Our library theme for 2020 is Your Library Card, Your Ticket to the World–because with the library, you truly can travel around the world without ever leaving the comfort of your own home. Every month in 2020, we’ll be landing at a new place on the globe. In July, we were
scheduled to be in New Zealand (as a nod to the Lord of the Rings series) but then came a
quarantine (more about that later–poor Penelope). All of this to show that escape is more
important than ever in our COVID-filled world, so let’s talk about some newer fantasy novels instead! 🙂
If you enjoy high fantasy:
Howard Andrew Jones’s For the Killing of Kings (2019)
If traditional epic high fantasy is your preferred fantasy genre, this book–the first in a planned trilogy–should be right up your alley. A fragile peace holds between Darassus and Naor, mainly because the king of Naor’s sword is now in the hands of Darassus. The king’s death on this sword has been prophesied, and that’s enough to make everyone behave. That is, until a squire named Elenai realizes the sword that is being held in Darassus is a forgery. Complications, adventure, and mayhem ensue.
Recommended for those who enjoy the work of Terry Goodkind, Terry Brooks, Brandon Sanderson, and Robert Jordan.
If you prefer a more literary approach to fantasy:
Seanan McGuire’s Middlegame (2019)
McGuire has gained a lot of critical acclaim and buzz over the past few years for her haunting fantasy, especially her Wayward Children series. Twins Roger and Dodger are skilled in their own way (the former at language and the latter at math), but they have no clue of the potential power that resides in them. Unbeknownst to them, they are not people–instead, they were created. And their creator plans to use their powers for his own selfish purposes, namely to ascend to godhood . . . which would be really bad for everyone. The first in a projected series.
Recommended for those who enjoy the work of Lev Grossman, Charlie Jane Anders, and Erin Morgenstern.
If you love young adult fantasy:
Elizabeth Lim’s Spin the Dawn (2019)*
This book is strongly influenced by ancient Chinese legends and myths (and like the previous 2 books mentioned is the first in a series). Maia very badly wants to be a tailor, like her beloved father, but since she is a girl and not a boy, that’s never going to happen. Or is it? When her father is summoned to court and cannot make it, she disguises herself as a boy and goes in his stead. And finds herself a contestant in a tailoring contest, one in which contestants are ultimately tasked with sewing gowns for the future bride of the emperor, gowns made “from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars.”
Recommended for those who enjoy the work of Renee Ahdieh, Roshani Chokshi, and Sarah Maas.
*Available as ebook and audiobook on Libby.
If your preference is humorous fantasy:
Eoin Colfer’s Highfire (2020)**
This book has been, admittedly, a divisive one. People either love it or hate it. But if the idea of a wyvern (dragon) hiding out in the Louisiana swamps and drinking vodka while wearing a Flashdance shirt and watching Netflix while going by the name Vern is amusing to you, you’ll likely enjoy this madcap adventure from the author of the Artemis Fowl series.
Recommended for those who enjoy the work of Lynn Truss, Carl Hiaasen, and Dave Barry.
**Available as ebook and audiobook on Libby.
If you prefer dark fantasy romance/historical fiction:
Constance Sayers’s A Witch in Time (2020)
The protagonist of this story is a witch who has been cursed to repeat a doomed love affair (and die tragically), over and over again. In 19th century France, in 1930s Hollywood, in 1970s L.A., and now in modern-day Washington, D.C. Finally, in the modern day, she starts to wise up to what is going on, and she now has a plan to end the cycle once and for all.
Recommended for those who enjoy the work of Diana Gabaldon and Diane Setterfield.
If you love your fantasy with a bit of mystery:
Sarah Gailey’s Magic for Liars (2019)
Ivy is summoned to investigate a murder at a school for young mages. On the surface that’s intriguing enough on its own, but it is complicated for Ivy since the school is where her own estranged sister teaches. Though she emphatically denies it, Ivy is still stung by the fact that her sister has magical abilities, and she doesn’t. Ivy’s investigation of the case will be a personal journey, a chance for family reconciliation, and, oh, yes, a hunt to find a murderer.
Recommended for those who enjoy the work of Tana French and Leigh Bardugo.
Are you a fantasy fan? What’s your favorite new fantasy series? Have you read any of these books? Tell us in the comments! As always, please follow this link to our online library catalog for more information on any of these items or to place them on hold.