Magic shouldn’t have to hide.
What’s a masquerade? In urban fantasy, it means the world looks like ours on the surface, and the existence of the supernatural is a carefully hidden secret.
These five books blow that secret wide open.
If you like urban fantasy where magic is a part of everyday life, then here are five book recommendations for you.
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by S. Usher Evans
It’s impossible to keep the existence of demons a secret in the world of Resurgence. This is because every so many years, a portal to hell opens in a random city on Earth, and a horde of demons emerges to utterly wreck shit.
The main characters work for a government organization that combats these demon invasions and also monitors the slightly more civilized demons who live on Earth full time.
But of course the real situation is more complicated than that, as the main characters soon find out…
by Azaaa Davis
Speaking of demons, you’ll want to check out the Nadira Holden Demon Hunter series. There used to be a masquerade in this universe before the start of the book. Demons lurked in the shadows, preying on humans, and Nadira belonged to a secret demon-hunting order that protected humanity.
Then Nadira died.
When she mysteriously rises from the grave years later, demons have gone out into the open. Even worse, they’re celebrities now, and they’ve painted demon hunters as a group of prejudiced extremists terrorizing poor innocent demons.
This is the new reality Nadira has to navigate while remaking her life and investigating a sinister plot.
Dragon & Detective
by Layla Lawlor
The dragon in this book is named Ozymandias, but call him Oz. Since there’s no masquerade in this series, he doesn’t live in a hidden cave but a luxurious mansion with dragon-sized rooms. And instead of a horde of gold and jewels, he has a collection of sports cars.
The plot kicks off when one of those cars is stolen and Oz hires the titular detective. And yes, the book is just as fun as it sounds.
by Jami Gray
When an average person in the Arcane Transporter universe runs into magical trouble (like a poor background character whose dog was cursed to think it’s a cat in heat), they turn to The Guild, a collection of magic users with various talents who work for hire.
Rory, the main character, works with The Guild as an independent contractor. And she’ll need all The Guild’s resources to investigate her roommate’s disappearance and the dead body that turned up in their condo–especially when it involves dealing with the all-powerful Families that make up the magical elite.
Heart of Malice
by Lisa Edmonds
All kinds of supernatural beings exist in the Alice Worth universe: vampires, ghosts, demons, and more. So while the world of the novel is a lot like ours, with all that magic out in the open, there are differences both big and small.
For example, Alice isn’t just a licensed PI but specifically a licensed mage PI. Most mages register their abilities, but extremely strong ones need to be careful of revealing their power lest they get forcibly recruited by the cabals, AKA the mage mafia. There are anti-magic hate groups, a Supernatural and Paranormal Entity Management Agency, and lots of other interesting bits of worldbuilding.
And all that is just the backdrop for an action-packed urban fantasy mystery.
What’s your favorite urban fantasy book that has no masquerade? Shout it out in the comments below.