Although Fantasy and Science Fiction are often lumped together, fans would passionately argue that they deserve independent consideration. Both genres employ extensive world-building and escapism—with Science Fiction projecting toward a potential future and Fantasy looking back to an imagined past. Unlike Science Fiction, Fantasy takes no notice of realism, accuracy, and minute details. Plausibility is not required in a work of Fantasy. From its very start, a fantasy only requires complete suspension of disbelief and the acceptance of the unexplained, the surreal and the magical.
For this month’s blog, I wanted to suggest some recent Fantasy releases that evoke the imaginative side of human nature. Fantasy works are not just geared toward children and the "child-at-heart." The following may resemble old bedtime stories but are suitable for any adult seeking to revisit familiar, timeless and universal themes.
Book of Night by Holly Black
"#1 New York Times bestselling author Holly Black makes her stunning adult debut with Book of Night, a modern dark fantasy of shadowy thieves and secret societies."
|Malice by John Gwynne
"Malice is a dark epic fantasy tale of blind greed, ambition, and betrayal."
|A Mirror Mended by Alix Harrow
"The next installment in bestselling author Alix E. Harrow's Fractured Fables series. Zinnia Gray, professional fairy-tale fixer and lapsed Sleeping Beauty is over rescuing snoring princesses. Just when Zinnia’s beginning to think she can't handle one more princess, she glances into a mirror and sees another face looking back at her: the shockingly gorgeous face of evil, asking for her help."
|Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James
"Full of violence, suspense, and mystery that charts the adventures of an unforgettable pair of mercenaries as they hunt for a lost boy. Defying categorization and full of unforgettable characters, Black Leopard, Red Wolf explores the fundamentals of truths, the limits of power, the excesses of ambition, and our need to understand them all."
|The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemison
"Humans struggle to survive on a ruined world in this elegiac, complex, and intriguing story, the first in the Broken Earth series from acclaimed author Jemisin."
|Nettle & Bone by T. Kingfisher
"From Hugo, Nebula, and Locus award-winning author T. Kingfisher comes an original and subversive new fantasy adventure. Fairytale mythic resonance meets homey pragmatism in this utterly delightful story."
|The Book of Gothel by Mary McMyne|
"This dark, lush, and beautiful reimagining of the story of Rapunzel presents the witch’s perspective in this tale of motherhood, magic, and the stories we pass down to our children."
|The Change by Kirsten Miller
"a gloriously entertaining and knife-sharp feminist revenge fantasy about three women whose midlife crisis brings unexpected new powers-putting them on a collision course with the evil that lurks in their wealthy beach town."
|Ordinary Monsters by J.M. Miro
"Riveting in its scope, exquisitely written, Ordinary Monsters presents a catastrophic vision of the Victorian world-and of the gifted, broken children who must save it."
|She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan
"A bold, queer, and lyrical reimagining of the rise of the founding emperor of the Ming Dynasty from an amazing new voice in literary fantasy."
|Kaikeyi by Vaishnavi Patel
"A stunning debut from a powerful new voice, Kaikeyi is the story of the infamous queen from the Indian epic the Ramayana. It is a tale of fate, family, courage, and heartbreak—of an extraordinary woman determined to leave her mark in a world where gods and men dictate the shape of things to come."
|In a Garden Burning Gold by Rory Power
"Twins imbued with incredible magic and near-immortality will do anything to keep their family in power—even if it tears the family apart—in the first book of a mythic epic fantasy duology from the New York Times bestselling author of Wilder Girls."
|Juniper & Thorn by Ava Reid
"From highly acclaimed, bestselling author Ava Reid comes a gothic horror retelling of The Juniper Tree, set in another time and place within the world of The Wolf and the Woodsman, where a young witch seeks to discover her identity and escape the domination of her abusive wizard father."
Summaries sourced from publishers' marketing materials
August's Featured Reviews
Hop on the Holds List
1. Girl, Forgotten - Karin Slaughter
2. The Housekeeper - Joy Fielding
3. Overkill - Sandra Brown
4. Shrines of Gaiety - Kate Atkinson
5. Lessons - Ian McEwan
I have recently finished reading Upgrade by Blake Crouch and Easy Beauty by Chloe Cooper Jones. I also enjoyed the audiobook of Bibliomysteries: Vol. 2 Stories of Crime in the World of Books and Bookstores.
Right now, I am reading The It Girl by Ruth Ware and Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb. I have just borrowed the audio version of Dead to Her by Sarah Pinborough through our GPL Hoopla account.
What are some of your favorite fictional worlds? Can you sing in Elvish? Send me your recommendations for a much-needed escape: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wishing you all a wonderful August!
Until next time: Be safe, be well and be well-read!
So, who am I, anyway? I am a resident of West Groton, with a husband, 4 teenaged children and a Samoyed puppy-all of whom are systematically destroying our house. I am currently working part time at the Groton Public Library and in a former life I was employed as a Director or PR/Marketing at a high-tech consulting firm. My BA is in Psychology, but most of my time was spent in college earning a Concentration on the Novel. That is all to say that I make no claims at being an expert of any kind and my thoughts, opinions and mistakes are solely my own. I am just a person whose passion for books has continued to grow from the moment I was first able to grip and gnaw on them, and I have been devouring them ever since.
- November 2022 — Beyond the Bestsellers
- October 2022 — Bewitching Books
- September 2022 — Non-Human Narrators
- August 2022 — Fabulous Fantasy
- July 2022 — Expressions of Freedom
- June 2022 — Unlikely Allies
- May 2022 — True Crime: Stranger Than Fiction
- April 2022 — Thanks for the Memories: The Magic of Memoirs
- March 2022 — Historical Fiction: A Peek into the Past
- February 2022 — Speculative Fiction: Where Do We Go From Here?