C.S. Lewis is one of the most popular and influential authors of the 20th century, best-known for his fantasy series The Chronicles of Narnia. The Narnia series is one of the most enduring in the literary world, beloved for its imaginative world and memorable characters.
If you enjoy Lewis’ work, you might be wondering where you can find other authors like him. Don’t worry: that’s why we’re here.
Numerous fantasy writers have been influenced directly or indirectly by C.S. Lewis, so there are plenty of books out there for you to choose from! If you’re a fan of Lewis’ work, here are 20 other fantasy authors whose books you might enjoy.
George R.R. Martin
George R.R. Martin is one of the best-known fantasy authors of modern times due to his series A Song of Ice and Fire, which was adapted into the hit HBO TV shows Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon. In addition to the Song of Ice and Fire series, Martin has written numerous other works, including short stories, standalone novels, and children’s books.
Robert Jordan is known as the author of the critically acclaimed The Wheel of Time series as well as a number of Conan the Barbarian novels. Jordan unfortunately passed away in 2007 before completing The WWheel of Time, but the final three volumes were completed by author Brandon Sanderson using extensive notes that Jordan had written prior to his death.
Brandon Sanderson is a fantasy author known for his novels set in the Cosmere fictional universe, such as the Mistborn series and The Stormlight Archive. Sanderson was also responsible for completing Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time series, writing the final three volumes using Jordan’s notes following the author’s death in 2007.
J.R.R. Tolkien is one of the most popular fantasy novelists of the 20th century and is best known for The Lord of the Rings trilogy, which has been adapted into a blockbuster film series as well as an Amazon TV show. A close friend of C.S. Lewis, Tolkien wrote other works in the Lord of the Rings universe, most notably The Hobbit, a prequel to the original trilogy, and Tolkien and Lewis heavily influenced each other’s work.
Joe Abercrombie is a British fantasy author known for The First Law series, which comprises two trilogies as well as a series of standalone books. He is also known for the Shattered Sea young adult fantasy trilogy; its first installment, Half a King, won the 2015 Locus Award for best young adult book.
J.K. Rowling is a British author internationally recognized for the Harry Potter book series, a fantasy series that remains popular with children, teens, and adults alike. The original seven Harry Potter books have each been adapted into films and have inspired Fantastic Beasts, a series of prequel films exploring the series’ world. Rowling has directly stated that Lewis’ Narnia books were a significant influence on her own work.
Robin Hobb is a fantasy and science fiction author best known for her novels set in the Realm of the Elderlings universe, consisting of the Farseer, Liveship Traders, Tawny Man, and Fitz and the Fool trilogies as well as the Rain Wild quartet. Under the name Megan Lindholm, she also authored the fantasy novel Wizard of the Pigeons.
Guy Gavriel Kay
Guy Gavriel Kay is a Canadian author known for creating fantasy settings that are based in real-world history; despite this, he does not consider his work to be historical fiction. Some of his most popular works include The Fionavar Tapestry Trilogy, The Last Light of the Sun, and Children of Earth and Sky.
Ursula K. Le Guin
Ursula K. Le Guin was one of the most innovative and influential fantasy writers of the 20th century. Her work was known for its social, political, and philosophical themes, as well as for its subversion of common fantasy and science fiction tropes. Le Guin’s most famous fantasy work is the Earthsea series.
Scott Lynch is an American fantasy author known for the Gentleman Bastard Series, comprising three books set in a world based on 16th-century society. He also authored Queen of the Iron Sands, a science fiction novel that was serialized online in weekly installments.
N.K. Jemisin is a fantasy and science fiction author whose works often tackle social and political themes. She is best known for her fantasy trilogies The Inheritance Trilogy and The Broken Earth, with the books of the latter trilogy each receiving Hugo Awards. In addition to this, Jemisin is the author of the Dreamblood Duology and co-authored Mass Effect: Andromeda — Initiation, a novel based on the popular video game series.
Stephen King may be one of the most popular writers in modern times, having sold millions of books across the fantasy, science fiction, and horror genres. His work has also been adapted into numerous films and TV series. Notable fantasy works by King include The Dark Tower series, The Stand, The Talisman, and The Shining.
Steven Erikson is a Canadian author who is best known for his fantasy series Malazan Book of the Fallen. In addition to this, he has also written several science fiction works, including the Willful Child Trilogy and Rejoice, a Knife to the Heart.
Neil Gaiman is a British fantasy author perhaps best known for the fantasy children’s novel Coraline, which has been adapted into a motion picture. Other notable works by Gaiman include Stardust, American Gods, The Graveyard Book, and The Ocean at the End of the Lane, the latter of which was voted the Book of the Year at the British National Book Awards in 2013.
Madeleine L’Engle was a fantasy writer best known for A Wrinkle in Time, a young adult novel that has since been adapted for film twice. The popularity of A Wrinkle in Time inspired L’Engle to write four sequels. L’Engle’s writing has been noted for its thematic similarities to Lewis’ work, as both were strongly influenced by their Christian faith.
Gene Wolfe was an American fantasy writer who was acclaimed by critics for the quality of his prose, with Neil Gaiman citing his works as inspiration. Wolfe’s best-known work is The Book of the New Sun, a four-volume series regarded as one of the best fantasy works of the 20th century.
Mervyn Peake was an English writer known for the Gormenghast series, a collection of four fantasy books that are sometimes compared to the work of J.R.R. Tolkien. A fifth book in the series, left unfinished due to Peake’s death in 1968, was completed by his wife Maeve Gilmore and published in 2011.
Christopher Paolini is a screenwriter and fantasy author whose best-known work is The Inheritance Cycle, which consists of the novels Eragon, Eldest, Brisingr, and Inheritance. Eragon has also been adapted into a feature film.
Philip Pullman is a British author known for the His Dark Materials and Book of Dust young adult fantasy trilogies, which have been critically and commercially well received. The first book in the His Dark Materials trilogy, The Golden Compass, was later adapted into a feature film and TV series.
Suzanne Collins is an American TV writer and novelist known for her bestselling young adult series The Hunger Games, which has been adapted into a series of popular films. She is also the author of the fantasy series The Underland Chronicles. In addition to her work as an author, she has also written for several Nickelodeon and PBS Kids TV shows.
There are tons of great fantasy authors you can check out if you enjoy C.S. Lewis’ books! However, to get you started, we recommend J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, Philip Pullman, Madeleine L’Engle, Robert Jordan, Mervyn Peake, and George R.R. Martin, just to name a few.
J.K. Rowling has extensively discussed the influence that Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia books have had on her own Harry Potter series. She’s said that she was a fan of Narnia as a kid and has compared some elements of the Harry Potter books to her books, though she has also stressed significant differences between her work and Lewis’.
His Dark Materials author Philip Pullman has been deeply critical of Lewis’ work and his books have been seen by some as a response to The Chronicles of Narnia. However, readers have noted significant parallels between His Dark Materials and the Narnia series, such as similar characters and story elements, as well as talking animals.
While Madeleine L’Engle did not mention being directly influenced by C.S. Lewis’ work during her lifetime, critics have noted thematic parallels between the Narnia series and A Wrinkle in Time and its sequels. This is due to the fact that both Lewis and L’Engle were influenced by their devout Christian faith.
If you’re interested in delving into the authors who influenced Lewis, you’ll want to check out George MacDonald first. MacDonald is regarded by many as the founder of the modern fantasy genre through novels such as Phantastes and The Princess and the Goblin.
Lewis was heavily influenced by MacDonald’s fantasy writings and would later publish an anthology of his work, stating in the introduction that he considered MacDonald his “master”. He also featured MacDonald as a character in his novel The Great Divorce.
Other authors who inspired Lewis include G.K. Chesterton and E. Nesbit. Chesterton’s book The Everlasting Man was a significant influence on Lewis’ thought, while Nesbit’s children’s stories would help inspire The Chronicles of Narnia.
J.R.R. Tolkien was a close friend of Lewis’ and the two exerted a strong influence on each other’s writing. Elwin Ransom, the protagonist of the first two books of Lewis’ Space Trilogy, is based on Tolkien, and Lewis also dedicated his novel The Screwtape Letters to Tolkien.
Which books are similar to The Chronicles of Narnia?
If you enjoyed The Chronicles of Narnia and are looking for similar fantasy books, we recommend A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling, and The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman. These are books that have themes and settings that will be very familiar to Narnia fans.
Who was C.S. Lewis?
C.S. Lewis was a British author known for his fantasy series The Chronicles of Narnia as well as numerous other novels, including the Space Trilogy and The Screwtape Letters. He also authored several works of Christian apologetics, such as Mere Christianity.
Lewis’ novels are widely read to this day for their imaginative world-building, memorable characters, and explorations of human psychology and morality. The Chronicles of Narnia is seen as one of the most influential fantasy series of the 20th century and numerous other writers have named Lewis’ work as an inspiration for their own.
It’s for these reasons that C.S. Lewis is one of our favorite writers, and as shown by how popular his books continue to be, we’re not alone!
We hope this article has gotten you interested in some great fantasy writers, many of whom were directly influenced by C.S. Lewis. If you enjoy The Chronicles of Narnia, the books on this list will provide many hours of entertainment. Happy reading!
- Spellbinding Books: The 20 Best Fantasy Authors Like C. S. Lewis - February 3, 2023