Top Ten Tuesday: Fantasy Standalones I Adored & Recommend [Part 2!]

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This week TTT turns 10, so the theme is to either re-do/update a TTT list you did before, or do a topic you missed in the past. To celebrate TTT’s birthday (or would it be anniversary?!?), I’ve decided to do a part 2 to the list of my Favorite Fantasy Standalones that I completed two years ago, because honestly, who isn’t forever looking for fantasy standalones? As much as I love the immense page time a series provides with their characters, sometimes (ok, most times) I’m lazy and don’t wanna commit to a full series. I know I’m not alone in struggling with series, which is why I wanted to recommend these great fantasy standalones!

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

1. Ash by Malinda Lo


A lesbian retelling of Cinderella–do you really need to know more? After 8-9 years, I finally reread this book in May, and I adored it SO MUCH MORE than I remembered. Yes, it’s a bit simplistic (and aimed at younger YA readers), but I think it fits the fairytale vibe/voice. This was truly a beautiful tale.
(It also has a companion book, but I haven’t read it and I think they only relate in the sense that they’re in the same world.)

2. Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust

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I binged-read this entire eARC in a little over 24 hours and literally finished it only 2 days ago, but it most definitely deserves a place on this list! This book is incredible in that it starts out making you think it’s one type of story, then completely does a 180. It’s inspired by Persian mythology and Zoroastrianism, contains lots of fun demons & monsters, and even has a sapphic rommance! Plus, if you love your YA girls with a touch that can kill, this book is for you. [Releases July 7th!]

3. Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

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Technically a graphic novel, but regardless, it’s an incredible read! It’s plays with the concept of heroes, villains, and monsters and turns them on their heads. Plus, it’s by Noelle Stevenson aka the amazing creator that brought us She-Ra and the Princesses of Power (of which I still need to see the 5th season, shhh)!

4. The Mere Wife by Maria Dahvana Headley

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This book was twisty, bizarre, and a bit creepy, but oh so intriguing. To be honest, I’m not sure I fully understand half of what went on, but it was such a unique take on Beowulf. Definitely gives ya food for thought.

5. What It Means When a Man Falls From the Sky by Lesley Nneka Arimah


Cheating a bit here since this is technically a collection of short stories, but I consumed this entire collection like candy and I can’t help but keep pushing it at people! Arimah’s tales are a mix of contemporary, fantasy, and sci-fi, all inspired by Nigerian culture and mythology. Unforgettable stories that will take up permanent residence in your mind.

6. Miles Morales: Spider-Man by Jason Reynolds


It’s by Jason Reynolds, need I say more? Just kidding πŸ˜‰ This book is not a Spider-Man origin story, but more so a Miles Morales origin story. Villains aren’t limited to crazy monsters, but appear in the forms of systemic racism, oppression, and discrimination. There are still superheroics, but this book doesn’t let you forget that Miles is also an Afro-Latinx teenage boy facing everyday problems.

7. A Million Junes by Emily Henry


Also cheating a bit with this one since it’s technically magical realism, but at the same time there is a lot of magic that occurs, so perhaps it really is contemporary fantasy?! This book is simultaneously quirky, hilarious, heartwarming, and romantic. I was definitely teary-eyed by the end. Who doesn’t love feuding families, a forbidden romance, and a fatal curse? (But I would also like to state that it’s so much more than those things.)

8. Empire of Shadows by Miriam Forster


Technically a prequel/companion to City of a Thousand Dolls, but it also functions as a standalone. Featuring a tiger shifter, loyal friends who would die to protect each other, and a romance, I adored this book as a teen!

9. I, Coriander by Sally Gardner


Okay, it’s been a super long time since I technically read this, but I remember it having great fairytale vibes. An unwanted girl who gets locked in a chest, gets transported to a fairy world for a day, only to still be alive when her horrible family unlocks the chest years later. And something about a stuffed alligator coming to life? Idk, but I think I just convinced myself to reread this after I finish this post…

10. The Will and the Wilds by Charlie N. Holmberg

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An NA romantic fantasy featuring demons and kisses that chip away at your soul! It was a super fun and quick read and you can read my full review here.

What fantasy standalones have you loved and would recommend? Did I convince ya to read any of the ones I mentioned? Do you prefer standalones or series?

If you participated in TTT this week, feel free to link up your post in the comments below–I would love to check them out!


29 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Fantasy Standalones I Adored & Recommend [Part 2!]”

  1. I read I, Coriander so long ago I can’t even remember the plot, but I remember I loved it. The weird thing about fantasy books is the sheer amount of them that struggle to keep a good pace through three books, they usually do better as standalones or duologies.


    1. Right? I definitely wanna reread it now to see if it’s as good as I remember
      And so true! It seems like a rare feat for fantasy series to succeed as a trilogy! I feel like second-book syndrome might be part of the reason we all struggle to commit to finishing series? πŸ˜…


    1. Yay, I’m so glad you found my list helpful! ❀ And I totally agree–long fantasy series can be so overwhelming and intimidating! I've def shied away from books for that reason

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Same! I know she worked on the Lumberjanes books and just released a graphic memoir
      And I always recommend the She-Ra and the Princesses of Power tv show she created if ya haven’t seen it already πŸ˜‰


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