Hello friends! What’s this, something other than a review? My goodness, it’s almost as if I’ve got my life together.
I wanted to bring to you today my top FIVE fantasy recommendations from 2021 that I think you should definitely be adding to your tbr.
These days, it feels like a never-ending onslaught of incredible fantasy books to read, and it’s overwhelming. Where do you start?
Well, I can guarantee you that these five books should gleefully bump their way up your priority list and let them take your hand and drag you deep into fantastical stories to get your imagination sizzling.
Son of the Storm by Suyi Davies Okungbowa
This is a brilliantly original piece of work. Suyi Davies takes us on a West African-inspired adventure to the city of Bassa, where class structure and prejudices are rife as anything.
Danso is an intelligent main character whose strength lies in this passion and kind soul, but the tantalising lure of a forbidden adventure knocks him off the straight and narrow and directly into chaos.
It’s deliciously good writing and a world that will imprint onto your mind. The sequel to this sure-to-be-epic series will grace us with its presence in 2022 with any luck.
Legendborn by Tracey Davies
Any avid fantasy goers in the crowd tonight will recognise this title for sure. Legendborn has made a legendary (couldn’t resist) splash in the YA Fantasy community for being not only epic and addictive, but a magnificent representation of Black writing.
Bree is a marvellous main character dealing with grief but also gloriously cantankerous (and I mean, fair enough). She’s highly relatable and once thrust into a secret society of Arthurian legend–inspired magical sheningans, college becomes the last thing on her mind.
It’s a slow burn, over 500 pages, and so needs commitment to settle into the beginning. But once you hit the action, your feet will be hot on the ground and you won’t see the ending coming.
Threadneedle by Cari Thomas
A quiet yet thrilling contender on my list. Threadneedle is the witchy fix you need in your life right now. Centred around schoolgirls starting a secret and utterly forbidden coven, this book will scratch the dark academic itches you’ve been building up.
It’s a lengthy chunk of a book, but I found it perfectly readable and actually quite the page turner. I’m so excited for this series to continue because things are left off in a very interesting state.
Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko
If you haven’t read this yet, you’re only doing yourself a disservice. Raybearer has to be up there in some if my favourite fantasy novels I’ve ever read.
The African-inspired setting is just a pure delight and so well done. Not to mention the unseen twists (perhaps a moot point as aren’t all twists theoretically unseen?) that really shake up the story every now and then to check you’re still paying attention.
If you need a fantasy fix and escape into a new world, this enthusiastically ticks the box. Trust me, you won’t regret this one.
The Beast’s Heart by Leife Shallcross
And of course I must mention a new-found favourite amongst the Beauty and the Beast retellings. The Beast’s Heart is a work of art in the way is weaves the pieces of your heart into a taught pattern and plucks at them every now and then to keep you on your toes.
It’s loveable yet very different to the way retellings of this story are usually handled. So if you’re a fan of the OG story, but need something more from it, I dare say this is it.
Have you read any of these? Which YA Fantasy books would make your top 5?!