I posted a post with a few fae book recs a few months ago. I love reading about the fae and folklore. But I’m not interested in the typical Shakespearian inspired fae we often see. Courts are fine, provided there’s some fae variety, but that’s rare. I’ve been wanting to talk more about fae books, yet I’ve not really read any that advertise that they’re fae books.
So instead, I’m recommending a few books that feature the fae. These creatures might not be labelled as fae, but they’re folkloric creatures that can class as types of fae. Isn’t that fascinating? I’ve read and adored all the books on this list, so I recommend you check them out too.
Little Thieves – Margaret Owen
Ahhh, I was so lucky to get a physical ARC of this book, so I read it a while ago. I loved it so much. As I read it, I kept seeing all these fae-like creatures pop up. I kept pausing to google about these creatures and to find out more about them. It’s one of my favourite things to do when reading books like this.
This is a retelling of The Goose Girl but from the maid’s perspective. It follows Vanja, who stole the pearls that transformed Giselle into the beautiful princess that everyone knew. She’s been stealing from the rich she associates with at night, and one day she accidentally steals a godly token. For her impertinence, she gets cursed, and with the help of a few new friends, she has to try to break it.
Based off of the Dutch fairy tale, the creatures in this are Dutch fae. I didn’t really know anything about them, and I loved finding out about them. This was one of my favourite books of the year, and you should all check this one out.
Skin of the Sea – Natasha Bowen
Technically this book isn’t out yet. I got an e-ARC of it and an early physical copy that I bought from Book Box Club. I didn’t know the fae would pop up in this book, but I should’ve done. I don’t know much about Nigerian folklore, so it was a lot of fun learning about them.
Simidele is a mermaid whose job is to release the souls of slaves who died in the ocean. One day she goes to take a soul only to see the boy is still alive. She rescued him, not knowing what would happen if she did. She has to travel with the boy to find a mythical object that will allow her to fix anything and winds up meeting fae along the way.
The word faerie is used for a group of creatures in the book. They’re of the small, helpful variety of fae, which I’m not usually fond of, but it was something new. I loved learning about these creatures, and it’s got me wondering more about African folklore in general. There are so many different countries and cultures that I know very little about. I really want to learn more.
A Master of Djinn – P. Djeli Clark
Only one actual faerie popped up in this book, but boy did it open up a whole fascinating world. This book focuses on the djinn, but they aren’t the only folkloric creatures to pop up in this book. There are hints of fae in other countries, and I want to know more about them. They might not actually pop up at any point, but it does get you thinking.
Fatma works for the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments and Supernatural Entities. When a member of a secret brotherhood is murdered, she is sent to solve it. The murderer claims to be an ancient figure connected to the djinn, and Fatma has to work out whether he is who he says he is.
I was also sent a copy of this book to review, and I really enjoyed it. I don’t read a massive amount of adult fantasy, but this one was so worth it. It focuses on the djinn, but the hints that all the magic in the world is just….wow. We’re only seeing the folklore of one country, but we know that the mythical creatures that pop up in every culture exist. There are so many possibilities, and that’s something that excites me a lot.