I’ve heard so many people saying that they don’t like fantasy, they only like realistic books. And to those people I say… give it a chance. You’ll probably end up loving it. I know it can be an intimidating genre. There’s usually so many books in those fantasy series and there’s so much you need to understand and it can get pretty intense. So I don’t blame you for being a little bit scared.
You can’t just jump into fantasy. You need to ease yourself into it. And that’s what I’m here for. Sit back, relax and let me take you on a short guide to getting into fantasy. The trick is not diving straight into high fantasy. Start a bit closer to home.
In the interest of not making this post too long, I will not be talking about what each book is about, instead I’ll just link the Goodreads page so you can check them out for yourself.
The Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling
Okay, you probably saw this coming. But seriously, it’s one of the best series to get you into fantasy. It’s funny and well written and just so epic, but it still takes place in the ‘real world’ and it does a very good job of introducing all the magical elements. Besides… it’s like a massive cultural thing. If you haven’t read it, you need to read it. Just give it a couple books. It gets better and better and better. Just read Harry Potter.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series by Rick Riordan
Another one you probably saw coming. It’s so funny and witty and easy to read. The books are pretty short and they’re just so, laugh-out-loud funny. They’re brilliant. So easy to get through, so much fun. You’ll probably love them. If you’ve seen the film and think it’s shit, forget what you saw and read the books, because the film really was shit.
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
This is a beautiful book. I would almost call it magical realism. It’s very much a realistic book. It does have magical elements that are incredibly significant, but it’s very realistic. For those people who think “Eh, I don’t like fantasy, I like realistic stories that I can relate to.” If you think fantasy is fanciful or whatever, read A Monster Calls. It’s short, you can read it in a couple hours, just read it.
I also have a review of it, if you are interested.
The Artemis Fowl Series by Eoin Colfer
I adore this series. It’s so underrated. It’s so much fun. I love the characters, I love the story and the magic is so well woven together with the mundane, it’s great. It’s great for getting into fantasy and it’s great if you’re already a fantasy reader. It’s just a great series all around. So witty and well written, it’s awesome. It’s a long series, but the books are quite short and fast paced and easy to read and you’ll have a blast with them.
The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare
Cassandra Clare is sort of the graduation of this guide. She’s a very good bridge between sort of regular, low fantasy and high fantasy. All her books, really, although I do strongly recommend reading her books in publication order for the best experience. Technically, you can read each series as a standalone series, even though it takes place within the same world, but you get a lot more out of them if you read them in publication order, because Cassie has a way of weaving stories together and the easter eggs are so satisfying.
You might find City of Bones, the first book, a bit boring, but it’s not difficult to read or get into and Cassandra really does get better with every book and every series. So I recommend, if you’re not a really big fan of City of Bones, try the next one. I would say, the end of book two is where the series starts getting really good. If you can get through the first two books, you’ll probably end up hooked on Cassie Clare.
These are 5 books/series that I think are great for getting you into fantasy. I hope if you were unsure about fantasy, that this post has provided some guidance. Fantasy is such a wonderful and diverse genre, there’s really something for everyone within it, so don’t dismiss it. Just give it a chance. Also, if you’ve already taken your first steps into the world of fantasy and would like to move to intense fantasy, but maybe you’re a bit intimidated, check out my guide about getting into high fantasy.