With a panel of leading fantasy authors—N.K. Jemisin, Neil Gaiman, Sabaa Tahir, Tomi Adeyemi, Diana Gabaldon, George R.R. Martin, Cassandra Clare and Marlon James—TIME presents the most engaging, inventive and influential works of fantasy fiction, in chronological order beginning in the 9th century.
In a year defined by grim reality, we look to artists to help us understand—and escape. TIME celebrates captivating and essential works of literature with a list of the 100 best fantasy books of all time.