Julia Vanishes by Catherine Egan
Genre: Fantasy, YA
The title of this book is unusual. It reads more like the heading of a tabloid article about a celebrity disappearance than a book title, which is unfortunate as this book is neither tabloid nor about a celebrity disappearance. It is so much better than that, weaving elements of Victorian mystery with folklore and myth in a well-developed, ever-expanding world where witches born with the ability to write magic into being are drowned, strange, possibly-wolfmen are locked in basements, but regular girls like Julia should not be able to vanish.
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The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
Genre: Historical Fantasy
I love historical fantasy. Particularly Regency/Victorian/Edwardian era fantasy. Give me magic and wizards and worlds colliding with our own and you don’t need to ask me twice to read. When I first stumbled upon Alix E. Harrow’s AMA on Reddit, I was so excited that I immediately ordered her book. The cover is gorgeous, the title intriguing, and historians are often fantastic novelists because the two mediums are so intertwined.
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Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Genre: Fantasy, YA
I don’t like books about angels and demons.
But I liked this one. And I’m kind of mad about it.
Laini Taylor has taken a genre full of annoying tropes and turned it on its head. The book opens with Karou at art school in the gritty streets of Prague, and slowly, deceptively, transforms into a lyrical fairy tale. Continue reading “Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor”
I’m a picky reader. If a book doesn’t hold my attention, I put it to the side and start something else. Then I end up in a situation where my Goodreads tells the world I am reading eight books at once. After a few months, I clean it out before it starts building up again. Today, I am only at three books, which isn’t too bad. But here they are and here are my first impressions. Continue reading “3 Books I’m Reading”
Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor
I really, really wanted to like this book. I really did. At the same time, I don’t want to downplay the importance of Okorafor’s work. The need for non-Eurocentric fantasy, and especially African based fantasy, in today’s publishing world cannot be overstated. Okorafor’s world, her folklore, had so much potential, but I found that potential was waylaid by overused fantasy tropes, awkward pacing, and a rushed ending. Continue reading “Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor”
Howl’s Moving Castle
“In the land of Ingary where such things as seven-league boots and cloaks of invisibility really exist, it is quite a misfortune to be born the eldest of the three. Everyone knows you are the one who will fail first, and worst, if the three of you set out to seek your fortunes.”
Diana Wynne Jones is a legend in the fantasy genre. But, like many younger readers, Miyazaki’s animated version of Howl’s Moving Castle was my first glimpse into Jones’s work over ten years ago. I was enchanted by Miyazaki’s interpretation of Howl, Sophie, and the strangeness of their world. Continue reading “Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones”
If you’ve followed my blog for any amount of time, you will know that fantasy and historical fiction are my two favorite genres. Books that combine both elements, however, make me absolutely giddy. Well done historical fantasy, as I’ve dubbed this genre, is much more difficult to find than you might expect (with the industry riddled with time-traveling romances like Outlander), so today I’ve drawn up a list of my top ten books for lovers of well done historical fantasy. Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday: Book Recommendations for History and Fantasy Lovers”
A notorious trope in fantasy trilogies is that the second book often falls flat. You know what I mean: characters recovering from a great battle and preparing for the Final Conflict, having petty arguments, traveling endless miles or sitting in one location for an annoying amount of time. But there are a few fantasy series I’ve discovered where I would argue that the second or subsequent books are better than the first, and absolutely worth holding out for. Continue reading “T5W: Fantasy Series that Improved Over Time”
This week’s topic is books that were inspired by non-western locations, or else set in a non-western location. I decided to narrow it down to Fantasy books inspired by non-western settings as those are pretty few and far between (in English at least). But first, I have a number of thoughts on this topic.
Have you ever wondered why English literature is dominated by western thought? The answer is simple. Because English is a language of the west. So it really isn’t surprising, nor, I think, necessarily a negative thing. However, because the US is a melting pot of cultures and with how our world has expanded into a global community rather than just a national one, it is important to learn about cultures beyond what we know in the west. So, I am happy that authors of non-Western background have been gaining recognition in recent years. Continue reading “Top 5 Wednesday: Non-Western Inspired Fantasy Books”
There were SO many books I adored as a kid. My reading game was never higher than when I was aged 9-12, because back then I actually had the time to read and it was really only school that got in my way. But here are the top five children’s series/books that come to mind. I tried to stick to books that I don’t see often on these lists. Continue reading “Top 5 Wednesday: Children’s Books”