I have read a bunch of wonderful fantasy books by Australian indie authors this year, so I thought I’d do a little wrap up for you in case you need some awesome fantasy recs. Each of the books in this stack is the first in a series, and they all feature characters you’ll love in richly imagined worlds. I feel like indie books can make great gifts for readers, since they might be less likely to have seen them around and picked them up already. I’d also recommend any of these as fantastic summer reads or gifts for yourself!
Check out the info below for details on each title.
Six Aussie fantasy books by indie authors
Dream of Death City by PJ Nwosu
Pale moths haunt an icy frontier. Beneath the shadow of a drowned death god, a frozen body is unearthed from the snow.
Investigators arrive to a superstitious island to solve a brutal crime. Among them is a lowly slave desperate to prove her worth and a soldier with dark dreams. Neither are prepared for what they find.
Death City is a strange and violent frontier, and no one who survives comes back clean. First though, Thora and Diem must survive.
Welcome to the Red Kingdom.
You can find out more about the Red Kingdom series and keep up with the latest from author PJ Nwosu on her blog here and find the Red Kingdom series on Goodreads here.
To Dream of White & Gold by RK Hart
All the dreamers are dead.
All but one.
Lyda D’Cathan never wanted to leave Kingstown. But when a stranger knocks on her door in the middle of the night, Lyda learns she has inherited something from her long-dead mother, Siva – something unwanted, something unknown, and something entirely dangerous.
Lyda must choose: journey to the mysterious Illarum and live mistrusted and maligned with the other gifted, or stay at home and risk hurting the people she loves with the newfound power that spills from her in sleep.
Lyda is promised answers; the Illarum gives her nothing but questions. In order to control her power, she will need to follow in Siva’s elusive footsteps and travel further from home than she ever imagined. And just like her gift, knowledge has a cost – and it might be more than she is willing to pay.
What will Lyda give to become the last dreamer?
R.K Hart writes romantic, mythic fantasy set in future worlds, and To Dream of White & Gold is book one in her Death Dreamer Legacy series. There are two books out in the series so far, with book three coming in 2023). There is also a prequel novella called How Kellen Met his Selkie, which is available free on kindle unlimited.
A Lair of Bones by Helen Scheuerer
A deadly contest. A vaulting ambition. How far will one cyren go to win?
Mighty cyrens have ruled the ancient lair of Saddoriel for centuries. A cavernous fortress, a subterranean labyrinth of tunnels and levels, powered by magic and music…
From the moment she was born, Roh, the daughter of an infamous criminal, has been despised by her own kind. Restricted to the Lower Sector and forced to work as a common bone cleaner, she has always believed she belongs above: where lies adventure… and power.
Opportunity arises in the form of the Queen’s Tournament, a treacherous set of trials that could see the victor crowned ruler of the entire lair. Up against the most cunning, dangerous cyrens in all the realms, does Roh stand a chance?
A Lair of Bones is the first book in Helen Scheuerer’s dark fantasy quartet, Curse of the Cyren Queen. I adored this book and am determined to read the others in the series now that they have all been released.
Shadow of Fire by Kate Schumacher
Control over the elements is a gift from the Gods, but since the creation of the Rift, fire magic has been outlawed in Merawuld. The Rift is a source of mystery, fear, and, for some, a tempting source of power.
Ash is a fire caster who has spent years hiding her magic, but when her explosive powers reveal themselves she is imprisoned by the Mage Council. Ash’s powers are coveted by the High Mage, who seeks to use her as a pawn against not only his enemies, but his allies as well.
With the Bone Mother’s winter fast approaching, the fae Princess vows to fight against the corrupting influence of power, forming an alliance whose success rests on a human man’s desire for peace; a man who must decide if he will play the game he’s inherited or begin one of his own.
But in Aileryan, the Gods have their own plans. As the Mother of All turns the wheel of the year, the land is brought to the edge of war. Loyalty and courage will be sorely tested as paths intertwine and Fate plays her hand.
If Ash can’t learn to control her magic, the scheming of gods and mortals could spell doom for them all.
I read both Shadow of Fire and its sequel Heart of Flame this year and loved them!
You can keep up with Kate Schumacher on her website here and find The Fires of Aileryan series on Goodreads here.
Amber Wolf by Lauren Searson-Patrick
Friend. Guard. Orphan.
Lish Taylor thinks she knows who she is.
But when her team investigates a series of abductions, Lish finds herself guardian of a trembling little boy – one whose experience is unnervingly familiar. And the questions she’s harboured since she was a child, after witnessing the violent murder of her mother, flood to the surface. Lish’s answers lie just beyond the walls of her climate ravaged city; but chasing them means leaving behind the life she has built from nothing.
Captured by the brutal General Siosal, Lish must use her greatest secret to protect not only herself, but the General’s other victims. Aided by the mysterious and compelling Lochlain, Lish’s escape catapults her into the enchanting world of the Calahi, where magic is not something to hide, but a birthright and a gift from the land itself.
To avenge her mother’s death and stop Siosal’s reign of terror, Lish must work with Lochlain and his allies. But as their plans unfold and her connection with Lochlain grows, Lish begins to understand that in order to get what she wants, she may have to admit truths about herself that will change not only the course of her life, but the fate of a dying kingdom.
Amber Wolf is the first book in a dulogy from Lauren Searson Patrick. I’ve had the pleasure of a sneak peek at the second book and can’t wait for everyone to read it when it’s out next year!
The Goddess of Blood and Bone by Nattie Kate Mason
With a heart as black as night, Nushka was born different to her kin.
Banished by the Gods to rule over a realm of the Afterlife rife with eternal pain, she bides her time… and makes the Pitts of Moor her very own.
In this dark place, free of morals and constraints, Agnes, a former princess, is delegated to Nushka’s harem of handmaidens. Faced with the choice of fulfilling the Queen of Moor’s every sinful desire, or enduring an eternity of pain, she does what she must to survive.
Yearning for freedom, both wicked souls refuse to accept their dark fates… Together, they strike a bargain. Unlikely allies, with a deadly army of monsters at their backs. Should they succeed in their mission, unimaginable power will be theirs.
Should they fail, a fate worse than death awaits.
I read both books in Nattie Kate Mason’s The Immortal Deities duology this year and thought they were fantastic (you can check out my review after reading the second book, The Gods of War and Darkness, here).
Soooo much Aussie fantasy talent to choose from in that stack!
I’m excited to tell you that some of these lovely authors have agreed to do join me here on the blog for a little Christmas/summer chat – you’ll see the Q&As pop up over the next few weeks.
In the meantime, I’d love to know if you have read any of these books, or have other favourite Aussie authors I should add to my tbr!