Feature: Cozy Fantasy Book Recs
Wow just wow! Cozy Fantasy has taken off this year and I am definitely someone who really enjoys that warmth and chill vibes of some cozy fantasy. So I thought, maybe I should share some of my more recent favs and a few of the big list of recs that my friends gave me after insisting I read a book that is definitely on my favorite reads of the year!
Some autumnal vibes are just chill and not being scared by every book you read, now I love me a scary book, don’t get me wrong, but it is nice to have something else to cut through the boos! Cozy Fantasy is usually low stakes, or just not too much life or death action. I don’t know, it’s almost all about the vibes for me…
All of these recs are adult books, and yes, I know we usually tend to give you all the YA, but today, in an amazing feat, all the books listed are from adult imprints – which doesn’t mean they are explicit – do you even know me? lol
Read & Loved
These are a few of the cozy fantasy books I read this year and absolutely loved and recommend for anyone who wants to curl up on their couch with a fuzzy blanket, maybe a warm beverage of choice, and a damn good book. All 3 of these are 5 star reads for me and I hope you enjoy them too!
Assistant to the Villain (Assistant to the Villain, #1)by Hannah Nicole Maehrer
Published by: Entangled Publishing: Red Tower Books
on September 5, 2023
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Once Upon a Time meets The Office in Hannah Maehrer’s laugh-out-loud viral TikTok series turned novel, about the sunshine assistant to an Evil Villain…and their unexpected romance.
ASSISTANT WANTED: Notorious, high-ranking villain seeks loyal, levelheaded assistant for unspecified office duties, supporting staff for random mayhem, terror, and other Dark Things In General. Discretion a must. Excellent benefits.
With ailing family to support, Evie Sage's employment status isn't just important, it's vital. So when a mishap with Rennedawn’s most infamous Villain results in a job offer—naturally, she says yes. No job is perfect, of course, but even less so when you develop a teeny crush on your terrifying, temperamental, and undeniably hot boss. Don’t find evil so attractive, Evie.
But just when she’s getting used to severed heads suspended from the ceiling and the odd squish of an errant eyeball beneath her heel, Evie suspects this dungeon has a huge rat…and not just the literal kind. Because something rotten is growing in the kingdom of Rennedawn, and someone wants to take the Villain—and his entire nefarious empire—out.
Now Evie must not only resist drooling over her boss but also figure out exactly who is sabotaging his work…and ensure he makes them pay.
After all, a good job is hard to find.
Assistant to the Villain is the first in a series, and is the coziest of fantasy, this one is considered adult, but as of now, not many adult themes, other than serious yearning! I can totally see the heat level increasing for book 2, and maybe even the stakes get a bit higher in book 2, but seriously it’s sometimes just all about the vibes, and the vibes said warm hug to me. Everything about this book was perfect for me, and gave me such a book hangover! Book 2 is a whole year away…and that is sad for me. UGH the wait!
Bookshops & Bonedust (Legends & Lattes, #0)by Travis Baldree
Published by: Tor Books
on November 7, 2023
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, LGBTQIA+
When an injury throws a young, battle-hungry orc off her chosen path, she may find that what we need isn't always what we seek.
In Bookshops & Bonedust, a prequel to Legends & Lattes, New York Times bestselling author Travis Baldree takes us on a journey of high fantasy, first loves, and second-hand books.
Viv's career with the notorious mercenary company Rackam's Ravens isn't going as planned.
Wounded during the hunt for a powerful necromancer, she's packed off against her will to recuperate in the sleepy beach town of Murk—so far from the action that she worries she'll never be able to return to it.
What's a thwarted soldier of fortune to do?
Spending her hours at a beleaguered bookshop in the company of its foul-mouthed proprietor is the last thing Viv would have predicted, but it may be both exactly what she needs and the seed of changes she couldn't possibly imagine.
Still, adventure isn't all that far away. A suspicious traveler in gray, a gnome with a chip on her shoulder, a summer fling, and an improbable number of skeletons prove Murk to be more eventful than Viv could have ever expected.
Bookshops & Bonedust this newest companion in the wonderfully cozy world Travis has dreamed up, is technically a prequel, but if you are like me you already devoured the smash hit Legends & Lattes, so reading the prequel second, is just how it goes, and it was just as cozy, and you can totally see how Viv ended up where she did a few years later. Both books are not to be missed for the sweet love of coffee and warm cakes! Plus Travis narrates the audiobooks, and damn some people have too many talents (jk!)! Absolute gem of a series, and I really hope there is more to come!
The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witchesby Sangu Mandanna
Published by: Berkley Books
on August 23, 2022
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
A warm and uplifting novel about an isolated witch whose opportunity to embrace a quirky new family--and a new love--changes the course of her life.
As one of the few witches in Britain, Mika Moon knows she has to hide her magic, keep her head down, and stay away from other witches so their powers don't mingle and draw attention. And as an orphan who lost her parents at a young age and was raised by strangers, she's used to being alone and she follows the rules...with one exception: an online account, where she posts videos pretending to be a witch. She thinks no one will take it seriously.
But someone does. An unexpected message arrives, begging her to travel to the remote and mysterious Nowhere House to teach three young witches how to control their magic. It breaks all of the rules, but Mika goes anyway, and is immediately tangled up in the lives and secrets of not only her three charges, but also an absent archaeologist, a retired actor, two long-suffering caretakers, and...Jamie. The handsome and prickly librarian of Nowhere House would do anything to protect the children, and as far as he's concerned, a stranger like Mika is a threat. An irritatingly appealing threat.
As Mika begins to find her place at Nowhere House, the thought of belonging somewhere begins to feel like a real possibility. But magic isn't the only danger in the world, and when a threat comes knocking at their door, Mika will need to decide whether to risk everything to protect a found family she didn't know she was looking for....
The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches was just so damn lovely. Quirky, cozy, and strong cottagecore vibes. There is magic, mystery, and profound comfort within the pages that do deal with some strong themes of abandonment and emotional trauma. Plus we have the favorite tropes of found family and grumpy/sunshine lovers! Also the best dog and pet fish…and just did I mention it’s quite enchanting read? I dare you to not fall in love with this book.
My friends have recommended these titles to me, and they assure me – they have the cozy vibes I am looking for, now I haven’t read them yet, so again these are just suggestions in case you need more cozy in your life than what I have personally read, as I said, I don’t read as much adult fantasy as my friends do.
Emily Wilde's Encyclopaedia of Faeries (Emily Wilde, #1)by Heather Fawcett
Published by: Del Rey Books
on January 10, 2023
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Mythology
A curmudgeonly professor journeys to a small town in the far north to study faerie folklore and discovers dark fae magic, friendship, and love in the start of a heartwarming and enchanting new fantasy series.
Cambridge professor Emily Wilde is good at many things: She is the foremost expert on the study of faeries. She is a genius scholar and a meticulous researcher who is writing the world's first encyclopaedia of faerie lore. But Emily Wilde is not good at people. She could never make small talk at a party--or even get invited to one. And she prefers the company of her books, her dog, and the Fair Folk.
So when she arrives in the hardscrabble village of Hrafnsvik, Emily has no intention of befriending the gruff townsfolk. Nor does she care to spend time with another new arrival: her dashing and insufferably handsome academic rival Wendell Bambleby, who manages to charm the townsfolk, get in the middle of Emily's research, and utterly confound and frustrate her.
But as Emily gets closer and closer to uncovering the secrets of the Hidden Ones--the most elusive of all faeries--lurking in the shadowy forest outside the town, she also finds herself on the trail of another mystery: Who is Wendell Bambleby, and what does he really want? To find the answer, she'll have to unlock the greatest mystery of all--her own heart.
Half a Soul (Regency Faerie Tales, #1)by Olivia Atwater
Published by: Orbit
on June 28, 2022
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance
It's difficult to find a husband in Regency England when you're a young lady with only half a soul.
Ever since she was cursed by a faerie, Theodora Ettings has had no sense of fear or embarrassment - a condition which makes her prone to accidental scandal. Dora hopes to be a quiet, sensible wallflower during the London Season - but when the strange, handsome and utterly uncouth Lord Sorcier discovers her condition, she is instead drawn into dangerous and peculiar faerie affairs.
If Dora's reputation can survive both her curse and her sudden connection with the least-liked man in all of high society, then she may yet reclaim her normal place in the world. . . but the longer Dora spends with Elias Wilder, the more she begins to suspect that one may indeed fall in love, even with only half a soul.
Bridgerton meets Howl's Moving Castle in this enchanting historical fantasy, where the only thing more meddlesome than faeries is a marriage-minded mother.
Pick up HALF A SOUL, and be stolen away into Olivia Atwater's charming, magical version of Regency England!
A Psalm for the Wild-Built (Monk & Robot, #1)by Becky Chambers
Published by: Tor.com Tom Doherty Assoc.
on July 13, 2021
Genres: Adult, Dystopian, Sci-Fi
Winner of the Hugo Award!
In A Psalm for the Wild-Built, bestselling Becky Chambers's delightful new Monk and Robot series, gives us hope for the future.
It's been centuries since the robots of Panga gained self-awareness and laid down their tools; centuries since they wandered, en masse, into the wilderness, never to be seen again; centuries since they faded into myth and urban legend.
One day, the life of a tea monk is upended by the arrival of a robot, there to honor the old promise of checking in. The robot cannot go back until the question of "what do people need?" is answered.
But the answer to that question depends on who you ask, and how.
They're going to need to ask it a lot.
Becky Chambers's new series asks: in a world where people have what they want, does having more matter?
Have a good cozy book to recommend? Please leave the title and author’s name in the comments!