Whether it’s orcs and elves, robots and spaceships, or witches and wizards, when you read fantasy fiction, you know you’re taking a trip to a new, exciting magical world.
With the addition of an exceptional voice actor that breathes life into the story and characters, the chances are you’ll want to stay in that world forever.
In this blog, we’ll look at some of the best fantasy audiobooks of all time and show you why they’re a perfect fit for your virtual library.
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9 of the most epic fantasy audiobooks of all time
Ready to embark on your next literary quest? Let’s look at 9 of the best fantasy novels and audiobooks guaranteed to spark your imagination.
1) J.R.R Tolkien – The Hobbit
No writer in history has had as much influence on the development of the fantasy novel as J.R.R. Tolkien. With the release of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Tolkien breathed life into the fantasy genre, popularizing the mythical Dwarves, Orcs, and Elves that would inspire the works of millions of fantasy writers.
The Hobbit is the first book in Tolkien’s renowned Lord Of the Rings series. Its incredible worldbuilding and simple yet effective storytelling make it the ideal primer for those looking to enter the awe-inspiring world of Middle-earth.
The audiobook enhances the LOTR experience by adding depth and vibrancy to the characters as they embark on their unforgettable adventure. If you haven’t had the chance to listen to Tolkien’s works via audio, you’re missing out on incredible fantasy experience.
If you aren’t convinced yet, know that the audiobook version is narrated by Andy Serkis, who played Gollum in the Lord of the Rings movies. That’s reason enough to label The Hobbit as one of the greatest fantasy audiobooks ever.
2) Robert Jordan – The Wheel of Time (series)
If you’re familiar with fantasy audiobooks, you’re likely familiar with Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time. Robert Jordan’s iconic blend of mythology, religion, and fantasy has captured the imagination of children and adults for over three decades.
Those unfamiliar with the series can expect fourteen epic fantasy books of pure magic, plot twists, complex politics, and extraordinary female characters.
Following the release of The Wheel of Time audiobook, readers can now experience the epic fantasy story in a whole new way. The captivating narration of Kate Reading and Michael Kramer brings the story to life, cementing The Wheel of Time’s place as one of the greatest fantasy novels of all time.
3) J.K Rowling – Harry Potter (series)
When it comes to filling a reader with a complete sense of childlike wonder, no fantasy book can live up to the wizarding world of Harry Potter. Rowling released her debut novel, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, in 1997. Since then, critics and fans have consistently placed it among the most significant works of fantasy literature ever created.
Narrated by both Jim Dale and Stephen Fry, the epic fantasy story depicts Harry Potter and his time at Hogwarts, a magical school for witches and wizards.
Harry Potter’s wizarding world feels alive and vibrant. Rowling’s enthralling narrative and incredible imagination captivate people of all ages. The Harry Potter series is the perfect place to start for readers looking for their first introduction to fantasy literature.
4) George RR Martin – A Song of Ice and Fire (series)
George R.R Martin’s legendary political and military fantasy series follows the many houses of Westeros as they vie for control of the iron throne. The story is complex, bloody, and violent, making it the ideal fantasy series for those readers who like their fantasy stories to have a little more grit.
In the audiobook adaptation, Roy Dotrice expertly voices each of ASOIAF’s many engaging characters, bringing life to their personalities in a way few other voice actors could. For fans of magical realism, this epic series is a must.
5) Joe Abercrombie – The First Law (series)
If you’re new to the fantasy universe, you may be unfamiliar with Joe Abercrombie’s work, but there’s no time like the present to become acquainted.
In his dystopian, complex, and challenging series, Abercrombie creates a terrifying world filled with villains, anti-heroes, and broken characters.Abercrombie’s world is dark and filled with political intrigue, tracking the deterioration of society during the breakout of war.
Voice actor Steven Pacey adds astonishing depth to already unforgettable characters in a performance that will go down in history as one of the greatest of all time. Fantasy fans who aren’t yet acquainted with The First Law audiobooks are missing out on some of the most memorable epic works of fiction ever created.
6) NK. Jemisin – The Broken Earth (series)
Since the release of The Fifth Season in 2015, fans have lauded Jemisim’s Broken Earth trilogy as one of the best fantasy concepts ever conceived. The story follows a young woman named Essun on a quest to find her kidnapped daughter.
While the synopsis may seem rather ordinary, the incredible worldbuilding, intense characterization, and stunning prose alone make this book a must-listen.
But it is the addition of Robin Miles’s talented voice that makes The Broken Earth audiobook series an instant classic. This is a captivating, immersive experience you won’t want to miss.
7) Stephen King – Dark Tower (series)
There are few fantasy audiobooks like Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series. A science fiction dark fantasy is probably not what most would expect from the writer of The Shining and IT, but Stephen King’s trademark slow-burn terror is still at work within The Dark Tower, despite the western backdrop.
The Dark Tower tells the tale of a lone gunslinger who has spent many years hunting down his adversary, known only as ‘the man in black.’ King fills the story with intriguing metaphors; the overarching motive of the Gunslinger is rarely clear.
The voices of George Guidall and Frank Muller bring King’s dark, gritty world to life, creating an unforgettable experience sure to excite and immerse fans of the fantasy genre.
8) Terry Pratchett – Discworld (series)
If you’re looking for a wholly unique experience, look no further than Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series. Discworld is one of the strangest epic fantasy audiobook series of all time. Gone are Tolkien’s lands of orcs and elves. Gone are tales of wizards and witches. Instead, readers are plunged into a strange otherworldly planet of Discworld, floating on the back of a giant turtle named Great A’Tuin.
Just because Discworld is unusual doesn’t mean it isn’t engaging and relatable. Pratchett’s character development is second to none, and the adventures depicted in his series are exciting and memorable.
The first installment in the series, The Colour of Magic, is a great first look into the world of Discworld and its oddities. Narrated beautifully by both Colin Morgan and Tony Robinson, Pratchett’s masterpiece has rightfully claimed its position as one of the best fantasy audiobook series ever created.
What is the most popular fantasy audiobook?
The best selling fantasy audiobook of all time is J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter series. The whimsical storytelling combined with Stephen Fry’s warming narration make the audiobook an incredible choice for children and adults of all ages.
What is the fantasy genre?
Fantasy is a genre of literature containing supernatural, otherworldly or magical elements that don’t exist in our own world.
What is the best platform to listen to audiobooks?
There are hundreds of websites devoted to audiobooks each with their own perks. Here are a few of the most popular ones to get started with:
- Google Audiobooks
Audiobook websites are ideal to listen to on the go. All you need are an affordable quality pair of earbuds and you’re good to go.