I’m kinda not really catching up on some book tags I was tagged in! Despite having done this blog for a year, I’m still figuring out tagging and how to know if/when someone tagged me in something. It’s not frequent, but it does happen.
I love fantasy, and while I claim science fiction as my favorite genre, fantasy was my gateway into sci fi, and I’m always looking for the next fantastic fantasy read. Sword and sorcery, high fantasy, urban fantasy, historical fantasy, fantasy of manners, superheroes, zombies, fairy tale retellings, dark fantasy—I’ve read it and I love it all (except most grimdark).
I was tagged by the fantastic Nen & Jen, who have great reviews and a beautiful blog! Check them out if you haven’t already.
- Thank the person who tagged you and link back to their post
- Link to the creator’s blog (thebookwormdreamer) in your post
- Answer the prompts below – all fantasy books!
- Tag 5 others to take part
Five Star Book
I’m going to go with most recent fantasy five-star read, which is Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. Gothic horror (or horror in general) is not really a fantasy I read too often, but this hit all of my wickets for a fantastic read. From 1950s Mexico to a gothic setting eerily reminiscent of Wuthering Heights (crumbling house with a once-prominent family sliding into obscurity and rich-brokeness), an inquisitive and delightful heroine dead set on rescuing her sick cousin, and a mystery of fantastic proportions. I won’t spoil it for you, but that twist (well, those twists) was icky, surprising and very well foreshadowed (but also not!). This is definitely one to pick up.
Always Going to Recommend
For Tweens: Dealing With Dragons was perhaps one of the first (it was not, but let’s pretend) fantasy books I read when I was a kid, and this is probably where my fascination with fantasy of manners began. It definitely parodies many high fantasy tropes while holding its own. The quartet is all fantastic, but the first book is my favorite. First Test by Tamora Pierce is the first book in my favorite quartet of the Tortall series, mainly because I love Kel and I love her story. Squire (book 3) is one of my favorite books of all time, and it’s a series that I don’t find myself recommending as often—but that’s mostly because I don’t really give reading recommendations to children or tweens. And of course, The Lord of Stariel is just breathtaking—this is my recommendations for adult fantasy. I love the world-building and most importantly the main character.
For Adults: These are two reads that pair nicely together, particularly if you’re in the mood for a fantasy of manners in a faux-Edwardian setting (which is my jam!). They both deal with the fae and main characters coming to terms with their family and their place in the world (albeit in much different ways). I love the world-building in both, and am so excited to see where these series go. Soulstar releases in February 2021, and I have no idea when Stariel book four comes out, but I hope it’s early in 2021 as well!
Own It But Haven’t Read It Yet
I’m pretty sure I bought both Mistborn and Who Fears Death at the same time a couple of years ago, but despite fully intending to read both…I haven’t. Mainly it’s because I’ve read other works by Sanderson and Okorafor, and they are a commitment. It’s not a bad thing, but it does require more brain cells than I have been willing and/or able to put forth on my reading recently. Maybe if I get a nice vacation or things settle down at work I can finally have the bandwidth to crack these open and dive in.
Would Read Again
The Snow Queen and Coronets and Steel are both on my 2020 Backlist Reading Challenge List (a list that has not been published because while I set myself up for failure all the time, I don’t exactly like to do it publicly, and which includes four rereads). I read The Snow Queen back in high school, and never got around to reading the sequel, The Summer Queen, despite having owned that book for quite some time. And I’ve read all of the books in the Dobrenica series, but I have been wanting to reread them. So far I’ve tackled two of the four books on my reread pile: Sunshine and By the Sword.
In Another World
While my favorite non-Earth setting will probably always and forever be Tortall, I do have to admit that in adult fantasy, my favorite world is definitely Fonda Lee’s Green Bone Saga. I. Love. It. The world-building starts in Jade City and is mostly focused on the island of Kekon and its internal power struggles between jade-bearing clans. There is an outside world, but that gets expanded upon in Jady War, and holy fuck that world-building! It’s urban fantasy with a world that is kinda-similar-to-ours-but-absolutely-not, and I cannot wait for Jade Legacy in 2021.
Back on Earth
You all are probably sick of me talking up The City We Became right about now, but seriously—read it. It’s incredible. The magic is weird and tentacly, the storyline is non-stop action and it’s going to win all the awards. But award-winning isn’t why you should pick it up—this book tackles Lovecraftian racism in a Lovecraftian setting while being a love letter to New York and its people and stomping racism in the groin. Also, if you’ve been sleeping on NK Jemisin (how??), then pick up one of her books right now. There’s a reason she’s the current Queen of SFF, and it’s because she’s fabulous.
I’m not tagging anyone, but if you run across this and think it’s fun—consider yourself tagged!