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A Little Bit of Everything for Self-Published Fantasy Month

September is just a few days away, and you know what that means…Self-Published Fantasy Month is almost here! A few weeks ago I shared a few recommendations along with the rest of the SPFM team, but there are so many more that deserve a mention. So, in addition to the four (which are also listed below), here are a few that hopefully fulfill all your reading needs. I’m always looking for great self-pub books, so feel free to share your favorites in the comments!


Epic Action

If you’re on the hunt for exciting action that never seems to cease, then look no further, Dyrk Ashton’s Paternus: Rise of Gods is just what you need. This Urban Fantasy romp is infused with mythology from many a’culture, creating an all-inclusive, diverse cast of all walks of life, a twisting plot, and epic action scenes. Dyrk recently published War of Gods, the third and final installment in the series, so once you finish this one, you can hit all the rest!

SERIES: The Paternus Trilogy (#1)
PUBLISHED: May 1, 2016
PAGES: 504
GENRE: Urban Fantasy, Mythology

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Even myths have legends. And not all legends are myth.

When a local hospital is attacked by strange and frightening men, Fiona Patterson and Zeke Prisco save a catatonic old man named Peter—and find themselves running for their lives with creatures beyond imagination hounding their every step.

With nowhere else to turn, they seek out Fi’s enigmatic Uncle Edgar. But the more their questions are answered, the more they discover that nothing is what it seems–not Peter, not Edgar, perhaps not even themselves.

The gods and monsters, heroes and villains of lore—they’re real. And now they’ve come out of hiding to hunt their own. In order to survive, Fi and Zeke must join up with powerful allies against an ancient evil that’s been known by many names and feared by all. The final battle of the world’s oldest war has begun.


Epic Adventure

Want to embark on an epic adventure with an incredible group of characters? JA Andrews’ Pursuit of Shadows is the tale of a journey driven by sheer determination. Uplifting, engaging, refreshing, a perfect example of a noblebright adventure. Reminiscent of treasured classics, this story has everything you’d ever need for an entertaining and absorbing fantasy adventure. And it has dragons.

Although this is the second book in The Keeper Chronicles, it can be read as a standalone.

Pursuit of Shadows by JA Andrews

SERIES: The Keeper Chronicles (#2)
PUBLISHED: September 18, 2018
PAGES: 492
GENRE: Epic Fantasy

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-Killien, the unyielding clan chief who’s becoming increasingly volatile.
-Sora, the suspicious ranger who sees more than she should.
-A swarm of frost goblins that devour with tooth and claw.

The list of people and things that could get Will killed keeps growing.

While Alaric is in Queensland, searching for Kordan’s Wellstone, Keeper Will is over the mountains in the hostile Roven Sweep, searching for his missing sister.

After catching a glimpse of a woman who could be her in a Keeper-hating Roven clan. Will convinces Killien to let him travel north with them to their summer homes.

Under the relentless suspicions of Sora, a tenuous friendship grows between Will and Killien, who talks of building peace among the hostile Roven.

Except Will’s thin disguise as a storyteller is crumbling quickly and Sora may already know who he is.

The more Will gets to know Killien, the more troubling things he learns. Killien’s hatred for Keepers runs deep, and for all his talk of peace, the man’s greatest wish is to control a vicious army.

And a dragon.

But Will doesn’t know that the chief has taken more from him than just his sister.

And Killien controls enough power to gain everything he wants.


Epic Banter

If you haven’t yet read Riyria, you need to. Simple as that. Hadrian Blackwater and Royce Melborn are by far one of the best duos in self-published fantasy, and I can’t even properly express how much I adore the dynamics between them. One’s a soldier, noble to a fault, the other is an assassin with no patience for, well, anything. The brotherly banter and bickering, along with a variety of interesting adventures, are what helped land this series on my list of feel-good fantasy.

SERIES: The Riyria Revelations (#1-2)
PUBLISHED: November 23, 2011
PAGES: 649
GENRE: Epic Fantasy

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THEY KILLED THE KING. THEY PINNED IT ON TWO MEN. THEY CHOSE POORLY.

There’s no ancient evil to defeat or orphan destined for greatness, just unlikely heroes and classic adventure. Royce Melborn, a skilled thief, and his mercenary partner, Hadrian Blackwater, are two enterprising rogues who end up running for their lives when they’re framed for the murder of the king. Trapped in a conspiracy that goes beyond the overthrow of a tiny kingdom, their only hope is unraveling an ancient mystery before it’s too late.


Epic Emotion

If you’re looking for an intricate, moving read, The World Maker Parable is the creatively complex and poignant follow-up novella to Luke Tarzian’s Dark Fantasy debut Vultures (which I also highly recommend!), and is a gorgeously mind-bending, emotional journey. Heart-wrenching revelations? Check. Sorrow? Check. Chills and tears? Check and check. Told with such beautiful prose, this story is hauntingly beautiful.

Although this story takes place in Luke’s Shadow Twins universe, it can be read as a standalone.

SERIES: Shadow Twins (#0)
PUBLISHED: April 14, 2020
PAGES: 151
GENRE: Dark Fantasy, Psychological

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Guilt will always call you back…

Rhona is a faithful servant of the country Jémoon and a woman in love. Everything changes when her beloved sets the ravenous Vulture goddess loose upon the land. Forced to execute the woman she loves for committing treason, Rhona discovers a profound correlation between morality and truth. A connection that might save her people or annihilate them all.

You are a lie…

Varésh Lúm-talé is many things, most of all a genocidal liar. A falsity searching for the Phoenix goddess whom he believes can help him rectify his atrocities. Such an undertaking is an arduous one for a man with missing memories and a conscience set on rending him from inside out. A man whose journey leads to Hang-Dead Forest and a meeting with a Vulture goddess who is not entirely as she seems.


Epic Grimness

If you’re a fan of Grimdark Fantasy, you can’t go wrong with anything written by Michael R. Fletcher. In his Smoke and Stone, readers are delivered to a world rich in history and beliefs evocative of Mesoamerican cultures. It’s dark, it’s bloody, it’s strange, it’s wonderful. Raw and visceral, this is a tale of vengeful gods and a broken people, and perfect for those seeking a thought-provoking narrative. And one that definitely leaves a mark.

SERIES: City of Sacrifice (#1)
PUBLISHED: September 13, 2019
PAGES: 151
GENRE: Dark Fantasy, Grimdark Fantasy

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After a cataclysmic war of the gods, the last of humanity huddles in Bastion, a colossal ringed city. Beyond the outermost wall lies endless desert haunted by the souls of all the world’s dead.

Trapped in a rigid caste system, Nuru, a young street sorcerer, lives in the outer ring. She dreams of escape and freedom. When something contacts her from beyond the wall, she risks everything and leaps at the opportunity. Mother Death, a banished god seeking to reclaim her place in Bastion’s patchwork pantheon, has found her way back into the city.

Akachi, born to the wealth and splendour of Bastion’s inner rings, is a priest of Cloud Serpent, Lord of the Hunt. A temple-trained sorcerer, he is tasked with bringing peace to the troublesome outer ring. Drawn into a dark and violent world of assassins, gangs, and street sorcerers, he battles the spreading influence of Mother Death in a desperate attempt to save Bastion.

The gods are once again at war.


Epic Intrigue

I’m always one for a healthy dose of intrigue, and Ben Galley’s The Chasing Graves Trilogy is a stunning example of a story that contains layers upon layers of dastardly machinations. Chasing Graves is a deliciously dark tale of treachery, secrets and murder filled with a cast of truly detestable characters whose intentions cannot ever be taken at face value. A true treat for fans of dark fantasy looking for something fresh.

SERIES: The Chasing Graves Trilogy (#1)
PUBLISHED: December 7, 2018
PAGES: 397
GENRE: Dark Fantasy

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Welcome to Araxes, where getting murdered is just the start of your problems.

Meet Caltro Basalt. He’s a master locksmith, a selfish bastard, and as of his first night in Araxes, stone cold dead.

They call it the City of Countless Souls, the colossal jewel of the Arctian Empire, and all it takes to be its ruler is to own more ghosts than any other. For in Araxes, the dead do not rest in peace in the afterlife, but live on as slaves for the rich.

While Caltro struggles to survive, those around him strive for the emperor’s throne in Araxes’ cutthroat game of power. The dead gods whisper from corpses, a soulstealer seeks to make a name for himself with the help of an ancient cult, a princess plots to purge the emperor from his armoured Sanctuary, and a murderer drags a body across the desert, intent on reaching Araxes no matter the cost.

Only one thing is certain in Araxes: death is just the beginning.


Epic Laughs

River of Thieves is highly imaginative, wildly hilarious, and so very weird – in the best way possible. While dark and serious themes are tackled within, the pages are literally oozing with an unapologetic, sarcastic, and refreshing humor I’ve rarely encountered in books I’ve read over the years. And if I’m being completely honest, I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard reading a story in my life…ever. I had such a blast with this one.

SERIES: Thieves’ Lyric (#1)
PUBLISHED: April 19, 2019
PAGES: 322
GENRE: Dark Fantasy, Comedy

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After a robbery gone horribly wrong, cursed thief Cord broadens his horizons and plans to execute the heist of a lifetime. With fellow thief and knife connoisseur Nenn in tow, the two build their ragtag crew to target the heart of the kingdom – Midian, the seat of tyrant King Anaxos Mane. As treachery, horrifying creatures of nightmare, and opposition bar their path at every turn, the gang must depend on skill – intellectual, martial, and magical – to deliver them an endless summer and keep them free from the clutches of evil despotism. If they don’t sh*t the bed first.


Epic Legend

The Legend of Raef Skallagrim is one of my favorites of all time. An Epic Fantasy saga drenched in Norse mythology, The Blood-Tainted Winter is the first book in Greylock’s The Song of the Ash Tree, a series that perfectly blends reality and fantastical elements. Danger, betrayal, pristine character evolution, I love this series to pieces and recommend it every chance I get. It’s just so beautifully written, and each book in the series is better than the last. Just read it.

SERIES: The Song of the Ash Tree (#1)
PUBLISHED: November 20, 2015
PAGES: 368
GENRE: Epic Fantasy, Mythology, Historical

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Raef Skallagrim wants to take the sea road. His ship is fast and sleek, his crew skilled and eager, and they will seek out new lands and win fame in the eyes of the gods. But Raef’s father refuses to allow the journey and when a stranger brings word that the king is dead and a gathering has been called to choose a successor, Raef must set aside his dream for his duty to his ancestral lands and his father.

When factions split at the gathering to choose a successor, Raef finds himself mired in bloodshed and treachery. Forced to make an uneasy alliance with a man he does not trust, Raef must navigate the tides of a war among three kings while seeking revenge for cold-blooded murder.

But winter has come early to Midgard, and even the gods will feel the cold.


Epic Magic

So, when I was trying to brainstorm about stories with awesome magic systems, Kayleigh Nichol’s Sorcerous Rivalry immediately came to mind. I really don’t want to speak too much about the magic system for fear of spoiling everything, but this book is a fast-paced read that is overflowing with humor, secrets and a sibling rivalry – a constant reminder of how relieved I am to be an only child! This book is a strong and entertaining debut that leaves you begging for more.

SERIES: The Mage-Born Chronicles (#1)
PUBLISHED: April 7, 2018
PAGES: 270
GENRE: Fantasy, LGBTQIA+, Romance

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In the peace following the Great Mage Hunt, the king’s long-time mistress is revealed as a sorceress. Locked away for the safety of the kingdom, bounties are placed upon the heads of the seven children she birthed. Mage hunters have scoured the kingdom for four years, searching for the seven scattered mage-born bastards.

After growing up in an orphanage, Reshi discovers his parentage and learns to hide his magic, living peacefully in a remote village with an unusual friend. But when an alluring mage hunter comes to town, his secret is revealed, forcing Reshi to reach out to his brothers and sisters for help. A family reunion might be Reshi’s only hope for survival–or it might become a spell-slinging battle royale.

Who can Reshi rely on when his own family turns against him?


Epic Romance

Fortune’s Fool is Angela Boord’s ambitious Epic Fantasy debut, and one of the most incredible stories I’ve ever read. This novel is the tale of a romance that eclipses the injustices of the past, and paves the path to the future of a righted world. Let me be clear, this is a romance imbued with the fantastical, and what a beautiful and magical romance it is. The central relationship is raw, fiercely profound, and something truly special to behold.

SERIES: Eterean Empire (#1)
PUBLISHED: June 25, 2019
PAGES: 737
GENRE: Epic Fantasy, Romance

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A secret affair. A disfiguring punishment. A burning need for revenge.

Kyrra d’Aliente has a bad reputation and an arm made of metal.

Cast out of the safe and luxurious world of silk to which she was born, played as a pawn in a game of feuding Houses, Kyrra navigates a dangerous world of mercenaries, spies, and smugglers while disguising herself as a man.

War destroyed her family and the man she loved.

Vengeance is within her grasp.

But is she willing to pay its price?


So, I can go on all day here, but I think I’ll leave it at that. I’m always looking to add more incredible books to my TBR, so let me know what I’ve been missing out on in the comments below. I hope you’re all excited to finally kick off Self-Published Fantasy Month – I know the SPFM team is!

Happy Reading!
🖤

Justine Bergman

Web developer by trade, ravenous reader, excited reviewer, dark fantasy enthusiast, mother of pups, drinker of strong coffee, and player of games. I'm also a contributor over at Fantasy Book Critic and The Fantasy Hive, and I love sharing the love.

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