10 Books Like Stephen King’s Fairy Tale | TheReviewGeek Recommends

Stephen King’s Fairy Tale tells the story of a 17-year-old boy named Charlie Reade who agrees to do odd jobs around the house for his ailing neighbour Mr. Bowditch. 

When Mr. Bowditch dies, Charlie finds a cassette tape with a recording on it spoken by his late employer. On the tape, Mr. Bowditch speaks about a portal to another world that can be accessed by going down the steps located in his shed.

Charlie enters this portal and finds himself in the world of Empis which is in a state of near-ruin because of an illness which has disfigured the local citizens. Thus begins a battle to save this fantastical world, with Charlie fighting on the side of good to defeat the evil forces that are threatening the survival of the people living in this decaying land.

You can read more about Stephen King’s Fairy Tale in our review of the novel.

If you’re in the mood for another book like Fairy Tale, with battles of good against evil and journies to new worlds, we’ve gathered together other novels that feature similar themes. Of course, if you feel we’ve missed any of your favourites, do comment below and let us know!

The Talisman by Stephen King and Peter Straub

The Talisman, co-written by Stephen King and Peter Straub, tells the tale of 12-year-old Jack Sawyer who embarks on an epic journey to find the talisman that will save his mother’s life. 

Jack’s journey takes him into a parallel world known as the Territories, a place where people from his universe have doubles known as Twinners. Here, he discovers the queen of the Territories, his mother’s Twinner, is also dying. So begins an epic battle of good against evil as Jack flips between worlds on a journey that incorporates a friendship with a wolf boy and a series of heart-stopping encounters with terrifying forces. 

The Talisman is similar to Fairy Tale with its story of a boy’s quest that takes place in an alternate world. It’s one of the best books King has ever written/co-written and is a must-read if you’re a fan of books featuring journies that span across different dimensions. 

The Dark Is Rising series by Susan Cooper

The Dark Is Rising series of novels is made up of five fantastical books – Over Sea, Under Stone; The Dark is Rising; Greenwitch; The Grey King; and Silver on the Tree. 

Like Fairy Tale, these books feature ordinary children who travel into magical worlds where centuries-old conflicts exist. Reality mixes with the supernatural in these spellbinding stories that incorporate time-travelling doors, magical practices, quests for objects of power, and battles between good (the Light) and evil (the Darkness).

In 2007, a film based on the second of these novels was made but it rushed through the events of the book and failed to capture the joy and wonder that Cooper conjured up in her amazing works of fiction. 

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

Here’s a book series you have probably never heard of! We’re kidding, of course. The Narnia novels are some of the best-loved fantasy books of all time, and while they were written primarily for children, unlike Stephen King’s Fairy Tale, they have still been enjoyed by adults the world over. 

We’re sure you don’t need a synopsis of the plot but just in case you have been living in an alternate world for most of your life, Lewis’s novels tell of a fantastical world named Narnia which can be accessed by various portals in our dimension. In the series’ most famous book, The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, the Pevensie children enter the wintry world of Narnia through a wardrobe and become immersed in a battle between good and evil, just like Charlie Reade does when he ventures into the land of Empis. 

The Eyes Of The Dragon by Stephen King

Here’s another Stephen King novel set in a fantasy world but this time around, it doesn’t feature a human boy entering the world through a portal. Instead, the book is entirely set within the fantastical realm of Delain and tells the story of Peter, the son of a dead king, who is imprisoned at the top of an enormous tower after being accused of his father’s murder. 

He’s innocent, of course, but proving his innocence isn’t easy when he’s stuck on top of a tower while the real killer – a sinister magician named Flagg – roams freely with his eyes set on destroying the Kingdom. 

Like Fairy Tale, the book tells a captivating story of an unlikely hero who is tasked with taking down a force of unspeakable evil. It has ties to King’s Dark Tower series of novels, as you’ll know already if you recognise the name of the book’s main villain. 

11.22.63 By Stephen King

11.22.63 isn’t a fantasy novel so you might question its place on this list. However, it’s not too dissimilar as it tells the story of Jake Epping, an English teacher, who discovers a portal to another time and place, just like Charlie Reade does in Fairy Tale.

For Jake, the portal doesn’t take him to another dimension. But it does take him back in time to 1963 to a world that is like his own but that is also very different due to him being in another time period. 

As Jake begins a new life here, he meets a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald. This leads him on a good-against-evil-style quest, only one that incorporates a real-life villain – the person who assassinated JFK  – instead of a battle against a fictional bad guy. 

Stardust by Neil Gaiman

If you’re looking for a book with the fairy tale aspects of Stephen King’s Fairy Tale, then look no further than Stardust. Like King’s novel, it includes unexplored lands, princes and princesses, and a young man who meets fantastical characters in a magical world that is far beyond his comprehension. 

The novel tells the story of Tristran Thorn, who falls head over heels in love with the beautiful Victoria and vows to bring her the star that they see falling from the night sky. This promise sends him over the town’s ancient wall into the mysterious land of Faerie, where all kinds of dangers await our lovestruck hero. 

The Dark Tower series by Stephen King

The Dark Tower series consists of eight novels and one children’s book that incorporate multiple themes found within King’s Fairy Tale, such as dark fantasy, horror, and quests that involve battles between good and evil. 

The main protagonist of these books is Roland Deschain, a member of a knightly order known as the ‘gunslingers,’ who is in pursuit of his adversary, the ‘man in black,’ a demonic sorcerer who wants to destroy the titular tower. 

Roland isn’t alone on his journey. During his quest, he is joined by other characters, including a boy from our world named Jake Chambers (who’s not unlike Charlie Reade) who assists him with his mission.

Many people consider The Dark Tower series of novels the best fantasy works ever written (fans of the book series below might disagree), and hopes are high that the upcoming TV series based on King’s works will be better than the 2017 movie adaptation that rushed through the saga. 

The Lord Of The Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Lord Of The Rings books continue the story begun in The Hobbit with a focus on a new cast of characters who gather together to take down the evil Lord Sauron before he claims ownership of the whole of Middle Earth.

The central figure of these stories is Frodo Baggins, a young Hobbit who is entrusted with the Ring capable of foiling Sauron’s dastardly plans. While Frodo isn’t from another world, he does venture into places that he has never explored before, and like Fairy Tale’s Charlie, he’s an unlikely hero who is called upon to embark on a perilous journey to save the world from the forces of evil. 

Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

The first book in the Harry Potter series isn’t as dark as later entries in the series or King’s Fairy Tale which wasn’t written for children. But like King’s book, it does tell the story of a boy who discovers his destiny lies in a magical world that is haunted by a terrible evil. 

We don’t need to go into the plotline of this book (or its sequels) as we’re sure you know Harry’s story by now. But if you have only seen the films and not read the books, we recommend that you delve into the novels as they expand on the boy wizard’s story in ways that might be new to you. 

A Wrinkle In Time by Madeline L’Engle

Here’s another dimension-hopping novel about young people from our world who are thrust into a war between good and evil.

It tells the story of Meg Murray, a girl of high school age, who is transported through space and time with her neighbour Calvin and younger brother Charles on a cosmic journey in search of her lost father. Along the way, they encounter a repressed society controlled by AI, a disembodied brain that is representative of evil, and three eccentric women who assist them on their travels. 

A movie based on this popular book was released in 2018 but it was nowhere near as enchanting as this fantasy novel that offers an escapist adventure to rival King’s Fairy Tale. 

You can read more of our book reviews and articles here! 

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