Cover of The Iron King (Harlequin Teen)
I’ve read a lot of good books since my last Share the Love post. Let’s see, there’s…
- The Iron Queen, by Julie Kagawa
- The Iron Daughter, by Julie Kagawa
- The Iron King, by Julie Kagawa
- Darkest Mercy, by Melissa Marr
- The Unwanteds, by Lisa McMann
- The Girl of Fire and Thorns, by Rae Carson
- Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card
I’ve actually read more than these books, but I list these specifically to showcase the inordinate amount of fantasy that I’ve been reading lately. I wonder if that was a conscious decision on my part or not. I know I picked up Eon and Eona specifically to inspire me about an aspect of WIP2. And, I also picked up Ender’s Game (which I know is science fiction, but has fantasy elements I enjoy) and Among the Hidden for that reason, too. I know that somewhere in the recesses of my mind, my muses are tinkering with a post-apocalyptic fantasy, and I wonder if they’re hungry for more fantasy?
Maybe it’s a combination of the available e-galleys and ARCs that came my way, coupled with my need to read meatier works? After all, the fantasy genre does lend itself to intricate world-building, and often uses sociopolitical power dynamics to add conflict and tension to the narrative.
For example, take, The Girl of Fire and Thorns (newly released September 20). This book is full of political intrigue, magic, and adventure. Set in a world reminiscent of medieval Spain, the story centers around Lucero-Elisa de Riqueza (aka Elisa), Orovalle’s second-born princess. Though she is royal, her privileged status comes less from her royal lineage, and more from being a Godstone-bearer.
Once a century, God chooses a bearer during a baby’s naming ceremony by placing a Godstone (a living jewel) on the baby’s navel. The Bearer is destined to perform an Act of Service, and the mythos surrounding the Bearer sets in motion harrowing challenges that Elisa must overcome.
What appeals to me the most is the sheer amount of terrain that Elisa covers throughout the story. I loved the big-ness of this world. I loved experiencing the lush climates of Orovalle; the seaside of Joya d’Arena; and the desert mountains of the rebel stronghold. I loved the concept that all these various countries and people groups are on the precipice of war. But, what I love most? Carson weaves these settings and power plays brilliantly through the narrative, making the countries so unique they were almost characters in themselves. (Interested in reading the full review? You can read it HERE.)
Honestly, though, now that I think about it, this year’s obsession with fantasy probably started after reading Daughter of Smoke and Bone, by Laini Taylor. My initial Good Reads reaction to it was…
This book was AMAZING!
I loved Every. Single. Word.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a beautiful example of what YA literature could be, and what I strive for in my own fiction. I wish books like these were available to me when I was a YA, but at least I can appreciate them and revel in them now!
Brava, Laini Taylor, for crafting such a remarkable story!”
…and, since this book is holy-crap-amazing, I wonder if I just wanted to keep experiencing that awe, thus glutting myself on more fantasies. Hmm.
(BY THE WAY, Daughter of Smoke and Bone will launch on Tuesday, September 27, but I was lucky enough to read an ARC of it back in June, thanks to my dear friend and crit partner, Kayla (which I talk about HERE) and I remember gushing about it to my friend, Carol, that she was awesome enough to give me a signed ARC (which I talk about HERE.))
I plan on putting up a full review of Daughter of Smoke and Bone next week, because, DUDE, you all need to read this book. For reals, yo.
SO, have YOU read any good books lately??