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10 Fantasy Book Series That Never Get Old


10 Fantasy Book Series That Never Get Old


Summary

  • Rereadability is key – a great fantasy book can be enjoyed over and over, with new discoveries each time.
  • Comfort reads matter – shorter, familiar stories hold as much value as lengthy sagas in the fantasy genre.
  • Uncover hidden depths – series like The Wheel of Time offer subtle foreshadowing and surprises on multiple readings.



Fantasy books have been popular in literary circles for generations, and while some series eventually fall into obscurity, others will simply never get old. There are a lot of factors that contribute to this. Of course, a good story filled with magical worlds, races, and creatures is a must. Additionally, the character-building must be exceptional, with personalities that are either easy to love or lovely to hate. Still, excellent re-readability is the most important quality a fantasy book must have to remain loved for generations.

A great book that will stand the test of time can be read over and over without ever getting old. While there are loved book series that contain individual novels that are several inches thick and difficult to digest, there is a lot of value in a comfortable story that can be read with minimal effort. Re-readability also comes down to reveals and surprises only evident after a second or third run-through. Series like The Wheel of Time, Harry Potter, Earthsea, and more could be discussed and analyzed for decades yet to come, and it’s precisely why they are still so popular.


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10 The Wheel Of Time

By Robert Jordan

Whee of Time

Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time series started with The Eye of the World in 1990 and continued with 14 novels spanning to 2013. The unique story is set both in the past and future, and there are countless ways in which Jordan revolutionized the fantasy genre with his work. For this reason, The Wheel of Time series is one of the best-selling fantasy series of all time, joining the ranks of iconic series like The Lord of the Rings.


Rereading the Wheel of Time series is quite a commitment with so many installments, but it’s entirely worth it. The series being so long means that there are always new things to discover when peeling through the pages a second or third time, and Wheel of Times’ time mechanics allow for plenty of subtle foreshadowing that stands out on a reread. The story consistently gives the thrill of reading a new fantasy series for the first time.

9 His Dark Materials

By Philip Pullman

His Dark Materials


The His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman began with 1995’s The Golden Compass (Northern Lights outside the United States) and continued with The Subtle Knife in 1997 and The Amber Spyglass in 2000. It’s a classic, coming-of-age fantasy series marketed toward young adult readers. Still, Pullman’s trilogy has continued to be loved by readers of all ages, thanks to the exciting fantasy world and complex themes present throughout.

Trilogies always make for a comfortable reread, and His Dark Materials is no exception. Part of what has made the series stand the test of time is how it caters to every age group. Those who loved The Golden Compass as a child can come back for a reread as an adult and more fully appreciate the series’ social commentary, which offers plenty of questions about philosophy and religion to ponder.

8 Harry Potter

By J.K. Rowling

Harry-Potter-Books
Custom Image by Yailin Chacon


The Harry Potter series contains seven books, released between 1997 and 2007. The coming-of-age story is considered the best-selling book series in history, and the world created by author J.K. Rowling has expanded into movie franchises, stage productions, and amusement parks. Overall, there’s no doubt that a story about an orphan being welcomed into a magical school is appealing, and it continues to be so as fans read and reread Harry Potter again and again.

Though aimed at younger audiences, Harry Potter offers a great deal to adult readers, which once again has helped the series remain relevant and popular for decades. Themes of moral ambiguity, love, and trauma provide ample opportunity for analysis, while the mysteries and foreshadowing throughout mean readers are sure to find something new every time they open any of the seven books.


7 The Sevenwaters Series

By Juliet Marillier

The Sevenwaters Series

The Sevenwaters series, written by Juliet Marillier, began as a trilogy that included the books Daughter of the Forest (1999), Son of the Shadows (2000), and Child of the Prophecy (2001). The series was expanded, with three more books released between 2008 and 2012. Set in sixth-century Ireland, Sevenwaters is considered a historical fantasy, following several generations of a family connected to the Otherworld.

Marillier’s fantasy series is the perfect comfort read. It combines a rich, historical feel with a whimsical kind of fantasy native to Northern Europe. There’s just enough darkness paired with heartwarming romance to make all six books page-turners. The Sevenwaters series has a few hidden secrets that allow it to stand the test of time, but the real appeal is its ease and comfort.


6 Lord Of The Rings

By J.R.R. Tolkien

Lord of the Rings Books JRR Tolkien

As the grandfather of high fantasy, The Lord of the Rings is one of the most important pieces of work within the genre. The series started with J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, published in 1937. Then, the story continued with The Lord of the Rings books, typically divided into three novels, Fellowship of the Rings, The Two Towers, and Return of the King, published between 1954 and 1955. Now, Tolkien’s work has been expanded into movies, TV shows, video games, and more.

Part of what has made
The Lord of the Rings
so timelessly loved is the complex lore its author created.


Part of what has made The Lord of the Rings so timelessly loved is the complex lore its author created. Tolkien wrote novels, short stories, histories, and countless letters about Middle-earth’s history, much of which were posthumously published. With such a profound fantasy world so meticulously created, there’s always something new to discover or analyze.

5 The Earthsea Cycle

By Ursula K. Le Guin

Collage of Earthsea book covers

The Earthsea Cycle is a high fantasy series by author Ursula K. Le Guin, which got its start with A Wizard of Earthsea in 1968. From there, the story continued into The Tombs of Atuan (1970) and The Farthest Shore (1972) before getting three additional novels later with Tehanu (1990), Tales from Earthsea (2001), and The Other Wind (2001). The series contains all the staples of a great fantasy but is set in a world of oceans and islands that establishes a unique tone.


The installments in Earthsea are relatively short, which makes them easy to pick up and reread when looking for something light and familiar. However, this isn’t to say that the story and themes don’t carry some weight. The magic of this world is wholly captivating, with just enough delicious darkness to deliver a thrill every time Earthsea is read.

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4 The First Law Series

By Joe Abercrombie

The First Law


The First Law series by Joe Abercrombie began as a single trilogy, with The Blade Itself (2006), Before They Are Hanged (2007), and Last Argument of Kings (2008) serving as the central story. Abercrombie expanded his fantasy world with various standalone novels between 2009 and 2012, a collection of short stories in 2016, and a whole new trilogy released between 2019 and 2021. In all, this means that the First Law series has deep and thorough lore comparable to other fantasy greats but in a modern setting.

First Law‘s worldbuilding is a significant part of why this series never gets old. There is always something new to learn, both by diving back in to reread past installments and by waiting for Abercrombie to release another collection of short stories or sequels. What’s more, with so many characters with unique motivations, there’s something for everyone in this fantasy series.


3 The Chronicles Of Narnia

By C.S. Lewis

This image shows the cover of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, the second chronological book in The Chronicles of Narnia.

The Chronicles of Narnia is a fantasy series containing seven novels, published by C.S. Lewis between 1950 and 1956. The first installment, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, introduced the four central characters, but the subsequent releases tell the story out of order, expanding the portal fantasy world and more deeply exploring the series’ themes. Narnia is delightfully whimsical and childlike but with a specific charm that has remained popular with audiences of all ages for decades.

It’s the perfect series for a parent to read to their son or daughter to introduce them to the worlds of fantasy or simply to reread as a winter tradition.


At its core, The Chronicles of Narnia is about the bittersweetness of growing up, and this may be why it has remained so dear in the hearts of adults and children. It’s the perfect series for a parent to read to their son or daughter to introduce them to the worlds of fantasy or simply to reread as a winter tradition.

Director Greta Gerwig has a new Chronicles of Narnia screen adaptation in the works.

2 The Stormlight Archive

By Brandon Sanderson

The Stormlight Archive


Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive is still in progress but has already solidified itself among fantasy classics. By the end of 2024, the series will consist of five primary novels and two novellas that expand the story. Sanderson plans to release 10 books in all, but even incomplete, The Stormlight Archive has become a re-readable classic.

As with many book series in the fantasy genre, the re-readability of Sanderson’s series comes down to the complex worldbuilding. The Stormlight Archive is set within Sanderson’s Cosmere universe, on the planet of Roshar. The author has established a deep history for this world, and those who inhabit it, which takes a few reads to catch entirely. Of course, with such an excellent story, coming back to Stormlight never gets old.

1 Howl’s Moving Castle

By Diana Wynne Jones

Howl's Moving Castle Book


The Howl’s Moving Castle trilogy by Diana Wynne Jones started with the novel of the same name in 1986 and continued with Castle in the Air in 1990 and House of Many Ways in 2008. The children’s fantasy series is light, whimsical, and even a little silly, with bits of romance woven throughout. Each installment comes with its own batch of surprises, and characters from the first book make surprise appearances in what would otherwise be considered an anthology.

Jones’ fantasy world might not have deep political or philosophical parallels, but there is still a lot to discover when rereading this book series. Since the identities of some characters are only apparent at the end, it’s fun to start the Howl’s Moving Castle series over again to fully grasp what has been happening in all the chaos. Each book is charming and relatively short, so even after all these years, these delightful fantasy books haven’t managed to get old.


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