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For Readers

Fantasy Novels to escape the Winter Chill

By: Hidden Gems on February 7, 2023

Hidden Gems Books ARC service.

By: Hidden Gems on February 7, 2023


If you are looking for an escape from the cold of winter, this list is for you. We’ve got one for everybody on this round-up of recently top rated fantasy novels that our Hidden Gems ARC readers raved about.

Cyrus Longbones and the Yeti Kingdom

Cyrus Longbones and the Yeti Kingdom by Jeremy Mathiesen

With 40+ ratings and a 4.7 star average, Cyrus LongBones and the Yeti Kingdom is the second in the three book Cyrus LongBones series. Cyrus must free his village from the grips of an evil Queen.

Mike writes in his five star Amazon review, “My 13 year old grandson and I have read both books and thoroughly enjoyed them. If you like action/adventure/fantasy, I would definitely recommend this series…This book is listed under children’s/young adults, but as a grandparent six times over I haven’t enjoyed a book this much in a long time…”

“This book was a rollicking good time and just the sort of action and adventure book I loved as a teen,” Alias11 writes in their five star Amazon review. “Do be aware that it is a bit darker that the first book in the series, so maybe a 13+ read…I love this series’ unique and creative world-building and its interesting characters. Bring on Book 3.”

Prelude of Fire

Prelude of Fire by Christine E. Schulze

With 15 ratings and a 4.7 star average, Prelude of Fire is the first book in The Gailean Quartet series of fantasy novels, which follows Ashlai on a quest to protect her homeland from King Ragnar.

Jessica M. writes in her five star Amazon review, “An adventure that starts out slow but kicks butt once it really gets started. Action and adventure throughout…The quest to save their world after finding the seven shards begins now…”

“This book captured my attention from the very first chapter,” M shares in their five star Amazon review. “Lots of action, magic and romance made me forget about the whole world. Characters are well written and it is easy to start to care about them. Ashlai is amazing and I can’t wait to find out more about this adventure. I will definitely read more books by this talented author.”

The Very Small Adventures of Anne Katrine

The Very Small Adventures of Anne Katrine by N.J Newman

With 25+ ratings and a 4.8 star average, The Very Small Adventures of Anne Katrine is intended for readers aged 8 to 12, but adult readers will also enjoy this title. After her parent’s sudden disappearance, Anne Katrine undertakes an adventure to rescue them.

Minersus shares in their five star Amazon review, “…This is a delightful, gentle fantasy story that is also rich in very accessible life lessons for kids living in a tough world today. Anna Katrine, our 11 year old heroine, has to deal with parents who are suddenly missing, a mean Aunt and cousins she’s been left with, and loneliness. She finds solace and joy through new friends with whom she shares fun activities and adventures, and coping skills from the memory of her late grandmother’s wise counsel. There is humor and wisdom throughout, along with great illustrations. I can’t wait to see what happens in the second book!”

Barbara concurs in her five star Amazon review, “The Very Small Adventures of Anne Katrine is a delightful children’s chapter book, filled with magic, friendship and escapades…the imaginative Anne Katrine courageously faces all challenges with the help of her new found friends. Whether soaring through the air on the back of an owl, befriending elves or sharing a meal inside the trunk of a tree, I highly recommend this enjoyable and playful book, and am looking forward to Anne Katrine’s next adventure!”

Ghost Mark

Ghost Mark by JP McLean

With 13 ratings and a 4.9 star average, Ghost Mark is the second book in the Dark Dreams series. Reviewers say that you don’t need to read the first book to understand the second, but both fantasy novels are so good you will want to pick up the entire series. Dark Dreams follows Jane, as she navigates her unique curse of nightmares which represent real crimes by heinous killers.

“This was such a powerful and engaging blend of occult horror and urban fantasy,” Anthony A. writes in his five star Amazon review. “The adrenaline-pumping, action-packed narrative does a great job of layering the story with tension and atmosphere. One thing that really stands out to me about the author’s work overall that really was represented greatly in this read was the way in which the author is able to incorporate these fantastic and powerful elements into a very gritty and realistic modern-day world. The unique way that the narrative fuels this relatable setting and makes the more “supernatural” elements of the characters and their story direction was terrific to see come to life…The themes of violence in an urban setting, the impact of violence on women and children at an early age, and the power of dreams felt so pronounced and natural to the world the author crafted together, making this a true gem of a novel.”

Kazz M concurs in their five star Amazon review, “…This is an exciting story, the first book, Blood Mark, set the pace, and Ghost Mark takes off with a powerful plot, exciting twists, and a mind-blowing finale. As it reached its climax, I literally couldn’t put it down…This is a cracking read that will get the full five stars from me. I’d recommend it to those who love lots of action, twists, and strong characters with an interesting story to tell.”

Of Sand and Bones

Of Sand and Bones by Victoria Dougherty

With close to ten ratings and a 5 star average, Of Sand and Bones is the second book in the Breath series. This title is a historical fantasy novel, which follows Leila as she tracks a killer in 1902 Egypt.

Mr. R writes in his five star Amazon review, “Victoria Dougherty takes the absorbing and very real characters from Breath and sets them in motion in an epic tale of discovery, love, vengeance and pursuit that spans the continents and the ages. You never know what’s around the next corner for our heroes, – revelation? redemption? death? – as past and present, dreams and reality engage in an ageless dance. An immensely enjoyable page turner. More please.”

Deb H. writes in her five star Amazon review, “I stayed up late, I got up early. I haven’t read anything like this before. And I read a lot. I fell in love with the characters. I became a part of their journey; living the ghost that haunted their pasts and their futures. Delighting in their present. Sometimes fearful. I am so glad I already own other books by Victoria Dougherty. I had to start another as soon as I finished this, without getting out of bed! She writes with a passion that burns through the pages. I can’t wait to devour another volume.”   

Hidden Gems readers got to read these fantasy tales first, so if you want more secrets to unravel or clues to seek, sign up today! Subscribers to Hidden Gems receive invitations to read books like these – plus other titles from any of up to 15 other genres – for free. All authors want is for you to consider leaving an honest review of them on Amazon when you’re done reading!

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