Friday, December 3, 2021

Fantasy Series to Discover

Posted by: Nicole Luiken


It’s December so people are already thinking about their Best of the Year Lists. Personally, I plan to read another fifteen to twenty books this month, so I can’t do a Best of yet! There’s also the problem in that my reading is divided roughly in half between recently published books and older books. So I thought instead I’d do a post on series that I personally discovered this year.


1/ Bannon & Clare by Lilith Saintcrow – Steampunk/alternate history Victorian. I gobbled up all three books in this series about sorceress Emma Bannon and mentat (think Sherlock Holmes) Archie Clare early in the year. I love how vivid Saintcrow’s writing is, especially when it comes to magic battles. One caveat: do not expect a romantic relationship between the two main characters, this is a partnership/friendship.

2/ Livi Talbot by Skyla Dawn Cameron – Action-packed urban fantasy series, ongoing. The tagline for these is: Ex-debutante. Single mother. Treasure hunter. Think Indiana Jones but in a world where magic has newly reawakened and old legends are suddenly real. I adore kickass heroines who can also be vulnerable, and slow-burn romantic subplots with broody heroes-with-a-past.

3/ Curseworkers by Holly Black – Teen contemporary fantasy trilogy, complete, soon to be released in an omnibus. Having zoomed through Black’s wonderful Faerie of Light and Air series I went looking for her backlist and found this. Premise: what if people with magic had been put in labor camps and now mostly worked for the mafia? Cool magic, a very twisty plot and a likeable con-man main character.


4/  House of Shadows by Rachel Neumeier – Fantasy duology, complete. A family of poor sisters is forced to sell one of the sisters into a courtesan house, while another becomes apprentice to a mage. Lovely world-building, lots of cool magic, political intrigue and characters to root for. 

5/ Romances of Arquitaine by Lilith Saintcrow. – Fantasy romance duology, complete. A world with French Versailles vibes and political upheaval. Book one is first person from the lady-in-waiting heroine, book two is first person from the knight-in-very-tarnished-armor hero, a structure that worked well. I loved how Tristan was totally gone on the oblivious heroine.

6/ Gargoyle Queen by Jennifer Estep – Fantasy series, ongoing. This is a sequel series to her Crown of Shards trilogy, with a new protagonist. Fantasy setting, but with the same strong pacing and first-person voice of Estep’s popular urban fantasy.

7/ Sun Chronicles by Kate Elliott – Science fiction/space opera, ongoing. Pitched as a gender-flipped Alexander the Great in space. Only the first book is out, but I’m looking forward to more. Space battles and political intrigue!

 What new series have you discovered this year? Share in the comments.

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