I love the fantasy genre. I’ve loved the fantasy book series since I read the Lord of the Rings, Terry Pratchett, and then Harry Potter. A good fantasy book takes you to a whole new world that seems strange yet so familiar.
For a long time after that, I couldn’t find anything else in the genre that I could obsess about as much as I had been consumed by those three series of books. But I’m so glad for some brilliant fantasy book recommendations from other readers.
Here are some great ones I read this year.
- Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo: I loved the concept and the telling of it. A very many twists and turns makes this an exciting duology.The main protagonist is a (white) male but is surrounded by POC and the women characters are strongly written. I would still love to see more women leaders in books though. Can’t be that hard to just reverse roles. Has me convinced to pick up more books from the Grishaverse series.
- Gifts, Voices, and Powers by Ursula K. Le Guin: The three books have different stories, almost as if they’re not part of the same world; but they all connect in a meaningful way at the end. The concept and writing is brilliant. It’s a great fantasy starter series for younger readers as well. Clean story lines and language. Add it to your YA Fantasy reading list.
- The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon: Three things I loved about this…first is that it wasn’t dragged out into a series. One big book and you didn’t have to wait another year (or who knows how long) for the ending. Secondly, I loved how characters that are usually sidelined or are obviously token characters are very matter-of-factly placed front and centre across the storyline. Thirdly, the story itself is full of twists and turns and is exciting but also an insightful look into the thinking of pious reigns. One of my favourites of the year.
- Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia: It reads like folklore rather than a fantasy fiction…I guess because it is inspired by Mayan stories. It’s about a girl finding her confidence and independence with the most unlikely companion. Although it’s a good read it’s not terribly exciting.
- Bangkok Wakes to Rain by Pitchaya Sudbanthad: It’s a book about a lot of things…relationships, history, a city, the future, climate change, new technologies, just to name a few. It starts off at one point and then you’re swept away somewhere else before you even realise what’s happening to you. The part about the world of the future seems scary, but also hopeful somehow. It was a very different kind of book, in a good way.
- American Gods by Neil Gaiman: This one I couldn’t finish unfortunately. I’ve read some of his books that I loved and so was very hopeful, but it just dragged on with no end in sight. I don’t like to give up on books, so I might pick it up again at some point again.
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