Do you ever dream about getting away from it all? We’re not talking about a short trip to a tropical island, or African safari, either: We mean a permanent vacation out of this world and off to parts unknown. If so, these three new fantasy novels are for you. (Looking for more literary get-aways? Check out our guide to portal fantasy here.)
Tessa Andrews’ dad vanished, and now she and her mom are living in a rickety old house with what could politely be called “plenty of character.” Still, there are those who have it worse, like Professor Branard: one of the old folks on her charity meals route. He may be cranky, but Tessa can’t ignore the emergency call she receives from him one night. She hurries over, only to find the house on fire and a charming young man who claims to be the newly rejuvenated professor. Unfortunately, the rejuvenation didn’t take completely, and now his old rivals are coming for his head. Branard has to get moving in a hurry, and he’s taking Tessa along for the ride.
Shawna Keys has a life many would envy: She’s opened a pottery studio in the city of her dreams. She’s got an utterly supportive and wonderful boyfriend, and the best friends one could possibly imagine. Then the unthinkable happens: Someone murders her closest friend. Even worse, no one but her seems to remember the killing, or even the victim herself. No one, that is, but a stranger who arrives bearing an unbelievable explanation: Shawna’s world was perfect because she created it herself. Now it has been shattered by an enemy she never even knew existed. While it may be too late to save her own world, an infinity of others await.
Okay, so this isn’t exactly a portal fantasy … more like “portal fantasy adjacent.” October “Toby” Daye, the protagonist of Seanan Maguire’s long-running series, is a half-fae and half-human troubleshooter and former private detective. She really isn’t at home in either world, but that makes her perfect for jobs involving both. When she has to travel to the faerie realm known as the Summerlands, she does so by knowes: portals located in places where the human realm and faerie magic meet. Every knowe corresponds to a place in our own world, but sadly, common folks such as ourselves aren’t likely to find them. In Night and Silence, the newest installment of the October Daye series, Toby has to clear her name after being accused of kidnapping her estranged human daughter. If you’re into portal fantasy and love faerie lore, you’ll love October Daye.