Playlisted The Best Fantasy Audiobooks to Take You Out of This World From mythical creatures to powerful warlocks, these audibooks have everything you need to be transported to a different realm. Here are the best fantasy audiobooks to listen to right now. By Staff Apr 20, 2021 Few audiobooks provide as much of an escape as those in the fantasy genre. Each of the best introduces us to an entirely new world (or a new version of this one), a diverse cast of complexly constructed characters, and a story so mesmerizing we’re reluctant to return to real life. But because the genre is so full of talent, it can be difficult to know what to listen to next. Look no further than this list of the best fantasy audiobooks to get you started. Children of Blood and Bone stop Children of Blood and Bone By Tomi Adeyemi Narrated by Bahni Turpin 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. Inspired by the people and legends of West Africa, Tomi Adeyemi’s first entry in the fantasy genre gives us Zélie Adebola, a heroine with one chance to bring magic back to the world after a tyrant king wipes out all the magic-wielding maji in one night—including her own mother. Along the way, Zélie faces many obstacles; monsters, inconvenient feelings for the enemy, and vengeful spirits are just a few of the threats posed in the darkly magical world of this compelling story. Winner of the 2019 Audie Award for Best Audiobook of the Year, Children of Blood and Bone is one of the best fantasy audiobooks in recent memory. Adeyemi’s exhilarating, fully realized debut is only further enhanced by the prowess of Hall of Fame narrator Bahni Turpin, who crafts a gorgeous, captivating world in audio. The Way of Kings stop The Way of Kings By Brandon Sanderson Narrated by Kate Reading, Michael Kramer 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. Narrating partners Kate Reading and Michael Kramer previously won praise and a fan following for their work together on the Wheel of Time saga, and their performance here merits no less acclaim. Brandon Sanderson’s The Way of Kings builds and intertwines the stories of three characters—a slave soldier longing for freedom, a king’s brother, and a young scholarly thief—all living in the intemperate realm of Roshar. Everything about Roshar says life there should be impossible; terrible storms rage, and the kingdom is being torn apart by a war with a cause no one remembers. But then each of the three protagonists stumbles upon ancient secrets of a once-famous, long-dead order called The Knights Radiant, finding long-awaited answers to forgotten mysteries. An impressive introduction to The Stormlight Archive, a series with a detailed and enthralling world, The Way of Kings is a must-listen for fans of complex, character-driven fantasies. The Hobbit stop The Hobbit By J. R. R. Tolkien Narrated by Rob Inglis 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit, a small, stout being of the realm of Middle Earth, who lives in a cozy house in the side of a hill and enjoys the simple pleasures in life. It takes the insistence of a powerful wizard and 12 dwarves to awaken his thirst for adventure and lead him as far from home as he could’ve imagined—all the way to the lair of a dragon. The first introduction to J.R.R. Tolkien’s inimitable universe arrives in The Hobbit. Though shorter and a tad lighter in theme than his phenomenal The Lord of the Rings trilogy, this listen carries all the hallmarks of what makes Tolkien arguably the greatest fantasy author who has ever lived. Audio icon Rob Inglis’s performance evokes the detailed world in a way that is whimsical and entertaining while also giving the darker plot points their due (Inglis famously narrated all of Tolkien’s unabridged novels), making this a perfect fantasy listen for adults and children alike. Red Rising stop Red Rising By Pierce Brown Narrated by Tim Gerard Reynolds 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. Darrow, a member of the red caste in a color-coded society, works day and night to make the surface of Mars livable for his fellow humans, who will eventually move there with him. Darrow’s work is brutal, but he finds honor and peace in giving his life in service of a greater good. That is, until he realizes the move is already complete, and he’s been lied to. Society is flourishing on Mars; he and his fellow “Reds” have been betrayed, enslaved in the planet’s mines for no reason other than greed. The first person perspective of Red Rising calls for a narrator who can lend passion and anger to Darrow’s story as he starts a revolution and sacrifices everything for justice—Irish-accented narrator Tim Gerard Reynolds delivers that energy at a perfect pace. Once you start listening, you won’t want to stop until you’ve finished the next four books in the series. The Blade Itself stop The Blade Itself By Joe Abercrombie Narrated by Steven Pacey 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. With a wide enough variety of characters to make a compelling Dungeons & Dragons campaign, this wild and hilarious account of old rivalries, murder plots, and conspiracies unfurls as you listen. It all starts with barbarian Logan Ninefingers, who finds himself out of space to run when old enemies come calling. Steve Pacey is consistently praised for his nuance in crafting distinct character voices—and this performance is no different. Regarding his narration of The Blade Itself, one Audible listener commented, The voice acting is probably the best I’ve ever heard. A nonstop, fun-filled ride, this listen is a character-driven romp that will leave you with soft spots in your heart for all the folks you meet along the way. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Book 1 stop Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Book 1 By J.K. Rowling Narrated by Jim Dale 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. Jim Dale’s narrative performance of the entire Harry Potter series has been called a triumph, and it’s easy to understand why. Dale’s narration of the Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone lovingly brings Harry’s story to life by introducing distinct character voices (from the nasally whine of Petunia Dursley to the grandiose rasp of the great Albus Dumbledore) while imbuing the entire universe with enthusiasm and joy. If you haven’t yet met Harry, the orphan boy who finds out he’s a wizard upon whom the fate of the world depends, we wholeheartedly recommend that adults and children alike unwind with this first entry into an unforgettable seven-book series. But even if you’re a bonafide Potterhead who can expertly explain the rules of Quidditch, we still think you’ll adore this spirited version just as much as the newly initiated. The Fifth Season stop The Fifth Season By N. K. Jemisin Narrated by Robin Miles 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. At once deeply personal and ambitious in scope, The Fifth Season is the first in a trilogy that won N.K. Jemisin three consecutive Hugo Awards. In the monolithic continent called the Stillness, orogenes—humans with the formidable ability to control physical energy—are strictly monitored and controlled by the government. To cling to her personal freedom, Essun keeps her orogenic status a secret, until a tragedy sends her on a perilous journey to protect her family and find some peace. Hall of Fame narrator Robin Miles uses her strong, powerful voice to inhabit Jemisin’s characters wholly and completely, performing Essun’s epic adventure across an unyielding land in a way that builds suspense in all the right places. American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition (A Full Cast Production) stop American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition (A Full Cast Production) By Neil Gaiman Narrated by Ron McLarty, Daniel Oreskes, full cast 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. If you thought the ancient pantheons were crowded, the full list of deities in American Gods might just knock you out. But Neil Gaiman’s impressive cast of characters—including ancient Greek, Norse, and Egyptian gods alongside deities like the media, pop culture, globalization, and technology—is brought to life in this audiobook by a full cast of narrators, making the listening experience feel rich and immersive. The story follows down-on-his-luck ex-convict Shadow as he begins a new job as a bodyguard and errand boy for the mysterious Mr. Wednesday, a career choice that plummets him into a world of unimaginable wonder. The sheer number of mythological elements in this audiobook is staggering, so we don’t recommend trying to do any complicated chores while you listen—this title is best experienced if you’re able to kick back, relax, and plunge fully into your auditory adventure. The Name of the Wind stop The Name of the Wind By Patrick Rothfuss Narrated by Nick Podehl 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. For fans of Neil Gaiman who seek a similarly multi-layered narrative style, The Name of the Wind combines elements of medieval culture, religion, wizards, and more in a modern take on the hero’s journey. As he develops the richly illustrated fantasy world of Temerant, Patrick Rothfuss allows the story to unwind with care, creating space for listeners to become fully immersed in the world he creates. All the while narrator Nick Podehl’s creative performance makes it feel as though the citizens of Temerant are standing in the room alongside you. In this first installment of the fantasy landmark series The Kingkiller Chronicles, you’ll be introduced to Kvote, one of the most darkly powerful magicians in his world’s history, and follow along as he recounts the steps, from his orphaning to his acceptance to a legendary school of magic, that lead him to his notorious strength. It’s no wonder the story has been praised by the likes of Lin-Manuel Miranda and George R.R. Martin—it’s a truly beautiful, spellbinding work of fantasy that easily earns its place among the best in the genre. A Game of Thrones stop A Game of Thrones By George R. R. Martin Narrated by Roy Dotrice 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. There is only one word that fully describes this first entry in George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series: epic. With enough audio to occupy listeners for an entire day without pause, the monumental A Game of Thrones introduces its audience to the realm of Westeros. It’s a brutal, bleak existence for most, filled with morally ambiguous figures with dark, entangled histories. The story opens when Ned Stark, Lord of Winterfell and Warden of the North, goes south to visit the capitol (and his old friend, the King) to investigate the suspicious death of his brother-in-law, Jon Arryn. From there, the narrative takes off in different directions, following different characters on their many intertwining paths across the Seven Kingdoms, and accomplished narrator Roy Dotrice keeps listeners riveted to every twist and turn. For fans drawn to the series by its television iteration, A Game of Thrones brings a familiar story to an incredibly detailed new level, making this a worthwhile listen whether or not you’ve made the trek to Westeros before. Uprooted stop Uprooted By Naomi Novik Narrated by Julia Emelin 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. Nestled in a peaceful valley is the town in which Agnieszka grew up; it would be a perfect haven, save its proximity to the nearby corrupted forest that threatens it. To keep these dangers at bay, the town must offer up a young woman every ten years to an immortal wizard called Dragon, who protects the town in exchange. As the date of Dragon’s next selection nears, Agnieszka preemptively mourns the loss of her beautiful, charming best friend whom everyone is certain will be chosen. But when the day comes, she couldn’t be more wrong. This fantasy audiobook sounds and feels like a newly discovered Grimm fairytale: dark, mysterious, and enticing. Performed in the grounding, authentically Eastern European accent of narrator Julia Emelin, this listen is as immersive and all-encompassing as the dark, looming woods it features. Battle Mage stop Battle Mage By Peter A. Flannery Narrated by RD Watson 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. Battle Mage introduces Falco Dante, the son of a madman, and his world of warriors, dragons, and magic. Falco struggles to keep up with his classmates at the Academy of War, and everyone doubts his strength and capability. But internally, Falco is battling something much larger: an unsettling power. Unlike some of our other picks for best fantasy audiobooks, this is a standalone story, making it a perfect listen when you need a fantasy fix without committing to a lengthy series. Grammy-nominated producer R.D. Watson takes his turn behind the mic as he lends great depth and dimension to this dynamic tale. With beyond-thrilling action sequences that lead to a shocking apex, Battle Mage is a magical underdog story for the ages. The Lies of Locke Lamora stop The Lies of Locke Lamora By Scott Lynch Narrated by Michael Page 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. The Lies of Locke Lamora is most definitely a fantasy—for starters, it's set on Camorra, an island city that’s been constructed on the ruins of a mystical alien race. But as the plot follows amateur thief Locke Lamora’s rise to power among the members of an underground crime family called the Gentleman Bastards, it could easily be considered a slick work of crime fiction as well. In fact, author Scott Lynch blends the two genres so seamlessly that this audiobook will likely appeal to listeners who aren’t typically fantasy fans. Audie Award winner Michael Page’s superb narration and Lynch’s exceptional world-building make this fantasy feel real, further ensuring that in a story where no one is without fault, it can be kind of fun to root for the bad guys. The Axe and the Throne stop The Axe and the Throne By M. D. Ireman Narrated by Matt Cowlrick 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. At the outset of The Axe and the Throne, author M.D. Ireman warns that the story is a challenge—but fear not. With deft voice actor Matt Cowlrick to guide listeners through the many flashbacks and flashforwards, it's easy to focus on the central conflict: a grim journey north in pursuit of two village children who have been kidnapped during a siege. In spite of his wife’s pleading and his own belief that the children, the eldest sons of his closest friend, are certainly already dead, Tallos sets out on a harrowing quest that brings surprise after surprise to the listener and our hero alike. Not for the faint of heart, this is one listen that will surely satisfy those who prefer their fantasy with a tinge of darkness. The Eye of the World stop The Eye of the World By Robert Jordan Narrated by Kate Reading, Michael Kramer 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. The Wheel of Time is likely one of the most beloved fantasy series ever written, and The Eye of the World is your introduction to the massive, winding universe in which it takes place. The dynamic pairing of narrators Kate Reading and Michael Kramer make each line feel fresh and interesting, even if this is your hundredth listen. For fans of detailed world-building, Robert Jordan’s writing is a treat. The story begins when five strangers are forced to flee from their besieged town, The Two Rivers, and must join forces to survive in a vast unknowable wilderness that holds surprising treasures and dangers alike. Their shared journey is an unforgettable adventure that’s perfect for fans of high fantasy epics. The Rage of Dragons stop The Rage of Dragons By Evan Winter Narrated by Prentice Onayemi 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. Evan Winter’s debut novel was originally self-published as an e-book, but it became so popular that it was picked up for formal publication. It’s easy to understand how the story garnered so much enthusiasm: it’s a compelling warrior tale of personal sacrifice and honor that follows Tau, a pacifist with plans to leave the military and flee with his family—until a sudden loss awakens his thirst for revenge. But what’s really unique about the world of The Rage of Dragons is its fantasy element. In the society Winter has crafted, one in every 2,000 women is able to call dragons, and one in 100 men are inhumanly strong. With these game pieces in play, Tau’s personal quest—and the war that rages on around him—take on a new layer of complexity and intrigue that draw the listener in and holds them there until the very last word. The talented voice of Audie Award finalist and Hall of Fame narrator Prentice Onayemi, who is celebrated for his unique, lyrical style, adds an additional layer of intrigue. Outlander stop Outlander By Diana Gabaldon Narrated by Davina Porter 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. Now known internationally for the acclaimed television adaptation, Outlander is a story about time travel and love—but not in the way one might expect. Both a fantasy and a love story, Claire’s journey takes her first to Scotland, on holiday with her recently returned war veteran husband—and then deep into the past after a ritual accidentally transports her to the year 1743. Captured by time and then captivated by the dashing and kind Laird Jamie Fraser, Claire is forced to decide whether to cling to her old life and love or embrace the new ones she’s found. Fans of the series will find that Hall of Fame narrator Davina Porter’s performance brings Claire Randall’s story to life in a crystal clear, compelling fashion, adding an additional element of beauty to this magnificent tale of time, love, and war on the Scottish highlands. A Discovery of Witches stop A Discovery of Witches By Deborah Harkness Narrated by Jennifer Ikeda 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. A Discovery of Witches starts with every scholar’s dream: a one-of-a-kind academic discovery. Diana Bishop is working late one night in the library when she comes across a long-lost alchemical manuscript. That alone would be enough to thrill her, but the manuscript also happens to be enchanted. For Diana, whose ancestors were witches, the discovery is akin to finding the holy grail. With the help of her love interest, Matthew (a vampire geneticist!), Diana explores the magical world the manuscript unlocks. Thus begins an incredibly fun journey (made more so by narrator Jennifer Ikeda’s playful style) that spans a trilogy and has captured the hearts of fans across the world. Trail of Lightning stop Trail of Lightning By Rebecca Roanhorse Narrated by Tanis Parenteau 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. Trail of Lightning is the dystopian science fiction fantasy mashup of our dreams. After a climate apocalypse causes water to flood the planet, Dinétah, a former Navajo reservation, rises stronger than before. But when a girl goes missing, the tribe calls on a monster hunter named Maggie Hoskie to walk the strange post-flood world to find her—and the truth. Legends, myths, and fantastic beasts are an everyday part of this post-apocalyptic reality, and heroine Maggie interacts with them all. As a descendent of Cree and Sioux tribes, narrator Tanis Parenteau is uniquely positioned to perform this story’s balance of deep cultural history and futuristic fantasy in a way that feels completely authentic, making for a listen that’s both transporting and captivating. Stan Lee's Alliances: A Trick of Light stop Stan Lee's Alliances: A Trick of Light By Stan Lee, Kat Rosenfield, Created by Stan Lee, Luke Lieberman, Ryan Silbert Narrated by Yara Shahidi 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. Stan Lee decided to publish his final origin story before his passing as an audiobook, and listeners can hear his voice in the introduction, explaining this choice and his excitement for his latest story. Then the steady narration of actress Yara Shahidi (Black-ish) kicks in for an adventure that brings to life aliens, visionary tech, and secret organizations—sci-fi elements Lee uses to great effect. Everything about the story is undeniably excellent—it is thoughtfully and excellently constructed, with a precise, driven plot that builds a new environment while pushing the action to its tipping point. Bolstered by the impressive work of co-creators Ryan Silbert, Luke Lieberman, and Kat Rosenfield, A Trick of Light is an imaginative, exciting entry into the fantasy pantheon and a touching testament to the lasting legacy of Stan Lee. Recommended 16 of the Best Fantasy Authors Ever The Best Fantasy Audiobook Series The Best Urban Fantasy Audiobooks Up Next Listens Like Game of Thrones: Best Epic Fantasy Audiobooks & Series If you liked Game of Thrones, these epic fantasy audiobooks are your next best listen.