The best urban fantasy books for humor, action, romance, and kick-ass world building

Who am I?

I’m a bit of an anomaly in the author world because I didn’t find my passion for reading until I was a newly married adult. My husband, who is the coolest geek ever, introduced me to the DragonLance Chronicles, opening my eyes to the wonder that is the fantasy genre and turning me into an insatiable reader. It’s taken more than ten years to craft my own urban fantasy world, outline my first 6-book series in the world, and write the first book, but none of that would have been possible without the urban fantasy trailblazers listed above. I hope you enjoy these books as much as I have! 


I wrote...

Pack of Secrets

By Amara Mae,

Book cover of Pack of Secrets

What is my book about?

Pack of Secrets is the story of an outcast thief with a fractured psyche, an omega shifter who can’t shift. Desperate to release her wolf and finally earn the respect of her pack, Grace steals a magical artifact from the hoard of an enraged guardian, kicking off a treacherous mission. To complicate matters further, her father is definitely keeping secrets, her best friend just made out with her, and a dragon is on her tail. Before the end, Grace will have to decide: Is unleashing her wolf worth risking everything?

The books I picked & why

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Blood Heir

By Ilona Andrews,

Book cover of Blood Heir

Why this book?

Ilona Andrews is a husband-and-wife team that writes realistic, diverse characters and edgy, complex storylines. From the unique, somewhat sci-fi Innkeeper Chronicles to the gritty post-shift world of the Kate Daniels series and the powerful families of the Hidden Legacy series, the Andrews team excels at next level world building, flawed, relatable characters, and I love every one of their books, but Blood Heir is my favorite because it has a strong grown-up street kid with a found family vibes and is a tension-filled slow burn romance, with a strong, intelligent, compassionate, witty female protagonist. 

Blood Heir

By Ilona Andrews,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From award-winning author, Ilona Andrews, an all-new novel set in the New York Times #1 bestselling Kate Daniels World and featuring Julie Lennart-Olsen, Kate and Curran's ward.

Atlanta was always a dangerous city. Now, as waves of magic and technology compete for supremacy, it’s a place caught in a slow apocalypse, where monsters spawn among the crumbling skyscrapers and supernatural factions struggle for power and survival.

Eight years ago, Julie Lennart left Atlanta to find out who she was. Now she’s back with a new face, a new magic, and a new name—Aurelia Ryder—drawn by the urgent need to protect…

Night Broken

By Patricia Briggs,

Book cover of Night Broken

Why this book?

Once upon a time, the gorgeous covers of the Mercy Thompson series caught my eye and tempted me to taste urban fantasy. The stories turned me into an insatiable glutton. Night Broken is the eighth book in the series, and the way it handles a relationship under stress from a manipulative ex who plays the victim is chef’s kiss perfection. No silly miscommunication tropes here, thank you very much. It’s a solid story about two shifters who are confident enough in their relationship and themselves to deal not only with ex and pack drama, but also a terrifying magical foe. Talk about relationship goals. 

Night Broken

By Patricia Briggs,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The eighth novel in the international No. 1 bestselling Mercy Thompson series - the major urban fantasy hit of the decade

'I love these books!' Charlaine Harris

'The best new fantasy series I've read in years' Kelley Armstrong

MERCY THOMPSON: MECHANIC, SHAPESHIFTER, FIGHTER

An unexpected phone call heralds a new challenge for Mercy. Her mate Adam's ex-wife is in trouble, on the run from her new boyfriend. Adam won't turn away a person in need, but with Christy holed up in Adam's house, Mercy can't shake the feeling that something isn't right.

Soon, Mercy learns that Christy has the farthest…


Turn Coat

By Jim Butcher,

Book cover of Turn Coat

Why this book?

No best of urban fantasy list would be complete without a shout-out to the Dresden Files. Although Harry Dresden can be a tad chauvinistic, he’s got a fantastic sense of humor and a solid moral code that leans toward self-sacrificing. Turn Coat is my favorite book in the series because it really showcases Harry’s “chaotic good” personality, which I’m all about. When the “lawful good” watchdog of the white council who’s always riding Harry’s back is framed for murder, of course, Harry puts himself on the line for the jerk. It’s a snarky, action-packed roller coaster ride, which is what I’m always looking for in a book escape. 

Turn Coat

By Jim Butcher,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Jim Butcher’s breakthrough #1 New York Times bestseller starring Chicago’s only professional wizard, Harry Dresden.

When it comes to the magical ruling body known as the White Council, Harry is thought of as either a black sheep or a sacrificial lamb. And none hold him in more disdain than Morgan, a veteran Warden with a grudge against anyone who bends the rules. But now, Morgan is in trouble. He’s been accused of cold-blooded murder—a crime with only one, final punishment.

He’s on the run, wanting his name cleared, and he needs someone with a knack for backing the underdog. So…

Magical Midlife Madness

By K.F. Breene,

Book cover of Magical Midlife Madness

Why this book?

I live for books that make me belly laugh, and this one had me rolling. A 40-year-old recently divorced woman who basically gets adopted by a magical house that gives her powers… yes please! What’s not to love? Creepy security dolls, the world’s worst gargoyle life coach, a collection of misfits, and a slow-burn romance with a werewolf shifter mean I will read this again and again. 

Magical Midlife Madness

By K.F. Breene,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Magical Midlife Madness as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Happily Ever After" wasn't supposed to come with a do-over option. But when my husband of twenty years packs up and heads for greener pastures and my son leaves for college, that's exactly what my life becomes.


Do-over.


This time, though, I plan to do things differently. Age is just a number, after all, and at forty I'm ready to carve my own path.


Eager for a fresh start, I make a somewhat unorthodox decision and move to a tiny town in the Sierra foothills. I'll be taking care of a centuries old house that called to me when I…


White Trash Warlock

By David R. Slayton,

Book cover of White Trash Warlock

Why this book?

Although White Trash Warlock has fantastic world building and a fresh, unique take on supernatural people and creatures, it was the feels in this book that did it for me. I love a wounded protagonist, and the way Adam fights to live life on his own terms while still helping the family that doesn’t support his sexuality or his magic tugs on all my heartstrings. 

White Trash Warlock

By David R. Slayton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked White Trash Warlock as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Finalist for the Colorado Book Award

Reading the West Book Award Nominee for Debut Fiction

“The complex world-building, well-shaded depictions of poverty, emotional nuance, and thrilling action sequences make this stand out. Slayton is sure to win plenty of fans.”--Publishers Weekly (starred review) on White Trash Warlock

Not all magicians go to schools of magic.

Adam Binder has the Sight. It’s a power that runs in his bloodline: the ability to see beyond this world and into another, a realm of magic populated by elves, gnomes, and spirits of every kind. But for much of Adam’s life, that power has…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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