Fantastic Fantasy for November Nights!

I don’t know about you, but as the nights get colder and the days get drearier, I start to feel a bit more like grabbing the nearest dragon and taking flight into some bookish fantasy worlds… which is why today I’ve got some excellent escapism for us all, with a fun fantasy list:

(NB Yes, you can always just reread Harry Potter, but you don’t need me to tell you that, do you? 😉)

wizard heir

Wizard Heir– of course, if you need something with one foot still in this world, then I cannot recommend the Heir series enough! There is a book that takes place before this, but I tend to pick this one as my favourite because *my goodness* this book hit me in the *feels*. On the subject of faves…

mort nice edition

Discworld DEATH series– where would I be without this series? I started my Pratchett journey with the Death books and I couldn’t have fallen more deeply in love with the humour, quirkiness and sheer wit of this series. If you’re searching for funny fantasy, with a darker twist, then look no further!

Neverwhere

Neverwhere– I feel like Gaiman and Pratchett always go together in my mind. If you don’t feel like travelling as far as the Discworld, however, this reimagining of London is the *perfect* book for this time of year: dark, unique and layered.

a darker shade of magic

A Darker Shade of Magic– speaking of a fresh take on London, Schwab’s *magical* series will certainly win over fantasy fans (that is, if you haven’t already read it 😉)

raven boys

Raven Boys– more or less still in the real world, this atmospheric series plays with fantasy in innovative ways and will win you over with its complex characters (also ahhh so glad Rowan is getting more books!)

hazel wood

Hazel Wood– let’s take a trip somewhere a little different. And my goodness, this book is different! If you like luxuriously written and gloriously imaginative stories, then this gothic blend of fantasy and fairy tales will sweep you off your feet.

hollyblack-thedarkestpartoftheforest

Darkest Part of the Forest– are you hyped up for Queen of Nothing coming out soon? Well, why wait! You can always check out some of Black’s other *fantastic* fairy stories. This one even gets a shoutout in Folk of the Air!

through the woods

Through the Woods– this sort-of fairy tale retelling has a spectacularly spooky feel and really works if you’re still looking for some Halloween vibes!

Blackwing2

Blackwing– if you’re craving even more darkness, then why not try this vivid and distinctive grimdark series? It’s the kind of book that takes you far from the family and lingers with you long after you finish.

king of scars

King of Scars– to be fair, I could’ve picked any one of the books in Bardugo’s grishaverse. I chose this partly because I read it recently, but mostly because really evokes a darker Russian setting that suits the approaching wintry mood. I feel like it really embraces the coming darkness- which reminds me of…

sabriel

Sabriel– by far one of my favourite fantasy series, this classic necromancy tale is the book that showed me how deliciously dark fantasy can get.

And that’s all for now! Which fantasy lands do you like to escape to at this time of the year? Let me know in the comments!

Getting Cosy with Some Mysteries for Autumnal Nights

We’re getting into one of my favourite times of the year! I can’t be the only one settling in for hot chocolates and comfy jumpers. And, of course, what goes better with that than a good book? Well, a cosy mystery that’s what! Let’s see if you can predict where this list will lead…

and then there were none

And Then There Were None– Agatha Christie is the QUEEN of cosy mysteries and this is her crowning glory. Annnd I won’t say anything more about the actual book, because this is definitely the sort of book where you need to go in blind. Even though I haven’t read much of her work (yet) it was still hard to resist the urge to put Murder on the Orient Express on here as well… but I guess I kinda just did that 😉

evelyn hardcastle

The Seven and a Half Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle– now for something a little more out there! While this is inspired by the legendary Agatha Christie, it is the kind of story where it’s best to have some clue about what’s going on, because it is so unusual. This Groundhog Day murder mystery set at a party is truly one of a kind. I did find it a bit more difficult to get into, but it’s all the more rewarding for the effort!

academic curveball

Academic Curveball– I’m really excited to talk about one of James’ books, cos he’s awesome. And he’s definitely carved out a niche for himself in the cosy mystery arena! Set in a university, this is full of charming characters you can’t help but root for and a plot that’ll keep you hooked!

the secret history

The Secret History– this is another story set on a college campus and is a book I haven’t been able to shake since I read it this summer. Bound to be a future classic, Tartt’s murder mystery told in reverse is riveting, masterful and a must-read.

truly devious

Truly Devious– sticking to the New England school setting, which somehow really works for this genre, I have to share a YA take. This series opener was a pleasant surprise for me this year. Though I’d heard a lot about the author, I wasn’t prepared for quite how gripping this book would be. Based around a cold case mystery, I hadn’t anticipated the dual stories working in tandem. Needless to say I’m excited for the sequels!

dark-places-book-cover

Dark Places– taking a quick step away from YA for a moment, let’s revisit one of bestselling-sensation Gillian Flynn’s works. As much as I love to wax lyrical about the greatness of Gone Girl, I do have to remind myself that the author is not a one hit wonder. This story about a supposedly solved crime will keep you on the edge of your seat. If you’re looking for something with a little more edge, then this is the book for you!

broken things

Broken Things– on the surface this is a simple summery thriller about friends accused of murder… but dig a little deeper and this YA delivers some deeper themes. The stories within stories reveal there’s a lot more under the surface.

my plain jane

My Plain Jane– on the topic of metafiction, you can’t go wrong with this retelling of Jane Eyre! Delightful and funny and full of friendly (and not-so-friendly) ghosts, it’s perfect for this time of year.

shadow of the wind

Shadow of the Wind– this is another book linked to the love of books. Even better, the mystery centres on a book and its enigmatic author. Weaving through the near mythical streets of Barcelona, this is the kind of book where the journey is half the fun.

my cousin rachel

My Cousin Rachel– Du Maurier is yet another lady who really knows how to grab your attention- and then send you tumbling to uncertain conclusions 😉 Prepare to find yourself wrapped up in the Cornish Moors, facing a precipice of gothic proportions, wondering if you’ll ever get to the bottom of this story… it’s where I’ve been for years. Because this slightly ambiguous read will keep you guessing long after you’ve turned the last page.

And on that’s where I’ll leave you hanging… Have you read any of these? Do you like them? And what mysteries (without spoilers if you can 😉) have really blown you away? Let me know in the comments!