Audiobooks are designed to present you with a story that can keep you engaged and intrigued while you are doing another activity, whether it’s driving to work, making a meal for the family, or simply just relaxing on the couch, they are an easy way to experience a story without having to run to the bookstore.
With that being said, while there are many different genres people will enjoy listening to, the fantasy genre is one of the best when it comes to listening on the go, especially since many of these books have passionate narrators who make the magical worlds feel all the more real.
If you’re looking for a new genre to get stuck into on your favorite audiobook platform, or if you’re already a fantasy fan and just want a few new and exciting recommendations, we have 17 of the very best fantasy audiobooks right here that you need to check out for yourself.
17 Best Fantasy Audiobooks You Should Listen To
While Richard Mayhew is accustomed to the bustling and frantic city of London, he had no idea what fantastical creatures, saints, murderers, and angels lived beneath it.
When he bumps into Door, a young girl who clearly isn’t from the area, Richard is transported to London Below, a grimy and magical version of the city he once knew that is full of mysterious characters, magical potions, and everything that makes fantasy stories so exciting.
While it was originally published in 1996, Neverwhere still holds up incredibly well with the writing being just as whimsical and expressive as it was when it first hit shelves.
Now, you can listen to it on audiobook, with it being available on virtually every audiobook service out there. If you like your fantasy stories to have a fish-out-of-water aspect to them, and themes about not realizing what we had until it’s gone, Neverwhere is a story you won’t want to miss out on.
- Very detailed and believable fantasy depiction of London.
- Richard is a very relatable character who experiences lots of development.
- Chapters are not too long, making it easy to listen to small chunks at a time.
- Pacing at the beginning is very slow.
Sue Lynn Tan’s debut novel is a gripping, immersive, and genuinely emotional fantasy story that is heavily inspired by Chinese mythology, specifically the magical stories and tales that surround the moon goddess.
Tan puts her own literary twist on this ancient mythological figure by basing the story around the goddess’s daughter, and the mother’s struggle to hide her newborn from those trying to expose her magical powers.
After Xingyin flees and her mother is captured, she must learn how to adapt to a world she has only learned about in childhood fairy tales, while also deciding who she can trust, and what she is willing to go through to return to the moon and save her mother.
Natalie Naudus, a very experienced narrator of over 250 titles, guides you through this story elegantly in the audiobook, making this a debut novel that has already taken the fantasy community by storm.
- Chinese mythology-themed world is exciting and wonderful to learn about.
- Xingyin is very well written and made to seem very relatable to younger readers.
- Stakes always feel very high.
- The pacing is very good throughout.
- Moon Goddess herself does not get too much attention.
- Side characters can seem underdeveloped.
Brandon Sanderson has been very well known by fans of fantasy literature for many years with there being frequent debates about which of his many books is the best, and The Way of Kings is a story that always comes up in these conversations.
This tale is told through the perspective of three different characters – a young and charismatic thief, a slave soldier searching for freedom, and the envious but goodhearted brother of a king.
While many authors will struggle to keep the story consistent and engaging when telling it through multiple different points of view, Sanderson balances it perfectly here, allowing us to experience this war-torn world in so many different ways.
The best part is this is only the first book in Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive series, so if you enjoy listening to this fantastic and enthralling story, you can immediately jump to the next book right after you’re done.
- The three main characters are all very unique and get good amounts of attention.
- World-building is very strong right from the beginning.
- Plenty of subplots and mysteries.
- The chapters are not too long.
- Political conflict can slow down the pacing.
- Lots of cliffhangers.
When the world is coming to an end, and everyone is trying to protect those that they love, one woman undertakes a perilous and frightening journey through a world full of creatures and monsters in the hopes of one day reuniting with her lost family.
However, the main character Essun also has the ability to control physical energy, an ability that has been condemned by the authorities, creating a gripping story where Esun must decide whether to use her harmful and destructive powers to save her family as the government follows her every move.
This book was awarded the Hugo Award for Best Novel back in 2016 with it being described as “intricate and extraordinary” for how compelling and emotional the story and characters are, and Robin Miles does an incredible job as the narrator to convey just how much tension and excitement is packed into this highly acclaimed science fantasy novel.
- The story is incredibly intense from the beginning to the end.
- Fantasy elements mix with the scientific setting incredibly well.
- All characters receive satisfying arcs and development.
- The ending can seem a little unsatisfying.
The land of Weep was said to be an ancient city across the other side of the desert that many children were only told about in stories and fairy tales.
War orphan Lazlo took these stories a little more literally though, believing that somewhere beyond the vast ocean of sand, the magical and mysterious land of Weep really was out there, waiting to be discovered, and when a group of soldiers visits Lazlo’s town claiming to be from the ancient city, his interest takes over as he journeys back with them.
While Lazlo knew the journey would be dangerous, little did he know just how mystical and mind-bending the land of Weep itself really would be, especially when he meets the blue-skinned goddess who has been appearing in his dreams.
The world-building really steals the show here with the land of Weep being one of the most detailed and atmospheric environments I have ever witnessed in fiction, especially when listening to it as an audiobook.
- World-building of Weep and the desert is excellent.
- Very relatable and prevalent themes of forgiveness and trust.
- Light bits of comedy keeps the story lighthearted and fun.
- Lazlo can seem quite reactionary and fairly bland at points.
- The magic system is poorly explained.
If you’re a big fan of medieval fantasy stories filled with knights, witches, and mages, you’re not going to want to miss out on Battle Mage which follows the journey of Falco, a timid mage who struggles to keep up with his classmates, but who soon realizes that he might just be the only person capable of saving the world from the shadow of the Possessed which has begun destroying the world from within.
Rather than being part of a bigger series, Battle Mage is a compact self-contained story that wraps up all of its loose ends by the last page, making for an exciting and mystical tale that is only a few hours long as an audiobook.
While there are plenty of side characters to learn about and get invested in, Falco is the main focus here, with him being portrayed as an underdog with a lot to prove to his family, friends, and himself, making for an incredibly relatable story that masterfully weaves in all those elements of medieval fantasy that so many of us adore.
- Falco is a very relatable protagonist who experiences a lot of growth throughout the story.
- Perfect balance between action and more intimate scenes.
- Excellent pacing throughout the story.
- The main antagonist isn’t given too much attention or development.
While it is the thirteenth entry in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series of novels, Small Gods still presents a standalone story that centers around the origins of the god Om and his suspicious relations with a fellow prophet.
Om has a prophecy to fulfill, however, he is incapable of carrying this large task out because he has manifested as a turtle, with the only person who can understand him being the young prophet Brutha as the unlikely duo undertakes an eye-opening journey touching on themes of traditional, belief, and discrimination.
While it was released back in 1992, Small Gods still holds up remarkably well today, especially when you have fantastic narrators such as Andy Serkis providing narration through the audiobook, keeping this classic tale fresh for modern audiences.
- Om and Brutha are very likable protagonists.
- Nice blend of comedic dialogue and very serious themes.
- The world is full of mystical and expressive characters.
- Good insight into several different mythologies.
- Side characters aren’t very well developed.
- Different sub-plots can be a little overwhelming at times.
The first installment in Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time series is considered a must-listen for any fantasy fans looking to sink their teeth into a fresh and rich story set in a world full of magic and wonder.
When five strangers are forced to flee their besieged town, they arrive in an unfamiliar territory full of references to real-life myths, religion, and folklore that make it hard to press pause once you start listening.
While Robert Jordan expands on this world throughout the series, this introduction really is something special as we, the readers, know about as much of it as our protagonists, meaning we can discover everything along with them without anything seeming obvious or like common knowledge.
The overarching theme in this story is good vs evil, along with the gray area in between and what it actually means to be a morally ethical person in times of fear and conflict, and considering the audiobook features Kate Reading, an award-winning narrator who effortlessly conveys the emotions of each character when they appear, it really is a challenge to stop listening to this book once you begin.
- Fantastic introduction to the world of The Wheel of Time.
- Many references to religion, mythology, and folklore.
- Stakes always feel high from beginning to end.
- Very solid pacing.
- Some of the 5 protagonists can be sidelined for parts of the story.
The Deep won the Audie Award for Science Fiction in 2019 for how expertly crafted and thought-provoking the story was, along with its fantastic world-building and sympathetic characters, with it being one of the most imaginative and fresh takes on the standard fantasy formula to come out in recent years.
When African slave woman Yetu is thrown into the sea while on a ship she miraculously arrives in an underwater society built by a race of mermaid-like beings called Wajinru.
As Yetu adjusts to this new world near the depths of the seabed, she also comes to realize that the Wajinru actually have no memory of their origins, an origin that only Yetu knows about.
What follows is an emotional story centered around themes of lineage, cruelty, and memories of the past which perfectly blends real-life history with many different fantasy elements that make this one of the best fantasy books released in the last few years.
- The underwater setting is incredibly unique.
- Wajinru are extremely interesting and perfectly integrated into the wider story.
- Very emotional and honest reflection on human cruelty and discrimination.
- Science and fantasy elements blend extremely well.
- The third act can seem very long on the first listen.
As the final book written before his unfortunate passing, fans of Stan Lee were curious to see how his final tale would compare to the rest of his extensive and highly-praised catalog of work outside of Marvel comics, and they were not disappointed.
Alliances: A Trick of Light centers around two teenagers, Nia and Cameron, who learn to awaken their powers in order to prevent injustice in the world, and while this might sound very similar to many of the Spider-Man or Xmen stories that Stan Lee was so admired for, many more fantasy elements make it quite a bit different from what we are used to.
When listening to the audiobook, you can actually hear him talk in the introduction about how passionate he was to create a new and fresh story that dives deeper into fantasy than any of his work had done before, and with the incredibly charismatic actress Yara Shahidi providing exciting and captivating narration throughout, this is a fantastic fantasy tale by one of the most highly respected names in the business.
- An effortless blend of sci-fi and fantasy ideas and concepts.
- The main trio of characters all goes through their own development arcs.
- The power system is thoroughly explained and very in-depth.
- Short chapters make it easy to listen to in several parts.
- Lack of compelling side characters and subplots.
While Zachary is browsing what’s on offer in his school library, he discovers a book that looks a little older and different from all the other textbooks scattered across the shelves, and when he decides to pick it out and read it, his life changes forever.
When the book reveals that there is a hidden library buried beneath the earth that can be accessed through a hidden door, this is enough for Zachary to travel to the world himself, leading to a colorful story with exciting characters popping up around every corner from pirates and painters, all the way to magical wizards.
On top of an exciting story, the audiobook is also narrated by famous actor and playwright Dominic Hoffman who helps to make each passage feel as vibrant and whimsical as possible.
- Great use of metaphors and symbolism throughout the story.
- The mystery will keep you guessing until the very end.
- The fairly short length makes it a quick and easy listen.
- A few loose ends remain unanswered by the end.
This book is an excellent read for all those fans of alchemy as this book goes very in-depth about its history and how it works while still weaving it into a larger story full of intrigue, mystery, and suspense, with even a good amount of romance mixed in for good measure.
The story follows Diana Bishop, a woman with a mysterious lineage who stumbles upon a manuscript one night while working in a library, only to discover the manuscript is in fact enchanted, opening up a whole new magical world for Diana to explore, along with her vampire geneticist boyfriend.
While both protagonists bounce off each other really well and are what make this story so fun to read, the most intriguing part of the plot is Diana’s witch ancestors, whom she hopes to learn more about when entering this new fantastical world.
- Diana and Matthew have great lighthearted banter to keep the story fun.
- Some great revelations and plot twists.
- Fascinating insight into the process and use of alchemy.
- The tone can be very inconsistent throughout the story.
This novel may have only been released recently, but people are already calling it a blockbuster in the world of fiction, especially for how effortlessly Yoon Ha Lee manages to blend a grounded and fairly realistic world with elements of fiction, without these concepts ever seeming out of place.
While the fierce and ferocious nation of Razanei occupies his land, Jebi, a young and poor art school dropout, is offered a position to work in the Razanei underground base where to use his artistic expertise to help improve the military magic scripts which are used to control the people and monitor the streets.
Seeing as he has no other choice, and is desperate to find a way to support his family financially, Jebi must balance this newfound responsibility and decide how moral and ethical his decision really is.
- A great blend of grounded realism and magic.
- Very emotional and unexpected twists.
- Prevalent themes of colonialism and morality in times of conflict.
- A limited number of side characters.
- World-building falls a bit flat after the first half.
Never has an author managed to blend crime fiction and fantasy quite as well as Scott Lynch does in The Lies of Lock Lamora which is set on the mystical island of Camorra (for more fantasy crime, check out our guide to John Connolly).
Amateur thief Locke Lamora may be a suave and charismatic man who is slowly rising in the ranks in his underground family, but as the story progresses, we see him become much more seriously invested in the island, and specifically the stories of it once being home to an ancient alien civilization.
With a murder mystery, a blooming romance, and a few fantasy elements thrown into the mix, this is an excellent listen for those who might be new to the fantasy genre or maybe aren’t big fans of it at all, but who want an accessible story that utilizes some fantasy concepts to make the story all the more mysterious and compelling.
- Elevates the crime thriller plot with fantasy elements.
- Locke Lamora is very mysterious as an unreliable narrator.
- The mystery of the island is fascinating with references to real locations.
- The romance subplot is absent for much of the story.
- Pacing can slow down at crucial moments.
Jam and her friends live in a utopian city called Lucille which, unlike the rest of the world, is completely free of monsters, that is until Jam cuts herself on her mothers painting by mistake, with her blood causing a creature to appear out of the canvas.
When the mysterious and timid creature calls himself a “monster hunter”, Jam decides to befriend her new pet, and even help him in hunting down some of the monsters that may be dwelling in the shadows of Lucille.
Christopher Myers elegantly narrates this fun and exciting tale, making each action set-piece as vibrant and jaw-dropping as possible while also allowing the smaller and more introspective moments to seem a lot more peaceful and quiet as we get to learn more about Jam, and her new best friend in this magical monster-filled adventure.
- Monster designs are very unique and creative.
- The relationship between Jam and her pet develops throughout the story.
- Very surprising but satisfying ending.
- Fun and enjoyable story that isn’t too complex.
- Not very long.
Patrick Rothfuss’ New York bestseller, The Name of the Wind, takes a much more grounded and darker look into what a medieval world full of wizards, goblins, and ghouls would really be like by using his unique multi-layered narrative style.
The story follows the immensely powerful magician Kvote as we witness his journey from being a poor and low-esteemed orphan to one of the most powerful mages in all of Temerant.
The novel can sometimes seem like more of an auto-biography, but this certainly isn’t a bad thing considering just how well-written Kvote is and how much we get to experience alongside him, including the highs, and the lowest of lows.
- Kvote has many layers to his character.
- Temerant is a very rich and detailed fantasy world.
- Very in-depth and complex magic system.
- Comedic moments can seem inconsistent with the story’s tone.
The Rage of Dragons is an African-inspired epic fantasy that many have described as Game of Thrones meets Gladiator, featuring all of the blood, deceit, and romance that you would come to expect from this pairing.
In Evan Winters’ debut novel, he manages to craft a wide and expansive medieval world that feels real, despite all the dragons, magic, and wizards that make constant appearances throughout the story.
The story majorly focuses on war and the consequences of it on innocent civilians through the eyes of Jabari and his friend Tau, so if you like fantasy stories set in a war-torn kingdom full of bloodshed one minute and military planning the next, The Rage of Dragons is a great listen.
- The African-themed setting is very unique and detailed.
- Writing is easy to follow despite the complex story.
- Well-written characters who are easy to get invested in.
- Too many cliffhangers.
There’s never a bad time to listen to a thrilling and exciting story about wizards, dragons, and medieval knights as part of a fantasy story, so make sure to try out some of these fantastic fantasy audiobooks today.
How To Choose The Right Fantasy Audiobook?
Find A Passionate Narrator
Fantasy stories are supposed to be immersive tales that take you on a magical and exciting journey that you won’t find in any other literature, so it’s important that the person narrating conveys this.
Therefore, before buying an audiobook, make sure to always check who the narrator is and research to see if they have narrated other titles in the past.
If they have been narrating for several years, primarily over fantasy books, then there is a good chance they will be able to bring the story to life effortlessly.
Pick A Unique Setting
Fantasy novels don’t always have to be set in a medieval world full of dragons and mages, they can also be a lot more grounded with just a few fantastical elements integrated into the story to make it a little more unique.
Therefore, seeing as there are so many options to choose from, make sure to pick a fantasy story with a setting that you are most interested in, whether it be a faraway magical land or a setting that is a little closer to home.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Most Popular Audiobook Service?
With thousands of audiobooks to enjoy, including a tremendous catalog of fantasy books, Audible has been the most popular audiobook service ever since it launched years ago in 1997.
With that being said, Scribd and Amazon Prime have also been seen as up-and-coming competitors to the king of audiobooks.