Best Urban Fantasy Books

10 Best Urban Fantasy Books That Are Worth Reading

Urban fantasy has taken the literary world by storm, captivating readers with its blend of magic, mythology, and modern-day settings. This genre seamlessly weaves supernatural elements into the fabric of contemporary life, creating a world where anything is possible. From vampires and werewolves roaming city streets to mythical creatures hiding in plain sight, urban fantasy offers a thrilling escape from reality. In this article, we’ve curated a list of the 10 best urban fantasy books that will transport you to new realms and keep you on the edge of your seat. These books have been carefully selected based on their captivating storylines, rich world-building, and memorable characters. Whether you’re a die-hard fan of the genre or a curious newcomer, these books are sure to satisfy your craving for magic and adventure. So, let’s dive in and explore the enchanting world of best urban fantasy series!

1. “Moon Called” by Patricia Briggs

“Moon Called” is the first book in the Mercy Thompson series, introducing readers to a world where shapeshifters, vampires, and fae coexist with humans. Mercy, a skilled mechanic and coyote shapeshifter, finds herself caught in the middle of a dangerous conflict between werewolves and vampires. With its intricate plot, well-developed characters, and thrilling action sequences, this book sets the stage for an addictive series.

2. “Storm Front” by Jim Butcher

In “Storm Front,” Harry Dresden, a wizard and private investigator, navigates the streets of Chicago, solving supernatural crimes. When he’s hired to investigate a grisly double murder, Harry finds himself in a web of dark magic and betrayal. Jim Butcher’s writing is witty, fast-paced, and engaging, making this book a must-read for urban fantasy enthusiasts.

3. “Neverwhere” by Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman’s “Neverwhere” takes readers on a journey through the mysterious world of London Below, a parallel city filled with strange and magical beings. When Richard Mayhew helps a wounded girl named Door, he finds himself pulled into a dangerous quest that will change his life forever. Gaiman’s vivid descriptions and imaginative world-building make this book a standout in the genre.

4. “Dead Witch Walking” by Kim Harrison

“Dead Witch Walking” is the first installment in The Hollows series, set in an alternate version of Cincinnati where supernatural creatures live openly among humans. Rachel Morgan, a witch and bounty hunter, quits her job and finds herself targeted by her former employers. With the help of her vampire and pixie partners, Rachel must navigate a treacherous world filled with magic and danger.

5. “Daughter of Smoke & Bone” by Laini Taylor

Laini Taylor’s “Daughter of Smoke & Bone” is a beautifully written and imaginative tale of forbidden love and ancient rivalries. Karou, an art student living in Prague, is caught between the human world and the realm of the chimera, where she runs errands for a mysterious creature known as Brimstone. As Karou uncovers the truth about her identity, she becomes entangled in a war that threatens to destroy both worlds.

6. “Magic Bites” by Ilona Andrews

“Magic Bites” introduces readers to Kate Daniels, a mercenary and magic-user living in an alternate Atlanta where magic and technology vie for dominance. When Kate’s guardian is murdered, she must navigate a dangerous world filled with shape-shifters, necromancers, and vampires to uncover the truth. Ilona Andrews’ world-building is exceptional, and the chemistry between Kate and her love interest, Curran, is electric.

7. “Rosemary and Rue” by Seanan McGuire

In “Rosemary and Rue,” October “Toby” Daye, a half-human, half-fae private investigator, is forced back into the world of the fae when a friend is murdered. As Toby delves deeper into the mystery, she confronts her own painful past and the politics of the fae courts. Seanan McGuire’s writing is lush and atmospheric, and her characters are complex and engaging.

8. “Skinwalker” by Faith Hunter

“Skinwalker” follows Jane Yellowrock, a shapeshifting hunter-for-hire, as she takes on a dangerous job for a powerful vampire in New Orleans. As Jane investigates a series of mysterious disappearances, she must confront her own dark past and the secrets of the supernatural community. Faith Hunter’s writing is gritty and action-packed, with a strong female lead and a richly developed world.

9. “Hounded” by Kevin Hearne

In “Hounded,” Atticus O’Sullivan, the last of the Druids, runs an occult bookshop in modern-day Tempe, Arizona. When he’s attacked by a pack of werewolves and a powerful witch, Atticus must rely on his wit, magic, and the help of his loyal Irish wolfhound to survive. Kevin Hearne’s writing is humorous and fast-paced, with a unique take on Irish mythology and a lovable cast of characters.

10. “Midnight Riot” by Ben Aaronovitch

“Midnight Riot” (also known as “Rivers of London”) introduces readers to Peter Grant, a London police officer and apprentice wizard. When a series of bizarre murders threatens the city, Peter must learn to navigate the magical world and work with the enigmatic Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale to solve the case. Ben Aaronovitch’s writing is witty and engaging, with a fresh take on urban fantasy set in the heart of London.


These 10 urban fantasy books showcase the incredible diversity and creativity within the genre. From shapeshifters and vampires to wizards and fae, each book offers a unique take on the supernatural world hiding just beneath the surface of our own. Whether you’re drawn to fast-paced action, intricate world-building, or complex characters, there’s an urban fantasy book on this list for you. So, grab your favorite beverage, find a cozy spot, and prepare to be transported to a world where magic is real and adventure awaits around every corner.

Frequently Asked Questions

What exactly is urban fantasy?

Urban fantasy is a subgenre of fantasy that sets supernatural elements, such as magic, mythical creatures, and otherworldly phenomena, in a modern, real-world setting, often in a city.

Do I need to read these books in a specific order?

While some of these books are part of a series, such as the Mercy Thompson series or The Hollows series, each book on this list can be enjoyed as a standalone novel. However, if you find yourself particularly drawn to a specific series, it’s recommended to read the books in the order they were published.

Are these books suitable for all ages?

The majority of the books on this list are aimed at an adult audience, with some containing violence, mature themes, and sexual content. However, “Daughter of Smoke & Bone” by Laini Taylor is considered a young adult novel and may be more suitable for younger readers.

What makes urban fantasy different from other fantasy subgenres?

Unlike traditional fantasy, which often takes place in entirely fictional worlds, urban fantasy is set in a contemporary, real-world setting. This unique blend of the familiar and the supernatural creates a sense of relatability and makes the magic feel more tangible and accessible.

Are there any other notable urban fantasy authors not mentioned on this list?

Yes, there are many other talented urban fantasy authors whose works are worth exploring. Some notable names include Laurell K. Hamilton, Charlaine Harris, Kat Richardson, and Richard Kadrey.

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