The best creative magical realms in fantasy books

The Books I Picked & Why

Coraline

By Neil Gaiman

Coraline

Why this book?

Coraline is perhaps one of the most well-known of these types of books. When Coraline moves into a new house and finds a secret door, she gains access to another Realm where all her dreams come true. But as the saying says, nothing gold can stay. This is a favorite of mine because it serves as a haunting reminder of the phrase “be careful what you wish for.”


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Struck

By Rachel Langley

Struck

Why this book?

This story was interesting in the way that the author had two main characters who were twins with widely different roles. With one taking the role of the chosen one and the other being in a place to save her, this was an intense rollercoaster ride from beginning to end. Not to mention the worldbuilding, traveling through lightning, was a very unique idea that amped up the suspense. 


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Ember Burning: Book 1 Trinity Forest

By Jennifer N. Alsever

Ember Burning: Book 1 Trinity Forest

Why this book?

After Ember loses her grandmother, she finds herself retreating from the Real World and going into the woods. They’re no ordinary woods though. They’re a portal to another world. One where Ember isn’t lonely. The only catch? She can never return to her real life. This book I felt had a lot of good metaphors for depression and grief mixed with the fantasy elements to give it both a powerful message and an entertaining feeling.


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The Cruel Prince

By Holly Black

The Cruel Prince

Why this book?

From the moment the story starts, we are whisked into the fantasy realm of fairies on a wave of blood and fear. Growing with the characters and seeing this world through their eyes, feeling the struggle of being mortal in a world of otherworldly beings, was super compelling. I personally related to the strong main character and found myself rooting for her until the end. 


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Grey: The Covenant of Shadows

By Kade Cook

Grey: The Covenant of Shadows

Why this book?

In Grey, Gabrian doesn’t believe in magic. She’s a psychologist, and proud to be one. She bases her life on logic, but when things start to happen that she can’t explain, she finds herself in a whirlwind of magic. The way that Gabrian slowly comes to the truth is probably my favorite part of this book. As a Borrower, she’s considered not just a magical being, but a dangerous one. At first, she doesn’t handle this well and takes on the role of an anti-hero, nearly villain which was an interesting way to not only build Gabrian’s character but to introduce the truth of the magical world as well.


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