Snowy winter fantasy books to cozy up with this season
Winter is the perfect season to dive into fantasy worlds, magic, and folklore. Winter fantasy books will transport you to snowy settings with a touch of fantastical added in.
This book list includes a wide range of fantasy, from lighter magical realism to intense epic fantasy that spans multiple books. There are also a few winter fantasy books that offer a unique take on ancient fairy tales and folklore.
If you’re looking to dive further into the fantasy genre, my beginner’s guide to fantasy will help you decide which book to read based on the type of books you already enjoy!
9 Winter Fantasy Books
The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
A winter fantasy novel based on an old fairy tale. In The Snow Child, a young girl appears to a childless couple living in Alaska. She seems to come from the snow itself and flits in and out of their lives throughout the winter. As they grow closer to her and come to think of her as a daughter, they try to uncover her secrets and why she can’t bear any prolonged exposure to heat.
This novel has an ethereal quality that is unlike anything else I’ve read. It’s one of my absolute favorite wintry reads and I recommend it to all types of readers. | Amazon
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
There’s something about winter that makes disappearing in the snow or cold seem effortless. Addie LaRue can live forever, but she is immediately forgotten by everyone who sees her. This fantasy novel is an incredible look at what it means to walk among humanity leaving no footprint. Addie tells her story from multiple time periods, beginning with her life in 18th century France. A light fantasy that explores the fascinating concept of leaving no trace behind. I loved it from start to finish. | Amazon
A Wild Winter Swan by Gregory Maguire
A unique take on a coming of age story set in NYC in the 1960’s. Laura becomes panicked and anxious as a result of her grief and the threat of boarding school. While living with her grandparents, she meets a swan boy with just one wing on the roof of their building. Laura struggles to help him, but can’t do it alone. Meanwhile, her grandparents are also turning to a greater power to save their store. | Amazon
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas
A fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast? Yes, please!! This is the first book in a series that consumed my life as I read. I was sneaking pages at work, staying up late, and reading every second of my free time. This is a rare case where the books continue to improve throughout the series.
It all begins when a human girl makes a bargain with a Fae to become his prisoner in exchange for saving her family’s life. She is brought into their world and becomes entangled in the politics, wars, and passions within. | Amazon
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Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin
At 750+ pages, this winter fantasy book is a serious commitment, but that’s what shorter days are made for! Winter’s Tale transports you to NYC in the late 1800’s and follows the story of a mechanic who falls in love with a rich young woman who is dying. This is a sweeping tale that I’ve heard requires a bit of concentration and time to fully get lost in the story, but it’s worth the effort! | Amazon
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
This folklore fantasy takes place deep in the Russian forest where surviving the winter is a never ending struggle. In this land, the families still believe in honoring the spirits of the house and woods to keep their protection. Vasya’s new stepmother forbids the family from following these traditions, so she must keep her unique ability to see and communicate with the spirits a secret. When danger starts to threaten, she defies her family and tradition to protect the village. I adored this unique story! The setting is chilling and the interaction between Vasya and the various spirits and demons is enthralling. | Amazon
A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin
This is the classic series that comes to mind when you think of winter fantasy books to read during winter. Long winters and the horrors they bring are a central plot throughout this famous series. Although the books are still being written, you’ll need the extra time to read these lengthy tomes, so start now! | Amazon
Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw
Winterwood takes place in snowy woods and features a boy and girl who each harbor their own secrets. Nora is rumored to be a witch due to her mysterious connection to the woods. Oliver miraculously survived a snowstorm that should have left him dead. This just came out in 2019 and the intriguing premise has it on my to be read list this winter! | Amazon
Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
A fantasy novel featuring cold creatures that haunt the woods and a primarily winter setting. Miryem is forced to pick up the slack to support the family after her father’s bad decisions. She becomes known as someone who can turn silver into gold, which brings her more attention than she bargained for. I’m eager to read this rags to riches tale and find out more about Miryem’s ability and the consequences of her skill. | Amazon
What winter fantasy books would you add to this list?