Where to Start When it Comes to Reading Fantasy

As a fantasy author, I also of course, read fantasy, but I am aware that it is a genre that lots of people have difficulty dissecting. Works tend to build upon the tropes of other works, or invert the common themes of the genre, and these sorts of books can be confusing to anyone who isn’t already indoctrinated into the genre. The genre is also massive, with tons of diversity (and therefore probably something for any type of reader), but it is difficult to know what sub-genres and styles appeal to you.

With that in mind, check out the list on the video below, which introduces works in a wide range of fantasy styles and settings, with none of the books on the list requiring a large amount of knowledge or experience with the genre prior to reading. If you want to skip the explanation, the books I list are: The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien, Elric of Melnibone by Michael Moorcock, Chronicles of Amber by Robert Zelazny, The Dark Tower by Stephen King, the Black Company by Glen Cook, Stormfront by Jim Butcher, Mistborn/The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson, the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling, and Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander. I also recommend (but do not list) Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin.

If you are interested in what I have written, you can check out my Historical Fantasy Samurai novel, Muramasa: Blood Drinker, or read my fantasy/fairy tale novella Garamesh and the Farmer (also available as an audiobook!). Both are available on Amazon.


  1. Hello. I’ve recently found your YouTube channel and enjoy many of your videos. It’s a nice variety of subjects, many I find interesting. I watched this one on recommended fantasy recently and before watching I thought ‘well Glen Cook of course, but no way will this guy mention him’. Really happy I was wrong. It’s a great starting point for anyone who thinks fantasy is only Tolkien and D&D. Cook’s Garrett books, though much different on the surface, are equally as good as Black Company. Very under-appreciated author I’d say. Recent years have seen his popularity grow, and I’m happy for him with that. That combined with your Megadeth love and philosophical leanings keeps me watching. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks for the love, and glad you found some use. Glad to meet a fellow Cook fan, too. I think he’s been insanely copied the last few years.

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