Free Friday: Today’s top free Amazon sci-fi and fantasy books for March 22, 2024

Reading Time: 10 minutes
Free Friday: Today’s top free Amazon sci-fi and fantasy books for March 22, 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. Seduced by Starlight by Sara Ivy Hill

This is the fourth of six books in the Warrior Kings of Alioth science fiction romance series. The other books are $3.99 to $4.99 each and are in Kindle Unlimited. This is the author’s second time on our Free Friday list. We reviewed Stained by Starlight, book two in the series, in Dec. of 2023.

From Kristin Noland:

Fenix, an alien royal, is hiding a human who escaped from a transport ship. Tamira was transported from Earth to Fenix’s planet against her will. Now he is hiding her in his palace while everyone is searching for her, and he’s in charge of the search, so she’s safe for now. He believes she is his fated queen, but keeps it a secret from her and others.

In his lofty position, Fenix is also a diplomat who must try to advocate for a species to become citizens of his planet, because his father destroyed the species’ planet.

The opening scene is of Tamira and Fenix in the palace. Their chemistry and growing love for each other is evident. He wants to protect her and keep her for his own, while she wants to be with him and open a beauty salon so she can become a citizen.

Written in dual first-person, the second chapter follows Fenix and his duty to his planet. He meets with the species of the planet his father destroyed and reluctantly agrees to help them become citizens.

Honestly, I’m quite confused by this story. It’s not in my preferred genres, with the amount of backstory, planets, rulers, and species’ names peppered in dialogue confused me more than pulled me into the world the author created. However, it is book four, and the author is trying to catch us up quickly. It’s not my cup of tea. I will not be finishing this book.

It reminds me a bit of Star Wars, so Star Wars fans who like steamy romances, should like this book. Judging by the content so far, it will be a steamy romance.

Get the Kindle ebook free from Amazon here.

4. A Highlander for Hannah by Mary Warren

This is the first of four books in Mystic Falls fantasy romance series. The other books are $4.99 each and are not in Kindle Unlimited. This is the author’s first time on our Free Friday list.

From Terri Wells:

The story opens with Hannah Glenn getting unfairly dressed down by her boss. It becomes clear that Hannah, an excellent lawyer who has been busting her butt for years for the law firm, has been regularly overlooked for promotions and treated unfairly. Hannah finds her spine and quits. She then goes home and stands up to the lazy manbaby of a boyfriend she’s been dating for a year and breaks up with him. This isn’t like her; she’s a planner and list-maker. But it was time for her to get out of her self-imposed trap.

Naturally, she goes from her Brooklyn walk-up apartment to her family’s farmhouse upstate to get her head together and spend some time with Poppy, her best friend since third grade. We learn that Hannah became a lawyer to please her father, and that though she’s very good at it, it never made her heart sing. She really wants to stay home, write romance novels, and be romanced by a hunk of a man. Who can’t relate to that?

Planner Hannah and free spirit Poppy go to a Renaissance festival where Poppy talks Hannah into getting a love spell from a mysterious fortune teller to bring Hannah the man of her dreams. Hannah pooh-poohs it, but agrees to perform the ritual later that evening as a mind-clearing exercise. The next day, when she goes out to the barn to tend to the horses, she discovers that the spell has delivered the man of her dreams: Graham MacNeil, a large red-headed Highlander from the year 1745.

This was clearly not what science-believing Hannah had bargained for. Nor had Graham, who hails from a culture where they burn witches and women don’t dress in leggings and hoodies. Worse, when these two unwilling companions go to visit the fortune-teller at the festival, she tells them that Graham can’t be sent back to his proper time right away: he was brought forward during an equinox, so he must be sent back during an equinox – which means that Hannah and Graham must put up with each other for six months. Hannah doesn’t want to babysit another manbaby, and Graham is quite convinced he can take care of himself and doesn’t need the help of a woman.

If you can’t see where this is going, you haven’t read very many romances. Hannah is strong, competent, and independent, but still learning how to assert herself. She’s also fat – that’s the author’s word, not mine – and has had to contend with lots of people judging her because of it. Despite the cultural differences, Graham shows he has a kind heart, even if he has a lot to learn. I love that this story reverses the usual trope of time travel romances that I’ve seen, bringing the hero forward in time rather than sending the heroine backward in time.

My Inner Copy Editor had some minor quibbles with the story, but nothing that’s getting in the way of my enjoyment. Plus, Warren uses good turns of phrase, such as when she talks about Hannah knowing her worth but “Knowing your worth and demanding it from others were not the same thing,” or when Hannah is tired of “dating men who required more parenting than partnering.” I’m here for the journey, and if you like romances with a twist and a touch of magic, you’ll enjoy this book.

Get the Kindle ebook free from Amazon here.

3. Forged of Fire by Stacy Von Haegert

This is the first of two books in the fantasy romance The Forged Series. Book two is $6.99 and are in Kindle Unlimited. This is the author’s second time on our Free Friday list. We previously reviewed this book in Nov. of 2023.

From Maria Korolov:

This book starts in 776 BCE, with Zander watching a beautiful woman walking up to a pool of lava, her two sons looking on. There are priests and warriors there too, and a large crowd of people watching — as well as Zander’s father, the king. She takes off her robe and is then thrown naked into the lava. A bunch of magical stuff happens. I can’t tell if the woman dies or not.

That was the prologue.

In chapter one, we’re in Italy, in the present day. So we’re on Earth, not in a fantasy world. Ash has been around for over a thousand years. He used to be human. But now he’s a fire dancer, with the ability to manipulate fire. He’s been immortal since he turned 25 and is now tremendously wealthy. Every decade or so, he creates a new business, builds it up, then sells it off. His current company is now eleven years old, so he’s looking for someone to sell it off to before people start asking uncomfortable questions about how he looks so young.

Then he learns that there’s a woman, one who can manipulate both water and fire, who has the same name as Ash’s mother — and who is guarded by an angel.

Then we switch to Stefen’s point of view. He’s trying to keep a clumsy red-headed woman alive. This is the same woman that Ash has just found out about, so Stefen must be the angel.

Then a vampire shows up and follows the woman down the street. Stefen steps in and kills the vampire in a particularly gruesome way. I like this book. I might stick with it. There’s a lot of action here, some hints at skullduggery and a war shaping up. Good stuff!

Get the Kindle ebook free from Amazon here.

2. Oath Breaker by Aaron Hodges

This is the first of three books in this this New York Times Bestselling author’s The Legend of the Gods epic fantasy series. The other books are $5.99 each and are not in Kindle Unlimited. This is the author’s fourth time on our Free Friday list. We reviewed his books Defiant in Aug. 2022, War Bringer in July 2023, and Storm Wielder in Oct. 2023.

From E.S. Foster:

In the world of Oath Breaker, the Three Nations are all under the control of the Tsar, who rose to power after the Gods disappeared. Magic has since been outlawed, and whoever wields it must either turn themselves in or die. Throughout the Tsar’s rule, multiple battles have been fought to take down the last of the magic users, called Magickers.

The story begins with a prologue focusing on the warrior Devon, considered one of the best warriors in the Tsar’s armies alongside his warhammer Kranker. As the Three Nations, Lonia, Trola, and Plosea, all fight for control amid the Gods’ disappearance, Devon has risen in the Tsar’s ranks as a warrior. As the prologue progresses, we glimpse how he deals with harming others when he first appears. The Tsar’s army he belongs to prepares a festival to celebrate their defeat. They watch as their army of dragons appears out of the mountains, attacking and destroying the city they had just overrun. The magic users they were hunting belonged to this city, but with their death or capture, the Tsar was free to slaughter the innocent lives in the city.

The story then skips to five years later, focusing on a girl named Alana. Her brother is an unwilling magic user, and because the Tsar’s hunters, or Stalkers, can detect magic, she has to protect her brother by escaping to Northland, a place beyond the Three Nations where magic users are safe.

As I mentioned before, I’m a huge fan of epic fantasy, and I found the mysteriousness of how people gained magic against their will intriguing. There was a lot of information, but it wasn’t overwhelming to read, even though I felt that some sections were a little heavy on exposition. But if you want to delve into a fantasy trilogy over the weekend, I’d recommend this series.

From Lilivette Domínguez-Torres:

This is an intense fantasy world full of action, forbidden magic, and a powerful and fearful tsar. As the story begins we’re introduced to our two main characters: Devon and Alana. Devon used to be a soldier for the tsar and even helped him win the war against Trola, one of the Three Nations who rebelled against the Tsar. Five years later, we’re introduced to Alana who lives in the post-war land of the Three Nations ruled under the Tsar’s empire.

Ever since the war ended, the Tsar banned “magickers” from using their magic and now they must devote themselves to the crown or get hunted down by his tracking soldiers known as the Stalkers. Because of this, Alana has been on the run with her brother — who happens to have wild magic — for months now, but with the Stalkers so close on their trail, she doesn’t know how far they’ll manage to go before they finally catch up to them and bring them to the Tsar.

Personally, I ended up loving everything I read in those first few chapters. I loved how intriguing and tense the setting feels now that the war is over and magic is forbidden, I loved how our main characters are introduced and we can see the world through their very different points of view, but most of all I just loved the author’s writing. This book has quite an intriguing beginning that managed to captivate my attention and interest not only in the story but also on the characters and the problems they must face in such a dangerous land. I will definitely be going back to this book and I can’t wait to see what will happen next.

Get the Kindle ebook free from Amazon here.

1. Justina: Daughter of Spartacus by Ryan Lew

This is the first of seven books in the Justina Saga historical romance series. The other books are $5.99 each and are in Kindle Unlimited. This is the author’s first time on our Free Friday list.

From Tim McHugh:

This book is a story about a secret child of Spartacus who grows up in the elite class of the Roman Empire as Ceasar is building his dynasty. As a huge fan of the Spartacus show, this is right up my alley. I love everything about Rome: the politics, the warfare, and the secret plots.

The first couple of chapters in this book take us through a group of slaves who attempt to escape a noble family’s estate. They sneak through the palace and as they make their move we learn a lot about how brutally slaves are treated. They are sexually assaulted and treated as sub-humans, so now that an opportunity presents itself, they take it. They murder their masters in bed and escape the estate. The group makes it far, nearly out of Rome, but they run into a Roman legion. The soldiers murder one of them and drag the others away to present to Caesar.

The third chapter cuts to an elite family’s household where brother and sister are sparring. The sister displays superior swordplay and downs her brother easily. We learn that the sister is Justina, our supposed offspring of Spartacus. She is fierce but kind, especially to her slaves, standing up for them against her brother.

I usually find a lot to complain about in my reviews but not this time. This book is great. Its pacing is fast but we don’t lose any details, the subject matter is gritty, and the writing is eloquent. The setup suggests the plot is heading for complex political intrigue and that’s something I can’t get enough of.

I’m going to continue reading this one and I highly suggest it to others.

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!

And watch Emma, Terri and Maria discuss all the books in the video below:

YouTube player

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.

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.

Tim McHugh writes sci-fi and fantasy. Though he currently works full time in the software industry, he has a love for stories with grey characters and moral ambiguity that tell us something about the world. His book A Voice for the Scavengers is now available on Amazon.

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.

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.

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.

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