5 Free Christian Fantasy Novels

Check out these classic Christian fantasy novels, available for free.

Phantastes
by George MacDonald

Book description (from Borders):
Described by MacDonald as ‘a faerie romance for men and women,’ Phantastes tells the tale of Anodos, a young man who one morning wakes up to find himself in the dreamlike landscape of faerie. Through the landscape he must travel, facing malevolent tree-spirits and fighting giants, dogged all the time by his shadow-self and eventually reaching a climactic act of valour, self-sacrifice and redemption. On his journey he is inspired by a mysterious white lady, befriended by knights and given strength by the ‘old woman with the young eyes.’ Phantastes is a tale about selfishness and self-sacrifice, pride and humility, about friendship and fear. Above all it is a novel about death – good death – death which is really the start of life.

The Princess and the Goblin
by George MacDonald

Book description (from Borders):
Princess Irene lives in a castle in a wild and lonely mountainous region. One day she discovers a steep and winding stairway leading to a bewildering labyrinth of unused passages with closed doors – and a further stairway. What lies at the top? Can the ring the princess is given protect her against the lurking menace of the goblins from under the mountain?

The Princess and Curdie
by George MacDonald

Book description (from Borders):
The Princess and Curdie are back in this sequel to The Princess and the Goblin. Princess Irene and Curdie are a year or two older, and must overthrow a set of corrupt ministers who are poisoning Irene’s father, the king. Irene’s grandmother is also back and she gives Curdie a strange gift and a monster called Lina to help him on his quest. A wonderful tale of adventure and courage.

The Man Who Was Thursday
by GK Chesterton

Book description (from Borders)
G. K. Chesterton’s surreal masterpiece is a psychological thriller that centers on seven anarchists in turn-of-the-century London who call themselves by the names of the days of the week. Chesterton explores the meanings of their disguised identities in what is a fascinating mystery and, ultimately, a spellbinding allegory.

The Napoleon of Notting Hill
by GK Chesterton

Book description (from Borders):
A comical futurist fantasy, first published in 1904, about a tradition-loving suburban London community of the 1980s at war with its modernizing neighbors. Chesterton’s splendid storytelling gifts, his love of medievalism and heroism, and his sympathies for the plight of small nations trying to remain independent are strongly in evidence.

For those unfamiliar with these authors, I’ll share a little backstory. A 19th century minister and writer, George MacDonald penned some of the earliest fantasy novels with Christian undertones (though his theology in some areas falls short of Scripture). His works inspired CS Lewis, Madeline L’Engle, and many other noted writers. GK Chesterton wrote in a slightly later era in a variety of genres, but the two titles included here fall into the fantasy category. A deep thinker and prolific author, Chesterton wrote fiction, poetry, apologetics, and philosophical works and ardently supported the value of fairy tales and fantasy. Between the two of them, they provided a launching point for the next generation of Christian fantasy writers: Lewis, Tolkien, Williams, and so on.

If you’ve read either author, what do you think of his works? If you haven’t, do any of these mentioned interest you?

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4 Responses to 5 Free Christian Fantasy Novels

  1. Jeff Chapman says:

    I haven’t read Chesterton yet but I think I should. I have read some of MacDonald’s works. I very much enjoyed The Princess and the Goblin and look forward to the other Curdie stories. MacDonald puts together a good story when working in the fairy tale genre. I found his adult fantasies, Phantastes and Lilith difficult. I didn’t finish Phantastes. Some parts are very compelling but the narrative seems to be the character just going from one thing to another. Lilith has more of a story to it but from time to time MacDonald slips into the one thing after another syndrome that doomed Phantastes for me. One of MacDonald’s strengths is creating other worldly landscapes and characters. I still remember the places and things from Lilith. It’s also an interesting take on the Adam and Eve story combined with the traditions of Lilith.

  2. Sarah Sawyer says:

    When I remember Phantastes, it’s more like remembering a dream than a book, mostly general feelings and snippets of events. Perhaps that is because there wasn’t a strong narrative arc to the story. I agree that his strength was in the fairy tale genre (I enjoyed those best by far), though all of his fantasy was groundbreaking for the time.

    Aside from his fiction, Chesterton has some non-fiction discussing fairy tales and fantasy, which were interesting to me. You can find his essay The Ethics of Elfland online at http://www.chosunjournal.com/ethics.html, if you’re interested.

  3. Mirriam says:

    I ADORE nearly all these books! Where can I find them for free???

    • Sarah Sawyer says:

      I’m always glad to find a fellow Chesterton/MacDonald fan! The links take you to the books on Gutenberg, which can be downloaded in a variety of formats. Most of them are also available in Kindle and Nook formats (you don’t have to own the devices, just download the software). I fully admit e-books aren’t as wonderful as paper-and-ink books, but sometimes it’s nice to be able to get instant access, especially to classic works like these.

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