5 BOOKS FEATURING THE FAE

One of my favorite things about fantasy books is the inclusion of the Fae. Especially if they are the classic, try-to-trick-you Fae. The cruel Fae, the fae who you have to be increasingly careful around. I also am extremely into fantasy romance books that feature the Fae. I am nothing if not predictable. HOWEVER, when it comes to this list, I do want to say this: I did not love all of these books. I am including them on this list, because I was requested to do a recommendation list on Fae books. Just because I didn’t enjoy them does not mean that you won’t! Give them a try before you count them out, alright?

A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES BY SARAH J. MAAS

GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

the book cover for A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

WHY DID I LOVE A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES?

Now I know, this series is extremely divisive. You either love it, or you can’t stand it. It’s been everywhere in the past couple years, and in my opinion, it’s entirely worth the hype. HOWEVER, I totally get it if it’s not for you. I adore this series, I adore the world, I adore the characters, and when I finished reading it the first time, I actually picked the first book right back up and read it through again. If that’s not a ringing endorsement, I don’t know what is.

The first book in the series feels really YA, in the writing sense, but the series is definitely not YA and should never have been classified as such. There are several explicit sex scenes sprinkled throughout. Also — if you don’t like the first book, keep going — the second book feels entirely different in the best way. Feysand forever.

  • HOW MANY BOOKS IN THE SERIES? There are currently four books published, but there are at least two more coming, I believe. The first three – A Court of Thorns and Roses, A Court of Mist and Fury, and A Court of Wings and Ruin – are a complete story.
  • WHAT BOOK DO I START WITH? A Court of Thorns and Roses
  • CW: Violence, death, sexual content, torture, blood

AN ENCHANTMENT OF RAVENS BY MARGARET ROGERSON

GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

the book cover for An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

A skilled painter must stand up to the ancient power of the faerie courts—even as she falls in love with a faerie prince—in this gorgeous debut novel.

Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes—a weakness that could cost him his life.

Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love—and that love violates the fair folks’ ruthless laws. Now both of their lives are forfeit, unless Isobel can use her skill as an artist to fight the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.

WHY DID I LOVE AN ENCHANTMENT OF RAVENS?

This book is the sweetest version of insta-love I have ever read in my entire life. The relationship between Isobel, and Rook is just the sweetest. It all starts when Isobel, a master painter, is commissioned by the Autumn Prince, Rook, to do a portrait for him. Everything builds from there. Love and peril, questions about faeries, everything. The world in this book is exquisitely done. It’s also really short, so if you’re looking for a primer on faerie fantasy-romance, try this one on for size!

  • HOW MANY BOOKS IN THE SERIES? This is a standalone.
  • CW: Violence, body horror, death of parent, gore, sexual content, kidnapping

THE LORD OF STARIEL BY AJ LANCASTER

GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

The Lord of Stariel is dead. Long live the Lord of Stariel. Whoever that is.

Everyone knows who the magical estate will choose for its next ruler. Or do they? Will it be the lord’s eldest son, who he despised? His favourite nephew, with the strongest magical land-sense? His scandalous daughter, who ran away from home years ago to study illusion?

Hetta knows it won’t be her, and she’s glad of it. Returning home for her father’s funeral, all Hetta has to do is survive the family drama and avoid entanglements with irritatingly attractive local men until the Choosing. Then she can leave.

But whoever Stariel chooses will have bigger problems than eccentric relatives to deal with. Winged, beautifully deadly problems. For the first time in centuries, the fae are returning to the Mortal Realm, and only the Lord of Stariel can keep the estate safe.

In theory.

WHY DID I LOVE THE LORD OF STARIEL?

I enjoyed this book, but wanted so, so much more from it. It’s clearly the start of a series — there’s not a lot of room here in this short book — but the romance between Hattie and the fae prince was really cute. Not there’s a lot of it in this book (it grows in the others), but it’s still enjoyable. Hattie herself is the reason why I really liked this book — she is a phenomenal main character. I love a good lead character that doesn’t make you want to shake her. She makes reasonable decisions, nothing that makes you second guess her intelligence or anything — which is surprisingly rare these days!

  • HOW MANY BOOKS IN THE SERIES? Four
  • WHAT BOOK DO I START WITH? The Lord of Stariel
  • CW: Sexism, homophobia, violence, death of parent

OF BEAST AND BURDEN BY KELSEY KICKLIGHTER

GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

The book cover for Of Beast and Burden by Kelsey Kicklighter

A fae girl with a human heart. A Seelie Queen with a penchant for stealing mortals. And an Unseelie King who will have to give up his throne.

On the coast of Georgia rests a small southern town where faeries still take changelings. Faye lost her mother to the Folk, but has she spent her whole life longing for a glimpse—however brief—behind the veil.

When Faye finds her way in, she also finds the truth of why the dark and alluring world of the Folk has always called to her: She’s half-faerie, and heiress to the Dark Court’s throne.

When the rival court steals her best friend, she’ll have to claim her crown to get her back. But that means learning how to use her glamour so she can face three deadly trials—and not falling for the dark and brooding king she’s meant to be replacing, or the nymph-turned-knight teaching her to fight.

WHY DID I LOVE OF BEAST AND BURDEN?

Now this one, I’ve reviewed on the blog, so you can see my full thoughts there. HOWEVER, a short quick version of it is this: This book had so much potential that just fell flat for me. The world that was set up sounds fascinating, but it is not explored to the extent that it should have been. The characters are not one dimensional, they feel real, but they don’t really do much. This is the start of a series, so I hope that the next books improve!

  • HOW MANY BOOKS IN THE SERIES? This is a standalone!
  • CW: Incest

THE CRUEL PRINCE BY HOLLY BLACK

GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

the book cover for The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself. 

WHY DID I LOVE THE CRUEL PRINCE?

I’m going to be real with you — I did not enjoy this series. BUT a lot of people do, so I felt like I should include it on this list. Jude, the main character, was infuriating for me. She’s cool and calculating, and some of the time, almost cruel. Her love interest, Cardan, is fae. He spends the majority of the first book basically attempting to murder Jude as a ‘joke’, or straight up bullying her. I didn’t buy their romance, so the series didn’t work entirely for me.

  • HOW MANY BOOKS IN THE SERIES? Three
  • WHAT BOOK DO I START WITH? The Cruel Prince
  • CW: Bullying, Murder, Death of parent

I hope my list helped you find at least one book or series featuring the Fae that you love! If not, I sincerely apologize. ALSO — if you have a recommendation for a Fae book that did not make this list, PLEASE share it with me in the comments. Odds are, I haven’t heard of it and I want to read it!

15 thoughts on “5 BOOKS FEATURING THE FAE”

  1. Great list of reccos, Jordyn! I’ve read ACOTAR, Stariel (only the first two books) and of course TCP series. I enjoyed all of them but didn’t *love* them but I think the Stariel books are pretty underrated and deserve more attention! I don’t read that many fae books although I’ve got a few on my list and the author with the most books with fae (that I’ve seen anyway) are Elise Kova. There’s also the Fortuna Sworn series—it’s quite dark though and it wasn’t my fave but I know a lot of people love them.

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  2. Great list…I hadn’t heard of a couple of books on this list before (Stariel, Of Beast and Burden). I’m always a sucker for fae books. A couple more for you to consider (or add to your TBR? ;)) are: THESE HOLLOW VOWS by Lexi Ryan (YA), the sequel of this duology comes out on 7/19; and A DEAL WITH THE ELF KING by Elise Kova (I liked this one loads more than the Fae Prince book of hers). I have a bunch on my TBR, but can’t in good faith rec them yet!

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  3. What a delightful coterie of titles! I was among those who loved The Cruel Prince series in the end, but I had a similar experience with the romance at first 🤭! The interactions between characters in that book––Jude and Cardan especially, but with his entire friend group, really––felt rather cliquey and trivial, and it wasn’t until the stakes got dialed up in book two that I realized how much I actually needed the setup. It’s definitely not a love story for everyone, though: as a flavor of enemies-to-lovers, Jurdan is an acquired taste that you might not even end up acquiring 😂

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    1. That’s why I included it in the list — I know SO many people love the series and it felt wrong to leave it off just because I didn’t enjoy it. I hope more people grab it, and like it! As for me — I probably won’t ever read it again. I was too turned off by the romance, unfortunately!

      Liked by 1 person

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