Storm front book cover

Storm front

Jim Butcher


My name is Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden. Conjure by it at your own risk. I'm a wizard. I work out of an office in midtown Chicago. As far as I know, I'm the only openly practicing professional wizard in the country. You can find me in the yellow pages, under Wizards. Believe it or not, I'm the only one there. With rent past due and a decent meal becoming an issue of some importance, Harry needs work, and soon. A call from a distraught wife, and another from Lt. Murphy of the Chicago PD Special Investigation Unit makes Harry believe things are looking up, but they are about to get worse, much worse. Someone is harnessing immense supernatural forces to commit a series of grisly murders. Someone has violated the first law of magic: Thou Shalt Not Kill. Tracking that someone takes Harry into the dangerous underbelly of Chicago, from mobsters to vampires, while he himself is under suspicion of the crimes. One thing is certain, if he can't stop whoever is on this killing spree, Harry will be the next victim. Written by New York Times bestselling author Jim Butcher. Narrated by James Marsters (Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer).

Melody's picture

Jim Butcher's Dresden Files audiobooks are contemporary classics when it comes to hugely influential works in the Urban Fantasy genre. Every D&D gamer I know who has read this series sings its praises. I love the audiobooks because James Marsters performs them (you may remember him as Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer). He's so so so so good. I'm completely in love with his narration and dramatic interpretation of these books. A lot of people say to start with the 3rd book in this series (Grave Peril), but I enjoy them all. Ensemble cast of characters (my favorite setup) includes vampires, werewolves, gunslingers, fairies, and of course demons! You can count on the monster encounters in this series to be epic. -Melody

Bloodfever book cover


Karen Marie Moning

SCIENCE FICTION Moning, Karen Marie

In Dublin the walls are coming down between Man and Faery. That means that the Buffy-like services of MacKayla Lane-the 22-year-old Georgia-born sidhe-seer (or one who can see the Fae) and slayer are required. Mac is determined to kick the nasties back to faeryland and to avenge her sister Alina's murder by the Fae's dark Lord Master. She's also seeking the sinister Sinsar Dubh, a book of black magic. Jericho Barrons, Mac's enigmatic protector, is a purveyor of books and antiquities (and of course, is a major hunk). As Mac takes direction from Jericho, she must resist the sexy dangers of V'lane, a death-by-sex Fae, and learn about her true family of Irish sidhe-seers.

Melody's picture

I read the Karen Marie Moning's entire Fever series this summer despite having an ache in my heart about the foreshadowing that started happening by book 4. What thrilled me about this series was its fantastic twist on common fantasy themes. What would Buffy the Vampire Slayer look like if she were a fae hunter? What would that look like in a Lovecraftian Arkham Horror world with a supportive ensemble cast? I loved the bulk of the series despite the frequent and overt rape-like threats. -Melody

Pearl book cover


Molly Schaar Idle

Picture Books, Fantasy

When young Pearl, a mermaid, becomes caretaker of a single grain of sand, she discovers that performing even the smallest task well can transform the world.

Casey's picture

Added by Casey

A big mooncake for little star book cover

A big mooncake for little star

Grace Lin

jE Lin
Picture Books, Fantasy, Nature

Reimagines the cycles of the moon as a mother bakes a Big Moon Cookie and, despite Mama's request to wait, Little Star begins nibbling at it every night.

Casey's picture

A beautiful original folk tale--be sure to look out for nods to real constellations! -Casey

Snow Pony and the Seven Miniature Ponies book cover

Snow Pony and the Seven Miniature Ponies

Christian Trimmer

jE Trimmer
Picture Books, Fantasy, Humor, Classics, Animals

In this twist on the story of Snow White, pretty and sweet Snow Pony--beloved by children for her talent in braiding hair and dancing--follows a trail of delicious apples into the woods, where she meets seven miniature ponies.

Casey's picture

An enchantingly hilarious retelling of Snow White that stars, you guessed it, ponies!! What's not to love? -Casey

The Amulet of Samarkand book cover

The Amulet of Samarkand

Jonathan Stroud

Fantasy, Young Adult

Nathaniel, a magician's apprentice, summons up the djinni Bartimaeus and instructs him to steal the Amulet of Samarkand from the powerful magician Simon Lovelace.

Brent's picture

This trilogy is really good. More for older kids than the others in this list, but really good. I liked them enough to read the last one on my own. -Brent

Uprooted book cover


Naomi Novik


"Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life. Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood. The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows--everyone knows--that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn't, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her. But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose"--

Brian's picture

One of my favorite fantasy books! I love that it's a stand-alone story. -Brian

The blue sword book cover

The blue sword

Robin McKinley

Young Adult, Fantasy

Harry, bored with her sheltered life in the remote orange-growing colony of Daria, discovers magic in herself when she is kidnapped by a native king with mysterious powers.

Amanda's picture

Added by Amanda

Tess of the road book cover

Tess of the road

Rachel Hartman

Young Adult, Fantasy

In the medieval kingdom of Goredd, women are expected to be ladies, men are their protectors, and dragons can be whomever they choose. Tess speaks out of turn, has wild ideas, and can't seem to keep out of trouble. When Tess's family decides the only path for her is a nunnery, she chooses a different path for herself. She cuts her hair, pulls on her boots, and sets out on a journey. The open road is a map to somewhere else-- a life where she might belong.

Amanda's picture

A very complex, poignant, lovely book about mental illness, grief, and healing, all set in a fantastical world. -Amanda

Queen Victoria's book of spells book cover

Queen Victoria's book of spells

Fiction, Fantasy

""Gaslamp Fantasy," or historical fantasy set in a magical version of the nineteenth century, has long been popular with readers and writers alike. A number of wonderful fantasy novels, including Stardust by Neil Gaiman, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke, and The Prestige by Christopher Priest, owe their inspiration to works by nineteenth-century writers ranging from Jane Austen, the Brontë's, and George Meredith to Charles Dickens, Anthony Trollope, and William Morris. And, of course, the entire steampunk genre and subculture owes more than a little to literature inspired by this period. Queen Victoria's Book of Spells is an anthology for everyone who loves these works of neo-Victorian fiction, and wishes to explore the wide variety of ways that modern fantasists are using nineteenth-century settings, characters, and themes. These approaches stretch from steampunk fiction to the Austen-and-Trollope inspired works that some critics call Fantasy of Manners, all of which fit under the larger umbrella of Gaslamp Fantasy. The result is eighteen stories by experts from the fantasy, horror, mainstream, and young adult fields, including both bestselling writers and exciting new talents such as Elizabeth Bear, James Blaylock, Jeffrey Ford, Ellen Kushner, Tanith Lee, Gregory Maguire, Delia Sherman, and Catherynne M. Valente, who present a bewitching vision of a nineteenth century invested (or cursed!) with magic"--

Amanda's picture

This book of short stories was my first introduction to the world of Gaslamp Fantasy--historical fantasy set in a magical version of the 19th century--and I was immediately in love. The stories are all magnificent, well-written, and fun to read. -Amanda