The best fantasy books that pull you right in from the start

Why am I passionate about this?

Anything involving an adventure with lovable characters is my cup of tea when it comes to books. I love all different kinds and will read books for children as well as huge worlds of epic complications. But while a complex novel can be just as great as any other, sometimes it’s hard to get started. Some unique worlds or characters have so much backstory you need to understand before embarking on the quest. It can ask for too much investment. Make me fall in love quickly. Leave me asking questions. Engage my senses, and I will find myself within the pages, unable to let go. 


I wrote...

A Rokian's Curse

By Krista Jain,

Book cover of A Rokian's Curse

What is my book about?

A Mysterious Elf, an Ancient History, and a Curse with a Deadline.  

Blair Tripps has many questions after Queriven, a charming but mysterious outsider, leaves her with a curse. She knows she only has a year before it claims her, so she leaves home in hopes of finding out what it does and how to break it. Her quest raises many more questions in her mind, the most important landing on the stranger. Why does Queriven continue to follow her and why does he seem ignorant of what he did to her? Does he truly want to help her, or is this another part of his plan to destroy her? Only time will tell, but by then it may be too late. 

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Howl's Moving Castle

Krista Jain Why did I love this book?

If you are a fan of Studio Ghibli’s Howl’s Moving Castle like I am, you owe it to yourself to read the book. It’s just as lovely and magical as the film is. They captured the characters from the book so perfectly. Even the author is a fan of the movie! Sophie stands out with her sense of humor and self-awareness, and Howl is just as mysterious, charming, and the big drama queen he ever was.  

Magic is everywhere in this world and Sophie finds herself leaping right in the middle of it with every step she takes. It’s hard not to be infatuated with all the curses and strange spells that not only take place in this world but are quite normalized in everyday life. 

By Diana Wynne Jones,

Why should I read it?

18 authors picked Howl's Moving Castle as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

Now an animated movie from Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki, the oscar-winning director of Spirited Away

In this beloved modern classic, young Sophie Hatter from the land of Ingary catches the unwelcome attention of the Witch of the Waste and is put under a spell...

Deciding she has nothing more to lose, Sophie makes her way to the moving castle that hovers on the hills above her town, Market Chipping. But the castle belongs to the dreaded Wizard Howl, whose appetite, they say, is satisfied only by the souls of young girls...

There Sophie meets Michael, Howl's apprentice, and Calcifer…


Book cover of The Stowaway

Krista Jain Why did I love this book?

I was a teenager when I read the Stone of Tymora trilogy, and I remember the agonizing wait between book releases. This is a must-read for those looking for an adventure with pirates! This adventure somewhat runs along the events of another series based on R.A. Salvatore’s Drizzt Do’urden books. Sometimes those characters slip in, but our main character, Maimun, has his own journey.  

Despite being in the same universe, this trilogy is less complex to follow than the hefty lore across Drizzt’s books, but the mystery behind the stone in the title our hero has at the beginning will have you glued in your seat waiting for answers.  

By R. A. Salvatore, Geno Salvatore,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Stowaway as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the author of more than a dozen New York Times bestsellers comes the first installment in a thrilling fantasy trilogy written for young readers

Barely a teen and already guarding a secret that could jeopardize his young life, Maimun is marked for death. With the help of a mysterious stranger, the boy escapes his village and flees out to sea, stowing away on the pirate hunting ship, Sea Sprite, where he comes across a most unlikely ally: the dark elf Drizzt Do'Urden. With a half-demon determined to destroy him, and a crew of sailors resentful of the trouble he's…


Book cover of The Night Circus

Krista Jain Why did I love this book?

Morgenstern’s story pulls you in quite literally as it starts in 2nd person. This may be a turnoff for some, but she does it perfectly. Your visit to the Circus in the title only shows up between parts of the story, but it is relevant in the end. I originally read this as a sample and her 2nd person scenes were the first things that made me buy it.   

I swore I felt the chill of a late autumn breeze and smelled the caramel apples and popcorn as I headed into the circus. As you learn about the magical experiences within the circus tents, it is hard not to pick a favorite among them. You know, just in case you have the chance to see it for real.  

By Erin Morgenstern,

Why should I read it?

18 authors picked The Night Circus as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE TIKTOK SENSATION

Rediscover the million-copy bestselling fantasy read with a different kind of magic, now in a stunning anniversary edition to mark 10 years since it's paperback debut.

The circus arrives without warning. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Against the grey sky the towering tents are striped black and white. A sign hanging upon an iron gates reads:

Opens at Nightfall
Closes at Dawn

Full of breath-taking amazements and open only at night, Le Cirque des Reves seems to cast a spell over all who wander its circular paths. But behind the glittering acrobats, fortune-tellers…


Book cover of The Hobbit

Krista Jain Why did I love this book?

This one may be an obvious choice for a list like this, but it’s really Tolkien’s unique writing voice that pulls me into the story, and it’s very different from how he wrote The Lord of the Rings. The Lord of the Rings is great, but it carries a lot of history and pages of worldbuilding. The Hobbit doesn’t rely on so much information and is bubbling with fun characters and a love for adventure.   

It really has that feeling that Tolkien came up with the story to tell his children. As such, it’s the perfect, passionate beginning to pull children and adults alike into Bilbo Baggin’s journey. 

By J.R.R. Tolkien,

Why should I read it?

45 authors picked The Hobbit as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Special collector's film tie-in hardback of the best-selling classic, featuring the complete story with a sumptuous cover design inspired by THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY and brand new reproductions of all the drawings and maps by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely travelling further than the pantry of his hobbit-hole in Bag End.

But his contentment is disturbed when the wizard, Gandalf, and a company of thirteen dwarves arrive on his doorstep one day to whisk him away on an unexpected journey 'there and back again'. They have a plot to raid…


Book cover of The Last Unicorn

Krista Jain Why did I love this book?

This one is a literary classic to me. The characters are some of the quirkiest you would ever meet. The lovely streams and fields they pass by are often interrupted by some dark moments and weird encounters threatening to bring their journey to a stop. Don’t let the unicorn on the cover make you think this is for little kids. This is a tale about love, discovery, and growing through tough experiences.  

The fact that their destination is not the end of the journey brings me further into the story as we learn about the villain and the questionable choices of the town he took over. It sets the stage for an impactful ending that has me returning to relive it again. 

By Peter S. Beagle,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Last Unicorn as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

INCLUDES A NEW INTRODUCTION BY PATRICK ROTHFUSS

Experience one of the most enduring classics of the twentieth century and the book that The Atlantic has called “one of the best fantasy novels ever.”

The unicorn lived in a lilac wood, and she lived all alone...

...so she ventured out from the safety of the enchanted forest on a quest for others of her kind. Joined along the way by the bumbling magician Schmendrick and the indomitable Molly Grue, the unicorn learns all about the joys and sorrows of life and love before meeting her destiny in the castle of a…


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The Flower Queen: A 1970's Suspense Romance

By Kay Freeman,

Book cover of The Flower Queen: A 1970's Suspense Romance

Kay Freeman Author Of Hitman's Honey

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Retired art professor Tequila aficionado Weightlifter Owned by Standard Poodle Blues lover

Kay's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

It began with a dying husband, and it ended in a dynasty.

It took away her husband’s pain on his deathbed, kept her from losing the family farm, gave her the power to build a thriving business, but it’s illegal to grow in every state in the country in 1978.

It even brings her first love from high school back; the only problem is that he works for the FBI. Will their occupations implode their romance, or will the opposite happen?

A second chance at love, opposites attract, rags to riches heroine trope story.

The Flower Queen: A 1970's Suspense Romance

By Kay Freeman,

What is this book about?

It began with a dying husband and it ended in a dynasty.

It took away her husband’s pain on his deathbed, kept her from losing the family farm, gave her the power to build a thriving business, but it’s illegal to grow in every state in the country in 1978. It even brings her first love from high school back; the only problem he works for the FBI. Will their occupations implode their romance or will the opposite happen? A second chance at love, opposites attract , rags to riches heroine trope story.


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