The changing colors of the leaves, coziest of sweaters, perhaps even the sweet scent of baked desserts in the air, its that time of the year yet again, Fall! 🍂✨
Those quiet days are perfect for enjoying a nice cup of tea or an horchata, though it wouldn’t be complete without a good book to immerse you. Luckily I’ll be sharing a marvelous list of books today which perfectly fit that fall, autumnal aesthetic. Additionally, my hope is to also recommend books that you probably haven’t read or heard of before, but will consider if you need an atmospheric read.
Without further ado, enjoy this list of 9 Cozy Fantasy books & let me know if any of these are on your Fall reading list 🥧☕🍂
The Queen Of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst (The Queens Of Renthia #1)
Publisher: Harper Voyager ― September 20, 2016
Summary: Everything has a spirit: the willow tree with leaves that kiss the pond, the stream that feeds the river, the wind that exhales fresh snow . . .But the spirits that reside within this land want to rid it of all humans. One woman stands between these malevolent spirits and the end of humankind: the queen. She alone has the magical power to prevent the spirits from destroying every man, woman, and child. But queens are still just human, and no matter how strong or good, the threat of danger always looms. With the position so precarious, young women are chosen to train as heirs. Daleina, a seemingly quiet academy student, is under no illusions as to her claim to the throne, but simply wants to right the wrongs that have befallen the land. Ven, a disgraced champion, has spent his exile secretly fighting against the growing number of spirit attacks. Joining forces, these daring partners embark on a treacherous quest to find the source of the spirits’ restlessness—a journey that will test their courage and trust, and force them to stand against both enemies and friends to save their land . . . before it’s bathed in blood.
Why: Truthfully I find that its so difficult for me to decide among this genre what I would consider as “cozy,” (especially when talking about straight-forward secondary-world/epic fantasy) but as I looked through my backlist I believe I’ve found my exact “cozy fantasy” – novel and that’s none other than The Queen Of Blood from Sarah Beth Durst, look I’ve read this book completely only once (back in 2016) and have not forgotten about it since, every time I think about this book the feeling it carries is nothing but happiness…I’m obsessed! The world itself is rooted in nature and the architecture is so creatively tied to trees. Its a classic fantasy story, but Dalenia is far from the typical hero, as we learn in this world there’s a queen who controls the nature spirits and our main character is training, alongside other girls, to assume the role of heir and inherit this dangerous task of keeping both nature and the safety of people, in balance. The lush, vibrant world which comes to life across the pages, unique cast of characters and wonderful writing make this epic fantasy an underrated but truly exceptional read for fall! I’m so eager to continue this magical series 💞🍃
Three Kisses, One Midnight by Roshani Chokshi, Evelyn Skye and Sandhya Menon
Publisher: Wednesday Books ― August 30, 2022
Summary: The town of Moon Ridge was founded 400 years ago and everyone born and raised there knows the legend of the young woman who perished at the stroke of twelve that very same night, losing the life she was set to embark on with her dearest love. Every century since, one day a year, the Lady of Moon Ridge descends from the stars to walk among the townsfolk, conjuring an aura upon those willing to follow their hearts’ desires. “To summon joy and love in another’s soul For a connection that makes two people whole For laughter and a smile that one can never miss Sealed before midnight with a truehearted kiss.” This year at Moon Ridge High, a group of friends known as The Coven will weave art, science, and magic during a masquerade ball unlike any other. Onny, True, and Ash believe everything is in alignment to bring them the affection, acceptance, and healing that can only come from romance—with a little help from Onny’s grandmother’s love potion. But nothing is as simple as it first seems. And as midnight approaches, The Coven learn that it will take more than a spell to recognize those who offer their love and to embrace all the magic that follows.
Why: Currently reading this collection and it’s genuinely the book that evokes those autumnal vibes. Moon Ridge is that picturesque small town & the story is very much what I’d call a “magical romcom” as it follows three witchy friends who get into a bit of mishap when they brew a love potion! I’m so interested to learn more about the town because one of my favorite elements of small-town stories is learning about the traditions and tight-knit community. The atmosphere of this novel is like a cozy hug and perfect if you need a lighter, more romantic read as Halloween approaches. Definitely recommend this one, I haven’t seen it too much around the book blog-o-sphere, but do pick this one up!!
Witch Hat Atelier Vol. 1 by Kamome Shirahama
Publisher: Kodansha Comics ― April 9, 2019
Summary: In a world where everyone takes wonders like magic spells and dragons for granted, Coco is a girl with a simple dream: She wants to be a witch. But everybody knows magicians are born, not made, and Coco was not born with a gift for magic. Resigned to her un-magical life, Coco is about to give up on her dream to become a witch…until the day she meets Qifrey, a mysterious, traveling magician. After secretly seeing Qifrey perform magic in a way she’s never seen before, Coco soon learns what everybody “knows” might not be the truth, and discovers that her magical dream may not be as far away as it may seem…
Why: While the story does get more darker and complex as the series goes on, Volume one in particular captures that whimsical nature of the season. Not only is this an introduction to the grander world, but Coco’s love for magic and in general the way Shirahama brings readers into this magical witch society, you can’t help but feel that excitement that Coco does for magic not only through the storytelling but artwork as well. In this manga series Coco gets the chance to enact her dream of learning magic as a witch when she becomes an apprentice to a traveling magician. (* Keep an eye out for a special WHA-themed post as well since this is one of my forever favorite series 😉✨)
Eva Evergreen Semi-Magical Witch by Julie Abe (Eva Evergreen #1)
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers ― August 4, 2020
Summary: Sometimes all you need is a pinch of magic…Eva Evergreen is determined to earn the rank of Novice Witch before she turns thirteen years old. If she doesn’t, she’ll lose her magic forever. For most young witches and wizards, it’s a simple enough test: ONE: Help your town, do good all around. TWO: Live there for one moon, don’t leave too soon. THREE: Fly home by broomstick, the easiest of tricks. The only problem? Eva only has a pinch of magic. She summons heads of cabbage instead of flowers and gets a sunburn instead of calling down rain. And to add insult to injury, whenever she overuses her magic, she falls asleep. When she lands on the tranquil coastal town of Auteri, the residents expect a powerful witch, not a semi-magical girl. So Eva comes up with a plan: set up a magical repair shop to aid Auteri and prove she’s worthy. She may have more blood than magic, but her “semi-magical fixes” repair the lives of the townspeople in ways they never could have imagined. Only, Eva’s bit of magic may not be enough when the biggest magical storm in history threatens the town she’s grown to love. Eva must conjure up all of the magic, bravery, and cleverness she can muster or Auteri and her dreams of becoming a witch will wash away with the storm.
Why: I’m glad to have picked up Julie Abe’s books this year especially her middle grade debut Eva Evergreen. The prose is so whimsical as is the magical town of Auteri where Eva completes her witch quest. Aside from the witchy aspect, the imaginative world and all the little details that brought it to life made this a truly wonderful read. I particularly love how Abe crafted the setting and descriptions which gave the book a ghibli-esque ambience. perfect for the season if you need yet another immersive fantastic world to dive into.
A Dash Of Trouble by Anna Meriano (Love Sugar Magic #1)
Publisher: Walden Pond Press ― January 2, 2018
Summary: Leonora Logroño’s family owns the most beloved bakery in Rose Hill, Texas, spending their days conjuring delicious cookies and cakes for any occasion. And no occasion is more important than the annual Dia de los Muertos festival. Leo hopes that this might be the year that she gets to help prepare for the big celebration—but, once again, she is told she’s too young. Sneaking out of school and down to the bakery, she discovers that her mother, aunt, and four older sisters have in fact been keeping a big secret: they’re brujas—witches of Mexican ancestry—who pour a little bit of sweet magic into everything that they bake. Leo knows that she has magical ability as well and is more determined than ever to join the family business—even if she can’t let her mama and hermanas know about it yet. And when her best friend, Caroline, has a problem that needs solving, Leo has the perfect opportunity to try out her craft. It’s just one little spell, after all…what could possibly go wrong?
Why: One of the most comforting things about the fall or spooky season for me is freshly baked pastries, I’ve also been trying to get back into baking as a hobby, so now when coziness comes to mind my first thought is a bakery! In the Amor y Azúcar Panadería, Leo’s family weaves in pinches of magic into everything that they bake. From the heartwarming themes surrounding family, friendship, alongside Meriano’s wonderful storytelling, this will definitely get you hyped for the season! 🥐✨
The Savior’s Book Cafe Story In Another World Vol. 1 by Kyouka Izumi (Book Cafe #1)
Publisher: Seven Seas Entertainment ― December 21, 2021
Summary: When a god tells Tsukina that she is to be transported to another world to become its savior, Tsukina isn’t interested. As a bookish thirty-something, she has zero desire to go on some big adventure…so when she arrives in the strange new land, she decides to use her magical powers to create a cozy little book cafe instead. But when a fellow savior starts causing trouble, Tsukina might just have to play the hero, after all!
Why: Do you love cozy fantasy romances? Then this is indeed the story for you!! Reading just the first volume so far, I can’t fully describe the healing ambience this manga delivered, pls read it.
Tsukina is our 30-something heroine, gets transported to another world and instead of playing hero, decides she’s going to open her own reading cafe! I became completely enamored with the comforting ambience this story contained, you see Tsukina build her cafe to her preferences with a dedicated reading nook, appetizing menu and of course, her first customer is none other than a stoic soldier named Il who’s as much of a bookworm as she is (where is the cute budding romance headed?? can’t say, guess you’ll have to read and find out 💞). But seriously though, this first volume is such an escapist, comfort read and you’d be doing yourself a favor by picking it up! You can read my full REVIEW if you need more convincing 📚🍵
Mamo Vol. 1 by Sas Milledge
Publisher: Boom Studios ― April 13, 2022
Summary: Orla O’Reilly, the youngest in a long line of hedge witches, is compelled to return home after the death of her grandmother, Mamo. In the wake of her Mamo’s passing, seas are impossible to fish, crops have soured, even Jo Manalo’s attic is taken over by a poltergeist! And to make matter worse it appears that the cause is Mamo, or her mislaid bones that is. Can Orla shoulder the responsibility of quieting her Mamo’s spirit, saving her hometown, and will she have to step up as the new witch of Haresden like Mamo always wanted?
Why: The focus on nature within this graphic novel from the folklore-based magic system to the setting of the seaside town of Haresden has easily made this one of my new favorite reads of 2022, especially when it comes to stories brimming with coziness! This truly captures that slice-of-life fantasy storytelling you’re looking for plus the element of mystery as Jo embarks on an adventure with town hedgewitch Orla O’Reilly to solve magical conundrums around Haresden, sure to leave you dazzled with the spellbinding world.
The Tea Dragon Society by K. O’Neill
Publisher: Oni Press ― October 18, 2017
Summary: From the award-winning author of Princess Princess Ever After comes The Tea Dragon Society, a charming all-ages book that follows the story of Greta, a blacksmith apprentice, and the people she meets as she becomes entwined in the enchanting world of tea dragons. After discovering 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, Hesekiel and Erik. As she befriends them and their shy ward, Minette, Greta sees how the craft enriches their lives—and eventually her own.
Why: I’m absolutely certain this series is what unlocked my desire to read more cozy stories and frankly, is the perfect starter to get immersed in this sub-genre imo. As you turn each page it’s very much like a gentle hug as we the reader become immersed in the story as Greta discovers the world of tea dragons and makes lots of friends (Hesekiel, Erik, Minette) and the artwork (though showcased more specifically in Tea Dragon Tapestry) evokes all the comforting fall vibes & aesthetics you need in your life! The story is not only magical, but calming and gentle, you won’t want to leave the marvelous world. 🍵🐉
The Very Secret Society Of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna
Publisher: Berkley Publishing ― August 23, 2022
Summary: A warm and uplifting novel about an isolated witch whose opportunity to embrace a quirky new family–and a new love–changes the course of her life. As one of the few witches in Britain, Mika Moon knows she has to hide her magic, keep her head down, and stay away from other witches so their powers don’t mingle and draw attention. 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, where 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 the lives and secrets of not only her three charges, but also an absent archaeologist, a retired actor, two long-suffering caretakers, and…Jamie. The handsome and prickly librarian of Nowhere House would do anything to protect the children, and as far as he’s concerned, a stranger like Mika is a threat. An irritatingly appealing threat. As Mika begins to find her place at Nowhere House, the thought of belonging somewhere begins to feel like a real possibility. But magic isn’t the only danger in the world, and when a threat comes knocking at their door, Mika will need to decide whether to risk everything to protect a found family she didn’t know she was looking for….
Why: While I haven’t started this one yet, the further I read up on the plot it screamed “atmospheric fall” vibes does it not? I’m the most excited to read this one because not only is it a perfect read for the season, but as I discover new books to read I’m very much gravitating towards the uplifting, gentle fantasy stories out there, also (POC/authors of color need to be in this space more! I’d love to see ALL the comforting magical stories ft. lots of different cultures and from writers of color most especially). So, very much delighted to be reading this one soon! 🏡✨
If you’d like to support me & 24hr.YABookBlog, as always links above are affiliates
These are the books I recommend you pick up if you need more coziness to your autumn reading. Hope you enjoyed, I had SO MUCH fun putting this list together!! 🍂🥧📚
What are some of your favorite cozy fall reads? Have you read any from this list? Do you have any more Cozy Fantasy recs? 📚🍂