Under Darkened Skies: Romantic Epic Fantasy with a Cozy Twist

As an avid fantasy reader for my entire life, I always admired the characters who were brave and strong in the face of perilous dangers, but I always felt like I couldn’t quite connect with that. As a fantasy author, I wanted to explore a different type of protagonist, who is still brave and strong but struggles with her anxiety and her lack of skills when the series begins.

That’s why I wrote Under Darkened Skies and the entire Darkened Skies series.

In fact, not only did I grow up anxious and yearning for a protagonist who was more like me, but I’m also an avid gamer and have played healer class characters for more than a decade. When I started dreaming up Under Darkened Skies, I wondered what would happen if I made my anxious protagonist a healer.

Thus, Astrea Sovna was born! Astrea is a 24-year-old Lightbringer, a magical healer and empath. She’s been hiding her magic from the world for many years to prevent her death as a battlefield medic, but secrets can’t stay hidden forever. In Under Darkened Skies, it becomes clear that someone knows her secret and is on the hunt for her. Astrea must trust friends old and new to help her find and stop whoever it is that’s stalking her.

What is romantic epic fantasy with a cozy twist?

I call the Darkened Skies series “romantic epic fantasy” with a cozy twist for a few reasons:

  1. Epic: Although the first book focuses on seemingly personal stakes, the full extent of the threat(s) begins unfurling and set the stage for future books. The series takes Astrea, her friends, and readers on journeys across the continent as they search for answers, safety, and allies in the coming fight.
  2. Romantic: Astrea and her former best friend, Prince Varojin Auris, are forced to work together in the first book. This turns into a slow burn where both try to hold back, but their romance is important and progresses into a tender and loving romance.
  3. Cozy twist: There are slower “slice of life” moments woven throughout the series, especially in the first book. Even as the series progresses, Astrea finds small moments with her loved ones to recover and rebuild their resilience. Basically, you’ll find cozy moments amid the chaos.

This may not be the most traditional blend of elements, but it’s actually something readers really love. Some readers have even reached out to let me know this is a comfort series for them, which is an amazing compliment!

Besides Astrea’s anxiety, she struggles with sensory processing issues that are partially related to her magic. She loves wearing dresses, works as a librarian by day, and she’d much rather be enjoying a book and pastry in her favorite café. But when she must rise to the occasion, she does, and she proves her resilience and determination over and over again.

It may not be the series for you if you want super fast-paced adventures, but if you’re in it for the build-up, untangling mysteries, watching the main characters grow into their power, and more, then you might like the Darkened Skies series.

One of the most popular Kindle highlights in Under Darkened Skies

A Different Fantasy World

I grew up reading pseudo-medieval fantasy, and I still love those world! But just like I wanted to read about a different type of main character, I built a different fantasy world.

The Darkened Skies series is set in a post-industrial fantasy world. The technology is akin to the 1920s in the real world, with everything from trolley and cars to airships, artillery, steam boats, and telephones. It’s may also feel a little bit gaslamp or steampunk. If you’ve ever seen the show Legend of Korra, that’s similar technology.

The characters can use this technology to their advantage, but so can their enemies. This makes for fight scenes later in the series to blend magic and heavy weaponry.

They also visit not-so-traditional fantasy locations like night clubs and casinos. Astrea’s love interest, Prince Varojin Auris, even drives a motorcycle in Under Darkened Skies.

Could this be your next comfort read?

If you’re looking for a romantic, epic, and cozy fantasy series to get lost in, then the Darkened Skies series might be perfect for you! Here are just some of the tropes you can expect:

  • Forced proximity
  • Slow burn
  • Dislike (her) to friends to lovers
  • Unsolved murders
  • Cinnamon roll MMC
  • Soft but resilient FMC
  • Chosen family
  • Inclusive cast & worldbuilding
  • Post-industrial setting
  • Elemental magic, including healers, empaths, and seers
  • Mr. Darcy hand flex moment
  • “It’s always been you” romance in the series

You can find the entire Darkened Skies series available in KU:

Leave a Comment

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