The best fantasy books with characters you’ll love to love

Who am I?

I’m a bit of an introverted extrovert who has a love/ hate relationship with people. I’m lucky to have wonderful family and friends, but social media baffles me and makes me question the future of mankind. I still can’t look away though. A degree in history, a love of psychology, and being a writer definitely foster my people-watching obsession. This fascination extends to fictional characters. Plot twists and world building are fantastic, but it is cheering for a character that pulls me in and keeps me hooked. As I’m also a moody reader, I love to pick the right character story to suit my mood! 


I wrote...

Azimuth

By Rennie St. James,

Book cover of Azimuth

What is my book about?

Mia Rayner’s world is normal, even boring, with her 9-5 administrative job and slightly anti-social disposition. The Seer offers her a chance to change everything and become a warrior guardian. She tempts Mia with magic, dreams of future adventures, and even a family. It seems too good to be true…and then the Seer is murdered and Mia’s new world crumbles in a pool of blood. Can she still become a warrior guardian and protect a gifted child or will Mia become the next victim?

If gas prices are too high for you, join Mia on a contemporary fantasy road trip! You’ll get to visit multiple cities and have a mountain lion as a companion. Five books are available now for binge reading.

The books I picked & why

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Three Mages and a Margarita

By Annette Marie,

Book cover of Three Mages and a Margarita

Why this book?

The magical world reveal is a favorite trope of mine and Tori handles it with pluck and a ‘fake it ‘til you make it’ attitude. Things don’t always work out as she intends and she seems to always get into trouble, but she plows through it and I admire that. I also like that she isn’t an all-powerful chosen one. This one has a younger feel though not quite YA and the series includes a slow-burn romance. Despite the title, please note this isn’t a reverse harem situation. It is a delightfully easy read and, if you’re like me, you’ll move quickly to the next books in the series.


Six of Crows

By Leigh Bardugo,

Book cover of Six of Crows

Why this book?

I’ll preface this by saying I haven’t watched the Netflix version of this fantasy world (Shadow and Bone), but I hope Kaz is treated well there. I’m a planner who is obsessed with details and my family/ friends depend on (and mock) that. While Kaz is planning a heist/ revenge instead of a family vacation, I love that he is always thinking ahead. Others count on that even if he isn’t good at communicating those plans. He’s not just a smart guy, Kaz gets bonus points for being a bad boy too!


Warm Bodies

By Isaac Marion,

Book cover of Warm Bodies

Why this book?

Can’t we all relate to feeling a disconnect to the ‘real world’ in these times of rampant social media and fake news? I know I sometimes slip into zombie mode in my life so I could easily relate to R. Even as a zombie though, he feels wonderfully human as he tries to change his life and looks for a better way. I absolutely fell in love with him for that. You’ll definitely get Romeo and Juliet vibes too so expect some zombie romance too. The movie is fun—the book is better!


An Unexpected Brew

By J.E. Mueller,

Book cover of An Unexpected Brew

Why this book?

Fairy tale retellings are another favorite of mine and I enjoyed this one as a light, frothy fun read. Part of the reason it worked well was Arnessa. She makes a great Cinderella by working hard and dreaming of more. Yes, there are definitely some family issues and a cute guy too. It doesn’t hurt that you can order a shot of luck at the magical coffee shop! If you need a pick-me-up during darker times, give this sweet read a chance!


The Slaughtered Lamb Bookstore and Bar

By Seana Kelly,

Book cover of The Slaughtered Lamb Bookstore and Bar

Why this book?

Fair warning, this one may require a trigger warning for some readers. Sam has a traumatic past that happens ‘off the page,’ but she re-lives it in current nightmares. She also has a great journey of learning about herself and taking ownership of her life. Don’t let the damsel in distress start discourage youSam confronts her past, embraces her present, and kicks ass! She is also the owner of the supernatural bookstore and bar (which makes me so jealous)! There is a setup for romance further along the series, but it’s not a huge part of book 1.


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