Female Fantasy Authors | a few of my favourite things

I see so many booklovers writing that they would like to read more fantasy novels by female authors but they struggle to find the books. I am here to help! Over the past couple of years my female to male authors ratio has been essentially 99:1 so I thought I’d share as many as I can to help those looking for inspiration. I haven’t loved all of these, but reviewing/ranking these women is not the intention of this post. The first section I have loosely divided into sub-genres and are all books by female authors that I have read/started reading and want to continue. Then I have listed some ‘Honourable Mentions’ which are books by female authors I have on my radar either on my Goodreads tbr shelf or on my physical bookshelves.

Disclaimer: I’ve stuck to adult fantasy rather than YA as it’s not really a genre I read any more & I’ve only included the works that I’ve read (or started reading…) – most of these fabulous women have written many, many more works so please don’t think this is definitive of their work. To avoid repetition I have not listed the series/books I would like to read by authors whose work I have already sampled in my main list.  I’m sure there are many more that I haven’t managed to include here so please do let me know your recs if you see anyone missing!

~ Fantasy / Epic Fantasy ~

Robin Hobb 
Realm of the Elderlings: Farseer Trilogy, Liveship Traders Trilogy, Tawny Man Trilogy, Rain Wild Chronicles, Fitz and the Fool Trilogy

Jen Williams
The Winnowing Flame Trilogy, The Copper Promise Trilogy

Jacqueline Carey 
Phedre’s Trilogy, Imriel’s Trilogy, Agent of Hel (Urban Fantasy)

JV Jones 
Sword of Shadows

Rebecca Roanhorse
The Sixth World

Marie Brennan 
The Memoirs of Lady Trent, Onyx Court

Janny Wurts 
The Wars of Light and Shadow

Trudi Canavan 
Black Magician

Emma Newman
Industrial Magic

Samantha Shannon
The Bone Season

SA Chakraborty 
Daevabad Trilogy

Christina Henry

Naomi Novik 
Uprooted, Temeraire

Anne Bishop 
Black Jewels, The Others

Jennifer Estep – 
Kill the Queen

Erika Johansen
Queen of the Tearling series

ML Wang
The Sword of Kaigen

KS Villoso
The Wolf of Oren-Yaro

RF Kuang
The Poppy War

Kristen Britain
Green Rider


~ Fairy Tale-esque ~

Juliet Marillier
Sevenwaters, Heart’s Blood, Blackthorn & Grimm

Patricia A McKillip
The Forgotten Beasts of Eld

Madeline Miller
Circe, Galatea

Natalie Haynes
The Children of Jocasta

Margaret Atwood
The Penelopiad

Catherynne M Valente

Angela Carter
Book of Fairy Tales, The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories

Katherine Arden
Winternight Trilogy

Christina Henry
The Chronicles of Alice


~ Romantasy ~

Amanda Bouchet
Kingmaker Chronicles, Nightchaser

Grace Draven
Wraith Kings,  Master of Crows, Fallen Empire

CL Wilson
Weathermages of Mystral

Bec McMaster
Legends of the Storm, The Dark Court

Maxym M Martineu
The Kingdom of Exiles

Rachel Alexander
Receiver of Many, Destroyer of Light


~ Paranormal Fantasy ~

Gail Carriger
Parasol Protectorate, Custard Protocol

Nalini Singh
Guild Hunter, Psy-Changeling

Karen Chance
Dorina Basarab series

Chloe Neill

Genevieve Cogman
The Invisible Library

Deborah Harkness
All Souls

AJ Hackwith
The Library of the Unwritten

Richelle Mead
Dark Swan

Abigail Owen
Inferno Rising


~ Urban Fantasy ~

Seanan McGuire
October Daye, InCryptid

Karen Marie Moning
Fever series

Ilona Andrews
Hidden Legacy, Kate Daniels

Kelley Armstrong
Cainsville, Rockton, Women of the Otherworld

Faith Hunter
Jane Yellowrock

Thea Harrison

Patricia Briggs
Moon Called

Sherrilyn Kenyon
Dark Hunter

Jeaniene Frost
Night Huntress

Kate Mayfield
The Parentations

Laini Taylor
Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Laurell K Hamilton
Anita Blake

Samantha Shanon
The Bone Season, The Priory of the Orange Tree (Fantasy)

Keri Arthur
Riley Jensen

Jessie Mihalik
Consortium Rebellion

JD Robb
In Death


~ Honourable Mentions (Authors & books I have on my shelves but haven’t read yet) ~

Kate ElliottBlack Wolves, King’s Dragon
CS FriedmanThe Coldfire Trilogy
Ann LeckieThe Raven Tower
Katharine DuckettMiranda in Milan
Robin MckinleyThe Door in the Hedge and Other Stories
Ilana C MeyerThe Last Song Before Night
Fonda LeeJade City
Jane YolenSister Light, Sister Dark
Melanie RawnThe Ruins of Ambrai
Tanith LeeNight’s Master
Jeannette NgUnder the Pendulum Sun
Lynn FlewellingThe Bone Doll’s Twin
Sandra NewmanThe Heavens
Tessa GrattonLady Hotspur, The Queens of Innis Lear
Stella GemmellThe City
Rachel AaronHeartstrikers
Kim WilkinsDaughters of the Storm
Aliette de BodardDominion of the Fallen series, Obsidian and Blood series
Ursula K Le GuinLavinia
Lucy HounsomStarborn
NK JemisinBroken Earth series
Gail Z MartinThe Summoner
Jean M AuelThe Clan of the Cave Bear
Pat BarkerThe Silence of the Girls
Katharine KerrDaggerspell
Claudia J EdwardsTaming of the Forest King
Juliet McKennaThe Tales of Einarinn
Sam Hawke City of Lies
Lois McMaster BujoldThe Curse of Chalion
Asuma Zehanat KhanThe Blood Print
Michelle WestThe Hidden City
Joanne HarrisRunemarks

~ & okay, if you insist… my female YA reads ~

Sarah J MaasA Court of Thorns and Roses, Throne of Glass
Marie RutkoskiWinner’s trilogy
VE SchwabShades of Magic, Monsters of Verity
Leigh BardugoGrisha Trilogy, Six of Crows
Erin MorgensternThe Night Circus
Mary E Pearson The Remnant Chronicles
Eleanor HermanLegacy of Kings
Renee AhdiehThe Wrath and the Dawn
Holly BlackThe Cruel Prince, Tithe
Tahereh MafiShatter Me
Morgan RhodesFalling Kingdoms
Maria V SnyderThe Chronicles of Ixia, Soulfinders, Study Series
Kiersten WhiteAnd I Darken
Victoria Aveyard Red Queen
Kiera CassThe Selection
Amy TinteraRuined
Lara ThalassaRhapsodic
Jeffe KennedyThe Orchid Throne
Suzanne CollinsThe Hunger Games

11 thoughts on “Female Fantasy Authors | a few of my favourite things

    1. Thanks! If you ever need any recommendations, let me know 😄 i never made an intentional choice i’ve just noticed over the past two years i’ve read very few male authors. I think Adrian Tchaikovsky, Bradley Beaulieu & Guy Gavriel Kay are the only ones i’m kind of auto-buy/keeping up to date with. I think that’ll change this year as i’d like to read more McClellan, Wooding, Abercrombie & Ryan. It’s good to have a mix 😄


  1. As soon as I saw the blog post title I was like “MUST READ LATER!!”. I have noticed that I don’t seem to be very drawn to work by male authors… I think last year I read about 18 books by men versus just over 50 by women (although this does include all my rereads, haha). Like you, it’s not something I set out to do; it just happened!

    I’ve heard of a lot of these authors, but there are also many I’m not familiar with, and same for books/series. For example, I didn’t know that Jacqueline Carey has an urban fantasy series! Also, is there a subdivision within urban fantasy? Because I think of Kate Daniels and Fever very differently to DOSAB, for example. 😛

    This is definitely a blog post to refer back to – thanks for writing it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was really hard to refrain from listing all of their works 🙈 but so many of them cross fantasy subgenres so it would have got confusing. They’re all ridiculously prolific though. I’ve thought of a few more that i’d forgotten too, oops.

      Yes that felt odd for me too. There are a few that i struggled to place. For example, alternative history – does that count 🤔 can definitely fall down a rabbit hole! I didn’t like putting Gail Carriger in Paranormal because there are so many intense vampire stories and i wouldn’t say those books are… they’re more fun, steampunky reads that have a few vampires that need bopping on the head with a parasol 😂


  2. This is such a good list! I absolutely love Naomi Novik, adored Anne Bishop and liked Jennifer Estep and I definitely need to read Robin Hobb soon-ish. On my TBR are absolutely also Madeline Miller, Juliet Marilier, Katherine Arden and Catherynne M. Valente. Great list and thank you so much for sharing! c:


  3. This is an awesome list! I love so many of them, like Robin Hobb, Jacqueline Carey, Naomi Novik, Juliet Marillier, Katherine Arden, Margaret Atwood….

    I couldn’t even think of many to add! Probably only one of my favourite authors, Jennifer Fallon (Demon Child trilogy, Second Sons, Lyre Thief, Tide Lords Quartet), Tamora Pierce & Charlie N. Holmberg

    Liked by 1 person

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