If you like me really enjoy stories about the fae, then you might also be on the lookout for some fae recommendations for books, tv-shows and stories – especially darker fae stories.
As I have explained earlier why I like stories of the fae: The fae stories I like are the stories where the fae are not just beautiful glittering laughing creature – they are that but they are also seducers of the worst kind. The kind that will lead you into your own death and you will go with a big smile on your face. And you will go willingly.
I like the stories of the fae court, of fae interacting with the real world. I like stories both of mundane people dealing with the fay and stories told by changelings and fae. Stories of the fae are quite often also stories about sex so there are quite a few of the stories here that have elements of erotica in them as well as non-vanilla sex.
In this post I have collected my favourite fae recommendations. It is mix of media. In no particular order
Dark fae recommendations for adults
Genre: Novels, urban fantasy, mystery
Wonderful series with a determined female protagonist In the October Daye series McGuire mixes the procedural drama and fay court politics worthy of any political epic fantasy novel. There is backstabbing and intrigue but also strong friendships and loyalty. The fay live in a feudal system where there is a patchwork of minor nobility, knights, nobles, kings, queen and a high queen where everyone owes loyalty to someone. There is a huge variety of fay at play from a huge variety of national mythologies. Series review
Genre: Tv-series, urban fantasy
The protagonist Bo is a succubus who stumbles into the world of fay. In this series the fay is a catch-all term for all supernatural creatures from huge monsters to vampires and sirens. Because Bo is a succubus there are a lot of quite steamy sex scene. It is also one of the first tv-shows I have seen where someone gets to be bi-sexual without being treated as a slut. Bo has two major sexual relationships with a man and a woman throughout the series which is just treated like a fact. That is awesome to see. Bo also have a great friendship with a human woman who never turns sexual which is also wonderful. We see too few female friendships in fiction. I also think that the series is very entertaining though rather light-hearted.
Genre: Novel, urban fantasy
This is definitely a hidden gem. It has a great magic system and our female protagonist is very likeable. She is dumped in the middle of a magical world that her family is apparently a part of and so is she now. It is very much about family which is nice to see in the genre. There are also a nice romance in the book that does not overtake the plot. The book takes place in Calgary where the city is full of all kinds of fay. Read my review here.
Genre: Novel, urban fantasy
Great series with a complex male protagonist who is a sorcerer. The series lends lots of elements from noir detective stories. In the later books the noir feel drifts in the background and the stories becomes more action oriented. There is planed 15 books in this series. They are all really good and very much worth reading. Ok and where do the fay come in you ask? Harry has a fairy godmother and there is a whole realm of fay that is in play in some novels and Harry does get pretty caught up in fay politics as well.
Genre: Novel, urban fantasy
This has nothing to do with the Black Swan movie, just to clear that up. The book is quite poetic and is the kind of urban fantasy where the protagonist spend most of her time finding the hidden magical city behind the city she knows so well. She finds not only fay but also vampires and other creatures in her city. The book has a very strong sense of place and the language is beautiful without being too whimsical. The protagonist is a jewelry maker and this is not a procedural novel at all, though there is a mystery. It sucked me in on the first few pages and then just kept me there. Read my review
Genre: Novels, Paranormal romance, erotica, mystery
Content warning: Mention of male rape & torture
This series deals with a very dark version of a fay court. The protagonist Meredith Gentry is a changing and a fairy princess exiled from the court. She lives in a polyamorous relationship with a number of men over the series. The female protagonist is very capable but not very powerful in her society. She has to navigate a world of court politics where everyone else is stronger than her. The first book is a procedural but there mystery elements is not in the forefront of most of the other books in the series. The plots are good, the court is back-stabbing and dangerous, the romance is really great and the sex scene are really great. I really enjoy this series and it grows better over the books.
Genre: Novel, urban fantasy
Rachel Morgan is a witch and x-law enforcement. She opens up a private investigator firm with her vampire and pixie partners. The cover is horrible! But the book is good. The series is page turners and i read all of them in a very short amount of time. The world building of Dead Witch Walking is interesting and so is the magic, which involves dealing with demons. Pixies, vampires, demons and elves are just some of the creatures showing up in this series. Her vampire roommate is a bisexual woman and her pixie partner who lives where his huge family. The life of the pixie family is very important especially in the later books and so is fay politics in the later books. In the first few books it is very much about witches, vampires and werewolves.
Bound by Sophie Oak
Genre: Novels, erotica, Paranormal romance
Content warning: Non consensual sex
Reading romance novels in the fantasy genre it is apparently hard to find female protagonists who aren’t totally airheads. Megan Starke has self-esteem issues but she never acts like a total idiot. It is a very steamy erotica with a Menage a Trois and BDSM. Megan gets transported into a different world that is full of fae creatures. Some of the fae are dangerous and some are just people. The plot isn’t fantastic but it is a very entertaining erotica with fairies in it. And yes that cover is terrible.
Genre: Movie, portal fantasy
I am mentioning this one because I don’t want to get hunted by the internet but I have actually not seen it since I was a kid. I do however remember it being magical, funny and scary as a child. I should probably rewatch it, but rewatching unlike rereading isn’t something I really do much. But if you have for some reason not watch it, you should. It is a bit 80s but the effects are mostly done with puppets and costumes so that part holds up.
Less dark young adult fae recommendations
Not all fay stories are terrible grim and full of sex, some of them are for children without being fluffy glitter stories. The Artemis Fowl books are my favourites. I read them when I was in my early twenties. The young male protagonist is a genius and a technical prodigy. He sees himself as an evil genius, the mastermind of a criminal empire. He is also a quite broken child, with an insane mother and a father who is missing. The books are funny, entertaining and fast paced. They are aimed at younger readers but they have some quite dark notes and are scary and sad in between all the high action exploding fun. The fay has hidden from the mundane world long ago by building a hidden high-tech empire underground. The other protagonist is a female fay cop who is just awesome!
I read City of Bones on my parents’ sailboat so I have not written a review of it, but I was sucked in enough to be distracted from the beautiful views of the Swedish archipelago we were sailing though. It is a story about a young woman looking for answers about her past and discovers a hidden world. Don’t read it for the hype, read it because it is an enjoyable book.
It reads like a mix between urban fantasy, a Muppet show movie and a Disney classic. That might sound like a crazy mix, but it works! It is a magical book about a girl living in the middle of a play of a Midsummer Night’s Dream so the fairies are those out of Shakespeare. The book is well written, entertaining and one of the most creative books I have read in a long time. Did I say it was funny, it is also quite funny.
Edit: I have removed “The Mists of Avalon” f by Marion Zimmer Bradley rom the fae recommendations. I can not in good conscience recommend it anymore. Bradley was sexually abusing her own children as well as abetting her convicted pedeofile housebond in more abuses. I am throwing out the books I have by her because I will not be rereading them. If you want to read more about it, read Silence Is Complicity by Natalie Luhrs. I will find you another good book to put on this list. But for right now, I will just leave this explanation there.
This review was originally posted: January 10, 2014. Updated and edited July 2, 2023