7 Enchanting Fantasy Books With Fae and Fairies to Read


Fantasy books with fae (fairies) unveil supernatural creatures who are mystical and enchanting.

Or eerie and ominous.

Either portrayal has its fans, each one promising to transport readers into a world of wonder, dread or both.

Are you interested in exploring such stories? If so, you’ve come to the right place.

Here are 7 enchanting fantasy books with fae and fairies to read:

I’ve included book descriptions, readers’ ratings and summaries of positive and negative comments for each one of the books in this list below.

But if you’d prefer a quick summary, here’s a comparison chart.


Tithe by Holly Black

Descriptions

Sixteen-year-old Kaye is a modern nomad. Fierce and independent, she travels from city to city with her mother’s rock band until an ominous attack forces the sixteen-year-old back to her childhood home.

There, amid the industrial, blue-collar New Jersey backdrop, Kaye soon finds herself an unwilling pawn in an ancient power struggle between two rival faerie kingdoms – a struggle that could very well mean her death.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.72

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

First on our list of fantasy books with fae and fairies is Tithe by Holly Black. This book enthralled fans with its gritty atmosphere and characters, particularly its protagonist, Kaye.

Many said that they found this a refreshing and more realistic take on fairytales. For instance, unlike most fantasy protagonists, Kaye is a teenager who drinks, dabbles in drugs and more. Similarly, the Urban Fantasy setting is unglamorized: it features trailerparks, rusted cars and aging buildings rather than only aspects that are beautiful and ethereal.

As such, fans often remarked that they thought Tithe was a more honest and relatable story than most fantasy stories revolving around fairies and fae. This made it so much easier for them to bond with the characters and invest in their stories.

Negative Comments

What did critics say about Tithe? Generally, the reasons fans loved this story was the reasons critics disliked it. Several said that they couldn’t connect with the characters, who struck them as either unrealistic or unlikeable.


The Hunter’s Moon by O.R. Melling

Description

Canadian Gwen and her Irish cousin, Findabhair, have long planned a summer of backpacking around Ireland, visiting sites out of the old legends of fairy folk.

Little do they know that it is the summer of the Hunter’s Moon, a dangerous time for mortals who meddle with the kingdom of Faerie.

One night, camping out on old ruins, Finn is kidnapped by the Faerie king, who wants her for a bride and possible sacrifice. It is up to Gwen, the more indecisive of the two, to rescue her cousin.

Beautifully written, romantic, exciting, and evocative of both modern-day and mystical Ireland, this is a treat for girl fantasy readers. 

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.81

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments 

Second on our list of fantasy books with fae and fairies is The Hunter’s Moon. Fans praised this coming of age story for its effortless ability to sweep them into its world.

Whether it was the novel’s portrayal of Ireland or the land of the fae, its beautiful writing and Irish mythological influences made this a captivating and magical read. Many readers that they felt as if they could taste, touch and hear all the places in The Hunter’s Moon pages.

Apart from that, fans said that Gwen’s growth from timid and indecisive to proactive and confident was wonderful to see. In addition to being heartwarming, they described the journey as exciting, suspenseful and fast-paced.

Negative Comments

If readers didn’t enjoy The Hunter’s Moon, what did they say?

In general, critics described the characters’ emotions as flat. For instance, rather than feelings building up over time, they seemed to appear all of a sudden.

As a result, these readers thought this made the characters’ choices and behavior felt forced.


The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

Descriptions

Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined.

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan’s life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she’s known is about to change.

But she could never have guessed the truth – that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she’ll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil, no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart. 

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.90

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Next on our list of fantasy books with fae and fairies is The Iron King. This fantasy novel delighted fans with its adrenaline-packed adventure plot, imaginative world and relatable protagonist, Meghan.

Meghan, these readers said, came across to them as extremely relatable. While she began the story uncertain and insecure, she grew into a brave character. Seeing her overcome her fears in order to save her brother made these readers cheer for and admire her.

Aside from that, fans commented on The Iron King’s intriguing world. Jam-packed with magical creatures and enchanting new places, this novel transported readers into its pages. Many said that this, paired with exciting action, kept them eager to know what would happen next.

Negative Comments

What did critics say about The Iron King?

Overall, if critics didn’t enjoy this novel, they cited Meghan as the reason. Several described her as either a passive protagonist or a ‘damsel in distress‘. For instance, the two main supporting characters, both of whom were men, frequently had to rescue her.

This frustrated critics, who thought too much of the book’s plot relied on this setup.


The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Description

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 years old 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.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war 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. 

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.14

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

The next story on our list of fantasy books with fae or fairies is The Cruel PrinceThis novel  captured fans’ imaginations with its suspense, intriguing portrayal of faeries and its strong-willed protagonist, Jude. 

Dangerous yet darkly alluring, the faeries came across as all-together magical. Readers described themselves as transported both into the story’s pages because of their unique portrayal as well as their enchanting world.  

In addition, Jude won them over with her mix of fierceness, determination and cunning. To these readers, she was a refreshing anti-hero, both complex and relatable. 

Negative Comments

What did critics say about The Cruel Prince? For the most part, these readers cited either the characters and their romance as reasons for not enjoying the book.

In terms of the former, several described Jude and Cardan as familiar Young Adult Fantasy types. For instance, Jude came across to them as a standard ‘strong female character’ while Cardas seemed like a standard ‘bad boy with a tragic past’. Generally, these readers also found them unsympathetic: they tended to describe Jude as embittered and passive while Cardas came across as a bully.

Related to this, critics couldn’t see what about the characters found attractive about each other. As a result, they thought the romance was unconvincing.


The Falconer by Elizabeth May

Description

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.

The first volume of a trilogy from an exciting new voice in young adult fantasy, this electrifying thriller combines romance and action, steampunk technology and Scottish lore in a deliciously addictive read. 

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.76

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

Another story on our list of fantasy books with fae and fairies is The Falconer. A fast-paced steampunk fantasy, this novel captured fans’ imaginations with its refreshing historical setting, complex protagonist and slow-burn romance.

These readers described this story as having a lightning-fast pace and exciting action. Moreover, many of them were delighted by how different the world was. Its blend of magic and technology intrigued them, as well as its dark and deadly atmosphere.

As for Aileana, the protagonist, these readers praised her for seeming so multidimensional. Filled with rage and grief, she was both sympathetic and admirable to them. On one hand, the ghosts of her past spurred her to become a deadly protagonist they loved to follow. On the other, her healing and growing confidence warmed their hearts.

Related to this, fans remarked that Aileana’s love interest, Kiaran, seemed like just the right person to help her to overcome her weaknesses. At the same time, he struck them as a cunning warrior as well as an understandable and complex character in his own right. Seeing the two fall in love and work together was one of The Falconer‘s highlights.

Negative Comments

No book is without its critics, so what did these readers say about The Falconer? For the most part, they cited two reasons for disliking the book.

The first reason critics gave was that they didn’t connect with Aileana. For some, she struck them is a standard ‘badass’ protagonist, with not much to differentiate her. This made it difficult for them to see her as a flesh-and-blood character. Others thought she didn’t express enough of her emotions for them to get a strong sense of who she was.

The second reason critics gave was that they thought the romance between her and Kiaran developed too quickly. The two of them knew each other before the events in The Falconer, but readers tended to feel that the backstory formed the bulk of its development. As such, during the story events themselves, the relationship didn’t grip them.


An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

Description

Every enchantment has a price.

With a flick of her paintbrush, Isobel creates stunning portraits for a dangerous set of clients: the fair folk. These immortal creatures cannot bake bread or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and they trade valuable enchantments for Isobel’s paintings.

But when she receives her first royal patron — Rook, the autumn prince — Isobel makes a deadly mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes, a weakness that could cost him his throne, and even his life.

Furious, Rook spirits Isobel away to his kingdom to stand trial for her crime. But something is seriously amiss in his world, and they are attacked from every side. With Isobel and Rook depending upon each other for survival, their alliance blossoms into trust, perhaps even love…a forbidden emotion that would violate the fair folks’ ruthless laws, rendering both their lives forfeit. What force could Isobel’s paintings conjure that is powerful enough to defy the ancient malice of the fairy courts?

Isobel and Rook journey along a knife-edge in a lush world where beauty masks corruption and the cost of survival might be more frightening than death itself.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.66

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

Another story on our list of fantasy books with fae and fairies is An Enchantment of Ravens.

Over and over again, fans lauded this novel for its utterly captivating and refreshing take on fairies. Published around the same time as several similar books, An Enchantment of Ravens nevertheless stood out to fans thanks to its beautiful and alien portrayal of these fantasy creatures.

Another highlight they mentioned was Isobel. Several praised her as a great protagonist, particularly because of her passion for painting and her cleverness in dealing with the conniving fair folk.

Fans mentioned how engrossing it was to watch her navigating the world, especially in her dealings in the fairy courts.

Negative Comments

What did critics say about An Enchantment of Ravens? Overall, readers cited two reasons: the plot, which focused on the two journeying together, or how quickly the characters fell in love.

In terms of the journey plot, critics typically said that this story style made the novel feel meandering rather than one that built toward a clear endpoint. As such, they didn’t feel a sense of momentum that compelled them to turn the book’s pages.

In terms of the romance, critics generally thought that it was too sudden. Several commented that they didn’t understand what the characters found appealing in one another and, as such, thought the romance was artificial.


A Kingdom of Exiles by S.B. Nova

Description

The brightest of stars are always born on the darkest of nights.

Serena Smith is unusual

Growing up in a backwoods village, her life is lonely and dull. Then, on her eighteenth birthday, she’s gifted a magical heirloom only to be snatched by fae and condemned to a lifetime in chains.

Dragged to Aldar, a fae kingdom ruled by a tyrant witch, Serena discovers a forbidden love, and meets fellow outcasts, each with their own dark secrets. 

As the lives of warriors, rebels, and witches clash, they find a shared destiny. For only together, and with Serena’s unique gifts, can they survive long enough to build the flames of a revolution. Only together can they go to war…

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.18

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

And last on our list of fantasy books with fae and fairies is A Kingdom of Exiles. This entrancing novel grabbed readers with its twists and turns, as well as its vibrant cast of characters.

Fans said that the plot kept them glued to the edge of the seat, surprising them with the directions it took. Just when they thought they knew where the book was headed, it would veer in an exciting new direction. As an added bonus, many mentioned that the story also had a lightning-fast pace, suspense and plenty of action.

In addition to that, these readers often applauded A Kingdom of Exiles for its cast of characters. Whether it was the main characters or the supporting ones, fans said that they dazzled them. Each character had their own motives, personality and growth, as well as something that made them sympathetic or fascinating.

By the end of the story, fans said that it wasn’t just Serena who captured their hearts – they came to care for the entire cast as well.

Negative Comments

What did critics say about A Kingdom of Exiles? Well, they typically focused on two reasons for disliking the novel.

The first had to do with the relationships. These readers tended to say that the characters became friends or fell in love with little development.

The second reason had to do with Serena. Critics thought she had an unrealistic amount of characters showing romantic interest in her, which weren’t justified by either her actions or personal qualities.

Especially since many of them thought she had clear character flaws – some said she came across as immature or helpless – they found this frustrating.


7 Enchanting Fantasy Books With Fae and Fairies to Read

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7 Enchanting Fantasy Books With Fae and Fairies to Read


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