19 Stunning Fantasy Books by Black Authors
Looking for the best fantasy books by Black authors? Then check out our list filled with the most exciting popular fantasy books & new releases.
You’ll find here dark fantasy books but also fairy tales inspired stories that will take you to magical lands. You can read about historical events with an enchanting fantasy twist or explore brand new and exciting worlds.
While we always fill our online book nook with diverse and inclusive we decided to put together this list. It’s filled with some of the must-read fantasy books for those who are looking for these kinds of books by Black authors.
These fantasy books are also filled with interesting, complex, relatable characters who will surely bring magic to your life. And will even make you want to do more than armchair travel.
You’ll find here all kinds of fantasy books for adults and the lovers of YA fantasy novels from dark to romantic fantasy books that are filled with magical creatures and folk tales. Read about dragons, queens, gods, warriors, mermaids, monsters, witches, zombies, and many more magical beings to feed all your fantasy cravings.
We also added some fantasy book series as well as stand-alone novels to make sure you can find something even if you don’t feel like getting into a long series right now.
No matter the page count, these fantasy novels will get you into an enchanted mood for sure.
Are you looking for more fantasy books that feed wanderlust and take you around the world? Then check out our book lists and bookish guides for fantasy lovers.
Exciting Fantasy books by Black authors You won’t be able to put down
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19| The Conductors by Nicole Glover | Mystery, Historical Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, Paranormal Fantasy | 2021
If you’re a fan of fantasy and mysteries you’ll love this book! It’s also a charming historical story with a unique magical system and with diverse characters.
We follow Hetty and Benjy as they try to solve their friend’s mysterious murder in a world where only slaves have magic but they’re forbidden and enslaved because of it. Hetty and Benjy will have to rely on their wit and magical powers to solve these murders and to keep their community safe.
The story moves a bit slowly and jumps to different timelines but it’s never confusing and by the end of the book you’ll get a better appreciation for the characters and what they’ve built and gone through.
* I received an ARC in exchange for my honest review.
The Conductors by Nicole Glover is a magical historical fantasy book that will take you back in time when Slavery in the United States was legal and shows a more enchanting but just as dark version of this gruesome period.
18| The Black God’s Drums by P. Djèlí Clark | Sci-fi, Steampunk, Alternate history, Fantasy Fiction, Historical fantasy | 2018
P. Djèlí Clark has a remarkable imagination making his science fiction and fantasy books outstanding.
Now he brought another fantastic heroine to us in the form of Creeper. We are taken to a steampunk New Orleans, where Creeper does whatever necessary to get out of the cruel streets.
She manages to gain the trust of a smuggler ship’s captain to jump on board. Thanks to her knowledge of a kidnapped scientist.
Creeper is part of the smuggler crew now. This scientist may be a key to a superweapon called The Black God’s Drums.
Our heroine is no ordinary person, she has special powers as well. You are in for an exciting read because this book is full of action and twists.
The Black God’s Drums by P. Djèlí Clark is a thrilling fantasy novel set in New Orleans. It’s definitely among the best steampunk fantasy books by Black authors.
17| A Ruin of Shadows by L.D. Lewis | Fantasy Fiction | 2018
If you are looking for a quick, but very engaging read, L.D. Lewis’ piece is perfect for you. A Ruin of Shadows is actually a very well written, perfectly paced piece.
If you like thoughtful world-building, a strong female lead, and rebellion, you are in for a fun evening.
We get to know General Daynja Édo, the leader of the Boorhian Empire’s army. She also possesses the fabled mask of Invulnerability.
When a new emperor takes their place, Édo stands up against him and defies his orders. Now it is up to her to restore the order and bring peace back into the empire.
A Ruin of Shadows by L.D. Lewis is one of the most exciting fantasy books by Black authors and it’s a perfect read for those who enjoy dystopian worlds.
16| Pet by Akwaeke Emezi | YA Domestic Fiction with fantasy elements | 2019
Nigerian born Akwaeke Emezi debuted in 2018 and she proved to be a very good addition to the fantasy genre. Her works, so far are brave and open. She has written two novels but her third one is coming in 2020.
It is very likely she will become one of the biggest LGBT+ fantasy authors. Not just because of how openly she goes into the topic, but because the stories are stunningly crafted.
We are taken to the town of Lucille, where monsters are thought to have vanished, however, Jam comes across one. She meets Pet, a creature that was born out of a painting and a drop of Jam’s blood.
The creature is here to find a monster that threatens humans. Jam and her best friend Redemption have a difficult task; save the world from creatures no one believes they exist.
Pet by Akwaeke Emezi is a superb YA fantasy book that goes into LGBT+ issues freely.
15| Daughters of Nri (The Return of the Earth Mother, #1) by Reni K. Amayo | Fantasy Fiction | 2019
In 2019 YA fantasy lovers were blessed because a new talent appeared on the scene. Reni K. Amayo is very good at creating tension and making readers root for the heroines.
As we go to the dark kingdom of Nri, we get to follow two twins, who have been separated at birth. They are special, there is much more to them than meets the eye. They possess magical powers that haven’t been seen since the gods were gone.
The two girls are complete opposites of each other. Naala is stubborn and outspoken living in a small village. Sinai is rather quite living in the feared Palace of Nri.
Their paths cross and the struggles begin to defeat the ruler, Eze Ochichiri, who even claimed victory against the gods.
Daughters of Nri by Reni K. Amayo is a magical story about self-discovery with goddesses set in a fictional version of Africa.
14| Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky (Tristan Strong #1) by Kwame Mbalia | Science Fiction, Adventure fiction | 2019
Prepare for a fascinating journey in a fantasy world full of odd creatures, devastating wars, and gods.
When Tristan visits his grandparents’ farm in Alabama to heal from a bus accident, his life changes forever.
He has lost his best friend, Eddie, who left a journal behind. This is Tristan’s only way to keep in touch with his passed friend. On the first night, the journal is taken by a strange creature.
In the chase, they end up under a tree and their fight results in opening a gate. The mysterious gate takes Tristan to a wondrous land, where a terrible war is ongoing.
It is a really enjoyable book for children and YA readers, however, we are sure adults will love it as well.
Tristan Strong’s magical journey by Kwame Mbalia is among the most remarkable fantasy books for those who enjoy Ya stories filled with magical beings and epic journeys.
13| A River of Royal Blood (A River of Royal Blood, #1) by Amanda Joy | YA Fantasy Fiction | 2019
Amanda Joy’s first novel is an absolute delight. It is filled with so much tension, you are going to be breathless for a while. Fortunately, there are more and more stunning fantasy books by Black authors.
We are going to the world, where magic is believed to have vanished after terribly dark times. In the country of Myre, everyone knows about the terrible massacre that took place eight generations ago.
Queen Raina did not spare anyone, slaughtered even her sister to take over the throne.
Now, there is a tradition of sister rivalry for control. It is time for Eva and her older sister, Isa to duel to decide who is the next queen.
A River of Royal Blood by Amanda Joy is a really exciting YA fantasy book for the lovers of dark fantasy stories.
12| The Good Luck Girls (The Good Luck Girls, #1) by Charlotte Nicole Davis | Fantasy Fiction, Dystopian Fiction | 2019
Let’s step into a true western story, with a superb fantasy twist. You are going to love the unbelievable journey of five girls, who have been marked.
They are called lucky girls, however, there isn’t much in their lives they would feel lucky for.
One day Clementine kills someone by accident and the girls have to find their way to freedom.
Always sticking together, they never give up even they are facing with an inhuman opposition. Whole Arketta county is after them and their only resort is a tale lucky girls tell each other.
Is there a chance that tale can be true? Are they going to survive?
Finding out the answers is going to be your new favorite journey in the wild west.
The Good Luck Girls by Charlotte Nicole Davis is one of the most fascinating historical fantasy fiction books set in the Wild West.
11| David Mogo, Godhunter by Suyi Davies Okungbowa | Fairy tale, Fantasy Fiction, Urban Fantasy, Contemporary fantasy | 2019
Here is another superb piece, a true godpunk fantasy, which will bring some adventure into your reading nook. Nigerian author Suyi Davies Okungbowa combined some fan favorites to write an imaginative piece.
We are headed to Lagos, where countless gods have fallen. To clear the streets, demigod David Mogo takes on the role of god hunter.
He is up to his biggest job yet, a powerful wizard needs hunting down. The wizard is incredibly strong, with a hybrid troop behind him.
Can David save Lagos with his two, quite unusual companions or is it the end of our world as we know it?
David Mogo, Godhunter by Suyi Davies Okungbowa is a really engaging and dark fantasy book for YA and adult readers.
10| Song of Blood & Stone (Earthsinger Chronicles #1) by L. Penelope | Fantasy Fiction, Historical fantasy, Romantic fantasy | 2015
Once you lay eyes on the first book of the Earthsinger Chronicles, you are going to be hooked for sure. There are four books already and two more are expected, one in 2020 and another in 2021.
Elsira and Lagrimar live in a delicate peace, which is only enforced by a Mantle separating the two kingdoms. One day, however, the Mantle seems to have weakened and Lagrimar’s ruler the True Father advances towards Elsira.
Jasminda lives in solitude, she has always been an outcast because of her skin color. Upon meeting an Elsiran spy who tells her about the Mantle, she knows, her powers may be the key to Elsira’s survival.
Song of Blood & Stone by L. Penelope is a fascinating new adult fantasy book series with a determined and brave female lead who has to go on a dangerous adventure.
9| The Rage of Dragons (The Burning #1) by Evan Winter | Fantasy Fiction, High fantasy | 2017
We have already included this fantastic book in our best fantasy books with dragons collection. You are in for endless excitement as you immerse yourself in the dark times of the Omehi people.
They have been fighting an endless war for almost two centuries. Chances of ever winning are nearly none and everyone knows they are born to die.
A few lucky women are born with the ability to summon dragons to help them. Another few men are gifted with a magical power to turn into a stronger being to kill more efficiently.
Tau is an ordinary person, who wants to live a simple life. He has planned to get out of the war and settle down on a farm. Things, however, change when his loved ones are slain, his only motivation now is revenge.
The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter is among the darkest and most exciting fantasy books with dragons.
8| The Deep by Rivers Solomon with Daveed Diggs, William Hutson, Jonathan Snipes | Fairy tale, Science Fiction, Fantasy Fiction | 2019
British author Rivers Solomon’s work has been nominated for numerous awards because it is truly remarkable.
It won the Lambda Literary Award for LGBT Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror in 2019. You are in for a memorable time if you pick The Deep up one evening.
African women suffered through a lot in the past decades and they were not spared in this fantasy world either.
After pregnant African slaves were thrown in the water, their descendants have found a way to live underwater. Yetu remembers everything, she has memories of times she wasn’t living yet.
She is not able to bare such responsibilities and flees to the surface, where more mysteries are uncovered.
The Deep by Rivers Solomon with Daveed Diggs, William Hutson, Jonathan Snipes is a beautiful piece about soul searching and bravery with mermaids and a magical underwater world.
7| Dread Nation (Dread Nation #1) by Justina Ireland | Young adult fiction, Horror fiction, Novel | 2018
Justina Ireland took a very interesting angle on the whole zombie apocalypse genre. She takes a little bit of the dark history of the USA and throws in a horde of zombies.
Life is different now, however, there is still racism. White people cannot afford to fight the dead without the help of Native and Black Americans.
Jane grew up in a world, where a constant fight spills blood on the ground. A terrible fight against the undead. Her role is important and so she has to attend combat school to defend the weak.
When she returns to Kentucky, Jane has to realize, her biggest problem is not the endless raid of the zombies.
Dread Nation by Justina Ireland is definitely among the most imaginative zombie historical fiction books.
6| A Song Below Water (A Song Below Water #1) by Bethany C. Morrow | Young adult fiction with fantasy elements | 2020
This 2020 fantasy book is perfectly imaginative while also relevant in the 21st century. Our next journey takes us to a Portland, where sirens are not so welcome in society.
People try to keep them oppressed and get rid of them in the long run.
Tavia isn’t having a simple life, secretly being a siren herself as well. Living the usual high school life, she has a good friend, Effie.
Her life turns upside down when a murder trial reveals much more about the world and herself than ever imagined. In the meantime Effie is being haunted by demons, so life couldn’t hold more surprises.
A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow is a very important piece about being different and accepting it. This beautiful YA story not only deals with current social issues but does it with the help of sirens and fantasy.
5| A Song of Wraiths and Ruin (A Song of Wraiths and Ruin #1) by Roseanne A. Brown | Young adult fiction with fantasy elements | 2020
In the search for stunning fantasy books by Black authors, we were lucky to come across another superb fantasy book.
Roseanne A. Brown debuted with a huge hit, it topped sales lists straight away in 2020.
Malik is grabbing the opportunity to flee his war-torn country for the flourishing city of Zirka. Life, however, brings a terrible obstacle in his way to happiness.
A spirit takes his sister and Malik agrees to kill the crown princess for her freedom.
Karina, the princess is not one to give in easy; she has aspirations of her own.
Malik embarks on a journey that cannot end well; someone has to die, but is he going to survive?
A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown is a pretty dark but entertaining YA fantasy book.
4| Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orïsha, #1) by Tomi Adeyemi | Young adult Fantasy Fiction, High fantasy | 2018
One of the most successful fantasy books by Black authors is the first book of the Legacy of Orïsha series.
Nigerian-American Tomi Adeyemi’s captivating story was first picked up by Fox 2000 and it seems Disney has taken over. We certainly cannot wait how the movie version will look like, because the multi-award winner book was incredible. You can read more about its movie adaptation on Wikipedia.
The magnificent land of Orïsha is no longer home of the magic that used to be present everywhere. Following the orders of the ruler, Zélie’s reaper mother is gone and her people are left without powers.
Zélie has a chance to bring back hope, but she may not be ready for the task just yet.
If you love to listen to your favorite stories you should also check out the audiobook version fo this epic book series. Or if you’re looking for more audiobooks that’ll take you around the world you should check out our other guides too.
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi is a remarkable fantasy book full of action and plot twists.
3| Akata Witch (Akata Witch #1) by Nnedi Okorafor | Young adult fiction High fantasy, Paranormal fiction | 2011
Nigerian-American Nnedi Okorafor is widely popular in the literary and movie industry.
Her works are highly appreciated by colleagues and fellow writers because her works are mesmerizing. Naturally, fans of the fantasy genre adore her too.
No wonder why all her works are among the most appreciated fantasy books by Black authors.
Akata Witch is another empowering book with a strong emphasis on accepting our differences. If something, that we can learn from the inspiring story of Sunny.
The albino girl was born in New York but lives in Aba, Nigeria. For being sensitive to the sun and looking differently, she is often bullied. Only until she makes friends, who show them to a world, where being different means being unique.
Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor is without a doubt among the most remarkable YA fantasy books with magic.
2| The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates | Historical Fiction, Science Fiction, Magical Realism, Historical fantasy | 2019
Critically acclaimed Ta-Nehisi Coates has topped New York Times’ bestseller list with his first book. Since then he has been fairly productive, fortunately.
The Water Dancer talks about a very important topic everyone wishes it never happened. A time, when over 12 million people lived in slavery.
This fantastic historical fiction offers a little relief as Hiram Walker takes on the system. He was born a slave, his mother was sold away and when he almost dies, his special power saves him.
Then Hiram decides to break free and become part of the rebellion against that cruel system.
The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates is a very significant piece about slavery with magical realism elements.
1| The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth #1) by N.K. Jemisin | Science fantasy, Fantasy Fiction, High fantasy, Apocalyptic fiction | 2015
The first of The Broken Earth trilogy is among the most popular fantasy books by Black authors.
No wonder why, it is a perfectly well crafted and paced story, which keeps you on the edge of your seat. US-born N.K. Jemisin is a lead figure of the modern fantasy and science fiction scene.
The Fifth Season is full of surprises that will make your heartbeat in your throat.
Essun is an ordinary woman, whose life changes completely one day when she arrives home.
When she realizes that her husband brutally murdered their son and kidnapped their daughter, she knows no impossible anymore.
Motherly instincts kick in and she is willing to cross the whole world, or even inside the earth.
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin is among the best dark science fiction books for adults full of action.
Thank you for reading!