8 fantasy books with delicious cliffhangers

8 fantasy books with delicious cliffhanger endings

Whether it’s a plot twist that blows a story wide open or an arc that leads to a wider plot, cliffhangers get a reaction. Whether you hate them or love the torture, cliffhangers appear in many popular books. Personally, I love them–if they’re done right.

Here’s a list of some of my favorites.

Warning: This list contains spoilers (though I’ve tried to keep them vague).

Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1), by Leigh Bardugo – They’ve done it! Or have they? Things go south real quick as book one in the Duology comes to a pretty abrupt halt. This one left me worried for my favorite characters and needing Crooked Kingdom fast.

Bride of the Shadow King, by Sylvia Mercedes – The two would-be lovers could not be more star-crossed in this brilliant romantic fantasy. Just when you think they’ll catch a break, a single chapter changes the game completely. (Find my review here.)

The Wicked King, by Holly Black – Will Jude and Cardan work things out, or will the boy king go the way of King Joffrey? After a mega plot twist, you’ll learn…that you need to read book three!

Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3), by Sarah J. Maas – Celaena Sardothien has an emotional breakthrough, and a lot goes wrong or outright fizzles. But as the plot is about to move her back to the primary setting as this lengthy book ends. Come on! (My review.)

An Enchantment of Thorns (A Court of Fairy Tales #1), by Helena Rookwood and Elm Vince – In this Beauty and the Beast retelling, there’s no relief in sight for heroine Aster and prickly fae beast Thorne. With their tale now complete at three books, at least you won’t have to shout at words like I did. (My review here.)

For the Wolf (Wilderwood #1), by Hannah Whitten – We’re far from done with Wilderwood guardian Eamon and the unlucky Red by the time For the Wolf is finished. Thankfully, the book’s sweet and swoony romance provides a /bit/ of closure. (My review.)

The Theft of Sunlight (Dauntless Path #2), by Intisar Khanani – As a country girl turned princess’s lady-in-waiting with mobility challenges, it takes time for heroine Rae to find her place. Not long after she does, a wicked plot twist pushes the plot into another book due this summer. Such delicious torture! (Find my review here.)

Skin of the Sea (Skin of the Sea #1), by Natasha Bowen – This Yoruba legends-based mermaid’s odyssey manages to end in a satisfying way, despite the greater adventure only beginning. (My review here.)

A Darkness at the Door cover reveal!

If you’re familiar with me through my blog or social accounts, you know I’m an Intisar Khanani super fan. As such, I could not be more excited for her next book release in the Dauntless Path series, A Darkness at the Door! I’m fortunate to be a part of her latest cover reveal by the excellent Jenny Zemanek (who has done all of her indie covers, too) at Seedlings Design Studio.

For those not familiar with the series, it begins with a goose girl retelling in Thorn (read my review here), then continues Princess Alyrra’s story in a really interesting way. With new protagonist Rae, the series delves into the social problems of Menaiya and its missing children in The Theft of Sunlight.

The Dauntless series…

A Darkness at the Door (Dauntless Path #3) quote
  • has disability rep through Rae
  • reps middle eastern culture and peoples through its kingdom and Menaiyan characters
  • deals with abusive families through Alyrra
  • is full of sweet romance (and a somewhat star-crossed one with Rae and thief Bren)
  • draws from real life to bring attention to human trafficking in The Theft of Sunlight (and undoubtedly in A Darkness at the Door)
  • has tons of action and cool, interesting magic…
  • …yet none of the MCs have it! So well executed
  • all have 4 🌟 or higher ratings from me

At the moment, Intisar Khanani is also running a Kickstarter for the audiobook and special edition hard cover of A Darkness at the Door, and the gift swag is gorgeous! You can find the campaign here.

So, without further ado…

A Darkness at the Door (Dauntless Path #3) cover

Coming July 22, 2022 from Hot Key

Preorder here

Publisher’s description:

The truth I carry can’t be allowed to die . . .
 
Only Rae knows how deep the corruption at the heart of her kingdom runs. Imprisoned on a slave ship, she effects a harrowing escape – but her freedom comes with the weight of dangerous debts and terrifying magic. Now, to free her land from the growing darkness, Rae will need every ally she can find, including Bren, the thief who may have stolen her heart. But Bren is hiding his own bloody secrets, and the curses that encircle Rae have sunk their claws into her mind.

While the truth could save Rae’s kingdom, it might destroy her first.

To learn more about this author, visit booksbyintisar.com.

Her Dreadful Will review

Do these words check any boxes for you? Slow-burn romance. Spice. Witches. Southern gothic. Modern technology meets magic society. Opposites attract. If all that sounds good to you, you need to read this Her Dreadful Will review (and maybe pick up a copy!).

Her Dreadful Will review

Note: I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review. Her Dreadful Will contains violence and adult content.

This book was an unusual find for me. I read a limited number of contemporary fantasies and fantasy romances. Thanks to Her Dreadful Will‘s clever combination of modern technology and a hidden, highly regulated society of witches (and later, that slow-burn spicy romance), I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Fans of Kingdom of the Wicked will likely enjoy it, too.
 
Another unusual thing about this book is its wholesome main character’s love interest. While Soleil just wants to prove her rare mind-flex powers can be a force for good, bad boy (dentist!) Achan is all about tearing things down and causing mayhem. The dance between these two feels like it could be deadly at any moment, yet Soleil finds herself drawn to Achan. At times, she even agrees with him.
Her Dreadful Will cover

The magic system is amazing. The witchcraft and rituals in Her Dreadful Will are extremely well-defined and immersive,  to the point that they’re almost another character. Supporting characters have interesting personalities, too, and short story-style chapters, centered on the townspeople Soleil tries to help, really drew me in to the story. I wasn’t a fan of Achan at first, so the early middle dragged for me, but soon I was eager to see what happened next again.

I’d pick up another book from this author anytime.

My rating:
4.5/5

To learn more about this author, visit Rebecca F. Kennedy’s website.

Only a Monster review

This one is for fantasy, romance and time travel fans. This Only a Monster review takes a look at the fast-paced YA fantasy by Vanessa Len, including the unusual romance and the one thing that might turn readers off.

Only a Monster

This book was such an unexpected surprise for me! Full of heartache, adventure and moral dilemmas, Only a Monster takes its MC, Joan, from life as a history-loving teenager (admittedly, one who often reads as younger than 16) on a journey through recent history.

When one tragic night leaves Joan on the run with the strikingly dapper Aaron, it sets the stage for star-crossed but understated drama. Aaron is an Oliver and Joan is a Hunt; the two London Monster families don’t mix. Life was far simpler for Romeo and Juliet.

Only a Monster

It was refreshing to see an earnest heroine with two love interests without a love triangle forming. In fact, all the tropes in Only a Monster are subverted. Joan has been told she’s the savior of all monsters, yet she’s clueless. The hero is the bad guy, there are gray areas galore, and destined love is all but impossible.

Fans of Claire North’s The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August and David Mitchell’s The Bone Clocks will enjoy this well-paced, heartfelt book, as will romantic fantasy fans. I’m excited to see what the rest of the series will bring.

My rating:
4.5/5

For more information on this author, visit vanessalen.com.