Book Recs during that loooong last month wait for Kingdom of Ash

We’re about a month away from the release of Sarah J. Maas’ Kingdom of Ash, and while a month isn’t much, it’s probably the longest month during that year long wait.  Expectation and excitement make it hard to think about much else, and sometimes you just need a book that has some similarities to your favorite series, or need a book for your book hangover, or even a new fantasy read?  Well, hopefully there’s a book below that can help, whatever your reading needs might be!

Need some more Fae/Fey/Faerie?

Whatever you call this fantasy group/culture it is definitely a popular niche of fantasy, and one that can be hard to find new reads in, especially books that focus solely on them.  Below is a short list of books where they are either the main group or affect the plot more than they typically would.  Here we go!!

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

At this point, there are very few readers that have not heard of this book, or haven’t read it.  It seems to be one of the hottest books of 2018, which given Black’s amazing work in the world of the Fae is unsurprising.  If you loved the Fae in Throne of Glass, you’ll love this story from the Queen of the Fae herself!  Cruel Prince follows Jude as she tries to find her place in the Court of the Faeries even as she butts heads with one of its dangerous Princes, Cardan.  This story is exhilarating, dark, and incredibly addictive!

“Of course I want to be like them.  They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire.  They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest.  I hate him more than all the others.  I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him,  I can hardly breathe.”

-Holly Black

Cassandra Clare’s The Dark Artifices

The Faerie Court is present in almost all of Clare’s books as one of the Downworlder groups, but in the Dark Artifices they play a much bigger part in the main character’s lives, and in the overall plot.  One of the characters is released from the Wild Hunt, and struggles to realign themselves back to the human world and the lost time.  It’s still one of many plots within the main plot, but following Holly Black, Cassandra Clare is just as good at bringing to life the frightening trickery/honor of the Fae, and how humans have to carefully navigate it.  If you’ve loved the other stories by Clare, and haven’t picked this one up it’s the perfect time to with the last book due to come out on December 4th!

“There was beauty in the idea of freedom, but it was an illusion.  Every human heart was chained by love.”  – Cassandra Clare (Lady Midnight)

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

Probably one of the few novels about the fae that is a stand alone, making it a perfect pickup during a long wait or book hangover, no strings attached.  In this novel, Isobel is a gifted painter with many Faerie clients, who rave about her portraits.  Everything is going great, Isobel is able to support her family, and her fame is growing until a Faerie Prince sits for a portrait by her and she paints the emotions she sees in his face.  The only problem is that the fae find emotions to be a weakness, setting off rumors about the prince and events that neither can control.  Furious, the Prince takes her to stand trial, but there are forces at work against both of them.

“Why do we desire, above all other things, that which has the greatest power to destroy us?” – Margaret Rogerson

Strong Females of Fantasy

Throne of Glass is chock full of strong, empowering females, all remarkable with their unique strengths.  The list below is of female characters following that same pattern!

Kestrel (The Winner’s Curse Trilogy)

Kestrel is one of the few characters under this list that isn’t a gifted fighter.  Instead, she is a brilliant strategist who can read others, and knows when she’s been lied to.  She doesn’t love clothes/dressing up as much as Aelin, but she does know how to dress the part, and knows when a dress can be a good armor.  Her only weakness seems to be those she cares for, but honestly that doesn’t sound like a bad weakness to have.  When I picked this book up I wasn’t sure whether it could live up to all the hype I’ve been hearing, but this book and its characters are full of surprises and twists!

“The Winner’s Curse is when you come out on top of a bid, but only by paying a steep price.”  – Marie Rutkoski

Asha (The Last Namsara)

This is where the list begins to go into the fighters, starting with Asha who is her country’s Iskari, tasked with hunting down dragons.  She is an incredible figher, and dragon slayer, but while she is invincible against dragons she is also the King’s daughter and faces high expectations.  One, being a betrothal to a man she hates, and the constant task of dragon slaying her own father gave her.  Her father though gives her a chance to hunt down the one dragon that started everything she’s ever known, and if she succeeds she can be free.  Not everhything though is as it seems and Asha finds herself in the middle of a struggle that has spanned history she’s read of, a history that demands even more of her.

“Once there was a girl who was drawn to wicked thing.  Things like forbidden, ancient stories.  It didn’t matter that the old stories killed her mother.  It didn’t matter that they’d killed many before her.  The girl let the old stories in.  She let them eat away at her heart and turn her wicked.”  – Kristen Ciccarelli

Inej (Six of Crows)

If you’ve heard of Six of Crows then you’ve probably heard of its crazy cast of characters, each one being skilled ad altogether amazing.  In this group, Inej is definitely a good fit, her ability to blend into shadows, her name on the streets being the Wraith.  She’s good, and comes highly recommended by Kaz Brekker, who is the criminal version of a perfectionist, and one of the scariest bosses on the street.   She may not be a spitfire like Celaena/Aelin but Inej can take out targets like it’s nothing, and is perhaps one of the best spies on ya paper, making her a great female to check out in a fantasy series, not to mention all of the crew members who are also super easy to get attached to.

“I’m a business man,” he’d told her.  “No more, no less.”

“You’re a thief, Kaz.”

“Isn’t that what I just said?”

-Leigh Bardugo

Lila Bard (A Darker Shade of Magic)

Last, but not least on this list is one my favorite characters from the Darker Shade of Magic series; Lila Bard.  She’s not a heavy fighter or strategist, probably more of an “in the moment” character.  Lila is known as a thief when we are first introduced to her as she steals something very important from Kell.  This theft catapults her into his world; Red London.  From there her identity grows along with her power, but even with all this newfound skill Lila remains the same person, never tamping down her wildness, or uniqueness.  She is probably one of the most interesting characters with all her spontaneous decisions.

“I apologize for anything I might’ve done.  I was not myself.”

“I apologize for shooting you in the leg,” said Lila.  “I was myself entirely.”

-V.E. Schwab

Authors with Amazing Fantasy Worlds?

If you’re looking for immersive fantasy worlds that happen to still be faster paced, all three of these are beautifully written and have stories that start almost immediately, no Tale of Two Cities 150 page setup here!

  1. Renee Ahdieh
  2. Mary E. Pearson
  3. Roshani Chokshi

I hope all of these recommendations are in some way helpful as we get so much closer to Kingdom of Ash, which is now only a month away!  Hopefully there’s a book on this list you guys haven’t tried yet, or were on the fence about.  Let me know in the comments below what you think of this list, or even how you’re coping with the long wait.  I for one, will be disappearing into my room when my copy arrives and it will be amazing!

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