11 Enticing Works of Urban Fantasy
Fantasy is made up of many sub-genres. High fantasy, like Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones can be great, but it isn't for everyone. Many readers prefer a mostly realistic setting with a splash of magic thrown in. If that sounds like your cup of tea, check out the eleven books listed here. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.
Books With Elements of Fantasy: Our 11 Picks
Fun Activities For Fantasy Fans
- Host a magical movie night
- Enter a Magic: The Gathering tournament
- Play a fantasy video game with friends
- Use a Ouija board to contact the spirits
- Create a cosplay of your favorite character
- Have a board game night
- Podcast about your favorite show, movie, or book
- Host a Dungeons and Dragons campaign
5 Great Urban Fantasy Films
- Highlander (1986)
- Bright (2017)
- Wolfen (1981)
- Hellboy (2004)
- The Last Witch Hunter (2015)
10 Common Urban Fantasy Tropes
Great fiction is all about contrast. Take a gritty, urban setting, add a bit of fantasy, and you just might end up with a truly unforgettable tale. If you love speculative fiction that's grounded in reality and crave stories that brilliantly meld the sublime and the everyday, here, in no particular order, are some delightful choices that combine the power of fantasy with the realities of city life.
Coming in at #1 is C.R. Fladmark's "The Gatekeeper's Son." San Francisco teen Junya just got the best sixteenth birthday present ever: he's now officially heir to his grandfather's billion-dollar company. But his path to power isn't as clear as he thought it would be, because somebody's out to get his whole family. With his grandfather in the hospital, Junya has to rely on the help of an intriguing Japanese girl who seems to know all about him. Maybe she can explain the reptilian men who keep following him everywhere, and what their plans are for his legacy.
At #2 is "A Death Displaced" by Andrew Butcher. It's hard enough to deal with the trauma of your own past. What happens when you suddenly get stuck with someone else's? That's just what's happening to Nicolas, a man who keeps having visions of an unknown woman's death.
What happens when you suddenly get stuck with someone else's?
Meanwhile, Juliet is dealing with a different issue: how do you live a normal life when you've outlived your natural expiration date? Having successfully dodged death once, Juliet will have to work with Nicolas to get her old life back and keep the grim reaper at bay.
For #3, we have R.B. Wood's "The Prodigal's Foole." Symon wants to leave the world of magic and spells behind. When a prominent figure from the church is abducted, however, he finds himself tasked with bringing back the hostage, even if it drags him through the bowels of hell itself. Maybe if Symon wasn't so good at conjuring, he would have been spared. As it is, he just might be the only person on Earth who can restore order and keep dark forces from escaping hell and overtaking heaven, destroying the order of our world in the process.
At #4 is "Blood Engines" by T.A. Pratt. Marla has a big problem. As a sorcerer tasked with protecting her beloved city of Felport, she takes her job seriously. So when she learns of a rival intent on destroying her and taking her place, she knows she needs to take action.
As a sorcerer tasked with protecting her beloved city of Felport, she takes her job seriously.
A magical talisman hidden in San Francisco could help her defeat her enemy, but the quest to find it is anything but straightforward. Marla will have to speak with the dead, travel through time, and fight to keep her magical kin from being destroyed by an unseen foe.
For #5, we get "Damnation" by John G. Hartness. When an angel gives up her powers to make sure the world stays safe, it isn't long before she realizes her mistake. Desperate to get her wings back, she has to call on Quincy Harker, a demon-busting paranormal crime fighter who's directly related to Count Dracula himself. In this series of novellas, readers follow Harker as he travels from the streets of New Orleans to the kinky dungeons of Purgatory, a floating party with more than a few wicked attendees.
Coming in at #6 is Laura Bickle's "Phoenix Falling." Cursed with immortality, Petra and Gabe are trying to live under the radar in a peaceful Wyoming town where they can escape the attention of other creatures doomed to walk the Earth forever.
Cursed with immortality, Petra and Gabe are trying to live under the radar in a peaceful Wyoming town where they can escape the attention of other creatures doomed to walk the Earth forever.
But when Yellowstone Park lights up in flames, the couple knows they're not alone in their isolated corner of the world. An ancient alchemist named Lascaris is back to settle an age-old score, and won't let anything stand in his way. The couple must fight fire with fire to end his reign for good.
At #7 is Becca Andre's "The Fifth Essence." Alchemist Addie has two problems. First, she needs to rescue her best friend James from eternal banishment. Second, she has to get to the root of the sudden zombie apocalypse that's taking over her beloved city. Unfortunately, these zombies have a magical edge that could explain why everyone blessed with New Magic keeps losing their powers. Addie might be able to do the impossible, but it won't be easy. To stop the evil from spreading, she'll have to search her own past for the answers, and the victory, she seeks.
For #8 we find "The Unlocked Tome" by Shawn Speakman. Lachlan Wood is only a boy when he's initially thrust into the world of good and evil. Trying to find some form of escape from his shattered home life, he breaks into a bookstore and discovers a magic volume filled with dark powers. Now, Lachlan has a choice to make: put the book back where it belongs, or fall under its sinister spell. This short story provides the perfect introduction to the characters and themes of Speakman's Annwn Cycle books.
Trying to find some form of escape from his shattered home life, he breaks into a bookstore and discovers a magic volume filled with dark powers.
For #9 we have McKenzie Hunter's "Double-Sided Magic." Supernatural beings might be more accepted now than they were in the past, but progress has been very slow. For Levy Michaels, a powerful Legacy trying to escape judgment for crimes she didn't commit, it's getting more and more difficult to present as a human.
If she wants to clear her name and crack the mystery of who used her magic dagger to commit murders, she'll have to work with a handsome supernatural leader to find answers. But what will the dark, brooding Gareth think once he learns the truth about Levy?
At #10 is "Disenchanted" by A.R. Miller. Iowa-based salon owner Keely Fey was doing fine, until she was framed for theft and the murder of a few fellow supernaturals, or "Ens." All she wanted to do was run a successful business. Now, she has to spend her time cleaning up the mess, with a little help from an imaginary friend from childhood who just might be able to help her get to the bottom of everything that's going on. That is, if what she's searching for doesn't kill her first.
Now, she has to spend her time cleaning up the mess, with a little help from an imaginary friend from childhood who just might be able to help her get to the bottom of everything that's going on.
Finally, at #11, is Thomas E. Sniegoski's "The Demonists." John and Theodora want to get their exorcism business off the ground with a quick stunt. Unfortunately, a hoard of demons, spirits, and lost souls have other plans. When an on-air seance goes horribly wrong and leaves Theodora all but paralyzed, John has to find a way to save his wife from her demonic possession. What he'll discover during his search for an antidote is a horrifying plot that could end the world.