Free Friday: Today’s top free Amazon sci-fi and fantasy books for April 26, 2024

Reading Time: 10 minutes
Free Friday: Today’s top free Amazon sci-fi and fantasy books for April 26, 2024

Did you know that Amazon has a list of the top-selling and free sci-fi and fantasy books? The list changes constantly — authors and publishers set their books to free temporarily to promote their work, and, of course, books move up and down in the rankings. Read on to find your fun free read for this weekend! And grab the books quickly because they don’t always stay free for long.

This week’s list is completely different from those of the previous weeks. So if you’re a fan of free books, there are going to be new things to read all the time. If you want to get this list in your inbox every Friday afternoon, subscribe to the MetaStellar weekly newsletter.

There are a lot of books to go through, so this week I’m being helped out by a couple of other members of our MetaStellar community. If you’d like to join me in doing these reviews — and taping our regular Free Friday videos — email me at [email protected].

5. The Case of the Night Mark by Arizona Tape

This is the first of four books in the Samantha Rain Mysteries urban fantasy series. The other books are $2.99 to $4.99 each and are not in Kindle Unlimited. This is the author’s first time on our Free Friday list.

From Kristin Noland:

Samantha’s wife has just handed her divorce papers. Angry and hurt, Sam storms out of their house and into the night. A storm hits, and Sam is forced to hide in an unfamiliar part of town where she finds a tiny puppy with strange blue eyes. She wraps the puppy in her scarf to warm it. The dog bites her and she passes out.

Sam wakes in a marble chamber with a beautiful but dangerous woman. The woman, Lilith, informs her that the dog was a hellhound, and its bite means she is marked and will be hunted by the fae.

So, now, while in the middle of a divorce, Sam must learn to navigate her new world and find someone she can trust.

And there are also supposed to be will-o-wisps and vampires in this world. I haven’t met them yet, but I’m curious as to what they are and how they fit into the story … friend or foe. There’s also going to be a mystery for Sam to solve which I haven’t gotten to either, but in the description, it’s a missing person’s case.

It is a well-written novel. Sam is a bit snarky, which I enjoy. A stubborn sarcastic main character? What’s not to like?

But, other than her issue with her wife and that she’s angry about it, we don’t get much sense of their relationship or the why behind Melissa serving divorce papers. Even when Sam is musing, she doesn’t touch upon what possibly led Melissa to want a divorce. Maybe that will be the final scene, but it would be good to know what Sam thinks the problems could be.

While I like the snarky attitude of the main character and am a fan of mysteries, I wasn’t very entertained, and, so far, I still don’t know what exactly what mystery Sam needs to solve. I won’t be finishing this book.

However, fans of fae and mysteries may enjoy it.

Get the Kindle ebook free from Amazon here.

4. A Shift in Shadows by Maddox Grey

This is the first of six books in Lost Legacies fantasy romance series. The other books are $2.99 to $4.99 each and are not in Kindle Unlimited. This is the author’s first time on our Free Friday list.

From Terri Wells:

This book features an all-too-common trope that I love to hate: enemies-to-lovers. On the plus side, it requires serious character growth and development to come off convincingly, and the Amazon description includes supernatural creatures and dark magic. I’m always intrigued to see how an author interprets and mixes these elements, so let’s dig in.

Our heroine, Nemain, is a 400-year-old feline shapeshifter and magic user who a century ago used to love Sebastian, a warlock. Now she’s been trying to kill him for decades. We get a clue as to why in chapter two, though what he does to her in the prologue, long after she’s started her vengeance obsession, would have been reason enough.

An old friend, a vampire named Magos, rescues her and they must fight their way out past the vampires who have been holding Nemain captive and torturing her, all on Sebastian’s orders.

Some time passes. Nemain is now free but suffering from PTSD — she’s having nightmares and panic attacks. Every time she has a panic attack, her magic tries to bust out and she’s not always able to control it. She has destroyed more than one house as a result.

Magos stayed with her to help her heal. He’s not a romantic interest — he’s more like an uncle to her. Nemain is staying in a place that was pretty much custom built to accommodate her by a daemon, a former lover of hers who is now one of her best friends. It includes a lot of space for sparring, with lots of different weapons on the wall that Nemain has accumulated in the time she’s been free again.

We see Nemain and Magos sparring. He always beats her, even though she’s been doing martial arts since she was big enough to hold a weapon. Magos is a vampire, and Nemain thinks he might be over 600 years old, which would make him one of the first vampires.

Vampires aren’t well liked in the magical community, which includes warlocks, shape shifters, fae, and daemons. Nemain grew up in the human realm and has been to the other ones and now she tends to stay in the human realm to avoid fae and daemon politics.

Near her birthday, which would be the first anniversary of when Sebastian kidnapped her, Nemain decides she wants to see her friends, but, in the back of her head, she fears she’ll be kidnapped again.

I enjoy urban fantasy, and this one seems to have some interesting world building. I’m not sure how I feel about Nemain. She has her share of flaws, but I can cut her some slack due to her mental state. I really hope that Sebastian doesn’t end up being the enemy that becomes her lover again. After what he’s done, I don’t see how he can be redeemed. And honestly, I’m not sure if I will stick with this book.

If you like romances with kickass but emotionally damaged protagonists, urban fantasy with some interesting worldbuilding, and some pretty intense action and conflict, you might enjoy this book.

Get the Kindle ebook free from Amazon here.

3. Spellbound After Midnight by Jenna Collett

This is the first of five books in the Ever Dark, Ever Deadly fantasy romance mystery series. The other books are $1.99 to $3.99 each and are in Kindle Unlimited. This is the author’s first time on our Free Friday list.

From Lilivette Domínguez-Torres:

This is a Cinderella retelling unlike anything I’d ever imagined.

Instead of following the story of the typical Cinderella, we follow the story of the fairy grandmother—or the attempt of a fairy grandmother that is Tessa Daniels.

Ever since her mother died, Tessa’s magic has been all over the place. Her spells backfire, her potions have terrible side effects and little to nothing ever goes right. Yet her broken magic isn’t her only problem, she’s also in debt to a gang leader and on the brink of losing her mother’s magic shop if her spells keep going wrong.

But her life only gets worse after helping poor Ella Lockwood get ready for the Prince’s Ball with a fancy magic dress and glass slippers. Why? Because Ella Lockwood ends up being murdered and that only makes Tessa a suspect.

Being completely honest, I completely enjoyed reading the first few chapters of this book. The pace of the story is quick but enjoyable, the characters are funny and interesting and now I can’t wait to see what’s gonna happen with the detective. I definitely recommend this to everyone looking for a quick and fun fantasy retelling.

Get the Kindle ebook free from Amazon here.

2. The Faerie Throne by Belle Manuel

This is the first, and, so far, the only book in the Chronicles of Shyal dark fantasy series. This book is in Kindle Unlimited. This is the author’s first time on our Free Friday list.

From E.S. Foster:

The story takes place in a world where faeries and humans are constantly at war with each other. In this prologue of sorts, we learn that, not long after the gods created the faeries, the faeries descended into centuries of debauchery, forgetting that they were supposed to be warriors. However, the entire race recently came to their senses after realizing how humans have persecuted them for their magic. They began beating back the humans living one of the strongest faery kingdoms.

Then we meet Drystan, a powerful leader a group called death faeries, Drystan uses his magic to reap the souls of the humans he attacks in battle. He has just helped lead another battle against the remaining humans when he hears the news from a messenger that the king has been killed and his son is set to be crowned the new king later that week. This doesn’t concern Drystan much, however, since the king was the most brutal out of everyone, even by faery standards. It’s also implied that the king’s harsh rule led to major personal loss for Drystan, and he uses battle to keep his mind from the pain.

Drystan wanders through the wreckage, killing one last human who is already dying of his wounds. He enters a seemingly abandoned house and discovers two small human children inside a closet. The boy attempts to fight back, while the girl mostly stays silent. Out of personal guilt and memory of his own loss, he takes the two children with him.

The story then shifts to Liserli, the human girl who was taken in by Drysten and who now lives with her brother in a small village and calls Drystan her father. We learn a little about her, including how she tutors some faery children. Everyone is preparing for a holiday where faeries go out and hunt any humans with magic. To avoid these festivities, Liserli comes up with a plan to leave her village and go to a city. But entering that city as a human is illegal, and Liserli eventually comes to regret it. Her punishment is to serve the three princes of the faery court, and as the human resistance grows, she must start making difficult decisions about where her loyalties lie.

When I started reading this, I thought that the idea of war between faeries and humans was interesting, even if it was a concept I had heard before. The story felt like it could take the ideas it introduced in new and exciting directions. My biggest qualm was that there was a lot of exposition. To me, it also felt that the book included certain elements that seemed out of place — for example, Liserli frequently buys and reads romance books from the village bookstore, which definitely makes me think of a character in a more modern setting. If you like faeries, dark elements, and romance, however, check out this book to binge it over the weekend.

Get the Kindle ebook free from Amazon here.

1. Nights of Obedience by Rachel Mays

This is the first book in the Vines & Venom spicy fantasy romance series. Again, this is only book in the series so far. This is the author’s first time on our Free Friday list.

From Maria Korolov:

Emilie is 20 years old, a princess, and, when the book opens, is packing up all her worldly belongings. Her parents, the king and queen, are shipping her off to the kingdom next door so she can marry its king, Cyrus, who’s twice her age.

Aside from the whole arranged marriage thing, Emilie is not too heartbroken about leaving. She can’t wait to get to go somewhere new and get out from under her mother’s thumb. Plus, she’ll get to be a queen.

They travel by horse and carriage and we learn a little bit about what’s going on in the kingdom — and about the fact that Emilie has magical abilities. She can control the air.

When they get to the other kingdom, we meet King Cyrus, who’s a very nice guy with a creepy younger brother. Emilie gets her own quarters and a maid and everyone is nice and welcoming — except for that creepy younger brother. The castle has a giant library, and an art gallery, and it’s so much nicer than the one where Emilie grew up.

The king asks his brother, Landon, to show Emilie around the castle, and they nearly come to blows. The brother thinks that Emilie and her family are leeches, and wants to break up the betrothal and get rid of her as quickly as possible. But, as they tour the castle, he discovers that they actually have a lot in common, though he isn’t going to admit that to her. Oh, yeah, we’re in Landon’s point of view during the tour. Which, to me, sounds like Emilie is going to end up with him.

Her second night in the castle, Emilie and the king have a nice private meal together. Her mother has urged her to take this opportunity to seduce the king, even though she’s never seduced anyone before in her life, in order to lock in the marriage. But the king is a total gentleman and takes her back to her rooms afterwards.

I’m five chapters into the book, and not much has happened yet. We’ve learned a little bit about trouble with another country, but that trouble doesn’t seem to affect Emilie personally. The guy she’s going to end up with is a creep. And Emilie herself is a bit of a blank slate.

I prefer a bit more action in my books, and less romance, so I won’t be sticking with it, but I do have the say that the writing style is very readable and pulls you in. Oh, and there’s a trigger warning on this book — there might be sexual violence and other nasty stuff happening further along, so if that kind of thing bothers you, you might want to skip this book.

Get the Kindle ebook free from Amazon here.

See all the Free Friday posts here. Do you have other free books for us to check out? Comment below or email me at [email protected].

Have you read any of these books? Are you planning to? Let us know in the comments!

Or watch Terri and Maria talk about all five books in the video below:

Kristin Noland is a developmental and line editor who works with women authors of speculative and crime fiction. At Noland Editing, she expertly guides authors through the writing and editing process to strengthen their storytelling skills, so their readers are entertained and immersed in their stories from cover to cover. With over seventy manuscripts edited, including two bestsellers, and her caring and encouraging editing style, she helps her clients create captivating novels. Follow her on YouTube at @KristinNoland.

Lilivette Domínguez-Torres is MetaStellar's marketing assistant and an aspiring book editor based in Puerto Rico. You can find her talking about fantasy books or K-dramas on Twitter at @lilivettedt.

E. S. Foster is a writer and graduate student at the University of Cambridge. Her work has been featured in a variety of literary journals and small presses. You can find out more about her and what she does at her blog, E. S. Foster.

Terri Wells (she/her) has been writing stories ever since she could hold a pencil, and editing written work of all kinds for nearly half her life. When not editing, she can be found eyeballs-deep exploring other worlds, or elbows-deep in her latest fibery project.

MetaStellar editor and publisher Maria Korolov is a science fiction novelist, writing stories set in a future virtual world. And, during the day, she is an award-winning freelance technology journalist who covers artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and enterprise virtual reality. See her Amazon author page here and follow her on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn, and check out her latest videos on the Maria Korolov YouTube channel. Email her at [email protected]. She is also the editor and publisher of Hypergrid Business, one of the top global sites covering virtual reality.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *