Fantasy stories, or wonderful stories of magic and lore have been sort of a niche market since it began in the late 1930s. However, those who have come to enjoy and cherish this market do become familiar with the more popular writers, who in fact have best selling books and stories that resound, or have the ability to resound through time. Here in this short list can be considered some of the best fantasy books of all time.
J.R.R. Tolkien started the whole ball rolling when he wrote The Hobbit. In this book, the writer brought forth his imagination that have basically defined what is the structure and element of the fantasy genre to this day. Without this book, we would have no idea about elves, orcs, goblins, trolls and many other creatures that have been copied and pasted into many other fantasy stories today.
Of course the next two books of Tolkien which is comprised of The Two Towers and the Return of the King, which together with the first comprise the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Altogether these books are probably the best of all book as it has spawned massive followings, a movie franchise, board and video games, as well as influencing a following of people who know how to speak Elvish and Orcish as well as regular cosplay events dedicated to these books and their creator.
Tolkien began something not known in the world of literature before in that he was probably one of the first authors to have sequels in his novels. This is something that David Eddings has done in his novels comprising The Belgariad and The Mallorean.
The Belgariad, a five book series starting with the Pawn of Prophecy in 1982, also affected a lot in terms of gameplay of the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons fantasy game in that it modified a lot of the maps and gameplay interactions particularly when dealing with multiple class characters and multiple characters.
And of course one cannot forget or just do away with the C.S. Lewis 1930s classics that target the very young in terms of appeal and story. The Narnia series, a compendium of seven books starting with the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and ending with the Last Battle, is an all time classic and much loved by Christian writers and fans.
The Narnia series is unforgettable with younger audiences for it is one in which there are not only magical creatures, but talking animals as well. This is something that younger audiences and readers can connect with. Due to this, it has become a staple in almost every library of a home with children who love to read.
The above list is by no way exhaustive, and many books out there on the market can qualify as one of the best fantasy books of all time. However, the ones written about here have that timeless quality that everyone can appreciate, especially written by great writers who somehow have affected the lives of everyone today.