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Exploring the Magic of F.T. Lukens' Latest Hit: 'Otherworldly' Review–A Must-Read YA Fantasy Romance

Updated: May 6

Welcome to our latest book review on F.T. Lukens’ enchanting new release, 'Otherworldly.' This YA fantasy romance weaves a tale of magic, love, and the struggle between belief and skepticism. Join us as we explore the frostbitten magic and warm, budding romance that Lukens masterfully crafts in this compelling narrative. Don’t miss out on why 'Otherworldly' is set to be the next big hit in young adult fantasy.

Book "Otherworldly" by F. T. Lukens

Book "Otherworldly" by F. T. Lukens

Title: Otherworldly

Author: F. T. Lukens

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy Romance

Release Date: April 2, 2024

Pages: 349

Formats: eBook, Audio, Paperback, Hardcover

Buy links: Amazon, Goodreads

A skeptic and a supernatural being make a crossroads deal to achieve their own ends only to get more than they bargained for in this lively young adult romantic adventure from the New York Times bestselling author of Spell Bound and So This Is Ever After.

Seventeen-year-old Ellery is a non-believer in a region where people swear the supernatural is real. Sure, they’ve been stuck in a five-year winter, but there’s got to be a scientific explanation. If goddesses were real, they wouldn’t abandon their charges like this, leaving farmers like Ellery’s family to scrape by.

Knox is a familiar from the Other World, a magical assistant sent to help humans who have made crossroads bargains. But it’s been years since he heard from his queen, and Knox is getting nervous about what he might find once he returns home. When the crossroads demons come to collect Knox, he panics and runs. A chance encounter down an alley finds Ellery coming to Knox’s rescue, successfully fending off his would-be abductors.

Ellery can’t quite believe what they’ve seen. And they definitely don’t believe the nonsense this unnervingly attractive guy spews about his paranormal origins. But Knox needs to make a deal with a human who can tether him to this realm, and Ellery needs to figure out how to stop this winter to help their family. Once their bargain is struck, there’s no backing out, and the growing connection between the two might just change everything.


My Review


When F.T. Lukens released "Spellbound" last year, she enchanted us with a tapestry woven with magic and the complexities of young love. Now, with "Otherworldly," published by Margaret K. McElderry Books, Lukens once again invites us into a world where the supernatural brushes against the mundane, and where the heart's desires pull as strongly as the most potent of spells.


Set against a backdrop of an unending winter, "Otherworldly" introduces us to Ellery, a seventeen-year-old skeptic living in a world where belief in the supernatural is as common as the snowflakes that perpetually fall from the gray sky. Ellery's disbelief in the supernatural is challenged when they meet Knox, a dashing familiar from another realm, on the run from demonic forces.


Ellery is the epitome of a Lukens protagonist—relatable, gritty, and imminently lovable. Their pragmatic approach to their bleak circumstances makes them a beacon of rationality in a world governed by mysticism. Meanwhile, Knox serves as a perfect foil; his origins and connection to the magical realms add layers of intrigue and fantasy to the narrative. Their interaction is charged with an electric chemistry that Lukens crafts with expertise, ensuring that readers are rooting for them from their very first encounter.


"Otherworldly" is a dance of dilemmas and decisions. The stakes are personal yet grand, encapsulated in the need to end a supernatural winter that has left Ellery’s family—and indeed, their entire community—in desperate straits. The pacing is impeccable; Lukens knows just when to delve deeper into the lore of her world and when to pull back and focus on the human (and not-so-human) drama. The plot is a carefully balanced mix of action, emotional development, and world-building that fans of Lukens' previous works will find both familiar and invigorating.

Writing Style:

Lukens' prose is, as always, a major draw. There is a whimsical quality to her descriptions, a lightness of touch that makes even the darkest moments feel like they are dusted with a layer of fresh snow. Her ability to convey deep emotional truths through simple, poignant scenes is on full display here, particularly in the tender moments between Ellery and Knox.


At its heart, "Otherworldly" explores themes of belief and skepticism, love and duty, and the connections that tether us to our world—and to each other. These themes are not new, but in Lukens’ hands, they are given new life and relevance. The romance between Ellery and Knox, while central, never overshadows the broader themes of community and survival.

Final Thoughts:

"Otherworldly" is a triumph of young adult fantasy that confirms F.T. Lukens as a master of the genre. It is a book that promises—and delivers—a journey full of danger and wonder, heartache and healing. It's a narrative that grips you from the first page and refuses to let go, even long after the last word has been read. For those who love their fantasy with a hearty dose of heart and soul, "Otherworldly" is not just a must-read; it's a must-experience.

Fans of Lukens' "Spellbound" will find much to adore here, and newcomers will be captivated by the rich world and compelling characters she has created. So, bundle up against the cold, pour yourself a hot drink, and prepare to be swept away by "Otherworldly." It's a perfect blend of the magic and the real, and an affirming testament to the power of belief—in the supernatural, in others, and in oneself.

Thank you to Simon & Schuster and Margaret K. McElderry Books for the book and my honest review.


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F.T. Lukens

F.T. LUKENS (they/them) is a New York Times bestselling author of YA speculative fiction including the novels Spell Bound, So This Is Ever After, and In Deeper Waters (2022 ALA

Rainbow Booklist; Junior Library Guild Selection) as well as other science fiction and fantasy works. Their contemporary fantasy novel The Rules and Regulations for Mediating Myths & Magic was a 2017 Cybils Award finalist in YA Speculative Fiction and the Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Gold Winner for YA fiction and won the Bisexual Book Award for Speculative Fiction. F.T. resides in North Carolina with their spouse, three kids, three dogs, and three cats.


One (1) hardcover copy of "Otherworldly" by F. T. Lukens, USA Only, Ends May 31, 2024 at Midnight EST.


Thanks for the review. This book looks interesting!



Great review. I haven't read anything by F.T. Lukens before but I've been seeing their book around. This sounds like one I'd like.

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