Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Top 10 Bestselling Fantasy Book Series

Updated June.13.2015

Enter a world where anything is possible. Step into all that's pure magic and sorcery, a universe of damsels in distress, of dragons and dungeons; of faeries and myths; of legends and stories of forever afters.
Enter the realm of (drum rolls please) fantasy. 

Fantasy has accomplished much through the ages and the bigger the volume the better its impact on lives of readers. What you have here is a collection of ten of the best selling fantasy series only. That means if your favorite fantasy book happens to be just one volume, rest assured, you wouldn't find it among these. Even if it sold over a billion copies. While there may be one or two series still being written, many are over and done with.

But whichever one of these bestselling books you choose for your next reading assignment, the magic is guaranteed to take your breath away!

10. Shannara by Terry Brooks

Beginning with The Sword of Shannara in 1977, the plot of this epic fantasy series stretches over 20 books and still counting. The stories combine magic and primitive technology and the setting is in the Four Lands which is sometimes, identified as a burned out Earth long after civilization has been destroyed in what the books call the Great Wars.

The protagonists in the series are of a noble family called Shannara.
This epic has sold over 21 million copies worldwide and it gives me great pleasure to present it to you as #1o of the highest selling fantasy series.

A young man, Richard Cypher is the protagonist. He is a Westland woods guide whose simple life is forever changed after he becomes the Seeker of Truth, a responsibility to uphold justice in the world is thrust on his young shoulders in an instant.
On November 1, 2008, ABC Studios began a television series adaptation of the novels, titled Legend of the Seeker. 
The Sword of Truth is a series of twelve epic fantasy novels began in 1994. Translated into more than 20 languages about 25 million copies of the franchise has been sold worldwide.

A heroic fantasy series by the Japanese author Kaoru Kurimoto. Guin Saga is the longest continuing single-writer's work in the world with a total 130 volumes, the last four books in the series was published posthumously.

The main character is a warrior who goes by the name Guin. He is set against a dangerous world that's controlled by magic.

The total circulation exceeds 28 million copies worldwide.

7. The Dark Tower by Stephen King

This epic/high fantasy by horror writer, Stephen King follows the adventures of Roland Deschain in his quest for The Dark Tower. King says the series was inspired by Robert Browning's poem, Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came.

There is a total of eight books in the series published between 1982 and 2012. Besides the eight novels that make up the series proper, many of Stephen King's other books relate to the story, introducing concepts and characters that come into play as the series progresses. King has described his fantasy series which incorporates multiple genres like fantasy, science fantasy, dark fantasy, and western, as "western spaghetti meets Lord of the Rings."

As of 2010 more than 30 million copies of the series have been sold in 40 countries.

6. The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini

The first time I watched the movie, Eragon I was hooked. Just like that. It was love at first sight. The movie which is a spin-off of the first book in the series of the same name was a masterpiece of the fantasy genre.
In the fictional land of AlagaĆ«sia, there was an order which oversaw the countries and brought peace to the world. This group was known as the Dragon Riders, for they rode dragons, at the birth of which a bond was formed in accordance with a pact made between elves and dragons millennia earlier. (Wikipedia)

The first book in the series was self-published by the family publishing company, Paolini International, and Paolini toured several educational institutions self-promoting his book.
Eragon  was published in 2002 and became a New York Times bestseller. The four books of the fantasy series was published between 2002 and 2011 and has since gone on to sell over 33 million copies.

5. The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan

This epic fantasy was originally planned as a six-book fantasy series but now spans about thirteen volumes with the latest book released on 8 January 2013.  The series binds various elements of both European and Asian mythology like the cyclical nature of time found in Hinduism and Buddhism, the concepts of balance found in Daoism, and a form of the creation story similar to that of Christianity.

The original author, Robert Jordan passed away before the last book was written. The extensive notes he left behind was used by Wheel of Time fan, author Brandon Sanderson to develop an extra three volumes to the series. The eighth through thirteenth books each reached number one on the New York Times Best Seller list.
The series has reached over 44 million copies worldwide.

4. Discworld by Terry Pratchet

The world called Discworld from which the series derives its name is flat disc balanced on the backs of four elephants which, in turn, stand on the back of a giant turtle, Great A'Tuin. As of September 2011, 39 Discworld novels have been published.

The first volume, The Colour of Magic was published in 1983 and the most recent Snuff which became the third fastest selling book in the first week of publication. The author has expressed his wish that he would be happy for his daughter to continue the series when he is no longer fit to go on (he suffers from Alzheimer's).
The series has achieved worldwide fame with over 70 million copies sold in 37 languages.

3. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

A series of four vampire-themed fantasy romance novels. The series is most popular among young adults. The story is told from the POV of a teenage girl, Bella Swan who falls in love with a 104 year old vampire who goes by the name, Edward Cullen.

The first book in the series Twilight was released in 2005 and since then the books have become the favorite of millions of fans across the globe. The series has won multiple awards.

The series has sold over 116 million copies worldwide.

2. The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis

Published in London between 1950 and 1956, The Chronicles of Narnia is Lewis' best known work. A series of seven high fantasy novels set in the fictional realm of Narnia, a fantasy world of magic inhabited by talking animals. The books are considered a children's classic. The work treats multiple themes. Traditional christian themes are interwoven with Greek, Roman and Turkish mythology.

The series has sold over 120 million copies and has been translated into over 47 languages.

1. Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling

Harry Potter is a series of seven fantasy novels. The series chronicles the adventures of a young wizard, Harry Potter and his two friends. The first novel Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was released on 30 June 1997. Since then, all the books have gained immense popularity and worldwide commercial success.
The book series has sold about 450 million copies and that makes it the best-selling book series in history. The Harry Potter franchise has been translated into about 67 languages. The last four novels in the series consecutively set records as the fastest-selling books in history.

That's it, folks. Great fantasy book series to kill any dull moment. By the way, this list was made possible by information retrieved from Wikipedia. It's such fun to have limitless resource next door.


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  1. I disagree with this list entirely. For starters, Twilight needs to go, I don't care if you like it or not it should not be in your top ten. Second, where is the Belgariad, that should be number one. Third, Lord of the Rings isn't here...

    1. Like the article says, the post was made possible by data collected from Wikipedia.
      And as far as Lord of The Rings goes, it's listed in the highest selling single volume books in the fiction category.

      The list is not a countdown of my favorite fantasy series but a list of book series with the highest sales.
      Thanks for visiting.


  2. I wouldn't classify Twilight as fantasy. However if wikipedia chose to classify Twilight as fantasy, what can be done.

    1. Last time I checked Twilight contains elements of fantasy. The werewolf and the vampire. I suppose that's enough to earn it a place among fantastical works.

      Thanks for visiting.

  3. You can get around the lord of the rings being considered one book and not a series by including the Hobbit, and thus making it a series as it's the prequal and would count

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  6. why isnt warriors series on this

    1. This list is based on data collected primarily from Wikipedia and not a compilation of a personal favorite fantasy series.


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