What book every fantasy reader should read
Firstly, I will preface my answer by saying that I’m talking directly to fantasy readers right now as I think they’re the audience I could best understand. If I’m being more specific, I may even be talking just to fantasy authors. But, if you have any interest in fantasy worlds, their creation or lore that is crafted from scratch, then you simply must read “The Silmarillion” by J. R. R. Tolkien.
The Lord of the Rings is rightfully held up as the grandfather of the fantasy genre, but not enough people these days (that I’ve seen) discuss just how ground-breaking the Silmarillion was and still is. Tolkien created an entire language, and off the back of that he developed a history so in-depth and lengthy that it gives our real-world history a run for its money. Authors since have adapted their world-building, focussed more on economies, religions and more intricate aspects that are missing from Tolkien’s world. But none have matched the grandeur and majesty reached in The Silmarillion. Even if you’re a masterful fantasy author in your own right, I strongly believe that there are always lessons to be learned from Tolkien’s work.
Then, from the point of view of your average reader, there are amazing stories to be gleamed out of the Silmarillion. The early ages of Middle Earth, Valinor and Numenor are rammed full of amazing characters, betrayal, war and love.