Free Friday: Today’s top free Amazon sci-fi and fantasy books for Sep. 22, 2023

Reading Time: 8 minutes
Free Friday: Today’s top free Amazon sci-fi and fantasy books for September 22, 2023

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 Sacrifice by Emily Shore

This is the first of three books in the Her Monstrous Boys fantasy series. The other books are $4.99 each, and the second is in Kindle Unlimited. The third book is due out in January of 2024 and is available for pre-order.

From Maria Korolov:

Quinn is at a cemetery, holding onto a headstone so firmly that her nails crack, with her skirt up, and her sister’s fiance… doing… well, doing what cheating creeps always do. Quinn doesn’t seem to have a great relationship with her sister. And she hates the guy, too, and can barely even feel anything while they’re having sex. She can’t feel anything, because she’s half-ghost, and all numb inside.

Quinn has had sex with a lot of people, both male and female, since she turned 16, hoping that she’ll feel something, anything, with one of them. So far, she hasn’t.

The wedding is tomorrow and tonight is Hollow Night. When she goes home to bed, her Shadow shows up to pin her to the bed and tries to choke her. It does this every year. This time, the Shadow has tied her down, but stops choking her before Quinn passes out. Still, Quinn will have to wear a scarf tomorrow to cover up the marks on her neck.

She’s getting dressed when someone bangs on her bedroom window. It’s Quinn’s friend Sarai, in agony, bleeding — it looks like she’s just had a miscarriage. And she’s being followed by a ragged line of white figures. Quinn decides to take Sarai to the Wailing Woods to find safety. As they run, the ghosts follow them, or maybe follow the trail of Sarai’s blood on the snow.

They’re almost at the woods when Quinn tells Sarai to go on alone while she holds off the ghosts to give Sarai enough time to make it the rest of the way. She throws a rock at the nearest ghost and then runs again, until she gets to the woods. Once there, she uses magic to save Sarai’s life.

Meanwhile, it’s the Borderland, and this is the time of the year when the Veil severs and the monsters come.

There’s a lot that happens in the first couple of chapters of this book!

It’s compelling, and chaotic, and emotional. I’m definitely getting caught up in this story, though it’s a little grim for me, and I probably won’t stick with it.

Get the Kindle ebook free from Amazon here.

4. Bound by Ravens by Jesikah Sundin

This is the one of eleven books in the Starry Kingdoms of the Fae fantasy series. Each of the books is its own story and can be read independently, and each is written by a different author. The other books are usually $2.99 each but several are free today — and all are in Kindle Unlimited.

From Alex Mueller:

This book is a fascinating combination of fantasy and crime.

Set in a world that balances magic with technology and industry, we see humans mixed and mingling with elves, fairies, and other well-known fantasy races. We even get talking ravens thrown into the mix so we know this book doesn’t just have its title because it sounds cool.

The fascinating world isn’t the only thing this story has going for it. We got a compelling cast of characters to go with it. There’s a spunky, go-getter heroine who likes to yell ‘rape’ and rob people, and a suave hero who likes to get people to make out with him before he robs them.

If you’re noticing a theme with me bringing up robbing, it’s because the world of this story is run by crime lords. Very well organized, lawful, evil crime lords. Honestly, these guys have rules for everything. Who people can steal from, who you can sleep with. At least there’s a method to their madness.

Our protagonists also happen to belong to rival crime syndicates. And when they get sent to acquire the same item of interest, it’s clear we’re shaping up to a Romeo and Juliet scenario. Yay!

This book is a perfect read for anyone who enjoys both fantasy and crime, and I look forward to continuing with it.

Get the Kindle ebook free from Amazon here.

3. Bound By Dragons by Alisha Klapheke

This is the one of eleven books in the Starry Kingdoms of the Fae fantasy series. Each of the books is its own story and can be read independently, and each is written by a different author. The other books are usually $2.99 each but several are free today — and all are in Kindle Unlimited.

From Terrence Smith:

This story follows Tahlia, a half-fae squire who longs to ride dragons and become a Mist Knight, a team of dragon-riding soldiers. Tahlia hatches a plan with her best friend, Fara, to infiltrate the tournament being held to select the next Mist Rider, by using a sample of her blood to pass as full Fae in order to enter the competition.

Marius is a full-blooded Fae who plans on marrying the Mist Knights commander’s daughter, becoming the Mist Knights’ leader, and rearing the next generation of Fae. His plan will be interrupted when he meets Tahlia, and most likely falls in love with her

The characters immediately come off as likable. Tahlia and Fara have great chemistry together, with Fara being the more cautious one, and Tahlia always knowing how to drag her on her risk-filled adventures. Tahlia’s reasons for entering the tournament, wanting to leave an impoverished life behind, has one rooting for her immediately.

Marius could easily be a hot-headed elitist, but he is surprisingly humble, flustering when his new squire speaks of his deeds in battle. While his goal of marrying the Mist Knights commander’s daughter may seem self-serving, the fact that he does it in memory of his beloved sister makes him come off as much more human and empathetic. He also shows great respect for his dragon, seeing the creature as not a mere tool, but as a companion to be treated with respect.

While romances are not necessarily my preferred genre, the characters are appealing. I likely will not continue reading this, but other fans of fantasy and romance might find some thrilling adventures here.

Get the Kindle ebook free from Amazon here.

2. Wicked Court by Alexi Blake

This is the first of four books in The Darker Woods fantasy romance series. The other books are $3.99 to $4.99 each and are not in Kindle Unlimited. The fourth book will be released in August of 2024, and is available for pre-order.

From Maria Korolov:

This book is set in a kingdom ruled by a capricious fae queen. The protagonist is her granddaughter, who has secret powers, and who lives at the queen’s command. There’s also a mysterious handsome man who she despises — but dreams about.

This seems like a book that I would not be interested in. I don’t like books full of court drama and old crushes.

But I could not put this book down. Literally. I was half-way through it before I realized that the day was almost over and I still had this Free Friday article to put together.

The protagonist, Vlari, is competent, clever, and action-oriented. She makes a life for herself despite all the constraints she’s under, and she doesn’t go around feeling sorry for herself. I like her a lot.

The writing is also very fast-paced and engaging, and I got caught up in her relationships, in what was happening at the court, and even in her best friend’s love life. Even though she didn’t kill anyone during this whole first half. She had two chances, too — and she decided to spare their lives.

As you might know, if you’re a regular reader of this column, I prefer my books to have a lot of murder and mayhem.

Still, I’m going to be sticking with this book this weekend and recommend it highly to both romantic fantasy and epic fantasy fans.

Get the Kindle ebook free from Amazon here.

1. Curse of Shadows and Thorns by LJ Andrews

This is the first of nine books in The Broken Kingdoms fantasy romance series. The other books are $5.99 each but they are all in Kindle Unlimited.

From Lilivette Domínguez-Torres:

This book is a young-adult fantasy romance that will have you on the edge of your seat from the very beginning. Not because of how intense and mysterious it is, but because of how fun it is.

At the beginning of the story we’re introduced to Elise, a 19 year-old princess who enjoys escaping from her royal duties every now and then and having fun in the gambling halls in the lower parts of the city. As the second niece of the King, nothing is expected of her besides compliance and silence, which is why she manages to disappear unnoticed… until now.

After a brawl breaks out at the gambling hall she was at and running into the famous — and very attractive — Legion Gray, she makes it back to the castle only to realize that her uncle, the king, has requested her presence at the main hall. At first she thinks there’s nothing out of place about that, until her escort tells her that he’ll be announcing the offering of her hand to his guests.

Which means that her hand is basically up for sale for the highest noble bidder, and to make things worse, Legion Gray himself, a professional at international affairs, is the one who’s going to be in charge of her.

That’s a pretty fun premise for the first three chapters of the book. I do admit that the writing is fun–even if the book needs a few edits here and there–the characters are interesting, and the worldbuilding manages to pique your interest with the fae and the royalty drama, but this wasn’t my cup of tea.

But if you’re a fan of fantasy books and what appears to be an enemies-to-lovers romance then you might want to check this one out.

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 Maria and Alex discuss all five books in the video below:

YouTube player


Edited by Melody Friedenthal

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.

Alex Mueller is a recent graduate with an honors bachelor in creative writing and publishing, He has been writing since he was six years old. His favorite genres include fantasy, science fiction, and, more recently, romance. When not writing, he enjoys hiking, spending time with his dog -- or anyone else’s -- and baking brownies.

Terrence J. Smith is MetaStellar's assistant fiction editor. He has contributed his writing to nonprofits and both print and digital publications. He enjoys all things technology, but remembers to meditate and appreciate the outside world.

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