1. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
Really, anything and everything by Tolkien will always be at the top of my list of favorites, but The Lord of the Rings is definitely the one I’ve read the most times. It’s a classic, and it can never be praised enough.
2. The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater
These books include everything from street racing to Latin to birds, and are without a doubt some of the best books I have ever read. Although on the surface the basic plot may not seem like much, I guarantee that you’ll be blown away. (Seriously, the blurb on the back of The Raven Boys…it just doesn’t do it justice.)
3. Six of Crows Duology by Leigh Bardugo
This is a heist story done to the nines; I imagine being whipped around in a particle accelerator would be similar to how I felt reading all the plots twists with these, and the fact that the characters are also top-notch just makes it perfect.
4. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
Comedy is always great, and this pretty much tops the list for comedies; it really doesn’t get much better than reading about the shenanigans of this angel-demon pair.
5. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
History–and especially ancient Greece–happens to be a passion of mine, and Miller’s retelling of the classic story of Achilles is so beautifully done that this book never had a chance of being any other than one of my favorites.
6. The Merlin Saga by T.A. Barron
If there’s one thing that beats my love for Greek mythology, it’s my love for Arthurian legend. It’s surprisingly difficult to find a good story based on those legends, though, and this take on the life of a young Merlin is by far my favorite.
7. Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram
This book has so many amazing themes, as well as very well-written characters. I honestly just think it’s a masterpiece, and I loved it so much. Khorram’s presentation of mental health struggles and the way he writes Darius… it’s just so, so good. I haven’t read the sequel yet, but I can’t wait to get to it!
8. The Sons of Mil by L.M. Riviere
I recently added this one to my list of all-time favorites. But The Sons of Mil definitely deserves its place here! The world-building in this one is absolutely jaw-dropping; everything from the physical descriptions to the politics is so incredibly detailed.
9. The Crown’s Game Series by Evelyn Skye
The backdrop of Imperial Russia combined with magic and sorcery alone would be enough to make this book amazing, but the characters and all their heartfelt emotions take it to the next level.
10. An Ember in the Ashes Series by Sabaa Tahir
With this book, Tahir does a genuinely awesome job of taking the best of both worlds from fantasy and dystopian genres, and the characters, world, and just about everything else in this series make it a veritable masterpiece.