Book Recommendations

Since my latest read is taking longer than anticipated I thought I’d share my top five favorite fantasy books.

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  1. Crescent City

This is a recent favorite of mine. I’m a huge fan of Sarah Maas and really enjoyed her first foray into the adult genre. In “Crescent City”, Bryce Quinlan, a half fae gallery assistant, enjoys nothing more than partying with her three closest friends. Her idyllic life is turned upside down when her roommate and best friend is viciously murdered. Several years later, Bryce is still reeling from what happened, which is why she jumps at the opportunity to track down the party responsible even if it means working with the angel called Shadowed Death.

The book takes time getting into, but after the first few chapters I fell in love with the characters and got so invested in their stories. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed and cried so hard while reading any other book

Keep in mind that this book is the first in a series, but I highly recommend it.

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2. Ink Exchange

I’ve lost track of the number of times that I’ve read this book. “Ink Exchange” can be read as either a stand alone or part of Melissa Marr’s “Wicked Lovely” series. The book focuses on Leslie, a high school girl trying to escape her troubled home life while healing from a recent traumatic experience. Her decision to get a unique tattoo unexpectedly sweeps her into the hidden world of the Fae and forges a powerful connection with its Dark king, Irial.

I can’t rally explain why this story resonated with me, but if you are a fan of YA fantasy I highly recommend that you give this book a try.

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3. From Unseen Fire

In case you were wondering, I’m a major history buff and ancient Rome has always been an obsession of mine. I’ve found the pervasive influence of the Romans on our everyday lives fascinating. I’ve especially been interested in Roman mythology and how the Romans believed that the gods took an active interest in their daily lives.

In Cass Morris’ “From Unseen Fire” the gods play a very real part in the lives of Aventine citizens, her version of Rome, by gifting some of them with magical abilities. Aventine matron and mage Latona is gifted by both Juno and Venus. Her gifts have the unfortunate consequence of attracting the unwanted attention of Aventine dictator, Ocella. His sudden death spells freedom for Latona and the return of banished friends including Sempronius Tarren, to whom Latona finds herself drawn to. Yet not everybody in Aven is happy with the return of normal life. Latona and Sempronius will find themselves fighting not only to build a better Aven, but also against an enemy that is hellbent on destroying the city they both passionately love.

I enjoyed the idea of seeing what Romans might have done if they had magic as well as trying to guess what historical figures Cass Morris may have based some of her characters on. This is the first book in a series and I’m looking forward to seeing where the rest of the story goes.

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4. Discovery of Witches

I had no idea when I picked up this book how much I would enjoy it and how popular it would become. This book is another good mix of history and fantasy. Throughout the story we encounter a variety of magical creatures as well as gorgeous historical sites and discussions of important historical events.

In “A Discovery of Witches” historian Diana Bishop is a descendent of the famous Bridget Bishop of Salem, but chooses to avoid magic. However, an encounter with a magical manuscript and the appearance of enigmatic vampire Matthew Clairmont send Diana’s neatly organized life into a tailspin. Now with other creatures chasing Diana for secrets she didn’t know she possessed, Matthew seems to be the only person Diana can trust. Together the two much race to discover the secrets of a seemingly lost manuscript if Diana is to protect herself and perhaps save the entire world of creatures.

This is a must read and the TV adaptation is just as good.

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5. Spinning Silver

Naomi Novik does an incredible job combining elements of Slavik mythology, Judaism and Grimm’s fairytale in her standalone “Spinning Silver”. I’ve been a fan of her work since picking up “Uprooted” and I feel that “Spinning Silver” is an even better work of fantasy.

In this book Miryem is the daughter of an unsuccessful moneylender. Her mother’s illness forces her to step into her father’s shoes and it turns out that she is actually very skilled at this type of work. She quickly turns the family’s fortunes around gaining a reputation of being able to turn silver into gold. This attracts the attention of the Staryk, winter lords that terrorize the land. Now Miryem is forced to meet the lords’ ever growing demands or risk drawing down their wrath on everyone she loves.