Low Fantasy - What it is, and why you should try it!

Updated: May 6, 2021

Fantasy novels might not be your thing - and that's okay. They often have complex worlds, characters, and magical elements that can be hard to keep track of for casual reading. But, there is a huge variety of sub-genres that are more accessible for many readers.

Low fantasy, for example, is where the world is mostly realistic, with only a few magical or whimsical elements that make the story fantastic, yet plausible. Low fantasy books allow you to escape within the book without having to memorize a map or list of Elfen words in order to enjoy the story. The stories are only slightly outside the realm of possibility - all the better for convincing yourself that it could totally happen, if only you were there to see it.

Here is a list of 10 great low-fantasy books we recommend you try if you're looking to step outside your comfort zone (only a small step!). If you'd like to try any of the recommendations, click on the book cover to place a hold.

Practical Magic (Series) by Alice Hoffman

Yes, THAT Practical Magic, that the movie was based on. There is actually a whole series of books revolving around this story that give you just the right mix of family problems and magic.

For more than two hundred years, the Owens women have been blamed for everything that has gone wrong in their Massachusetts town. Gillian and Sally have endured that fate as well: as children, the sisters were forever outsiders, taunted, talked about, pointed at. Their elderly aunts almost seemed to encourage the whispers of witchery, with their musty house and their exotic concoctions and their crowd of black cats. But all Gillian and Sally wanted was to escape.

One will do so by marrying, the other by running away. But the bonds they share will bring them back—almost as if by magic...

If Sylvie Had Nine Lives by Leona Theis

What if you got to do what you liked, and then try again if it didn't go well?

Meet Sylvie—funny, sly, sensual and flawed. She can’t always count on herself to make good choices. She may or may not recognize a life-or-death moment, may or may not cancel her own wedding with a day to spare, might just try to walk past store security with a little something in her pocket. Like all of us, Sylvie must make decisions that have reverberations for years to come. Unlike the rest of us, Sylvie gets to live more than one life.

The Power by Naomi Alderman

What would the world look like if every woman in the world suddenly had the power to overcome their oppressors, dominate men, and fight for leadership? It might not be what you think...

All over the world women and girls are discovering they have the power. With a flick of the fingers they can inflict terrible pain, and even death. And with this small twist of nature, everything changes drastically. Ambitious and provocative, visceral and page-turning, award-winning author Naomi Alderman's THE POWER at once takes us on a journey to an alternate reality and exposes our own world in bold and surprising ways.

Omens (Series) by Kelly Armstrong

Olivia Taylor Jones, 24, seems to have the perfect life. The only daughter of a wealthy Chicago family, she has an Ivy League education and is engaged to a handsome young tech-firm CEO with political ambitions. But Olivia's world is shattered when she finds out that she's adopted. Her real parents? Todd and Pamela Larsen, notorious serial killers, each still serving a life sentence.

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

If you knew the date of your death, how would you live your life?