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Fantasy Books

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By: Montague R. James (1862-1936)

The Five Jars by Montague R. James The Five Jars

The Five Jars is the only novel written by James, who is best known for his ghost stories. It is a peculiarly surreal fantasy apparently written for children. While he is out walking, the narrator is drawn to a remote pool, and finds a small box that has been hidden since Roman times. He gradually learns how to use its contents, fighting off a series of attempts to steal it, and becomes aware of a strange world hidden from our own. (Summary by Peter Yearsley)

By: Charles Kingsley (1819-1875)

The Water-Babies by Charles Kingsley The Water-Babies

The Water-Babies, A Fairy Tale for a Land Baby is a novel by the Reverend Charles Kingsley, first published in its entirety in 1863. Though some of the author’s opinions are very dated now, the journey of a little chimney-sweep water-baby through rivers and storms, under sea and over iceberg, is still a classic, wonderful children’s adventure. Summary by Cori Samuel. Music from Berlioz’s Roman Carnival Overture.

By: A. A. Milne (1882-1956)

Once on a Time by A. A. Milne Once on a Time

This version of the book is done as a Dramatic Reading with various people speaking each characters part.When the King of Barodia receives a pair of seven-league boots as a birthday present, his habit of flying over the King of Euralia's castle during breakfast provokes a series of incidents which escalate into war. While the King of Euralia is away, his daughter Hyacinth tries to rule in his stead and counter the machiavellian ambitions of the king's favourite, the Countess Belvane. Ostensibly a typical fairytale, it tells the story of the war between the kingdoms of Euralia and Barodia and the political shenanigans which take place in Euralia in the king's absence...

By: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930)

The Mystery of Cloomber by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle The Mystery of Cloomber

This novel is written by the author of, among other novels, the Stories of Sherlock Holmes. It is narrated by John Fothergill West, who tries to discover why the tenant of Cloomber Hall, General Heatherstone, is nervous to the point of being paranoid. Why are his fears becoming stronger every year at the fifth of October? And why doesn't he let his children leave home? This is a great mystery novel with a sharp twist at the end. (Summary by Wikipedia and Stav Nisser)

Book cover The Doings of Raffles Haw

By: H. G. Wells (1866-1946)

The Time Machine by H. G. Wells The Time Machine

The Time Machine is a science fiction novella by H. G. Wells, published in 1895 for the first time and later adapted into at least two feature films of the same name, as well as two television versions, and a large number of comic book adaptations. It indirectly inspired many more works of fiction in many media. This 32,000 word story is generally credited with the popularization of the concept of time travel using a vehicle that allows an operator to travel purposefully and selectively. The term "time machine", coined by Wells, is now universally used to refer to such a vehicle. (Introduction by Wikipedia)

By: E.M. Berens

Myths and Legends of Ancient Greece and Rome by E.M. Berens Myths and Legends of Ancient Greece and Rome

This is a comprehensive collection of all the major and minor gods of Rome and Greece, with descriptions of festivals and retellings of major mythological stories. (Summary by Sibella)

By: Robert E. Howard (1906-1936)

Red Nails by Robert E. Howard Red Nails

Conan the Cimmerian pursues the beautiful and deadly pirate Valeria after she kills a Stygian only to find himself cornered by a dragon. Apparently this dragon doesn’t know who he’s messing with. The pair then encounters the city of Xuchotl with its warring factions and ancient secrets. Swordplay and sorcery ensue. – Red Nails is Howard’s final Conan story and was published in the July, August, September and October 1936 issues of Weird Tales magazine (Summary by Gregg Margarite)

By: Eugene Field (1850-1895)

Love-Songs of Childhood by Eugene Field Love-Songs of Childhood

This book contains verse for young and old. It is full of fantastic stories, breathtaking images, and brilliant rhymes. Including classics from “The Duel” to “The Delectable Ballad of Walter Lot,” the author, a devout Christian, keeps his religious overtones to a minimum. When listening, please keep in mind that the text was originally written in the 1800s. — Summary by Squid Varilekova

By: John Kendrick Bangs (1862-1922)

Alice in Blunderland: an Iridescent Dream by John Kendrick Bangs Alice in Blunderland: an Iridescent Dream

John Kendrick Bangs (May 27, 1862 – January 21, 1922) was an American author and satirist, and the creator of modern Bangasian Fantasy, the school of fantasy writing that sets the plot wholly or partially in the afterlife. (Wikipedia)Plot summary: J K Bangs has taken Alice from Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland” and lets her on a boring day travel with the Mad Hatter, the March Hare, the Cheshire Cat and the other of Carroll’s familiar characters to Blunderland. The story is a well written Satire, a witty, humorous tale of adventure and city politics, a tale of Alice in a land where nothing is as it should be. (Summary by Lars Rolander)

A House-Boat on the Styx by John Kendrick Bangs A House-Boat on the Styx

The premise of the book is that everyone who has ever died (up until the time in which the book is set, which seems to be about the time of its publication) has gone to Styx. This does not appear to be the conventional Hell described by Dante in The Inferno, but rather the Hades described in Greek myth (both of which had Styxes): a universal collecting pot for dead souls, regardless of their deeds in life. The book begins with Charon, ferryman of the Styx (in The Inferno, he was the ferryman of the river Acheron) being startled—and annoyed—by the arrival of a house boat on the Styx...

The Pursuit of the House-Boat by John Kendrick Bangs The Pursuit of the House-Boat

This sequel to Bangs' A House-Boat on the Styx continues the "thought-experiment" of bringing various historical and fictional figures together, detailing the adventures of the ladies of Hades after they are kidnapped by pirates and the attempts of the Associated Shades (led by Sherlock Holmes) to retrieve their house-boat. (Introduction by Emma Joyce)

Book cover The Pursuit of the House-Boat Being Some Further Account of the Divers Doings of the Associated Shades, under the Leadership of Sherlock Holmes, Esq.
Mr. Munchausen by John Kendrick Bangs Mr. Munchausen
Book cover The Enchanted Typewriter
In Camp With A Tin Soldier by John Kendrick Bangs In Camp With A Tin Soldier

By: Maude L. Radford (1875-1934)

King Arthur and His Knights by Maude L. Radford King Arthur and His Knights

A collection of King Arthur’s adventures, from his ascent to King of Britain to his death. This book includes some of the crucial Arthurian legends about Sir Lancelot, the Knights of the Round Table, Queen Guinevere, and the search for the Holy Grail.(Summary by Robin Cotter)

By: Lord Dunsany (1878-1957)

The Book of Wonder by Lord Dunsany The Book of Wonder

“Come with me, ladies and gentlemen who are in any wise weary of London: come with me: and those that tire at all of the world we know: for we have new worlds here.” – Lord Dunsany, the preface to “The Book of Wonder”

Time and the Gods by Lord Dunsany Time and the Gods

Lord Dunsany (24 July 1878 – 25 October 1957) was a London-born Anglo-Irish writer and dramatist notable for his work in fantasy. He was influenced by Algernon Swinburne, who wrote the line “Time and the Gods are at strife” in his 1866 poem “Hymn to Proserpine”, as well as by the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen. In turn, Dunsany’s influence was felt by H. P. Lovecraft and Ursula K. Le Guin. Arthur C. Clarke corresponded with Dunsany between 1944 and 1956...

By: Charlton Miner Lewis

Gawayne and the Green Knight by Charlton Miner Lewis Gawayne and the Green Knight

Published in 1903, Gawayne and the Green Knight is a modern-language retelling of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, a 14th-century verse romance following a young knight of the Round Table. During Christmas celebrations, a mysterious, entirely green knight presents a challenge to King Arthur’s court: that any may strike the stranger a single blow with his green axe, provided he assent to receiving the same a year later. Gawayne accepts the challenge, and its unexpected outcome leads to a great test of his courage and knighthood...

By: Walter De la Mare (1873-1956)

Book cover The Return

By: Algernon Blackwood (1869-1951)

Jimbo by Algernon Blackwood Jimbo

A supernatural fantasy about the mystical adventures of a lonely English boy named Jimbo–who can fly! It’s really quite beautiful and can be enjoyed by adults and teenagers alike. Be warned, however: The death of a beloved character and a creepy old house haunted by the wraith-like spirits of children makes some of this story far too scary for younger kids or indeed anyone of a sensitive disposition. Algernon Blackwood (1869-1951) was born in south London and wrote many tales of the supernatural. (Summary by Adrian Praetzellis)

Book cover Four Weird Tales

By: Sir Thomas Malory

Le Morte d’Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory Le Morte d’Arthur

Le Morte d’Arthur (spelled Le Morte Darthur in the first printing and also in some modern editions, Middle French for la mort d’Arthur, “the death of Arthur”) is Sir Thomas Malory’s compilation of some French and English Arthurian romances. The book contains some of Malory’s own original material (the Gareth story) and retells the older stories in light of Malory’s own views and interpretations. First published in 1485 by William Caxton, Le Morte d’Arthur is perhaps the best-known work of English-language Arthurian literature today...

By: Philip K. Dick (1928-1982)

Book cover Beyond the Door

By: H. G. Wells (1866-1946)

The War in the Air by H. G. Wells The War in the Air

War in the Air was written during a prolific time in H. G. Wells's writing career. Having withdrawn from British politics to spend more time on his own ideas, he published twelve books between 1901 and 1911, including this one. while many British citizens were surprised by the advent of World War I, Wells had already written prophetically about such a conflict. War in the Air predicted use of airplanes in modern war. (Summary by Bill Boerst)

In the Days of the Comet by H. G. Wells In the Days of the Comet

William ("Willie") is a student living in the British town of Clayton. As a Socialist, he tries to move power from the upper class to the working class. Interestingly, in a fictitious confrontation Britain declares war on Germany. Willie falls in love with Nettie, but when she elopes with an upper-class man, Willie resolves to kill them both. Throughout the novel there is present in the sky a large comet which gives off a green glow. As Willie prepares to shoot the lovers, two battleships appear and begin shelling the coast, causing Willie to nearly lose his targets...

Book cover The Door in the Wall and Other Stories

By: Philip Jose Farmer (1918-2009)

Rastignac The Devil by Philip Jose Farmer Rastignac The Devil

French colonists on a planet ruled by reptiles and amphibians are forced to wear living “skins” that subdue aggression and enforce vegetarianism. As children, Rastignac and his reptile friend Mapfarity force themselves to become carnivores and begin a protein fueled journey that causes Rastignac to develop a Philosophy of Violence. When a spaceship from Earth crashes in the ocean, Rastignac and company must put their philosophy to the test. - Rastignac The Devil was first published in the May 1954 issue of Fantastic Universe Magazine. (Summary by Gregg Margarite)

By: William Shuler Harris (b. 1865)

Life in a Thousand Worlds by William Shuler Harris Life in a Thousand Worlds

A jolly romp, which could be perhaps be described as Gulliver’s Travels Through Our Solar System and Beyond, as written by a great admirer of C. S. Lewis, on a rainy Sunday afternoon, after one too many mugs of cocoa. Includes some thought on alien philosophies and how to apply them to moral and social problems here on Planet Earth.

By: W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965)

The Moon and Sixpence by W. Somerset Maugham The Moon and Sixpence

The Moon and Sixpence is a 1919 short novel by William Somerset Maugham based on the life of the painter Paul Gauguin. The story is told in episodic form by the first-person narrator as a series of glimpses into the mind and soul of the central character, Charles Strickland, a middle aged English stock broker who abandons his wife and children abruptly to pursue his desire to become an artist.

By: Waldemar Bonsels (1880-1952)

The Adventures of Maya the Bee by Waldemar Bonsels The Adventures of Maya the Bee

The Adventures of Maya the Bee is an exciting tale for children of all ages. Themes of growth and development of courage and wisdom are found, as well as the extreme joy and satisfaction that Maya experiences in the beauty of creation and all creatures. Her ultimate and innate loyalty to her Nation of Bees is acted out in the final heroic scenes. This story gives us the delightful sense of having seen a small segment of the world through a Bee’s eyes. (Summary by Brenda Price)


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