Urban Fantasy

Subject Guides Books Reading Lists Urban Fantasy

Selected novels which depict a nitty-gritty, everyday modern world intersecting with magical realms and individuals. Updated July 2011

  • Forests of the Heart by Charles De Lint (2000)
    The foremost writer of urban fantasy is unmatched in his ability to mix everyday life with magical elements: in this case, a modern Canadian town, Celtic legend, and Native American mythology are swirled into an enchanting blend.

  • The Summer Country by James A. Hetley (2002)
    Described by Charles de Lint (previous author) as "like an old Irish whiskey -- dark and smoky, abounding in flavor and detail." Maureen finds herself catapulted from Maine poverty to the world of British myth.

  • The Gypsy by Stephen Brust (1992)
    A gypsy and a policeman, despite distrust, both work to solve a series of demonic killings in a modern city. This is also occult fantasy, but has a strong urban fantasy tone and setting.

  • The Wood Wife by Terri Windling (1996)
    Windling is best known as an anthologist and short story writer, but has written a couple of excellent novels too. In this one, a Southwestern writer is found dead of drowning in a dry wash, and supernatural elements are indicated.

  • Guilty pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton (1993)
    A paranormal romance and mystery novel, and the first in a whole series of books featuring the vampire hunter Anita Blake. Guilty Pleasures takes a place in a St. Louis where vampires, werewolves, and other magical beings live alongside humans.
  • American Gods by Neil Gaiman (2001)
    In this award winning book by fantasy author Neil Gaiman, ex-convict shadow accepts a job as a body guard to the mysterious Mr. Wednesday and soon finds himself mixed up in a complicated world populated by mythological figures who have made a home of sorts in the New World.

  • Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey (2009)
    Working as a sideshow gladiator in Hell after being snatched by demons at the age of nineteen, James Stark escapes and returns to Los Angeles, where he plots to destroy the magic circle that stole his life.

Category: Reading Lists, Fantasy

Page last changed: September 22, 2012, at 12:00 PM EST.