Fantasy listeners looking for lighthearted, low-stakes stories with lovable characters will adore the positive and comforting listening experiences in these five cozy audiobooks.
EMILY WILDE’S MAP OF THE OTHERLANDS, the sequel to EMILY WILDE'S ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF FAERIES, sees our heroine begin work on her next project. Having finished the world’s first faerie encyclopedia, genius scholar Emily Wilde is wary of Bambleby’s marriage proposal, perfectly aware of the danger associated with romance between humans and faeries. Narrator Ell Potter enlivens Emily with an English accent, conveying her prickly and practical nature with an exasperated air as she escapes faerie assassins sent by Bambleby’s murderous mother. Her use of an adorable, higher pitched voice for some faeries bolsters their childlike antics. A short segment from Bambleby’s point of view is narrated by Michael Dodds with an Irish accent, capturing his charming wit and romantic feelings for Emily.
Hazel Addison’s smooth narration wholly enhances the romantic romp of THAT TIME I GOT DRUNK AND SAVED A HUMAN. Cherry never imagined herself as the kind of girl that would wait to be rescued, but after being kidnapped, that’s exactly where she finds herself. Voicing Cherry with a southern lilt and precise comedic timing, Addison conveys her bold and humorous personality. Cherry’s rescuer, a handsome dragon named Dante, is deep-voiced and suave, drawing listeners in as he worships his newly discovered mate. As the two trade delightful banter and romantic tension blooms, Addison’s narration will hook listeners into their misadventures.
Morag Sims narrates FLOWERHEART, in which fifteen-year-old Clara’s wild magic accidentally causes flowers to bloom from her father’s chest. Reversing the magic is extremely difficult, and her childhood best friend, Xavier, is the only person capable of teaching her how. But Xavier, full of dark secrets and charging a high price for his help, is completely unlike the boy she remembers. Sims narrates at a leisurely pace with an English accent, allowing the beautiful imagery and unique magical world to unfold slowly. She particularly excels at delivering seamless conversational shifts between Clara’s precise enunciation and Xavier’s mysteriousness.
Author and narrator Travis Baldree’s performance in BOOKSHOPS & BONEDUST is pleasantly natural and immersive. Viv is a young orc mercenary, but an injury throws her career path off course. With no choice but to rest and heal, she spends her time at the local bookshop. She receives reading recommendations from the foul-mouthed rattkin bookseller, makes new friends, and even falls in love. With his kaleidoscopic voice, Baldree utilizes accents, tones, and unique cadences to bring a cast of fascinating characters to life. Set 20 years before the events of Baldree’s highly popular LEGENDS & LATTES, BOOKSHOPS is just as fun a listen.
Nneka Okoye gives a dramatic, Shakespearian-style narration to MORTAL FOLLIES, earning her tongue-in-cheek performance an Earphones Award. Miss Maelys Mitchelmore’s entrance to high society is complicated by a mysterious curse that unravels her dress. Lady Georgiana Landrake, nicknamed “the Duke of Annadale,” rescues Maelys from scandal, but the gossip surrounding the Duke casts her as an undesirable ally. As the pair confront vindictive magic, fairies, and gods, the attraction between them can’t be denied. Okoye’s voice for the invisible storyteller, a hobgoblin bard named Robin, makes for a particularly enjoyable mix of devilish mischief and comedic timing. Dripping with romance and distinctly voiced, Okoye’s performance is unforgettable.