Fantastic Fantasy Novels

Updated February 21, 2017 | Factmonster Staff
—Holly Hartman

Harry Potter wasn't the first child to discover he possessed magical powers, or the first to become entangled in a battle of Good vs. Evil. Check out the classic books in this list for more fantasy, suspense, and wicked humor. Best yet, each is part of a series, and you won't have to wait a year for the next installment.

The Dark is Rising
  • The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander (U.S., 1964) When evil threatens the mythical land of Prydain, a young pig-keeper named Taran must face the monstrous Horned King.
  • The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper (England, 1973) On his eleventh birthday, Will Stanton discovers that he possesses ancient powers.
  • Five Children and It by E. Nesbit (England, 1902) Five children encounter a hideous, cranky creature that grants their wishes—for better or for worse.
  • Half Magic by Edward Eager (U.S., 1954) What looks like an old coin on the sidewalk turns out to be a quirky magic talisman.
  • The House with a Clock in Its Walls by John Bellairs (U.S., 1973) The shy orphan Lewis Barnavelt learns that his uncle's mansion harbors a deadly secret.
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket (U.S., 1999) The three orphaned Baudelaire children put their intelligence and resourcefulness to work as they encounter ghastly misadventures.
  • The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis (England, 1952) Edmund, Lucy, and their vile cousin Eustace enter a magic painting of a sailing ship and join the quest of a legendary king.
  • The Weirdstone of Brisingamen by Alan Garner (England, 1960) Wizards and goblins are among the unearthly figures lurking in a remote and mysterious part of England.
  • A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin (U.S., 1968) A young boy is chosen to enroll at a school for wizards, where he learns the language of magic and dragons.
  • The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken (England, 1962) Two cousins plot a dramatic escape from the orphanage run by evil Miss Slighcarp.
  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle (U.S., 1960) Otherworldly visitors guide Meg and her brother Charles Wallace on a journey through time and space.
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