Yesterday, I posted my favorite contemporary romance and rom-com reads of 2023, and today I’m posting my favorite fantasy reads. Like yesterday, most of the books I picked have already released, but there are a couple that release this month too. I was lucky enough to receive advanced copies of all of these books and would like to thank the authors and publishers who gifted me them!
Let’s check out some of my favorite fantasy reads of 2023 (so far)!
1. The Bone Shard War by Andrea Stewart
Series: The Drowning Empire #3
Page Length: 624
Publication Date: April 18, 2023
Publisher: Orbit Books
Synopsis: Lin Sukai has won her first victory as Emperor, but the future of the Phoenix Empire hangs in the balance – and Lin is dangerously short of allies.
As her own governors plot treason, the Shardless Few renew hostilities. Worse still, Lin discovers her old nemesis Nisong has joined forces with the rogue Alanga, Ragan. Both seek her death.
Yet hopes lies in history. Legend tells of seven mythic swords, forged in centuries past. If Lin can find them before her enemies, she may yet be able to turn the tide.
If she fails, the Sukai dynasty – and the entire empire – will fall.
2. Divine Rivals by Rebecca Ross
Series: Iris at the Front #1
Page Length: 368
Publication Date: April 4, 2023
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Synopsis: When two young rival journalists find love through a magical connection, they must face the depths of hell, in a war among gods, to seal their fate forever.
After centuries of sleep, the gods are warring again. But eighteen-year-old Iris Winnow just wants to hold her family together. Her mother is suffering from addiction and her brother is missing from the front lines. Her best bet is to win the columnist promotion at the Oath Gazette.
To combat her worries, Iris writes letters to her brother and slips them beneath her wardrobe door, where they vanish―into the hands of Roman Kitt, her cold and handsome rival at the paper. When he anonymously writes Iris back, the two of them forge a connection that will follow Iris all the way to the front lines of battle: for her brother, the fate of mankind, and love.
Shadow and Bone meets Lore in this epic enemies-to-lovers fantasy novel filled with hope and heartbreak, and the unparalleled power of love.
3. Immortal Longings by Chloe Gong
Series: Flesh and False Gods #1
Page Length: 384
Publication Date: July 18, 2023
Publisher: Gallery Books
Synopsis: Every year, thousands in the kingdom of Talin will flock to its capital twin cities, San-Er, where the palace hosts a set of games. For those confident enough in their ability to jump between bodies, competitors across San-Er fight to the death to win unimaginable riches.
Princess Calla Tuoleimi lurks in hiding. Five years ago, a massacre killed her parents and left the palace of Er empty…and she was the one who did it. Before King Kasa’s forces in San can catch her, she plans to finish the job and bring down the monarchy. Her reclusive uncle always greets the victor of the games, so if she wins, she gets her opportunity at last to kill him.
Enter Anton Makusa, an exiled aristocrat. His childhood love has lain in a coma since they were both ousted from the palace, and he’s deep in debt trying to keep her alive. Thankfully, he’s one of the best jumpers in the kingdom, flitting from body to body at will. His last chance at saving her is entering the games and winning.
Calla finds both an unexpected alliance with Anton and help from King Kasa’s adopted son, August, who wants to mend Talin’s ills. But the three of them have very different goals, even as Calla and Anton’s partnership spirals into something all-consuming. Before the games close, Calla must decide what she’s playing for—her lover or her kingdom.
4. The Jasad Heir by Sara Hashem
Series: The Scorched Throne #1
Page Length: 529
Publication Date: July 18, 2023
Synopsis: In this Egyptian-inspired debut fantasy, a fugitive queen strikes a deadly bargain with her greatest enemy and finds herself embroiled in a complex game that could resurrect her scorched kingdom or leave it in ashes forever.
Ten years ago, the kingdom of Jasad burned. Its magic outlawed; its royal family murdered down to the last child. At least, that’s what Sylvia wants people to believe.
The lost Heir of Jasad, Sylvia never wants to be found. She can’t think about how Nizahl’s armies laid waste to her kingdom and continue to hunt its people—not if she wants to stay alive. But when Arin, the Nizahl Heir, tracks a group of Jasadi rebels to her village, staying one step ahead of death gets trickier.
In a moment of anger Sylvia’s magic is exposed, capturing Arin’s attention. Now, to save her life, Sylvia will have to make a deal with her greatest enemy. If she helps him lure the rebels, she’ll escape persecution.
A deadly game begins. Sylvia can’t let Arin discover her identity even as hatred shifts into something more. Soon, Sylvia will have to choose between the life she wants and the one she left behind. The scorched kingdom is rising, and it needs a queen.
5. Mysteries of Thorn Manor by Margaret Rogerson
Series: Sorcery of Thorns 1.5
Page Length: 192
Publication Date: Jan. 17, 2023
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Synopsis: In this sequel novella to Sorcery of Thorns, Elisabeth, Nathaniel, and Silas must unravel the magical trap keeping them inside Thorn Manor in time for their Midwinter Ball!
Elisabeth Scrivener is finally settling into her new life with sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn. Now that their demon companion Silas has returned, so has scrutiny from nosy reporters hungry for gossip about the city’s most powerful sorcerer and the librarian who stole his heart. But something strange is afoot at Thorn Manor: the estate’s wards, which are meant to keep their home safe, are acting up and forcibly trapping the Manor’s occupants inside. Surely it must be a coincidence that this happened just as Nathaniel and Elisabeth started getting closer to one another…
With no access to the outside world, Elisabeth, Nathaniel, and Silas – along with their new maid Mercy – will have to work together to discover the source of the magic behind the malfunctioning wards before they’re due to host the city’s Midwinter Ball. Not an easy task when the house is filled with unexpected secrets, and all Elisabeth can think about is kissing Nathaniel in peace. But when it becomes clear that the house, influenced by the magic of Nathaniel’s ancestors, requires a price for its obedience, Elisabeth and Nathaniel will have to lean on their connection like never before to set things right.
6. Royal Rebel by Heather Frost
Series: Fate of Eryinthia #4
Publication Date: April 21, 2023
Synopsis: A PRINCE fighting to save a princess
A SERJAH torn between duty and desire
A PRINCESS willing to sacrifice everything
A DECOY with nothing to lose
A WORLD about to be torn apart
After his father’s latest punishment, Grayson isn’t at his full strength. Trapped in Ryden and surrounded by enemies, he knows escaping with Mia will be more complicated than anticipated. Tyrell is determined to claim Mia for himself, and Henri’s plans for the rest of Eyrinthia are more horrific than Grayson ever imagined. Despite the increased danger, he and Mia must return to Mortise and warn Desfan of what’s coming—even though it may already be too late.
In Mortise, the palace is still reeling from the brutal attack that left many dead and even more wounded. Regardless of the chaos, Desfan is determined to continue with his coronation. As serjan, he hopes to bring stability to his country and solidify the peace with Devendra. But things in Eyrinthia are always complicated. When Prince Liam reveals they may be facing dangers from old enemies, Desfan will have to decide what kind of ruler he will be.
Devastating news from home has left Clare broken. Despite her heartache, she must once again be Serene’s decoy when a terrifying report sends the princess on an unexpected mission to Zennor. Left at the palace, Clare helps Desfan build trust with the elite in Mortise while guarding a treasonous secret. Because as her grief transforms into a burning desire for vengeance, she is finally ready to embrace a new role—rebel.
Eyrinthia is consumed by uncertainty. Duty. Desire. Sacrifice. Every rebellion has its cost.
7. Songs of Sacrament by Nicole Bailey
Series: The Siren’s Call #2
Publication Date: May 16, 2023
Synopsis: A fake marriage. A prince full of regret. And two kingdoms on the brink of war.
Forced into marriage vows, Lira is determined to keep her distance from Sai. But as tensions rise between the fairy courts, they must work together to uncover a lost treasure that could change the course of history.
While Lira and Sai brave dangers, Lennox confronts a secret from his history that forces him to leave the safety of his world to face the wrongs of his past.
Full of magic, adventure, and unforgettable characters, this thrilling sequel to Songs of Vice will leave you eagerly awaiting the next installment in the series.
8. Spell Bound by F.T. Lukens
Page Length: 336
Publication Date: April 4, 2023
Publisher: Simon Teen
Synopsis: Two rival apprentice sorcerers must team up to save their teachers and protect their own magic in this lively young adult romantic adventure from the New York Times bestselling author of In Deeper Waters and So This Is Ever After.
Edison Rooker isn’t sure what to expect when he enters the office of Antonia Hex, the powerful sorceress who runs a call center for magical emergencies. He doesn’t have much experience with hexes or curses. Heck, he doesn’t even have magic. But he does have a plan—to regain the access to the magical world he lost when his grandmother passed.
Antonia is…intimidating, but she gives him a job and a new name—Rook—both of which he’s happy to accept. Now all Rook has to do is keep his Spell Binder, an illegal magical detection device, hidden from the Magical Consortium. And contend with Sun, the grumpy and annoyingly cute apprentice to Antonia’s rival colleague, Fable. But dealing with competition isn’t so bad; as Sun seems to pop up more and more, and Rook minds less and less.
But when the Consortium gets wind of Rook’s Spell Binder, they come for Antonia. All alone, Rook runs to the only other magical person he knows: Sun. Except Fable has also been attacked, and now Rook and Sun have no choice but to work together to get their mentors back…or face losing their magic forever.
9. Stardust in Their Veins by Laura Sebastian
Series: Castles in Their Bones #2
Page Length: 576
Publication Date: Feb. 7, 2023
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Synopsis: Princesses Beatriz and Daphne have lost their older sister, but their mother’s grand scheme of taking the continent of Vesteria is far from complete. With the country of Temarin now under the Empress’s control, only the nations of Cellaria and Friv remain free from her rule. What’s worse, an ominous prophecy has begun to shine through the constellations: the blood of stars and majesty spilled.
Usurped by conniving cousins Nico and Gigi, Beatriz fears for her life, while in icy Friv, Daphne continues her shaky alliance with the rebels even as she struggles to stay a step ahead of them. But when an unlikely ally offers Beatriz a deal, she finds herself back in her mother’s sights.
With enemies around every corner and the stars whispering of betrayal, Daphne and Beatriz can’t trust anyone–least of all each other. If they’ve learned anything, though, it’s that the Empress’s game is constantly changing. And the arrival of surprise visitors from Temarin just might tip the scales in the princesses’ favor . . . if they manage to avoid meeting their sister’s fate before they can make their next move.
10. Time’s Orphan by Hayley Reese Chow
Series: Odriel’s Heirs #3
Publication Date: Feb. 8, 2023
Synopsis: Speak of pain, and I’ll tell you of the Time who stole it away…
Besieged by war, ravaged by monsters, and crawling with the undead, the land of Okarria is dying. Seventeen-year-old Emara survives by using her modest healing gift to save as many as she can while eluding the invaders who thirst for her enchanted blood.
So when a cursed cat saves her life and reveals Emara is the legendary Time Heir the necromancer king’s been searching for, she agrees to act as bait in a plot to destroy him. But when the plan goes horrifically awry, Emara must discover how deep her powers go, what she can change…
And what she cannot.
Unfortunately, Time Heirs have a history of getting killed, and with Okarria’s future on the line, Emara may have no choice but to follow in her ancestors’ footsteps.
Have you read any of these? What are your favorite fantasy reads so far this year? Comment below!