10 Must-Read Fantasy Books for English Language Learners

Top 5 Must-Read Fantasy Novels for AP Students

Fantasy Novels

If you are an AP student looking for some quality fantasy novels to read, you have come to the right place. Fantasy novels are perfect for anyone who wants to take a break from reality and immerse themselves in another world. These novels often have vividly imagined worlds, complex characters, and high stakes. Here are the top 5 must-read fantasy novels for AP students.

1. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

The Lord of the Rings trilogy is a classic in the fantasy genre, and for good reason. This epic story follows hobbit Frodo Baggins as he sets out to destroy the One Ring, which has the power to enslave all of Middle-earth. Along the way, he is joined by a fellowship of diverse characters who face overwhelming challenges, including epic battles, monstrous creatures, and treacherous terrain.

J.R.R. Tolkien is a masterful world-builder, and readers will find themselves fully immersed in Middle-earth. Beyond the thrilling adventure, this novel also explores themes of power, friendship, and sacrifice. The Lord of the Rings is a must-read for any fantasy fan, and an essential addition to any AP book list.

The Lord of the Rings trilogy has also been adapted into a highly-successful movie series, directed by Peter Jackson. However, as with most adaptations, the books provide a fuller and richer experience, and are recommended to be read first.

2. A Song of Ice and Fire Series by George R.R. Martin

A Song of Ice and Fire Series

A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin is known for its complex characters, political intrigue, and brutal realism. The series follows a large cast of characters in the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, where noble houses compete for power and conflict arises as an ancient threat looms beyond the Wall.

There is no one main character in the series, allowing readers to be fully immersed in the story of each character and their struggles for power and survival in this harsh world. Martin is a master of intrigue, and the political machinations of the characters keep the reader hooked in a way that few other fantasy series do.

3. The Kingkiller Chronicle Series by Patrick Rothfuss

The Kingkiller Chronicle Series

The Kingkiller Chronicle series by Patrick Rothfuss is a beautifully written, lyrical series of novels. This series is unique in that it follows the story of one character, Kvothe, as he recounts his life story to a chronicler in a tavern over the course of three days. Readers follow Kvothe from his beginnings as a young orphan begging for scraps on the streets, to his time at a magical university, and his dangerous exploits in pursuit of truth and revenge.

Patrick Rothfuss has a gift for creating enchanting prose and evoking vivid imagery, and the series has a beautifully melancholy tone. The world-building is also fascinating, with a unique system of magic and mythology.

4. The Wheel of Time Series by Robert Jordan

The Wheel of Time Series

The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan is one of the longest-running and most beloved epic fantasy series. The series follows a group of young people from a small village as they discover they are a part of a larger world and a larger conflict. They must navigate the complexities of this world, including a prophecy that indicates one of them may be the savior of the world and the other poised to destroy it.

Robert Jordan’s world-building is incredibly detailed, including a complex magic system and intricate political machinations. The characters are diverse, complex, and compelling, with a masterful blend of the epic and personal in their stories.

5. The Stormlight Archive Series by Brandon Sanderson

The Stormlight Archive Series

The Stormlight Archive series by Brandon Sanderson is a newer addition to the fantasy canon, but has quickly gained a large following. The series takes place on a world called Roshar, where storms are a constant threat and the magic system involves using gemstones infused with the power of the storms.

The series follows multiple characters, including Kaladin, a former soldier turned slave who becomes a leader, and Shallan, a noblewoman who becomes a scholar and spy. The series centers around a legend of ancient knights who wield magical weapons called Shardblades to fight against evil forces known as Voidbringers.

Brandon Sanderson creates a fully-realized world with unique cultures, creatures, and landscapes. The series also explores themes of mental health and trauma, making it a great pick for readers who want a more nuanced exploration of these topics within a fantasy context.

Classic Fantasy Works for High School Book Clubs

classic fantasy books

If you’re looking for classic fantasy books that are perfect for high school book clubs, there are plenty of options to choose from. Here are some of our top recommendations:

1. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Hobbit is a classic fantasy novel that is beloved by readers of all ages. This book tells the story of Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit who sets out on an adventure with a group of dwarves to reclaim their homeland from a dragon. The Hobbit is a great choice for a high school book club because it is a timeless classic that is sure to spark discussion and debate among students.

2. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien

lord of the rings

The Lord of the Rings trilogy is another classic fantasy work by J.R.R. Tolkien that is perfect for high school book clubs. This epic tale follows a group of hobbits, elves, dwarves, and men as they embark on a quest to destroy the One Ring, a powerful artifact that could destroy the world. The Lord of the Rings is a great choice for a book club because it is a complex and layered story that will give students plenty to discuss and analyze.

3. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

the chronicles of narnia

The Chronicles of Narnia is a series of seven fantasy novels by C.S. Lewis. The books tell the story of four siblings who discover a magical world called Narnia, which is brimming with talking animals, mythical creatures, and epic battles between good and evil. The Chronicles of Narnia is a great choice for a high school book club because it is an engaging and imaginative series that deals with themes of faith, morality, and redemption.

4. The Earthsea Cycle by Ursula K. Le Guin


The Earthsea Cycle is a series of five fantasy novels by Ursula K. Le Guin. The books follow the adventures of Ged, a young wizard who must learn to harness his power and defeat the evil forces that threaten his world. The Earthsea Cycle is a great choice for a high school book club because it is a beautifully written series that explores complex themes of power, identity, and mortality.

5. The Once and Future King by T.H. White

the once and future king

The Once and Future King is a classic fantasy novel by T.H. White. The book tells the story of King Arthur, a legendary king who rules over Camelot and fights to defend his kingdom against various threats. The Once and Future King is a great choice for a high school book club because it is a gripping and thought-provoking retelling of the Arthurian legend that deals with themes of power, violence, and heroism.

No matter which classic fantasy work you choose for your high school book club, you can be sure that it will provide plenty of opportunities for discussion, analysis, and enjoyment. So why not pick up one of these timeless tales and embark on an adventure of your own today?

Diverse and inclusive fantasy recommendations for young adult readers

Fantasy Book List

Are you a young adult that loves reading fantasy books? Do you want to read books that represent your identity, ethnicity, religion, and culture? If so, we have got you covered! We have compiled a list of diverse and inclusive fantasy books that you will love to read. Here are our top three book recommendations:

1. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Children of Blood and Bone

Children of Blood and Bone is a riveting fantasy novel set in a West-African-inspired world. It follows Zélie Adebola, a young girl who sets out on a dangerous quest to restore magic to the land of Orïsha. But to do so, she must overcome the oppressive monarchy and confront her own personal demons. This book has received widespread critical acclaim for its rich world-building, complex characters, and its exploration of themes such as race, power, and oppression.

2. The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna

The Gilded Ones

The Gilded Ones is a compelling YA Fantasy novel set in a West-African-inspired world. It follows Deka, a young girl who is ostracized from her village when she discovers that she possesses gold blood, a sign of impurity and devilry. She is then forced to join a group of girls to fight against monsters that threaten their land. This book is praised for its thrilling plot, feminist themes, and exploration of identity and belonging.

3. A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin is a captivating YA Fantasy novel that follows the stories of two protagonists: Malik, a refugee from a war-torn country, and Karina, the princess of a powerful ruling family. They both must enter a deadly competition to gain their heart’s desire, but the cost of losing is a life. This book is praised for its unique world-building, complex characters, and exploration of themes such as grief and love.

We hope that this short list has piqued your interest in reading more diverse and inclusive fantasy books. These stories reflect the experiences of people from various backgrounds and cultures, and they offer a fresh perspective on the classic elements of the fantasy genre. Happy reading!

Hidden gem fantasy novels from around the world

Hidden gem fantasy novels from around the world

If you’re looking for a fantasy novel that’s different from the typical Western style, look no further than these hidden gem fantasy novels from around the world. These books may not have gained as much recognition as their Western counterparts, but they are just as innovative and imaginative.

1. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami (Japan)
Haruki Murakami is one of Japan’s most famous contemporary authors, and his novel, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, is a masterpiece of magical realism. Set in Japan during the 1980s, the protagonist, Toru Okada, embarks on a surreal journey to uncover the truth about his missing wife. Along the way, he meets a cast of unforgettable characters, including a psychic prostitute and a soldier who’s lost his mind. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle blurs the lines between reality and dimensions, making it an imaginative work of fiction.

2. Labyrinths by Jorge Luis Borges (Argentina)
Jorge Luis Borges’ Labyrinths is a collection of short stories, essays, and parables that explore the depths of human consciousness. His work is often characterized as “meta-fiction,” as he focuses on the nature of storytelling and literary devices. In “The Garden of Forking Paths,” Borges introduces the idea of parallel universes, while in “The Library of Babel,” he imagines a library that contains every possible book. Labyrinths is a thought-provoking work that demonstrates the power of the imagination.

3. The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov (Russia)
Mikhail Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita is a satirical novel that combines elements of fantasy, magic, and social commentary. Set in Moscow during the 1930s, the novel follows the Devil and his entourage as they wreak havoc in the city. At the same time, a writer named “the Master” is struggling to get his novel published. The Master and Margarita is a darkly humorous and subversive work that critiques Soviet society and the boundaries of truth.

4. The Three-Body Problem by Liu Cixin (China)
The Three-Body Problem by Liu Cixin is a science-fiction novel that has won numerous awards, including the Hugo Award for Best Novel. The novel explores the idea of humanity’s first contact with extraterrestrial life and the repercussions that follow. The story is set in China during the Cultural Revolution and follows a group of scientists as they investigate a mysterious signal from a distant star. The Three-Body Problem is a groundbreaking work of science fiction that is as thought-provoking as it is suspenseful.

These hidden gem fantasy novels from around the world offer readers a unique perspective on the genre. From magical realism to science fiction, these books are imaginative, thought-provoking, and just plain entertaining. So, if you’re looking for a new fantasy novel to explore, pick up one of these hidden gems today.

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