An interview with Richard Roberts - You can be a Cyborg When You're Older and Please Dont Tell My Parents I Work for a Supervillain
06, Jul

I'm pleased to say we have an interview with the amazing Richard Roberts, author of the Please Don Tell My Parents I'm A Supervillain series as well as recent novels You Can Be a Cyborg When You're Older and Please Dont Tell My Parents I Work for a Supervillain. He was kind enough to sit down and answer some of our questions about these two new books.

1. Please tell us about YOU CAN BE A CYBORG WHEN YOU'RE OLDER.

You start with the most difficult question, don't you? Condensing a whole book into a paragraph and conveying the fun is hard! It's a YA cyberpunk book about a teenager named Vanity Rose who loves style and adventure. She lives in West Angel City, a terrible dystopia that offers plenty of style and adventure, and in her attempt to have fun earning sketchily legal money, she befriends a telepathic capybara, makes an enemy of the world's least-loved operating system mascot, and plows through a number of people's lives like a murderbot bulldozer. Also, the book includes a murderbot bulldozer. And fake elves, because cyberpunk has to throw in some fantasy and perversely human uses for technology. Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm a Supervillain eBook: Roberts,  Richard: Kindle Store

2. What is the heroine, Vanity Rose, like?

Vanity Rose is heavily inspired by my friend Nikki. Vanity is passionate, intensely emotional and involved, dragged around by her anger and her joy. She is an active, energetic teenager who never stands still if she can help it, with her favorite hobby being walking around on the walls of her skyscraper city home using gravity shoes. She is literally punchy and aggressive, but has a strong moral streak. Even in a world of cyborgs and bodysculpting, death is the one thing you can't take back. She's the kind of person with energy and goals and plans that are so crazy they just might work, and will drag you around behind her as she follows them.

3. What inspired you to do an Eighties cyberpunk-themed YA novel?

Because I write YA books, and it hit me that there is hardly any currently accessible YA cyberpunk. That's terrible. Modern kids need to learn just how goofy 80s retrofuturist cyberpunk is. It's a genre of ridiculous things presented in a dark and serious way. That must be shared.

4. Can you list some of the influences for the book? [anime, books, video games, etc.)

Ooooh, my goodness. I couldn't possibly keep track of it all. I'll try. Blade Runner, Shadowrun, Rifts, Dungeons and Dragons, Asimov's three laws of robotics stories, Five Night's At Freddies, Rozen Maiden, Battletech, Evangelion, Second Life, all the real life fandoms, Tron, Battlezone, every 80s and early 90s movie where the internet was 'cyberspace' and computer hacking was playing a minigame... that's the stuff that I can put names on right now. This is a mélange of my whole life's worth of processing entertainment.

5. Is it hard to keep it PG when you're doing a YA cyberpunk novel?

No, not at all. Certainly, no harder than superhero genre books. I avoid profanity, keep my description of violence non-graphic, and talk around sexual content. I made a joke out of the profanity thing with Vanity, while using it to add to how her character is emotionally tied to AIs. I'm just keeping things non-explicit for the parents, anyway. Kids know way more than their parents want to admit.

6. Do you think fans of your PLEASE DONT TELL MY PARENTS series will enjoy this?

I tried specifically to keep the same fun tone. I wanted that fun tone, wanted to introduce modern teens to a crazy part of my world growing up. I hope they enjoy it! Please Don't Tell My Parents I Work for a Supervillain eBook:  Roberts, Richard: Kindle Store


A lot? I mean, I wrote it. For fans of the series, Penny's story is complete, until she turns eighteen. Please Don't Tell My Parents I Work For A Supervillain is my first book using her story as a launching pad to tell the stories of other teens dealing with having super powers in a world of heroes and villains, having fun and navigating the moral tangles.

8. How does your lead, Magenta, differ from Penny Ak?

They're pretty different. Magenta isn't as fearless as Penny, or as calculated. Magenta has lived all her life with a super power that makes her unrecognizable, even to her family, and she desperately wants to do big things and make an impact. Penny was very focused on what was in front of her. Magenta has ambition. They're both a bit naive and love showing off and putting on a show. They're both very smart, smarter than Magenta realizes. All my heroines are smart. Smart people are fun to write about.

9. Is there an adjustment going from junior high school supervillains to high school supervillains?

Not much, no. They're only one year older. It feels like an impossible gulf to a child living it, but very little in the teenager or the life they lead changes between 8th grade and 9th.

10. Why did you decide to return to this series but switch characters?

Because I hate open-ended stories. When I agreed to write a sequel to Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm A Supervillain, I did it on the condition that Penny had a specific story to tell, and after that it was done. I started writing book two knowing how book five would end. Penny's story is over, so it doesn't ruin itself. But other people's stories? Oh, yes, I can deliver similar fun with other characters, and my fans seem to want more.

11. How has the reception to the two books been?

You Can Be A Cyborg When You're Older has not been a success. Please Don't Tell My Parents I Work For A Supervillain has gotten fantastic reviews and rocked the release. It might even get my career back on track. (Long, long story.)

12. What can we expect from you next?

Okay, this one was also asked in the other interview [Editor: for Grimdark Magazine], but I'm a big boy, I can write an individual answer. My general plan is to alternate Supervillain books with experimental books in new worlds, both for my own fun and to see what people like. Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm Queen of The Dead comes out next, about Avery special, a 15 year old girl with the super power of necromancy, and the only necromancer currently alive. It turns out the world has been saving up a lot of trouble for the next necromancer, and it starts the day she moves to Los Angeles from Kentucky.

While that goes through the publishing process, I'm writing a book about SPAAAAAACE. Ahem. Basically, the solar system is strange and fully inhabited and we on Earth don't know it because math hides the truth from us. Earth is quarantined so math doesn't spread, but Rachel escapes and runs into the kinds of trouble my heroines experience.


You Can Be a Cyborg When You're Older is available here

Please Don't Tell My Parents I Work For A Supervillain is available here


Five things I’ve learned from screwing up on Kickstarter
22, Jun


Five things I’ve learned from screwing up on Kickstarter

By Adrian Collins

Publishing anthologies, like any other skill in life, is generally something you learn to do well by making mistakes. When I was pulling together all of the bits and pieces of our latest dark fantasy anthology Kickstarter, The King Must Fall, I had a few moments where I reflected on how the team and I got to this point—how much our production methodology and capability had grown since we first fumbled our way through to releasing the Stabby award winning Evil is a Matter of Perspective way back in 2017. 

Let me share some of those moments with you.

Make sure your product pitch is crystal clear

After the breakout success of Evil is a Matter of Perspective our team had our second crack at a Kickstarter anthology with Landfall. We had a brilliant cast of writers who built an amazing and dark world based on Australian colonial settlers and the American frontier to write stories in, but we royally screwed up the market release. The project flopped. Didn’t even raise USD3,500.

When I realised what we’d done it hit me like crossbow bolt to the head. Behind the scenes, the project started out as a digital-only competitor to SerialBox. However, we didn’t have a distribution platform like SerialBox, and when it all came together from a financial perspective (cost of paying creators, distributing, etc, versus income from backers) we realised that we would need an inordinate amount of backers to reach the target because we didn’t have a high-income print product. We also realised this at the last minute. So, instead of pushing back the project so we could re-do the pitch, we rushed through a print production mapping-out, put in some print book collateral (essentially turning it into an online serial release that then got turned into a print anthology as well), and released what was probably the most wishy washy and confusing anthology marketing pitch ever.

Cost in EVERYTHING, and scale it

When you commit to a Kickstarter and that big wad of project capital drops into your bank account, you’re committing to delivering on that project no matter what. If you’ve forgotten to cost a line item, you can’t just short-change your backers on something and expect no repercussions. That money has to come from somewhere—and the only somewhere left is you.

If you’re spending money on it, you need to put it into your costing spreadsheet. Even if you expect that money to come from your company’s coffers as a sunk cost, make sure you put it into the same sheet as the other expenses so you have complete transparency into how much you’re spending and where that money is coming from. Art, print runs, Facebook ads, freight, shipping, designer costs, ISBNs, author pay, that special splash of colour you want on the signature page—it all adds up, and it adds up bloody quickly, especially when you’ve forgotten to collect that money from somewhere.

Also make sure you’re capable of mapping out the financial impact of scale. Kickstarters can go viral, so what are the impacts on your financial model if you hit the big time and sell more than your initial print run? How much is each book after that? Is freight from the printer to your distributor increased by another palette-load? With Evil is a Matter of Perspective this is one of the main ways I hurt myself financially—scale. I did not get my spreadsheet right, and had to dip into my own coffers to finish the project. So, for The King Must Fall I hired (through the whiskey economy) a regional financial controller to create a spreadsheet that would allow me to properly map out the impacts of scale on finances.

Which takes us to my next point.

Where you aren’t very good at something, employ somebody better

People are going to be investing a lot in your Kickstarter project. Time, money, and where they share your project to their social circles, reputation. Do not blow it by cheaping out on the production. If you’re creating an anthology, for example, that means taking a long hard look at yourself and finding where somebody else could do a significantly better job than you—usually for a cost.

For The King Must Fall, that means hiring Shawn T. King and Felix Ortiz to do the cover, Carlos Diaz to create interior art, Mike Myers to edit the stories, Pen Astridge to create a marketing animation, Greg Patmore to create an audio version, an accountant to build a pricing spreadsheet, and so on.

Getting the right people on board to cover off the things you’re not good at means you can create a product so good people will come back for more the next time you go to market with a Kickstarter.

Invest in your marketing, but think before spending

This, I cannot stress enough. The Kickstarter creator community calls the period between the first and last 48hrs the “trough of despair” (or something similar) for a reason. Typically, your big spending products (limited editions, for example) sell out in the first 48hrs giving you a massive boost towards that funding goal as a small amount of people provide a large amount of funding. Then, once those products are gone, you need a large amount of people spending less to move that funding line north—and often your first marketing push has captured most of your established fans and customers, meaning you now need to convince a lot of people who’ve never heard of you before to trust you and back your Kickstarter.

Once the hype and the excitement of that explosive first couple of days passes, your funding tracker graph changes from the side of a mountain to a gentle slope, and you go from making sometimes tens of thousands in a day to under a thousand a day, or under a hundred in a day, it’s very easy to become despondent. But this is when it’s time for the grind. You’ll bust out that list of marketing ideas and names you spent months putting together and write articles, do interviews, re-share posts, send out emails, beg blog spots, and ask your contributors to do a little of the same. Sometimes you’ll get a nice lift, sometimes you won’t get a single extra pledge. Embrace the grind and keep going. Don’t panic.

It’s during this time that every marketing company under the sun is going to come at you, promising to help you break the trough of despair. Now, I’m not saying that all of these companies are dodgy and relying on your panic reaction to your flattening financial graph line to purchase their products, but I will say that despite every marketer’s pitch having tens, sometimes hundreds of thousands of people in their email lists and stories of people JUST LIKE ME hitting the big time, not one of them has been able to tell me how many people in their email lists are interested in publishing projects (let alone anthologies), or what the open rate and click-through rate of that sub-group is. And if you know, say from your day-job or from looking at Bookbub’s pricing structure, that the kind of data I’m requesting is not a big ask for a marketing company worth its salt, you MIGHT decide not to purchase their services. MAYBE.

I’m not saying never use them. Maybe there are some good ones out there I haven’t met. I am saying ask questions, demand evidence, and don’t panic buy.

Always plan for the worst

As I said earlier, you are on the hook for delivering the project you’ve sold to your backers. If you’ve ever project managed something before, or if you know a project manager, you’ll know very few projects ever run perfectly. You need buffers built into your project. Such as:

·        Financial: Factor in a percentage of the Kickstarter funds to cover off things going wrong. Little or big, they will hurt. I would also ensure I have some personal or business funds in the background ready to go, just in case things really go wrong.

·        Time: It’s always better to under-promise and over-deliver than the reverse. If you think you can comfortably deliver a project in under five months, give yourself six or seven to be safe.

·        Personal: If you’re like me and running a Kickstarter on top of a full-time job and a life full of people you want to retain connection with, buffer in time off. It’s very easy to get so caught up in the project delivery that you forget that you’re a human now working almost two full time jobs. Tired people make mistakes. Make sure you have personal time locked aside. Put down the phone or laptop. Recharge. Recuperate. Deliver your project to the best of your ability.

If, in the end, you manage the perfect project and don’t need your financial or time buffers, then you are absolutely gold. And better at this than I am.


Finally, have fun. Look after yourself. Deliver on the project in a way that makes you want to do it again. Because what’s the point of all this effort if you’re not enjoying yourself?

I certainly have been with The King Must Fall.


Hello everyone, and welcome to the announcement of the 2020 Booknest Fantasy Awards winners! In our first round, we asked you to vote for your favorite fantasy books and imprints as nominated by, Fantasy Faction, Fantasy Book Critic, Fantasy Book Review, The Weatherwax Report, Novel Notions, The Fantasy Hive, Grimdark Magazine, and publishers (ACE, Gollancz, Angry Robot and Tor Books). Only 10 books made the cut into our Shortlists, which you voted for again to produce this year's winners!



Welcome to the 2020 Booknest Fantasy Awards!


In our first round, we asked you to vote for your favorite fantasy books and imprints. Now, we are thrilled to present you with this year's Shortlists! In this final stage, your votes will determine who will receive the engraved swords (pictured below). Once again, we would like to offer our thanks to the blogs,(Fantasy Faction, Fantasy Book Critic, Fantasy Book Review, The Weatherwax Report, Novel Notions, The Fantasy Hive, and Grimdark Magazine) and publishers (ACE, Gollancz, Angry Robot and Tor Books) who helped our team build this year’s longlist of nominees published between January 1st, 2020 and December 31st, 2020. Best of luck, everyone!


















And here’s how our swords look at the hands of a few previous Winners!


Welcome to the 2020 Booknest Fantasy Awards!


It is our sincere pleasure to invite you to vote for your favorite fantasy novels and fantasy imprints from among this year’s nominees. First, however, we would like to offer our thanks to the blogs (Fantasy Faction, Fantasy Book Critic, Fantasy Book Review, The Weatherwax Report, Novel Notions, The Fantasy Hive, and Grimdark Magazine) as well as the publishers (ACE, Gollancz, Angry Robot and Tor Books) who helped our team build this year’s longlist of nominees published between January 1st, 2020 and December 31st, 2020.



Phase 1

In Phase 1, you have until Friday, March 12, 2021 to vote for your favorites. Only the top 10 books and top 5 imprints with the most votes will move on to the Phase 2 Shortlists where they can win an engraved sword! So, make sure you share this link if you want to see your favorites win! Best of luck, contestants, and hopefully we will see you again in the next round!














And here’s how our swords look at the hands of a few previous Winners!

Bards and Scribes: The Swashbuckler (Guest Post by Jesse Teller)
27, Oct


Jesse Teller is mentally disabled. He suffers from PTSD from an abusive childhood. He is bipolar, suffers from daily to hourly hallucinations, and has DID (multiple personality disorder).

He has been a member of the self-published fantasy community for four and a half years now, has published fourteen books, with plans to publish countless more.

Jesse Teller is not a sane man. He has been declared mentally unfit and is a certified madman. This blog series is a glimpse into the way he sees a small handful of his peers and a look into his own mind. This is an excerpt from the third volume of his autobiography yet to be published.


The Swashbuckler


Man, I have been waiting for this one. This dude is fucking cool.

The Swashbuckler can swoop in to a conversation, to a group chat, to any situation and light it all up. Everything he says is encouraging and everything he says is helpful. Picture a dude swinging into a room with a wide brim hat on (go ahead and envision a feather, it suits my needs), and with a bit of fanfare you know he is there. He is beloved by all and popular.

Okay, what nobody outside of the scene knows is that the self-published world is like a high school. You have the quiet dark kids like The Cannibal. You have the academics like The Alchemist, The Druid, and The Judge. You have the fun guys, the guys who love everyone and just get accepted everywhere, like The Panda, and you have the popular kids.

I am not in any of these groups. I am The Lunatic. A lot of people respect The Lunatic, but not many people want to get close to The Lunatic. He says things that can’t be true. He is awkward. He is clingy and he is too loud at the wrong times and too quiet at the wrong times. The Lunatic walks alone. And none of the cool kids read The Lunatic’s books. I don’t know why. I try not to think about it.

There are really five popular kids. The Sloth, The King, The Viking, The Wanderer and The Swashbuckler. They are the cool kids. Everyone loves the cool kids. The reviewers love them because they are all spectacular writers. The readers love them because they are larger than life. The other kids want to be them and they talk to very few people. They have inside jokes and they are off by themselves.

The Swashbuckler is not like that. He is around for anyone who needs him. And man, did I need him.


See The Swashbuckler understands what I am doing, because The Swashbuckler is doing it, too.

He is working on a masterpiece called First Earth. As I understand it, First Earth is a war, a big fucking war. It spans over a dozen books but these books are broken up into series that can be read by themselves. It is masterful. It is sought after by everyone who reads it. It is huge. There are reviewers and readers salivating all over themselves for any book about First Earth. Anytime The Swashbuckler lets slip any bit of information about First Earth, everyone talks about it for days. If you watch, you can see people whispering about it everywhere. If you watch, you can see the ripples it is leaving everywhere it swims. First Earth is out there and everyone waits with bated breath for the next book.

I was still working on my first act. I had five series, all stand alone, where all you had to do is pull them apart, shuffle them back together, and they would tell one story. Lots of off shoot stories, but really it is all about a boy becoming a man and saving the world. It follows him from ten to twenty-two and he faces off against the worst of the worst and, well, you will have to see what happens.

I still didn’t know what happened. I was working on the ends of all the series. See I had started them all and worked them all to their final books, but I had not yet finished any of them. I had five series open and was looking at the downhill slope. At the breakneck pace I had set, I was going to finish them all in one year. I had released three of my standalones and a short story collection, but I had not finished a single series. I was getting scared and I was coming up on it quick. There was no stopping. The momentum was way too great. The entire thing was either going to lift me up or crush me. I had made so many promises, and though my wife was confident, and my alpha reader was not even worried, I was scared to death. My mind was out of control. I needed to talk about it.

I reached out to the only guy who understood. In my desperation, I sent a message to The Swashbuckler and he wrote me back.

I could go get the minutes. Of course they are all right there. I have every conversation I ever had with this man, and everyone I have talked to, right at my fingertips. That is how Facebook Messenger works. But I will not go back and check because then I would have to quote him and I want you to feel what I felt when he spoke to me on this.

I reached out with something along the lines of, “Heard you were doing a big thing. Heard about First Earth. How is that going?”

“Big. Intense.” He probably used other words but get with me here, I am doing a thing. “Heard about what you are doing. It’s bigger.”

“Yeah crazier, too,” I said.

“Well how are you keeping it all straight?” he asked.

“Not sure. It just won’t leave my head. It is kind of driving me nuts really. I think I am losing my mind.”

“You will be fine,” he said. “Just don’t quit. The right people are watching you.” I am pretty sure that is what he said.

We talked a few more minutes about it. He said some encouraging things. He talked for a while about his process, but a writer’s process of writing is so personal and hand-tailored that they guard it covetously. We only talk about it when we feel safe and when we feel ready. I’m not going to tell you what he said to me. He implied it was work for him, that he had to concentrate a lot on it. I got the idea it was not coming easy, that it was a struggle. He had First Earth in hand but he had to hold on tight.

I have this thing, it’s “The Lunatic thing,” where every time I even get close to talking about what I am doing, I run off at the mouth about it. It is a sickness. I can’t shut up. I vomit all of it out without thinking and without stopping. It is why no one takes me seriously, why no one reads my books. But I went a little crazy on him. I told him everything and I think he could hear the panic in my voice. I think he knew what I was going through.

He told me in a very cool way, without talking down to me, that I was going to be okay. That what I was doing was crazy impressive and that I had it all under control. He talked to me about calming down for a while. I know he sensed I was falling apart.

The Swashbuckler brought me to ease and let me know I did have this under control. He said what we were doing was supposed to be hard. It was not often done. Then The Swashbuckler swung away.

He has been there to pull me back when he sees me going over the edge. He corrected me once when I was out of line and told me to just get it together. He has been a guiding force for me and a constant ally.

And watch this.

April 15th 2019, at about three in the afternoon, I remember the day because that was the day Legends of the Exiles came out. I was up. Had been up all day. I was about twenty-two hours into my day, headed to the post office where I would sit in the car, because no one should have to deal with me on days like these, and a reviewer who all writers want reading their books gets in touch with me. He is very interested in reading Exiles. Says it sounds great and he has heard so many good things about it.

I thank him. I manage to keep my cool and not vomit all over him when he says, “The Swashbuckler told me that one day I have to have a conversation with you about your vision. About your master plan. He said that what you are doing is mind-blowing and I need to get involved.”

Now, I have been up for twenty-two hours. I am trembling, I am whirling, I feel drunk and it is release day. It is the day everyone wants to hype up their book. This reviewer has just hosted a guest blog on his site, where I talk about my own child abuse and why I chose that topic to talk about in Exiles. He has heard my very personal story and agreed to air it on his site. So the guy is already invested.

This right here is where I break, right? This is where I just avalanche all of my crazy on this very influential reviewer. But right when I am about to scream and break loose of myself, I clamp it all up. In his message this reviewer had said “one day” and I caught it. I can’t tell you where I am in the city. I am so fucked up that I know if my wife makes me walk home I will wander the streets and eat cigarette butts all day because even though I have a debit card in my pocket, I can’t figure out money right now. Everything in me is telling me this is my moment. But in this totally Lunatic moment, I shut up.

“Well, The Swashbuckler is a cool guy. Very generous. I do have something in the works and I would love to talk to you about it when you get time. Thanks for your interest,” I manage through grit teeth. “And thanks again for hosting my blog.”

Then, in this insane moment, I pretend I am sane and I set the phone down. I bite my lip ’til it bleeds and I wait for my wife to get back to the car. Because not only did I do good in not screaming and running down this reviewer’s street, but I realized one thing.

The Swashbuckler is looking out for me.







Author Bio:

Jesse Teller fell in love with fantasy when he was five years old and played his first game of Dungeons & Dragons. The game gave him the ability to create stories and characters from a young age. He started consuming fantasy in every form and, by nine, was obsessed with the genre. As a young adult, he knew he wanted to make his life about fantasy. From exploring the relationship between man and woman, to understanding the qualities of a leader or a tyrant, Jesse Teller uses his stories and settings to study real-world themes and issues.

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Hey folks,

We have a great new interview here with two of Onyx Path Publishing's best and brightest: Matt McElroy and Matthew Dawkins. Together, the two have played a part in creating WORLD OF DARKNESS: GHOST HUNTERS, which is a new tabletop roleplaying game supplement coming out for the World of Darkness 20th Anniversary line.

Like many projects from Onyx Path, this is going to first appear on the Kickstarter platform for crowd-funding and promotion. It just started today and already has filled its initial goals. I look forward to seeing what stretch goals can be met before the end.


Now let's go talk about the project!

Interview with Matthew Dawkins IV - Let the Streets Run Red
08, Sep

Hey folks,

I'm very pleased to have conducted another interview with Onyx Path Publishing developer Matthew Dawkins. The writer of books like Beckett's Jyhad Diary and They Came From Beneath the Sea, he is here to talk about a new book coming out called Let the Streets Run Red for Vampire: The Masquerade's Chicago by Night setting.

Let the Streets Run Red is a chronicle book, containing four lengthy adventures that players will be able to get a number of sessions out of. Perhaps even enough to do an entire character's unlife from. All of these adventures are set within the American Midwest within driving distance of Chicago, IL. Each contains a different flavor of horror and while the player characters are monsters, they may not be the worst things out there.

It will be coming out this year, going first to backers of the original Chicago by Night 5th Edition Kickstarter.

Now let's talk about its contents!

Interview with James Aquilone
03, Sep

A couple of months back I reviewed James Aquilone’s second novel, Dead Jack and the Soul Catcher – a wild, supernatural, film noir style alternate reality in which a dust-addicted zombie detective is thrust into a world-ending caper he wants nothing to do with. It’s an incredibly fun book, in an equally engaging series. Today, it is my absolute pleasure to share with the BookNest community an interview with James Aquilone himself, in which he discusses the series, as well as his other creative ventures.



We at are incredibly excited to announce that we have reached the extraordinary milestone of TWO THOUSAND reviews! That’s an incredible number, considering all of the hours that go into crafting even a single review. We are proud of our reviewers, who have worked for years with passion and dedication to deliver our reviews to the fantasy community in the hopes of increasing awareness of authors and titles we are excited about.


In celebration of this occasion, our reviewers have compiled a list of our picks for the top one hundred fantasy novels that have been published this century. This list is, of course, subjective, so if your favourite book is missing, we apologize in advance. We have not read every book in the world, and the taste of our reviewers may not reflect your own.


We at BookNest believe strongly that the books we selected for this list are exemplars of the fantasy genre, chosen not only from among the two thousand books we reviewed, but also from among thousands of others we have collectively read. There are many books we loved that did not make the cut. It’s an expansive genre, and it was difficult to limit our selection to only one hundred of our favorites. We had to make many painful, and sometimes emotional, decisions. For those authors whose books are listed, this should be considered an extraordinary level of accomplishment, and our hats are off to you.


Without further ado, we at present to you our list of the TOP 100 FANTASY BOOKS OF OUR CENTURY.


NOTE: The books are sorted alphabetically.













A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas


A Crucible of Souls (Sorcery Ascendant Sequence) by Mitchell Hogan


A Dance of Cloaks (Shadowdance) by David Dalglish


A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic) by V. E. Schwab


A Natural History of Dragons (The Memoirs of Lady Trent #1), by Marie Brennan


A Threat of Shadows (The Keeper Chronicles) by J.A. Andrews


A Time of Dread (Of Blood and Bone) by John Gwynne


A Wizard's Forge (The Woern Saga) by A.M. Justice 


Across the Nightingale Floor (Tales of the Otori) by Lian Hearn


Age of Assassins (The Wounded Kingdom) by R.J. Barker


Air Awakens by Elise Kova


An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir


Battle Mage by Peter Flannery


Beyond Redemption (Manifest Delusions) by Michael R. Fletcher


Black Stone Heart (The Obsidian Path) by Michael R. Fletcher


Blackwing (Raven's Mark) by Ed McDonald


Blood Song (Raven's Shadow) by Anthony Ryan


Chasing Graves by Ben Galley


Child of the Night Guild (Queen of Thieves) by Andy Peloquin


Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orīsha) by Tomi Adeyemi


Circe by Madeline Miller


Cold Iron (Masters & Mages) by Miles Cameron


Darkmage (The Rhenwars Saga) by M.L. Spencer


Dragon's Trail (The Outworlders), by Joseph Malik


Eragon (The Inheritance Cycle) by Christopher Paolini


Dragon School: First Flight by Sarah K.L. Wilson


Fool's Assassin (The Fitz and the Fool) by Robin Hobb


Foundryside (The Founders) by Robert Jackson Bennett


Frey by Melissa Wright


Ghost Talkers by Mary Robinette Kowal


The Light of All That Falls (Licanius) by James Islington


Godblind (Godblind) by Anna Stephens


Half a King (Shattered Sea) by Joe Abercrombie


His Majesty's Dragon (Temeraire) by Naomi Novik


Hope and Red (The Empire of Storms) by Jon Skovron


Jade City (The Green Bone Saga) by Fonda Lee


Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, by Susanna Clarke


Kings of Paradise (Ash and Sand) by Richard Nell


Kings of the Wyld (The Band) by Nicholas Eames


Last Memoria by Rachel Emma Shaw


Malice (The Faithful and the Fallen) by John Gwynne


Miranda and Caliban by Jacqueline Carey


Moon Called (Mercy Thompson) by Patricia Briggs


Northern Wrath (The Hanged God) by Thilde Kold Holdt


Orconomics (The Dark Profit Saga, #1), by J. Zachary Pike


Paternus: Rise of Gods (The Paternus) by Dyrk Ashton


Penric's Demon (Penric and Desdemona), by Lois McMaster Bujold


Prince of Fools (The Red Queen’s War) by Mark Lawrence


Prince of Thorns (The Broken Empire) by Mark Lawrence


Promise of Blood (Powder Mage) by Brian McClellan


Red Sister (Book of the Ancestor) by Mark Lawrence


Senlin Ascends (The Books of Babel) by Josiah Bancroft


Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo 


Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy


The Bear and the Nightingale (Winternight) by Katherine Arden


The Black Prism (Lightbringer) by Brent Weeks


The Blade Itself (The First Law) by Joe Abercrombie


The Blood-Tainted Winter (The Song of the Ash Tree) by T.L. Greylock 


The City of Brass (The Daevabad Trilogy) by S.A. Chakraborty


The Court of Broken Knives (Empires of Dust) by Anna Smith Spark


The Crimson Queen (The Raveling) by Alec Hutson


The Darkness That Comes Before (The Prince of Nothing) by R. Scott Bakker


The Ember Blade (The Darkwater Legacy) by Chris Wooding


The Empress of Salt and Fortune (The Singing Hills Cycle) by Nghi Vo


The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth) by N.K. Jemisin


The Final Empire (Mistborn) by Brandon Sanderson


The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison


The Gods of Men by Barbara Kloss


The Grey Bastards (The Lot Lands) by Jonathan French


The Guns Above (Signal Airhship) by Robyn Bennis


The Gutter Prayer (Black Iron Legacy) by Gareth Hanrahan


The Heresy Within (The Ties that Bind) by Rob J. Hayes


The Killing Moon (Dreamblood) by N.K. Jemisin


The Left Hand of God by Paul Hoffman


The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastard) by Scott Lynch


The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle) by Patrick Rothfuss


The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern


The Warded Man (Demon Cycle) by Peter V. Brett


The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang


The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon


The Ruin of Kings (A Chorus of Dragons) by Jenn Lyons


The Rules of Supervillainy (The Supervillainy Saga) by C.T. Phipps


The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller


The Sword of Kaigen (Theonite) by M.L. Wang


The Traitor Baru Cormorant (The Masquerade) by Seth Dickinson


The Vagrant by Peter Newman


The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive) by Brandon Sanderson


The Way of Shadows (Night Angel) by Brent Weeks



The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy) by Marie Rutkoski



Theft of Swords (The Riyria Revelations) by Michael J. Sullivan



Trail of Lightning (The Sixth World) by Rebecca Roanhorse



Traitor's Blade (Greatcoats) by Sebastien de Castell



Trickster's Choice (Daughter of the Lioness) by Tamora Pierce



Under Heaven (Under Heaven) by Guy Gavriel Kay



Unsouled (Cradle) by Will Wight



Uprooted by Naomi Novik



Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson



We Ride the Storm (The Reborn Empire) by Devin Madson



Where Oblivion Lives (Los Nefilim) by T. Frohock




Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, & Deborah Biancotti