Library Blog

Realistic Fantasy Books

fantasy book

Do you avoid fantasy because of all the made-up words and unrealistic worlds? There might still be some magic out there for you. Some fantasy books rely on old folk tales and our world to tell their stories. Sometimes these books make you wonder if we are missing some elaborate secrets in the world or maybe these characters are imagining the whole thing. Here are some books to try if you’re unsure about fantasy:


The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus has no schedule. It has no announcements. It appears and showcases the most amazing exhibits imaginable. The reason is a fierce competition. Two young magicians, Celia and Marco, have been locked in a contest since childhood. It is a game in which only one can be left standing. Despite the ending they both know, the two fall in love, first with each other’s amazing creations and then with each other. The problem is, the game must play out.



The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Clare and Henry have known one another since Clare was six and Henry was thirty-six. They were married when Clare was twenty-three and Henry was thirty-one. Henry has a genetic disorder; he is periodically misplaced in time. His disappearances are unpredictable, sometimes amusing and other times dangerous. The book follows Clare and Henry’s attempt to live normal lives when they each know bits and pieces of their future together.



The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

The Bear and the Nightingale takes place on the edge of the Russian wilderness and tells the story of Vasilisa Petrovna. Vasilisa was raised on fairy tales told by her family nurse. She was always taught to respect the demons of the forest and their homes, but especially the Frost demon. As the years go by, there is a danger growing in the woods and the villagers are forgetting the old ways. Vasilisa must make her village remember their traditions and fairy tales if they are to survive the ever-worsening winters.


Andrea has been an adult services librarian at the Austintown library for the last 6 years. She loves reading fantasy and science fiction, but anything with a good story is fair game. It's almost impossible for her to choose a favorite book, but the every-changing list always includes The Lord of the Rings (Tolkien), IT (Stephen King), and The Harry Potter Series (Rowling). If she's not reading, she's usually drawing or spending time with her family.