Top 15 Classic Fantasy Audiobooks You Must Hear

Classic fantasy audiobooks: the stories that launched a thousand novels. Tales that mesmerized generations of readers and listeners upon publication and still sway them today.

Whether you’re searching for a traditional fantasy story or curious about fantasy’s roots, this list has something for you.

Here are 15 incredible classic fantasy audiobooks you must hear:

I’ve included book descriptions, listeners’ ratings and summaries of positive and negative comments for each book are below.

Magician: Apprentice by Raymond E. Feist


To the forest on the shore of the Kingdom of the Isles, the orphan Pug came to study with the master magician Kulgan. But though his courage won him a place at court and the heart of a lovely Princess, he was ill at ease with the normal ways of wizardry.

Yet Pug’s strange sort of magic would one day change forever the fates of two worlds. For dark beings from another world had opened a rift in the fabric of spacetime to being again the age-old battle between the forces of Order and Chaos. 

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.17

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

First on our list of classic fantasy audiobooks is Magician: Apprentice. Like several of the prior stories, this novel includes classic fantasy creatures, settings and quests.

Fans mentioned that this audiobook had everything they loved about traditional fantasy while exploring those elements more deeply. However, it also had enough twists to the overall tale that the audiobook didn’t feel over-familiar.

In addition, fans praised the story for its excellent characters and the different fantasy cultures. They immediately connected to all the characters in the cast, whether they be elves, dwarves, or dragons. Experiencing the characters’ coming-of-age stories was a treat, as was walking with them as they explored their world and weathered its turbulent politics.

Overall, fans said that Magician: Apprentice was an highly enjoyable classic fantasy, with many feel-good moments. A few commented that, given how many grimdark fantasy audiobooks there are, it was refreshing to immerse themselves in this uplifting story and spend time with its upstanding characters.

Negative Comments

What did critics dislike about Magician: Apprentice? Mostly, these readers’ remarks focused on the book’s The Lord of the Rings influence or overall use of standard fantasy tropes. Whether it was the characterization of the main characters, the personalities of the fantasy creatures, or the locations in the story, the similarities came across too strongly to them.

Other critics focused on the characters themselves. Several of them mentioned that they either didn’t seem developed or that they were developed by narration rather than through character-defining actions or dialogue.

The Silmarillion by J.R.R Tolkien


The story of the creation of the world and of the First Age, this is the ancient drama to which the characters in The Lord of the Rings look back and in whose events some of them, such as Elrond and Galadriel, took part.

The three Silmarils were jewels created by Fëanor, most gifted of the Elves. Within them was imprisoned the Light of the Two Trees of Valinor before the Trees themselves were destroyed by Morgoth, the first Dark Lord.

Thereafter, the unsullied Light of Valinor lived on only in the Silmarils, but they were seized by Morgoth and set in his crown, which was guarded in the impenetrable fortress of Angband in the north of Middle-earth.

The Silmarillion is the history of the rebellion of Fëanor and his kindred against the gods, their exile from Valinor and return to Middle-earth, and their war, hopeless despite all their heroism, against the great Enemy.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.91

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Second on the list of classic fantasy audibooks is The Silmarillion by J. R. R. Tolkien. It’s hard to find a fantasy audiobook listener who hasn’t heard of The Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit, but less have heard about this mythological epic.

Positive reviews rave about its world-building, which they characterized as grand, rich and on a level rarely seen in other novels. Readers frequently said that this gives a deep sense of history not just to The Silmarillion story, but to Tolkien’s other works as well.

Negative Comments

So what did readers who didn’t enjoy The Silmarillion say? Well, it turns out that many of the reasons readers liked it were often the reason others didn’t.

These readers found that the audiobook’s historical writing style made the experience more like reading a history textbook. They also mentioned that new names, places and events might have made The Silmarillion epic in scope, but they also seemed to pop up non-stop.

This, plus the historical writing style, meant there wasn’t much time to learn about the characters or care about them.

The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks


Living in peaceful Shady Vale, Shea Ohmsford knew little of the troubles that plagued the rest of the world.

Then the giant, forbidding Allanon revealed that the supposedly dead Warlock Lord was plotting to destroy the world.

The sole weapon against this Power of Darkness was the Sword of Shannara, which could only be used by a true heir of Shannara – Shea being the last of the bloodline, upon whom all hope rested.

Soon a Skull Bearer, dread minion of Evil, flew into the Vale, seeking to destroy Shea. To save the Vale, Shea fled, drawing the Skull Bearer after him…

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.76

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

Our next classic fantasy audiobook is The Sword of Shannara, featuring Shea, a part-elven protagonist. Fans of this The Lord of the Rings-inspired fantasy novel enjoyed that it was a traditional fantasy tale done beautifully.

Listeners remarked that while the world-building is vivid, the characters captured their imaginations. This lovable team inspired them their devotion to each other as well as warmed them with overall themes of friendship, goodness, hope and more. 

Other listeners enthused that The Sword of Shannara‘s exciting, action-packed plot was immensely compelling. Especially given how attached they became to the story’s characters, readers said this made it hard to put the audiobook down. The battles in particular gripped them and had them on the edge of their seats.

Negative Comments

What did critics say? For the most part, readers who didn’t enjoy The Sword of Shannara objected to how similar it was to The Lord of the Rings. Several expected some similarities, but found far more than they’d anticipated.

Because of this, these critics perceived the book as persistently filled with over-familiar story elements. Instead of being moved by the story, they found themselves desensitized to it.

Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb


In a faraway land where members of the royal family are named for the virtues they embody, one young boy will become a walking enigma.

Born on the wrong side of the sheets, Fitz, son of Chivalry Farseer, is a royal bastard, cast out into the world, friendless and lonely.

Only his magical link with animals – the old art known as the Wit – gives him solace and companionship.

But the Wit, if used too often, is a perilous magic, and one abhorred by the nobility.

So when Fitz is finally adopted into the royal household, he must give up his old ways and embrace a new life of weaponry, scribing, courtly manners; and how to kill a man secretly, as he trains to become a royal assassin.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.15

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Fourth on our list of classic fantasy audiobooks is Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb.

Listeners who loved this audiobook enjoyed the slow-burn nature of the story, which focused heavily on character growth and world-building. Although an audiobook about assassins, Assassin’s Apprentice is primarily the story of a boy growing into adulthood without the love of a family.

As such, Fitz’s journey provoked deep feelings from these readers, who found themselves strongly invested in the characters and sharing their hopes and fears.

In addition, they also remarked that there wasn’t a single character they felt apathetic about. Even though Fitz is the main character, fans said that – whether it was love or hate – they felt something for all the characters in the cast.

Negative Comments

If you’re a reader looking for an action-packed, adrenaline-charged adventure, readers confirmed that Assassin’s Apprentice isn’t it.

Expecting action and suspense, these listeners described its pace as slow. Plenty of tragic events happen in Fitz’ life, but they seemed more like meanderings than building blocks serving a larger narrative purpose.

Others mentioned that Fitz, despite aging around ten years, doesn’t seem to change much character-wise. Listeners got to know him, but didn’t see him to grow based on what happens. This made it difficult for some of these listeners to connect to him.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S Lewis


Four adventurous siblings — Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie — step through a wardrobe door and into the land of Narnia, a land frozen in eternal winter and enslaved by the power of the White Witch.

But when almost all hope is lost, the return of the Great Lion, Aslan, signals a great change. . .and a great sacrifice.

What Do Listeners Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.26

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Another story on our list of classic fantasy audiobooks is The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the first book in C.S Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia series.

Listeners who adored the story enthused that The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was a swashbuckling tale brimming with adventure, a truly wondrous world and a fantastic conclusion.

Several of these listeners had read the story as children or tweens and found that, when rereading the book as an adult, it still enchanted them.

Negative Comments

Several listeners didn’t find The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe for them, however. Lewis originally published the book more than 50 years ago, and unfortunately, several of the terms of phrase rubbed listeners the wrong way.

The Neverending Story by Michael Ende


The story begins with a lonely boy named Bastian and the strange book that draws him into the beautiful but doomed world of Fantastica.

Only a human can save this enchanted place by giving its ruler, the Childlike Empress, a new name.

But the journey to her tower leads through lands of dragons, giants, monsters, and magic and once Bastian begins his quest, he may never return.

As he is drawn deeper into Fantastica, he must find the courage to face unspeakable foes and the mysteries of his own heart. 

What Do Listeners Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.16

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Next on our list of classic fantasy audiobooks is The Neverending Story. This famous classic delighted listeners, whether children or adult, with how imaginative and engrossing it was.

The Neverending Story, fans said, transported them into its world as completely as Bastian was pulled into Fantastica. It was fast-paced, filled with intriguing mythology and led by a protagonist they enjoyed following.

Negative Comments

Almost half of The Neverending Story‘s listeners rated it five stars on Goodreads. However, those who didn’t enjoy this fantasy novel cited its second part as why. While most of the story bristled with suspense, the middle lost momentum.

The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle


The Last Unicorn is one of the true classics of fantasy, ranking with Tolkien’s The Hobbit, Le Guin’s Earthsea Trilogy, and Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland.

Beagle writes a shimmering prose-poetry, the voice of fairy tales and childhood:

The unicorn lived in a lilac wood, and she lived all alone. She was very old, though she did not know it, and she was no longer the careless color of sea foam but rather the color of snow falling on a moonlit night.

But her eyes were still clear and unwearied, and she still moved like a shadow on the sea.

The unicorn discovers that she is the last unicorn in the world, and sets off to find the others.

She meets Schmendrick the Magician – whose magic seldom works, and never as he intended – when he rescues her from Mommy Fortuna’s Midnight Carnival, where only some of the mythical beasts displayed are illusions.

They are joined by Molly Grue, who believes in legends despite her experiences with a Robin Hood wannabe and his unmerry men.

Ahead wait King Haggard and his Red Bull, who banished unicorns from the land.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.18

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Seventh on our list of classic fantasy audiobooks is The Last Unicorn. Listeners who raved about this cherished tale said that it was imaginative, magical and unexpectedly profound. Beagle’s poetic prose wove a spell over these readers, who said the audiobook immersed them in its world and characters.

Others mentioned how much they appreciated the story’s message. Brimming with themes of hope even in despairing circumstances, the story touched and inspired them.

Negative Comments

Listeners who didn’t think The Last Unicorn was their cup of tea said the book was slow-paced and didn’t grip them. Moreover, several mentioned that the plot itself seemed episodic and disjointed.

To them, the story didn’t seem to build up toward anything, while the individual events came across more as a happening rather than a step along a larger narrative journey.

Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones


Sophie has the great misfortune of being the eldest of three daughters, destined to fail miserably should she ever leave home to seek her fate.

But when she unwittingly attracts the ire of the Witch of the Waste, Sophie finds herself under a horrid spell that transforms her into an old lady. Her only chance at breaking it lies in the ever-moving castle in the hills: the Wizard Howl’s castle.

To untangle the enchantment, Sophie must handle the heartless Howl, strike a bargain with a fire demon, and meet the Witch of the Waste head-on. Along the way, she discovers that there’s far more to Howl — and herself — than first meets the eye. 

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.28

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Next on our list of classic fantasy audiobooks is Howl’s Moving Castle. Why did fans find this story captivating?

These listeners typically praised its characters, saying all of them came across as refreshing and offered a different reason to like them. In particular, Sophie and Howl won these readers over. Many described having the odd couple combination of the capable, no-nonsense Sophie with the vain, spoiled Howl as a delight to read about.

In addition to that, these readers said that the romance between the two of them not only worked, but touched them. Seeing Sophie and Howl grow as characters as well as in their feelings for each other warmed fans’ hearts.

Negative Comments

As for critics, they generally tended to say that not much happened in Howl’s Moving Castle. These readers perceived the audiobook as dragging out its storyline.

The Once and Future King by T.H. White


Once upon a time, a young boy called “Wart” was tutored by a magician named Merlyn in preparation for a future he couldn’t possibly imagine.

A future in which he would ally himself with the greatest knights, love a legendary queen and unite a country dedicated to chivalrous values.

A future that would see him crowned and known for all time as Arthur, King of the Britons.
During Arthur’s reign, the kingdom of Camelot was founded to cast enlightenment on the Dark Ages, while the knights of the Round Table embarked on many a noble quest.

But Merlyn foresaw the treachery that awaited his liege: the forbidden love between Queen Guenever and Lancelot, the wicked plots of Arthur’s half-sister Morgause and the hatred she fostered in Mordred that would bring an end to the king’s dreams for Britain — and to the king himself.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.08

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Next on our list of classic fantasy audiobooks is The Once and Future King, which many listeners found after learning that this was the book Disney used as the basis for their movie, The Sword and the Stone.

Because of this, most positive reviewers came in expecting that it would have a humorous tone and references to modern places, people and events. These listeners said that The Once and Future King was witty, entertaining and just an overall fantastic re-imagining of King Arthur legends.

Others mentioned that they appreciated how the story tackled the ‘big questions’, touching on questions such as, “is human nature primarily good or evil?” and even “What is the meaning of life?”

True to the Arthur legend, the story ends in tragedy, but readers mentioned that this ending was moving, powerful and resonated with thematic depth.

Negative Comments

If listeners didn’t enjoy the book, they often mentioned that they expected a serious fantasy story. As such, it disappointed them that the book had a whimsical and fairy tale tone instead. These readers sometimes commented that the anachronisms, while funny, also ruined the mood for them.

Other readers, however, commented that after the first part of the book, the story began to depress them. In line with the Arthurian legend, The Once and Future King became more and more tragic as it progressed.

Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson


The Malazan Empire simmers with discontent, bled dry by interminable warfare, bitter infighting and bloody confrontations with the formidable Anomander Rake and his Tiste Andii, ancient and implacable sorcerers.

Even the imperial legions, long inured to the bloodshed, yearn for some respite. Yet Empress Laseen’s rule remains absolute, enforced by her dread Claw assassins.

For Sergeant Whiskeyjack and his squad of Bridgeburners, and for Tattersail, surviving cadre mage of the Second Legion, the aftermath of the siege of Pale should have been a time to mourn the many dead.

But Darujhistan, last of the Free Cities of Genabackis, yet holds out. It is to this ancient citadel that Laseen turns her predatory gaze.

However, it would appear that the Empire is not alone in this great game. Sinister, shadowbound forces are gathering as the gods themselves prepare to play their hand…

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.88

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

Next on our list of classic fantasy audiobooks is Gardens of the Moon. What did fans say?

These listeners frequently praised the author, Steve Erickson, for taking this fantasy story in a different direction than a more Tolkien-like fantasy: while the book has a similar epic feel and scope, it also has a mystery, violence and tragedy to it that appealed to them.

They also mentioned how imaginative they found the story, particularly the world-building, and appreciated how instantly the story threw them into the story of a gigantic war.

Negative Comments

What did readers who didn’t enjoy the novel say?

It turns out that while they agreed that the story was epic in scope, they often felt like that the sheer amount of information they were told meant that they had little idea of what was happening or why it mattered.

In addition, these readers said it was difficult to get emotionally invested in the characters – there were just too many to cover for them to have much development.

Along a similar vein, others mentioned that the dialogue between the characters felt like standard fantasy book talk rather than individualized speaking styles.

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle


It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger.

“Wild nights are my glory,” the unearthly stranger told them. “I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course. Let me sit down for a moment, and then I’ll be on my way. Speaking of ways, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract.”

A tesseract is a wrinkle in time. To tell more would rob the reader of the enjoyment of Miss L’Engle’s unusual book.

A Wrinkle in Time, winner of the Newberry Medal in 1963, is the story of the adventures in space and time of Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin O’Keefe (athlete, student, and one of the most popular boys in high school). They are in search of Meg’s father, a scientist who disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government on the tesseract problem.

What Do Listeners Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.01

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

A Wrinkle in Time is another classic fantasy audiobook, one that has surged in popularity among adults as well thanks to a recent movie (2018) and a slew of graphic novels.

Fans cited its atmospheric prose and authentic characterization as major pluses. The main character, Meg, struck them as particularly well-developed when compared to other childrens’ or Young Adult novels. Listeners often said she came across as brave, but also reacted realistically to what felt like encounters with true evil.

Negative Comments

Some adults listeners, however, weren’t so enthusiastic. They mentioned that while A Wrinkle in Time was a great coming-of-age story, particularly for young girls, it felt too simple for them.

These listeners often also mentioned that while Meg is initially sympathetic, she’s later prone to too many overreactions.

Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings


Long ago, so the Storyteller claimed, the evil god Torak sought dominion and drove men and gods to war. But Belgrath the Sorcerer led men to reclaim the Orb that protected the West. So long as it lay at Riva, the prophecy went, men would be safe.

That was only a story, and Garion did not believe in magic dooms, even though the man without a shadow had haunted him for years.

Brought up on a quiet farm by his Aunt Pol, how could he know that the Apostate planned to wake dread Torak, or that he would be led on a quest of unparalleled magic and danger by those he loved, but did not truly know.

For yet a little while, his dreams of innocence remained safe, untroubled by knowledge of his strange heritage. For a little while…

Thus begins The Belgariad, an epic fantasy of immense scope set against a history of 7,000 years. It tells of the struggles between ancient gods and mighty Kings, and of men in strange lands facing fated events, all bound by a prophecy that must be fulfilled.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating4.15

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Another story on our list of classic fantasy audiobooks is Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings.

You’ve heard the story: an orphan farm-boy or farm-girl survives when a power-hungry villain burns down their hometown. Journeying with their wise mentor, they launch on a quest to defeat the villain while bonding with and learning from powerful warrior companions. Eventually, they discover their secret lineage and part to play in the villain’s downfall.

Well, this is the fantasy book that made that story popular in the first place!

Fans went into the story knowing that by now, these ‘Chosen One’ tropes and twists would be familiar. As such, they described Pawn of Prophecy as classic, comfortable fantasy done at its best. Listeners described the story itself as a heartwarming adventure and its detail and epic scope as impressive.

Others said that they enjoyed the characters, whether it be Garion, the protagonist, or the rest of the cast. As they accompanied the characters along the tale, they felt that they grew to know them.

In short, if you want to read the ‘Chosen One’ story at its arguable best, this may be the book for you.

Negative Comments

If listeners didn’t enjoy Pawn of Prophecy, it was mostly for the very reasons that others loved it. What fans described as a classic, comfortable story is what critics described as cliché.

All the expected ‘Chosen One’ story elements originate in this book. However, many listeners came into it without knowing this. As such, they were understandably disappointed when none of the traditional tropes had a twist to it. The story came across as overly predictable while the characters seemed stock rather than fresh.

Other listeners, however, were frustrated by the characters. They described Garion, the protagonist, as purely tugged along by the plot or others instead of initiating actions himself.

His guardians and traveling companions also frustrated them. Rather than likable wise mentors, these characters struck readers as condescending to Garion and sabotaging his growth.

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien


One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.

In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell by chance into the hands of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins.

From Sauron’s fastness in the Dark Tower of Mordor, his power spread far and wide. Sauron gathered all the Great Rings to him, but always he searched for the One Ring that would complete his dominion.

When Bilbo reached his eleventy-first birthday he disappeared, bequeathing to his young cousin Frodo the Ruling Ring and a perilous quest: to journey across Middle-earth, deep into the shadow of the Dark Lord, and destroy the Ring by casting it into the Cracks of Doom.

The Lord of the Rings tells of the great quest undertaken by Frodo and the Fellowship of the Ring: Gandalf the Wizard; the hobbits Merry, Pippin, and Sam; Gimli the Dwarf; Legolas the Elf; Boromir of Gondor; and a tall, mysterious stranger called Strider.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.51

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Another story on our list of classic fantasy audiobooks is the grandfather of all modern fantasy: The Lord of the Rings. A tried and true favorite, this is often the story people think about when they hear the word ‘fantasy’. 

It’s difficult for readers to review a tale as famous and genre-defining as this one. After all, The Lord of the Rings was the book that introduced the concept of creating and setting a story in an entirely invented fantasy world, one totally separate from the real world. Yet now that Tolkien’s innovation has become the norm, what do fans say about The Lord of the Rings?

Overall, these readers were astounded by the sense of life and realness in its characters and in Middle Earth, the world The Lord of the Rings takes place in. For some fans, the life-like quality of the story came from how believable the characters was and how much they came to feel for them. These might be heroic characters like Frodo, but also tragic ones such as Smeagol (Gollum). Others found Tolkien’s use of names and languages – real languages he created – astounding, adding depth and richness throughout the story.

At the end of the day though, fans raved about The Lord of the Rings because it’s just. So. Powerful.

Whether it be its emotional power, the insightful moral themes, its magnificent fantasy world, or its moving portrayal of self-sacrifice, these readers were changed after finishing this story’s last pages.

The Lord of the Rings wasn’t just absorbing, but felt real in a way one can only hope for from a story.

Negative Comments

At this point, negatively rating The Lord of the Rings verges on fantasy genre sacrilege. Nevertheless, no book is without its critics, including this one. What did these readers say?

Some had criticisms about certain setups of the story, suggesting they portrayed unconscious racism or sexism. However, the main reason readers gave was that the story was slow, often had tangents – mostly in the from of sudden poetry, songs, or Middle Earth history lessons – and long descriptions. Others were more blunt, saying it felt like the story was prodominantly walking and descriptions of scenary. 

Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb


Bingtown is a hub of exotic trade and home to a merchant nobility famed for its liveships rare vessels carved from wizardwood, which ripens magically into sentient awareness. The fortunes of one of Bingtown’s oldest families rest on the newly awakened liveship Vivacia.

For Althea Vestrit, the ship is her rightful legacy unjustly denied her—a legacy she will risk anything to reclaim. For Althea’s young nephew Wintrow, wrenched from his religious studies and forced to serve aboard ship, Vivacia is a life sentence.

But the fate of the Vestrit family and the ship may ultimately lie in the hands of an outsider. The ruthless pirate Kennit seeks a way to seize power over all the denizens of the Pirate Isles…and the first step of his plan requires him to capture his own liveship and bend it to his will…

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.14

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Next on our list of classic fantasy audiobooks is Ship of Magic. Fans of this book praised its superb world-building and its incredible portrayal of characters and their relationships to one another. This especially impressed them because since so many characters had a point of view.

Overall, fans praised the story for investing them so deeply in the story. Each character struck them as engaging and fully realized, whether they were lovable or infuriating. They changed as a result of events in the story and inspired powerful emotions in fans.

Negative Comments

On the other hand, critics tended to agree that the story’s pace was slow. They agreed that the novel is full of believable characters and rich character development. However, they mentioned that the book was so heavily concentrated on characters that it didn’t have plot-based momentum.

Once they reach the end of the book, critics thought no much had happened. Since they’d mostly expected adventure, they were disappointed.

The Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams


A war fueled by the powers of dark sorcery is about to engulf the peaceful land of Osten Ard — for Prester John, the High King, lies dying.

And with his death, the Storm King, the undead ruler of the elf-like Sithi, seizes the chance to regain his lost realm through a pact with the newly ascended king.

Knowing the consequences of this bargain, the king’s younger brother joins with a small, scattered group of scholars, the League of the Scroll, to confront the true danger threatening Osten Ard. 

Simon, a kitchen boy from the royal castle unknowingly apprenticed to a member of this League, will be sent on a quest that offers the only hope of salvation, a deadly riddle concerning long-lost swords of power.

Compelled by fate and perilous magics, he must leave the only home he’s ever known and face enemies more terrifying than Osten Ard has ever seen, even as the land itself begins to die.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.95

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Last on our list of classic fantasy audiobooks is The Dragonbone Chair. This story captivated readers with its rich world-building and great characters.

Consistently, fans described the story’s world as grand and intricate, with each page bringing new lore and depth. The setting seemed to come alive, making them eager to know more.

Other fans praised The Dragonbone Chair for its character development. Simon, the protagonist, grows from what readers occasionally described as a petulant child to a mature warrior. Compelling and believable, this gradual change in Simon kept kept listeners captivated.

Many mentioned how attached they became to him and how this made each trial and victory in the novel far more gripping and meaningful.

Negative Comments

What did readers who didn’t enjoy The Dragonbone Chair say? Overall, critics focused on the book’s pacing.

They characterized the book as slow, with a barrage of descriptions centered on small details and long explanations.

Along a similar note, these readers also tended to say that the plot suffered because of this: it came across as meandering and plodding.

N.S. Mirage

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

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