YA/NA Celtic inspired Fantasy Books to Read for Saint Patrick’s Day

Looking for some books with Celtic inspired themes to read for Saint Patty’s? Check out these Fantasy titles!

 

  1. The Awakening (The Dragon Heart Legacy #1) by Nora Roberts

In the realm of Talamh, a teenage warrior named Keegan emerges from a lake holding a sword—representing both power and the terrifying responsibility to protect the Fey. In another realm known as Philadelphia, a young woman has just discovered she possesses a treasure of her own…

When Breen Kelly was a girl, her father would tell her stories of magical places. Now she’s an anxious twentysomething mired in student debt and working a job she hates. But one day she stumbles upon a shocking discovery: her mother has been hiding an investment account in her name. It has been funded by her long-lost father—and it’s worth nearly four million dollars.

This newfound fortune would be life-changing for anyone. But little does Breen know that when she uses some of the money to journey to Ireland, it will unlock mysteries she couldn’t have imagined. Here, she will begin to understand why she kept seeing that silver-haired, elusive man, why she imagined his voice in her head saying Come home, Breen Siobhan. It’s time you came home. Why she dreamed of dragons. And where her true destiny lies—through a portal in Galway that takes her to a land of faeries and mermaids, to a man named Keegan, and to the courage in her own heart that will guide her through a powerful, dangerous destiny.

 

  1. The Mists of Avalon (Avalon #1) by Marion Zimmer Bradley

Here is the magical legend of King Arthur, vividly retold through the eyes and lives of the women who wielded power from behind the throne. A spellbinding novel, an extraordinary literary achievement, THE MISTS OF AVALON will stay with you for a long time to come.

 

  1. The King of Elfland’s Daughter by Lord Dunsany

HAPPILY NEVER AFTER…

The people of the Vale of Erl wanted magic in their land. And so it was that their king sent his son – young Alveric – into the strangely enchanted meadows of Faerie to find and wed the King of Elfland’s daughter.

So armed with a wondrous sword forged from thunderbolts by the witch Ziroonderel, Alveric went off to do his father’s bidding. And he returned to the Vale with the beautiful Lirazel as his beloved wife.

Their love was passionate and strong, but it was no match for the magic of the King of Elfland…a magic powerful enough to whisk Lirazel away from her husband and son.

Bereft, Alveric set out on the most impossible mission any mortal ever dared.

 

  1. Daughter of the Forest (Sevenwaters #1) by Juliet Marillier

Lovely Sorcha is the seventh child and only daughter of Lord Colum of Sevenwaters. Bereft of a mother, she is comforted by her six brothers who love and protect her. Sorcha is the light in their lives: they are determined that she know only contentment.

But Sorcha’s joy is shattered when her father is bewitched by his new wife, an evil enchantress who binds her brothers with a terrible spell, a spell which only Sorcha can lift—by staying silent. If she speaks before she completes the quest set to her by the Fair Folk and their queen, the Lady of the Forest, she will lose her brothers forever.

When Sorcha is kidnapped by the enemies of Sevenwaters and taken to a foreign land, she is torn between the desire to save her beloved brothers, and a love that comes only once. Sorcha despairs at ever being able to complete her task, but the magic of the Fair Folk knows no boundaries, and love is the strongest magic of them all.

 

  1. The Lochlann Treaty by Robin D. Mahle and Elle Madison

PEACE AT ANY COST.

Princess Charlotte’s entire life had been planned.

Right up until the moment her fiancé is kidnapped on her wedding day, sending the entire kingdom hurtling toward disaster.

Charlie has never left the protective grounds of the castle, but to save her intended, she’ll trade her crown for a sword and forge into dangerous rebel lands alongside her fiancé’s arrogant older brother, Logan.

Logan thinks she’s a spoiled princess. She’s about to prove him wrong.

But each step deeper into the enemy’s world confirms nothing is what it seems. Not the love that was supposed to be easy. Not the allies she’s supposed to trust. Not even the outlaws she’s been raised to fear.

Faced with brutal truths and the looming threat of war, Charlie must find her inner strength to not only fight back, but to trust her heart—no matter where it leads.

 

From naive princess to Warrior Queen, The Lochlann Treaty will keep you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end. A sweeping fantasy for fans of Red Queen, Outlander, and Throne of Glass.

 

  1. Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moïra Fowley-Doyle

One stormy summer night, Olive and her best friend, Rose, begin to lose things. It starts with simple items like hair clips and jewellery, but soon it’s clear that Rose has lost something bigger; something she won’t talk about.

Then Olive meets three wild, mysterious strangers: Ivy, Hazel and Rowan. Like Rose, they’re mourning losses – and holding tight to secrets.

When they discover the ancient spellbook, full of hand-inked charms to conjure back lost things, they realise it might be their chance to set everything right. Unless it’s leading them towards secrets that were never meant to be found.

 

  1. The Brides of Rollrock Island by Margo Lanagan

Rollrock island is a lonely rock of gulls and waves, blunt fishermen and their homely wives. Life is hard for the families who must wring a poor living from the stormy seas. But Rollrock is also a place of magic – the scary, salty-real sort of magic that changes lives forever. Down on the windswept beach, where the seals lie in herds, the outcast sea witch Misskaella casts her spells – and brings forth girls from the sea – girls with long, pale limbs and faces of haunting innocence and loveliness – the most enchantingly lovely girls the fishermen of Rollrock have ever seen.

But magic always has its price. A fisherman may have and hold a sea bride, and tell himself that he is her master. But from his first look into those wide, questioning, liquid eyes, he will be just as transformed as she is. He will be equally ensnared. And in the end the witch will always have her payment.

 

  1. Wide Awake (The Goddess Chronicles #1) by K.B. Anne

When Gigi reverses the spell her mom died casting, she discovers that witches, werewolves, and magic aren’t just bedtime stories. They’re her story.

Druids live among us. They worship the forgotten Celtic gods that once ruled the Earth. For centuries, they’ve practiced in Vernal Falls without incident.

Gigi knows nothing of Druids or Celtic gods. She only knows the visions began when Breas, the new foreign exchange student, moved in next door. She also knows her best friend Lizzie is obsessed with the spell book they found in her attic.

And someone is following her, which she finds oddly comforting.

Breas provokes her. Her friends protect her. And a mysterious stranger wants her. But evil forces are at work. Gigi needs to decide if she’s the one to save them all.

 

  1. Fae Song: Fantasy Novel (Ballads of Balahar) by Deonne Williams

Life and time itself might be forever changed for them both. If you root for The Bard in The Witcher,  Fae Song is your next binge.

Fae Song is an artistically written fantasy adventure. The characters are robust and lively, and the world of Balahar is brilliant; the reader is easily pulled into the action filled epic journey. Love, loss, and sacrifice can be powerful when music and adventure weave with magic and romance.

Lana Mowdy PhD

The ancient Imperial trade road snaking toward the horizon would have daunted many but to Gwynn its dust tasted of freedom.

Her days would no longer be ruled by endless lessons. She had bested the greatest bards of Balahar and was on her own, free to follow the road into the green. That is until she heard the exhausted hoofbeats of the dark warhorse bearing its dying rider into her camp.

The dazzling realm of the Fae Royal Court of Heralith awaits them if only she can muster her skills both learned and hidden.

 

  1. The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1) by Holly Black

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

 

  1. Iron & Ivory (Exiles of Eire #1) by Brie Tart

Modern girl versus magical world

Maya is a lot of things: an eighteen-year-old taking care of her mom, a server working double shifts to pay their bills, and hell-bent on keeping her family together. Becoming a changeling—a human stolen from her home by the old Irish fae—doesn’t fit. She needs to get back. But how can she escape another world?

Daire, her kidnapper’s little brother, comes to Maya with an answer. This sheltered prince has the power to take people between Maya’s realm and his. He promises to take her home if she helps cure a curse that will kill him in a few months.

It would be easy if it weren’t for the ancient kings who want Daire dead and Maya trapped to keep their endangered race hidden. Will Maya’s interference topple centuries of protected isolation? For her freedom, she’s willing to find out.

 

  1. The Call (Grey Land #1) by Peadar Ó Guilín

The first time the Nightmares came, it nearly cost Alice her life. Now she’s trained to battle monstrous creatures in the dark dream realm known as Wonderland with magic weapons and hardcore fighting skills. Yet even warriors have a curfew.

Life in real-world Atlanta isn’t always so simple, as Alice juggles an overprotective mom, a high-maintenance best friend, and a slipping GPA. Keeping the Nightmares at bay is turning into a full-time job. But when Alice’s handsome and mysterious mentor is poisoned, she has to find the antidote by venturing deeper into Wonderland than she’s ever gone before. And she’ll need to use everything she’s learned in both worlds to keep from losing her head . . . literally.

 

  1. Dreamer: A Faraway High Fairytale (Faraway High Fairytales) by Scarlett Kol

One kiss will change everything…

As one of Faraway High’s best and brightest, Brea Vardan has her future planned down to the color of her dorm room sheets. But when her sweet sixteen party turns into a nightmare, all her meticulous plans distort into dreams…until an unexpected kiss gives her a second chance at life.

Now instead of scoring A’s, Brea battles to stay awake as she searches for the identity of the one who cursed her, plunging deeper into a hidden world of terrifying mythological monsters. With a target on her head and a less than charming prince at her side, Brea must unravel the secrets of the past before someone puts her to sleep for good.

  1. Moonlight in the Forest (The FeyTerrah Series Book 3) by Marie Navarro

When Dreamer and Lily return to FeyTerrah, they bring along a large number of fey descendants from Otherworld. Sir Elo and Dreamer share with King Solren information that could influence the future between the two worlds. The king arranges a council meeting and commissions.

Dreamer and Lily to invite the other kings and representatives of the dragon race to the event. During their journey, Lily learns the entire history of the magical Ninatlee necklaces. The dragons reveal a startling secret about the Riverlord family. After meeting Rachel’s family, Dreamer discovers that Lily may possess astonishing powers that could free them from the mysterious spell on the necklaces. And, that the cost of breaking the spell might be very high.

 

  1. Fate Calling (Celtic Fae #1) by Lindsay Grace

A cursed fae prince. A lonely human lass. A magical bond that can’t be broken…

Aislinn…

All Aislinn Morgan wants is to live a peaceful life with her sister in the beautiful highlands of Scotland. When a hike on the Isle of Skye goes horribly awry and the sisters are taken to the mythical land of the fae, Aislinn will do anything to protect the only family she has left.

Even bargain with a beastly fae prince.

But the powerful Kieran O’Bairr is no ordinary fae.

He’s dark, dangerous, and devastatingly handsome—and he claims Aislinn is his fated mate.

As the magic of their bond brings them closer together, Aislinn wonders if she can heal his cursed heart… or if his haunting darkness will consume them all.

Kieran…

Fae Prince Kieran O’Bairr has spent the last one hundred years in a self-imposed exile for a crime that haunts his every waking moment. The isolation has only hardened his cursed heart and an unexpected burden cripples his once unmatched power.

The breathtaking Aislinn Morgan is a complication he doesn’t want.

But his longing for the golden-haired lass is undeniable, her kissable lips a temptation he can’t resist.

Aislinn is his fated mate.

And one desperate, stolen kiss will be his undoing.

 

 

  1. The Dark Realm (Feyland #1) by Anthea Sharp

WHEN A GAME…

Feyland is the most immersive computer game ever designed, and Jennet Carter is the first to play the prototype. But she doesn’t suspect the virtual world is close enough to touch — or that she’ll be battling for her life against the Dark Queen of the faeries.

TURNS REAL…

Tam Linn is the perfect hero — in-game. Too bad the rest of his life is seriously flawed. The last thing he needs is rich-girl Jennet prying into his secrets, insisting he’s the only one who can help her.

WINNING IS EVERYTHING…

Together, Jennet and Tam enter the Dark Realm of Feyland, only to discover that the entire human world is in danger. Pushed to the limit of their abilities, they must defeat the Dark Queen… before it’s too late.

 

  1. The Wise One (The Scottish Scrolls, 1) by K.T. Anglehart

Mckenna’s never thought much of her nightmares, but on her seventeenth birthday, a vivid dream of burning at the stake awakens her dormant abilities, thrusting her into a world where faeries are real, spirits hold a grudge, and a High Priestess obsessed with a 16th-century prophecy is tracking her every move.

​Now, her overprotective dads, Seán and Andre, are forced to tell her the truth—they know who her birth mother is, and her life is not the surrogate story she’s ​always ​been told. Abigail, Mckenna’s mom, is some sort of mystic, and Mckenna a Wise One.

​Whatever the hell that means.

 

  1. The Rose Gate: A Retelling of Beauty and the Beast (Faerie Tale Romances #1) by Hanna Sandvig

Once upon a time, a girl from our world found a gate to the Faerie realm…All Isobel wants is a quiet place to read, but apparently that’s too much to ask. She only needs to make it through one last summer with her broken family before she can leave for university and get on with her life. At least she has her books and the solitude of the woods.

But there are wolves in these woods.

Caught out in the forest after dark, Isobel is pursued by a disturbingly intelligent pack of wolves. When the grizzly bear who rescues her turns out to be a cursed fae prince, she realizes her life isn’t the only thing in danger. She could lose her heart.

Trapped by the wolves at the prince’s home in Faerie, Isobel tries to unravel the mystery behind the surly prince’s scars. Because time is running out for the castle’s inhabitants, and if Isobel can’t find a way to break the spell and save the prince from the Unseelie Queen, she may lose everything she’s come to love.

 

  1. The Lost Queen (The Lost Queen Trilogy #1) by Signe Pike)

In the epic, action-packed sequel to the “brilliant” (Compared to Outlander and The Mists of Avalon, this thrilling first novel of a debut trilogy reveals the untold story of Languoreth—a forgotten queen of sixth-century Scotland—twin sister of the man who inspired the legend of Merlin.

I write because I have seen the darkness that will come. Already there are those who seek to tell a new history…

In a land of mountains and mist, tradition and superstition, Languoreth and her brother Lailoken are raised in the Old Way of their ancestors. But in Scotland, a new religion is rising, one that brings disruption, bloodshed, and riot. And even as her family faces the burgeoning forces of Christianity, the Anglo-Saxons, bent on colonization, are encroaching from the east. When conflict brings the hero Emrys Pendragon to her father’s door, Languoreth finds love with one of his warriors. Her deep connection to Maelgwn is forged by enchantment, but she is promised in marriage to Rhydderch, son of a Christian king. As Languoreth is catapulted into a world of violence and political intrigue, she must learn to adapt. Together with her brother—a warrior and druid known to history as Myrddin—Languoreth must assume her duty to fight for the preservation of the Old Way and the survival of her kingdom, or risk the loss of them both forever.  

  1. Witches of Ash and Ruin by E. Latimer

Modern witchcraft blends with ancient Celtic mythology in an epic clash of witches and gods, perfect for fans of V.E. Schwab’s Shades of Magic trilogy and A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES.

Seventeen-year-old Dayna Walsh is struggling to cope with her somatic OCD; the aftermath of being outed as bisexual in her conservative Irish town; and the return of her long-absent mother, who barely seems like a parent. But all that really matters to her is ascending and finally, finally becoming a full witch-plans that are complicated when another coven, rumored to have a sordid history with black magic, arrives in town with premonitions of death. Dayna immediately finds herself at odds with the bewitchingly frustrating Meiner King, the granddaughter of their coven leader.

And then a witch turns up murdered at a local sacred site, along with the blood symbol of the Butcher of Manchester-an infamous serial killer whose trail has long gone cold. The killer’s motives are enmeshed in a complex web of witches and gods, and Dayna and Meiner soon find themselves at the center of it all. If they don’t stop the Butcher, one of them will be next.

With razor-sharp prose and achingly real characters, E. Latimer crafts a sweeping, mesmerizing story of dark magic and brutal mythology set against a backdrop of contemporary Ireland that’s impossible to put down.

 

  1. Hounded (The Iron Druid Chronicles #1) by Kevin Hearne

Atticus O’Sullivan, last of the Druids, lives peacefully in Arizona, running an occult bookshop and shape-shifting in his spare time to hunt with his Irish wolfhound. His neighbors and customers think that this handsome, tattooed Irish dude is about twenty-one years old—when in actuality, he’s twenty-one centuries old. Not to mention: He draws his power from the earth, possesses a sharp wit, and wields an even sharper magical sword known as Fragarach, the Answerer.

Unfortunately, a very angry Celtic god wants that sword, and he’s hounded Atticus for centuries. Now the determined deity has tracked him down, and Atticus will need all his power—plus the help of a seductive goddess of death, his vampire and werewolf team of attorneys, a bartender possessed by a Hindu witch, and some good old-fashioned luck of the Irish—to kick some Celtic arse and deliver himself from evil.

 

  1. Sanctuary (Shifter Chronicles #1) by Melle Amade

It’s survival of the fittest, but first you have to fit in.

Shae is sure the icy rage that eats away at her is driving away her friends and pulling her closer to the wrong boy. But, as her protected world unravels, she discovers the violent supernatural world that lurks in her quiet hometown and the ancient feuds that threaten to destroy both her friends and her family. To save those she loves, Shae must succumb to her own fury, but at what cost?

 

  1. Dream of Darkness (The Rise of the Light #1) by H.M. Gooden

Cat McLean is a sixteen year old girl who moves to a new town with her older sister Vanessa. After a near-fatal car accident, Cat wakes to find that she can see auras and heal others. But she also discovers an ancient evil that means to destroy her new town of Valleyview. She must join forces with her sister and a new friend to defeat it, or die trying. Will she learn how to harness her new powers before the darkness comes for them? Or will she succumb to the darkness she fears?

 

  1. The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

 

  1. The Falconer (The Falconer #1) by Elizabeth May

One girl’s nightmare is this girl’s faery tale.

She’s a stunner.

Edinburgh, 1844. Eighteen-year-old Lady Aileana Kameron, the only daughter of the Marquess of Douglas, has everything a girl could dream of: brains, charm, wealth, a title—and drop-dead beauty.

She’s a liar.

But Aileana only looks the part of an aristocratic young lady. she’s leading a double life: She has a rare ability to sense the sìthíchean—the faery race obsessed with slaughtering humans—and, with the aid of a mysterious mentor, has spent the year since her mother died learning how to kill them.

She’s a murderer.

Now Aileana is dedicated to slaying the fae before they take innocent lives. With her knack for inventing ingenious tools and weapons—from flying machines to detonators to lightning pistols—ruthless Aileana has one goal: Destroy the faery who destroyed her mother.

She’s a Falconer.

The last in a line of female warriors born with a gift for hunting and killing the fae, Aileana is the sole hope of preventing a powerful faery population from massacring all of humanity. Suddenly, her quest is a lot more complicated. She still longs to avenge her mother’s murder—but she’ll have to save the world first.

  1.  The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones

Seventeen-year-old Aderyn (“Ryn”) only cares about two things: her family, and her family’s graveyard. And right now, both are in dire straits. Since the death of their parents, Ryn and her siblings have been scraping together a meager existence as gravediggers in the remote village of Colbren, which sits at the foot of a harsh and deadly mountain range that was once home to the fae. The problem with being a gravedigger in Colbren, though, is that the dead don’t always stay dead.

The risen corpses are known as “bone houses,” and legend says that they’re the result of a decades-old curse. When Ellis, an apprentice mapmaker with a mysterious past, arrives in town, the bone houses attack with new ferocity. What is it that draws them near? And more importantly, how can they be stopped for good?

Together, Ellis and Ryn embark on a journey that will take them deep into the heart of the mountains, where they will have to face both the curse and the long-hidden truths about themselves.

  1. The Hounds of the Mórrígan by Pat O’Shea

A wonderfully written fantasy set in the west of Ireland, which tells of the coming of the Great Queen who is bent on bringing destruction to the world. Only Pidge and Brigit can stop her, and their task seems impossible as they’re constantly trailed by the queen’s hounds. But they’re aided in their quest by a host of willing helpers – a glorious array of unforgettable characters.


YA/NA Fantasy and Scifi Books to Read for Black History Month

Looking for some new reads? Check out these Fantasy and Scifi titles written by black authors.
  1. Legendborn (Legendborn #1) by Tracy Deonn

After her mother dies in an accident, sixteen-year-old Bree Matthews wants nothing to do with her family memories or childhood home. A residential program for bright high schoolers at UNC–Chapel Hill seems like the perfect escape—until Bree witnesses a magical attack her very first night on campus.

A flying demon feeding on human energies.

A secret society of so called “Legendborn” students that hunt the creatures down.

And a mysterious teenage mage who calls himself a “Merlin” and who attempts—and fails—to wipe Bree’s memory of everything she saw.

The mage’s failure unlocks Bree’s own unique magic and a buried memory with a hidden connection: the night her mother died, another Merlin was at the hospital. Now that Bree knows there’s more to her mother’s death than what’s on the police report, she’ll do whatever it takes to find out the truth, even if that means infiltrating the Legendborn as one of their initiates.

She recruits Nick, a self-exiled Legendborn with his own grudge against the group, and their reluctant partnership pulls them deeper into the society’s secrets—and closer to each other. But when the Legendborn reveal themselves as the descendants of King Arthur’s knights and explain that a magical war is coming, Bree has to decide how far she’ll go for the truth and whether she should use her magic to take the society down—or join the fight.

 

  1. A Phoenix First Must Burn by Patrice Caldwell, Elizabeth Acevedo, Amerie, Dhonielle Clayton, Jalissa Corrie, Somaiya Daud, Charlotte Nicole Davis, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Justina Ireland, Danny Lore, L.L. McKinney, Danielle Paige, Rebecca Roanhorse, Karen Strong, Ashley Woodfolk, Ibi Zoboi.

Sixteen tales by bestselling and award-winning authors that explore the Black experience through fantasy, science fiction, and magic.

Evoking Beyoncé’s Lemonade for a teen audience, these authors who are truly Octavia Butler’s heirs, have woven worlds to create a stunning narrative that centers Black women and gender nonconforming individuals. A Phoenix First Must Burn will take you on a journey from folktales retold to futuristic societies and everything in between. Filled with stories of love and betrayal, strength and resistance, this collection contains an array of complex and true-to-life characters in which you cannot help but see yourself reflected. Witches and scientists, sisters and lovers, priestesses and rebels: the heroines of A Phoenix First Must Burn shine brightly. You will never forget them.

 

  1. Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orïsha #1) by Tomi Adeyemi

They killed my mother.

They took our magic.

They tried to bury us.

Now we rise.

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers and her growing feelings for an enemy.

 

  1. A Blade So Black (The Nightmare-Verse #1) by L.L. McKinney

 

The first time the Nightmares came, it nearly cost Alice her life. Now she’s trained to battle monstrous creatures in the dark dream realm known as Wonderland with magic weapons and hardcore fighting skills. Yet even warriors have a curfew.

Life in real-world Atlanta isn’t always so simple, as Alice juggles an overprotective mom, a high-maintenance best friend, and a slipping GPA. Keeping the Nightmares at bay is turning into a full-time job. But when Alice’s handsome and mysterious mentor is poisoned, she has to find the antidote by venturing deeper into Wonderland than she’s ever gone before. And she’ll need to use everything she’s learned in both worlds to keep from losing her head . . . literally.

 

  1. The Belles (The Belles #1) by Dhonielle Clayton

Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In the opulent world of Orléans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. In Orléans, the people are born gray, they are born damned, and only with the help of a Belle and her talents can they transform and be made beautiful.

But it’s not enough for Camellia to be just a Belle. She wants to be the favorite—the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orléans to live in the royal palace, to tend to the royal family and their court, to be recognized as the most talented Belle in the land. But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favorite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that the very essence of her existence is a lie—that her powers are far greater, and could be more dangerous, than she ever imagined. And when the queen asks Camellia to risk her own life and help the ailing princess by using Belle powers in unintended ways, Camellia now faces an impossible decision.

With the future of Orléans and its people at stake, Camellia must decide—save herself and her sisters and the way of the Belles—or resuscitate the princess, risk her own life, and change the ways of her world forever.

 

  1. Kill Three Birds (Kingdom of Aves Mystery #1) by Nicole Givens Kurtz

Sent to investigate a string of murders in a quiet remote egg, can Hawk Tasifa find the killer before she becomes the next target?

Prentice Tasifa is an investigative hawk whose been deployed from The Order to the small egg of Gould, a mountain village. A missing girl had been found dead. Hawks investigate strange and difficult situations throughout the Kingdom of Aves. They can “see the unseen,” by accessing a unique ability to activate hawk-like vision, a trait they carry through their bloodlines.

When Prentice arrives in Gould, she soon discovers that there isn’t just one bird dead, but three. There’s a serial killer operating in Gould, and she has to find the person before she ends up next.

If you love goddess worship, winged humans, mystery, and magic, this story is for you.

 

  1. Rebel Sisters (War Girls #2) by Tochi Onyebuchi

In the epic, action-packed sequel to the “brilliant” (Booklist, starred review) novel War Girls, the battles are over, but the fight for justice has just begun.

It’s been five years since the Biafran War ended. Ify is now nineteen and living where she’s always dreamed–the Space Colonies. She is a respected, high-ranking medical officer and has dedicated her life to helping refugees like herself rebuild in the Colonies.

Back in the still devastated Nigeria, Uzo, a young synth, is helping an aid worker, Xifeng, recover images and details of the war held in the technology of destroyed androids. Uzo, Xifeng, and the rest of their team are working to preserve memories of the many lives lost, despite the government’s best efforts to eradicate any signs that the war ever happened.

Though they are working toward common goals of helping those who suffered, Ify and Uzo are worlds apart. But when a mysterious virus breaks out among the children in the Space Colonies, their paths collide. Ify makes it her mission to figure out what’s causing the deadly disease. And doing so means going back to the corrupt homeland she thought she’d left behind forever.

 

  1. Errant (The 12:01 Trilogy #1) by Montrez

Superpowers transform one anxious outside into New York’s most wanted girl in this soulful, spirited YA Contemporary Fantasy.

16-year-old Savannah Scarlett struggles to reclaim her life after the devastating loss of her father. but finding a place to belong isn’t easy for someone who’s used to living life on the sidelines.Just when she thinks things can’t get any worse, Savannah witnesses an impossible phenomenon that triggers the emergence of a wild and powerful gift. She must learn to accept and control her newfound ability or die trying. That is if a deadly organization of vicious hunters doesn’t kill her first.Running for her life, Savannah soon finds refuge with the Errants, a ragtag group of powerful misfits who share her power and all the danger that comes with it. A supernatural war has long been brewing. Savannah is no chosen one or savior, but she may be the catalyst needed for the Errants to have a fighting chance at survival against an immortal enemy.

Fans of Divergent and the Darkest Mind are sure to enjoy.

 

  1. Raybearer (Raybearer #1) by Jordan Ifueko

Nothing is more important than loyalty. But what if you’ve sworn to protect the one you were born to destroy?

Tarisai has always longed for the warmth of a family. She was raised in isolation by a mysterious, often absent mother known only as The Lady. The Lady sends her to the capital of the global empire of Aritsar to compete with other children to be chosen as one of the Crown Prince’s Council of 11. If she’s picked, she’ll be joined with the other Council members through the Ray, a bond deeper than blood. That closeness is irresistible to Tarisai, who has always wanted to belong somewhere. But The Lady has other ideas, including a magical wish that Tarisai is compelled to obey: Kill the Crown Prince once she gains his trust. Tarisai won’t stand by and become someone’s pawn—but is she strong enough to choose a different path for herself?

 

  1. The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow

Can a girl who risks her life for books and an alien who loves forbidden pop music work together to save humanity?

Two years ago, a misunderstanding between the leaders of Earth and the invading Ilori resulted in the deaths of one-third of the world’s population.

Seventeen-year-old Janelle “Ellie” Baker survives in an Ilori-controlled center in New York City. Deemed dangerously volatile because of their initial reaction to the invasion, humanity’s emotional transgressions are now grounds for execution. All art, books and creative expression are illegal, but Ellie breaks the rules by keeping a secret library. When a book goes missing, Ellie is terrified that the Ilori will track it back to her and kill her.

Born in a lab, M0Rr1S (Morris) was raised to be emotionless. When he finds Ellie’s illegal library, he’s duty-bound to deliver her for execution. The trouble is, he finds himself drawn to human music and in desperate need of more. They’re both breaking the rules for love of art—and Ellie inspires the same feelings in him that music does.

Ellie’s—and humanity’s—fate rests in the hands of an alien she should fear. M0Rr1S has a lot of secrets, but also a potential solution—thousands of miles away. The two embark on a wild and dangerous road trip with a bag of books and their favorite albums, all the while making a story and a song of their own that just might save them both.

 

  1. Mirage (Mirage #1) by Somaiya Daud

In a star system dominated by the brutal Vathek empire, eighteen-year-old Amani is a dreamer. She dreams of what life was like before the occupation; she dreams of writing poetry like the old-world poems she adores; she dreams of receiving a sign from Dihya that one day, she, too, will have adventure, and travel beyond her isolated moon.

But when adventure comes for Amani, it is not what she expects: she is kidnapped by the regime and taken in secret to the royal palace, where she discovers that she is nearly identical to the cruel half-Vathek Princess Maram. The princess is so hated by her conquered people that she requires a body double, someone to appear in public as Maram, ready to die in her place.

As Amani is forced into her new role, she can’t help but enjoy the palace’s beauty—and her time with the princess’ fiancé, Idris. But the glitter of the royal court belies a world of violence and fear. If Amani ever wishes to see her family again, she must play the princess to perfection…because one wrong move could lead to her death.

 

  1. Court of Lions (Mirage #2) by Somaiya Daud

Two identical girls, one a princess, the other a rebel. Who will rule the empire?

After being swept up into the brutal Vathek court, Amani, the ordinary girl forced to serve as the half-Vathek princess’s body double, has been forced into complete isolation. The cruel but complex princess, Maram, with whom Amani had cultivated a tenuous friendship, discovered Amani’s connection to the rebellion and has forced her into silence, and if Amani crosses Maram once more, her identity – and her betrayal – will be revealed to everyone in the court.

Amani is desperate to continue helping the rebellion, to fight for her people’s freedom. But she must make a devastating decision: will she step aside, and watch her people suffer, or continue to aid them, and put herself and her family in mortal danger? And whatever she chooses, can she bear to remain separated, forever, from Maram’s fiancé, Idris?

 

  1. A Song Below Water (A Song Below Water #1) by Bethany C. Morrow

Tavia is already at odds with the world, forced to keep her siren identity under wraps in a society that wants to keep her kind under lock and key. Never mind she’s also stuck in Portland, Oregon, a city with only a handful of black folk and even fewer of those with magical powers. At least she has her bestie Effie by her side as they tackle high school drama, family secrets, and unrequited crushes.

But everything changes in the aftermath of a siren murder trial that rocks the nation; the girls’ favorite Internet fashion icon reveals she’s also a siren, and the news rips through their community. Tensions escalate when Effie starts being haunted by demons from her past, and Tavia accidentally lets out her magical voice during a police stop. No secret seems safe anymore—soon Portland won’t be either.

 

  1. House of Rahilius (Sword Nation #1) by A. J. Ross

Seventeen-year-old Lincoln Wolfe is set to marry the princess when his world is turned upside down. A ship from the neighboring planet Kayora arrives with passengers fleeing enslavement by the Prime Minister and infamous pirate Rahilius. When Rahilius’s demands for the return of the stolen vessel are ignored, he kills the Ruler of the Grii, kidnaps the princess and declares war on Graiis.

Lincoln learns the necessary skills to kill Rahilius, while the princess sheds propriety and uses her hidden talents to fight for her own survival. Meanwhile, a Southern City rebel seeks to spark a revolution and free the enslaved people of Kayora.

One hero. One warrior. One rebel. Three paths converge to start one Holy war against the Kayorian Empire, but Rahilius is more than he seems, and underestimating him will come at great costs.

 

  1. Mystic Bonds (Paranormal World #1) by C.C. Solomon

Mage Amina Langston thought surviving the supernatural apocalypse, which killed fifty percent of humankind and changed most of the surviving population into paranormal beings, were the biggest challenges in her life. That is, until she and her brother go on the run from non-gifted humans who want to steal their magical blood to make a power-giving serum. Now she’s in search of a handsome stranger who keeps appearing in her dreams and a secret paranormal city to help free those still held in captivity for their blood.

During her journey, Amina befriends several other magical beings also searching for the mysterious town, including a sexy were-jackal who distracts her from locating the man of her proverbial dreams. However, when the group finds the city, it’s filled with dangerous magic and a barbaric were-pack. Facing these new troubles, will Amina take down her human pursuers and save the other paranormals she left behind or end up in greater peril?

 

  1. This Time (Nadira Holden, Demon Hunter #1) by Azaaa Davis

Resurrected into present-day New York, Nadira Holden is asked to save the world … again.

Nadira achieved legendary status when she gave her life to protect humans from the demons. To her, it was yesterday. To the rest of the world, it was twenty years ago.

People have made peace with the demons, worshipping them like celebrities. No one wants to believe that the beautiful creatures who brought magic to humans could be causing the disappearance of so many. When Nadira’s father goes missing, she refuses to play nice. Gloves off. She has to do what she does best. Fight.

Experience why not even death can stop her.

Nadira Holden, Demon Hunter is a fresh urban fantasy series from Azaaa Davis that combines monster-slaying action, family drama, and simmering romance.

Fans of Vampire Hunter Anita Blake, Succubus Georgina Kincaid, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, and Vampire Death Dealer Selene are enthralled and eagerly awaiting the next Nadira Holden novel.

 

  1. To Astera, With Love by Amanda Ross

America, 2022 – drugs are legal, witches are real, and a literal vampire is President. In this world of boutique blood bars and policies that force witches to out themselves, 21-year-old Mercury Amell just wants to live. He wishes that the ages-old feud between vampires and witches didn’t exist. He wishes that his powers and his skin color didn’t increase his odds of being burned at the stake.

After making a powerful enemy, Mercury and his friends must travel to Astera, an annual gathering of all witchkind. They battle vampiric cops, evil witches, aggressive humans, and each other along the way as they struggle to make it in one piece. Will their collective power be enough to get them to Astera safely? Or will they fall prey to their enemies and the laws that spell their destruction?

 

  1. Dread Nation (Dread Nation, #1) by Justina Ireland

Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg and Chancellorsville—derailing the War Between the States and changing America forever. In this new nation, safety for all depends on the work of a few, and laws like the Native and Negro Reeducation Act require certain children attend combat schools to learn to put down the dead. But there are also opportunities—and Jane is studying to become an Attendant, trained in both weaponry and etiquette to protect the well-to-do. It’s a chance for a better life for Negro girls like Jane. After all, not even being the daughter of a wealthy white Southern woman could save her from society’s expectations.

But that’s not a life Jane wants. Almost finished with her education at Miss Preston’s School of Combat in Baltimore, Jane is set on returning to her Kentucky home and doesn’t pay much mind to the politics of the eastern cities, with their talk of returning America to the glory of its days before the dead rose. But when families around Baltimore County begin to go missing, Jane is caught in the middle of a conspiracy, one that finds her in a desperate fight for her life against some powerful enemies. And the restless dead, it would seem, are the least of her problems.

 

  1. A Song of Wraiths and Ruin (A Song of Wraiths and Ruin #1) by Roseanne A. Brown

For Malik, the Solstasia festival is a chance to escape his war-stricken home and start a new life with his sisters in the prosperous desert city of Ziran. But when a vengeful spirit abducts Malik’s younger sister, Nadia, as payment into the city, Malik strikes a fatal deal—kill Karina, Crown Princess of Ziran, for Nadia’s freedom.

But Karina has deadly aspirations of her own. Her mother, the Sultana, has been assassinated; her court threatens mutiny; and Solstasia looms like a knife over her neck. Grief-stricken, Karina decides to resurrect her mother through ancient magic . . . requiring the beating heart of a king. And she knows just how to obtain one: by offering her hand in marriage to the victor of the Solstasia competition.

When Malik rigs his way into the contest, they are set on a course to destroy each other. But as attraction flares between them and ancient evils stir, will they be able to see their tasks to the death?

The first in a fantasy duology inspired by West African folklore in which a grieving crown princess and a desperate refugee find themselves on a collision course to murder each other despite their growing attraction.

 

  1. The Gilded Ones ((Deathless #1) by Namina Forna

Sixteen-year-old Deka lives in fear and anticipation of the blood ceremony that will determine whether she will become a member of her village. Already different from everyone else because of her unnatural intuition, Deka prays for red blood so she can finally feel like she belongs.

But on the day of the ceremony, her blood runs gold, the color of impurity–and Deka knows she will face a consequence worse than death.

Then a mysterious woman comes to her with a choice: stay in the village and submit to her fate, or leave to fight for the emperor in an army of girls just like her. They are called alaki–near-immortals with rare gifts. And they are the only ones who can stop the empire’s greatest threat.

Knowing the dangers that lie ahead yet yearning for acceptance, Deka decides to leave the only life she’s ever known. But as she journeys to the capital to train for the biggest battle of her life, she will discover that the great walled city holds many surprises. Nothing and no one are quite what they seem to be–not even Deka herself.

 

  1. Kingdom of Souls (Kingdom of Souls #1) by Rena Barron

A girl with no gifts must bargain for the power to fight her own mother’s dark schemes—even if the price is her life.

Heir to two lines of powerful witchdoctors, Arrah yearns for magic of her own. Yet she fails at bone magic, fails to call upon her ancestors, and fails to live up to her family’s legacy. Under the disapproving eye of her mother, the Kingdom’s most powerful priestess and seer, she fears she may never be good enough.

But when the Kingdom’s children begin to disappear, Arrah is desperate enough to turn to a forbidden, dangerous ritual. If she has no magic of her own, she’ll have to buy it—by trading away years of her own life.

Arrah’s borrowed power reveals a nightmarish betrayal, and on its heels, a rising tide of darkness that threatens to consume her and all those she loves. She must race to unravel a twisted and deadly scheme… before the fight costs more than she can afford.

 

  1. Finding Eden (The Eden Saga #2) by K.R.S. McEntire

A mutant searching for sanctuary. A hunter hot on her trail.

Lilah has heard rumors of a garden paradise known as Eden somewhere out in the wilds. Forced out of post-apocalyptic Chicago when her mutant abilities come to light, it’s her only hope of safety.

But she’s not the only one roaming the wastelands.

On Adam’s first mission as a newly-qualified Warden, he is tasked with finding and destroying the heart of the Resistance–Eden.

When Lilah’s and Adam’s destinies collide, neither can deny the spark of attraction between them, but how long can they journey together before their secrets come to light?

When Lilah lets down her barriers, Adam sees her for who she truly is and is faced with an impossible choice–between duty and his heart.

Finding Eden is a gripping dystopian adventure, perfect for fans of Delirium, Shatter Me, Divergent, and The Hunger Games.

 

  1. Cinderella Is Dead by Kalynn Bayron

It’s 200 years after Cinderella found her prince, but the fairy tale is over. Teen girls are now required to appear at the Annual Ball, where the men of the kingdom select wives based on a girl’s display of finery. If a suitable match is not found, the girls not chosen are never heard from again.

Sixteen-year-old Sophia would much rather marry Erin, her childhood best friend, than parade in front of suitors. At the ball, Sophia makes the desperate decision to flee, and finds herself hiding in Cinderella’s mausoleum. There, she meets Constance, the last known descendant of Cinderella and her step sisters. Together they vow to bring down the king once and for all–and in the process, they learn that there’s more to Cinderella’s story than they ever knew . . .

This fresh take on a classic story will make readers question the tales they’ve been told, and root for girls to break down the constructs of the world around them.

 

  1. Alice and the VooDoo Queen by K.R.S. McEntire

Alice’s life is finally looking up.

She went from barely affording her studio apartment to living in a penthouse with her fiancé. She tries not to question her good fortune by asking too many questions—like how he can afford it on a restaurant manager’s budget or why she’s yet to meet his family. She is living in the moment, eager to embrace her glow up.

But when her fiancé goes missing a week before the wedding, Alice must go down the rabbit hole and dig up the truth about her lover. She discovers a world of illicit drugs, potions, voodoo spells, gods, goddesses, and spirits. Who would have guessed that her biggest challenge would be his mother, the voodoo queen.

 

  1. Wrath of the Winter Witch (The Unholy Witch Wars, #1) by D.L. Howard

Eight hundred years ago there was harmony in the world and no such thing as light and dark witches. The people were one. Enticed by the seductive powers of dark, some strayed down the twisted path, breaking the balance causing a rift. Eventually starting the Unholy Witch Wars.

Now, war is brewing again and Nthanda, a child of the dark, unknowingly, is at the center of it all. Well loved by many in her homeland, there are those who grow jealous and tired of the witchling and the long time rule of her family. Betrayed and kidnapped by rivals, she’s sold to her blood enemies across the seas.

With the help of an unexpected ally, Nthanda, risks her life and tries to escape the horrid clutches of her captors. Full of rage, fueled by hate, Nthanda and her companions, forge a path through the realms unleashing wrath and havoc on the deserving all the while trying to stay a step ahead of her enemies. With the fate of the world in her hands, can she stop the impending war and find a way to bring balance back to the lands?

Or will everything be lost…

YA/NA Fantasy and Scifi Books to Read for Black History Month

Looking for some new reads? Check out these Fantasy and Scifi titles written by black authors.
  1. Legendborn (Legendborn #1) by Tracy Deonn

After her mother dies in an accident, sixteen-year-old Bree Matthews wants nothing to do with her family memories or childhood home. A residential program for bright high schoolers at UNC–Chapel Hill seems like the perfect escape—until Bree witnesses a magical attack her very first night on campus.

A flying demon feeding on human energies.

A secret society of so called “Legendborn” students that hunt the creatures down.

And a mysterious teenage mage who calls himself a “Merlin” and who attempts—and fails—to wipe Bree’s memory of everything she saw.

The mage’s failure unlocks Bree’s own unique magic and a buried memory with a hidden connection: the night her mother died, another Merlin was at the hospital. Now that Bree knows there’s more to her mother’s death than what’s on the police report, she’ll do whatever it takes to find out the truth, even if that means infiltrating the Legendborn as one of their initiates.

She recruits Nick, a self-exiled Legendborn with his own grudge against the group, and their reluctant partnership pulls them deeper into the society’s secrets—and closer to each other. But when the Legendborn reveal themselves as the descendants of King Arthur’s knights and explain that a magical war is coming, Bree has to decide how far she’ll go for the truth and whether she should use her magic to take the society down—or join the fight.

 

  1. A Phoenix First Must Burn by Patrice Caldwell, Elizabeth Acevedo, Amerie, Dhonielle Clayton, Jalissa Corrie, Somaiya Daud, Charlotte Nicole Davis, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Justina Ireland, Danny Lore, L.L. McKinney, Danielle Paige, Rebecca Roanhorse, Karen Strong, Ashley Woodfolk, Ibi Zoboi.

Sixteen tales by bestselling and award-winning authors that explore the Black experience through fantasy, science fiction, and magic.

Evoking Beyoncé’s Lemonade for a teen audience, these authors who are truly Octavia Butler’s heirs, have woven worlds to create a stunning narrative that centers Black women and gender nonconforming individuals. A Phoenix First Must Burn will take you on a journey from folktales retold to futuristic societies and everything in between. Filled with stories of love and betrayal, strength and resistance, this collection contains an array of complex and true-to-life characters in which you cannot help but see yourself reflected. Witches and scientists, sisters and lovers, priestesses and rebels: the heroines of A Phoenix First Must Burn shine brightly. You will never forget them.

 

  1. Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orïsha #1) by Tomi Adeyemi

They killed my mother.

They took our magic.

They tried to bury us.

Now we rise.

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers and her growing feelings for an enemy.

 

  1. A Blade So Black (The Nightmare-Verse #1) by L.L. McKinney

 

The first time the Nightmares came, it nearly cost Alice her life. Now she’s trained to battle monstrous creatures in the dark dream realm known as Wonderland with magic weapons and hardcore fighting skills. Yet even warriors have a curfew.

Life in real-world Atlanta isn’t always so simple, as Alice juggles an overprotective mom, a high-maintenance best friend, and a slipping GPA. Keeping the Nightmares at bay is turning into a full-time job. But when Alice’s handsome and mysterious mentor is poisoned, she has to find the antidote by venturing deeper into Wonderland than she’s ever gone before. And she’ll need to use everything she’s learned in both worlds to keep from losing her head . . . literally.

 

  1. The Belles (The Belles #1) by Dhonielle Clayton

Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In the opulent world of Orléans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. In Orléans, the people are born gray, they are born damned, and only with the help of a Belle and her talents can they transform and be made beautiful.

But it’s not enough for Camellia to be just a Belle. She wants to be the favorite—the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orléans to live in the royal palace, to tend to the royal family and their court, to be recognized as the most talented Belle in the land. But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favorite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that the very essence of her existence is a lie—that her powers are far greater, and could be more dangerous, than she ever imagined. And when the queen asks Camellia to risk her own life and help the ailing princess by using Belle powers in unintended ways, Camellia now faces an impossible decision.

With the future of Orléans and its people at stake, Camellia must decide—save herself and her sisters and the way of the Belles—or resuscitate the princess, risk her own life, and change the ways of her world forever.

 

  1. Kill Three Birds (Kingdom of Aves Mystery #1) by Nicole Givens Kurtz

Sent to investigate a string of murders in a quiet remote egg, can Hawk Tasifa find the killer before she becomes the next target?

Prentice Tasifa is an investigative hawk whose been deployed from The Order to the small egg of Gould, a mountain village. A missing girl had been found dead. Hawks investigate strange and difficult situations throughout the Kingdom of Aves. They can “see the unseen,” by accessing a unique ability to activate hawk-like vision, a trait they carry through their bloodlines.

When Prentice arrives in Gould, she soon discovers that there isn’t just one bird dead, but three. There’s a serial killer operating in Gould, and she has to find the person before she ends up next.

If you love goddess worship, winged humans, mystery, and magic, this story is for you.

 

  1. Rebel Sisters (War Girls #2) by Tochi Onyebuchi

In the epic, action-packed sequel to the “brilliant” (Booklist, starred review) novel War Girls, the battles are over, but the fight for justice has just begun.

It’s been five years since the Biafran War ended. Ify is now nineteen and living where she’s always dreamed–the Space Colonies. She is a respected, high-ranking medical officer and has dedicated her life to helping refugees like herself rebuild in the Colonies.

Back in the still devastated Nigeria, Uzo, a young synth, is helping an aid worker, Xifeng, recover images and details of the war held in the technology of destroyed androids. Uzo, Xifeng, and the rest of their team are working to preserve memories of the many lives lost, despite the government’s best efforts to eradicate any signs that the war ever happened.

Though they are working toward common goals of helping those who suffered, Ify and Uzo are worlds apart. But when a mysterious virus breaks out among the children in the Space Colonies, their paths collide. Ify makes it her mission to figure out what’s causing the deadly disease. And doing so means going back to the corrupt homeland she thought she’d left behind forever.

 

  1. Errant (The 12:01 Trilogy #1) by Montrez

Superpowers transform one anxious outside into New York’s most wanted girl in this soulful, spirited YA Contemporary Fantasy.

16-year-old Savannah Scarlett struggles to reclaim her life after the devastating loss of her father. but finding a place to belong isn’t easy for someone who’s used to living life on the sidelines.Just when she thinks things can’t get any worse, Savannah witnesses an impossible phenomenon that triggers the emergence of a wild and powerful gift. She must learn to accept and control her newfound ability or die trying. That is if a deadly organization of vicious hunters doesn’t kill her first.Running for her life, Savannah soon finds refuge with the Errants, a ragtag group of powerful misfits who share her power and all the danger that comes with it. A supernatural war has long been brewing. Savannah is no chosen one or savior, but she may be the catalyst needed for the Errants to have a fighting chance at survival against an immortal enemy.

Fans of Divergent and the Darkest Mind are sure to enjoy.

 

  1. Raybearer (Raybearer #1) by Jordan Ifueko

Nothing is more important than loyalty. But what if you’ve sworn to protect the one you were born to destroy?

Tarisai has always longed for the warmth of a family. She was raised in isolation by a mysterious, often absent mother known only as The Lady. The Lady sends her to the capital of the global empire of Aritsar to compete with other children to be chosen as one of the Crown Prince’s Council of 11. If she’s picked, she’ll be joined with the other Council members through the Ray, a bond deeper than blood. That closeness is irresistible to Tarisai, who has always wanted to belong somewhere. But The Lady has other ideas, including a magical wish that Tarisai is compelled to obey: Kill the Crown Prince once she gains his trust. Tarisai won’t stand by and become someone’s pawn—but is she strong enough to choose a different path for herself?

 

  1. The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow

Can a girl who risks her life for books and an alien who loves forbidden pop music work together to save humanity?

Two years ago, a misunderstanding between the leaders of Earth and the invading Ilori resulted in the deaths of one-third of the world’s population.

Seventeen-year-old Janelle “Ellie” Baker survives in an Ilori-controlled center in New York City. Deemed dangerously volatile because of their initial reaction to the invasion, humanity’s emotional transgressions are now grounds for execution. All art, books and creative expression are illegal, but Ellie breaks the rules by keeping a secret library. When a book goes missing, Ellie is terrified that the Ilori will track it back to her and kill her.

Born in a lab, M0Rr1S (Morris) was raised to be emotionless. When he finds Ellie’s illegal library, he’s duty-bound to deliver her for execution. The trouble is, he finds himself drawn to human music and in desperate need of more. They’re both breaking the rules for love of art—and Ellie inspires the same feelings in him that music does.

Ellie’s—and humanity’s—fate rests in the hands of an alien she should fear. M0Rr1S has a lot of secrets, but also a potential solution—thousands of miles away. The two embark on a wild and dangerous road trip with a bag of books and their favorite albums, all the while making a story and a song of their own that just might save them both.

 

  1. Mirage (Mirage #1) by Somaiya Daud

In a star system dominated by the brutal Vathek empire, eighteen-year-old Amani is a dreamer. She dreams of what life was like before the occupation; she dreams of writing poetry like the old-world poems she adores; she dreams of receiving a sign from Dihya that one day, she, too, will have adventure, and travel beyond her isolated moon.

But when adventure comes for Amani, it is not what she expects: she is kidnapped by the regime and taken in secret to the royal palace, where she discovers that she is nearly identical to the cruel half-Vathek Princess Maram. The princess is so hated by her conquered people that she requires a body double, someone to appear in public as Maram, ready to die in her place.

As Amani is forced into her new role, she can’t help but enjoy the palace’s beauty—and her time with the princess’ fiancé, Idris. But the glitter of the royal court belies a world of violence and fear. If Amani ever wishes to see her family again, she must play the princess to perfection…because one wrong move could lead to her death.

 

  1. Court of Lions (Mirage #2) by Somaiya Daud

Two identical girls, one a princess, the other a rebel. Who will rule the empire?

After being swept up into the brutal Vathek court, Amani, the ordinary girl forced to serve as the half-Vathek princess’s body double, has been forced into complete isolation. The cruel but complex princess, Maram, with whom Amani had cultivated a tenuous friendship, discovered Amani’s connection to the rebellion and has forced her into silence, and if Amani crosses Maram once more, her identity – and her betrayal – will be revealed to everyone in the court.

Amani is desperate to continue helping the rebellion, to fight for her people’s freedom. But she must make a devastating decision: will she step aside, and watch her people suffer, or continue to aid them, and put herself and her family in mortal danger? And whatever she chooses, can she bear to remain separated, forever, from Maram’s fiancé, Idris?

 

  1. A Song Below Water (A Song Below Water #1) by Bethany C. Morrow

Tavia is already at odds with the world, forced to keep her siren identity under wraps in a society that wants to keep her kind under lock and key. Never mind she’s also stuck in Portland, Oregon, a city with only a handful of black folk and even fewer of those with magical powers. At least she has her bestie Effie by her side as they tackle high school drama, family secrets, and unrequited crushes.

But everything changes in the aftermath of a siren murder trial that rocks the nation; the girls’ favorite Internet fashion icon reveals she’s also a siren, and the news rips through their community. Tensions escalate when Effie starts being haunted by demons from her past, and Tavia accidentally lets out her magical voice during a police stop. No secret seems safe anymore—soon Portland won’t be either.

 

  1. House of Rahilius (Sword Nation #1) by A. J. Ross

Seventeen-year-old Lincoln Wolfe is set to marry the princess when his world is turned upside down. A ship from the neighboring planet Kayora arrives with passengers fleeing enslavement by the Prime Minister and infamous pirate Rahilius. When Rahilius’s demands for the return of the stolen vessel are ignored, he kills the Ruler of the Grii, kidnaps the princess and declares war on Graiis.

Lincoln learns the necessary skills to kill Rahilius, while the princess sheds propriety and uses her hidden talents to fight for her own survival. Meanwhile, a Southern City rebel seeks to spark a revolution and free the enslaved people of Kayora.

One hero. One warrior. One rebel. Three paths converge to start one Holy war against the Kayorian Empire, but Rahilius is more than he seems, and underestimating him will come at great costs.

 

  1. Mystic Bonds (Paranormal World #1) by C.C. Solomon

Mage Amina Langston thought surviving the supernatural apocalypse, which killed fifty percent of humankind and changed most of the surviving population into paranormal beings, were the biggest challenges in her life. That is, until she and her brother go on the run from non-gifted humans who want to steal their magical blood to make a power-giving serum. Now she’s in search of a handsome stranger who keeps appearing in her dreams and a secret paranormal city to help free those still held in captivity for their blood.

During her journey, Amina befriends several other magical beings also searching for the mysterious town, including a sexy were-jackal who distracts her from locating the man of her proverbial dreams. However, when the group finds the city, it’s filled with dangerous magic and a barbaric were-pack. Facing these new troubles, will Amina take down her human pursuers and save the other paranormals she left behind or end up in greater peril?

 

  1. This Time (Nadira Holden, Demon Hunter #1) by Azaaa Davis

Resurrected into present-day New York, Nadira Holden is asked to save the world … again.

Nadira achieved legendary status when she gave her life to protect humans from the demons. To her, it was yesterday. To the rest of the world, it was twenty years ago.

People have made peace with the demons, worshipping them like celebrities. No one wants to believe that the beautiful creatures who brought magic to humans could be causing the disappearance of so many. When Nadira’s father goes missing, she refuses to play nice. Gloves off. She has to do what she does best. Fight.

Experience why not even death can stop her.

Nadira Holden, Demon Hunter is a fresh urban fantasy series from Azaaa Davis that combines monster-slaying action, family drama, and simmering romance.

Fans of Vampire Hunter Anita Blake, Succubus Georgina Kincaid, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, and Vampire Death Dealer Selene are enthralled and eagerly awaiting the next Nadira Holden novel.

 

  1. To Astera, With Love by Amanda Ross

America, 2022 – drugs are legal, witches are real, and a literal vampire is President. In this world of boutique blood bars and policies that force witches to out themselves, 21-year-old Mercury Amell just wants to live. He wishes that the ages-old feud between vampires and witches didn’t exist. He wishes that his powers and his skin color didn’t increase his odds of being burned at the stake.

After making a powerful enemy, Mercury and his friends must travel to Astera, an annual gathering of all witchkind. They battle vampiric cops, evil witches, aggressive humans, and each other along the way as they struggle to make it in one piece. Will their collective power be enough to get them to Astera safely? Or will they fall prey to their enemies and the laws that spell their destruction?

 

  1. Dread Nation (Dread Nation, #1) by Justina Ireland

Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg and Chancellorsville—derailing the War Between the States and changing America forever. In this new nation, safety for all depends on the work of a few, and laws like the Native and Negro Reeducation Act require certain children attend combat schools to learn to put down the dead. But there are also opportunities—and Jane is studying to become an Attendant, trained in both weaponry and etiquette to protect the well-to-do. It’s a chance for a better life for Negro girls like Jane. After all, not even being the daughter of a wealthy white Southern woman could save her from society’s expectations.

But that’s not a life Jane wants. Almost finished with her education at Miss Preston’s School of Combat in Baltimore, Jane is set on returning to her Kentucky home and doesn’t pay much mind to the politics of the eastern cities, with their talk of returning America to the glory of its days before the dead rose. But when families around Baltimore County begin to go missing, Jane is caught in the middle of a conspiracy, one that finds her in a desperate fight for her life against some powerful enemies. And the restless dead, it would seem, are the least of her problems.

 

  1. A Song of Wraiths and Ruin (A Song of Wraiths and Ruin #1) by Roseanne A. Brown

For Malik, the Solstasia festival is a chance to escape his war-stricken home and start a new life with his sisters in the prosperous desert city of Ziran. But when a vengeful spirit abducts Malik’s younger sister, Nadia, as payment into the city, Malik strikes a fatal deal—kill Karina, Crown Princess of Ziran, for Nadia’s freedom.

But Karina has deadly aspirations of her own. Her mother, the Sultana, has been assassinated; her court threatens mutiny; and Solstasia looms like a knife over her neck. Grief-stricken, Karina decides to resurrect her mother through ancient magic . . . requiring the beating heart of a king. And she knows just how to obtain one: by offering her hand in marriage to the victor of the Solstasia competition.

When Malik rigs his way into the contest, they are set on a course to destroy each other. But as attraction flares between them and ancient evils stir, will they be able to see their tasks to the death?

The first in a fantasy duology inspired by West African folklore in which a grieving crown princess and a desperate refugee find themselves on a collision course to murder each other despite their growing attraction.

 

  1. The Gilded Ones ((Deathless #1) by Namina Forna

Sixteen-year-old Deka lives in fear and anticipation of the blood ceremony that will determine whether she will become a member of her village. Already different from everyone else because of her unnatural intuition, Deka prays for red blood so she can finally feel like she belongs.

But on the day of the ceremony, her blood runs gold, the color of impurity–and Deka knows she will face a consequence worse than death.

Then a mysterious woman comes to her with a choice: stay in the village and submit to her fate, or leave to fight for the emperor in an army of girls just like her. They are called alaki–near-immortals with rare gifts. And they are the only ones who can stop the empire’s greatest threat.

Knowing the dangers that lie ahead yet yearning for acceptance, Deka decides to leave the only life she’s ever known. But as she journeys to the capital to train for the biggest battle of her life, she will discover that the great walled city holds many surprises. Nothing and no one are quite what they seem to be–not even Deka herself.

 

  1. Kingdom of Souls (Kingdom of Souls #1) by Rena Barron

A girl with no gifts must bargain for the power to fight her own mother’s dark schemes—even if the price is her life.

Heir to two lines of powerful witchdoctors, Arrah yearns for magic of her own. Yet she fails at bone magic, fails to call upon her ancestors, and fails to live up to her family’s legacy. Under the disapproving eye of her mother, the Kingdom’s most powerful priestess and seer, she fears she may never be good enough.

But when the Kingdom’s children begin to disappear, Arrah is desperate enough to turn to a forbidden, dangerous ritual. If she has no magic of her own, she’ll have to buy it—by trading away years of her own life.

Arrah’s borrowed power reveals a nightmarish betrayal, and on its heels, a rising tide of darkness that threatens to consume her and all those she loves. She must race to unravel a twisted and deadly scheme… before the fight costs more than she can afford.

 

  1. Finding Eden (The Eden Saga #2) by K.R.S. McEntire

A mutant searching for sanctuary. A hunter hot on her trail.

Lilah has heard rumors of a garden paradise known as Eden somewhere out in the wilds. Forced out of post-apocalyptic Chicago when her mutant abilities come to light, it’s her only hope of safety.

But she’s not the only one roaming the wastelands.

On Adam’s first mission as a newly-qualified Warden, he is tasked with finding and destroying the heart of the Resistance–Eden.

When Lilah’s and Adam’s destinies collide, neither can deny the spark of attraction between them, but how long can they journey together before their secrets come to light?

When Lilah lets down her barriers, Adam sees her for who she truly is and is faced with an impossible choice–between duty and his heart.

Finding Eden is a gripping dystopian adventure, perfect for fans of Delirium, Shatter Me, Divergent, and The Hunger Games.

 

  1. Cinderella Is Dead by Kalynn Bayron

It’s 200 years after Cinderella found her prince, but the fairy tale is over. Teen girls are now required to appear at the Annual Ball, where the men of the kingdom select wives based on a girl’s display of finery. If a suitable match is not found, the girls not chosen are never heard from again.

Sixteen-year-old Sophia would much rather marry Erin, her childhood best friend, than parade in front of suitors. At the ball, Sophia makes the desperate decision to flee, and finds herself hiding in Cinderella’s mausoleum. There, she meets Constance, the last known descendant of Cinderella and her step sisters. Together they vow to bring down the king once and for all–and in the process, they learn that there’s more to Cinderella’s story than they ever knew . . .

This fresh take on a classic story will make readers question the tales they’ve been told, and root for girls to break down the constructs of the world around them.

 

  1. Alice and the VooDoo Queen by K.R.S. McEntire

Alice’s life is finally looking up.

She went from barely affording her studio apartment to living in a penthouse with her fiancé. She tries not to question her good fortune by asking too many questions—like how he can afford it on a restaurant manager’s budget or why she’s yet to meet his family. She is living in the moment, eager to embrace her glow up.

But when her fiancé goes missing a week before the wedding, Alice must go down the rabbit hole and dig up the truth about her lover. She discovers a world of illicit drugs, potions, voodoo spells, gods, goddesses, and spirits. Who would have guessed that her biggest challenge would be his mother, the voodoo queen.

 

  1. Wrath of the Winter Witch (The Unholy Witch Wars, #1) by D.L. Howard

Eight hundred years ago there was harmony in the world and no such thing as light and dark witches. The people were one. Enticed by the seductive powers of dark, some strayed down the twisted path, breaking the balance causing a rift. Eventually starting the Unholy Witch Wars.

Now, war is brewing again and Nthanda, a child of the dark, unknowingly, is at the center of it all. Well loved by many in her homeland, there are those who grow jealous and tired of the witchling and the long time rule of her family. Betrayed and kidnapped by rivals, she’s sold to her blood enemies across the seas.

With the help of an unexpected ally, Nthanda, risks her life and tries to escape the horrid clutches of her captors. Full of rage, fueled by hate, Nthanda and her companions, forge a path through the realms unleashing wrath and havoc on the deserving all the while trying to stay a step ahead of her enemies. With the fate of the world in her hands, can she stop the impending war and find a way to bring balance back to the lands?

Or will everything be lost…