What Is Your Fantasy/Urban Fantasy Book Recommendation? A Giveaway

Posted January 13, 2012 by Tracy in Reviews | 18 Comments

Genres: Urban Fantasy
The Fantasy and Urban Fantasy genres are not books that I read on a regular basis.  I really have to have a solid recommendation for them before I’ll buy and even then sometimes I’ll hem and haw for a while before I actually lay down my cold hard cash. I think it’s because I love my romances so much.  I want that HEA at the end of the books and it usually doesn’t happen with F or UF books, IDK.  I’ve have read some really great books though and I’m always happy when I find a great series that I love.  
Renee goaded me until I finally bought the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs and man am I glad I did.  She literally had to shove the book at me in the store and say, “buy this!” lol  Thanks, Renee! ๐Ÿ™‚
Amy C had to email me a bajillion times for me to finally perk up and buy the Black Jewel Trilogy by Anne Bishop, which is dark fantasy, and then I thought I’d be smart and buy the omnibus edition.  More fool me.  Seriously.  That thing was so effin big it was completely intimidating and it sat on my shelf for about 6 months before I picked it up and dug in.  Of course then I couldn’t put the damned thing down because I was completely and utterly hooked.
The first book in the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews was sent to me as a gift from another friend Amy who thought I’d enjoy the series.  I think book 2 had already been published by that time and she wanted me to not fall too far behind. Magic Slays sat on my shelf for years! (Talk about falling behind in a series.) I tried to pick it up and read it once and I just couldn’t get into it.  I almost gave it away twice in the blogger book swaps but something held me back.  Last year when I finally sat down and read the book it was good.  It wasn’t great but definitely good enough to keep reading the series.  I then picked up book 2 which I liked a little better.  Book 3, Magic Strikes blew me away.  I loved that book and immediately read books 4 and 5 after which I also loved like chocolate…I just couldn’t get enough.
So where is all this leading?  I want you to recommend some Fantasy or Urban Fantasy books to me.  I feel the need to expand my repertoire (yeah, like I don’t have enough books to read, right?) and I’d like to know what you think.  I would probably like stories that have more romance in them but that’s not required.  So tell me – which books/series do you love and think everyone should read and why do you love it/them so much?
I also have another mystery box of books to give away thanks to Holly at The Book Binge.  This box is filled with Fantasy and Urban Fantasy reads so if those are up your alley leave a comment with your F/UF book rec, along with your email address no later than Friday, January 20th at 7:00pm to enter to win.  Again, I’m sorry, but this has to be limited to the US only.

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18 responses to “What Is Your Fantasy/Urban Fantasy Book Recommendation? A Giveaway

  1. Not entering the contest, but I highly recommend Someplace To Be Flying by Charles de Lint – you can read the first chapter on his website.

  2. I love fantasy and UF. In fact, anything Patricia Briggs writes is pretty high on my must have list. I think my favorite fantasy author is Jacqueline Carey. Her Kushiel's series (specifically the first 3 books) blew me away. I found the first 75ish pages tough to read because of the ***waves hands looking for the right word*** set-up for the rest of the story. Once it got going you couldn't have separated me from those books. Thanks for the chance to win a box of fantasy and UF books! I am trying to cut back on buying and read what I already own. But if I win it I didn't buy it ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. Have you tried Briggs' Alpha and Omega series? Same world as Mercy's but separate series that I like even better.
    Just started Faith Hunter's Jane Yellowrock series and like it very much. For dark UF, I like Lilith Saintcrow and Stacia Kane.

  4. I love UF. I find it a great contrast to the romances, so I usually alternate between them to keep from getting burned out on either.

    Mercy Thompson and Kate Daniels are two of my all time favorite series. For others, I'd second the Alpha/Omega series. I like it even more than Mercy Thompson. If you want something totally different, I'd recommend Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series. There are four books out so far, and I believe it will be ending with the fifth book – it's kind of paranormal, kind of steampunkish, kind of Victorian comedy of manners, laugh out loud funny, and has a fun romance.

    For a more traditional UF/PNR blend that features one main couple, try The Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost – some of the hottest sex scenes around, and featuring Bones – everyone's dream vampire hero.


  5. oh, one series that I think Is a must (if you haven't already read) is the Dark-Hunter series by Sherrilyn Kenyon.
    As for why I love it–there are just no words to say why. LOL… The design and depth of every book, every character is amazing. It's definitely one of those books that the moment you pick it up you can't ever put it back down. You must have each and every one right after another to appease your hunger for it. lol… The first book, Is technically "Fantasy Lover" due to the introduction of one specific character named Julian but the series officially starts with "Night Pleasures".
    Here is the list on goodreads
    They have a bunch of shorts too so If you wish to skip the havoc here is the list of only the main novels. ๐Ÿ˜€
    I hope you come to love this series as much as I have. ๐Ÿ˜€


  6. I third the Alpha & Omega series. FYI – start with Alpha & Omega (the novella), which was published in the anthology On The Prowl. According to the author's website:

    The series has plenty of action, but there's more emphasis on the romantic attraction between the hero and heroine.

    Other suggestions. Hmmm. I'm going to go out on a limb. Have you read Sarah Monette's Doctrine of Labyrinths? It's dark fantasy. Character driven. I must confess that it's not for everyone, but I ate it up. Still with fantasy, I also loved Carol Berg's The Lighthouse Duology.

    I also really like the Connor Grey series (which starts with Unshapely Things) by Mark del Franco. It's urban fantasy and while there is not really any romance I like the premise, in which the main character, a Druid, has lost his magical ability so has fallen from his previous position in society and has to rely on his wits alone.

  7. Chris – That sounds pretty intense, but really good. Thanks for the rec!

    Jen B – The Kushiel's Legacy series are books that I've looked at many times but haven't had the balls to pick up. lol Just the 912 pages is so intimidating but I've heard nothing but good things about them. Thanks for the nudge. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Kathryn – I actually had read the first couple of books in the Alpha and Omega series and that's when Renee was pushing me to read the Mercy Thompson series. I really liked the A & O series because of the highly romantic element but found that the MT series had that too. How could I not love Mercy and Adam?
    The Jane Yellowrock series sounds a lot like Mercy Thompson. Are they similar do you know?

    JenM – I've been lucky enough to read the Alpha and Omega series as well as the Frost series and really like both. Charles and Bones – Yum. Hey – do you think we could get them together? OMG that would be awesome! lol

    Judi – I HAVE read the Dark Hunter series. Well, I read them up until Acheron and then I stopped. For some reason they just weren't pulling me in any longer – even though I really liked Ash's book. IDK I think I got distracted and when they started coming out in HC I was too cheap to buy them. lol How many have come out since Ash? Is Nick still an ass? lol

  8. Orannia – Thank you for all the recs. I'm having fun looking at all of the descriptions of the books. ๐Ÿ™‚ The Mark del Franco and the Carol Berg sound really good. Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Panalopy – Another Charles de Lint rec. I'll definitely have to check out these books. Your rec sounds really good as well. Thanks.

    Thank you all for the great recommendations!

  9. Lil

    I love Joey W. Hill's Vampire Queen Series, Sunny's Children of the Moon Series, CL Wilson's Tairen Soul Series, and Kim Harrison's The Hollow Series.

    little lamb lst at yahoo dot com

  10. How about Patricia Briggs's Alpha and Omega series or, how about Thea Harrison's Elder Races series?I love those series.


  11. I recommend The Sharing Knife series by Lois McMaster Bujold. It has four books. I would say it's romantic fantasy. The first book is called Beguilement.

    If you don't mind a big age difference between the hero and the heroine, I think you would like it. Fawn is a young, farm girl and Dag is much older, scarred (one arm missing) Lakewalker soldier (Lakewalkers have abilities and they protect farmers from evil creatures). (Btw, the setting is very rural)

    It's one of my all-time favorite series and after all these years, Dag and Fawn still stay near my heart. It was lovely to see how they overcame obstacles in their path to love. And Dagโ€ฆ he was married before, he wasn't searching for love, he lived his life quietly, being content how things were, never asking much. And then there came that lively and lovely girl Fawnโ€ฆ Ooh, their story still gives me shivers!

    (Not entering the contest, I live in Finland).

  12. Ok, I'll bite. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I just read the entire FaeFever series by Karen Marie Moning in one go (thanks, library!) and it was highly entertaining. "Mac" Mackayla Lane is a somewhat frivolous southern girl whose world is turned upside down when her sister is murdered during a year abroad in Dublin. She goes there to find out what happened and ends up embroiled in this whole war between various factions of the Fae and humans and other things that are something in between. The hero (more of an antihero) is Barrons, a bad-ass mystery man who needs Mac for her ability to suss out objects of power and whom she needs because he knows what is going on and has the ability to keep them both relatively safe. I'm not good at summarizing…it's kinda complicated, but I found it to be good fun. ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. I have to agree that Briggs' Alpha and Omega books are really good.

    I was going to recommend the Sookie Stackhouse books (I believe there are twelve). They are really awesome paranormal (urban?) fantasy, although to me they seem to exist in a world akin to ours. Apparently, the True Blood series is inspired by the books, although I've not seen it. But I love Sookie–she's a real woman, down-to-earth, a waitress–who has some powers of her own but then starts dating a pretty strong Vampire. And of course there are other characters she is attracted to, but no infidelity that I can remember.

    If you enjoy what we used to call "crossover" literature (sometimes YA, sometimes adult), you could try Mercedes Lackey. I really enjoyed reading her work in high school and college for the fantastical worlds and use of magic. She has been writing on her own or collaborating on various stand-alones or trilogies since at least the eighties, if that gives you any idea of how many book you have to choose from. I would recommend the Heralds of Valdemar Trilogy (Arrows of the Queen (1987), Arrow's Flight (1987), Arrow's Fall (1988) or The Black Swan which is a Fairy Tale retelling.

    I hope you like one of my recommendations! And please enter me in your contest–one can never have too many books!


  14. More good suggestions – thank you!

    Lil – I really like the Tairen Soul series by Wilson, that was a really good one…I just need to finish it. I will definitely look into the others.

    Joanne – I agree, those are both good series.

    Maija – Thanks for the suggestion – that sounds good!

    Sula – I really liked Moning's Highlander series but I never made the move to the FaeFever series, I'm not sure why. Maybe there was just too much hoopla and I shied away? IDK. Anyway, I might try it out, thanks.

    Kyreadingirl – I've looked at the Harris series but the whole love triangle thing turned me off a bit. I can do it if it's one book but a series of them? Um, I don't think I can do it. lol
    I'll have to look into the Lackey books. I've heard of her but I'e never looked into her books. Thanks!

  15. Color me happy – I just love book surprises!

    And the Jane Yellowrock books have a different voice than the Mercy Thompson books, but the world building is just as strong in them.

  16. The books arrived and my grown sons are laughing because I'm doing a happy dance! Several books are by authors I have been waiting to try. This is like an early birthday present. Thanks so much.

    P.S. I volunteer for the local library so any books that, after close examination, are not my cuppa will be donated so that they will find enthusiastic readers.

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