If you have decided to read the best duologies this year, I’ve got you covered. In this article, we will look at the most popular duology books you should add to your TBR without wasting a moment!
Before we go through the list of the duology book recommendations, let’s learn what “duology” means!
A duology means that two books share an overall storyline. One book is published with one plot, which is continued in the second book. It’s not exactly a sequel because this implies a new story is being told. In a duology, the plot is continued over both books. They might each have their storylines, but they have an overarching storyline in common.
To put it simply, it’s a two-part book series!
The great thing about duologies is that the plot or character development doesn’t have to be rushed over the course of one book.
Most books that make up a duology are fantasy or science fiction. It makes sense since these genres’ plots can be awfully specific and complex. Sometimes, the world-building in this genre is fantastic, so you’d need more than one book to get everything across to the reader.
In this article, we’ve narrowed down the best duology book series to read this year. There’s a good chance that by the time you get to the end, one or more of these series will intrigue you enough for you to consider it your next read!
The Best Duology Books of 2024
1. Strange the Dreamer & Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor
Strange the Dreamer series by Laini Taylor is one of the best duologies you can read. It comprises two books – Strange the Dreamer and Muse of Nightmares!
In Strange the Dreamer, we are introduced to Lazlo Strange, who works as a junior librarian. All his life, he was obsessed with Weep, a lost city thought to be nothing more than a myth. Eventually, he gets an opportunity to join a Godslayer and his group journeying to Weep and find out exactly what happened to this city for himself.
Lazlo’s story is continued in Muse of Nightmares. He found his way to Weep and found love in a woman named Saria. Things should be great, but they aren’t because they are both held hostage. Somehow, they must find a way to escape and save themselves and the world.
2. Six of Crows & Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
In Six of Crows, Kaz Brekker lives in Ketterdam. He’s a criminal mastermind and has just been offered the chance of a lifetime in the form of a heist. If he can pull off this heist, he will be rich beyond his wildest dreams. So, he and the six other outlaws he hires must work together to complete this heist, but is there more to this than meets the eye?
Kaz Brekker’s story picks up in the Crooked Kingdom. Kaz and his crew completed the heist, but nothing is going according to plan as they’ve been double-crossed, and now they are trying their best not to die. The crew is unsure what to do or where to go next, but Kaz isn’t one to give up without a fight!
3. Parable of the Sower & Parable of the Talents by Octavia E. Butler
The first book in the Earthseed series is Parable of the Sower, which takes place in 2025. Lauren Olamina lives in one of the only safe neighborhoods found in L.A. Outside of the enclave, chaos reigns supreme.
When a fire destroys her home, she and the rest of her neighbors have no choice but to venture into the unknown.
In the second book, Parable of the Talents, we are once again thrust into the life of Lauren. It’s been five years since Lauren was forced to leave her home.
She’s tried to make the best of it in California, but they haven’t had any luck. Instead, Lauren believes they will have success if they colonize the stars. However, just before they can achieve this goal, those around her, including her daughter, are enslaved. Now, Lauren has no choice but to stay and fight.
4. The Shining & Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
In the first book in the series, titled The Shining, Jack Torrance and his family have moved to the Overlook Hotel to act as caretakers. When he’s not taking care of the hotel, he can write. The problem is there is something seriously wrong with the hotel and the surrounding area.
Jack’s son Danny is the only one to even notice it, but will anyone believe the word of a five-year-old?
Doctor Sleep is the second book in the series; this time, Danny Torrance is the focus. He is now middle-aged and has been struggling ever since what happened at the Overlook Hotel. Eventually, he finds a home and puts his gifts to good use by working in a nursing home.
After meeting 12-year-old Abra Stone, a girl with “gifts” similar to his, he finds his life thrown into chaos again. Only this time, he can’t run away because he has to save Abra before it’s too late.
This is another of the best duology books one should read if you like genres like sci-fi, young adult, dystopia, fantasy, and romance, all mixed in equal proportions. Marie Lu’s Warcross series is superbly written!
Warcross is an online game that has been going strong for ten years. One of the players is Emika Chen, but she’s not your average player. She works as a bounty hunter for the game and tracks down players who are cheating.
After drawing attention to herself when an attempt to hack goes haywire, Emika is offered a job by Hideo Tanaka, the game’s creator. Soon, she agrees to spy on the yearly International Warcross Championship for him.
In Wildcard, we see the aftermath of Emika Chen’s acceptance of the job from Hideo. She discovers something devastating about Hideo and his plans for Warcross’s future through her work. She becomes determined to stop him, which will be anything but easy.
6. These Violent Delights & Our Violent Ends by Chloe Gong
These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong is set in Shanghai in 1926. There is a gang war between the Scarlet gang and the White Flowers, as well as a former romance between Juliette Cai, heir of the Scarlet gang, and Roma Montagov, heir of the White Flowers.
Their romance ended badly, and the last thing they wanted was anything to do with each other, but when strange things happened around Shanghai, they found themselves with no choice but to work together once more.
In Our Violent Ends, it’s been two years since the events in the first book. Juliette has made the ultimate sacrifice to save the man she loves. She took the blame for the death of his best friend even though she had nothing to do with it.
Roma fully believes she killed his best friend and wants revenge. Once again, however, chaos strikes Shanghai, and the two are forced to work together again. Will it be a repeat of what happened the last time?
7. The Wrath and the Dawn & The Rose and the Dagger by Renée Ahdieh
The Wrath and the Dawn is set in a place that is a nightmare, and it focuses on a girl named Shahrzad. Their kingdom is ruled by Khalid, a murderous boy-king who marries a bride each night, only for her to turn up dead the following day.
Shahrzad decides she has had enough when her best friend is killed. She takes the initiative and decides to volunteer to be his bride. Using her wits, she distracts him with stories until she has a plan to kill him. Of course, Shahrzad sees a different side of him, learns that things are not as simple as she thought, and feelings start developing within her.
In The Rose and the Dagger, Shahrzad has married Khalid because he is not who she once thought he was. However, she is eventually forced to flee; she returns to her family and, along with them, finds refuge in the desert with a group that aims to take down Khalid. This leaves Shahrzad in an exceedingly difficult place as she tries to figure out just where her heart truly lies.
8. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe & Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
The first book in this duology is Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. It tells the tale of Ari and Dante, two young men who are different in every way you can imagine. Dante is confident and wears his heart on his sleeve, while Ari is quiet and very unsure of himself. Sometimes, however, the differences are what help bring you closer.
In the sequel, Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World, the two boys are now in a relationship. Not only that, but Ari has completely changed his life around. He isn’t afraid to speak up anymore and is even making new friends.
Things are going great… until Ari loses someone he loves. Then, it’s all downhill from there as they have to fight for the life they want!
9. King of Scars & Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo
Although this is a duology book, it’s best to read it only if you’ve read the Shadow and Bone trilogy because it is set after the events in the trilogy!
In King of Scars, we step into the shoes of Nikolai Lantsov, who has survived a lot. After dealing with a civil war in his own country, other countries are threatening to invade Ravka and take advantage of its weakened status. To add to it, Nikolai carries a dark magic inside him. This forces Nikolai to journey with two others to find a way to stop the dark magic inside him. It’s the only way to save Ravka.
Rule of Wolves is the second part in this duology, taking place just mere weeks after the end of King of Scars. It once again follows Nikolai, along with Zoya Nazyalensky and Nina Zenik, as they all struggle to find some semblance of normalcy and prevent everything from falling apart.
Vicious is the first book in the Villains series by V.E. Schwab. It is about Victor and Eli, two young men who were college roommates. Together, they discovered that people can develop superpowers under the right circumstances.
Things go sour between them, and Victor ends up in prison. After ten years, he breaks out and is determined to take revenge on Eli. However, Eli is also on a mission; he wants to kill every person with superpowers he can find. Both are suffering and have their missions, and it won’t be pretty when they meet.
The story is followed up in Vengeful, which sees Victor trying to stay out of the public eye. He doesn’t want to draw attention to himself, even if he wants to make Eli suffer. Which urge will win out in the end when another superpowered individual takes centerstage?
11. If I Stay & Where She Went by Gayle Forman
If I Stay by Gayle Forman focuses on seventeen-year-old Mia, who has been in an accident. She can’t remember anything from before the accident except the fact that she was hurt badly during the accident. This novel sees Mia trying to work out what happened, piece together her life little by little, and the tough decisions she will eventually make.
In Where She Went, Mia is living her life, and Adam, her ex, has finally achieved his dream of being a rockstar. When he ends up in New York, he reunites with Mia. Will sparks fly between the recently reunited couple?
12. Six Crimson Cranes & The Dragon’s Promise by Elizabeth Lim
Six Crimson Cranes tells the story of Shiori, your average princess who is about to get married. Everything is going well until the morning of her ceremony; she loses control of the dangerous magic she carries inside her, a magic that she keeps a secret.
This causes her stepmother, who also wields dark magic, to banish Shiori and turn her brothers into cranes! Worse yet, she can tell no one because if she does, her precious brothers will die. She has no one to turn to except the one she was supposed to marry.
In The Dragon’s Promise, Shiori is back, and once again, trouble continues to follow her. Not only does she have to keep hiding her magic, but she also has to return a dragon’s pearl to the owner who lives in the Kingdom of Dragons. It will be a journey rife with danger at every corner, especially when the pearl contains a magnificent power that can’t be trusted!
13. Ready Player One & Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline
Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One takes place in the year 2044. The world is chaos, and this is why Wade Watts and so many others have joined OASIS, an online virtual reality. Wade loves this OASIS because of the feeling of escapism that comes with it but also because of the puzzles in the game he wants to solve.
These puzzles were left behind by the creator of the OASIS, based on his obsession with the pop culture of past decades. If Wade can solve these puzzles, he could have money, power, and more. However, the closer he comes to solving these puzzles, the more dangerous it becomes inside the OASIS.
In Ready Player Two, Wade Watts solved the puzzles and won the contest that was being held by the creator of OASIS. He’s got power, money, and everything he has always wanted. Then he discovers a new puzzle that could bring an even bigger prize, a technological advancement that could change the world, and once again, his life is put in jeopardy.
14. Crier’s War & Iron Heart by Nina Varela
Crier’s War takes us to the world in which the Automae rules. They were made to serve humans, but then they turned the tables of their creators, making humans the ones who served them.
Ayla has always hated the Automae and wants revenge on the House of Sovereign, who rules the kingdom. The best way to do this is to kill Sovereign’s daughter, Lady Crier. At least, this was the plan until she met her.
In Iron Heart, Ayla falls in love with Lady Crier but is forced to flee. She works alongside Queen Junn, who leads a human rebellion. They have a plan to stop the Automae, but the plan itself could very well destroy the woman she loves the most.
On the other hand, Lady Crier has also escaped the palace and is determined to find Ayla and protect her at all costs!
15. This Savage Song & Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab
This Savage Song is the first book in this series about Kate Harker and August Flynn. They live in a war-torn world where Kate feels at home. She thrives on the chaos, while August wants to find some way to bring peace.
Kate is more ruthless than August, who is an actual monster with the ability to steal a soul. However, he yearns to be a human and refuses to use his abilities. Eventually, they are thrust together in a way neither of them expected.
Our Dark Duet is the second part of this series, which sees Kate Harker now hunting monsters, and August Flynn is forced to accept the fact that he is a monster and will never be human.
In the war against monsters and humans, monsters are winning. Yet, Kate and August are still drawn to each other. What will happen to them in the end?
16. For the Wolf & For the Throne by Hannah F. Whitten
For the Wolf by Hannah F. Whitten is a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. In their land, the first daughter takes the throne while the second daughter is to be sacrificed to the Wolf in the Wood.
The reason behind the sacrifice is to appease the Wolf so that he’ll return the gods he took. As the Second Daughter, Red has accepted her fate, but when she comes face to face with the Wolf, she discovers he is no creature but a man and that there is much more about the world she has yet to learn.
For The Throne sees Red’s adventures after stopping the threat of the Old Kings. In the process of stopping the Old Kings from rising again, Red’s sister Neve has found herself trapped in the Shadowlands, a land where Gods and Old Kings have been trapped for centuries.
Red desperately wants to save Neve, who wants nothing more than to escape as well. Luckily, she has help in the form of Solmir, a rogue king who desires the destruction of Shadowlands and believes helping Neve is the only way to achieve it!
17. Carve the Mark & The Fates Divide by Veronica Roth
Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth features Cyra and Akos, who are thrust together after her brother, a brutal king, has his soldiers kidnap Akos and his brother. She hates her brother because he uses her power to torture people. Akos has a power of his own and wants nothing more than to save his brother.
Cyra and Akos are from different countries, and there’s a huge rift in their relationships. Will the two be able to put aside their differences and help one another or not?
The Fates Divide is the follow-up to the first book in this series. Cyra and Akos are in love even though Akos is destined to die while working for Cyra’s family. When Cyra’s father, who was long thought to be dead, reclaims the Shotet throne, the two are put in even more danger than they could ever imagine.
18. All the Stars and Teeth & All the Tides of Fate by Adalyn Grace
All the Stars and Teeth focuses on Amora Montara, who thought she had her life figured out. She’s the princess of the kingdom of Visidia and aims to be the High Animancer, a master of souls. Everything is going well… until it isn’t.
Her presentation gets messed up, and she is forced to escape. She soon finds herself working with a pirate named Bastian, who agrees to help her regain her people’s trust only if she can help him get back his stolen magic.
In the second book in the series, All the Tides of Fate, Amora Montara has conquered the rebellion and became the queen of Visidia, but it came with a cost. She no longer has her magic, nor does she have half of her soul. The only way to fix everything is to find this mythical artifact, but as you know, nothing ever quite works out like planned.
19. The Killing Moon & The Shadowed Sun by N.K. Jemisin
N.K. Jemisin’s The Killing Moon takes place in Gujaareh, a city home to priests serving the dream goddess. Ehiru, a man who is a Gatherer or a keeper of the peace, feels at home until dreamers start being murdered in the goddess’ name.’ This leaves him shaken and torn between his duty to his goddess and the city he protects.
Only time will tell what Ehiru will be forced to do. Eventually, he will have to make a decision, and the decision will send shockwaves throughout the entire city.
In the follow-up book, The Shadowed Sun, we see that the once peaceful city of dream, Gujaareh, is now under the reigns of violence and oppression. And then there are nightmares that are killing people in their sleep.
If the city has to come out of this cycle of oppression, it must rise and leave its ways of peace. And only two people, a female priest and an exiled prince, can show the city the way!
20. A Song of Wraiths and Ruin & A Psalm of Storms and Silence by Roseanne A. Brown
In A Song of Wraiths and Ruin, we are introduced to two characters who find themselves drawn together by a series of circumstances that neither had a choice. Malik is desperate to save his sister, who has been taken by a vengeful spirit. If Ziran wants to get his sister back, he has to kill Karina, the Crown Princess of Ziran.
Karina also doesn’t have it easy in her life. Her mother has been murdered, and all she wants is her mother back. So, she decides to resurrect her. All she needs to do is get the beating heart of a king. Whoever marries her will automatically become the king, so she offers her hand in marriage to whoever wins the Solstasia competition, which Malik manages to join. And so, the two set themselves on a path of destruction!
In the next book, A Psalm of Storms and Silence, we see Karina stripped of her title and on the run. Her life is in shambles, and the only way to restore balance is to search for a hidden power. Meanwhile, Malik tries to move on with his life, but then he discovers their country is falling apart, and only Karina can restore peace. Somehow, he has to get her to work with him, but this is easier said than done.
21. Wicked Fox & Vicious Spirits by Kat Cho
Kat Cho brings mythology to the modern world with her book Wicked Fox. Nine-tailed foxes are real, and Gu Minyoung knows this too well because she is one. She must consume the energy of men to stay alive, so she hunts bad men.
One night, against her better judgement, she saves a boy named Jihoon from a goblin and loses a bead that contains her fox soul. She needs to get it back, but then she starts to fall for Jihoon, which complicates things.
The next book in the series, Vicious Spirits, follows Minyoung and Jihoon, who are relying heavily on each other after they both experienced the deaths of someone they love dearly. Then Minyoung starts to get sick, and Jihoon wants nothing more than to help her. Their friend/enemy Junu says he knows a way, but his way would require a sacrifice, something no one wants to do.
22. Bone Crier’s Moon & Bone Crier’s Dawn by Kathryn Purdie
Bone Crier’s Moon focuses on Ailesse, who belongs to the Bone Criers, women who ferry dead souls and keep them away from people. To become one, she has to kill the one she is destined to love.
The one she has to slay is Bastien whose own father was killed by a Bone Crier and is seeking revenge. When Bastien captures Ailesse, he has a plan, but as we all know… plans often go awry.
In the next book in the series, Bone Crier’s Dawn, we see Ailesse, her fellow Bone Crier and friend Sabine, and Bastien trying to change things. They need to break the soul bond between Ailesse and Bastien because if they don’t, she could die. Will these three be able to complete their goal without losing their lives in the process?
23. Dragon’s Winter & Dragon’s Treasure by Elizabeth A. Lynn
In Dragon’s Winter, we learn the tale of twin boys who are the sons of a dragon king. The issue is only one of them is a dragon.
Karadur would love to experience life in his dragon form, but he can’t because his twin ran off with his talisman. To this day, he remains bitter towards his brother, but then he comes back into his life under the name of Ankoku, a powerful wizard called The Hollow One.
Dragon’s Treasure is the sequel to the first book, and it sees Karadur coming out as the victor. He no longer has to worry about his treacherous brother and can focus on ruling his kingdom. When a young human woman named Maia Unamira comes into his life, Karadur’s life is thrown into chaos again, but for entirely different reasons.
This brings us to the end of the article featuring the best duologies you should consider reading this new year! Most of these books fall under the fantasy genre, and they are worth a read, considering the characters, the stories, and all the unique magic systems that the authors came up with.
If you want something longer than a standalone novel but don’t want to read a series with more than three books, a duology will be perfect for you. So, pick one of these best duology books, and you’ll keep returning for more as soon as you finish reading them!