A couple months ago when the TTT topic was Favorite Books Featuring Travel, I mentioned how I could do an entire list of just quest fantasies. I wanted the original post to be more travel diverse but said I would revisit this in a My Favorite Things post. And now I have done so.
Above World by Jenn Reece is a truly epic quest. From under the ocean, to the air, to the forests, the main characters are pretty much everywhere there is to be. Except the desert, but they tackle that in the sequel, Mirage. Add to that the sci-fi and tech elements along with tremendous world building and these are not to be missed.
The Black Cauldron by Lloyd Alexander is the first quest book I remember reading. I was in 2nd or 3rd grade and completely captivated. (And made oh so angry by the movie.)
Doll Bones by Holly Black does a top notch job of combining a fantasy quest with the reality of an uncomfortable, mostly on foot, modern day road trip.
The Drowned Vault by N.D. Wilson is an action packed, adrenaline filled, quest story like no other. A quest is always made so much harder when you are questing after multiple things, have no home to return to, and are being hunted by multiple sources. Good times.
The Girl of Fire and Thorns Trilogy by Rae Carson has epic journeying in all three books. Every single one of them has a quest and each goal is different. Yet they all work together to form a spectacular whole and one of the best character and story arcs there is.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling is a must have on the list. As much as I like to poke fun at the never ending camping trip that is this book, it is still one of the best out there. I may be biased because of how much I love these characters and felt invested in their journey though the years.
The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis is my favorite Narnia book. It is such a textbook example of the hero/quest story. This is part of the reason that I use it in class if I use any of them.
Rebel by R.J. Anderson makes the list for having one of my favorite stories of mismatched traveling companions of all time. Plus I love the larger frame for this story and everything that Linden is fighting for.
The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner is an interesting twist on the traditional quest tale in oh so many ways. First of which is that the reader spends most of the book not knowing what is being sought or where it is being sought. You only know that the main character has to steal...something. It's halfway through until you know what. But I love the journey in this one so much and everything it reveals about all the characters. No other author has ever used this for characterization as well as Mrs. Turner has.