These fall fantasy books will make you want to curl up in a cozy sweater with a hot drink.
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Rain pattering against the window, cozy fireplaces and a steaming hot drink. Fall is my favourite season, especially for reading fantasy books.
The problem is fantasy books often seem to lean into Summer or Winter. But what about fall fantasy books?
Witches, Halloween and libraries. So whether you’re after paranormal romance, dark academia adventure or Halloween vibes. I’ve compiled the best fall fantasy books.
For even more recommendations, I have a whole blog post dedicated to fall books. I surveyed book lovers and compiled a list of the 50 most recommended fall books. You can check it out here:
Read on for the best fall fantasy books
- The best fall fantasy books
- Ya fall fantasy books
- 1. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
- 2. Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand
- 3. Coraline by Neil Gaiman
- 4. Cemetary Boys by Aiden Thomas
- 5. The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater
- 6. Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin
- 7. A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee
- 8. The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
- 9. Ghost Wood Song by Erica Waters
- 10. A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer
- 11. Legendborn by Tracy Deonn
- 12. One Dark Window by Rachel Gillig
- 13. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
- 14. The Grimrose Girls by Laura Pohl
- 15. Ruinsong by Julia Ember
- 16. The Tea Dragon Society by Kay O’Neill
- Fall fantasy books for adults
- Fall fantasy romance books
- 25. The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling
- 26. The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna
- 27. The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston
- 28. These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling
- 29. An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson
- 30. Mooncakes by Wendy Xu and Suzanne Walker
- 31. A Marvellous Light by Freya Marske
- 32. Under the whispering door by T.J. Klune
- Other posts you might like
The best fall fantasy books
Ya fall fantasy books
1. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Good Reads Rating: 4.02
If you’re looking for fall fantasy books then this is a great option for you.
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there when yesterday it was not. But it’s only open at night.
And behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway between two rival magicians -Celia and Marco.
They have trained since childhood purely for this purpose. But unknown to them, only one will be left standing. The circus is set for an incredible battle of imagination.
The problem is, despite themselves Celia and Marco fall in love. But, true love or not, the game must play out.
This is slow-paced and you lose the plot a bit. But it doesn’t matter because the world-building is stunning. If you like reading books for the atmosphere or the vibe, then you will love The Night Circus.
2. Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand
Good Reads Rating: 3.67
Sawkill island has never been safe for young girls. According to local legend, a paranormal beast hunts young girls.
We are introduced to three girls: Zoey, Val and Marion. They have the power to save the island. If they are willing to come together and try.
Sawkill Girls is a dark fantasy book. So not everyone will enjoy it. The world-building is dark, moody and atmospheric. But I love the idea of sapphic girls coming together and using magical powers to conquer evil.
The multiple POVs work well and each character is well developed. I would recommend listening to the audiobook version. When it’s raining outside, this dark fantasy book is an atmospheric read.
3. Coraline by Neil Gaiman
Good Reads Rating: 4.11
Coraline is a classic autumnal read. And it delivers on creepiness. Neil Gaiman writes the most atmospheric fantasy books.
Coraline is fed up with the lack of attention from her parents. She discovers a family from a parallel universe. And they give her everything she wants.
But is everything as it seems?
The sassy cat is the best. Especially when Coraline tries to befriend the cat. And it responds with “We COULD be rare specimens of an exotic breed of dancing African elephants, but we’re not. At least, I’m not.
A fairly short read with an easy-to-read writing style. So you could easily binge-read this in a day or one sitting. Plus it has an incredible adaptation to watch afterwards.
4. Cemetary Boys by Aiden Thomas
Good Reads Rating: 4.29
A magical YA Contemporary with LGBTQ+ Main characters.
Cemetery Boys follows Yadriel whose traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his true gender.
To prove himself, he performs a ritual. And sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin.
How perfect is that plot for Halloween? The cover, the plot and the intrigue all scream autumnal Halloween vibes. Aiden Thomas writes incredible fantasy books – atmospheric, unique plots and excellent character development.
If you’re after LGBTQ+ Fantasy books for Halloween I have tons of recommendations. Check out my article on LGBTQ+ Fantasy books for Halloween here.
5. The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater
Good Reads Rating: 4.05
The Raven Boys is the perfect fall fantasy read. It features a romance, paranormal mystery and dark academia vibes. The characters sell this series with an incredible friendship group.
Each year in the churchyard, Blue watches her psychic mother see those who are going to die that year. Blue never actually sees them herself. Until this year. When she speaks directly to a boy.
He is called Gansey and is a student at Aglionby School. The students are known locally as Raven Boys.
I had so many recommendations to read this and for good reason. The characters and the relationships are what make this one of the best fall fantasy books
6. Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin
Good Reads Rating: 4.00
Any book with witches instantly gives me Autumnal vibes. Serpent and Dove is perfect if you’re after a fall romantasy. It features a slow-burn enemies-to-lovers romance between a witch and a witch hunter.
We follow Louise – a witch. She lives in Cesarine where witches are hunted and burned. Reid is a witch hunter who has always lived by the same principle – thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.
But Lou pulls a stunt and it forces them into an impossible scenario – holy matrimony.
This has so many tropes that I enjoy – enemies to lovers, marriage of convenience and morally grey characters. And the well-developed magic system and easy-to-read writing style finishes it off perfectly.
If you’re searching for fall fantasy books you need to read this. The witchy imagery and gritty city setting are excellent.
7. A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee
Good Reads Rating: 3.57
A Lesson in Vengeance is an LGBTQ+ Dark Academia Fantasy and Thriller.
It follows Felicity Morrow and is set at Dalloway School. Dalloway School was her home until the tragic death of her girlfriend.
But after a year away, she’s returned to graduate. And she even has her old room back in Godwin House. An exclusive dormitory is rumoured to be haunted by the spirits of five Dalloway students rumoured to be witches. The Dalloway Five all died mysteriously on Godwin Grounds.
This is such an atmospheric read. Again, the plot focuses on Witches, making it perfect for Fall. It was slow to get into at first. But once you get into this book, you can’t put it down. The plot is full of unexpected twists and turns. And it features a compelling mystery.
Looking for dark academia books? Check out my article on dark academia books here.
8. The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
Good Reads Rating:4.12
This has a magical story concept and whimsical worldbuilding. While it doesn’t have the food imagery of Legends and Lattes, it has the same cozy fantasy vibe. It features a friendly witch and beautiful forest imagery.
Every year the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch who lives in the forest. They hope to keep her from terrorizing the town.
But the witch Xan is kind. She rescues the abandoned children. And delivers them to welcoming families on the other side of the forest.
Fyrian the dragon is adorable. He’s small and cute. The humour made me smile and laugh many times.
9. Ghost Wood Song by Erica Waters
Good Reads Rating:3.73
Ghostwood Song is a spooky tale with Southern Forest imagery. It features an intriguing mystery and a bisexual main character.
Ghostwood song follows Shady Groves. She’s inherited her father’s ability to call ghosts from the grave with his fiddle. And she knows the tunes bring nothing but trouble. But her brother is accused of murder. And to clear his name she’s going to have to make the ghosts sing.
I listened to the audiobook version of this which I highly recommend. The narrator has the most charming Southern USA accent. This book is super atmospheric and full of creepy forest scenes.
It strikes a balance of home comforts and creepy scenes while also exploring the impact of loss on a family.
10. A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer
Good Reads Rating:3.99
If you’re looking for fall fantasy books with bad-ass, disabled characters then you should read a curse so Dark and Lonely.
A Curse So Dark And Lonely is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Prince Rhen is the Heir of Emberfall.
Emberfall is under a curse and the kingdom is enchanted into an everlasting winter. Prince Rhen needs to make a girl fall in love with him to break the curse.
Harper has cerebral palsy. And she struggles to look after her dying mother. She tries to save a stranger and is pulled into the world of Emberfall.
A Curse so Dark and Lonely is an excellent retelling. It puts a modern spin on the original fairytale. Despite Harper’s disability – she’s not a character who needs sympathy. She’s the perfect fantasy heroine – strong and with a good head on her shoulders. But also flawed enough to feel realistic.
11. Legendborn by Tracy Deonn
Good Reads Rating:4.43
Legendborn follows Bree Mathews. After the death of her mother, she wants to avoid family memories. So, she joins a residential program for gifted high school students.
But then she witnesses a magical attack on her first night. A flying demon feeding on human energy. A Mage tries to wipe her memory. But he fails. And instead, Bree unlocks new memories of her mother’s death.
Legendborn is a brilliant debut novel. It was a fast-paced story full of twists and turns. And it kept me absolutely hooked. In fact, I stayed up until about 2 am finishing it.
Tracy Deonn also included commentary on racism and slavery. They were woven perfectly into the storyline.
12. One Dark Window by Rachel Gillig
Good Reads Rating:4.32
One Dark Window is perfect if you’re searching for fantasy books with fall settings. It features a magic system centred around tarot cards, giving it a paranormal feel throughout. It also features rebellion, scheming, and political intrigue balanced with romance.
It follows Elspeth Spindle. She needs more than luck to stay safe in the kingdom of Blunder. She needs a monster. She calls him Nightmare – the ancient spirit trapped in her head. He protects her.
But nothing comes for free, especially magic.
And when Elspeth meets a mysterious highwayman, her life takes a drastic turn. And she joins a dangerous quest to cure Blunder from the dark magic infecting it.
And the highwayman? He just so happens to be the King’s nephew, Captain of the most dangerous men in Blunder…and guilty of high treason.
Romance is an excellent way to balance courtly intrigue and politics. Particularly if you’re newer to fantasy. This is an addictive and atmospheric read, perfect for fall.
13. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Good Reads Rating:4.03
Six of Crows is a fast-paced ya fantasy duology with a chaotic and diverse friendship group.
Six of Crows follows six teenagers living in Ketterdam. Kaz Brekker, a criminal prodigy, is one of the teens. He is offered a deadly heist for a huge payout.
But it’s an impossible heist. And Kaz will need all the help he can get to pull it off. So, he assembles five other teens to help him.
Six of Crows is a book with so much to love – a heist, magic, found family and sassy banter. The friendship groups and memorable characters make this book even better. The diverse cast feels well developed, with each having their own intriguing back story.
The setting makes this an incredible fall read. Set in a grimy setting, the worldbuilding is reminiscent of Autumn with an Amsterdam-inspired city setting.
14. The Grimrose Girls by Laura Pohl
Good Reads Rating:3.68
The Grimrose Girls is a modern take on classic fairytales such as The Little Mermaid, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. But with a darkly magical twist.
The heroines of the stories are re-imagined as friends attending an elite boarding school. After their friend dies, the police rule the death as suicide. But they decide to investigate to find out what happened.
Grimrose Girls is a unique concept and fantasy retelling. The mystery was gripping and well-paced. And the story kept mentioning tantalizing details that kept me engaged.
The story also uses the darker versions of the fairytales. And this added to the dark academia, mysterious tone of the book.
15. Ruinsong by Julia Ember
Good Reads Rating:3.49
This is yet another seriously underrated lgbt book. I don’t see this recommended nearly enough online. Ruinsong is a ya lesbian book set in a dystopian world. It has lush world-building, a twisty plot and feisty main characters.
In this world, singers have magic powers when they sing certain songs. And they can heal, cause pain and heat people.
Cadence is a strong mage. She was born in poverty in an orphanage and rose to success. But she works for the evil Queen Elene. And Elene forces Cadence to use her power to torture others.
But when she is reunited with her childhood friend she must make a choice. Does she take a stand or follow the queen?
This book is like a dystopian and queer phantom of the opera. Full of strong-willed women wearing beautiful ball gowns taking down evil
16. The Tea Dragon Society by Kay O’Neill
Good Reads Rating:4.37
If you’re looking for diverse fall fantasy books then you need to read some of Kay O’Neill’s work. While the plot is very different to Heartstopper – they are still cosy, heartwarming reads.
The Tea Dragon Society is about dragons who grow leaves you can make tea from. But the tea is infused with memories.
We follow Greta a blacksmith apprentice. One day she finds a lost tea dragon in the marketplace. Greta learns about the dying art form of tea dragon care-taking from the kind tea shop owners.
This book is adorable, impossibly cute and heart-warming. The illustrations are beautiful and painfully adorable.
Not only is it a beautiful book with a lovely message. But it stars people of colour, people with disabilities and LGBTQIA+ characters.
Fall fantasy books for adults
17. Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
Good Reads Rating: 3.95
Unpopular opinion – I love reading books with adaptations. Don’t get me wrong, some of the adaptations are terrible. But I enjoy reading the book and watching the movie afterwards.
If you’re also a fan of a book with an adaptation, then Practical Magic is the fall book for you.
For over two hundred years, the Owens women have been blamed for everything that has gone wrong in their Massachusetts town.
Gillian and Sally have endured that fate as well: as children, the sisters were forever outsiders, taunted, talked about, and pointed at. All Gillian and Sally wanted was to escape. One will do so by marrying, the other by running away. But the bonds they share will bring them back—almost as if by magic…
18. Silver in the Wood by Emily Tesh
Good Reads Rating: 3.95
I saw this book recommended on Riley Marie’s Youtube Channel. And I’m so glad she recommended it.
This book follows a forest guardian. He is tasked to look after the forest. A man moves into the house in the forest. And they fall in love.
From the very start, the writing was beautiful. And the imagery in the forest is whimsical and enchanting. Emily Tesh builds a vivid world, with an almost dream-like beauty.
The relationship is adorable with grumpy/sunshine vibes. Despite this being a short novella, both characters have excellent character development throughout the book.
If you like the cottagecore aesthetic you’ll probably enjoy this book. I listened to the audiobook. And the duology is a quick listen at only 5 hours. Perfect for a road trip.
19. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
Good Reads Rating: 3.95
October fans will love this book. It features witches, vampires and a mystery. All with some dark academia vibes.
It follows Diana Bishop, a young scholar. In the stacks of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, she calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript
Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery. After a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks.
But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library.
Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.
20. The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkein
Good Reads Rating: 3.95
The Hobbit is another absolute classic. After more adult fantasy books? This is a great starting point. A standalone with a simple but engaging storyline. And a well-paced plot.
The Hobbit follows Bilbo Baggins. He is A Hobbit who lives in The Shire. One day he meets Gandalf and goes on an adventure.
The Hobbit is the most charming adventure story. Also, the imagery in The Hobbit – particularly around food is lovely. I want to eat seven meals a day much like a hobbit.
The Hobbit is such a cosy, comforting book.Shorter than Lord of the Rings with a more light-hearted tone.
The focus on food makes this feel cozy, making it perfect for Fall. The worldbuilding is also magical. Tolkein fills The Hobbit with lore, history and detail, bringing Middle Earth to life.
21. The House Witch by Delemhach
Good Reads Rating:4.41
If you’re looking for low-stakes, cozy fall fantasy books then you need to read this.
The House Witch is set in a medieval world where witches can command a different form of elemental magic – fire, air, water or earth. We follow Finlay who is a mutant – he’s a House Witch. And he becomes a Royal Cook in a castle. And his magic means he can cook the most incredible meals.
This is the most perfect cosy read.
Filled with beautiful food imagery, courtly intrigue and magical hijinks. Likewise, it features an adorable kitten companion.
This is also quite light on the romance and fantasy elements. But the beautiful, cosy food imagery more than made up for it. And reading a fantasy book with a male protagonist is refreshing.
22. Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldtree
Good Reads Rating:4.23
Legends & Lattes is the cosiest, low-stakes, slice-of-life fantasy book. And it also features an adorable wlw romance.
Legends & Lattes follows Viv – an orc barbarian. She leaves her life as a warrior and opens the first coffee shop in Thune.
Cosy imagery, a wlw romance and the found family trope. Everything I love in a book. And as if that’s not enough, Legends and Latte’s has a compelling mystery to solve.
Legends and Lattes is the bookish equivalent of a steaming hot mug of coffee. The perfect book to curl up on the sofa in Autumn or Winter.
23. The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake
Good Reads Rating:3.71
At one point, I couldn’t go on Booktok, without seeing a recommendation for The Atlas Six. It has an amazing 11 million mentions on TikTok.
The Atlas Six is about a secret society of academics known as The Alexandrian Society.
Each decade, the world’s six most talented magicians are selected for initiation.
The Atlas Six follows six characters competing for entry into the society.
Dark academia fans will fall in love with this book. Set in a library, it has tons of academic references. From lectures to classes and academic theories.
Looking for books like The Atlas Six, I have lots of recommendations. You can check out my article on books like The Atlas Six here.
24. Babel by R.F. Kuang
Good Reads Rating:4.29
Did you like A Secret History, The Atlas Six or Jonathon Strange and Dr Norrell? Then you will love Babel.
A dark fantasy set in an academic setting. It discusses the power of language and the evils of authoritarianism.
It follows Robin Swift. Orphaned by cholera, The mysterious Professor Lovell brings him to London.
In London, he trains for years in Latin, Ancient Greek and Chinese. All to prepare for the day he’ll enrol in Oxford University’s prestigious Royal Institute of Translation. Known as Babel.
Babel is the world’s centre for translation and magic.
For Robin, Oxford is a utopia.
The problem is that, as a Chinese boy raised in Britain, Robin realizes serving Babel means betraying his motherland.
Fall fantasy romance books
25. The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling
Good Reads Rating: 3.95
The Ex Hex was hyped up so much on its release. And I’m not surprised. This adorable romance is the perfect autumnal read.
Nine years ago, Vivienne Jones nursed her broken heart like any young witch would: vodka, weepy music, bubble baths…and a curse on the horrible boyfriend.
Sure, Vivi knows she shouldn’t use her magic this way. But she isn’t worried it will cause him anything more than a bad hair day or two.That is until Rhys Penhallow, returns to Graves Glen, Georgia.
What should be a quick trip to recharge the town’s ley lines and make an appearance at the annual fall festival turns disastrously wrong. Vivi realizes her silly little Ex Hex may not have been so harmless.
26. The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna
Good Reads Rating: 3.95
Another book for October lovers. This cute fantasy book features the found family trope and witches.
It follows Mika Moon. As one of the few witches in Britain, she has to hide her magic.
And as an orphan who lost her parents at a young age and was raised by strangers, she’s used to being alone. And she follows the rules…with one exception: an online account.
Here, she posts videos pretending to be a witch. She thinks no one will take it seriously. But someone does. An unexpected message arrives, begging her to travel to the remote and mysterious Nowhere House to teach three young witches how to control their magic. It breaks all of the rules, but Mika goes anyway and is immediately tangled up in their lives
27. The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston
Good Reads Rating: 3.95
A feel-good paranormal romance. The Dead Romantics is perfect for Halloween.
It follows Florence Day. Florence is a ghostwriter for a prolific romance author. The problem is, after a terrible breakup, she no longer believes in love. It’s as good as dead.
When her new editor, a too-handsome mountain of a man, won’t give her an extension on her book deadline, Florence prepares to kiss her career goodbye.
But then she gets a phone call she never wanted to receive, and she must return home for the first time in a decade to help her family bury her beloved father. For ten years, she’s run from a town that never understood her, and she can’t bring herself to stay.
Until she finds a ghost standing at the funeral parlour’s front door.
28. These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling
Good Reads Rating: 3.73
This book is perfect for Fall. A fantasy book about witches set in Salem. Plus it features an adorable sapphic romance.
We follow Hannah. She is a witch living in Salem.
A dark blood ritual interrupts her end-of-school bonfire. And so, she investigates with her ex-girlfriend Veronica.
She also meets Morgan. But trying to date in the middle of a supernatural crisis is not easy. And it will test Hannah’s limits.
This is one of my favourite duologies! The magical, fantastical elements are developed well. And the pacing of the plot will keep you hooked.
29. An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson
Good Reads Rating: 3.65
An Enchantment of Ravens is a great pick for Fall. Full of beautiful Fall forest imagery and a plot around an Autumn Prince. It also focuses on crafts such as painting and baking,
We follow Isobel, a painter. She creates stunning portraits for the dangerous fair folk. She paints a portrait of the Autumn Prince. But she paints humanity in his eyes. And that’s a deadly mistake.
The imagery in this book is stunning. The world is beautiful with both whimsical and cottagecore imagery. The emphasis on arts and crafts made this a cozy read.
This book is full of beautiful forests. And because it follows the Autumn Prince – it’s full of autumnal imagery in the writing.
I also enjoyed the interpretation of the fae or fair folk. They were equal parts cruel and beautiful. The simple plot focuses on romance. But, nevertheless, an enjoyable read perfect for Autumn.
30. Mooncakes by Wendy Xu and Suzanne Walker
Good Reads Rating: 3.83
Mooncakes is a cozy YA fantasy romance about a witch and a non-binary werewolf.
It follows teen witch Nova. She works at her Nana’s magical bookshop. And she helps them loan out spell books. But she also investigates supernatural occurrences in her local town.
One day, she is tasked to investigate reports of a white wolf in a nearby forest. She then discovers her childhood best friend, Tam, fighting a demon werewolf.
This is such a comfort read. The artwork is beautiful. I loved the illustrations of the magic and magical creatures living in the forest. The romance is also adorable.
I love a cozy fantasy book in Autumn. If you’re after queer cozy fantasy books, I have tons of recommendations. Check out my article on queer cozy fantasy books here
31. A Marvellous Light by Freya Marske
Good Reads Rating:4.01
A Marvellous Light is a fantasy with dark academia vibes and lots of references to books/libraries.
It follows Robin Blyth. Due to an administrative error, he is named liaison to a secret magical society. So, he is forced to contend with magic’s dangers and a deadly curse while he searches for his missing predecessor.
To do this, he’ll need the help of Edwin Courcey. Edwin Courcey is his prickly magical society counterpart but he clearly wishes Robin were anyone else.
I love the Secret Society of magicians. And the Edwardian setting and mlm romance sets it apart from other books including secret magical societies.
There are so many incredible mlm books. If you’re looking for books with mlm romance then I have a whole blog post full of recommendations. You can check out my blog post on mlm book here
32. Under the whispering door by T.J. Klune
Good Reads Rating:4.01
If you’re looking for cosy fall fantasy books then I recommend T.J Klune’s work. The writing is easy to read. While it includes fantasy elements, it reads as more of a YA Contemporary. It also heavily features tea which made it feel warm and comforting.
It follows Wallace Price. A reaper comes to collect him from his own funeral. But instead of taking him directly to the afterlife, leads him to a tea shop in a small village.
Hugo runs the teashop but is also the ferryman to souls who need to cross over. But Wallace isn’t ready to abandon the life he barely lived.
This book deals with so many heavy topics such as death, grief and loss. But despite such heavy topics this is such a light-hearted, comforting read. T.J. Klune uses laughter, emotions and romance to it.
If you’re looking for fantasy books for beginners, you should pick up some of T.J Klune’s work. His writing is fantastic – easy to follow and simplistic with no purple prose.