Wyrd and Wonder is hosted by Annemieke @ A Dance With Books, Imyril @ There’s Always Room for One More, Jorie @ Jorie Loves A Story, Ari @ The Book Nook, and Lisa @ Dear Geek Place.

Wyrd and Wonder banner with cute black dragon illustraton.

This week’s topic is five fantasy books that fall into our comfort zones. This got me thinking about the themes and subgenres that I most likely to zone in on when I’m choosing my next fantasy read. A lot of the time, when I tell people in real life that I read a lot of fantasy, they assume epic quests and quasi-medieval lands, but mostly I want fantastical things happening to normal people.

So here are five reasons a fantasy book might fall into my comfort zone, each with a book that exemplifies it. Follow the links to read my full reviews.

Found Family


Godkiller by Hannah Kaner

There’s just something warm and fuzzy about a good found family story, even if they are killers and sneaky gods. Characters being thrown together by fate, often with no traditional family around, who begrudgingly come to love one another is one of my favourite tropes to see in fantasy.

Dark Academia

ninth house

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

I also like cosy academia too, but I’ve got to limit this list to five so… I guess the dark stuff has the edge! Give me magic, secret societies, stuffy academics, and dormitory life any day. Throwing a bunch of students together, who have never met before and must live side-by-side, gives plenty of material for things to happen. I think real-life university was a bit of a let down, not a single midnight ritual in sight!


the undertaking of hart and mercy

The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy by Megan Bannen

In my day it was just called paranormal romance, and I used to devour it. Now it’s been rebranded as romantasy, but I still enjoy picking it up when I need something escapist with a guaranteed happy ending. Nothing too spicy though. If a book is more sex than plot, I exit pretty quickly.

Bookish Books

ink blood sister scribe

Ink Blood Sister Scribe by Emma Törzs

What’s better than magical books? Even if some are out to get you. I suspect Ink Blood Sister Scribe is itself a magical book, because it sucked me in unlike any other book I read last year.

Contemporary Setting

black water sister

Black Water Sister by Zen Cho

Sometimes my brain just is not in the right place to take in a whole new plane of existence, so I love a good fantasy set firmly in the real world, along with all the mundane problems it brings. Trying to get a job while also dealing with angry ghosts? Yes please!

You can find all the books mentioned in my Wyrd and Wonder posts on my bookshop.org and Amazon (UK) affiliate pages.

Illustration credit: black dragon by Ehtisham Sajid