The nights are drawing in and before we know it the festive season will be upon us – whether you celebrate Yule, Christmas, Hanukkah or something else I’m sure gifts will be involved – and what better gift than a seasonally themed story?
Here is a list of Indie fantasy books with a seasonal theme – I have not read any of them yet so I cannot personally recommend them but they have all been recommended by other people who enjoy indie fantasy books. I hope you’ll find something to cosy up with while digesting your Yule feast and trying to avoid family arguments…
Descriptions are taken from goodreads.
A Fantasy Christmas – Tales From the Hearth an anthology of thirteen stories by various authors.
13 UNFORGETTABLE CHRISTMAS TALES IN ONE MASSIVE FANTASY COLLECTION
Thirteen stories – Thirteen authors
One theme – A Fantasy Christmas.
Christmas magic just got more enchanting
with this collection of fantasy festive tales…
FEATURING IN THIS ANTHOLOGY:
Michelle Crow – It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Tinkmas
When a little bit of Christmas magic pulls Tink through space-time continuum, she finds herself face-to-face with two surprises: a curious little human and a tray of cookies.
Deanna Young – Late To The Party
Chaz’s magical career goes up in smoke when the Christmas Eve delivery of a baby dragon goes terribly wrong.
A. A. Warne – FrankenSanta
Three naughty Elves accidently kill Santa Clause and decide to bring him back to life. Unfortunately, he’s not quite the same.
Kieran McKiel – The Snows At Asrum
Far away from home, Alecksi fights a war he doesn’t understand against a foe he doesn’t know. As the holy of Rodestuo approaches, he decides he’s had enough.
Haskell Crow – Sugared Dates
Adventure is just on the other side of the river, during the festival of lights. Aelynn wished he could celebrate, but he couldn’t miss this opportunity while everyone was destracted.
Serena Dawson – A Heist, A Prophecy, And A Unicorn
When Taramon hears his arch enemy has taken a forbidden prophecy, he decides to steal it back; and with the help of his unicorn, rescue his brother from execution.
Joshua A. Brown – For All Of Clainsmyth
The light of the winter solstice holiday Clainsmyth, has been sent by the gods as a gift to the mortals. But dark forces want her magic, and so the race is on.
R. A. Darlinge – The Faded Photograph
Nicholai doesn’t celebrate Christmas. Will sharing the pain of the past bring healing and Christmas spirit into his life?
Ezra Raikes – Half Chained, Entirely Unwanted
A brother and sister flee from prison, and take a chance to survive in the nightmarish forest beyond.
Dragonness Wyverna – A Solstice Promise
Four friends combine their holiday tradition to celebrate the arrival of winter solstice.
L. R. Huseboe – Folly Amongst The Holly
Invited to Christmas dinner with her best friend, Myrah is confronted with the magical truth about herself and the world around her.
The Reluctant Familiar’s Guide to Christmas Tree Defense by Bethany Hoeflich
19 pages – Free on kindle
“After a traumatizing Pumpkin Spice candle accident, Mr. Fluffykins is looking forward to a quiet night curled up under his Christmas tree.
Unfortunately, life has other plans . . .
*The Reluctant Familiar’s Guide to Christmas Tree Defense is a humorous short story meant for entertainment purposes only. It is not an actual how-to book to help you ward your tree against goblins, elves or sprites. If you are experiencing an infestation of malicious beasties, please contact your nearest magical pest control as soon as possible*
Solace of Memory: A Last Gift Prequel Novelette (The Last Gift) by Allegra Pescatore
Midwinter is a time for Remembrance. When the candles are lit, the dead walk among the living. Devotions are renewed, vigils are held, and forgotten souls find their peace. But for Gabriel, who has never believed in the Gods, there is little peace to be had.
Gabe’s last year at the Academy of Tirit Mindel promised to be a great one: good friends, a chance at a coveted spot in the College of Science, and work that he loved at the school clinic. All that was changed by the call for volunteer medical students to assist in an outbreak of wasting fever.
Working with the dying in the sweltering heat of southern Miriel was hard, but coming back from the front lines of the epidemic might prove even harder. Haunted by what he saw and faced with unexpected personal loss, for Gabe, this Midwinter would be different than all those before it.
For the first time in his life, Gabe needs a little faith, and what the Gods won’t provide, his friends and found family might be able to help with.
A Dragon for Christmas (Santaclaws Book 1) by Marc Secchia
316 pages age 11 and up
A Christmas Dragon tale like no other.
Keir thinks he knows about bad luck. His Elven mother is dying of a wasting disease. His Human father, severely injured in the war, struggles to walk. A brutal Winterfall clasps his mountainous kingdom in talons of ice. The people are starving. His family, his little sisters, depend on him to see them to Dragonmas Day.
They need a miracle. But who believes in miracles anymore?
Long ago, the mighty Dragon Santaclaws rescued Humankind and resettled them in the magical realm of Tyanbran – but Santaclaws and his miracles are gone, and his Dragons disappeared. Now, a stubborn half-Elf must brave blizzards and treacherous trails to bring food to the kingdom, and find winterberry to ease his mother’s suffering.
What he discovers on this journey will shatter all unbelief. The lightning-born treasure he places beneath his Dragonmas tree changes everything, for wishes are different when it comes to Dragons.
Wishes take wing, and come true.
The start of a new Dragon Rider epic for fans of Anne McCaffrey, Eragon and How to Train Your Dragon. Santa Claus – Santaclaws – is really a dragon.
The Clockwork Ice Dragon: A Christmas Steampunk Novella by Liz Delton
An invention gone wrong. A city buried in snow. And she only has ‘til Christmas to make it right.
Aurelia Sundon has an idea for a brilliant invention that will ensure her family’s financial future. But the elite inventor’s guild has imposed a ridiculous deadline for invention applications: Christmas Day. With only four days until the deadline, Aurelia thinks she can finish it in time.
Until her old love Frederick Grandville steps back into her life when he enters the competition with his own invention. Frederick could be the downfall of Aurelia’s career. Again. But when his invention goes out of control, the wondrous snow it brings down on the ever-sunny city of Soldark turns into an outright blizzard.
With a broken promise between them, she’s not so sure she wants to help him. But the clock is ticking, the snow is getting deeper, and Aurelia must find a way to team up with her rival or risk losing her one chance at a better life.
A Fairy King by C. J. Brightley
87 pages New Adult
Young Hannah receives an interesting letter. Is her pen pal a fairy prince or a prankster? How long will he write to her, and what will change as a result of his letters?
He offers her a wish. Can he really grant a wish? What will she wish, and what will she offer him in return?
Twelve Days of (Faerie) Christmas by C. J. Brightley
184 pages age 12 and up
When Charlotte meets mysterious Ronan, her comfortable life is upended in a confusion of magic, monsters, and birds. Lots of birds. But Ronan’s increasingly ridiculous gifts are the least of her concerns – the spell connecting them is ticking like a bomb, and time is running out.
This is a clean standalone fantasy adventure-romance novella of about 40,000 words.
Merry Happy Valkyrie – A Holiday Fantasy Story by Tansy Rayner Roberts
88 pages LBGTQ+
Norse myth and magic collides with a small town Tasmanian Christmas in this festive romantic fantasy!
Lief Fraser has mixed feelings about returning home to Matilda, the only Australian town where it always snows at Christmas. As a TV weather presenter, it’s her job to report on the strange holiday phenomenon… but as a local, it’s her duty to preserve Matilda’s many magical secrets.
Then pretty Audrey Astor rolls into town to shoot the ultimate romantic Australian Christmas movie with her film crew. Sparks fly, secrets unravel… and soon everyone will know exactly how Mt Valkyrie got its name.
The Sixth Christmas: A Holiday Novelette by Mollie E. Reeder
Jack doesn’t exactly hate Christmas. It’s just that the holidays are a minefield of memories and mixed feelings, and he’s better off working late than celebrating.
Then, on Christmas Eve, Jack experiences a freak accident — the catalyst for a mysterious journey that sends him thirty years into his own past. As his history unwraps itself, Jack is propelled through his most pivotal Christmas Eves — reliving lost love, family dysfunction and personal secrets, this time as a bystander in his own life.
At this holiday crossroads, Jack’s past is repeating and his future is in jeopardy, forcing him to finally confront the many past versions of himself — and maybe even the meaning of Christmas.
Nyssa Glass and the Caper Crisis by H. L. Burke
72 pages – free to download Teen/YA
Orphaned cat burglar Nyssa Glass intends to outwit her rotten fate.
“Adopted” by her incarcerated uncle’s gang of thieves, she breaks into homes and picks pockets to repay her family debt and one day buy her freedom from their dark enterprise. Mechanically adept and determined, Nyssa longs to attend Miss Pratchett’s School for Mechanically Minded Maids and make an honest life she can take pride in.
She wasn’t made to steal things. She was made to create and fix them.
However, before she can make her escape, the head of the gang taps her for a new assignment, one her conscience cannot bear. Nyssa is faced with a heartrending decision: sacrifice everything or become the very thing she’s desperate to escape.
A Prequel Short for the Nyssa Glass Steampunk Series.
Add to goodreads | Download here
Nyssa Glass’s Clockwork Christmas: A Christmas Novelette by H. L. Burke
98 pages Teen/YA
Book Four in the Nyssa Glass Series: A Christmas Novelette
Reformed cat burglar and orphan Nyssa Glass doesn’t have many fond memories of Christmas. Her boyfriend, Ellis, however, is determined to make their first holiday together a celebration of a lifetime. Nyssa can’t let him down.
Overwhelmed by decorations and shopping, Nyssa sets out to find the perfect present for Ellis. However, when a charming dance instructor decides Nyssa is what he wants for Christmas, Ellis’s only gift might be a dose of holiday heartbreak.
Clara’s Soldier: A Retelling of the Nutcracker by Brittany Fichter
A bride-to-be without answers. A soldier who never came home. A nutcracker that might hold one last Christmas wish… World War II has been over for three months, but Clara can’t join in the Christmas festivities with her friends and family. The fiance she sent off to Europe three years ago never returned. But just as she’s about to give up hope, her godfather might just have one last miracle up his sleeve. And it all begins with a nutcracker.
A Sprig of Holly: Prequel 1 by J. A. Clement
34 pages Teen/YA
An accident on a lonely mountaintop.
Alone and far from help in the freezing night.
Everything depends on an enchanted sprig of holly.
Greta lives with her grandfather in a cabin in the mountains.
The winter is harsh and they must venture out into the snow for more wood, or freeze.
Their handsome neighbour Matthias would help, but he is stuck in the snowy mountain passes and cannot get home.
But then disaster strikes.
The sleigh breaks, the logs are lost, and her grandfather is badly hurt.
Greta must get him back to safety before night sets in, but how?
Temperatures are dropping fast and they are all alone in the icy darkness.
…or are they?
Duckett & Dyer: St. Nicks For Hire (Duckett & Dyer: Dicks For Hire) by G.M. Nair
34 pages Adult
In the midst of a historic blizzard, Michael and Stephanie have to beat the crap out of Santa Claus.
That’s it. That’s the story.
But, unlike some other Christmas Specials, this one is 100% canon.
This case (and others!) will be included in Duckett & Dyer: The Mystery Of The Murdered Guy.
The Meow Guardians by Maria Vermisoglou
148 pages YA/Animal Fiction/ Holiday mystery
This Christmas the holiday spirit is under threat and only a special stray can save it! The name’s Ginger, AKA Agent Meow 01. Usually, I spend my free time searching for scraps and getting chased by dogs, like the stray cat that I am. But this Christmas, everything changes.When the dog agents from PAWs mess up and leave the human world hanging by a thread, it’s Ginger to the rescue. With my combination of brains, stealth, and daring, I’m the agent they call when the fur starts to fly. Except this time, I’ve got a new partner.A house cat. With the clock ticking, this mission seems doomed to failure with so many pheromones about. Will the Christmas spirit be saved, or will we turn our tails and let the world burn?
Sugar and Snow by Irene Davis
No one believes Marie’s story about her magical journey with the Nutcracker Prince. She’s even started to doubt it herself. But then her brother Fritz brings his fellow cavalrymen home for the family’s annual Christmas party—and one of them demands she return the Mouse King’s seven crowns to him. The Nutcracker finally reappears, and the familiar battle lines are drawn, but is Marie on the same side she was before? How can the Mouse King be so intriguing, and the Nutcracker so disappointing? And when Marie’s niece Clara disappears, can she trust the Mouse King to help get Clara back—or is he still set on revenge?
Goblins and Snowflakes: An Elves and the Shoemaker Retelling (Steampunk Christmas Fairy Tales) by Melanie Karsak
*Caution: May contain Christmas gnomes
Never bargain with goblin men.
Scarlette Rossetti thought her stay at Strawberry Hill Castle during the Christmas holiday would pass by uneventfully. She couldn’t have been more wrong. Enticed by the delights of the nearby village of Twickenham, Scarlette’s life would change in unimaginable ways.
She never expected to be drawn magnetically to The Two Sisters Doll Shop and Toy Emporium.
Scarlette didn’t guess that tinkering clockwork gnomes could have supernatural consequences.
And she didn’t know that one should never, ever, bargain with goblin men.
But during the Christmas season, magic is always brewing.
Charles Dickens meets Supernatural in this magical retelling of The Elves and The Shoemaker. Dive into New York Times bestselling author Melanie Karsak’s award-winning fairy tale world set in gaslamp England.
That’s all folks – happy reading. If you know of any other festive fantasy reads please let me know in the comments!
4 thoughts on “Indie Fantasy Books with a Festive Flavour”
Great list! If you’re in the mood for more short stories then Once Upon a Winter might suit you! There are a few specifically Christmassy ones in there but all are wintry fantasy fairy tale/folklore retellings perfect for a cold day!
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Thank you – sounds interesting!
Thanks for this great list, Sue! 😊
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You’re welcome! Hope it’s useful – thanks for stopping by!
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