Recommended Books in the Fantasy Genre

Here are some of my favorite fantasy titles, along with a bit of scifi. Experienced fantasy readers will not likely find much here that is new or surprising.  But if you are just getting started in the fantasy genre, here are some I would recommend.

Fantasy books are often done in series, so each series can represent a major time commitment.  I'm a fairly quick reader, so I can generally get through one in reasonable time.  If it takes you awhile to get through a thick book (fantasy titles generally range from 400 pages on up), you should probably look at a lot of suggestions before jumping in.  This list has a lot of the basics.  Of course "The Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit" by Tolkien, which started it all, goes without saying.  You should probably read those first as they are the standard by which other fantasy is often judged.

Check out Amazon for other reviews.  There are a number of other sites, newsgroups, etc. which discuss fantasy as well.

George R.R. Martin
A Song of Ice & Fire 2: A Clash of Kings
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George R.R. Martin
A Song of Ice & Fire 4: A Feast for Crows
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George R.R. Martin
A Song of Ice & Fire 5: A Dance With Dragons
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Guy Gavriel Kay
The Summer Tree
Added on This is the first book of The Fionavar Tapestry Series. One of those where people get pulled out of Earth to another dimension, which I tend to like (Chronicles of Narnia, Thomas Covenant to name two others).
J.R.R. Tolkien
The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings Boxed Set
Added on I finished Fellowship of the Ring in time for the movie and I'm almost done with The Two Towers. I first read these in middle school.
Martha Wells
The Wizard Hunters (The Fall of Ile-Rien #1)
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Martha Wells
The Ships of Air (The Fall of Ile-Rein #2)
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Martha Wells
The Gate of Gods (The Fall of Ile-Rien #3)
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Patrick Rothfuss
The Name of the Wind
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Patrick Rothfuss
The Wise Man's Fear
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Robin Hobb
Assassin's Apprentice
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Roger Zelazny
The Great Book of Amber: The Complete Amber Chronicles, 1-10
Added on The author is often recommended as one of the truly original fantasy writers. I'm already hooked after a couple chapters.
Scott Lynch
The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastards #1)
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Scott Lynch
Red Seas Under Red Skies (Gentleman Bastards #2)
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Scott Lynch
The Republic of Thieves (Gentleman Bastards #3)
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Stephen Donaldson
Chronicles of Thomas Covenant 1: Lord Foul's Bane
Added on Original hardback published 1977
Stephen Donaldson
Chronicles of Thomas Covenant 2: The Illearth War
Added on Original hardback published 1977
Stephen Donaldson
Chronicles of Thomas Covenant 3: The Power That Preserves
Added on Original hardback published in 1977
Tad Williams
Shadowmarch: Shadowmarch: Vol 1
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Tad Williams
Shadowplay
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Tad Williams
The Stone of Farewell (Memory, Sorrow, Thorn)
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Tad Williams
Shadowrise
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Tad Williams
Shadowheart
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Terry Goodkind
Wizard's First Rule (Sword of Truth, Book 1)
Added on This is one of the few major fantasy series I haven't read, so finally had a chance to start it. I like it quite a bit so far.
Terry Goodkind
Stone of Tears (Sword of Truth, Book 2)
Added on I'm already hooked on this series. I keep staying up WAY past my bedtime.
Terry Goodkind
Blood of the Fold (Sword of Truth, Book 3)
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Terry Goodkind
Temple of the Winds (Sword of Truth, Book 4)
Added on This is definitely one of the best in the series so far.
Terry Goodkind
Soul of the Fire (Sword of Truth, Book 5)
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Terry Goodkind
Faith of the Fallen (Sword of Truth, Book 6)
Added on The interesting thing about this one is it pulls in some of Ayn Rand's objectivist philosophies.
Terry Goodkind
The Pillars of Creation (Sword of Truth, Book 7)
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