What’s Your Favorite Arena Fiction?

A few weeks ago, I was itching for some great magical academy fiction. My article resulted in some great suggestions from readers, and I ended up reading A Deadly Education, which was a lot of fun.

Well, now I’m back with a new itch to scratch. I’m looking for some arena fiction, or really any novel that features a bunch of people competing in a big competition (usually–but not always–an official competition). It’s a genre that excites me because (a) I love games and (b) the stakes are usually quite high.

Some examples of arena fiction are as follows:

  • Lord of the Flies
  • The Hunger Games
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  • The Rage of Dragons
  • Enders Game
  • Red Rising
  • The Legend of Korra
  • The Queen’s Gambit
  • Real Steel
  • Gladiator
  • Fight Club
  • The Maze Runner

One such book on my radar is The Inheritance Games–that might be my first pick if anyone here recommends it. But I’m open to other suggestions, especially if the competition is a major ongoing focus in the book. Thanks for your help!

5 thoughts on “What’s Your Favorite Arena Fiction?”

  1. Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Running Man was possibly my first exposure to this. Amazing 80s/90s goofiness, and a ton of fun. Later Death Race and Gamer took some similar spins at it, but to less success I think.

    • I’m not sure if you would read manga, but I recommend Hunter X Hunter. The first arc is about an entrance exam to be a Hunter, and several arcs after that feature tournaments or tests of some sort. Both the anime & manga are well worth it, and it has its own magic system that’s really interesting.


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