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The literature world isn’t a stranger to the fantasy genre. The ability to alter the real world or create an entire fictitious version from the author’s mind is what makes fantasy so appealing. Yet, because it’s such a popular genre, fantasy light novels come in the hundreds and you may be struggling to find a good read. Well that is what we do here at Honey’s Anime, we assist you by making your search for a great work a tad easier. That’s right everyone, welcome to our Top 10 Fantasy Light Novels list.
Now it’s very important to know that fantasy covers a wide range of ideas and themes. One minute you may be reading about a video game world and the next, you’re inside an alternative take to the medieval ages. That’s the beauty of fantasy that any author can mix in various genres all while making a world of pure fiction and label it as fantasy. We narrowed down the best of the best in the fantasy light novel world. We’re sure you’ll find something to read for those long train rides home or when you need to escape the real world in your mind. Now then, let us venture forth into our top ten fantasy light novel list with the utmost haste.
10. Isekai wa Smartphone to Tomo ni (In Another World With My Smartphone)
- Authors: Usatsuka, Eiji- Fuyubaru, Patra
- Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Romance, Harem
- Volumes: 29
- Published Date: May, 2015- Present
Poor Touya Mochizuki, life seems to be a double edged sword for him. On one side, Touya died which is pretty unlucky. However, on the flip side God says Touya’s death was an accident and wishes to make it up to him. God decides to send Touya to another world to be reborn and grants Touya a wish alongside his rebirth. Touya oddly enough wishes to keep his smartphone…
Author Usatsuka Eiji’s work, called Isekai wa Smartphone to Tomo ni, seems like the oddest light novel ever. However, its oddness allows for our top ten list to start off on a perfect fantasy note. While it’s an odd comedy that takes the idea of having a phone in a fantasy world and the gravities behind a bit far, it’s done in a clever manner that just screams entertainment. While the story will hook you, the art by Fuyubaru Patra will hit you with that desire to read further thanks to some clever designs. Honestly, we fully recommend Isekai wa Smartphone to Tomo ni and hear there is an anime releasing in the summer season of 2017, awesome, right?
9. Kyoukai no Kanata (Beyond the Boundary)
- Authors: Kamoi, Tomoyo- Torii, Nagomu
- Genre: Fantasy, Slice of Life, Supernatural
- Volumes: 2
- Published Date: Jun, 2012- Present
In Akihito Kanabara’s world there are two things known for certain. The first is that Akihito lives in a world where yomu exist, or demon like beings. Akihito knows this because he happens to be half Yomu. The second is that girls with glasses are incredibly cute. Okay that one comment might be Akihito’s reality, but he knows it to be true. Adding on to what Akihito knows to be real is a strange glasses wearing girl who can use her blood as a sword is chasing him with intent to kill. What an odd world Akihito lives in and it’s about to get much odder.
Kyoukai no Kanata is a dark fantasy story that harbors a little bit of slice of life as well as an odd romance. Thanks to author Kamoi Tomoyo, seeing the mindset of characters like Akihito and Mirai, the blood sword girl, is both a treat and an experience. Page after page of this series brings with it a great writing style and some impressive art thanks to Torii Nagomu. While the anime has been completed thanks to a full series and movie, the light novel still goes and with it plenty of time to experience a written world in exchange of the animated one of Kyoukai no Kanata.
8. Hataraku Maou-sama! (The Devil is a Part-Timer!)
- Authors: Wagahara, Satoshi- 029
- Genre: Comedy, Demons, Fantasy, Romance, Supernatural
- Volumes: 17
- Published Date: Feb, 2011- Present
The Devil King Sadao is finding his possible end in sight. Great warriors like the Hero Emilia have taken his army out and left him badly hurt. Luckily enough for Sadao his vassal Shirou opens up a portal taking Sadao and himself into a new world. Soon Sadao learns this world is very different from his home. Deciding to conquer this new world called Japan, Sadao decides to start off small and ends up working for a fast food chain…
Hold on we need a minute to catch our breath. Sorry, we here at Honey’s Anime always laugh while even thinking about Hataraku Maou-sama. While the anime is amazing in its own right, we feel the light novels do a great job if not better of bringing the comedy to this fantasy like story. 029 brings some great art and Wagahara Satoshi brings a clever story, a match made in light novel heaven. Honestly go right now and read the first volume of Hataraku Maou-sama, you can thank us later.
7. Log Horizon
- Authors: Touno, Mamare- Hara, Kazuhiro
- Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Magic, Sci-Fi
- Volumes: 10
- Published Date: Apr, 2010- Present
The online game Elder Tale was to have a huge expansion release making fans and players overjoyed. Then upon release those same fans and players, all 30’000 of them found themselves inside Elder Tale’s world. Here characters such as Shiroe, find that they must learn the way to play the game from within the game. With no reason for their entrapment, the players of Elder Tale must now figure out a means to survive in their new world. Watch as Shiroe, a high level player, shows that he won’t let this odd predicament stop him.
Log Horizon on paper sounds like just another trapped in a game fantasy world. However, Author Touno Mamare breaks from the typical molding and really creates a unique experience. Each page and volume gives the reader more about the world Shiroe now lives in all while creating interesting fights and fantasy adventures as well. Artist Hara Kazuhiro takes their skills and makes some incredible strong page breaks with cool art. Log Horizon may be far from completed but we here at Honey’s Anime aren’t complaining. That just means more great stories to read within Log Horizon.
6. Sword Art Online
- Authors: Kawahara, Reki- abec
- Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Game, Romance, Sci-Fi
- Volumes: 19
- Published Date: Apr, 2009- Present
The future of gaming has changed with the invention of the NerveGear and the first game to utilize it called Sword Art Online. Kirigaya Kazuto has been lucky enough to receive a copy of SAO thanks to his participation in the Beta. However, that luck turns out to be a curse when Kazuto and thousands of others get trapped in the game by the creator Kayaba Akihiko. Kayaba then makes a few claims for the players. If they wish to be freed from the game, all 100 floors of Aincrad, the in game world, must be completed. Kayaba also makes one horrifying revelation, death in SAO equals death in the real world…
Sword Art Online needs very little introduction. Having been one of the most popular and mainstream series ever created, Sword Art Online by Kawahara Reki is easily one of the shining examples of how to do a fantasy world. Though we know the anime is amazing, many don’t know that we consider the light novel series to be just as good. Kawahara’s writing and the amount of detail put into Sword Art Online is amazing. Add to that some impressive art from abec and you have a light novel for the ages. Seriously, if you want to see where the greatness of the anime originated from, check out the Sword Art Online light novels.
5. Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari (The Rising of the Shield Hero)
- Authors: Aneko, Yusagi- Minami, Seira
- Genre: Fantasy
- Volumes: 17
- Published Date: Aug, 2013- Present
Being summoned to another world as a potential hero sounds like a good gig. The thought that someone felt you were special enough to do battle against evil should be nothing but an honor filled notion. For Iwatani Naofumi, he doesn’t feel that love. Bought to a world with several others, he is given a shield as his legendary weapon. Unable to fight effectively in comparison to his comrades, Iwatani is rejected by the kingdom and the King. Now filled with anger, Iwatani seeks a new existence in this world he was brought to.
A shield…seriously? We don’t blame Iwatani for being a little irked, hundreds of weapons and you get a shield that would make us mad too. However, Tate no Yuusha ni Narigari, is nothing but a good time thanks to Author Aneko Yusagi. Each chapter filled with cool fantasy elements such as rich lore and plenty of cool fights. Add to that some epic art from Minami, Seira and you have yourself a truly great fantasy read.
4. Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! (Konosuba: God’s Blessing on This Wonderful World!)
- Authors: Mishima, Kurone- Akatsuki, Natsume
- Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Supernatural
- Volumes: 10
- Published Date: Oct, 2013- Present
Kazuma Satou only wanted a game, nothing more. Kazuma left his comfy and safe room to venture to the gaming store and then woke up being told he was killed. While Kazuma died in a pathetic and sad way, his selfless nature warranted Kazuma to be given two choices. Either Kazuma can be teleported to a fantasy world to defeat the Demon King or be reborn into another life and face an even worse existence than the one he was living. Making the obvious choice, Kazuma goes to the fantasy world bringing with him Aqua, the Goddess who gave him the choice because he was mad at her…oh what an interesting story awaits.
We promise you this folks. If you loved and laughed watching the Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo anime, the light novel will be perfect for your fantasy wish. Despite the lack of animation, thanks to the comedic writing of Mishima Kurone and the artistic prowess of Akatsuki Natsume, each page of Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo will make you smile and laugh out loud. Each volume brings something new all while keeping the style you loved about the volume before it. Never did we think text could be so funny, well we were proven wrong by Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo.
3. No Game no Life
- Authors: Kamiya, Yuu
- Genre: Comedy, Ecchi, Fantasy, Supernatural
- Volumes: 9
- Published Date: Apr, 2012- Present
The name Kuuhaku is legend on the internet. This player seems to be able to win any game even if a cheater tries to hack the game in their favor. In actuality Kuuhaku isn’t one player but two in the form of a brother and sister pair, Sora and Shiro respectably. One day the duo receives and odd invitation to play a chess game and upon winning Shiro and Sora meet a mysterious being known as Tet. The two are told of another world that they will be sent to where the law is simple, if you want something make a bet and play a game. The siblings are about to venture into a world seemingly made for them.
No Game No Life is a popular fantasy comedy series indeed. Having spawned a widely popular anime and even having a movie soon to be released, it’s no wonder why when you read the light novel it was based on. Author Kamiya Yuu makes an interesting story full of rich and unique characters. The various banter between the characters such as Shiro, Sora and Stephanie really keep the comedy heavy during any event. Honestly, we would love to see a fantasy like world envisioned by Kamiya, it just seems like a cool place.
- Authors: Maruyama, Kugane- so-bin
- Genre: Action, Fantasy, Game, Magic, Supernatural
- Volumes: 11
- Published Date: Jul, 2012- Present
Yggdrasil a very well-known MMORPG is finally shutting its servers down. Momonga along with his fellow clan of monstrous avatars, decide to wait it out as the game comes to an end. When Momonga is the last left, the servers close but he finds that he can’t log out of the game. Even more interesting is Momonga’s body has become his avatar. Then he notices that the NPCs are also becoming more lifelike, what is going on?
Overlord is easily one of the best fantasy light novels we’ve ever seen. While we here at Honey’s Anime don’t usually judge a book by its cover, it’s hard not to when you so-bin’s art style popping off the black hardbound books. Once you decide to take the leap into the actual text you’ll be blown away by Maruyama Kugane’s way with words. Every page of Overlord transports you into its fantasy lore and we absolutely love it. High praise towards Overlord comes from us indeed.
1. Ookami to Koushinryou (Spice & Wolf)
- Authors: Hasekura, Isuna- Ayakura, Juu
- Genre: Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Historical, Romance, Supernatural
- Volumes: 17
- Published Date: Feb, 2006- 2011
Kraft Lawrence is a hard working traveling merchant with a large dream. Kraft hopes to one day earn enough money to buy his own shop and put the traveling lifestyle far behind him. One day when Kraft stops at a local village celebrating a wolf like homage, his life changes slightly. Almost attacked by a giant wolf, Kraft later learns that the wolf is actually a god like being called Holo. The wise wolf Holo asks Kraft if he would be willing to take her to an old home land up north and thus begins a long adventure for these two.
We end our list on easily one of the most well acclaimed series out there, Ookami to Koushinryou. Every page of this series burst with well scripted scenes and plenty of clever writing from Hasekura Isuna. During the breaks the very impressive art handled by Ayakura Juu will pain a nice scene to go alongside the images your mind already is formulating. We had to end our list on Ookami to Koushinryou because this is the perfect embodiment of the fantasy theme. Rated highly by fans and the light novel community equally, definitely read Ookami to Koushinryou, you won’t regret it. That ending still has us here at Honey’s Anime tearing up…
Fantasy is a genre that will never grow old. Any author, such as the ones above, can give a reality to something that is based on the imagination and spin a story to please those who dive right in. We here at Honey’s Anime hope you are now able to find something pleasant to read. Let us know in the comments below about something from our list that intrigued you or you may be read and enjoyed. As always stick around for more light novel recommendations such as this one here at Honey’s Anime.