The cozy fantasy genre has gained popularity in recent years, and for good reason! Sometimes, you just want to read something that will make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, with unique fantasy world-building and characters you can root for. Here are some of the best cozy fantasy books to read!
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What is cozy fantasy?
Cozy fantasy is a sub-genre of the fantasy fiction genre that often centers around a slice-of-life type of story. It usually involves a ‘lighter’, more hopeful storyline compared to other fantasy genres.
The cozy fantasy genre focuses more on deep world-building and multifaceted characters rather than relying heavily on plot (but that doesn’t mean there’s no plot!).
You may not get high-stakes, super intense action scenes (depending on the book), but you will likely get love-able characters and an intricately-drawn world.
Best Cozy Fantasy Books
These cozy books are best enjoyed while snuggled up on the couch with a warm beverage and a tasty snack, just to emphasize all the comforting feels!
Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree
Synopsis: A battle-worn orc decides to give up her past life and open a coffee shop for travelers – despite the fact that no one in town even knows what coffee is. There’s a love-able cast of characters, some romance, and low-stakes (but still exciting) fun!
Here are more details about the Legends & Lattes series, including the prequel!
Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries by Heather Fawcett
Synopsis: In this cozy historical fantasy, a grumpy scholar and faerie lore expert travels to a small town to study a group of secretive faeries called The Hidden Ones. But so does her infuriatingly charming academic rival, who manages to involve himself in her research – to her chagrin.
The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune
Synopsis: Linus Baker is a rule-following caseworker assigned to investigate an orphanage for magical children located on a small island. But the orphanage’s enigmatic caretaker – and the six potentially dangerous children that reside there – might just change his outlook on life.
Check out this series guide to The House in the Cerulean Sea for details on the sequel!
A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking by T. Kingfisher
Synopsis: Mona is different from the wizards who battle to protect her city – her magic is in her baking. But when Mona’s city is threatened by an attack and an assassin begins stalking her, she is forced to get creative.
Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
Synopsis: A classic that likely inspired the cozy fantasy genre, Howl’s Moving Castle follows a girl named Sophie who is cursed by a witch and turned into an old woman. Her only chance to break the curse is to seek out the Wizard Howl and his always-moving castle – and hope he will help her, despite his heartless reputation.
This is an enchanting read, and the anime movie directed by Hayao Miyazaki (Studio Ghibli) is just as wonderful.
The Wishing Game by Meg Shaffer
Synopsis: A beloved children’s author resurfaces years after his mysterious disappearance with a new novel. But only a select few are invited to his home on Clock Island and given the chance to compete for the only copy of his new book.
The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna
Synopsis: A lonely witch who’s been forced into hiding her entire life receives a message one day, inviting her to teach magic at a school called Nowhere House.
There, she meets a host of interesting characters – including the prickly librarian – and eventually starts to feel like she belongs. But soon, the school and everyone who lives there are threatened.
For more books with witches, check out this post with the best witchy fiction books (both cozy & spooky)!
A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers
Synopsis: In a futuristic world, a tea monk and a self-aware robot seek out the answer to a particular question: “what do people need?”. (This might be more cozy science fiction than fantasy, but it still deserves a spot on this list!).
Other Birds by Sarah Addison Allen
Synopsis: If you’re more a fan of magical realism than all-out fantasy, this is a great choice! It’s about a woman who moves to a small, reclusive island off the coast of South Carolina after her mother dies. She meets her quirky neighbors, each one with a unique story that continues to unfold.
The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy by Megan Bannen
Synopsis: Set in a small town in a magical realm, two enemies – a town marshal and a shopkeeper – become pen pals (and maybe even more), without realizing who they’re writing to.
Half a Soul by Olivia Atwater
Synopsis: This wholesome genre-mashup combines fantasy and historical romance for a story that’s described as Bridgerton meets Howl’s Moving Castle. A faerie-cursed young woman without the ability to feel fear or embarrassment attempts to get through a season of high society unscathed. But of course, things don’t go according to plan.
I hope you love these cozy fantasy books! Feel free to share your favorites in the comments section below. 🙂
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