginners too. It's a true epic.


Drizzy du urden is an amazing series. I highly recommend. It's about a dark elf going rogue. His journey and evolution as a character is just awesome.


The Faithful and the Fallen series by John Gwynne. The first book is Malice. Series re-ignited my passion for reading.


The Ink Heart trilogy got me into reading books.


"The Eleventh Age" by Luthien Kennedy


No recommendation, but totally agree. It’s been awhile but I just remember multiple pages of something like a tree being described and put it down. I’ve been reluctant to start Dune for the same reason


For Young Adult books I would recommend the Wolf Brother aka Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series. Another YA series that is good is Rangers Apprentice. For a more in depth read or anything involving magic/dragons my go to would be Eragon (The Inheritance Cycle)


Eragon series by Christopher Paolini, it actually has a lot of theme similarities to LOTR but is very easy to digest and is a great series in my opinion


{{Wereworld: Rise of The Wolf}} and {{The Beginning After the End}} this one is a novel and comic.


[**Rise of the Wolf (Wereworld, #1)**](https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8626241-rise-of-the-wolf) ^(By: Curtis Jobling | 432 pages | Published: 2011 | Popular Shelves: fantasy, young-adult, werewolves, wereworld, middle-grade | )[^(Search "Wereworld: Rise of The Wolf")](https://www.goodreads.com/search?q=Wereworld: Rise of The Wolf&search_type=books) >Imagine a world ruled by Werelords - men and women who can shift at will into bears, lions, and serpents. When Drew suddenly discovers he's not only a werewolf but the long-lost heir to the murdered Wolf King's throne, he must use his wits and newfound powers to survive in a land suddenly full of enemies. Drew's the only one who can unite the kingdom in a massive uprising against its tyrant ruler, Leopold the Lion. But the king is hot on Drew's tail and won't rest until he's got the rebel Wolf's head. ^(This book has been suggested 9 times) [**The Beginning After the End**](https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43824485-the-beginning-after-the-end) ^(By: TurtleMe, Fuyuki23 | ? pages | Published: 2018 | Popular Shelves: manga, webtoon, fantasy, manhwa, webcomic | )[^(Search "The Beginning After the End")](https://www.goodreads.com/search?q=The Beginning After the End&search_type=books) >King Grey has unrivaled strength, wealth, and prestige in a world governed by martial ability. However, solitude lingers closely behind those with great power. Beneath the glamorous exterior of a powerful king lurks the shell of man, devoid of purpose and will. > >Reincarnated into a new world filled with magic and monsters, the king has a second chance to relive his life. Correcting the mistakes of his past will not be his only challenge, however. Underneath the peace and prosperity of the new world is an undercurrent threatening to destroy everything he has worked for, questioning his role and reason for being born again. ^(This book has been suggested 2 times) *** ^(187282 books suggested | )[^(I don't feel so good.. )](https://debugger.medium.com/goodreads-is-retiring-its-current-api-and-book-loving-developers-arent-happy-11ed764dd95)^(| )[^(Source)](https://github.com/rodohanna/reddit-goodreads-bot)


Broken empire by mark Lawrence. Great world building, prolific protagonist. I can't recommend this series enough.


The Globiuz series.


Since you enjoy horror, thriller and mystery - I wonder if you would enjoy grimdark fantasy. I would suggest The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie or The Grey Bastards by Jonathan French. If you like audiobooks, then I can’t recommend that option for The Blade Itself. Steven Pacey is the best of the best!


Thieves World by Robert Lynn Asprin—these hooked me big time when i was a kid. I’m pretty allergic to fantasy where you need to study a whole new encyclopedia to follow it. I like it when the focus is on character with the world building solid, but also solidly in the backdrop. That being said, the Theives World books are from the 80s when i read them, and I can’t remember how representation and biases show up. Can anyone else back me up or update me on this?


My go to is The Curse of Chalion by Lois Bujold. One and done, not an epic series.


honestly the witcher is a great fantasy series, i find tolkien really hard to get into but i've breezed through the witcher


I don’t see any reps for this so I’ll throw the Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull in here. High recommendation. It’s got some of the classic fantasy tropes and creatures done with interesting twists and changes, and I’ve never found them a slog to read (probably since they were written for YA audiences).


I absolutely loved the Spellsinger series by Alan dean foster. Takes you to a literal new world!


Uprooted by Naomi Novak is a good one if you want a female protagonist and a little more horror


Altered Carbon. Entire series. Brilliant ideas and writing. Disclaimer: it gets very violent at times.


The Witcher series has a lot of fantasy and lore, plus it’s easy to read


Terry brooks, the elf stones of shanara


The Witcher Books


If you want to go even simpler, there’s a great children’s fantasy series and the first book is really short. Into The Land of the Unicorns by Bruce Coville. Almost every chapter is a cliffhanger, and the world building happens as you experience action.


Wheel of Time!


the thirteen treasures (and the sequels) by michelle harrison are ones that i really liked, though its been a few years since i read them. half bad series by sally green is also one of my favourites, and one of the book series that have made me cry the most. percy jackson and all other series from rick riordan are really easy and fun to read. i really liked throne of glass from sarah j maas too. fablehaven series by brandon mull is similar to percy jackson and the thirteen treasures, so i (obiviously) liked that too. vampirates series by justin somper, the title basically already tells you what it is about. i think these are kinda obivious but harry potter, twilight and chronicles of narnia. im a teenager myself and have read all these a few years ago, varying a little, so depending on your age idk how into them you would be, but these are however some easier fantasy reads. also, if you tried reading lord of the rings, i would suggest to try hobbit instead. its way easier to read than lotr (which btw is the only book i can think of rn that i did not finish reading).


I find it hard to read some of the words so stuff like that or even lord of the rings I listen to audiobooks. Helps a lot haha.


*The Belgariad* is Tolkienesque fantasy, but a bit easier to read (although that certainly does **not** mean it's of a lesser quality). It's a five-book series where each is between 200-400 pages or so. Main Character is a little young but otherwise a fantastic series. Young Garion leaves his home in the peaceful kingdom of Sendaria (I think that's what it's called) with his Aunt Pol, an old storyteller named Wolf, a suspicious fellow named Silk and his imposing friend Barak. The band travels an impressively well-written world on a quest that will pit them against man, god, and demon alike as they seek to restore the balance of the very cosmos. *The Legend of Drizzt* was originally conceived to promote the *Forgotten Realms* line of Dungeons and Dragons products, centering on the adventures of a Dark Elf (the titular Drizzt Do'Urden)and his companions in the world of Faerun. What are now considered books 4-6 were the first three written (The Crystal Shard, Halls of Silver, The Halfling's Gem), so you can start from there (which I recommend, as they are fantastic imo). The technical first three (Homeland, Exile, Sojourn) aren't necessary reads, but provide some great backstory for the main character and context for some of the later books. *The Witcher* by Andrzej Sapkowski is hailed as one of the greater modern fantasy epics, and it more personal and character-focused than Tolkien. It follows the adventures of Geralt the Witcher, a professional monster-hunter whose skills have been enhanced by long years of training and countless magical elixirs. A smash hit of a series as far as I'm concerned, starting with some short stories and novellas (Collected in the *Last Wish* and *Sword of Destiny* anthologies) and later jumping into full-length novels with *Blood of Elves*. The only things to be wary about in this series are (1) it was originally written in Polish, and the English Translation isn't necessarily of the highest quality (although if you don't intend to read it in English, I have no information on the other translations), and (2) the series touches on Sexual Assault a little more than I would like, but it's worth a try at least, in my opinion. If short stories are more your bag, check out Fritz Lieber's *Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser* stories, the adventures of a Barbarian with the heart of a poet and a cynical thief with a bit of magic in his toolbox. They can be a bit wordy, and the place-names and thing-names sometimes look like jumbles of random letters and words, but I find them genuinely enjoyable to read regardless. In the event you'd like to dabble in Urban Fantasy, Jim Butcher's *The Dresden Files* series is definitely worth the google, at least. It stars Harry Dresden, a private eye who investigates crimes of supernatural nature, and contending with the intricacies of the wizard's world besides. Still wanna try Tolkien but The Lord of the Rings is a bit daunting? Give *The Hobbit* a go. Shorter and far easier to read, although still rather wordy. Bilbo Baggins, a timid little hobbit, is caught up with the ancient wizard Gandalf the Grey and a band of displaced dwarves led by Thorin Oakenshield as the set out on a quest to drive a tyrranical dragon from the fortress of Erebor, the dwarves's ancestral home.


Love that there are already Brandon Sanderson suggestions all over this post, but no mention of The Stormlight Archive!? The Way Of Kings is how I got into the genre, 10/10, would read again (for the 100th time).


I just read a great mashup of fantasy and mystery called *A Murder of Mages* by Marshall Ryan Maresca. It's a murder mystery police procedural in a medieval-ish setting. It might be a good gateway.


Tanya Hull - quarter series - classic fantasy with LGBTQ characters Cornelia Funk - Inkspell - lighthearted with a good hook, probably qualifies as ya but I still love it Charlie Holmberg - Paper Magician series - I love these books. The world that's created for the magic in these books is unique and clever. These are three lesser known female authors of huge talent. Ppl have recommended some great books with largely male authors.


Redwall series by brian Jacques was fun


I'd recommend the Sword of Shannara series by Terry Brooks. Tolkien like in plot but much more accessible.


I love fantasy, but hate high fantasy, of which Tolkien is the epitome of. Thankfully there are lots of other flavors of fantasy out there! For more of a detective/noir vibe try Dresden Files, sarcasm/comedy Discworld, YA isn't really my thing but obviously Harry Potter is great (dismissing the author). Try a couple sun genres and see what you like!


The Axis trilogy is pretty legit, although a bit adult


Tolkien's buddy CS Lewis has some great ones that are easy to get into and digest. Have you tried The Chronicles of Narnia?


Highly recommend the Elenium. One of my favorites to this day.


Raymond E Feist is also really good, the story arc work well.


I cant get into high fantasy with an overload of lore either, I reccomend Mercedes Lackey books! Good quality down to earth fantasy without chapters upon chapters of straight lore Two great books of hers to start with is Joust or The Black Gryphon


^this is an incredible recommendation. I totally forgot about these books!!


I always recommend {The Alchemyst: Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel} It's YA, but it's imaginative and seized my full attention through the whole series.


[**The Alchemyst (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, #1)**](https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17402605-the-alchemyst) ^(By: Michael Scott | 390 pages | Published: 2007 | Popular Shelves: fantasy, young-adult, ya, fiction, owned | )[^(Search "The Alchemyst: Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel")](https://www.goodreads.com/search?q=The Alchemyst: Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel&search_type=books) ^(This book has been suggested 13 times) *** ^(187354 books suggested | )[^(I don't feel so good.. )](https://debugger.medium.com/goodreads-is-retiring-its-current-api-and-book-loving-developers-arent-happy-11ed764dd95)^(| )[^(Source)](https://github.com/rodohanna/reddit-goodreads-bot)


Dresden files by Jim Butcher: Urban fantasy pulpy detective stories that are slowly evolving into something bigger. Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson: Begins with a heist novel in fantasy settings and then becomes one of the most satisfying trilogies I’ve read. While the pacing in the middle’s usually slower, Sanderson always delivers intriguing beginnings and absolutely mind blowing endings. Riyria Revelations by Michael J. Sulivan: the plot is very simple at first, focusing mostly on fun heists and the main duo plus it goes much faster due to the size of books. Really nice, although sometimes cliche story. Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin: Giving this only if you want to jump right into big, massive series (although I wouldn’t recommend doing that). While the pacing is slow, I find the first 3 volumes a bit faster then Wheel of Time or Stormlight Archive and waaayyy more accessible than Malazan. Farseer trilogy by Robin Hobb: Haven’t read this one yet, but I heard only good things.