At the start of last year, I posted a collection of 66 adult fantasy and sci-fi books that were set to be published in 2021, but you may have noticed that most of those books were traditionally published.
Independent publishing works on a different timeline, and things happen much, much faster. There are no good resources for looking up upcoming releases – it’s just not possible when there are literally thousands of indie authors releasing new books every day.
There are so many amazing indie books out now, but they rarely get mentioned on upcoming and anticipated read lists because it’s just that much harder to find information on when indie books are going to be released.
So I decided to spend the last few days doing some research and trying to pull together a list of fantasy books that were independently published in 2021.
This is by no means a complete list, but it’s what I managed to put together after spending a few days deep-diving through Amazon and searching Goodreads. Hopefully you’ll find your next great fantasy read from this list!
To make this list more practical, I’ve only included books that were first in a series or standalone so you could find something fun to read right away!
I’ve listed the books below in order of publication, with links to their Goodreads pages so you can read more about them. I’ve also included a very short synopsis, but that has never been my forte, unfortunately. If something sounds interesting, I definitely recommend giving the full synopsis a read to see if it’s something you’d be interested in picking up.
Here are 51 indie fantasy books published in 2021:
The Executioner’s Right (The Executioner’s Song #1) by D.K. Holmberg: After a heist goes bad, Finn becomes an Executioner’s apprentice to escape the noose, only for his old thieving crew to want to use his newfound power.
Dragon Mage (Rivenworld #1) by M.L. Spencer: A poor misfit from a small fishing village discovers he possesses hidden magic and attends an academy for warrior mages to learn how to become a dragon rider.
By The Pact (Pacts Arcane and Otherwise #1) by Joanna Maciejewska: A student turned arcanist is forced into a pact that grants her powerful magic by an imprisoned demon that once decimated the land.
Daughter of Flood and Fury (Tidecaller #1) by Levi Jacobs: A girl born with a man’s magic must survive among the city’s revered monks and solve the mystery of her father’s murder.
Pawn’s Gambit by Rob J. Hayes: A renowned general on the run from royal bounty hunters searches for a way to bring back the murdered prince.
Knight’s Ransom (The First Argentines #1) by Jeff Wheeler: A young knight whose strange powers are awakening, saves the queen and is caught up in a web of court intrigue.
The Rave (The Aelfraver Trilogy #1) by J.R. Traas: Set in a futuristic fantasy world, an orphaned teenager battles arcane beasts and monsters called raves, and risks everything on a rave bounty that could change her future.
Army of the Cursed (War of the Last Day #1) by Karim Soliman: Three hapless heroes must put aside their differences and come together to stop a foretold demon war.
The Sword in the Street by C.M. Caplan: A mercenary trying to make a better life, and his boyfriend, a man addicted and tired of his meddlesome parents, try to survive a web of intrigue after they find a secret document that could turn things around
The Broken Heart of Arelium (War of the Twelve #1) by Alex Robins: A guardsman ends up at the heart of a cataclysmic event and an heiress struggles to survive her father’s court as a dark and terrible secret threatens to be unearthed.
Red Harvest Moon (The Wandering Knife #1) by Miles Hurt: The Wandering Knife is an outlaw, but he is hired by a small village to protect them flesh-eating ghuls that have ravaged the land.
Of Blood and Fire (The Bound and the Broken #1) by Ryan Cahill: Reeling from the loss of his brother, a young man prepares the Proving when he is ripped away from his small village by three strangers, and thrust into a centuries-long war.
Aofie’s Quest by Angela J. Ford: An outcast warrior princess has spent her life in a sacred forest, and on the day she leaves to take back her kingdom, she learns a terrible truth.
Breach of Peace (Lawful Times #1) by Daniel B. Greene: After an imperial family is found dead, an Inspector of God trying to track down the culprit ends up uncovering a much larger conspiracy.
The Last Shadow Knight (Shadow Knights Trilogy #1) by Michael Webb: A street urchin discovers the last survivor of the secretive Shadow Knights, and he joins their order only to have to defend his city from a powerful enemy.
Whispers of Ruin (The Famine Cycle #1) by J.D.L. Rosell: When an opportunistic thief tries to earn their fame and fortune by uncovering the truth behind the recent monarch’s death, they discover much more than they bargained for.
Kingdoms at War (Dragon Gate #1) by Lindsay Buroker: When a cartography student unearths one of the lost dragon gates, he gains the attention of the Wizards, the cruel tyrannical masters who have used their magic to enslave humanity.
The Path and the Way (The Ringlander #1) by Michael S. Jackson: When a young woman’s search for her brother draws her away from the frigid land she’s called home, she ends up in the city of Tyr, a land of being torn apart by political turmoil and holes in reality.
Sairō’s Claw (Gensokai Kaigai #1) by Virginia MaClain: After a warrior steals a katana from a corpse, she is possessed by a grumpy wolf spirit, and must journey across the land to save her wife from bandits.
The Squire (Blood of Kings #1) by Duncan M. Hamilton: After a fateful night, a young man’s quiet rural life is shattered, and when he is rescued by a band of mercenaries he becomes their squire, and prepares himself for the day he will return.
Legacy of Flame (Artifice and Ascension #1) by Rebecca Bapaye: The Queen of the Ice Realm and a man out of time work against the Fire Priests, a dangerous and reclusive order of sorcerers.
The Throne of Ice and Ash (The Runewar Saga #1) by J.D.L. Rosell: After calamity strikes their family, a brother seeks vengeance and a sister’s desire to rule is challenged as the two heirs must protect their home from a mysterious enemy.
The Iron Crown (Dragon Spirits #1) by L.L. MacRae: A man whose only memory is of a mocking dragon spirit finds a woman hiding on the edge of the world and helps him avoid the Queen’s Inquisitors so he might find his way home.
Dark Sea’s End (Beyond Ash and Sand #1) by Richard Nell: A swashbuckling adventure wherein an unusual band of pirates sail the uncharted seas with the hope of finding fortune and glory.
A King’s Bargain (Legend of Tal #1) by J.D.L. Rosell: An old, retired, warrior receives a mysterious visitor, and he and his apprentice are thrust into a journey across the kingdom where they must deal with political plots, an ancient war, and fabled sorcerer.
Twelve Jackals (Illicitum #1) by Moud Adel: Rival factions struggle for power with their own unique abilities, and when a man’s village is betrayed in what should have been a peaceful alliance, he uses the magic of his people – formidable, but one that steals years from his life.
Crownless by M.H. Woodscourt: A prince and a storyteller are in a race against time to escape the queen and find a gate to a world of magic that may be their salvation.
These War-Torn Hands (Knights of Tin & Lead #1) by Emily Hayse: A man is forced to choose between the woman he loves and the land he has sworn to protect in this Western retelling of King Arthur.
A Lair of Bones (Curse of the Cyren Queen #1) by Helen Scheuerer: An ambitious bone cleaner and daughter of an infamous criminal has at ruling by claiming victory in the Queen’s Tournament.
Kingfall (The Kingfall Histories #1) by David Estes: A godblade, an ancient weapon infused with magic, is found by a blind, ambitious prince on whose shoulders rests the fate of Kingfall.
Heir of Magic (The Kingdom War #1) by J.D. Ruffin: To resurrect a powerful, long-dead mage, magicians across the land are captured A guardsman with the ability to truthread and a headstrong princess must save them before time runs out.
Wake of the Phoenix by Chelsea Harper: A high lord must deal with corruption in his court and talk of rebellion, and finds a potential ally in a reluctant thief with large debts.
Spirits of Vengeance by Rob J. Hayes: A warrior who swore his soul to the God of Death for vengeance is tasked by the Imperial Throne to hunt monsters and malicious spirits, but not all monsters are what they seem.
Unbonded (First of the Blade #1) by D.K. Holmberg: A young warrior taught to fear and destroy magic must face a part of her past she wanted to forget when her brother comes to her for aid.
Troupe of Shadows by Jennings Zabrinsky: A princess skilled with the blade is chased from her home by her traitorous brother and must learn to survive amongst a strange people.
A Legacy of Darkness (A Legacy of Darkness #1) by J.M. Wallace: A newly crowned king and the last of the druids must team up to recover the druid’s magic and save their kingdom.
The Thirteenth Hour (Cruel Gods #1) by Trudie Skies: A woman with mysterious, divine magic and the man who hunts her must discover the truth of her abilities before the city’s cruel gods decide to intervene.
The Dragon Charmer’s Apprentice (Legends of Tivara) by J.C. Kang: A slave with the ability to charm dragons must master her magical abilities to set her people free.
Prince of the Fallen by M.H. Woodscourt: After spending his life in the wilds, a young man saves a travelling princess and her entourage and ends up caught in a web of court intrigue as he tries to find the man who abandoned him.
The Earthspark (The Comstock Chronicles #1) by Vanessa Thurgood: A Girl in possession of a cursed power that almost destroyed her family must fight against the rising evil of the Fire Witch.
The Silver Crystal (The Red Kingdom #1) by Ryan Lanz: A bounty hunter is captured by the very people he hunts while a Corrupted man leads a desperate group of rebels fighting for their freedom and the leader of the army searches for a way to protect the peace he has spent his life fighting for.
Blade of the Faithful (Origins of Gilia#1) by R.G. Long: A quiet warrior, beaten and left for dead, and the healer who saves him journey across the land to find the one thing that can cure the plague.
The Dance of Dawn & Dusk (The Dance of Dawn and Dusk #1) by Brady Caleb Wilkinson: After a mighty empire is toppled, six heroes, aristocrat and commoner alike, must struggle to survive this new game of power.
The Relics of Illayan by Kathryn Knowles: For ages, magic has belonged only to the King of Caerlon, until the night of the new King’s coronation, when the magic fractures and a young woman must learn to wield her new abilities to protect herself from a King who will hunt her down.
The Protector (The Tales of Caledonia #1) by Peter Wacht: An action-packed fantasy about a woman with the key to ruling Caledonia and the pit fighter who has been magically compelled to protect her.
In The Shadow of Ziammotienth (Myth of the Dragon #1) by Michael Anderle: A young thief and her crew struggle to survive in a city hailed as the last bastion of civilization in the shadow of a strange mountain.
Spectrum Blade (Spectrum Legacy #1) by Beth Alvarez: A young man who dreamed he’d be a warrior becomes a mage’s apprentice, and must hunt down a powerful artifact that will help protect his home.
The Heir’s Descent (The Fallen Heir #1) by Rachel Hetrick: When the crown prince’s voice falls on deaf ears, he abandons his throne and journeys across the kingdom with his best friend to find a peaceful end to the war.
The Thief’s Relic by Angela Knotts Morse: A man who never wanted to be a thief gets the opportunity of a lifetime and abandons it all to become a travelling merchant until he finds himself hunted by his former crew.
Tethered Spirits (Curse of Shavhalla #1) by T.A. Hernandez: A man with no memory journeys with a girl with strange powers to find a way to end his curse, while a woman who believes that curse may hold the key to saving her brother must hunt them down.
The Girl of Ash and Snow by C.M. Quinn: A woman who lost everything when her village was attacked and a man with a haunted past must journey across a kingdom on the brink of war, while a girl burdened with ancient magic must seize her destiny, no matter what.
What’s Your Next Read?
Did any of these books catch your interest? Let me know what books you want to read in the comments below!