Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Top Ten Books For Readers Who Like Diverse Fantasy

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This list is inspired by the truly excellent diverse high fantasy I've been reading lately (looking at you, The Wrath and the Dawn). High fantasy has, historically, been a genre severely lacking in diversity of any kind--cultural, racial, sexual, gender, and on and on--so I want to make a point to go out of my way to read more of it. So first, a few of the best diverse high fantasy books I've read, and then the ones I want to get to!


The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
YA retelling of Shaherezad plus an ALL TIME SHIP plus magics plus betrayal and destruction and mega hot kisses and twisted relationships and ALL THE YES

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
On my favorites shelf for all time.

Fire by Kristin Cashore
I haven't read Bitterblue yet, but I might have to go with Fire as my all-time favorite Cashore character. Which is hard because I love so many (KATSA PO BRIGAN PO AGAIN) but I just reeeeeally love my Fire. (Also I don't love to use the US cover because it shows a clearly white Fire when she really should be a POC like on the UK cover above)

The Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima
A biracial princess TEARING SHIT UP.

Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White
Jessamin is perfection. This is set in a sort of sideways take on Victorian/turn-of-the-century England, and Jessamin is very much an outsider in this world, hailing from a pseudo-Pacific island and very much feeling the negative effects of colonialism.

Of Metal and Wishes by Sarah Fine
This is set in a pseudo-Chinese-ish society and is a pseudo-retelling of The Phantom of the Opera! It's pseudo-awesome.

The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey
I JUST read this one, but I really enjoyed it and have to give a shout out to the loverly LGBT storyline *crosses fingers for even more goodness in future books* (not high fantasy, but I still wanted to give this a shout-out)

Books I've yet to read but absolutely will (eventually):


An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
City of a Thousand Dolls by Miriam Forster 
Otherbound by Corinne Duyvix
Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon
Huntress by Malinda Lo
Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst
Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale
The Fire Wish by Amber Lough
Circle of Emelan universe by Tamora Pierce


  1. Amazing list ;D i agree with a lot books
    Love Fire :) Katsa is amazing and Poo <3 but love that she is a feminist (or more girly?) girl but this is not bad thing, she is powerful woman.

    The Girl of Fire and Thorns, this saga <3 one of the most amazing books i have the pressure to read

    And all books by Tamora Pierce and Shannon Hale are amazing, very original and magical with kickass characters

  2. Fab list! I've added quite a few of them to my TBR, thank you!

  3. YOU MUST READ THE CIRCLE OF MAGIC SERIES! I'm obsessed with it, if you'll recall from our fun PierceFest celebration, and think it's definitely a great example of diversity in fantasy from race to sexual preference to culture. LOVE THAT SERIES. Can't wait for you to read it! On the other hand, there are quite a few books I have my eye on from your list (*eyes* The Wrath and the Dawn in particular), so I can't wait to check them out for myself :)

  4. Yes please The Wrath and the Dawn! I can’t wait for May to show up so I can buy that book and inhale ALL OF IT.

    And I really need to keep reading the Seven Realm books… I’ve only gotten through The Demon King.

    I nearly got Illusions of Fate a few days ago, but I bought Forbidden by Kimberly Little instead. Both look so good though, so I’m sure I’ll get White’s book eventually!

  5. Sup I really love otherbound because it has POC leads one of which is a bisexual girl from what I picked up and the plot twists are so great and the ending is kinda open ended but quite satisfying and the lead male is physically disabled due to losing his leg when he was 5 and the other world is so well written that I could actually picture it.

  6. You must read Bitterblue!!!!!!!!!! It is so good and you get to see Katsa and Po again in that book. I think Bitterblue was definitely my favorite in the Graceling series, I really enjoyed her perspective on certain events. The Girl of Fire and Thorns is also a definite fantasy favorite of mine. Lovely list! :)

  7. The Wrath and The Dawn is one I really want to read. I have a copy and I have no excuse as to why I haven't read it yet. It sounds so good. I have even higher hopes for it now due to all of your praise! :)

  8. ahhhh yes to this list! I loved ILLUSIONS OF FATE, it freaking kicked ass. I'm SOO excited for THE WRATH AND THE DAWN and yiikes I still need to read a lot of those other fantasies... However, I did read AN EMBER IN THE ASHES already and it was very Roman-esque and awesome!!

  9. YOU ARE A GENIUS GILLIAN. This is the perfect list.

  10. I read The Wrath & the Dawn a few weeks ago and OMG I LOVED IT TO BITS! Gah! That ending killed me though, I NEED book 2, like, NOW. I also just read Alanna too and now I need to read the rest of the series + companion books + EVERYTHING by Pierce. I own Fire & Thorns, Graceling, Illusions of Fate, The Demon King and City of a Thousand Dolls but I have yet to read them *groan* Oh and I MUST own An Ember in the Ashes, Fire Wish and The Girl at Midnight. Seriously AWESOME list is perfect. I love fantasy reads but we need more diversity in our fantasies as well^^

    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews

  11. I really wish Vessel would get a bit more love. It is such an awesome book.


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