I read a lot of urban fantasy books in 2021. Not all of them stuck with me, but below are eight that now live rent-free in my brain.
Some ground rules before we start. These are books I read in 2021, not necessarily ones that were published in 2021. (I’m terrible at reading new releases in a timely manner.) And while I feature paranormal romance, supernatural horror, and other related genres on this blog, I’m sticking solely to urban fantasy for this particular post.
Make sense? Then let’s get to the list!
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Iron & Velvet by Alexis Hall
I gushed about this one on my post about vampire books. It has a great noir atmosphere and deep world-building, but the best part is the hilarious POV of the main character, Kate. She’s so awesome and entertaining that I would read her narration about a trip to the post office.
Elemental by Whitney Hill
The book description claims “Fans of Kim Harrison, Faith Hunter, and the early Anita Blake series will find a kick-ass heroine to love in Arden,” and I agree with that completely. Elemental feels like a classic urban fantasy. It follows a mystery plotline, and while the heroine has supernatural abilities, she’s outmatched by the ridiculously powerful forces she’s up against and has to rely on her wits to survive.
The Wizard’s Butler by Nathan Lowell
I read this one as a part of Scaredy Cat Bingo, and man, it’s still so good. While the book isn’t filled with battle scenes and monster fights, I flew through the pages, swept up in the world and the conflict. Definitely recommended for people looking for an urban fantasy that’s a little different.
By Earth by T. Thorn Coyle
I wrote a whole review on this one and will try not to repeat myself too much. It has a great depiction of witchcraft, a wonderfully supportive coven, and an all-too-realistic villain. I enjoyed the heroine’s character arc and am always down for mystery plots that involve a ghost.
Rites of Passage by Amber Fisher
This book has one of the most interesting depictions of necromancy I’ve ever seen. Technically a prequel to the Rest in Power Necromancy series, it tells a complete, satisfying story and hints at just enough unresolved mysteries that I’m eager to start Book 1 this coming year.
Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Another one from my vampire book post. Even if you’re sick of reading about vampires, you should try this one. Such a unique take! Great world-building, great characters, and a page-turning plot.
Sinister Magic by Lindsay Buroker
I’ve binge-read Buroker’s epic fantasy series and was thrilled to find her usual humor, quirky characters, and big action scenes in her urban fantasy as well. I’m only two books into the Death Before Dragons series so far, but I have a feeling I’ll be buying the other seven in 2022. Tough assassin heroine, slow-burn romance with a dragon shifter, telepathic tiger sidekick–what’s not to like?
Shadow Fall by Seressia Glass
A great end to an excellent trilogy! I finished the Shadowchasers series this year, and while I’m going to miss it, the conclusion didn’t let me down. Kira and Khefar are quite possibly my favorite urban fantasy power couple. The romance, the character development, the Egyptian mythology–I love everything about this book.
What were your favorite urban fantasy reads of 2021? Let me know in the comments!