Tag Archives: fantasy

Dazzling Diverse Fantasy: Fevered Star and The Gilded Ones

27 Apr

Myth, legends, and traditions have always worked their way into fantasy, but for years much of what was written in English drew from European history or if it looked elsewhere it was through an “exotic” outsider lens. It is exciting to see so many People of Color, especially women, writing and getting published fantasy works inspired by their own cultures. Here are two powerful works I enjoyed recently.

Fevered Star
Fevered Star is alive with strong willed characters that kept me turning the page. I was especially drawn to Xiala a Teek whose voice has power and Serapio who though literally now a powerful god still manages to have the complexity of a lesser man. This is a second book so the various strands of each main character are interwoven together, but they are distanced from one another. The series is set in a Fantasy American Continent drawing from native myths and legends. I would recommend to other readers starting with Black Sun and then reading Fevered Star to better understand the underlying political dynamics at work. The end of Fevered Star definitely left me hungry for the third book in the series. Rebecca Roanhorse is an African American and Indigenous author. I was provided an advanced copy of Fevered Star by Net Galley/SAGA Press.

The Gilded Ones
The Gilded Ones is the first in a series by Namina Forna. The next book, The Merciless Ones, will be coming out at the end of this month. Forna immigrated from West Africa as a child and her experiences there helped to inspire some of the novel’s story. In The Gilded Ones, women are considered impure if they bleed gold when cut. They must choose between death and becoming warriors whose service to the emperor will purify them. But all is not what it seems, in this inspiring work of feminist fantasy. Although it is listed as a Young Adult work, adults will also enjoy this book. We read it as part of our monthly HPL Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Discussion Group.

Both series are available from elibraryNJ and in print from BCCLS Libraries.

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Information and Digital Service Manager

Subtle Horror: House of Salt and Sorrows

22 Jul

Whenever anything horror related is connected to fantasy, it often falls under the genre of grim-dark, things like The Witcher, A Song of Ice and Fire, The First Law series, and The Broken Empire trilogy just to name a few. All of these have elements of violence and some semblance of horror to them. But for all of the ones that have these elements out on full display, how many fantasy ones use it in a more subtle way? Horror can be a utterly shocking, but it can also be used to build up a quite atmosphere of dread and fear throughout the story it’s telling.

This is where House of Salt and Sorrows comes into play. Written by Erin A. Craig, it tells the story of the Thaumas sisters, once known as the Thaumas Dozen, four of them having died a tragic death prior to the book’s beginning. Our protagonist, Annaleigh, one of the remaining sisters is attending the funeral of the fourth latest dead sister when the book starts. When she starts to receive hints that the death of her sisters maybe no accident, she starts to investigate who could be behind the possible murders.

Part retelling of Grimm’s The Twelve Dancing Princesses and part horror suspense novel, Craig weaves a fantastical tale that will satisfy those looking for a story with strong fairy tale horror vibes.

Written By:
Lauren Lapinski
Circulation Assistant

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