Is there anything quite like escaping into a world of fantasy? A world where anything is possible, and there are no dishes to be done, laundry to be put away, or grass to be mowed. Just magic, creatures you can only dream of, and adventure around every corner. We think that part of the reason fantasy novels are so popular is because of the limitless possibility they offer their audience. So many of us lose this blind hope as we grow up, but when we dive into a good fantasy book, sparks of that joy reignite, and we are transported. The dishes can wait.
A Hat Full of Sky – Terry Pratchett
If you’re looking for a fantasy listen that’s packed to the brim with galactic wars and terrifying creatures of deep space, this one ain’t it.
IF however, you’re seeking a fantasy built on a foundation of kindness, quiet courage, wholesome magic, and tranquil prose, switch on those headphones. Follow Tiffany Aching as she apprentices to learn the art of witchcraft while tending to nanny goats (we stan), and ultimately defeats a simmering eternal evil (I mean there had to be SOME intrigue). We imagine this one is like the British procedurals we watch on loop to stave off the existential dread- it’s the audible fantasy version of Xanax.
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell – Susana Clarke
Historical fiction set in a Napoleonic era about two opposing street magicians, one of old traditions and the other embracing edgier stuff? Is there dueling street magic? God, we hope there’s dueling street magic. This one is a fun and wild ride, or at least that’s what Time magazine thought since it bestowed upon it the book of the year in 2004. Also, we’d like to suggest to any casting directors that David Blaine IS Johnathan Strange.
The Left Hand of Darkness – Ursula Le Guin
This one is an obvious go-to considering its science fiction/fantasy cannon; in part, this is because of its timeless feminist examination on how gender influences societies and public opinion. Full of themes about growth and shifting perspectives, this one is ultimately a testament to human kindness and its transcendence of differences we may encounter. Insert clever joke here because honestly that all sounds lovely and we can’t think of a single wisecrack.
In Calabria – Peter S Beagle
This one is endorsed by NPR so you know it’s smart and will impress on a coffee date if the cafe has local art for sale on the wall. But really, we were in when we found out the main tenant of this book; a farmer who discovers a:
That’s it, that’s the review.
The Bone Clocks – David Mitchell
This story centers around psychic Holly as she runs away from home only to be a mystic lightning rod to all things spiritual out in the world- especially nefarious ones. Holly uncovers a secret war that she is apparently a vital component of winning (for the good guys) which frankly, would have been nice to know upfront but whatever. This story then branches out like one of those ensemble movies that has 49 actors who somehow all know each other in the film; however, unlike those movies, this audiobook is actually good. Spanning countries and centuries, all the stories intertwine in crushing and heartwarming ways. David Mitchell pulls it off.
Thanks for reading! All these audiobooks and more are available now on AudiobookSTORE.com! If you’re looking to get lost in a mystical forest or traverse the outskirts of space, we’ve got what you’re looking for. And make sure to check out our FlexPass Membership for the ultimate roster of podcasts, savings on audiobooks, and more!