Introductory Fantasy Book Recommendations

Posted By kristadb on Apr 11, 2016 |

Poison Study by Maria V. Synder

This was an adorable book. Yelena was such a sweetie and I liked her ongoing attempts to improved herself and be her own rescuer. The romance was…okay, you need to really not think about it too much. If we just set aside the wildly inappropriateness of it all, they are so cute together.

The addition of the ghost haunting her was a nice touch to the story, adding to the despair she often feels.

The first person POV and easy language makes for a really good introduction to the S&S/high fantasy style for those who are used to reading contemporary settings.


Maddie Hatter and the Deadly Diamond by Jayne Barnard

A fun, cozy murder mystery set in an English steampunk setting. It is basically an all-ages book. The steampunk has a light touch, making it a good introduction to the subgenre.

Maddie is smart and determined to make her way as a newspaper reporter (under a man’s name, of course), and I found myself cheering for her the entire book.

It’s one of those rare books that grandmother, mother, daughter, and great-granddaughter can all read and all enjoy.


Palace Job by Patrick Weekes

This was a re-read, but I did the audiobook this time.

The first time I read the book, I came away with this hilarious, over-the-top crazy impression. This time…I come away with an almost endearing feeling of fun and friendship. I think this current impression is the correct impression; I think I’d read the book originally after reading a huge amount of dull slogs of dullness, so it made the book pretty out there.

Loch and Kal are hilarious together. The “your mother” jokes never got old – which is saying something because I loathe “your mother” jokes as a general rule. The gang was like a fun RPG meets Oceans 11 gaggle.

Anyone who plays RPG games will recognize the format: personal quests, side quests, party banter, and new character introductory scenes.

This is a great book for people who play video games and want to get back into reading.


Rippler by Cidney Swanson

This was a great amount of fun. Even though this is SF, the science part could really work just as well as magic. The romance is sweet and G rated, and never takes over the story. It’s also so appropriate and typical of the age (15, just turns 16). I found it very believable.

The friend fights, likewise, remind me of ones I had as a teenager and felt real, as opposed to manufactured.

The reading level is easy enough that I’d be okay with giving this to even a middle grade reader, if they were interested. Likewise, it’s a good book to get a strict YA romance-only reader to cross over into a bit of SFF without issue.


This was originally posted on /r/fantasy.

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