Best Fantasy Books Coming Out in May 2023 - The Ferryman - Justin Cronin A Crown of Ivy and Glass - Claire Legrand The Iron Vow - Julie Kagawa Of Light and Shadow - Tanaz Bhathena Earth Called - P.C. Cast

Best Fantasy Books Coming Out in May 2023

Real life can get us all down sometimes, and escaping to a faraway land in a great fantasy book can be just what the doctor ordered — or at least a nice distraction. So whether you’re looking for a fantasy epic, a standalone story, a new author, or something more lighthearted, the new fantasy books in May 2023 have something for everyone.

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Fantasy is a big genre and can take on a lot of different forms. Fans of more epic high fantasy will gravitate to series like Brandon Sanderson’s The Way of Kings or Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time. But not every fantasy book is a 1,000-plus-page odyssey. Great franchises like Sanderson’s Mistborn or Joe Abercrombie’s First Law Trilogy have strong fantasy elements and memorable characters with reading that is a bit lighter. If you’re looking for a more modern take on fantasy, books like Fonda Lee’s Jade War Trilogy are set in modern-day worlds. With graphic novels, young adult series like Harry Potter and The Hunger Games, and many more types of fantasy stories, there is probably a good fit for any reader.

Even if you’re new to the genre, May 2023 has fantasy books that will give you a great introduction to the genre or offer a rewarding experience for seasoned readers of fantasy books.

Fantasy Books to Watch in May 2023

The Ferryman – Justin Cronin, May 2

Best Fantasy Books Coming Out in May 2023 - The Ferryman - Justin Cronin A Crown of Ivy and Glass - Claire Legrand The Iron Vow - Julie Kagawa Of Light and Shadow - Tanaz Bhathena Earth Called - P.C. Cast

In The Ferryman, Proctor Bennett is a ferryman in Prospera, a land where people whose monitors reach less than 10 percent are sent to the Nursery to be transformed into young people again at the expense of all of their memories. Proctor is different from everyone else in Prospera, though. He dreams, which is not allowed in Prospera, and after his father reveals something to him before dying, Proctor begins a journey that reveals that Prospera is not what he believed it was at all. He then must decide whether to join the rebellious Arrivalists, who seek to change what Prospera is for its people.

A Crown of Ivy and Glass – Claire Legrand, May 9

Best Fantasy Books Coming Out in May 2023 - The Ferryman - Justin Cronin A Crown of Ivy and Glass - Claire Legrand The Iron Vow - Julie Kagawa Of Light and Shadow - Tanaz Bhathena Earth Called - P.C. Cast

A Crown of Ivy and Glass is the first of a planned trilogy by Claire Legrand. When magic is a gift from the gods and a symbol of status, not having magic can make you an outcast in society. Gemma has no connection with magic, and her family treats her like she doesn’t exist. Then she meets Talan d’Astier, who offers her a deal that would help her survive in high society. Along the way, Gemma learns that she has a powerful connection to magic after all and must choose between her duty to her family or following Talan in his quest.

The Iron Vow – Julie Kagawa, May 9

Mixing fantasy elements like magic, evil overlords, and a dark shadow that is suppressing the light is always a recipe for a good time, but when you add in the element of the ticking clock, there is an additional sense of urgency that makes a story a must-read. That’s the recipe in The Iron Vow, which follows Meghan and her friends as they uncover shocking truths about Evenfall, a land of Nightmares and weakening magic. Meghan finds herself in a race against time to stop the Nightmare King and save two worlds from destruction.

Of Light and Shadow – Tanaz Bhathena, May 23

Stories where love conquers all are as old as time itself. Set in a world inspired by 17th century India, Of Light and Shadow is an interesting and unique take on what happens when love brings two people who should be fierce opponents and enemies together. Roshan was orphaned by her parents at a young age and adopted by a notorious bandit, leading her to a life where she is now the leader of the Shadow Clan, a group that both fights the corrupt government and is impoverished by them. Prince Navin is destined for greatness and is in line to take the throne someday. When he is abducted by the Shadow Clan, he befriends Roshan and learns of the corruption of his own family.

Earth Called – P.C. Cast, May 30

Earth Called PC Cast Book

Earth Called is the action-packed finale to the Tales of a New World series by P.C. Cast, and Mari and Nik are desperately trying to stop the God of Death before he’s become too powerful. A defection from the God of Death to the Goddess of Life might help tip the scales, but it will take all living beings rallying together to face the oncoming threat. Earth Called is ultimately a tale of love, friendship, and good standing together to face incredible danger and serious evil.

Let us know which fantasy books in May 2023 have caught your eye, and then check out the cool horror books that are also coming this month.


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Tyler Erickson
Contributor at The Escapist and has been writing about games and entertainment for over 10 years. I love FPS games, action/adventure, and sports games. In entertainment, I write about everything Star Wars, comics, action and horror movies, and fantasy and horror books. I have also written for GameRant, TheXboxHub, and Strangely Awesome Games. Podcaster and streamer, and always happy to talk games or entertainment, so follow me on socials!