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Reading Recommendations: The Ultimate List of Must-Read Fantasy Books of 2023 (part four)

Hello readers, and welcome to the fourth installment of our Ultimate List of Must-Read Fantasy Books of 2023! I’m excited to share with you some of my reading recommendations for this year.

As we’ve explored in the previous parts of this series, 2023 has been an incredible year for the fantasy genre. We’ve seen new releases from some of the biggest names in the industry, as well as exciting debuts from fresh voices. The stories have been diverse and imaginative, with worlds that transport us to different realms and characters that capture our hearts.

Now, in part four, I’m thrilled to add even more titles to your reading list. Whether you’re a longtime fan of the genre or a newcomer, I believe there’s something for everyone in this list.

But before we dive into the recommendations, let’s take a moment to reflect on the importance of reading. Reading not only stimulates our imagination but also helps us develop empathy and understanding for others. It’s a wonderful way to escape reality and experience new adventures and emotions.

That’s why I’m excited to continue sharing my reading recommendations with you. It’s my hope that these books will transport you to new worlds and leave you feeling inspired.

And if you haven’t had the chance to check out parts one, two, and three of this series, I highly recommend you do so! There are so many fantastic books to discover in those lists, and I don’t want you to miss out.

Now, without further ado, let’s dive into part four of The Ultimate List of Must-Read Fantasy Books of 2023. Get ready to add more titles to your reading list and journey to even more magical worlds.

But wait, there’s more! Don’t forget that there are still two more parts to come in this series. Keep an eye out for parts five and six, where I’ll share even more reading recommendations that I’m sure you’ll love.

Until then, happy reading and may your imaginations run wild!

Reading Recommendations

The Bite by Z.W. Taylor

Charlotte, a woman on the run from her abusive ex, sets out on a dangerous journey to start a new life in Alaska. With just a paper map and a handful of cash, she leaves behind everything she once knew, including her old appearance. She dyes her hair, scrubs off her fake tan, and pawns her jewelry to ensure her ex can’t track her down.

In the wilderness, Charlotte finally feels a sense of safety, even though she’s lost and has a dying phone with no signal. But her peace is shattered when she’s brutally attacked and bitten by an unknown creature. Her life is forever changed by that bite, and she’s forced to navigate a world she never knew existed.

This gripping paranormal suspense novel is a must-read for fans of werewolf tales. Publishers Weekly raves that it’s a “deeply satisfying tale,” and we couldn’t agree more. Join Charlotte on her journey of survival and discovery in this thrilling novel that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last page.

Release Date: February 7, 2023

reading recommendations

Nightbirds by Kate J. Armstrong

In a captivating new world full of intrigue and danger, the power of women is forbidden, but four extraordinary girls possess the potential to change everything.

Simta’s best-kept secret is the Nightbirds, a group of teenage girls from prominent families with magic running through their veins. These Nightbirds have the extraordinary gift of sharing their magic with others through a single kiss, a forbidden act that is strictly prohibited by the religious sects in the city. The Nightbirds’ existence is a treasured secret, kept safe and guarded by the Great Houses.

As this season’s Nightbirds, Matilde, Aesa, and Sayer spend their nights using their unique abilities to satisfy their wealthy clients’ desires. However, they know that their lives as Nightbirds are not meant to last, as they will eventually marry a Great House lord and become mothers to the next generation of Nightbirds before their powers fade away. But Matilde, Aesa, and Sayer have different plans. They crave a life outside of their gilded cage and yearn for something more.

Their quest for freedom leads them to discover that they are not alone in possessing magical abilities, and that their powers are far greater than they were ever led to believe. They realize that the Nightbird system was constructed to keep them in their place, first as obedient daughters and then as subservient wives. Now they must decide whether to continue living in their privileged but limited existence, or to risk everything to shatter the system that has imprisoned them.

Release Date:  February 28, 2023

A Day of Fallen Night by Samantha Shannon

Samantha Shannon has done it again! In her latest book, A Day of Fallen Night, readers are transported back to the mesmerizing universe of Priory of the Orange Tree. This time, we follow the intertwined stories of four fierce women and witness how their actions shape the world for generations to come.

Tunuva Melim is a skilled member of the Priory, trained to slay wyrms for half a century. But with no sightings of these beasts since the Nameless One, the younger generation is beginning to doubt the Priory’s purpose.

In the Queendom of Inys, Sabran the Ambitious has married the new King of Hróth, saving both realms from ruin. However, their daughter Glorian feels overshadowed by their success and yearns for her own path.

Meanwhile, Dumai has spent her life in a Seiikinese mountain temple, attempting to wake the sleeping gods of the East. But when someone from her mother’s past appears, her fate takes an unexpected turn.

As the Dreadmount unleashes a wave of terror and violence, these women must summon their inner strength to protect humanity from the impending threat. Get ready for a page-turning adventure filled with political intrigue, magic, and epic battles.

Release Date: February 28, 2023

Clytemnestra by Costanza Casati

In this stunning debut, the life of Clytemnestra, one of the most notorious villainesses of the ancient world, is brought to vivid life. Born to a king, she is married off to a tyrant and forced to watch as he sacrifices their child to the gods. Her life is filled with betrayals and injustices, but Clytemnestra is not one to sit idly by and accept her fate. No, she is a woman of strength and resilience, and she will not be undone.

As she watches her husband wage war on a foreign shore, Clytemnestra plots her revenge. She knows that power is not given, but taken, and she is determined to take it for herself. And when her husband returns in triumph, she becomes a woman with a choice – acceptance or vengeance. Either way, she knows that infamy will follow, but she is willing to pay that price.

This blazing novel is set in the world of Ancient Greece and is perfect for fans of Jennifer Saint and Natalie Haynes. It is a thrilling tale of power and prophecies, of love and hatred, and of an unforgettable queen who fiercely dealt out death to those who wronged her. So if you’re a fan of Madeline Miller’s Circe, then you won’t want to miss this stunning debut.

Release Date: May 2, 2023

A Game of Malice and Greed by Caroline Peckham and Susanne Valenti

In a dark fairy tale retelling from the bestselling authors of Zodiac Academy, comes a tangled story of broken hearts and blackened souls.

A twisted heart and a hollow soul collide, A broken warrior, bereft of the gods of old, tries to hide. A thief of shadows, bestowed with the gift of light, A single lie which stole their might.

In a brutal game, a princess to win, As a great empire falls to a monster’s claim, drawn in. A forbidden love, a curse left untold, And the last immortal trapped in a coin of gold.

Release Date: March 3, 2023

The Foxglove King by Hannah F. Whitten

Hannah Whitten’s new fantasy romance series follows a young woman who possesses the power to raise the dead, and her perilous journey into the alluring and dangerous world of the royal court of the Sainted King.

Lore fled a cult in the catacombs of Dellaire when she was thirteen, and since then has lived by one rule: stay hidden. But as her death magic ties her to the city, Lore must run poisons to survive. When a job goes awry and her powers are exposed, she’s taken by the Presque Mort, warrior-monks working for the Sainted King who use the illicit Mortem magic. Instead of being burned at the stake, Lore is tasked by King August to uncover the mystery behind the sudden deaths of entire villages, or face death.

Forced into the Sainted King’s glamorous yet treacherous court, Lore struggles to navigate the deceitful society and untangle a web of politics, religion, and forbidden romance. She’s guarded by Gabriel, a duke-turned-monk, and faces off against Bastian, the king’s reckless heir. But as she unravels the mystery, Lore’s past catches up with her, and her enemies may be closer than she thinks.

Release Date: March 7, 2023

A House With Good Bones by T. Kingfisher

A Southern Gothic tale of suspense from an award-winning author, A House With Good Bones delves into the dark, unsettling secrets hidden beneath the façade of a perfect family and home.

As Sam Montgomery arrives at her mother’s house in North Carolina, her brother’s words about their mother being “off” echo in her mind. But Sam dismisses the thought, looking forward to spending quality time with her mother and bonding over boxed wine and murder mystery shows.

However, as soon as she steps inside, Sam realizes that something is not right. The cozy and welcoming atmosphere of her childhood home is gone, replaced by sterile white walls and her mother’s constant paranoia. Sam discovers a jar of teeth hidden among the rose bushes and vultures circling overhead, adding to the eerie atmosphere.

Determined to uncover the truth behind her mother’s behavior, Sam embarks on a search for answers, but some secrets are better left buried.

Release Date:  March 28, 2023

Silver in the Bone by Alexandra Bracken

Tamsin Lark never wanted to be a Hollower. Without magical abilities, she was never supposed to break into ancient crypts or compete with sorceresses and Cunningfolk for treasure. But when her foster father disappears, leaving her and her brother Cabell to fend for themselves, she has no choice.

Ten years later, rumors spread that her guardian vanished with a powerful ring from Arthurian legend that could break Cabell’s curse. Tamsin’s rival, Emrys, may hold the key to finding it. Though Tamsin doesn’t trust Emrys, she needs her help to beat the other greedy Hollowers who will stop at nothing to get the ring.

As they race to uncover the ring’s location, they find themselves in a dangerous world of dark magic, uncovering secrets that threaten to awaken ghosts from the past and crush Tamsin’s last hope of saving her brother.

Release Date: April 4, 2023

Divine Rivals by Rebecca Ross

In Rebecca Ross’s Divine Rivals, Iris Winnow, an eighteen-year-old journalist, is struggling to hold her family together amidst the war of the gods. Her mother’s addiction and her brother’s disappearance only add to her worries as she competes for a columnist promotion at the Oath Gazette. To cope, she writes letters to her missing brother, which mysteriously disappear. These letters are discovered by her rival, Roman Kitt, who responds to Iris anonymously, sparking a magical and unexpected connection.

As the war between gods escalates, Iris and Roman’s relationship grows stronger and they find themselves united in the fight for Iris’s brother and the fate of humanity. But their love will be tested in the depths of hell, as they face unimaginable challenges in a battle among gods that will seal their fate forever.

With echoes of Shadow and Bone and Lore, Divine Rivals is an epic fantasy novel that explores the power of love amidst hope and heartbreak, and the struggle to overcome ancient rivalries and save the world.


Release Date: April 4, 2023

Some Desperate Glory by Emily Tesh

Kyr has spent her entire life preparing to avenge the murder of planet Earth. She was raised on Gaea Station, among the remnants of humanity, and trained to confront the Wisdom, the powerful weapon that gave the Majoda their victory over humans. As one of the best warriors of her generation, Kyr is determined to ensure humanity’s survival.

But when Command assigns her brother to certain death and relegates her to a role as a breeder, she knows she must take matters into her own hands. With the help of her brother’s brilliant but rebellious friend and a captive alien, Kyr escapes from everything she’s ever known and ventures into a universe more complex and wondrous than she ever imagined.

Some Desperate Glory is an exciting queer space opera that explores the aftermath of war, the importance of family, and the challenges of making choices when you have no options. Award-winning author Emily Tesh’s debut novel is a thrilling journey into the unknown.

Release Date: April 11, 2023

I hope this list has inspired you to try something new, discover new authors, and fall in love with fantasy literature all over again.

Let us continue to support and celebrate the talented authors who bring these worlds to life through their craft. And if you’ve already read some of the books on this reading recommendations list, please share your thoughts and recommendations in the comments bellow.

Thank you for joining me on this journey through the must-read fantasy books of 2023. Happy reading, and may your adventures be grand!

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