May 24, 2019

Fantasy Starter Pack

LibraryReads and NoveList are continuing our series of webinars to provide you with basic backgrounds on various genres such as science fiction, mysteries, and most recently, fantasy (with romance and horror yet to come!). Annabelle Mortensen (Access Services Manager from Skokie Public Library) and I just finished presenting the Crash Course in Fantasy and are eager to share a link to the recording and our fantasy starter pack with all of you. These titles are all well-reviewed, will appeal to most readers, and are either a stand-alone title or the first in a series. Enjoy!

Uprooted by Naomi Novik
A tale inspired by the "Beauty and the Beast" story follows the experiences of Agnieszka, who becomes the latest girl chosen to serve an immortal wizard who protects their village from the malevolent forces of a nearby forest.

Why is it on the list? It is full of lush writing and features a strong heroine and a subtle romance. The story is inspired by familiar folk tales.

A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab
Prepare to be dazzled by a world of parallel Londons where magic thrives, starves, or lies forgotten, and where power can destroy just as quickly as it can create.

Why is it on the list? A fast-paced adventure with plenty of court intrigue and parallel worlds.

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N. K. Jemison
After Yeine Darr is summoned to the majestic city of Sky and named an heiress to the king of the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, she is thrust into a vicious power struggle with cousins she never knew she had, drawing ever closer to the secrets of her mother's death and her family's bloody history.

Why is it on the list? This intricately-plotted novel offers multi-faceted characters and complex themes.

Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho
Born a slave, Zacharias Wythe has just been appointed England's new Sorcerer Royal — much to the dismay of the socially conservative Royal Society of Unnatural Philosophers, who are already plotting to oust him from his post. But Zacharias has more urgent problems, including a dwindling national supply of magic and strained diplomatic relations with the Faerie realm. 

Why is it on the list? A unique Regency-era London setting with sparkling dialogue and humor and diverse lead characters.

Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse
When a small town needs her help in finding a missing girl, Maggie Hoskie, a Dinetah monster hunter, reluctantly enlists the help of an unconventional medicine man to uncover the terrifying truth behind the disappearance and her past.

Why is it on the list? It's a post-apocalyptic, urban fantasy shot through with supernatural elements, based on Native American mythology.

A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
The aristocratic Stark family faces its ultimate challenge in the onset of a generation-long winter, the poisonous plots of the rival Lannisters, the emergence of the Neverborn demons, and the arrival of barbarian hordes.

Why is it on the list? The first book in the series feels more like historical fiction than fantasy which can draw in many kinds of readers; it is an intense family drama told from multiple first-person viewpoints.


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Victoria Caplinger Fredrick is the Director of Book Discovery at NoveList.


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