Rick Riordan is famous for writing the Percy Jackson series, which follows a young boy who discovers he’s a demi-god, the son of Poseidon. After uncovering this secret and many other family secrets, he is taken to a demi-god camp where he and many other demi-gods his age are trained to use their powers and fight in battle.
There, Percy meets a plethora of people and begins harnessing his own powers which mostly revolve around controlling the forces of water and utilizing water for healing and growth. He makes numerous friends and with the help of his tutor, settles into the camp with ease.
But Percy is soon forced to leave the camp on his first quest, challenged with retrieving Zeus’ stolen lightning bolt, and must journey through new mythological lands, including the underworld to find clues and locate the bolt before he faces the blame himself.
This all happens in the first book and there are 5 books to enjoy, each carrying a new adventure for Percy and his powerful friends. The stories also delve into his newfound relationship with his father and follow this relationship through its ups and downs.
The Percy Jackson series is a brilliant one for older children and teens, helping them to understand mythology and relationships and taking them on an adventure through mythological settings, meeting dangerous creatures and strange species along the way.
Riordan has also written his Heroes of Olympus series, another mythological tale that dives into the conflict between Roman demi-gods, Greek demi-gods, and Gaia. This series is also action-packed offering a variety of interesting characters, enthralling plot lines, and a psychological subplot.
If either of these series sounds like something you’d enjoy, we highly recommend reading them. But if you’ve already devoured what Riordan has to offer, here is a list of 20 similar authors that can offer fantastical stories.
Known predominantly for his series Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer is one of the most well-respected children’s fantasy authors out there. He experiments with the limits of the human mind and creates dangerous adventures, perfect for the thriller seeker!
Artemis Fowl follows a 12-year-old genius who is not your usual heroic protagonist. Instead, Artemis Fowl appears more like a criminal mastermind, who uncovers a secret world filled with dark magic and technologically advanced fairies. He kidnaps one of them and has a plan to steal the fortune of this land and keep it for himself but he underestimates the abilities of this new species and gets himself in a dangerous mess facing the consequences of his actions.
This American, Iranian-born author is best known for her Mortal Instruments novel series, set in a secret fantasy land inside New York City. This land is invisible to the human eye and is filled with pretty much every fantasy creature you could imagine – vampires, werewolves, witches, demons, and of course, shadow hunters.
Cassandra Clare’s work is brilliant if you’re looking for someone all-rounded. Her narration dips into psychology, action, emotion, romance, violence, and magic and is perfect for any older child or teenager that wants to explore new genres and writing styles.
Her first novel, City of Bones centers around introducing readers to her world. It follows human (or mundane) Clary Fray as she realizes she is not just an ordinary girl. When visiting a club with her best friend, Simon, Clary witnesses a murder that should have been invisible to the human eye. The world she accidentally observed would soon become her home and allow her to explore her family’s past and uncover the truth about herself.
Brandon Mull is the award-winning author of Beyonders, Fablehaven, and the Five Kingdoms series. His writing style flirts more with adventure and fantasy than anything else and is tailored to children of all ages, making the themes and language included in his books suitable for both kids and YA audiences.
His best-selling series Beyonders follows Jason Walker, who is transported to another realm during a boring day at the zoo. This land is Lyrian and would open him up to a world filled with danger and adventure. He must navigate this new world, torn by social change and revolutionaries, and driven by fear.
This New York best-selling author used to be a pharmaceutical metrologist, which allows him to apply scientific principles to his work and ground his fantasies in scientific fact. His books frequently echo back to his West African heritage, including elements of mythology and African history to guide his plots. He has made it clear that one of his primary intentions is to allow younger readers to access information about underrepresented cultures and get kids talking about Africa, its history, its culture, and its people.
Kwame Mbalia is best known for his Tristan Strong series, which follows a 7th grader as he struggles with the death of his friend and is sent to grieve with his grandparents in Alabama. But weird things begin happening whilst he’s there and soon Tristan finds himself engrossed in a new world bursting with monstrous creatures, battles, and black heroes.
This author was well-known for his contribution to children’s fantasy, writing over 40 of these books during his lifetime. He is best known for his Chronicles of Prydain, which were published in the 1960s and remain popular books today.
The series is grounded in magic and enchantment, following a Princess who must leave her home and train for her role on an isolated island far away. But her powers are sought after by an evil enchantress and the books take her and her allies on a series of quests, battling evil and fighting for their magic.
Suzanne Collins is best known for writing The Hunger Games, a twisted, dark, fantastical story that flirts with dystopia and thrill. With a history in children’s television, Collins is a brilliant children’s writer, well-versed in the art of captivating a young audience and creating stories that are engaging and suitably complex.
However, The Hunger Games is a series that should be enjoyed by older kids. It is set in a society in which kids must battle each other to the death, which is not only a disturbing concept for younger children but also includes a plethora of frightening, violent scenes that may not be appropriate for kids under the age of 12. Nevertheless, this is one of the most popular fantasies of all time and will provide an enthralling and emotionally connecting story for those of a suitable age.
Lois Lowry is one of the most versatile authors on this list. Her literary repertoire spans everything from humor and light-hearted stories to tales of grief, World War II narratives, memoirs, and of course, children’s fantasy.
She has a new novel coming out this month (February 2023) called The Windeby Puzzle, which has been widely apprehended since it was announced. However, Lowry’s most successful book is The Giver, which is the first of a 4-book series following Jonas, an outcast and rebel who is given the role of Receiver of Memory, allowing him greater insight into the warped and authoritarian society in which he lives.
This author is an absolute must-read if you’re looking for something exactly like the Percy Jackson or Heroes of Olympus series. Roshani Choksi is half Indian and half Filipino, and as a result, bases many of her novels on stories within Hindu mythology.
Her best-selling novel, Aru Shah and the End of Time is a brilliant tale that concentrates on Aru Shah, a 12-year-old girl who is preparing to spend her autumn vacation in the Museum of Ancient Indian Art and Culture. When confronted by a group of her classmates who claim she’s lying about the legend of the cursed Lamp of Bharata, Aru is keen to prove them wrong. But doing so involves lighting the lamp, which she knows has consequences. She ends up accidentally releasing an ancient demon and must undergo an impossible quest to right her wrong. But it won’t be easy.
Known primarily for The Maze Runner, James Dashner is one of the most famous children and YA fantasy writers that focuses on speculative fiction.
Made increasingly popular by the 2014 film adaptation starring Dylan O’Brien, The Maze Runner follows Thomas, a teenager who one day wakes up in a lift, in a mysterious world isolated by a thick, ever-changing maze. As more boys join him, they must group together to work out how to escape but there are obstacles in the way and their fight for survival will not be easy. This book is perfect for any adventure or thriller lover!
Anna Cidor is another brilliantly diverse writer who incorporates humor, interesting characters, historical settings, and thrill. This Australian writer will undoubtedly take you by surprise and is not as well-known as some of the others on this list.
Her Viking Magic series is tailored to young children and follows Dungal, an Irish boy who has been taken captive by Vikings. They go on various interesting and dangerous adventures and unexpected friendships emerge.
This one needs no introduction but just in case you’ve been living under a rock, J.K. Rowling is the author who brought the adventurous and magical Harry Potter series that follows the orphan boy who discovers the magical world that his dead parents thrived in. Harry spends the 7-book series trying to defeat his arch-enemy Lord Voldemort, the dark wizard who killed his parents and now strives to destroy Harry.
This series is a heart-warming, heart-wrenching, and brilliantly adventurous story that has dominated the children’s fantasy genre since its release. If you haven’t read any children’s fantasy before, this is a great place to start.
This author is also a filmmaker, actor, traveler, adventurer, and self-acclaimed ‘nutcase’. He has made a life out of bringing life to stories. He is a wonderful storyteller and his most famous novel series The Paternus Trilogy is founded in mythology, just like Riordan’s work, and touches on urban fantasy too.
In one huge adventure, Fiona and Zeke encounter monsters, heroes, villains, and gods. They must defeat an ancient evil before it impacts the lives of those throughout the world.
Judith Rossell is an author and illustrator that has created stories for very young children. Her literary collection is a great introductory story for young readers interested in fantasy and adventure.
Her highly successful novel Withering-by-Sea is set in a Victorian town and follows young and adventurous Stella, who longs for a life far away from her horrible aunts. But when she sees something she shouldn’t have, Stella is taken on a journey, chased by evil, and forced to outwit the smartest magicians in the world.
Yoon Ha Lee
Korean-American author Yoon Ha Lee is famous for his 3-book Ninefox Gambit series which follows Captain Kel Cheris, who battles with armies and the undead.
His novels are grounded in political intrigue and will be insightful, intriguing, and gripping for any reader.
Known for his brilliant series The Keepers, Ted Sanders is an interesting and captivating storyteller and his books are guaranteed to keep you hooked.
Incorporating ancient myth, history, and fantastical artifacts, Sanders’ novels are well known for immersing readers in new worlds and toying with science fiction.
Author of the Wingfeather Saga, Andrew Peterson’s work is mystical and tells stories of mystery, secrets, and legends.
The Wingfeather Saga is a best-selling series that follows siblings, Janner and Tink, gifted children that will utilize their powers to survive evil at sea. They go on several quests to retrieve jewels and restore the world to safety.
Jason Hamilton is certainly among the lesser-known authors mentioned in this list but he has still written best-selling and highly-rated books that are still adored by millions of readers today.
His Roots of Creation series follows Jak as she undergoes a quest that incorporates magic and demons. She will have to discover and utilize all of her powers in order to save the kingdom.
Author of the best-selling Divergent series, Veronica Roth has written dystopian fantasies tailored to YA audiences.
The story is set in a dystopian world in which society is broken up into factions. When a child reaches adulthood, they must decide which faction they belong to and will take a mentally and physically challenging test to help them recognize which faction suits their personality best. But what happens when you don’t fit into one? This is Tris’ story of trying to exist in a world that cannot accommodate her.
Michael Scott’s books are brilliantly paired with J.K. Rowling’s. He writes about the mysterious character of Nicholas Flamel who is briefly mentioned in the first Harry Potter book.
His best-selling book The Alchemyst incorporates magic, heroism, and secrecy, and is wonderfully gripping and enchanting – perfect for any Potterhead!
This writer will fully immerse you in the fantasy world dominated by dragons and magic. It reads almost like Game of Thrones for kids, which is a fantastic way of introducing YA readers to the epic fantasy genre.
His novel series The Inheritance Cycle follows young Eragon, who discovers he is destined to be the greatest dragon rider ever to walk the Earth.
Hopefully, this list has given you some inspiration and maybe even introduced you to your new favorite fantasy writer.
Frequently Asked Questions
What order are the Rick Riordan books in?
1. The Lightning Thief
2. The Sea of Monsters
3. The Titan’s Curse
4. The Battle of the Labyrinth
5. The Red Pyramid
6. The Throne of Fire
7. The Last Olympian
8. The Serpent’s Shadow
Is reading fantasy at a young age beneficial?
Yes – it can boost children’s creativity, broaden their vocabulary range, and encourage their imagination.
What is the best children’s fantasy book?
The best-selling children’s fantasy book is J.K. Rowling’s The Harry Potter series.
What is a children’s fantasy?
Children’s fantasy is a genre of literature or film that is tailored for kids and follows a story set outside of reality. It can cover key fantasy elements or characters like magic, wizards, vampires, werewolves, mythology, and gods and goddesses.
What is the difference between children’s adventure and children’s fantasy?
Often, there is some overlap between these two genres. Many authors tell adventure stories that encompass fantastical elements or creatures and many fantasy books follow quests, which are classed as adventures. The key difference to remember is that fantasy has to incorporate something unrealistic, whether that’s a setting or the characters.
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