I know that everyone’s TBR is a towering pile of doom. I get it. The side eye from my TBR shelf is ridiculous. But I’m also a book blogger, so if I don’t recommend you books, that would look bad for me though…So here’s your regular reminder to add even more books to your TBR! I love these older, backlist, books and it’s important to get back to them. The shiny allure of new books is captivating, but these ones deserve your love!
The Candle and the Flame
Wanna hear about a book that’s lush fantasy with amazing characters? The Candle and the Flame is a book that celebrates female friendships, family, and the ability to change – our minds, our behaviors, our fate. Fatima has to be one of my favorite main characters – rejecting the classics, fiercely independent, and brave – Fatima’s growth in The Candle and the Flame embraces change and free choice.
The Tiger at Midnight
Assassins meets enemies to lovers and people who are obsessed with mangoes. Seriously what’s not to love about those three? The Tiger at Midnight is a lush fantasy series that isn’t over yet, so you can catch up today! Both Esha and Kunal come to question their roles in their revolutions, their duty, and exactly how far they’re willing to go for their dreams. Also let’s talk about how the banter in The Tiger at Midnight is some of my favorite of all time.
No list would be complete without me mentioning my love of The Reader. It’s a book series that emphasizes the power of magic. The transformative power of reading and its ability to change the foundations of our world. How we are perceived, how we want to be remembered, how we tell stories. I am seriously so obsessed and if you’ve been follow me for a while, just read it okay??
The Bone Witch
And another one I keep shouting about is The Bone Witch. Excuse me, did you hear me when I screamed about necromancy? I adore necromancy magic and there’s not enough of it, but The Bone Witch does it SO WELL! That combined with its discussion of ethics and those in society we despise, but who are so crucial. WHAT A BOOK!
Queer, full of ghosts, and amazing time magic, Timekeeper was an instant favorite for me. The themes are so soft and timeless (see what I did there) and emotional. Fate, coincidence, time, and love? Can you name more themes that instantly bewitch my heart? Also any book that looks at the interaction between love, sacrifice, and the greater good is calling my name.
Isle of Blood and Stone
So I actually read this when I was working in publishing, so there isn’t a public review YET, but I love this fantasy with map making and sea journeys. I’m so happy Vicky recommended the sequel to me for my 12 Friends 12 Books project! Here’s a quote from Goodreads to get you intrigued.
The people of St. John del Mar have never recovered from the loss of their boy princes, kidnapped eighteen years ago, both presumed dead. But when two maps surface, each bearing the same hidden riddle, troubling questions arise. What really happened to the young heirs?
A Thousand Beginnings and Endings
This is one of my favorite anthologies ever. It made me feel so seen to see some of my favorite authors bringing new readers to these retellings of Asian myths and legends. The stories are complex, the utmost care brought to how they interact (and improve, or diverge from) with the source material. But on a very real, a visceral, deeply emotional level, it also feels like a piece of me too in a way I’m not sure much else does in the same way. I love how these re-tellings offer something new and still appeal to the base of what these fairy tales approach – not only a sense of wonder but also a lesson we could learn.
Forest of a Thousand Lanterns
Talk about a book that kick started my love of antiheroines. Forest of a Thousand Lanterns is about ambition, dedication, and love. It contains a challenging family relationship, a dilemma between love and ambition, and entrancing dark sorcery. I am overjoyed with this debut, because it seems to be falling into a trend in my life, where I am relishing in this anti-heroine narrative and basking in their power.
The Epic Crush of Genie Lo
Talk about a contemporary fantasy book that captivated me entirely! Genie Lo has to be one of my spirit characters, except she is really tall. I have never felt like I resonated so much with a character until Genie and that, in and of itself, is so special to me. She is nerdy, goal driven, and humorous. Her narration style keeps you flipping pages as she is both honest, clever, and sassy. She is about twice the person I was in high school, and absolutely the person I would have wanted to be.
The Library of Fates
This incredibly gorgeous book does not get enough love at all! What initially drew me to The Library of Fates was the mythology and I was not disappointed in the slightest. It begins with the Parable of Trees and takes off from there, incorporating immortal beings, magical spiders, and ruby daggers. Being unfamiliar with the mythology, these were some of my favorite parts as they really transport the story. You can never quite predict what is going to happen and the interwoven threads between reality and legend are challenged throughout.
A Crown of Wishes
In Crown of Wishes, these three characters are absolutely bewitching, Gauri for her closely defended yet compassionate heart, Vikram for his humor and trusting heart, and Aasha for her absolutely relatable desire for thirst for what we cannot have. Even the side characters, the unlikely ones such as Aasha’s sisters or the Serpent Kind, are fantastic and when they are present, shine.