Are you a seasonal reader?
To be honest, I’m not. But this list was fun to make, and I hope you’ll find something to get you in the mood for holiday reading.
All her life, Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, dangerous Goblin King. They’ve enraptured her mind, her spirit, and inspired her musical compositions. Now eighteen and helping to run her family’s inn, Liesl can’t help but feel that her musical dreams and childhood fantasies are slipping away.
But when her own sister is taken by the Goblin King, Liesl has no choice but to journey to the Underground to save her. Drawn to the strange, captivating world she finds―and the mysterious man who rules it―she soon faces an impossible decision. And with time and the old laws working against her, Liesl must discover who she truly is before her fate is sealed.
Rich with music and magic, S. Jae-Jones’s Wintersong will sweep you away into a world you won’t soon forget.
All Ekata wants is to stay alive—and the chance to prove herself as a scholar. Once Ekata’s brother is finally named heir to the dukedom of Kylma Above, there will be nothing to keep her at home with her murderous family. Not her books or her experiments, not her family’s icy castle atop a frozen lake, not even the tantalizingly close Kylma Below, a mesmerizing underwater kingdom that provides her family with magic. But just as escape is within reach, her parents and twelve siblings fall under a strange sleeping sickness, and no one can find a cure.
In the space of a single night, Ekata inherits the title of duke, her brother’s captivating warrior bride, and ever-encroaching challengers from without—and within—her ministry. Nothing has prepared Ekata for diplomacy, for war, for love . . . or for a crown she has never wanted. If Kylma Above is to survive, Ekata must seize her family’s magic and power. And if Ekata is to survive, she must quickly decide how she will wield them both.
The Winter Duke is an enchanted tale of intrigue by Claire Eliza Bartlett, author of the acclaimed young adult fantasy novel We Rule the Night.
Seventeen-year-old Revna is a factory worker, manufacturing war machines for the Union of the North. When she’s caught using illegal magic, she fears being branded a traitor and imprisoned. Meanwhile, on the front lines, Linné defied her father, a Union general, and disguised herself as a boy to join the army. They’re both offered a reprieve from punishment if they use their magic in a special women’s military flight unit and undertake terrifying, deadly missions under cover of darkness. Revna and Linné can hardly stand to be in the same cockpit, but if they can’t fly together, and if they can’t find a way to fly well, the enemy’s superior firepower will destroy them — if they don’t destroy each other first.
We Rule the Night is a fiercely compelling story about sacrifice, complicated friendships, and survival against impossible odds.
Young Emma of the anfylk dreams of a quiet life in her little village in the big forest.
She wants to raise a family and grow old in peace and quiet, with the love of her life by her side.
It’s a plain and simple dream, but it’s hers, and she’ll do what it takes to achieve it.
Or, will she?
Her lover is a scoundrel and a rogue, who dreams of adventure and glory, and who’s more at home on the road than by the hearth. Is he truly the man she needs for the life she wants?
As the time draws near for Emma to finally make up her mind, a huge bear comes down from the mountains to terrorize the forest, and everything else will just have to wait…
To seek aid for her village, Emma must travel farther than she’s ever been before, and maybe, just maybe, she’ll find the answers her heart desires.
Emma’s Story is a cold, wintry tale about making difficult decisions, living up to expectations, and how things don’t always turn out the way you hoped.
Bundle up in your favorite blanket and read it tonight.
The war against nature has begun
Nature spirits have ravaged the world with natural disasters for millennia. They’re dangerous, unpredictable, and largely invisible. After eight years of living on the streets, Rika is one of few people in the world that can see spirits. Most of the time, she keeps a fragile peace with them, but when the Erlking, a powerful storm sprite, attacks Berlin, Rika is dragged into the fight against nature.
She joins the Spirit Seekers, a group of elite soldiers trained to defend Berlin and other cities around the world against nature’s wrath. Currently bereaved of their acting commander, the spirit seekers look to Rika to be their eyes. When the Erlking is coming for her, Rika needs to make a decision: side with the spirits she befriended or face the storm.
Join the Spirit Seekers in their first stormy adventure and start your European journey today!
A kingdom cowered under the maniacal rule of the White Queen, The Vikings raided and pillaged as they were wont to do, and the Winter Witch avoided talking to any of them. When her peace and quiet are obliterated by threats of war and Ragnarok, she’ll try anything to get them back. When casting spells to become nearly invisible and dealing with otherworldly powers fail, the Winter Witch needs to forge an alliance with Santa—a retired warrior who’s anything but jolly—to save the North Pole from calamity.
Will the Vikings take up arms against the frost giants? Will an evil necromancer keep the kingdom in the grip of fear? And for the love of Christmas, will everyone who isn’t the Winter Witch please stop meddling with dark forces beyond mortal comprehension for a bit? Deck the halls and bar the doors! We’re in for a long winter’s night.
Scarred by loss, Irina warrior Renata has held the world at a distance. Fighting the Grigori and protecting humanity are her goals, but her heart remains frozen to the bonds of family and love. Only one scribe, Maxim of Riga, has managed to see through Renata’s armor.
On the darkest night of winter, in the halls of her ancestral home, Renata is forced to face her past. Can a fierce storm and a stubborn scribe coax her back to life, or will she retreat into duty forever?
with bonus novella SONG FOR THE DYING
When a letter arrives from a remote scribe house in Latvia, Leo and Max must return to their childhood home to face the father and grandfather who raised them.
The past is inescapable, but can it be overcome? Is it possible to build a future of happiness from a foundation of pain?
The Storm and Song for the Dying are novellas in the Irin Chronicles, a romantic fantasy series by Elizabeth Hunter.
Winter lasts most of the year at the edge of the Russian wilderness, and in the long nights, Vasilisa and her siblings love to gather by the fire to listen to their nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, Vasya loves the story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon. Wise Russians fear him, for he claims unwary souls, and they honor the spirits that protect their homes from evil.
Then Vasya’s widowed father brings home a new wife from Moscow. Fiercely devout, Vasya’s stepmother forbids her family from honoring their household spirits, but Vasya fears what this may bring. And indeed, misfortune begins to stalk the village.
But Vasya’s stepmother only grows harsher, determined to remake the village to her liking and to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for marriage or a convent. As the village’s defenses weaken and evil from the forest creeps nearer, Vasilisa must call upon dangerous gifts she has long concealed—to protect her family from a threat sprung to life from her nurse’s most frightening tales.
The court of the Grand Prince of Moscow is plagued by power struggles and rumours of unrest. Meanwhile bandits roam the countryside, burning the villages and kidnapping its daughters. Setting out to defeat the raiders, the Prince and his trusted companion come across a young man riding a magnificent horse.
Only Sasha, a priest with a warrior’s training, recognises this ‘boy’ as his younger sister, thought to be dead or a witch by her village. But when Vasya proves herself in battle, riding with remarkable skill and inexplicable power, Sasha realises he must keep her secret as she may be the only way to save the city from threats both human and fantastical. . .
The Winter of the Witch
One girl can make a difference…
Moscow is in flames, leaving its people searching for answers – and someone to blame. Vasilisa, a girl with extraordinary gifts, must flee for her life, pursued by those who blame their misfortune on her magic.
Then a vengeful demon returns, stronger than ever. Determined to engulf the world in chaos, he finds allies among men and spirits. Mankind and magical creatures alike find their fates resting on Vasya’s shoulders.
But she may not be able to save them all.
It is Midwinter’s Eve, the night before Will’s eleventh birthday. But there is an atmosphere of fear in the familiar countryside around him.
Will is about to make a shocking discovery – that he is the last person to be born with the power of the Old Ones, and as a guardian of the Light he must begin a dangerous journey to vanquish the terrifyingly evil magic of the Dark.
Turner has a gym full of sugar-fueled kids and a big red suit to fill when Santa Claus fails to check in for the Green Valley Christmas Pageant dress rehearsal, but more disaster is on the program when he falls at the feet of his fated mate.
Linda Powell has come to Green Valley for a short visit, but nothing has gone as she’d planned and now there’s a ferocious dog trapped in her car. When she calls the fire department for help, a gorgeous Santa Claus shows up to save her and steals her heart instead.
Turner is determined to show Linda that Green Valley is where she belongs but first, he has to survive a Christmas dinner with Linda’s entire family and find the missing Santa Claus, all made much more complicated when he’s suddenly stuck as a moose!
Return to the little town of Green Valley for Christmas mooseadventures in this hilarious holiday short shifter romance romp.
OH, THERE HAS TO BE SOMETHING IN THE STOCKING THAT MAKES A NOISE, said Death, OTHERWISE WHAT IS 4:30 A.M. FOR?
Superstition makes things work in the Discworld and undermining it can have Consequences. It’s just not right to find Death creeping down chimneys and trying to say Ho Ho Ho . . .
It’s the last night of the year, the time is turning, and if Susan, Gothic governess and Death’s granddaughter (sort of), doesn’t sort everything out by morning, there won’t be a morning. Ever again . . .
Tiffany Aching leaps into a dance – and suddenly the spirit of winter is in love with her. He’s showering her with snowflakes and offering her a crown of ice. Which is creepy, but also just a little bit . . . cool.
Now she’s dancing to his tune. She can’t change the steps.
But unless Tiffany can work out how to deal with the Wintersmith, there will never be another springtime . . .
Emi has spent her entire life hiding from the creatures that hunt her. The savage earth spirits are determined to kill her before she can become the living host of a goddess, so she stays hidden–until the day she saves the life of one of her hunters.
Shiro isn’t the harmless fox spirit she thought he was. He’s mysterious, cunning, unpredictable … and now hers to command. He’s sworn to pay his debt to her, but he doesn’t know who she is. If he finds out, he’ll kill her.
But she can’t send him away–not yet. Her future isn’t what she thought. The lies surrounding her fate have begun to unravel, and she needs answers before time runs out–answers that lie in the spirit realm. Shiro can take her there … if she dares to trust him.
And only then will she find out how deep the gods’ treachery runs.
With the Nebula Award-winning Uprooted, Naomi Novik opened a brilliant new chapter in an already acclaimed career, delving into the magic of fairy tales to craft a love story that was both timeless and utterly of the now. Spinning Silver draws readers deeper into this glittering realm of fantasy, where the boundary between wonder and terror is thinner than a breath, and safety can be stolen as quickly as a kiss.
Miryem is the daughter and granddaughter of moneylenders, but her father’s inability to collect his debts has left his family on the edge of poverty—until Miryem takes matters into her own hands. Hardening her heart, the young woman sets out to claim what is owed and soon gains a reputation for being able to turn silver into gold. When an ill-advised boast draws the attention of the king of the Staryk—grim fey creatures who seem more ice than flesh—Miryem’s fate, and that of two kingdoms, will be forever altered. She will face an impossible challenge and, along with two unlikely allies, uncover a secret that threatens to consume the lands of humans and Staryk alike.
Marietta Stelle longs to be a ballerina but, as Christmas draws nearer, her dancing days are numbered – she must marry and take up her place in society in the New Year. But, when a mysterious toymaker, Dr Drosselmeier, purchases a neighbouring townhouse, it heralds the arrival of magic and wonder in Marietta’s life.
After Drosselmeier constructs an elaborate theatrical set for her final ballet performance on Christmas Eve, Marietta discovers it carries a magic all of its own – a magic darker than anyone could imagine. As the clock chimes midnight, Marietta finds herself transported from her family’s ballroom to a frozen sugar palace, silent with secrets, in a forest of snow-topped fir trees. She must find a way to return home before she’s trapped in Everwood’s enchanting grip forever.
In the darkness of night, magic awaits and you will never forget what you find here…
A California medieval scholar is pulled into a far-off magical world—and a fight to save mankind—in this novel by a New York Times–bestselling author.
As a student of medieval history, Gil Patterson is a woman familiar with dark stories. She knows well the Crusades, the Black Death, and the other horrors of the Middle Ages, but it is another kind of atrocity that has begun to haunt her dreams. She sees forces of evil assaulting a beleaguered kingdom, whose kind people are on the brink of annihilation, and awakes each morning in a cold sweat. Gil dismisses the dreams until a wizard appears in her apartment. He has crossed into her dimension, passing through the fraying fabric of the universe, to ask her help. For mankind to survive he must protect an infant prince, whom he plans to hide in Gil’s world. The student of history is about to get much closer to evil than she ever imagined. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Barbara Hambly, including rare photos and never-before-seen documents from the author’s personal collection.
Jayne Frost is a lot of things. Winter elf, Jack Frost’s daughter, Santa Claus’s niece, heir to the Winter Throne and now…private investigator. Sort of.
Needing someone he can trust, her father sends her undercover to Nocturne Falls to find out why employees at the Santa’s Workshop toy store are going missing.
Doing that requires getting to know the town, which leads to interesting encounters with a sexy vampire, an old flame, and an elevator that’s strictly off-limits. The more Jayne finds out, the more questions she has, but the answers lead her deeper into danger.
Will her magic save her? Or will she come up cold?
You’d think being abducted by aliens would be the worst thing that could happen to me. And you’d be wrong. Because now, the aliens are having ship trouble, and they’ve left their cargo of human women – including me – on an ice planet.
And the only native inhabitant I’ve met? He’s big, horned, blue, and really, really has a thing for me…
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