Top 20 Fantasy Reads of 2022

Hey there! Thanks for stopping by, and happy 2023!! Today, I have 20 of my favorite fantasy reads of 2022. So many amazing books were released in 2022, and I was lucky to read several dozen that I enjoyed. Some are brand new series and first-time authors, and others are continuations of series that I love. All are memorable reads! Let’s take a look at some of my faves!

This list is in alphabetical order according to title.


1. The Altruist and the Assassin by Sarah M. Cradit

Series: The Book of All Things

Release Date: August 9, 2022

Publisher: Storyville Press

Blurb: Rhiain enjoys a charmed life as the daughter of one of the most powerful men in the realm. Spoiled and vain, she has never met a need or want she couldn’t attain. The dark spots in her memory have been tucked away, with all other unpleasant things.

Then a terrible mistake brings her entire world crashing down around her. Her life shifts in an instant; her fate, uncertain. Her father’s punishment for her is forcing her to train for a life as one of his prized assassins.

But a chance encounter in a familiar tavern will change everything. Everything she knows. Everything she feels. Everything she is.

As Rhiain gets closer to handsome, enigmatic Asterin— a man she doesn’t remember but claims to possess the truth about her dark spots—she begins to accept there is much more to these gaps in her understanding of the past.

Because these memories were taken from her for a reason. And there are those who will do anything to stop her from remembering.

The Altruist and the Assassin is a standalone fated love fantasy romance tale set in the Kingdom of the White Sea universe, with hints of Rapunzel and Sleeping Beauty.

LINKS:   Goodreads   |    Amazon | Review


2. The Ballad of Never After by Stephanie Garber

Series: Once Upon a Broken Heart #2

Page Length: 416

Publication Date: Sept. 13, 2022

Publisher: Flatiron Books

SynopsisNot every love is meant to be.

After Jacks, the Prince of Hearts, betrays her, Evangeline Fox swears she’ll never trust him again. Now that she’s discovered her own magic, Evangeline believes she can use it to restore the chance at happily ever after that Jacks stole away.

But when a new terrifying curse is revealed, Evangeline finds herself entering into a tenuous partnership with the Prince of Hearts again. Only this time, the rules have changed. Jacks isn’t the only force Evangeline needs to be wary of. In fact, he might be the only one she can trust, despite her desire to despise him.

Instead of a love spell wreaking havoc on Evangeline’s life, a murderous spell has been cast. To break it, Evangeline and Jacks will have to do battle with old friends, new foes, and a magic that plays with heads and hearts. Evangeline has always trusted her heart, but this time she’s not sure she can. . . .

LINKS:   Goodreads   |    Amazon | Review


3. Blood Scion by Deborah Falaye

Series: Blood Scion

Page Length: 432

Publication Date: March 8, 2022

Publisher: Harper Teen

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Mythology

SynopsisThis is what they deserve. They wanted me to be a monster. I will be the worst monster they ever created.

Fifteen-year-old Sloane can incinerate an enemy at will—she is a Scion, a descendant of the ancient Orisha gods.

Under the Lucis’ brutal rule, her identity means her death if her powers are discovered. But when she is forcibly conscripted into the Lucis army on her fifteenth birthday, Sloane sees a new opportunity: to overcome the bloody challenges of Lucis training, and destroy them from within.

Sloane rises through the ranks and gains strength but, in doing so, risks something greater: losing herself entirely, and becoming the very monster that she ahbors.

LINKS:   Goodreads   |   Amazon  | Review


4. Castles in Their Bones by Laura Sebastian

Series: Castles in Their Bones #1

Page Length: 528

Publication Date: Feb. 1, 2022

Synopsis: Empress Margaraux has had plans for her daughters since the day they were born. Princesses Sophronia, Daphne, and Beatriz will be queens. And now, age sixteen, they each must leave their homeland and marry their princes.

Beautiful, smart, and demure, the triplets appear to be the perfect brides—because Margaraux knows there is one common truth: everyone underestimates a girl. Which is a grave mistake. Sophronia, Daphne, and Beatriz are no innocents. They have been trained since birth in the arts of deception, seduction, and violence with a singular goal—to bring down monarchies— and their marriages are merely the first stage of their mother’s grand vision: to one day reign over the entire continent of Vesteria.

The princesses have spent their lives preparing, and now they are ready, each with her own secret skill, and each with a single wish, pulled from the stars. Only, the stars have their own plans—and their mother hasn’t told them all of hers.

Life abroad is a test. Will their loyalties stay true? Or will they learn that they can’t trust anyone—not even each other?

LINKS:   Goodreads   |    Amazon | Review


5. A Darkness at the Door by Intisar Khanani

Series: The Dauntless Path

Page Length: 486

Publication Date: July 21, 2022

Publisher: Snowy Wings Pub.

Synopsis: Only Rae knows the extent of the corruption at the heart of the kingdom of Menaiya, from the noble lord who betrayed her, to the Circle of Mages whose wards protect the slavers from discovery. Injured and imprisoned on a slave ship, Rae’s options are quickly running out. When a desperate escape attempt goes terribly wrong, she finds herself indebted to a terrifying Fae sorceress.

Now Rae will not rest until she has rescued her fellow prisoners and freed her land from the darkness that has taken hold. To succeed, she’ll need every ally she can find—including Bren, the thief who may have stolen her heart. But Bren is hiding his own bloody secrets, and the curses that encircle Rae have sunk their claws into her mind. With her debts coming due and time running short, all the truths in the world may not be enough to save her kingdom, or herself.

LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Review


6. Elektra by Jennifer Saint

Page Length: 400

Publication Date: April 28, 2022

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Synopsis: The House of Atreus is cursed. A bloodline tainted by a generational cycle of violence and vengeance. This is the story of three women, their fates inextricably tied to this curse, and the fickle nature of men and gods.

Clytemnestra
The sister of Helen, wife of Agamemnon – her hopes of averting the curse are dashed when her sister is taken to Troy by the feckless Paris. Her husband raises a great army against them, and determines to win, whatever the cost.

Cassandra
Princess of Troy, and cursed by Apollo to see the future but never to be believed when she speaks of it. She is powerless in her knowledge that the city will fall.

Elektra
The youngest daughter of Clytemnestra and Agamemnon, Elektra is horrified by the bloodletting of her kin. But, can she escape the curse, or is her own destiny also bound by violence?

LINKS:   Goodreads   |    Amazon   | Review

7. Esperance by Heather Frost

Series: Esperance Trilogy #1

Publication Date: Nov. 18, 2022

Synopsis: Twelve strangers. Six marriages. One year in Esperance.

Amryn has many reasons to hate the empire. Her latest is her forced marriage to General Carver Vincetti, also known as the Butcher. If he learns even one of her secrets, he will kill her. And Amryn has many secrets. Not only is she an empath with forbidden magic, she’s also a newly recruited rebel intent on destroying the empire—starting at Esperance.

Carver knows the rebels have infiltrated the remote temple of Esperance. His job is to find them before they can wreck the emperor’s new peace. Despite the demons that haunt him, Carver thinks he’s ready for this new mission—but he’s not prepared for Amryn. From her fiery red hair to her surprising wit, his new wife has captured his attention. Now he just has to determine if she’s the enemy.

When the newly married couples become targets in a violent game, Esperance becomes more dangerous than anyone anticipated. Carver and Amryn are about to discover that no one is exactly who they appear to be—especially each other.

LINKS:   Goodreads   |    Amazon |  Review

8. A Far Wilder Magic by Allison Saft

Page Length: 384

Publication Date: March 8, 2022

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Synopsis: When Margaret Welty spots the legendary hala, the last living mythical creature, she knows the Halfmoon Hunt will soon follow. Whoever is able to kill the hala will earn fame and riches, and unlock an ancient magical secret. If Margaret wins the hunt, it may finally bring her mother home. While Margaret is the best sharpshooter in town, only teams of two can register, and she needs an alchemist.

Weston Winters isn’t an alchemist–yet. Fired from every apprenticeship he’s landed, his last chance hinges on Master Welty taking him in. But when Wes arrives at Welty Manor, he finds only Margaret and her bloodhound Trouble. Margaret begrudgingly allows him to stay, but on one condition: he must join the hunt with her.

Although they make an unlikely team, Wes is in awe of the girl who has endured alone on the outskirts of a town that doesn’t want her, in this creaking house of ghosts and sorrow. And even though Wes disrupts every aspect of her life, Margaret is drawn to him. He, too, knows what it’s like to be an outsider. As the hunt looms closer and tensions rise, Margaret and Wes uncover dark magic that could be the key to winning the hunt – if they survive tht long. In A Far Wilder Magic, Allison Saft has written an achingly tender love story set against a deadly hunt in an atmospheric, rich fantasy world that will sweep you away. 

LINKS:     Goodreads    |      Amazon   | Review


9. Foul Lady Fortune by Chloe Gong

Series: Foul Lady Fortune #1

Page Length: 528

Publication Date: Sept. 27, 2022

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Synopsis: It’s 1931 in Shanghai, and the stage is set for a new decade of intrigue.

Four years ago, Rosalind Lang was brought back from the brink of death, but the strange experiment that saved her also stopped her from sleeping and aging—and allows her to heal from any wound. In short, Rosalind cannot die. Now, desperate for redemption from her traitorous past, she uses her abilities as an assassin for her country.

Code name: Fortune.

But when the Japanese Imperial Army begins its invasion march, Rosalind’s mission pivots. A series of murders is causing unrest in Shanghai, and the Japanese are under suspicion. Rosalind’s new orders are to infiltrate foreign society and identify the culprits behind the terror plot before more of her people are killed.

To reduce suspicion, however, she must pose as the wife of another Nationalist spy, Orion Hong, and though Rosalind finds Orion’s cavalier attitude and playboy demeanor infuriating, she is willing to work with him for the greater good. But Orion has an agenda of his own, and Rosalind has secrets that she wants to keep buried. As they both attempt to unravel the conspiracy, the two spies soon find that there are deeper and more horrifying layers to this mystery than they ever imagined.

LINKS:   Goodreads   |    Amazon | Review


10. House of Sky and Breath by Sarah J. Maas

Series: Crescent City #2

Page Length: 768

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Synopsis: Bryce Quinlan and Hunt Athalar are trying to get back to normal―they may have saved Crescent City, but with so much upheaval in their lives lately, they mostly want a chance to relax. Slow down. Figure out what the future holds.

The Asteri have kept their word so far, leaving Bryce and Hunt alone. But with the rebels chipping away at the Asteri’s power, the threat the rulers pose is growing. As Bryce, Hunt, and their friends get pulled into the rebels’ plans, the choice becomes clear: stay silent while others are oppressed, or fight for what’s right. And they’ve never been very good at staying silent.

In this sexy, action-packed sequel to the #1 bestseller House of Earth and Blood, Sarah J. Maas weaves a captivating story of a world about to explode―and the people who will do anything to save it.

LINKS:   Goodreads   |    Amazon  


11. The Inadequate Heir by Danielle L. Jensen

Series: The Bridge Kingdom #3

Page Length: 625

Publication Date: May 24, 2022

Synopsis: A soldier raised as heir to an empire, Zarrah is motivated by two truths. The first is that the Veliant family murdered her mother. And the second is that her pursuit of vengeance will put every last one of them in their graves.

The Endless War between Maridrina and Valcotta has raged for generations, leaving thousands of Zarrah’s people dead and countless more orphaned. So when she’s given command of the contested city of Nerastis, Zarrah is prepared to do whatever it takes to destroy the Maridrinian forces who oppose her. And to kill the Veliant prince who leads them.

Yet a chance encounter with an anonymous, and handsome, Maridrinian causes Zarrah to question whether the violence she’s perpetrated is justice or a crime. And as she continues to meet the nameless man each night, she finds common ground – and fiery passion – in his arms.

But when identities are revealed, Zarrah must decide whether to embrace a chance at peace…or march to the drums of war. 

LINKS:   Goodreads   |    Amazon


12. A Magic Steeped in Poison by Judy I. Lin

Series: The Book of Tea #1

Page Length: 383

Publication Date: March 29, 2022

Publisher: Feiwel and Friends

SynopsisJudy I. Lin’s sweeping debut A Magic Steeped in Poison, first in a duology, is sure to enchant fans of Adrienne Young and Leigh Bardugo.

I used to look at my hands with pride. Now all I can think is, “These are the hands that buried my mother.”

For Ning, the only thing worse than losing her mother is knowing that it’s her own fault. She was the one who unknowingly brewed the poison tea that killed her—the poison tea that now threatens to also take her sister, Shu.

When Ning hears of a competition to find the kingdom’s greatest shennong-shi—masters of the ancient and magical art of tea-making—she travels to the imperial city to compete. The winner will receive a favor from the princess, which may be Ning’s only chance to save her sister’s life.

But between the backstabbing competitors, bloody court politics, and a mysterious (and handsome) boy with a shocking secret, Ning might actually be the one in more danger.

LINKS:   Goodreads   |    Amazon | Review


13. One Dark Window by Rachel Gillig

Page Length: 432

Publication Date: Sept. 27, 2022

Publisher: Orbit Books

Synopsis: Elspeth Spindle needs more than luck to stay safe in the eerie, mist-locked kingdom of Blunder—she needs a monster. She calls him the Nightmare, an ancient, mercurial spirit trapped in her head. He protects her. He keeps her secrets.

But nothing comes for free, especially magic.

When Elspeth meets a mysterious highwayman on the forest road, her life takes a drastic turn. Thrust into a world of shadow and deception, she joins a dangerous quest to cure Blunder from the dark magic infecting it. And the highwayman? He just so happens to be the King’s nephew, Captain of the most dangerous men in Blunder…and guilty of high treason.

Together they must gather twelve Providence Cards—the keys to the cure. But as the stakes heighten and their undeniable attraction intensifies, Elspeth is forced to face her darkest secret yet: the Nightmare is slowly taking over her mind. And she might not be able to stop him.

LINKS:   Goodreads   |    Amazon | Review


14. Rise of the Vicious Princess by C.J. Redwine

Title: Rise of the Vicious Princess

Author: C.J. Redwine

Page Length: 400

Publication Date: June 14, 2022

Synopsis: The first in a YA political fantasy duology about a fierce princess determined to bring lasting peace to her kingdom regardless of the cost to her heart.

Princess Charis Willowthorn is the dutiful sword of Calera. Raised to be ruthless and cunning, her only goal is to hold her war-torn kingdom together long enough to find a path toward peace with their ancient foe, Montevallo, even if the cost is her own heart.

When violence erupts in the castle itself and an unseen enemy begins sinking Calera’s ships, Charis realizes a threat much greater than Montevallo is coming for her people. So she forms a plan. By day, she is Calera’s formidable princess intent on forging an alliance with Montevallo. By night, she disguises herself as a smuggler and roams the sea with a trusted group of loyalists, hunting for their new enemies. And through it all, there’s the one boy she can’t have—who guards her life but steals her heart.

But her enemies are much closer than Charis realizes, and her heart isn’t the only thing she has left to lose. 

LINKS:   Goodreads   |    Amazon   | Review


15. Royal Captive by Heather Frost

Series: Fate of Eyrinnthia #3

Page Length: 728

Publication Date: March 18, 2022

Synopsis: A DECOY trapped in a dangerous lie
A SERJAH searching for the truth
A PRINCE caught in a deadly game
A WORLD choked by secrets

Abducted during a devastating ambush, Clare is now the captive of ruthless mercenaries. Dragged through the wilderness while grieving heart-rending loss, she must maintain the illusion that she is the princess. Because if she lets the mask slip, even for a moment, the Mortisians will have no reason to keep her alive.

After arresting traitors close to the crown, Desfan fights to rebuild his court, knowing that the imminent arrival of the Devendran princess will further upset the precarious balance in Mortise. But Desfan’s world is rocked when he discovers a rumor that rewrites the most devastating event in his life. He will stop at nothing to find the truth–no matter where it leads.

As Grayson struggles to find his footing in Mortise, he discovers new friends and enemies. His life is further complicated by the tenuous alliance with his spymaster brother. With secrets deepening around him, Grayson must decide where his loyalties truly lie. Through it all, his heart remains in Ryden with Mia. Unfortunately, his love for her is no secret, and the Black Hand is a coveted weapon . . .

Eyrinthia holds its breath as allies and enemies collide. Secrets. Lies. Betrayals. Nothing will be the same.

LINKS:   Goodreads   |    Amazon | Review


16. A Shield of Fate and Ruin by Nicole Bailey

Series: Apollo Ascending #3

Publication Date: Aug. 24, 2022

SynopsisWhen the world is at war.
No one is safe.
Not even the gods.

Apollo would hide with Hyacinth and hold him until the sun burned out.

But that is not their destiny.

When Ares arrives announcing a turn of the tides and war thundering towards Niria, Apollo and Hyacinth take on a journey to save everyone from Zeus’ wrath.

But when things don’t go as planned, they might destroy themselves instead.

In this third installment of the Apollo Ascending series, romance, fate, adventure, and tragedy intermingle into an exhilarating story of loyalty and sacrifice.

LINKS:   Goodreads   |    Amazon | Review


17. This Vicious Grace by Emily Thiede

Series: The Last Finestra

Page Length: 448

Publication Date: June 28, 2022

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Synopsis: Three weddings. Three funerals. Alessa’s gift from the gods is supposed to magnify a partner’s magic, not kill every suitor she touches.

Now, with only weeks left until a hungry swarm of demons devours everything on her island home, Alessa is running out of time to find a partner and stop the invasion. When a powerful priest convinces the faithful that killing Alessa is the island’s only hope, her own soldiers try to assassinate her.

Desperate to survive, Alessa hires Dante, a cynical outcast marked as a killer, to become her personal bodyguard. But as rebellion explodes outside the gates, Dante’s dark secrets may be the biggest betrayal. He holds the key to her survival and her heart, but is he the one person who can help her master her gift or destroy her once and for all?

Emily Thiede’s exciting fantasy debut, This Vicious Grace, will keep readers turning the pages until the devastating conclusion and leave them primed for more! 

LINKS:   Goodreads   |    Amazon | Review


18. Together We Burn by Isabel Ibañez

Page Length: 368

Publication Date: May 31, 2022

Publisher: Wednesday Books

SynopsisAn ancient city plagued by dragons. A flamenco dancer determined to save her ancestral home. A dragon hunter refusing to teach her his ways. They don’t want each other, but they need each other, and without him her world will burn.

Eighteen-year-old Zarela Zalvidar is a talented flamenco dancer and daughter of the most famous Dragonador in Hispalia. People come for miles to see him fight in their arena, which will one day be hers.

But disaster strikes during their five hundredth anniversary show, and in the carnage, Zarela’s father is horribly injured. Facing punishment from the Dragon Guild, Zarela must keep the arena—her ancestral home and inheritance —safe from their greedy hands. She has no choice but to take her father’s place as the next Dragonador. When the infuriatingly handsome dragon hunter, Arturo Díaz de Montserrat, withholds his help, she refuses to take no for an answer.

But even if he agrees, there’s someone out to ruin the Zalvidar family, and Zarela will have to do whatever it takes in order to prevent the Dragon Guild from taking away her birthright. 

LINKS:   Goodreads   |    Amazon | Review


19. The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy by Megan Bannen

Page Length: 336

Publication Date: Aug. 23, 2022

Publisher: Orbit Books

Synopsis: Hart is a marshal, tasked with patrolling the strange and magical wilds of Tanria. It’s an unforgiving job, and Hart’s got nothing but time to ponder his loneliness.

Mercy never has a moment to herself. She’s been single-handedly keeping Birdsall & Son Undertakers afloat in defiance of sullen jerks like Hart, who seems to have a gift for showing up right when her patience is thinnest.

After yet another exasperating run-in with Mercy, Hart finds himself penning a letter addressed simply to “A Friend”. Much to his surprise, an anonymous letter comes back in return, and a tentative friendship is born.

If only Hart knew he’s been baring his soul to the person who infuriates him most – Mercy. As the dangers from Tanria grow closer, so do the unlikely correspondents. But can their blossoming romance survive the fated discovery that their pen pals are their worst nightmares – each other? 

LINKS:   Goodreads   |    Amazon | Review


20. Violet Made of Thorns by Gina Chen

Page Length: 368

Publication Date: July 26, 2022

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Synopsis: A darkly enchanting fantasy debut about a morally gray witch, a cursed prince, and a prophecy that ignites their fate-twisted destinies—perfect for fans of The Cruel Prince and Serpent & Dove.

Violet is a prophet and a liar, influencing the royal court with her cleverly phrased—and not always true—divinations. Honesty is for suckers, like the oh-so-not charming Prince Cyrus, who plans to strip Violet of her official role once he’s crowned at the end of the summer—unless Violet does something about it.

But when the king asks her to falsely prophesy Cyrus’s love story for an upcoming ball, Violet awakens a dreaded curse, one that will end in either damnation or salvation for the kingdom—all depending on the prince’s choice of future bride. Violet faces her own choice: Seize an opportunity to gain control of her own destiny, no matter the cost, or give in to the ill-fated attraction that’s growing between her and Cyrus.

Violet’s wits may protect her in the cutthroat court, but they can’t change her fate. And as the boundary between hatred and love grows ever thinner with the prince, Violet must untangle a wicked web of deceit in order to save herself and the kingdom—or doom them all.

LINKS:   Goodreads   |    Amazon | Review


Have you read any of these? What was your favorite fantasy read of 2022? Comment below!

15 thoughts on “Top 20 Fantasy Reads of 2022

  1. You have so many of my favorite fantasy reads of 2022 on here as well! But, I’m not really surprised, since we tend to like the same elements in fantasy. I can’t wait for the sequel to One Dark Window to come out!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So many of these are still on my TBR but I did enjoy a few of these too. I really need to get back to Esperance but I’m so glad that I know someone else who has discovered Frost’s fantasies because they’re great and I had no one to gush to about them! 😂 Hart and Mercy is also one of my faves this year so I’m happy to see it here. Awesome list, Julie!

    Liked by 1 person

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