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Books to get you into the fantasy genre

J.R. Karlsson
 
The Lord of The Rings (Based on the 50th Anniversary Single volume edition 2004)
The Lord of The Rings (Based on the 50th Anniversary Single volume edition 2004)
"Probably the best selling work of fiction ever, required reading within the genre but a dense and challenging start for many. You should have read this already if you're perusing this list."
Magician: 1 (Riftwar Saga)
Magician: 1 (Riftwar Saga)
"Probably the starting point for many and a recommended one at that. Epic in scope and accessible to all."
The Sword Of Shannara: Number 1 in series
The Sword Of Shannara: Number 1 in series
"If wading into the vast tomes of the genre appears overly daunting this friendly novel combines all the typical expectations of high fantasy in one accessible read."
Assassin's Apprentice (The Farseer Trilogy - Book 1): 1/3
Assassin's Apprentice (The Farseer Trilogy - Book 1): 1/3
"If I were to pick one book to hook a person into the genre, this would be it. Any superlatives I could throw at it would do it injustice."
The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever: "Lord Foul's Bane", "Illearth War" and "Power That Preserves"
The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever: "Lord Foul's Bane", "Illearth War" and "Power That Preserves"
"A trilogy worthy of a place in a fantasy hall of fame. Darker than the previous titles with a bitter and resentful protagonist/anti-hero. The essential gateway volume into darker fantasy."
A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire)
A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire)
"Relentless and absorbing, immeasurable depth and a cutthroat attitude toward character development. Essential reading for a more cynical age."
The Complete Chronicles of Conan: Centenary Edition
The Complete Chronicles of Conan: Centenary Edition
"Barbaric and bloodthirsty renditions of the numerous adventures of a hero that defined the word."
The Great Book of Amber: The Complete Amber Chronicles, 1-10 (Chronicles of Amber)
The Great Book of Amber: The Complete Amber Chronicles, 1-10 (Chronicles of Amber)
"A series that throws measurement of time and percieved reality out the window. An enormous epic that shines with the best."
Retribution Falls: Tales of the Ketty Jay (Tales of the Ketty Jay 1)
Retribution Falls: Tales of the Ketty Jay (Tales of the Ketty Jay 1)
"Fantasy pirates in the sky. As swashbuckling an adventure as you could hope to read."
Severian of the Guild: Shadow of TheTorturer; Claw of The Conciliator;  Sword of The Lictor; Citadel of The Autarch: With Shadow of the Torturer AND ... AND Citadel of the Autarch (GOLLANCZ S.F.)
Severian of the Guild: Shadow of TheTorturer; Claw of The Conciliator; Sword of The Lictor; Citadel of The Autarch: With Shadow of the Torturer AND ... AND Citadel of the Autarch (GOLLANCZ S.F.)
"Not for the faint of heart. Dense writing that can put many people off. Incredible intelligence within those words and a masterfully conjured world unfolding throughout."
Wizard's First Rule: Book 1: The Sword Of Truth Series (GOLLANCZ S.F.)
Wizard's First Rule: Book 1: The Sword Of Truth Series (GOLLANCZ S.F.)
"A solid fantasy, well worth reading. Although the series as a whole drags on for too many books, this one can be read and enjoyed as a standalone."
The Eye Of The World: Book 1 of the Wheel of Time: 1/12
The Eye Of The World: Book 1 of the Wheel of Time: 1/12
"The beginning of the infamously long Wheel Of Time series, another superb fantasy to begin with."
The Colour of Magic: The First  Discworld Novel: 1
The Colour of Magic: The First Discworld Novel: 1
"The funniest and most insightful writer in history, the greatest reflection of our own world in a comic fantasy ever concieved. Although Mort is superior, this is the first Discworld novel."
Gardens of the Moon (Book 1 of The Malazan Book of the Fallen)
Gardens of the Moon (Book 1 of The Malazan Book of the Fallen)
"A dark and complex fantasy with superb characterisation and an enormous cast of characters, for the advanced reader."
The Earthsea Quartet: "A Wizard Of Earthsea"; "The Tombs of Atuan"; "The Farthest Shore"; "Tehanu" (Puffin Books)
The Earthsea Quartet: "A Wizard Of Earthsea"; "The Tombs of Atuan"; "The Farthest Shore"; "Tehanu" (Puffin Books)
"An accessible and enjoyable fantasy trilogy compiled under one volume with the fourth book being less than essential reading."
Tales Of The Dying Earth (FANTASY MASTERWORKS)
Tales Of The Dying Earth (FANTASY MASTERWORKS)
"An incredibly realised vision of the future compiled into one volume containing stories written over thirty years. The rest of the fantasy masterworks series is also commendable."
The Hobbit
The Hobbit
"The book that introduced me to fantasy as a child. The book to introduce fantasy to a child."
The Complete Chronicles of Narnia (The Chronicles of Narnia)
The Complete Chronicles of Narnia (The Chronicles of Narnia)
"Although considered a series for children, Narnia is essential for any discerning reader of fantasy."
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
"The Harry Potter series is an evolution in writing. It is also impossible to ignore and well worth a try. The most accessible fantasy you're likely to find."
The Lies of Locke Lamora
The Lies of Locke Lamora
"A wonderful heist based in the fantasy equivalent of Renaissance-era Venice."
The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle)
The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle)
"Makes a mockery of the Mary Sue concept by recounting the deeds of a powerful yet reclusive hero."
The Blade Itself: Book One Of The First Law (Gollancz S.F.): 1
The Blade Itself: Book One Of The First Law (Gollancz S.F.): 1
"Brutal, cynical, and mercilessly wonderful writing. It features a torturer that will go down as one of the great characters of Fantasy."
The Gormenghast Trilogy
The Gormenghast Trilogy
"Widely regarded as one of the greatest fantasy trilogies of all time. A classic of the genre, as cliche as that sounds."
Necronomicon: The Best Weird Tales of H.P. Lovecraft: The Best Weird Fiction of H.P. Lovecraft (GOLLANCZ S.F.)
Necronomicon: The Best Weird Tales of H.P. Lovecraft: The Best Weird Fiction of H.P. Lovecraft (GOLLANCZ S.F.)
"Science fiction pre-dating the term. The best compilation of one of the founding fathers of the genre."
The Final Empire: Mistborn Book One: 1
The Final Empire: Mistborn Book One: 1
"A very different view on magic, tremendous combat and a wonderful premise: what if the dark lord won?"