12 of the Best Fantasy Audiobooks of All Time

Looking to escape this world for a while? This list of the all-time best fantasy audiobooks will transport you to glittering palaces, misty mountains, treacherous forests, and magical worlds created by some of the genre’s most talented authors. Here be dragons, queens, wizards, goblins, and gods to keep you listening late into the night — whether you’re looking for classic high fantasy or something off the beaten track. Read on for our list of the best fantasy audiobooks of all time.

The Fifth Season

The Fifth Season

Narrator: Robin Miles
Run time: 15h 27min

Why it's worth a listen: This trilogy starter from N. K. Jemisin is a door-kicking, epic fantasy. The masterful narrative blends an intricate world, high stakes, and fully realized characters — all while tackling class, gender, sexuality, and power. The narrator expertly shifts between the perspectives of the novel’s three female characters, and her tone is relaxed without ever seeming airy or too casual.

 

A Game of Thrones

A Game of Thrones

Narrator: Roy Dotrice
Run time: 33h 50min

Why it’s worth a listen: At over 30 hours, the first installment in George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series is no small undertaking — but once you dive in, you might find it hard to stop. Political intrigue, class warfare, and actual warfare make this epic fantasy (and its TV adaptation) plenty bloody, but it’s the characters and their actions that will keep you spellbound. Narrator Roy Dotrice makes light work of the story’s many characters, each bringing their own voice 

Red Sister

Red Sister

Narrator: Heather O'Neill
Run time: 19h 22min

Why it’s worth a listen: Nona Grey is saved from the hangman’s noose, only to be installed in a convent school that teaches the art of assassination — and magic. Listeners looking for a strong heroine and convincing world will find both alive and kicking here, and the audiobook’s narrator is particularly skilled at voicing characters of all ages. Thought-provoking, poignant, and ferocious, this audiobook is the first installment in Mark Lawrence’s Book of the Ancestor series. 

 

The Name of the Wind

The Name of the Wind

Narrator: Nick Podehl
Run time: 27h 55min

Why it’s worth a listen: An epic fantasy of the highest order, the first installment in Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicle follows Kvothe, a hero whose life has been spent in pursuit of one quest or another. The novel’s intricate plotting and fantastic world-building are a treat for listeners. (Fans of George R. R. Martin and Robert Jordan will feel right at home.) AudioFile claims Nick Podehl “does a superior job of flexing his voice to represent a diverse and eclectic range of characters.”

 

The Magicians

The Magicians

Narrator: Mark Bramhall
Run time: 17h 25min

Why it’s worth a listen: Brooklyn teenager Quentin finds himself enrolled in Brakebills College, a school for magic — and the Harry Potter comparison should probably end there. This is not your typical magic academy story, and Quentin’s not your average hero either. Grossman’s razor-sharp fantasy could be described as a mix between J.K. Rowling’s Hogwarts and C. S. Lewis’s Narnia that’s geared towards adults. Bramhall delivers an exquisite portrayal of the characters and a flawless delivery of the story's ironic tone. 

 

The Goblin Emperor

The Goblin Emperor

Narrator: Kyle McCarley
Run time: 16h 25min

Why it’s worth a listen: This lush, captivating novel follows half-goblin prince Maia, an unwilling heir doing his best to keep his head above water — and attached to his shoulders. If you enjoy reading about political machinations but don’t have the energy to pick up a trilogy or longer series, this standalone debut might be for you. AudioFile praised narrator Kyle McCarley, who “handles the complicated names and titles with ease and creates an atmosphere that draws the listener into this compelling tale.”

 

Black Leopard, Red Wolf

Black Leopard, Red Wolf

Narrator: Dion Graham
Run time: 24h 2min

Why it’s worth a listen: Inspired by African folklore and mythology, Marlon James’s novel is the first in a forthcoming trilogy. It follows Tracker, a hired man whose superhuman sense of smell makes him the best person to track down a mysterious child. His nose will lead him through cities and forests into the paths of allies and foes alike. Dion Graham’s deep, talented voice for accents and singing will fully immerse you in this exceptional tale.

 

Magic for Liars

Magic for Liars

Narrator: Xe Sands
Run time: 9h 7min

Why it’s worth a listen: Murder, magic, and mystery collide in this brilliant audiobook from a Hugo Award–winning author. Ivy is stuck investigating infidelities while her sister, Tabitha, teaches at a prestigious school for magic. But when a suspicious death brings their worlds together, the results are devastating. AudioFile applauded Sands’s narration, which “creates an atmosphere of intrigue with masterful pacing.”

 

American Gods

American Gods

Narrator: George Guidall
Run time: 20h 52min

Why it’s worth a listen: No list of fantasy novels would be complete without Neil Gaiman! AudioFile dubbed this 10th-anniversary edition “one of the most mesmerizing audio experiences ever,” and we can hardly argue. Follow former inmate Shadow and his employer, the mysterious Mr. Wednesday, into the bizarre and fantastic underbelly of America in this breathtaking saga narrated by a full cast!

 

The Poppy War

The Poppy War

Narrator: Emily Woo Zeller
Run time: 18h 58min

Why it’s worth a listen: Emily Woo Zeller’s voice seamlessly shifts tone as the story progresses, effectively highlighting Rin’s character development and bringing expert narrating talents to this military fantasy and coming-of-age story. The Poppy War weaves in elements of Chinese history and culture. Rin’s determination to hone her shamanic powers and thrive in an elite military is impressive, and while the story isn’t for the fainthearted, it will leave listeners eager for the next installment in R. F. Kuang’s trilogy.

 

The Fellowship of the Ring

The Fellowship of the Ring

Narrator: Rob Inglis
Run time: 20h 2min

Why it’s worth a listen: One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them, one ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them. If you’re a fantasy fan, you’re probably well acquainted with J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic trilogy, but there’s something moving about hearing it read aloud, and Inglis’s narration is top-notch — old-school, but in a wizardly way. Join Frodo the hobbit and his companions as they embark on a deadly journey across the lands of Middle Earth with one goal: to destroy the One Ring, a weapon of unspeakable evil.

 

A Wizard of Earthsea

A Wizard of Earthsea

Narrator: Rob Inglis
Run time: 7h 17min

Why it’s worth a listen: The late Ursula K. Le Guin was a master of the fantasy genre, and this audiobook is perhaps one of her most beloved works. A coming-of-age tale about the power of language, listeners young and old will be swept away to Earthsea as a boy named Ged grows from young novice into one of the greatest sorcerers in all the realm. AudioFile cheered the narration, saying: “Ellison’s excellent pacing, volume, and use of dramatic pauses help weave a spell of enchantment and magic.”