Fantasy romance novels offer a magical escape from the ordinary into a world where anything is possible...even enemies to lovers fantasy books where the villain gets the girl 😉 These novels combine the allure of fantastical settings, mythical creatures, and powerful magic with our favourite theme…love. Whether you're a dedicated fan of fantasy or someone looking to dip their toes into a new (the best) genre, there's something undeniably captivating about a well-crafted fantasy romance. In this article, I explore eleven of the best fantasy romance novels that promise to transport you to realms where love and magic intertwine in the most enchanting ways.
The Faerie King by Deborah Boyland
The Faerie King by Deborah Boyland (cough, me) will be launched in Spring 2024. It works as a standalone but there are plans for it to form part of a duology. The second novel will follow a different character and be released shortly after the first. When Elysia’s Dad dies and her best friend and protector (Dae) kidnaps her, depositing her in a magical land far from earth to work as a slave for the evil Faeries and Jinn, Elysia realises it’s time to come to grips with who she is, what she’s hiding, and what she feels for Dae…and…Obi? Follow Elysia as she explores vicious magical lands and falls in love with faerie princes and naughty boys.
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Sarah J. Maas’ ACOTAR series has taken the world by storm. The first book in the series introduces us to Feyre Archeron, a mortal huntress who accidentally kills a faerie wolf in the woods. As punishment, she's taken to the mysterious Prythian, a land inhabited by faeries. There, she discovers a world of magic, intrigue, and passion. Her complicated relationship with the high faerie lord Tamlin forms the core of this gripping tale, as their destinies become irrevocably intertwined. If you haven’t joined the Maasverse, here’s your choice.
Radiance by Grace Draven
Brishen Khaskem, a prince of the Kai, and Ildiko, a noblewoman of the Gauri, are united in an arranged marriage to strengthen an alliance between their two races. Initially, they find each other repulsive due to their stark physical differences. However, as they spend time together, their mutual respect and understanding grow into something much deeper. Draven weaves a tale of love that transcends appearances and prejudices, set against a backdrop of political intrigue.
The Winter King by C.L. Wilson
In The Winter King, C.L. Wilson crafts a world where elemental magic and political intrigue collide. Khamsin Coruscate is the young and fiery princess of Summerlea, a kingdom threatened by the powerful Wintercraig. When she’s captured by the Winter King Wynter Atrialan, she is determined to resist her captor's charms and escape. However, their undeniable chemistry and the secrets that bind their worlds together create a tantalizing web of passion.
The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
Okay, so this one isn’t actually a fantasy novel. But just in case the others wore you out and you’re in the mood for something contemporary, The Hating Game by Sally Thorne offers a contemporary romantic tale with a twist. Lucy and Joshua are coworkers at a publishing house who share a mutual loathing for each other. However, beneath the surface of their rivalry lies a complex emotional connection. When their workplace rivalry takes an unexpected turn, they must confront their true feelings. Thorne's witty writing and the palpable chemistry between the characters make this novel an enchanting read for lovers of both romance and fantasy.
Stardust by Neil Gaiman
You’ve probably watched the film. Now it’s time to read the book. Neil Gaiman's Stardust is a fairy tale for adults, set in the magical realm of Faerie. Tristan Thorn ventures into the mystical land to retrieve a fallen star for his beloved, only to discover that the star is not what he expected. The star takes on the form of a celestial woman named Yvaine, and together, they embark on an epic adventure filled with danger and wonder. Gaiman's lyrical prose and imaginative storytelling make Stardust a story every fantasy girly will love.
The Bird and the Sword by Amy Harmon
Amy Harmon's The Bird and the Sword transports readers to a world where words have power and magic is bound to language. Lark, the protagonist, possesses a unique gift: she can manipulate words to create or destroy. When she meets Tiras, the king of Jeru, her world is forever changed. This story explores the blossoming romance between Lark and Tiras, as well as the larger themes of power, sacrifice, and the enduring nature of love.
Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin
Lou, a witch on the run, finds herself in the heart of Cesarine, a city that despises witches. She crosses paths with Reid, a devout witch hunter, and their lives become entangled in ways neither of them could have foreseen. Mahurin skilfully explores themes of prejudice and acceptance.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
The Night Circus is a magical competition that takes place at night, featuring two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who are bound by a mysterious and perilous game. Unbeknownst to them, they are pawns in a larger contest of magic, and their lives are inexorably linked. As their magical creations come to life, so does their love story. Morgenstern's lyrical prose and imaginative world-building make this novel a standout in the fantasy romance genre.
Uprooted by Naomi Novik
I’m actually midway through this one now and I’ve gotta say I’m impressed. It’s like the character is in the room telling me the story herself. Uprooted by Naomi Novik combines Eastern European folklore with a richly developed fantasy world. Agnieszka, a young woman from a quiet village, is chosen to serve a powerful wizard known as the Dragon as part of a decades-old agreement. As she learns magic from the enigmatic wizard, their relationship evolves from one of mistrust to a deep and unexpected connection. Novik's storytelling skill and the unique magical system she creates make Uprooted a compelling fantasy romance.
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
Set in the wintry landscape of medieval Russia, The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden is a beautifully written fantasy romance steeped in Russian folklore and magic. Vasilisa, a young girl with a special connection to the mystical creatures of the forest, must confront dark forces threatening her village. Along the way, she encounters Morozko, the enigmatic Frost-King. Their relationship unfolds as a delicate dance between the mortal and magical worlds. Arden's vivid prose and the atmospheric setting make this book a true gem for lovers of fantasy and romance alike.
Fantasy Romance Novels Are Perfect for Autumn 😉
Fantasy romance novels offer a unique and enchanting blend of love, magic, and adventure that can transport readers out of their own heads and into a story. Whether you're drawn to epic tales of faerie courts, slow-burn romances in fantastical settings, or love stories interwoven with magic, there's a fantasy romance novel out there for you. The eleven novels I’ve mentioned here are just a glimpse this amazing genre where love takes on a magical life of its own. So, grab a book and prepare to be spellbound by unforgettable romances.