Best Adult Fantasy Novels to Read Now

Best Adult Fantasy Novels to Read now
Best Adult Fantasy Novels to Read Now 73

Fantasy novels have always been my favorite type of books to read. YA fantasy books have taken the world by storm in recent years. But what if YA fantasy feels too young? We made a list of the best adult fantasy novels.

Even though fantasy may not be for everyone all the time, some of our fantasy picks are so brilliant and readable, I think this list has something for everyone. What are the best adult fantasy novels? We will let you decide!

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Table of Contents

Best Adult Fantasy Books to Read Now

Best of 2022 // Fantasy Romance // Witch Books // Vampire // Historical Fantasy // Mermaid // Greek Mythology // Magical Realism // Circus // Adult Dystopian // Paranormal // Pirate // Diverse // Fantasy Series // Dark Academia

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Best Adult Fantasy Novels of 2022

The witches of Moonshine Manor and more of the best adult fantasy novels to read now

The Witches of Moonshyne Manor by Bianca Marais

I am a huge fan of Ms. Marais’ writing. I read her previous two books and was so excited to read this one because fantasy is my favorite genre. This book did not disappoint. The writing is beautiful and very much Marais’ style and the witches in this book are hilarious. They are witty and funny and there is never a dull moment in the Manor.

The magic in this book is woven seamlessly into the story that has non-stop surprises. The book begins with the people of the town descend onto the manor with a wrecking ball to destroy it and the distillery and leave the witches homeless. They are left with less than two weeks to save their house but in order to do so, they must reveal long kept secrets.

I do not want to give anything away. This book made me laugh out loud often and shed a few tears as well. I absolutely loved it and it is a definite must-read in this lift adult fantasy novels.

The Change: a GMA book Club pick and more of the best adult fantasy novels to read now

The Change by Kirsten Miller

May 2022 Good Morning America Book Club Pick

Kirsten Miller delivers a killer magical realism novel about a trio of women who receive powers after going through menopause. The point of their powers is to bring to justice men who rape and kill women.

I was thoroughly entertained by this beach town mystery that pit the women against billionaire men around them. As usual, GMA delivers with its latest pick.

Acts of Violet

Acts of Violet by Margarita Montimore

I absolutely loved the GMA book club pick Oona Out of Order and it was on our list of the best of the year. I was so excited to read this book and it did not disappoint.

When the famous magician Violet Volk disappears without a trace, nobody can figure out where she went. Now, a decade later, her sister is wondering if Violet will finally reappear and if she can get some answers. Her fans still love and adore her but Sasha wants answers. Their relationship has left so many questions. As Sasha searches for answers, she will have to come to terms with the past.

I loved this book. It is so original and unlike anything that I have read. It is magical realism at its best which is not surprising coming from this author.

In a Garden Burning Gold and more of the best adult fantasy novels to read now

In A Garden Burning Gold by Rory Power

This is the first book in a fantasy duopoly that will leave you ready for the next book. Rhea and Lexos are twins born to a family that has ruled for centuries using magic and paints the stars, changes the seasons, and can cause death by uttering a name.

Their father is a tyrant who has a tedious grip on his power and no willingness to accept it. Rhea and Lexos are trying to keep the family together but magic, lies, and deceit will take their toll.

The writing in this novel is so vivid, the plot is fast-paced and the descriptions of magic feel the same as in The Night Circus. This book was hard to put down.

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Adult Fantasy Romances Novels

Angelika Frankenstein Makes Her Match by Sally Thorne

Angelika Frankenstein Makes Her Match by Sally Thorne

I read this one just after Halloween and I rather wish I had started it a few days before the holiday. It’s truly a perfect Halloween book!

It’s also a classic retelling as we get to see the story of Dr. Frankenstein with a twist. This story has his younger sister, Angelika, at the heart of the story as she improves upon his creature with an invention of her own.

The problem is that she has fallen for her monster! Will their love be able to survive?

The Ex Hex and more of the best adult fantasy novels to read now

The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling

This is the most charming Halloween romance book about witches EVER. I don’t think I’ve read anything quite like it, but it’s perfect for the spooky season.

9 years ago Rhys Penhallow broke Viviane Jones’ heart and so she cursed him. Now he’s back in the town his family found to infuse magic back into the ley lines but everything goes wrong!

As his curse takes over the town, Rhys and Vivi have to work to end the curse and restore the right magic back to the town…if they can keep their rekindled romance at bay long enough!

court of thorns and roses

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

This book has a cult-like following for a reason. The first book in the series is a loose retelling of Beauty and the Beast set in the world of Prythian. Magical creatures, humans, and fae are all prominent in the book.

This is a fast-paced, addicting, romance fantasy series. A love triangle develops by the end of the story and book 2 is jaw-dropping! You will want to binge this series in one week. While this book is technically YA, the rest of the series gets very steamy so we wanted to include it in our list of best adult fantasy novels.

If you loved ACOTAR, check out this list of books just like it.

For more books like these, check out our Ultimate List of YA Fantasy Books!

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Witch Books for Adults

A Discovery of Witches and more of the best adult fantasy novels to read now

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Delve into the world of fantasy with this scholarly novel that explores the history of witches, wizards, and vampires. Diana is an Oxford scholar who discovers an ancient manuscript in the Bodleian Library that triggers a magical reaction. She quickly realizes that there are creatures who will go to any lengths necessary to find this book. 

However, an unexpected alliance forms with Matthew, a vampire who has spent centuries searching for this manuscript. When he meets Diana though, he cannot help but protect her as she discovers her magical heritage and new powers.

A blend of heart-pounding action and historical study, this book was the perfect mix of fantasy and history. It’s one of my favorites on my list of Halloween Books For Adults

For more books like these, check out our list of Books Like A Discovery of Witches

The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches

The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna

This book is definitely a feel-good book of the season. Mika Moon knows that she must hide her magic and stay away from other witches so their powers do not draw the attention of other people. She also knows that witches are destined to be orphans, a very lonely existence.

When she is asked to come and teach magic to three young witches, she finds the life that she had always dreamed of, even if it is temporary. But, does it have to be? Can she find the life she always wanted?

Thank you so much to PRH audio for my copy of this book, all opinions are my own. I listened to this charming book in a day and loved it.

Practical Magic and more of the best adult fantasy novels to read now

Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

I just adore this tale of magic, family, and sisterhood. When Gillian gets into trouble, Sally tries to help her sister out with some magical spells.

But trouble comes back to haunt them, and when a hunky police chief comes to town, the sisters try hard to cover up their family secrets.

This adult fantasy is part of a series and I have loved every book more than the last. There is always the question of where to start reading. In the order they were written or chronologically. Either way, you cannot go wrong.

For more books like these, check out our guide to the Practical Magic Series

mists of avalon

The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

An alternative telling of the tale of King Arthur, featuring the Lady of the Lake, Paganism vs. Christianity, and an epic struggle for power.

Merlin and the Lady of the Lake practice pagan witchcraft, as they try to keep the old ways alive against the new religion gaining popularity, the choices they make for Arthur’s kingdom inspire the tale we know so well.

The mini-series adaptation of this book is wonderful too and well worth the watch!

Witch Please and more of the best adult fantasy novels to read now

Witch Please by Ann Aguirre

This charming romance is perfect for Halloween! Danica is a witch hiding as a mechanic with her cousin, Clem.

Swearing to her grandmother not to fall in love with a mundane (non-magic man) so as not to lose her power is easier said than done.

She meets baker, Titus, and is instantly smitten. Can she casually date him or will she catch the feels?

For more books like these, check out our list of Witch Books

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Vampire Novels for Adults

The southern girl's guide to slaying vampires and and more of the best adult fantasy novels to read now

The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix

I do not usually like horrors but I love thrillers, book clubs, and vampires so I decided to read this book. I absolutely loved every minute- even when I was completely scared out of my wits. This book will have you on your toes.

This book really is Steel Magnolias meets Dracula. Patricia is a housewife with two kids who don’t appreciate her and a husband who travels a lot. She spends a lot of her time caring for her senile mother-in-law who lives with them. When her elderly neighbor attacks her one night, James comes to the rescue. James seems well-read and well-traveled but Patricia is convinced he is a monster in disguise.

Patricia knows what she sees but nobody else agrees with her. The psychological warfare in this book is next-level creepy. As adult fantasy novels go, this one is next-level creepy!

Dead Until Dark (The Sookie Stackhouse Series) and more of the best adult fantasy novels to read now

Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse #1) by Charlaine Harris

I watched this show before I knew that it was a book and then I obviously had to read the book as well. Sookie Stackhouse is a waitress at a bar in her small town in Louisiana. She is quiet and keeps to herself except for the fact that she can read people’s minds.

When Bill Compton comes into the bar one night, Sookie cannot hear anything he is thinking and she is quickly infatuated. The feeling is mutual. But when murders start taking place and the two suspects are Bill and Sookie’s womanizing brother, Sookie starts to question her choices. There is nothing PG about this steamy series.

storm front

Storm Front by Jim Butcher

A friend who is an avid fantasy reader recommended this book to me. I had never heard of this series before but, I really enjoyed it and I cannot wait to read the next one in the series. This is the first book in the 17-book series, The Dresden Files.

Wizards, Vampires, and warlocks are all a part of this book in which Harry Dresden is consulting with the Chicago PD on a homicide that was committed with magic. This is a dark urban fantasy series that will keep you turning pages.

Interview with a vampire by Anne Rice and more of the best adult fantasy novels to read now

Interview With the Vampire by Anne Rice

This is the story of a 200-year-old vampire named Louis who is telling the story of his life to a reporter. He tells the tale of his life with the Vampire Lestat who was his maker.

Louis’s life has been filled with turmoil as he tries to come to terms with who he is and what he must do to survive. His story is a story of loss, love, and danger.

For more books like these, check out our list of Vampire Books

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Best Adult Historical Fantasy Novels


Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

How do we love Outlander? We cannot count the ways. The ninth book in the series, Go Tell the Bees That I am Gone, will be released on November 23, 2021.

This epic story begins in 1945 when Claire Randall and her husband take a second honeymoon to the Scottish Highlands to celebrate being reunited after the war. When Claire touches one of the standing stones, she is transported to 1743.

This is when the real story begins. In order to stay safe as an English women in Scotland, she must depend on Jamie Frasier for protection. Amazing history, magical realism, romance and witches overflow in this iconic epic saga.

The World We Knew by Alice Hoffman and more of the best adult fantasy novels to read now

The World That We Knew by Alice Hoffman

I love Alice Hoffman and for me, this was her best book yet.  During WWII, in Germany, Hanni Kohn knows that she must do something to save her daughter from the Nazi’s  In desperation, she seeks out someone who can make a Golem take her daughter to safety. 

 Instead of the Rabbi, it is his daughter Ettie who helps and creates Ava.  The life of the three women is forever intertwined.  This beautiful novel about love, life, and friendship is more than I could have hoped for and is a definite must read on this list of adult fantasy novels.

Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab and more of the best adult fantasy novels to read now

Darker Shade of Magic: A Novel (Shades of Magic Book 1) by V.E Schwab

In this historical fantasy, travel between parallel Londons is possible by powerful magicians known as Antari. Kell is one of the last Antari who lives in Red London and who serves as an ambassador. He is also a smuggler.

When Kell is robbed by Delilah, a pick pocket and petty thief, he is forced to bring her on an adventure as she always dreamed despite the life of death peril.

This is London like you have never imagined it before. The characters, while flat at first, begin to have more depth as the story continues.

a river enchanted

A River Enchanted by Rebecca Ross

Rebecca Ross’s historical fantasy books are sweeping magical stories. This particular one is about the island of Cadence and its warring inhabitants. It’s also a love story between Jack, a bard who can sing to the elements, and Adaira, the heiress of the East.

The story slowly builds but ends on a cliffhanger, which concludes in the second book of the duology. The story is perfect for fans of books like Outlander because it’s inspired by Scotland.

For more books like these, check out our list of Historical Fantasy Books to Capture your Imagination.

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Mermaid Books for Adults

Hex for Danger and more of the best adult fantasy novels to read now

Hex for Danger (An Enchanted Bay Mystery #2) by Esme Addison

I did not read the first book in this series but now I want to go back and read it. It was not necessary to understand and enjoy this cozy mystery.

Aleksandra runs an herbal apothecary with her family in the hall town of Bellamy Bay. Other than the fact that Alex and her family are descendants from mermaids and they can do a little magic, Bellamy Bay is a perfectly ordinary town.

When the town arranges for a well-known artist to paint a mural for the town’s annual mermaid festival and she turns up dead, secrets threaten to spill.

The MErmaid the Witch and the Sea and more of the best adult fantasy novels to read now.

The Mermaid, the Witch and the Sea by Maggie Tokuda-Hall

Flora and her brother are pirates on the Dove. In order to protect her identity, she has become Florian and is tasked with protecting Lady Evelyn on the ship until the time she can be sold.

Flora does not intend to fall in love with Evelyn and when the two free a captured mermaid, they change the fate of more than just her.

I am so glad that someone recommended this book to me. It is one of those books that really did not get the visibility that it should have. This book is so well written and is filled with magic while also exploring the power of love.

museum of extraordinary things

Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman

Coralie Sardien spends her days in a Coney Island freak show called the Museum of Extraordinary Things. There, appears as the mermaid in the museum run by her father. She is one of many attractions in the show.

One night, Coralie meets Eddie Cohen who has run away from his Orthodox community. What follows is a love story during tumultuous times in New York history. This historical fiction is a must read book.

The Mermaid's Daughter and more of the best adult fantasy novels to read now

The Mermaid’s Daughter by Anne Claycomb 

Kathleen has always suffered horrible stabbing pain in her feet. There is no explanation for her constant pain. Both her mother and grandmother committed suicide and a young age and now, at 25 with a promising career ahead of her, her girlfriend Harry is worried about her.

This modern retelling of Hand Christian Andersen’s story the Little Mermaid is a powerful adult fantasy novel that you will not want to put down.

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Best Greek Mythology Novels

Ariadne and more of the best adult fantasy novels to read now

Ariadne by Jennifer Saint

I’m such a huge fan of historical fantasy stories about the Greek Gods. I find the mythology to be captivating, so it’s not a surprise that I loved Saint’s take on Ariadne’s story.

Ariadne is the child of a the king of Crete who goes on to become the wife of the god, Dionysus. The story tells her story, as well as the stories of Thesus, the Minotaur, and Phaedra, all big names in mythology.

If you loved The Odyssey or A Thousand Ships, pick this one up!

circe and more of the best adult fantasy novels to read now

Circe by Madeline Miller

The Odyssey is one of my all-time favorite books and I think I read Du’Laires Book of Greek Myths more than any other book when I was in middle school. Which means I ADORED Circe!

Circe, the nymph who is but a footnote in Du’Laires and gets overshadowed in The Odyssey was a fascinating goddess I can’t believe I knew so little about. I’m desperate to read Madeline Miller’s first book – The Song of Achilles now

A Thousand Ships and more of the best adult fantasy novels to read now

A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes

I absolutely loved this take on the traditional greek stories surrounding the Trojan War. They are all told by the women in the mythology which is certainly a perspective that doesn’t get much play.

Penelope’s chapters in particular had me laughing out loud. I can’t recommend this one more to greek mythology lovers.


The Odyssey by Homer

There is a reason this book is one of my favorites of all time. I just find this classic tale to be so entertaining.

I’m constantly pickup up something new and reading it along with A Thousand Ships and The Lost Sisterhood gave me so much to think about.

neon gods

Neon Gods by Katee Robert

I was expecting a modern retelling of Hades and Persephone’s love story from the description – I was not expecting a book like Fifty Shades of Grey!

WHEW… this was one STEAMY story! I wasn’t quite prepared for how devious Hades was in this version. I did love seeing Olympus in a modern setting and I really enjoyed how Hades and Persephone outwitted the rest of the 13.

While I liked the story a great deal, if you aren’t into erotica, you won’t want to pick this one up. This is the first in a series of greek mythology retellings and is a great urban fantasy romance book.

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Adult Circus Fantasy Novels

Inheritance of Orquidea Divine and more of the best adult fantasy novels to read now

The Inheritance of Orquidé Divine by Zoraida Córoda

I do not know how to begin to describe this wonderful and complex book. The characters are deep and the magic from this story seeps from the pages.

The Montoya family are summoned to their grandmother’s house to collect their inheritance. They are hoping to obtain answers from her before she dies. They are used to living with secrets and unexplained phenomenon.

But when Orquidea Divina is transformed into a tree before their eyes, they must seek the answers themselves. I have never read a book like this and it is my pick for circus books on this list of adult fantasy novels.

The circus rose and more of the best adult fantasy novels to read now

Circus Rose by Betsy Cornwall

Rosie and Ivory have grown up in their mother circus and are returning to Port’s End. It is a place closest to any home after years traveling. As the circus prepares for opening night, fundamentalists seek to stop the show for continuing.But, as the show begins, a massive fire strikes the tent and that is only the beginning.

This book is a queer re-telling of Snow White and Rose Red (not to be confused with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs). It has been thoroughly reimagined and transformed in this book.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and more of the best adult fantasy novels to read now

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Every word captivated me from beginning to end and I couldn’t put it down. The story was magical- both literally and figuratively and the descriptions are so vivid.

The stage has been set for a magical competition between the pupils of two very powerful magicians. The stage: the night circus. The pupils, a man and a woman, are unsure of the rules, unsure how to win or when the competition will end. As the competition continues, the opponents fall in love- a situation that only complicates their predicament.

This is magic in a way that I never imagined it before. The story has twists and surprises that left me wondering how I didn’t see what was right there all along.

The Ladies of the Secret Circus

The Ladies of the Secret Circus by Constance Sayers

Have you ever loved a book so much that you couldn’t put it down but also didn’t want it to end? That is how I felt about book!
⁣In 2004 Lara Barnes’s fiancé disappears on their wedding day. As Lara searches for answers, she starts to unravel a family mystery that goes back to 1925. ⁣This book has everything. It’s a dark fantasy filled with mystery, disappearances, and magic. I don’t want to give more detail because I don’t want to spoil any part of this book- it is my favorite fantasy of 2021 so far!⁣

For more books like these, check out our list of Circus and Carnival Books.

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Magical Realism Books for Adults

The Midnight Library and more of the best adult fantasy novels to read now

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

I loved Matt Haig’s last book and was so excited to read this one. I loved it even more- it is definitely one of my favorite books of the year and my favorites on this list of adult fantasy novels.   

This is a library that has books filled with the infinite possibilities of the lives not lived.  Have you ever wondered about a choice, or a path not taken? When Nora finds herself in the library she is forced to face the choices that she made in her life- relationships, education, profession…This is a magical book and I loved every minute of it

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead and more of the best adult fantasy novels to read now

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

I absolutely loved this book and it was one of the first reviews we ever did on the blog. I love the way this book examined the underground railroad with a touch of magical realism.

The story is about Cora and Caesar, two run-away slaves in the south who run away to the underground railroad which, in this book, is an actual railroad.

Each stop along the way is reminiscent of a different place in history and it is interlaced with actual ads placed for runaway slaves. This book is profound and beautiful and a must read.

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern and more of the best adult fantasy novels to read now

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgensternir?source=bk&t=beyondth06 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=a21b6da7b1e904bee65ffc4cce1d99c3& cb=1575161583926

To say that I was excited about Erin Morgenstern‘s new book might be the understatement of the year.  How to describe this book that is an ode to storytelling…’s a love story to books, a fantasy within a love story within a fairy tale.

The writing is beautiful- Erin’s signature style of vivid imagery left me completely captivated. I listened with and I read it as well. I truly loved every minute of this novel. It was pointless to predict the story. So, I let it take me away with the lyrical prose. I adored it and recommend it for anyone that loved The Night Circus.

Ten Thousand Doors

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix. E Harrow

I’ve never read a book quite like this and I have to say that I was very pleasantly surprised. The writing is subtle, the plot is driven by character and intrigue rather than action-packed suspense.  It has a feel of historical fiction about it that lovers of this genre may love this book as well. 

When January is seven years old, she stumbles upon a door that leads her to a different place.  When she is reprimanded for lying about the door, she eventually forgets about it until she finds the book “The Ten Thousand Doors of January” years later.  January becomes intrigued and the real story begins. 

The story alternates between the story of January and the book.  The concept is such a fun way to narrate the plot. At times, the plot moved a little bit slowly as one storyline stopped and another began in the alternating chapters.  This is such a unique and wonderful book.

Love Magical Realism? We do too! That’s why we created the Ultimate List Magical Realism!

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Adult Dystopian Novels

Ready player one

Ready player One by Ernest Cline

In 2045, most people spent their days in the OASIS, a virtual reality world. When the elusive creator of the OASIS dies and leaves clues behind, the first person to solve the riddles will be in control of the entire OASIS and a massive fortune.

When Wade Watts solves the first clue, he might fight for his survival to win along with his group of misfit friends. Love, a fight for survival and a group of loyal friends all give me Lunar Chronicle vibes.

klara and the sun

Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro

I’m not usually a sci-fi girl, but this book was just so special. It’s told from the perspective of Klara, an artificial friend who starts the story waiting to be purchased.

We see Klara’s life in the store as she waits for a friend, and then what her life is like when she’s chosen to be a companion for a young girl with a mysterious illness.

Klara draws her power from the sun, and so she believes she can use the sun’s healing rays to save her friend too. This moving story had me caring for a robot in a way I knew would have thought possible.

Vox by Christina Dalcher

Once I got into this is a sci-fi/ fantasy novel, I could not put down. The story takes place in the United States when a fundamentalist has become the president. Slowly, he has removed all rights from women, included the right to speech.

Every woman is given 100 words a day and a bracelet with a counter to ensure to compliance. This book was so well written and creepy. I loved it although I have to say that it was a little close to how I feel these days

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Paranormal Fantasy Novels for Adults

under the whispering door

Under the Whispering Door by T.J Klune

How many stars can I give? T.J Klune has done it again with the wonderful novel. House on the Cerulean Sea was my favorite book last year and I am not sure that anything will top it. I read it in a day and loved every minute of this wonderful book.

Wallace is dead. When the reaper collects him at his funeral and brings him to a strange tea shop, Hugo is waiting with the promise of helping him cross over. This light fantasy will make you smile until the last page.

sing unburied sing

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

This book is an award winner and the writing is undeniably wonderful.  The story itself has elements of magic that added to the difficult subject matter.  The story deals with drugs, violence, and poverty- all of which are completely relevant in today’s society. 

The characters did not develop throughout the story as much as I would have liked but, when added with the wonderful writing, this book is a worthwhile read.

lincoln in the bardo

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

Strange, but probably one of the most imaginative novels I have ever experienced. It’s about the night that Abraham Lincoln buried this son and takes place entirely in the cemetery.

listened via Audible which was great because they used 166 voices including David Sedaris, Lena Dunham, Ben Stiller, Julianne Moore, Susan Sarandon, Kat Dennings and Don Cheadle among others.

Tokyo Ueno Station and other books set in Japan

Tokyo Ueno Station by Miri Yu

This book was incredibly well-written, utterly captivating, and rather depressing. Kazu is dead, but he can’t find peace in the afterlife so he haunts Tokyo’s Ueno Station.

We learn about his life, his family, and how they faired during some of Japan’s most important moments in modern history from the Tokyo Olympics to the recent tsunami.

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The Best Pirate Fantasy Books

ther wisteria Society

The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels by India Holton

A historical fantasy romance about pirate assassins with magical powers? SIGN ME UP!

I gravitated toward this story because of the gorgeous cover, but I was hooked from the first page. I loved all the women in The Wisteria Society. I loved how they could fly around their homes like ships, how they stole and plundered with abandon, and how they did it all while making sure they were the picture of polite womanhood.

The love story was charming, but it was the antics of Cecilia and her quest to save her fellow society members that kept me turning the pages.

darling girl

Darling Girl: A Novel of Peter Pan by Liz Michalski

This classic retelling of Peter Pan is anything but innocent and whimsical. In this adult fantasy novel, Holly Darling, the Granddaughter of Wendy, runs a very successful skincare company. She is a single parent to Jack after a terrible accident killed her husband and Jack’s twin.

When she gets a call that her daughter Eden is missing from the home where she has been hidden away in a coma for a decade, she knows that Peter Pan is the one responsible.

Peter Pan is dark, sinister and grown-up. Holly must get Christopher Cooke to help her find her daughter and defeat Peter.

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Diverse Adult Fantasy Novels

the other black girl

The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris

June 2021 GMA Book Club Pick

Wow. I’m still processing this genre-defying novel. It’s a social commentary and a thriller all in one. It makes me want to sit down and discuss it with everyone.

Nella is the only black girl at her publishing house until Hazel is hired. Thinking she’s found an ally, instead, she begins to wonder if Hazel might be an enemy instead.

As Hazel’s career soars, Nella is left questioning her identity, her ideals, and what it means to be a black woman in the business world, while trying to uncover who is behind the scary notes she keeps receiving.

exit west by mohsin hamid

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

I have so many thoughts about Exit West by Mohsin Hamid but, I am not sure how to express them all. I am not even sure that I can express them coherently.  

This is not a long book but it doesn’t need to be to make a profound statement about the world that we live in.  Part love story, part melancholy of a war-torn world, and part magical realism, this story will carry the reader through a rainbow of emotions before the end.

the water dancer

The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates

When I started this book, I was unsure how I felt about the writing. ⁣The prose is lyrical and poetic but I wasn’t sure where the story was going.

I felt it winding a lot rather than developing. ⁣ As the story progressed, I became invested in Hiram and wanted to see where the story went. The element of magic reminded me a little bit of the Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. Have you read this book? What did you think?

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Adult Fantasy Novels to Read Now
Best Adult Fantasy Novels to Read Now 87

Best Fantasy Book Series for Adults

crescent city

House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas

House of Earth and Blood is the first in a new series by Sarah J. Maas, of ACOTAR fame. It’s an urban fantasy – which is new to me. 

There were skyscrapers, cellphones, and video surveillance, but also fairies, werewolves, angels, demons, and witches with history and power.⁣ It was a wild ride.

My initial turn off of too many names/places/tribes/species types was quickly overcome by the insane world-building. I cannot wait for the next book to come out.

game of thrones

A Game of Thrones: Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin

This is a book that I learned about after I watched the series on HBO. In my case, watching the show first helped me remember (and put a face to) the plethora of characters within this series.

Truth be told, I still needed reminders now and then. Winter is coming. The House of Stark is preparing for winter after a centuries long summer. They must prepare to defend themselves from the creatures behind the wall.

There is no way to briefly summarize this epic world building historical fantasy with powerful women and an intricate, captivating story.

Lord of the Rings and more of the best long historical fantasy books over 500 pages

Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkein

It is hard to believe that this trilogy was published in 1954. This epic fantasy has definitely withstood the test of time. Hobbits and elves, humans and wizards join together in Middle-Earth to destroy a ring.

This is the ultimate story of the fight between good and evil and the fight to overcome the evil within.

If you love fantasy and have not read this book, it is an absolute must.

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Adult Fantasy Novels to Read Now
Best Adult Fantasy Novels to Read Now 88

Dark Academia Novels

The Atlas

The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake

There are so many twist and turns to this dark academia fantasy, I am not sure where to begin. I do know that I will be reading the next book!

The alexandrian Society are the guardians of knowledge from the greatest civilizations that have ever existed. Six of the most brilliant magical academicians are chosen every decade. Five will go on the secure a life filled with all the wealth and power they could dream of.

When the candidates of this decade are chosen, they each have powerful and abilities that could lead to greatness or destruction. When the society may not be everything it appears, will they have to knowledge and the ability to recognize it before it is too late?

Ninth House and 21 Adult Books Similar to Harry Potter

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

Alex Stearn is the sole survivor from a horrible homicide. While recovering in the hospital, she is offered a chance to go to Yale on a full scholarship. What she finds are the Secret Societies of Yale that each practice a unique type of magic. Can anyone say Hogwarts University?

The magicians

The Magicians by Lev Grossman

Quentin Coldwater is a high school student obsessed with the made of world of Fillory.  He finds himself admitted to a magical college that is both secret and elite.  

The best way I can describe this series is if Harry Potter was admitted to Hogwarts in College.  It has a different feel but it is fun, imaginative, and entertaining.  I’m a little obsessed with the tv series as well.  The magic in this school is definitely a little bit dark and steamy and for this reason, is perfect for a list of dark academia novels. If you love urban fantasy books, you must read this series.

For more books like these, check out our complete list of Dark Academia Books

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What is your favorite on this list of Adult Fantasy Novels?

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