Books Like The Chronicles of Narnia
At some point or another, everyone has wished that they could escape the mundane confines of our world to explore someplace new and exciting. This is why books are so popular, as they offer readers a portal into worlds that they might never get to experience firsthand. Many authors use this as a theme for their stories and propel ordinary people from our world through some type of portal to another world where they must overcome challenges. One of the most famous and popular examples is The Chronicles of Narnia series by C. S. Lewis, where children from our world are magically transported through a portal in a wardrobe to a fantasy world. For more portal fantasy novels, check out the following books like The Chronicles of Narnia.
by Stephen R. Donaldson
Lord Foul's Bane is the first book in The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever series by Stephen R. Donaldson. The protagonist, Thomas Covenant, is a young author who becomes an outcast after being diagnosed with leprosy. After a strange encounter with a beggar, Thomas ends up in an accident, after which he wakes up in a different world. Thomas finds that not only has he been cured, but everyone regards him as a reincarnation of their greatest hero. However, while they expect Thomas to use his power and protect them from an ancient evil, he has no idea how to do so.
by Tad Williams
The War of the Flowers is a standalone novel by Tad Williams published in 2003. The hero is Theo Vilmos, the lead singer in a rock band who finds himself under attack by monsters shortly after discovering the existence of a fairy world. Theo is saved by a sprite named Applecore, who whisks him away to the parallel world of Faerie. To Theo's surprise, Faerie is nothing like he imagined and more like a twisted version of our world. Unfortunately, he also finds himself caught up in the dangerous politics of this world.
by Neil Gaiman
Neverwhere, which was published in 1996, is the first solo novel by Neil Gaiman. The book is actually the novelization of the television series of the same name that Gaiman also wrote. The protagonist, Richard Mayhew, is a young London businessman who leads a pretty ordinary life until he discovers a girl bleeding on the sidewalk. By showing kindness and stopping to help her, Richard ends up slipping through the cracks of reality and ending up in Neverwhere. Richard discovers that he has ceased to exist in London Above, his own world, and must survive the dangers of London Below, which is its shadowy counterpart.
by A. M. Dellamonica
Child of a Hidden Sea by A. M. Dellamonica is the story of twenty-four-year-old Sophie Hansa and the first novel in her Hidden Sea Tales trilogy. While searching for her birth parents, Sophie discovers an aunt she never knew about. Unfortunately, her aunt is attacked, and while Sophie is busy trying to save her life, she suddenly finds herself flung from the San Francisco alley to the warm waters of an unfamiliar world. This world, which consists of a series of island nations, is Stormwrack, and here Sophie finds herself in the middle of a political firestorm.
by Emily Croy Barker
The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker is about Nora Fischer, a drab grad student whose dissertation is stalled. To make matters worse for Nora, her boyfriend is about to marry another woman. However, while Nora spends a miserable weekend at a friend's wedding, she wanders off and walks through a portal to a different world. In this world, she's transformed into a stunning beauty, makes glamorous new friends, and even finds romance. Unfortunately, all of this turns out to be too good to be true, and her new fantasy world turns a lot darker. Nora discovers that if she wants to survive, she will need skills that she has never learned in graduate school.
by Seanan McGuire
Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire is book one in the Wayward Children series that offers a slightly different look at the portal fantasy genre. The story deals with the aftermath of children, primarily girls, who have gone through doorways to alternate worlds. Those who return to the real world are irrevocably changed and find that they no longer fit in with their friends or families. Many of them want nothing more than to return to the other worlds. Eleanor West went through the same experience in her youth but decided to run a home for girls like her to help them readjust to reality. Unfortunately, a series of murders threatens everything she has worked so hard to build.
by Foz Meadows
An Accident of Stars is the first book in the Manifold Worlds series by Foz Meadows. It features the adventures of Saffron Coulter, a girl who stumbles through a hole in reality and ends up in the magical realm of Kena. Unfortunately, Kena is on the brink of civil war, and with no way to return home, Saffron finds her fate intertwined with three other women. All of them are rebels who are pursued by Vex Leoden, the empire-building ruler. Saffron is completely out of her depth in this new world, but she might be the key to saving it or at least die trying.
by Catherynne M. Valente
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente is part of the Fairyland series that has captivated readers both young and old since it was published in 2011. September is a twelve-year-old girl who lived an ordinary life in Omaha until her father went away to war, and her mother worked all day at a factory building airplane engines. It is then that September meets a gentleman in a green jacket who informs her that Fairyland needs her help before whisking her off on an adventure. To save Fairyland from the new Marquess, who is not much older than September, she will have to retrieve a talisman from the enchanted woods.