5 Great Fantasy Books With Family Relationships to Read

Fantasy books often feature orphan protagonists or protagonists whose family members don’t have a significant role in the story. Are you curious which books flip this trend, instead having the protagonist’s family involved in their adventures?

Well, today’s post has just that. Whether these relationships are between siblings or between parents and children, this list should have a story for you.

Here are 5 great fantasy books with family relationships to read:

I’ve included book descriptions, readers’ ratings and summaries of positive and negative comments for each one of the books in this list below.

But if you’d prefer a quick summary, here’s a comparison chart.

Fool’s Errand by Robin Hobb


For fifteen years FitzChivalry Farseer has lived in self-imposed exile, assumed to be dead by almost all who once cared about him. But now, into his isolated life, visitors begin to arrive: Fitz’s mentor from his assassin days; a hedge-witch who foresees the return of a long-lost love; and the Fool, the former White Prophet, who beckons Fitz to fulfill his destiny.

Then comes the summons he cannot ignore. Prince Dutiful, the young heir to the Farseer throne, has vanished. Fitz, possessed of magical skills both royal and profane, is the only one who can retrieve him in time for his betrothal ceremony, thus sparing the Six Duchies profound political embarrassment . . . or worse.

But even Fitz does not suspect the web of treachery that awaits him – or how his loyalties will be tested to the breaking point.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating4.31

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

First on our list of fantasy books with family relationships is Fool’s Errand by Robin Hobb. This story features several prominent relationships, including one between a father and son.

Fans of this novel described it as emotionally gripping and bursting with incredible character development. Many said that they felt completely transported into the mind of FitzChivalry, the protagonist, as he grows into a mature man. Whether he dealt with loneliness or experienced the warmth of animal companionship, Fitz struck them as vividly real.

Moreover, fans developed strong emotions for all the book’s characters. Some of these were positive, while others were negative. In either case, readers’ feelings were complex, changing or gaining nuances as the novel’s  pages revealed new sides to the character cast.

Negative Comments

No book is without its critics, including Fool’s Errand. Overall, readers who didn’t enjoy this book cited two main reasons. Firstly, they said the novel’s pace was slow, focused on characters’ internal growth but with little outward action. As such, these readers couldn’t get drawn into the story.

The second reason they gave related to Fitz as a protagonist: they described him as self-pitying and passive. As a result, critics found him frustrating.

The Hills Have Spies by Mercedes Lackey


In this new series, set in the bestselling world of Valdemar, Heralds Mags and Amily must continue to protect the realm of Valdemar while raising their children and preparing them to follow in their footsteps.

Mags, Herald Spy of Valdemar, and his wife, Amily, the King’s Own Herald, are happily married with three kids. The oldest, Peregrine, has the Gift of Animal Mindspeech — he can talk to animals and persuade them to act as he wishes. Perry’s dream is to follow in his father’s footsteps as a Herald Spy, but he has yet to be Chosen by a Companion.

Mags is more than happy to teach Perry all he knows. He regularly trains his children, including Perry, with tests and exercises, preparing them for the complicated and dangerous lives they will likely lead. Perry has already held positions in the Royal Palace as a runner and in the kitchen, useful places where he can learn to listen and collect information.

But there is growing rural unrest in a community on the border of Valdemar. A report filled with tales of strange disappearances and missing peddlers is sent to Haven by a Herald from the Pelagirs.

To let Perry experience life away from home and out in the world, Mags proposes that his son accompany him on an expedition to discover what is really going on.

During their travels, Perry’s Animal Mindspeech allows him to communicate with the local wildlife of the Pelagirs, whose connection to the land aids in their investigation. But the details he gleans from the creatures only deepen the mystery.

As Perry, Mags, and their animal companions draw closer to the heart of the danger, they must discover the truth behind the disappearances at the border — before those disappearances turn deadly.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating3.79

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Another story on our list of fantasy books with family relationships is The Hills Have Spies. What did fans say?

Overall, they praised The Hills Have Spies as a warm, comforting tale featuring a compelling father and son relationship, coming of age story line, and adventure.

Unlike its grittier counterparts, The Hills Have Spies struck readers as a wholesome read that made them appreciate the simple things in life. For instance, a soft bed, good food and more.

While the book had excitement and danger, it’s ultimately a story where goodness triumphs over evil and there is a happily ever after. Fans considered this a wonderful highlight.

Negative Comments

What did critics say? In general, these readers mentioned two reasons for why they didn’t enjoy The Hills Have Spies.

The first was that they didn’t think the story conveyed a sense of urgency, even though the stakes were high. Because of this, they didn’t feel a strong desire to know what would happen next.

The second was that several of the characters’ decisions or plot events seemed artificial rather than, say, true to their personalities.

The Black Prism by Brent Weeks


In a world where magic is tightly controlled, the most powerful man in history must choose between his kingdom and his son in the first book in the epic NYT bestselling Lightbringer series.

Guile is the Prism, the most powerful man in the world. He is high priest and emperor, a man whose power, wit, and charm are all that preserves a tenuous peace. Yet Prisms never last, and Guile knows exactly how long he has left to live.

When Guile discovers he has a son, born in a far kingdom after the war that put him in power, he must decide how much he’s willing to pay to protect a secret that could tear his world apart.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.24

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Next on our list of fantasy books with family relationships is The Black Prism by Brent Weeks. There’s very little that fans didn’t praise about this novel: they lauded the characters, the unique magic system, the constant action, and humor.

However, if I have to narrow it down to the two main aspects readers enjoyed the most, it would be the characters and the magic system. The novel is told in multiple point of views with varied characters whom all have different backgrounds, personalities, strengths and weaknesses. Some inspired their sympathy and others impress them, but all invoked emotions. Fans were enthralled by all of them.

As for the magic system, readers were delighted by the story’s color and light-based powers. Not only did it strike them as unique, but it was easy to understand and used in unexpected and innovative ways.

Negative Comments

What reasons did readers give for disliking this novel? Overall, critics tended to say that The Black Prism’s crude humor graded on them.

Sometimes they said this came through in the characters, such as the teenage Kip, who struck them as immature and prone to whining. At others, the characters might explicitly lust after each other during moments that seemed totally bewildering to critics.

Blood of Aenarion by William King


The twins Tyrion and Teclis are the greatest high elf heroes still to walk the earth. They are as different to one another as darkness and light.

Tyrion is an unparalleled swordsman, a superlative warrior and tactician from birth. He inspires courage and loyalty in those around him. Champion of the Everqueen, he is Ulthuan’s greatest protector.

Teclis’s gift is magic. The greatest natural sorcerer of the age, his power rivals that of fabled Caledor. Wise councillor of the high elves, Teclis was amongst those who first taught magic to the race of men and gave them the means to defend themselves against Chaos…

From their humble origin in the wild lands of Chrace, Tyrion and Teclis were meant for a great destiny. They come from the line of Aenarion, the first king of Ulthuan and cursed champion of that magical island…

When the Witch King Malekith learns of the twins’ existence their lives are imperilled and they are taken to Lothern for their protection and to learn the arts of war.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.07

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

Another story on our list of fantasy books with family relationships is Blood of Aenarion. This fantasy novel gripped readers with its fast pace and exciting, grand battles.

Even as the story charged ahead at a breakneck pace, readers reported that it provided engaging and developed main characters as well as a character cast consisting of likable heroes and threatening villains.

The story, readers said, was compelling and a fun, familiar ‘sword and sorcery’ tale done right. Once they picked the book up, fans found themselves glued to the pages.

Negative Comments

Critics of Blood of Aenarion didn’t have a unified reason why they didn’t enjoy the book. For the most part, they characterized this as a light, fun read but not one that astounded them.

What if I had to pick a ‘most common’ criticism? If so, I’d say that critics generally thought that the story came across as a standard ‘coming of age’ fantasy. They seemed to expect a familiar tale, but hoped there would be more twists to it.

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke


Imagine it were possible to bring the characters from a book to life. Not like when you listen to an audiobook with such enchantment that the characters seem to jump off the pages and into your bedroom…but for real. Imagine they could actually climb out of the pages and into our world.

Then imagine if those characters brought their world into ours.

This is the story of young Meggie, who lives a quiet life alone with her father Mo, a bookbinder, until one cruel night when Mo reads aloud from Inkheart, and an evil ruler named Capricorn escapes the boundaries of fiction and lands in their living room. Suddenly, Meggie is smack in the middle of the kind of adventure she has only read about in books.

Somehow, Meggie and Mo must learn to harness the magic that conjured up this nightmare. Somehow they must change the course of the story that has changed their lives forever.

This is Inkheart, a timeless tale about books, about imagination, about life.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.88

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

And last on our list of fantasy books with family relationships is Inkheart. Fans immediately had a reason to bond with the characters in this book: all of them were book-lovers!

Many of readers were delighted by this shared commonality as well as the entire premise of books coming to life. Inkheart, they said, took this idea and delivered on it beautifully.

Moreover, fans said that this immersive adventure kept them turning the pages for hours on end. For some, this was due to its engaging characters, while others cited its vividly expressed world.

Negative Comments

If readers didn’t enjoy Inkheart, what reasons did they give? For the most part, critics said that the book struck them as overly descriptive. Because of this, they tended to characterize the story as slow-paced.

5 Great Fantasy Books With Family Relationships to Read

How Do These Fantasy Novels Compare?

5 Great Fantasy Books With Family Relationships to Read


N.S. Mirage

I'm Natalie, an avid fantasy reader here to help readers find exciting, otherworldly books.

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