The best books for surviving the Faerie Realm

Who am I?

Author. Artist. Teacher. Faerie Changeling. My fascination with all things relating to the fantasy realms started as early as I can remember. I’ve studied in depth the lore and mythos of faeries, witches, elves, and vampires. There’s something so compelling about them, so it made sense I would grow up reading and writing about them. Now, as a full-time author, it remains my favorite subject to explore. The parallels between the world we see and the world of the unseen are enchanting. There is, after all, more to heaven and earth than meets the eye… and it’s in those unseen spaces in between that I find myself most at home.


I wrote...

Fire and Ice

By Michele Barrow-Belisle,

Book cover of Fire and Ice

What is my book about?

Born with the power to heal with a touch, eighteen-year-old Lorelei has spent most of her life oblivious of the Fey, and their dangerous bargains. Until Adrius storms into her life.

The stranger with a dangerous mystique, and eyes that peer into her soul, turns up everywhere and knows more about her than any newcomer should. Including the condition of her mother, who is suffering from a mysterious illness neither modern medicine nor Lorelei’s gifts can cure. Accepting his help to save her leads Lorelei into a thrilling world of Witches, Elves, and Fey. When crossing over might mean never coming back, can Lorelei find a way to save her mother? Or will one pivotal mistake put the fate of their world and her soul in jeopardy?

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of City of Bones

Michele Barrow-Belisle Why did I love this book?

Here’s a little-known fact about me… in my next life I’m coming back as a Shadow Hunter. Maybe even in this life, if I can find the time. That is how good these books are, and for me, it all started with City of Bones. While not entirely set in the Faerie Realm the skills you'll need to survive can be gleaned from the epic descriptions of the training the Shadow Hunters undergo. And if you want a series that goes on forever...something I personally enjoy when it's a series I love, then this book will get you hooked in and set up for many spellbinding hours to come!

By Cassandra Clare,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked City of Bones as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

Discover this first installment of the internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments series and “prepare to be hooked” (Entertainment Weekly).

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder -- much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing -- not even a smear of blood -- to show that a boy has died. Or was he…


Book cover of Wicked Lovely

Michele Barrow-Belisle Why did I love this book?

Dark and delicious. Two of the most apt words to describe this thrilling story. I adore the world Melissa created and the equally dark and delicious fae who populate it. There's a certain poetry between the characters, and I love how Aislinn learns to face her greatest fears, a skill that will serve anyone well when venturing into the dark and dangerous realm of the Fae. You'll be hooked into this story in no time because it grabs your interest from the very first page, a must for me to get invested in any story because I confess, I’m a little impatient that way. I also love the ink twist on it… and the side characters you’ll fall in love with, they will eventually all get their turn in the spotlight, which is the perfect reason to keep reading through the entire series… and to date, there are a lot of books waiting for you in their dark and delicious realm.

By Melissa Marr,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Wicked Lovely as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

The clash of ancient rules and modern expectations swirl together in this cool, urban 21st century faery tale.

Rule #3: Don't stare at invisible faeries.

Aislinn has always seen faeries. Powerful and dangerous, they walk hidden in the mortal world, and would blind her if they knew of her Sight.

Rule #2: Don't speak to invisible faeries.

Now faeries are stalking her. One of them, Keenan, who is equal parts terrifying and alluring, is trying to talk to her, asking questions Aislinn is afraid to answer.

Rule #1: Don't ever attract their attention.

But it's too late. Keenan is the…


Book cover of A Court of Thorns and Roses

Michele Barrow-Belisle Why did I love this book?

Okay, full confession, I think my adoration of this book stems from my deep and long seated love of the Beauty and the Beast trope that it's loosely based on. But don't let that fool you, this story is a deadly ride into a ruthless faerie realm and watching how Feyre, a strong main character to begin with, gains more courage and tenacity as she’s forced to face her intoxicating emotions and her darkest fears, while learning what she's capable of surviving and save those she cares about. And that's sure to be foremost in your thoughts, should you find yourself lost in the Faerie Realm. Survive or die... This book is heart-pounding and addicting, and will show you how to stay alive.

By Sarah J. Maas,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked A Court of Thorns and Roses as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 13, 14, 15, and 16.

What is this book about?

Experience Feyre Archeron's journey all over again with the beautiful collector's edition of A Court of Thorns and Roses, the seductive first book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series by Sarah J. Maas, featuring a deluxe new package, an updated map, ribbon pull, and more! When nineteen-year-old Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin-one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world. As she…


Book cover of The Darkest Part of the Forest

Michele Barrow-Belisle Why did I love this book?

Wow, it is nearly impossible to choose just one of my faves from Holly Black’s faerie stories. They are all amazing! Seriously…. Every. Last. One. But what grabbed me with this book was the way it started. This story has an eerie feel to it from the very first page. I love how Holly weaves reality into her fantasy and the way the Fae are already known and accepted in their world, but also feared (because hello, they’re Fae!). There's everything in this story, romance, adventure, and coming-of-age badassery, which again bodes well if you ever find yourself face to face with the Faire Folk.

By Holly Black,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Darkest Part of the Forest as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 13, 14, 15, and 16.

What is this book about?

Faeries. Knights. Princes. True love. Think you know how the story goes? Think again ... From the New York Times bestselling author of The Spiderwick Chronicles comes a dark, dangerous and utterly beautiful faerie tale, guaranteed to steal your heart.

Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries' seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once.

In the forest of Fairfold, lies a glass casket. Inside the casket lies a…


Book cover of The Shadows Between Us

Michele Barrow-Belisle Why did I love this book?

Omg, I adored this story...the lush settings, the diabolical heroine…and the dangerous Shadow King that Alessandra stalks, hunts, and falls for. She's ambitious to the extreme, just as ruthless as any Fae. And she refuses to let anything or anyone stop her (or hurt her...since, as she says, they never found the body of the first and only guy who broke her heart.) This girl knows how to take care of herself in any realm and can wiggle or poison her way out of any situation. I love the period it takes place in… the historical regency feel of the gowns, lavish balls, and banquets. And while not actually set in a faerie realm, the Shadow King for me definitely has the look, feel, and insidiousness of any faerie royal. This book is wickedly addicting and a must-read if you love a well-written anti-heroine.

By Tricia Levenseller,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Shadows Between Us as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

They still haven't found the body of the first and only boy who broke Alessandra's heart - and they never will. Since then, all of her relationships have been purely physical. And now at eighteen years old, Alessandra is ready for more. The plan is simple:

1. Make the king fall in love with her.
2. Get him to marry her.
3. Kill him and take his kingdom for herself.

It's no small task, but Alessandra wants a kingdom and is going to do everything within her power to get it. She knows the freshly crowned Shadow King will be…


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Off Season

By Randy Kraft,

Book cover of Off Season

Randy Kraft Author Of Off Season

New book alert!

Who am I?

Author Introspective Observant Bookish Friendly

Randy's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

When Sharon's ex-husband, Red, invites her to join him for a winter retreat, she agrees. After all, they've moved past what ails them, and they get on well. She will be on sabbatical fine-tuning a PhD dissertation, and he needs a respite from an illness. Why not enjoy the charms of a southern California beach town off-season?

Soothed by sea breezes, they become fascinated with their mysterious landlord and her late artist partner, Red is befriended by a flirty neighbor and her surfer husband, and Sharon shares her literary passions with a sexy retiree. When the winds of the pandemic blow, they have to confront their past within a daunting future.

Is off-season an opportunity for renewal or a glimpse of what might have been?

Off Season

By Randy Kraft,

What is this book about?

When Sharon's ex-husband, Red, invites her to join him for a winter retreat, she agrees. After all, they've moved past what ails them, she will be on sabbatical fine tuning a PhD dissertation, and he needs a respite from an illness. Why not enjoy the charms of a southern California beach town off season? On the other hand, what else might he have in mind and what will she face if she lets her guard down? Soothed by sea breezes and ocean views, they become fascinated with their mysterious landlord and her late partner, a Fauvist painter. Then, Red is…


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