Otherworldly Adventure Awaits: 20 Fantasy Audiobooks to Stream Now

Updated 10/15/19

 

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For all the dreamers out there, fantasy books, movies, and TV shows are one of the best ways to get outside of your head and be transported to another world. Using your imagination can give you relief from the stresses of everyday life—maybe that's why Game of Thrones is so good—and the best fantasy audiobooks happen to make it that much easier to fall in love with imaginary sagas and characters.

Vivid details and extensive plot lines often make fantasy books particularly lengthy (especially since most are part of a series). The good news is, tuning into an audio version can be an especially good option for those who aren't the quickest readers. Plus, audiobooks can seriously spice up your commute or help you zen out when your eyes don't want to process reading one more word for the day. Have we convinced you yet?

Here are the best fantasy audiobooks to add to your list.

01 of 20

The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

Narrator: Joss Ackland

We're betting that you're probably already familiar with C.S. Lewis as the author of The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. Well, The Screwtape Letters is much more mature. The story revolves around 31 letters written by a head demon named Screwtape (yes, it takes place in hell) to his apprentice as they work to damn a man for eternity.

What We Like: It's humorous and says a lot about humanity at the same time.  

02 of 20

Red Sister by Mark Lawrence

Red Sister by Mark Lawrence

Narrator: Heather O'Neill

Mark Lawrence's fantasy series revolves around Nona, an 8-year-old who is falsely accused of murder and sent to a convent. At these convents, girls are trained in magic, religion, or combat—and when Nona is trained as a warrior in Red Sister, she uses her skills not just to save her people, but herself, too.

What We Like: The in-depth description of Nona's world.

Available On: Audible, Audiobooks

03 of 20

The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal

The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal

Narrator: Mary Robinette Kowal

When a meteorite in the '50s devastates the world as we know it, there's a need for individuals to help colonize outer space. Elma's work as a pilot and mathematician qualifies her to help put a man on the moon as a trial. But Elma begins to question why she and the rest of her female colleagues won't have the same opportunity in The Calculating Stars.

We What We Like: Elma's fight for all women.

Available On: Apple Books, Audible

04 of 20

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

Narrator: Lisa Flanagan

If you liked the Rumpelstiltskin fairytale as a kid, you'll like Spinning Silver, a modern-day version that follows the life of Miryem, a woman descended from a family of moneylenders and is so successful she's said to turn silver into gold. When she makes an ill-advised claim, she ends up face to face with daunting creatures of the woods.

What We Like: There are six narrators in the book for distinct points of view.

05 of 20

Lock In by John Scalzi

Lock In by John Scalzi

Narrator: Amber Benson or Wil Wheaton

In the near future, a virus infects one percent of the population—five million Americans alone. As the title of Lock In suggests, they're deemed "locked in," which means they're still fully awake but unable to move or respond to others. Years later, two detectives try to solve a murder related to the disease, only to discover it's far worse than they imagined.

What We Like: There are two audiobook versions, one narrated by Amber Benson and the other by Wil Wheaton.

Available On: Audible (narrated by Amber Benson), Audible (narrated by Wil Wheaton), Barnes & Noble (Audio CD, narrated by Wil Wheaton)

06 of 20

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

Narrator: Kathleen Gati

The Bear and the Nightingale, the first book in the Winternight Trilogy is told similarly to a Russian fairytale. Vasilisa and her siblings follow in her mother's footsteps and treat Russian spirits with respect through rituals around the home, until their father marries a religious woman who bans their practices. Danger comes for the family, and it's up to Vasilisa to use her concealed powers to protect those she loves.

What We Like: The vivid imagery renders the spooky village in medieval Russia almost within reach.

Available On: Apple Books, Audible, Audiobooks

07 of 20

Warcross by Marie Lu

Warcross by Marie Lu

Narrator: Nancy Wu

So many people play the digital game Warcross that it's become part of life—and Emika works as a bounty hunter to catch people who illegally gamble on its outcomes. When she hacks the system, she's shocked to learn that the game's creator wants to hire her as a spy for its yearly tournament. What she finds is a world of secrets and lies in Warcross.

What We Like: The book has a strong female protagonist in Emika.

Available On: Apple Books, Audible, Audiobooks

08 of 20

Storm Front by Jim Butcher

Storm Front by Jim Butcher

Narrator: James Marsters

Storm Front, the first book in The Dresden Files series, introduces you to Harry Dresden, a wizard/private investigator who is tasked by the Chicago police department to help with a case of the magical variety. The only thing is that the double murder he must solve has been committed with black magic, and the perpetrator has his eyes on Harry.

What We Like: There are more than a dozen books in this series, so you can go on an audiobook binge if you like this debut.

Available On: Apple Books, Audible

09 of 20

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Narrator: Wil Wheaton

It's 2044, and Wade Watts escapes the tragic hardships of real life in a world of virtual reality called OASIS in Ready Player One. But when Wade comes across a puzzle leading to what is the equivalent to the golden ticket in this alternate reality, he's not the only one who's craving the power that will come with it. And he must make amends with his own reality before he can succeed.

What We Like: The Charlie and the Chocolate Factory vibe

Available On: Audible, Audiobooks, Google Play

10 of 20

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke

Narrator: Simon Prebble

In Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, the title characters, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, are two very different practicing magicians trying to keep England's history of magic alive. When Mr. Norrell accepts the younger Strange as a student, he doesn't know about his pupil's obsession with dark arts, but it soon becomes evident that their values don't align. The question becomes whether Strange will turn his back on his partnership with Mr. Norrell, or change his ways.

What We Like: That this 800-plus-page book doesn't feel nearly as long with a narrator.

Available On: Audible, Audiobooks, Kobo

11 of 20

Her Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik

Her Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik

Narrator: Simon Vance

The Napoleonic wars get a fantastical twist when soldiers take to the skies on the back of dragons for armed combat in His Majesty's Dragon. When Captain Laurence finds a dragon egg on his ship, he knows his fate (once dragons match with a human, it's a connection for life). The pair must learn to work together to ensure their safety during battle.

What We Like: The portrayal of the undeniable connection between animal and human.

Available On: Apple Books, Audible, Audiobooks, Google Play, Kobo

12 of 20

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

Narrator: Bahni Turpin

This New York Times bestseller was released in 2018, and wow, is it an interesting one. The main character in Dread Nation was born just before the dead rose from their graves in Gettysburg, and as an African American, she's "freed" from slavery but forced to protect white families from the undead as an attendant. When she helps a friend find his sister, it becomes unclear who the real enemy is: Zombies or the racist government.

What We Like: That this story reimagines a key point in history in a totally different way, but with a POV that resonates.

13 of 20

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Narrator: Michael York

Narrated by British actor Michael York, this literary masterpiece about what happens when a few people control society is a must-listen. Go along for the ride as Bernard—quite possibly the only unhappy person in a world of sex and drugs—tries to shield himself from conformity in Brave New World.

What We Like: How satire challenges us to consider (or reconsider) our values, and our role in society.

14 of 20

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

Narrator: Madeleine L'Engle

Chances are that you read A Wrinkle in Time as a kid and remembered you liked it, but can't recall the plot. Listen to the familiar tale of Meg and her brother's search for their father in this quintessential YA book.

What We Like: That you can rent the 2018 movie version to see which you like best (the audiobook contains an intro by director Ava DuVernay.)

Available On: Apple Books, Audible, Audiobooks, Google Play (narrated by Narrated by Madeleine L'Engle, Hope Davis, Ava DuVernay, and Charlotte Jones Voiklis)

15 of 20

Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older

Shadowshaper by Daniel José Oliver

Narrator: Anika Noni Rose

Sara Santiago, an Afro-Boricua teen living in Brooklyn, comes from a family of "Shadowshapers," or someone who blends art with the ancestral spirit world. Dark, strange things begin to happen during a summer where all Santiago had planned to do was create art: Murals begin to literally weep, and shadowshapers are murdered.

What We Like: The blend of mystery, quest, and magic, and a determined heroine at the epicenter of it all.

Available On: Apple Books, Audible, Audiobooks, Kobo

16 of 20

Redemption in Indigo by Karen Lord

Redemption in Indigo by Karen Lord

Narrator: Robin Miles

With humor, magic and detail, Karen Lord retells a Senegalese folktale about Paama and the djombi—the undying ones. When Paama leaves her disgraced husband, she receives a gift from the djombi, a gift that one djmobi with indigo skin believes is theirs.

What We Like: A witty tale with Caribbean and Senegalese flair, and supernatural occurrences.

Available On: Apple Books, Audible, Audiobooks

17 of 20

Crier's War by Nina Varela

Crier's War by Nina Varela

Narrator: Kim Mai Guest

Ayla, a human servant to the Automae in the House of the Sovereign, plots murderous revenge on her family's killers. The intended victim is beautiful Lady Crier, the sovereign's daughter. Their paths converge on the brink of war, as growing human rebellion simmers across the land.

What We Like: A budding romance storyline amidst a revolution.

18 of 20

Before the Broken Star by Emily R. King

Before The Broken Star by Emily R. King

Narrator: Lauren Ezzo

Everley Donovan is running out of time. When Navy admiral Killian Markham leaves her for dead, she's out for justice (for her slain family, herself), and encounters hidden realms on a cursed island. On this island also lie family secrets, and the discovery that Markham may not be whom she originally thought him to be.

What We Like: The thrilling search for the truth.

Available On: Audible, Audiobooks

19 of 20

The Refrigerator Monologues by Catherynne Valente

The Refrigerator Monologues by Catherynne M. Valente

Narrator: Karis A. Campbell

If comics's dead, female voices could talk, Catherynne Valente's six protagonists would have a lot to say. Valente's subversive exploration into the superhero world zooms in on comic book women who've either been killed, disabled, raped, brainwashed, otherwise "refrigerated" in order for a male superhero's quest can move forward. The Refrigerator Monologues are their stories.

What We Like: The way Valente exposes the genre's tropes and empowers characters that have traditionally served as a backstory.

Available On: Apple Books, Audible, Audiobooks, Kobo

20 of 20

The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter by Theodora Goss

The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter by Theodora Goss

Narrator: Kate Reading

Dr. Jekyll's daughter, Mary, is financially strapped. She hears there's a reward out for Edward Hyde, her Father's former friend and murderer. Motivated, Mary tracks him down and meets Hyde's daughter, enlists the help of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, and uncovers a secret society of plotting scientists—that must be stopped.

What We Like: The mash-up of familiar monsters and mystery.

Up next: If you want to play private investigator, download one of these true-crime audiobooks

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