The best books about changelings

7 authors have picked their favorite books about changelings and why they recommend each book.

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Changeling

By Molly Harper,

Book cover of Changeling

Also a YA/Teen historical fantasy story with magic. It reminds me of a little Harry Potter in girl version that I like. It is entertaining and refreshing. The 14-year-old Sarah Smith has a secret. That she's not a member of Guardians the noble magical class that now rules the world. But as one of the non-magical Snipes who possesses magic, her secret must be kept so that she—and her family—can survive. So she has to blend in with the magical class. And attend school for wealthy magical ladies.


Who am I?

I'm an archaeologist and addicted to reading and writing historical fictions. My first big love is history and I prefer Victorian Era. I’m interested in women’s lives and their habits and relationships in the old times. I was born and raised in Hungary, I’m often stay in London. I was working for years in museums in different cities while I was writing historical short stories and my first novel. School of Ladies – The Debutantes is a historical romance which has won an Audience Award in my country.


I wrote...

School of Ladies: The Debutantes

By Ennie Smith,

Book cover of School of Ladies: The Debutantes

What is my book about?

This is a story about six seventeen-year-old girls attending a charm school where they are preparing for the ball of their lives, as they try to find their perfect match in a true gentleman.

Six young ladies and a ball. The Coming Out ball where they can become princesses for an evening, and the charm school where they prepare for their big opportunity. A story about a seventeen-year-old girl, Emma Derkin, and five other young ladies. They all want the same thing - to find the perfect mate. It takes place a long time ago in the Victorian Era, when every girl grew up as a real lady.

Little Darlings

By Melanie Golding,

Book cover of Little Darlings

Less devils and more changeling babies, but the gothic feel of Golding’s novel makes it a must for this list. Lauren Tranter gives birth to twin boys in what, based on my personal experience, may be the worst hospital in the world. While there, a woman arrives to swap them, then disappears without a trace. Was Lauren hallucinating? The effects of postpartum depression and exhaustion make it tempting to explain away Lauren’s complaints, but that makes it no less terrifying. What happens when a mother believes that her babies are not hers? I listened to the audiobook of this title and there is a creepy voice used in one part that made me stop in my tracks and press rewind, just to listen again and indulge in the delicious horror. Highly recommended. 


Who am I?

I enjoy shadowy histories, both in my reading and writing. Having experienced anxiety and depression, I know very well the feeling of darkness entering my mind, consuming it, doling out spirals of negative thoughts. My fascination with devils is two-fold: would I have made a deal with a devil to release myself from those spirals? Or, could the spirals themselves be the devil, invading my mind? Reading books like these gives me a glimpse into dark psyches, which have helped me better understand and accept my own.


I wrote...

The Blood Confession

By Alisa M. Libby,

Book cover of The Blood Confession

What is my book about?

The only heir of a powerful Hungarian count, Erzebet Bizecka’s birth is marked by a prophecy that she will die young or live forever. Determined to survive despite the grim prediction, Erzebet becomes obsessed with preserving her youth and beauty. Only the enigmatic Sinestra understands Erzebet's mania, pulling her into a dark world of blood rituals. Luring her victims to her tower room, Erzebet is determined to thwart God's plan for her life and create her own. How far will she be willing to go to protect herself? A gothic horror exploring beauty and power, The Blood Confession is inspired by the legendary crimes of Erzebet Bathory, a seventeenth-century countess who believed that bathing in human blood would keep her forever beautiful.

The Changeling of Fenlen Forest

By Katherine Magyarody,

Book cover of The Changeling of Fenlen Forest

A herd of wild unicorns, a gloomy forest, a changeling, and magicThe Changeling of Fenlen Forest is a perfect choice for a cozy day of reading. The book opens with Elizabeth as she searches for her lost unicorn fawn. But her search takes her to a strange land where Elizabeth resembles a missing girl. So much so, that the town’s people think she’s a changeling—and dangerous. Elizabeth, with the help of a handsome shepherd, searches for the answer behind the missing girl. But is she prepared for the secrets her search will uncover? The Changeling of Fenlen Forest is a journey into loss and identity, and it’s the perfect read for days when readers want to inhabit a mysterious new world that’s full of intrigue.


Who am I?

I grew up in the 1980s when there wasn’t consideration for representation or diversity in literature or media. If I wanted to read about a Girl of Color, inevitably, she was a slave. If I wanted to watch a TV show featuring women (of any color), they were inevitably rescued in the climactic moment by a man. As such, I grew into a reader who loves kickbutt girls of all stripes. Give me a chance to cheer on a female who’s looking for her happy ending and not about to let the world dictate how she finds that happiness (and with whom), and boy, you got me!


I wrote...

The Signs and Wonders of Tuna Rashad

By Natasha Deen,

Book cover of The Signs and Wonders of Tuna Rashad

What is my book about?

No matter what her older brother, Robby, says, aspiring screenwriter Tuna Rashad is not “stupidstitious.” She is, however, cool with her Caribbean heritage, meaning she's always on the lookout for messages from loved ones who have passed on. But ever since Robby became a widower, all he does is hang out at the house, mock Tuna for following in their ancestors’ traditions, and meddle in her life.

Tuna needs to break free from her brother’s loving but over-bearing ways and get him a life (or at least, get him out of hers!). Based on the signs, her ancestors are on board. They also seem to be on board with helping Tuna win over her crush, Tristan Dangerfield. The only hiccup? She has to do it before leaving for college in the fall. 

Bayou Moon

By Ilona Andrews,

Book cover of Bayou Moon

It's hard to go wrong with any book by this husband and wife team, who fill every book with mystery, adventure, and heart. But Bayou Moon is definitely the best bet for fans of werewolves. Plus, the Edge is an intriguing world where characters shop at Walmart one day then battle magic the next. To ice the cake, the series is easy to dip into since there's a different set of main characters and storylines in each book. Give it a try, and if this isn't your favorite check out the feline shifter world of Magic Bites.


Who am I?

I write and read werewolf novels because I love the blend of human and animal. Alphas make the existing dominance struggles of humans more palpable. Packs contain the best and worst parts of found families. Mate bonds are romance turned to maximum. And, as someone who prefers to be outside and barefoot whenever possible, running through the forest in wolf form is the perfect fantasy break.


I wrote...

Wolf's Bane

By Aimee Easterling,

Book cover of Wolf's Bane

What is my book about?

I’m Mai Fairchild – fox shifter, sister’s keeper, and bane of the local werewolf pack. In a world where different is dangerous, my sister and I must pretend to be human at all costs. Too bad I just lost the job that lets me live under the radar while putting food on my sister's plate.

Trylle

By Amanda Hocking,

Book cover of Trylle: The Complete Trilogy: Switched, Torn, and Ascend

Trylle is the story of a girl caught between realms. She discovers the mystery of her birthright and her mother's hatred of her. She is forced into an unknown future clinging to a traumatic childhood and faces dangers at every turn. 

This book fed my soul and took me along with Wendy into realms unknown. Wendys inner dialouge and determination reminded me of myself and I related to her in magical ways.


Who am I?

My love of realms and fantastic imagination comes from growing up in the backwoods of Alabama. The woods inspired me and beckoned me to dance and build and imagine among the trees. I created characters and worlds and could be a witch, a fairy, a troll, or a girl lost in time. I owe my love of creating characters to the woods that built me and one day I will go back and thank them for the beautiful life they gave me.


I wrote...

The Quest: Forest of Realms

By Shelby King, Crunchy Tubie Mama,

Book cover of The Quest: Forest of Realms

What is my book about?

Zia's people have been enslaved. The princess watched helplessly when giant creatures emerged from outside the city to control her kingdom. But when she finds a map that could guide her through the Forest of Realms, she dashes into the woods in search of answers…

As she treads deeper into the darkness, she must decide who to trust in a magical, unfamiliar world. Unable to tell friend from foe, the royal girl must collect the pieces of a powerful artifact to have any chance of survival. Will Zia reveal the truth of the past and free her people before something sinister stops her quest for good?

The Stolen Child

By Keith Donohue,

Book cover of The Stolen Child

The publishers describe this as “a bedtime story for adults.” Like the best bedtime stories, this novel straddles the lines between comforting, unsettling, and thought-provoking. Inspired by the poem of the same name, by William Butler Yeats, it tells the story of a child, stolen at the age of seven by a group of wild, childlike creatures. He is turned into one of them, and In his place, they leave one of their own. The two changelings grow up in parallel and the setting alternates between small town America in the mid-20th century and a strange community of creatures who may soon be nothing more than a story. 


Who am I?

Since I was a child, I’ve loved stories of people who live, unseen, among or close to us. I prefer the spelling “Faerie.” Fairies are pretty, butterfly-like creatures that fly around gardens. “Faeries” suggest, to my mind, the word “fear.” They can be both benevolent and malevolent, but are primarily other. In my novel, Beautiful, and the follow up that’s in progress, faeries feature as characters both in their own realm and ours. They can cause a lot of trouble for humans, but also be well-intentioned. These books feature faeries that play similarly ambiguous roles. 


I wrote...

Beautiful: A Tale of Beauties and Beasts

By Fran Laniado,

Book cover of Beautiful: A Tale of Beauties and Beasts

What is my book about?

Eimear is a Faerie. She finds herself in the World, a strange place, where she is the only magical being, and she begins to build a life for herself. But when she encounters Finn, supernaturally beautiful but thoughtless and selfish, she gets angry. In a fit of rage, she casts a spell on Finn. It’s a spell that she can’t undo, even when she discovers that she’s ruined Finn’s life.

In an isolated place, thrown together initially out of desperation and need, Eimear and Finn find a way to live together. That alliance eventually blossoms into more. But before they can have a future, Eimear must make a perilous journey that will force her to confront everything she ran away from when she left Faerie.

The Iron Dragon's Daughter

By Michael Swanwick,

Book cover of The Iron Dragon's Daughter

I’m a sucker for fantasy blended with industrial strife. In Michael Swanwick’s Jane, we see a character trapped in an industrialized fairy-world, forced to work in a factory building bio-mechanical dragons. The Iron Dragon’s Daughter blends biting social commentary with a thoughtful coming-of-age narrative, resulting in a powerful story that’s accumulated a stack of award wins and nominations. 


Who am I?

Full disclosure: I am a fantasy world nerd! I treasure my visits to these imaginary places, and I love imagining how the world goes on after the last page. I’ve spent hours pondering what would happen in Narnia after the invention of the internal combustion engine, or in Middle Earth when populations reach levels requiring building codes and infrastructure planning. (I told you I was a nerd!) Advancing fantasy technologies creates new problems, new solutions, and new parallels to our own time. The books on this list redefine our assumptions of what a fantasy world is, and what stories they have to share.


I wrote...

Titanshade

By Dan Stout,

Book cover of Titanshade

What is my book about?

Carter's a homicide cop in Titanshade, an oil boomtown where 8-tracks are state of the art, disco rules the radio, and all the best sorcerers wear designer labels. It's also a metropolis teetering on the edge of disaster. As its oil reserves run dry, the city's future hangs on a possible investment from the reclusive amphibians known as Squibs.

But now negotiations have been derailed by the horrific murder of a Squib diplomat. The pressure's never been higher to make a quick arrest, even as Carter's investigation leads him into conflict with the city's elite. Undermined by corrupt coworkers and falsified evidence, and with a suspect list that includes power-hungry politicians, oil magnates, and mad scientists, Carter must find the killer before the investigation turns into a witch-hunt and those closest to him pay the ultimate price on the filthy streets of Titanshade.

Valentine

By Jodi McAlister,

Book cover of Valentine

Valentine is the first in a three-book urban fantasy series, and I’ll be honest: Pearl, the heroine, annoyed me at times. That doesn’t make her a bad character. Quite the opposite. Author Jodi McAlister gives her heroine room to grow over the course of the trilogy and I really enjoyed watching Pearl’s character develop and mature. She has a lot to cope with when the Unseelie comes looking for the fairy changeling that was swapped for a human at birth. Is it Pearl? Or one of the three others in her group that share the same birthday? I loved the way Pearl’s teenage suburban life contrasts with the terrifying and unpredictable Unseelie. It makes the menacing evil within the book all too real. I read it with one eye on my garden in case of invading evil faeries!


Who am I?

I love young adult fiction. I especially love it when female characters face their fears and fight for what’s right. And if they’re not afraid to run headfirst into a battle, even better. I think it’s incredibly important for young women to have access to books that break free of female stereotypes. None of the heroines in these books are waiting for someone to save them. They’re in the thick of it, confronting their demons, and maybe slaying a few, too! My PhD explored power and belonging in YA fiction, and I’ve written and presented on the importance of strong female characters. Here’s to girl power!


I wrote...

Dirt Circus League

By Maree Kimberley,

Book cover of Dirt Circus League

What is my book about?

Dirt Circus League is a compelling and fast-paced novel about the powerful allure of danger.

Asa’s running from a troubled past. To a remote outback town, a disappointing father, and a fresh start that’s already souring. But then the notorious Dirt Circus League arrives. A troupe of outcast teens performing spectacular fight sequences and challenging any who dares to take part. They’re ruthless. Menacing. Thrilling. And led by the magnetic Quarter. He’s dark, powerful, and intensely attractive—and he faces a threat only Asa can see. Will Asa be drawn into the league’s mysterious community? And, as she discovers the violent secrets at its heart, will she delve into her own untapped abilities to save herself—and heal those caught in its evil web?

Slave to Sensation

By Nalini Singh,

Book cover of Slave to Sensation

Slave to Sensation is perfect for shifter lovers who’d also like to be introduced to a fascinating and extremely powerful species. The Psi are humans who’ve evolved into creatures able to use their minds in amazing but also frightening ways. Always well written with plenty of action, yummy romance, and strong female characters. The world building is fabulous and each book in the main series and the spin-off series is wonderful.

Ms. Singh teaches me to write with abundant heart. Her books have often made me cry in a good way. She is truly an inspiration to me, and I’ve been fortunate enough to meet and chat with her about writing romance novels.


Who am I?

I’ve loved the vampire mythos since I was a young teen, reading and watching everything I could, then devising my own stories surrounding the characters in those worlds. As an avid adult reader and audiobook listener of paranormal romance and fantasy, writing novels set in similar worlds concerning shifters and vampires and other species seemed to come naturally. I love to create dangerous and detailed worlds, then force my characters to survive in them, all while falling in love. Being able to share my stories is an amazing gift and I thank my muse on a daily basis. Because I’m an audiobook fan, my series is also on audio.


I wrote...

Rebirth: Rogues Shifter Series Book One

By Gayle Parness,

Book cover of Rebirth: Rogues Shifter Series Book One

What is my book about?

My senses are sharp, my body is sleek, and my speed is turbo-powered. I’m a shifter. A creature I didn’t know existed until a few days ago. I have two forms but my mind is mine, my human half growing stronger as my animal learns to run free. Ley line energy fuels my spirit along with my magic and I’ve never felt so empowered.

Garrett, my vampire trainer, has placed me with a group of rogues, young shifters who, like me, never fit in. Danger roams this realm, but Garrett is teaching me to fight, to use my magic to protect the vulnerable. To be all that I was meant to be. The work is hard, but I won’t let down my new team. I can do this. We can do this.

The Changeling

By Victor LaValle,

Book cover of The Changeling

The setting is New York, and the central character, Apollo, is a young man with a Ghanaian mother and a white, ex-cop, father. Apollo spends his time searching for rare books. On the day of his greatest find, his wife attacks him and kills their son, or so it seems. But the story is far more complex.

The central themes are masculinity and the changing nature of fatherhood. It also looks at motherhood, childbirth, love, and paranoia, while dealing with cyber-stalking, immigration, witches, wishes, revenge, and trolls (both kinds). It is a deeply human tale about what can go wrong psychologically and emotionally when a couple becomes parents.

Tradition and high-tech-modernity mesh seamlessly in the story, bridging the mundane and the magical.


Who am I?

I'm an anarcho-feminist who has a special interest in magic; I consider it my guilty pleasure. I write dark and gritty stories that delve into gender, trauma, and mental illness, yet discover hope and freedom in the pit of darkness. I'm best known as a horror writer, but it’s more accurate to say that I create dark-fantasy and speculative fiction. My themes reflect the darkness which feels ubiquitous in the world, especially now in this age of extremes and pandemics, but I always search for the glimmer of light, the flame of hope that we can make a better future. I've always been fascinated by the Goth aesthetic and enchanted by post-punk threnodies.


I wrote...

Starblood: The Graphic Novel

By Carmilla Voiez,

Book cover of Starblood: The Graphic Novel

What is my book about?

Satori, an arrogant yet alluring Chaos Magician, is heartbroken when Star tells him it is over. He performs a magical ritual to win her back, but accidentally brings Lilith, Mother of Demons, to Earth. How can Satori survive the demon’s wrath and reclaim the heart of his beloved?

Beautiful and vulnerable, Star has yet to discover her own power and strength. When she falls in love with the enchanting Lilith, her world descends into madness and violence. Satori’s strange world threatened her sanity, what then of Lilith’s? A sensuous story, full of dark fantasy and horror, that offers readers a glimpse into the seedier side of the Gothic subculture in Britain.

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