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The Ultimate List of Must-Read Fantasy Books of 2023 (Part six)

Welcome to the sixth and last installment of my ultimate list of must-read fantasy books for 2023!

In this edition, I am delighted to present another curated selection of fantastical tales, discover gripping narratives that will tug at your heartstrings, with characters so vividly portrayed that they become cherished companions on your literary voyage. These books are gateways to extraordinary worlds where heroes rise, prophecies unfold, and destinies are forever altered.

Each turn of the page reveals breathtaking landscapes teeming with mythical creatures, ancient kingdoms brimming with secrets, and battles that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Lose yourself in the enchanting prose, the carefully woven plots, and the immersive world-building that these authors have masterfully crafted.

You will find yourself swept up in tales of courage, resilience, and the indomitable human spirit. These books offer a respite from reality, allowing us to explore the limitless possibilities of our imaginations and ignite our sense of wonder.

So, join me in celebrating the joy of storytelling and the power of fantasy literature. Each of these books holds the promise of a transformative experience, a chance to explore new worlds and discover the extraordinary. May your reading journey be filled with wonder, excitement, and a touch of pure magic.

House of Roots and Ruin by Erin A. Craig

In a haunting manor overlooking the sea, a cursed sister longs for freedom.

Verity Thaumas, a seventeen-year-old with a yearning for adventure, finds herself trapped within the confines of Highmoor, her family’s estate. Her sisters have scattered across Arcannia, leaving Verity and her older sister, Camille, behind. However, Verity’s dreams of escape take an unexpected turn when her sister Mercy brings news that the Duchess of Bloem desires Verity’s artistic talents to paint a portrait of her son, Alexander. 

Excited by the prospect, Verity is met with resistance from Camille, who finally reveals a long-kept secret: Verity is still able to see ghosts, unbeknownst to her.

Shocked by this revelation, Verity decides to flee Highmoor that very night. With no other options, she makes her way to Bloem, where she becomes enamored by the opulent surroundings and irresistibly charming Alexander Laurent. Against all odds, a passionate romance begins to blossom.

Yet, as Verity delves deeper into the secrets of Bloem, her dreams turn into haunting nightmares. The idyllic facade of the estate starts to crack, revealing a darker and more sinister side. Will Verity uncover the truth before it consumes her?

Immortal Longings by Chloe Gong

A blazing adventure in the kingdom of Talin, where power, bloodshed, and romance intertwine in Chloe Gong’s adult epic fantasy debut, inspired by Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra.

In the bustling capital twin cities of San-Er, the annual palace games draw crowds from far and wide. Competitors, skilled in body jumping, engage in a deadly battle to claim unimaginable riches.

Princess Calla Tuoleimi, haunted by a dark past, hides in the shadows. She holds a secret: five years ago, she orchestrated a massacre that left the palace of Er in ruins, including the demise of her own parents. Now, she plans to finish what she started and topple the monarchy before King Kasa’s forces capture her. Her ultimate target? Her reclusive uncle, who always appears to congratulate the games’ victor. If Calla emerges triumphant, she will have her long-awaited opportunity to end his reign.

Enter Anton Makusa, an aristocrat in exile. Desperate to save his childhood love, who lies in a coma since their expulsion from the palace, Anton finds himself buried in debts. However, his exceptional body jumping skills offer him a glimmer of hope. To secure his lover’s survival, he must enter the treacherous games and emerge victorious.

Fate brings Calla and Anton together, forming an unexpected alliance. Alongside King Kasa’s adopted son, August, who seeks to heal the kingdom’s wounds, they navigate a treacherous path. But their motives diverge, and as Calla and Anton’s partnership deepens, they are consumed by conflicting desires. Will Calla choose her lover or the future of her kingdom when the games reach their climax?

A Queen of Thieves & Chaos by K.A. Tucker

A thrilling journey alongside Romy and Zander as they valiantly battle to protect the besieged kingdom of Islor from its encroaching enemies. In this heart-pounding installment of the ‘Fate & Flame’ series, their love is put to the ultimate test.

As darkness looms over the realm, Romy and Zander find themselves at the forefront of the resistance, leading a courageous charge against the forces that seek to overthrow Islor. With each passing challenge, their bond strengthens, and their determination to safeguard their home grows unwavering.

But amidst the chaos of war, doubts begin to creep in. Can their love endure the trials they face? Will it be the beacon of hope that guides them through the darkest of times? As the fate of Islor hangs in the balance, Romy and Zander must summon every ounce of strength and conviction to ensure the survival of their kingdom and the enduring power of their love.

Fall of Ruin and Wrath by Jennifer L. Armentrout

In a world shattered by vengeful gods, where only a handful of cities remain, an extraordinary woman relies on her unerring intuition to survive. Meanwhile, a man thrives on the pleasure he derives from her.

Calista, blessed with a gift that never falters, understands the immense value her abilities hold for those hungry for power. Concealed as the courtesan of Archwood’s Baron, she trades her secrets for his protection.

When her intuition guides her to rescue a prince in desperate peril, a voice within her blazes with both warning and promise. Today he brings her joy, but one day he may be her undoing.

As the Baron’s interest in the prince intensifies and the prince reciprocates his attention to Calista, she finds herself accompanying him as his temporary companion. However, with rebellion brewing within the city’s depths, and with knights and monsters encroaching upon its gates, Calista soon realizes that relying solely on her intuition may not be enough to ensure her safety.

Now, Calista must make a choice: should she heed her intuition and seek a path to sanctuary, or should she follow her heart, even if it leads to her downfall? The stakes are high, and her every decision carries weight in this gripping tale of intrigue and passion.

A Curse for True Love by Stephanie Garber

In a world of villains and one girl’s pursuit of a happily ever after, a deadly battle unfolds.

Evangeline Fox, driven by her quest for a fairy tale ending, embarks on a journey to the enchanting Magnificent North. There, she finds herself married to a captivating prince, residing in the grandeur of a legendary castle. The illusion of her perfect fairy tale life, however, blinds her to the steep price she has unknowingly paid. Little does she know the sacrifices she has made, and her husband is determined to ensure she remains oblivious to the truth. His ultimate goal? To eliminate Jacks, the enigmatic Prince of Hearts.

Prepare for a harrowing tale of bloodshed, stolen hearts, and the ultimate test of true love in the highly anticipated conclusion to the Once Upon A Broken Heart trilogy: A Curse for True Love. As the battle intensifies, secrets will unravel, loyalties will be tested, and the fate of Evangeline’s happily ever after hangs in the balance.

Play of Shadows by Sebastian de Castell

In the midst of a fateful night, Damelas Shademantaigne finds himself fleeing from a perilous judicial duel. With the notorious duellist, the Vixen, hot on his heels, Damelas seeks refuge within the enchanting halls of the Operato Belleza. Through cunning deception, he manages to join a company of actors, relying on an archaic law to grant him temporary sanctuary. Little does he know that his refuge will thrust him into a world of danger and revelations.

A haunting voice whispers in Damelas’s mind, causing him to falter during a performance and inadvertently expose a chilling truth: the city’s revered hero may be a treacherous murderer. With only his boisterous and loyal friend Bereto, a seductive assassin whose motives remain uncertain, and a ragtag group of misfit actors who may or may not have his best interests at heart, Damelas, the failed son of two Greatcoats, must summon the courage to unearth long-buried secrets before the ruthless Iron Orchids, a band of merciless bravos, hunt him down.

And let’s not forget the impending duel with the relentless Vixen, waiting eagerly to test Damelas’s mettle.

books of 2023

Sword Catcher by Cassandra Clare

In the vibrant city-state of Castellane, where opulent nobles and ruthless criminals vie for supremacy, two unlikely heroes emerge to shape the course of destiny.

Kel, an orphan thrust into a life of deception, serves as the Sword-Catcher, a doppelgänger to Prince Conor Aurelian. Trained in the art of combat and diplomacy, Kel’s sole purpose is to protect the prince at all costs—even if it means sacrificing his own life. Bound by duty and their brotherly bond, Kel and Conor navigate the treacherous world of politics and power, where trust is a fragile commodity.

Lin Caster, a member of the Ashkar community blessed with forbidden magic, lives a life confined within the city walls. As a skilled physician, she dares to venture beyond those boundaries, offering aid to the sick and vulnerable in defiance of the law. But her desire to save her ailing best friend, Mariam, leads her on a path toward forbidden knowledge and unforeseen consequences.

Fate weaves its tapestry when a failed assassination plot brings Kel and Lin together. Drawn into the enigmatic realm of the Ragpicker King, the enigmatic ruler of Castellane’s underworld, they are presented with an enticing offer—one that promises to fulfill their deepest desires. Yet, as they delve deeper into the shadowy corridors of intrigue, they uncover a pervasive web of corruption that extends from the city’s darkest corners to the heights of its grand palaces.

 Unveiling long-held secrets, Kel and Lin must confront a dangerous choice: Is the pursuit of knowledge worth the price of betrayal? Can forbidden love ignite a revolution that will shatter a kingdom? And will their extraordinary discoveries plunge their nation into a devastating war, plunging the entire world into chaos?

A Fire in the Flesh by Jennifer L. Armentrout

As the epic saga reaches its climactic end, prepare to be immersed in a world of danger, passion, and unrelenting battles. With every page, the stakes are raised, the mysteries deepen, and the fate of all hangs in the balance.

In this final chapter, secrets will be unveiled, alliances will be tested, and sacrifices will be made. Brace yourself for a thrilling roller coaster ride as the gripping narrative unravels and reaches its breathtaking crescendo. The captivating characters you have grown to love will face their ultimate challenges, their destinies entwined in a desperate struggle for survival.

Alecto the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

a spellbinding fusion of epic science fantasy, necromantic lore, and pulse-pounding swordplay that will leave you spellbound. From the darkly imaginative mind of the acclaimed author, the series weaves a captivating tapestry of adventure, humor, and sacrilegious wit, reminiscent of the iconic blend found in Dune, Riddick, and Gormenghast.

Step into a world where necromantic theory intertwines with thrilling action, and where a twisted sense of humor dances hand in hand with breathtaking battles. From the heart-stopping battles of Gideon the Ninth to the mind-bending revelations of Harrow the Ninth, each installment delves deeper into a realm where secrets lurk and destinies unfold.

Tress of the Emerald Sea by Brandon Sanderson

In a world embraced by an emerald-green ocean, Tress leads a simple life on her island home. Her days are filled with the joy of collecting cups from faraway lands, brought by sailors, and the captivating stories spun by her friend Charlie. But when a voyage in search of a bride turns disastrous for Charlie’s father, Tress finds herself facing a life-altering choice. Determined to help her friend, she stows away on a ship bound for the treacherous Midnight Sea, where the Sorceress awaits.

Venturing into the perilous realm of spore oceans and navigating the treacherous waters teeming with pirates, Tress must leave behind her familiar simplicity and forge her own path on the unforgiving sea. Every drop of water becomes a potential threat, as danger lurks around every corner. Will Tress find the strength and resilience to carve out her place amidst this ever-shifting world?

Brandon Sanderson, renowned for his masterful world-building and captivating storytelling, weaves a tale that will transport you to a realm of adventure, magic, and unpredictable twists. This standalone novel expands the boundaries of the beloved Cosmere universe, inviting you to embark on an unforgettable journey alongside Tress as she discovers her own destiny on the high seas.

I hope you enjoyed this selection of new releases for fantasy books 2023. But don’t forget, there’s more to explore! Be sure to check out the parts of the list for even more exciting titles to add to your reading list.

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