(Short personal note! I’ll be trying to make a couple of posts today! I’m on a trip and not even 15 hours in, I fell down a flight of stairs and wrecked my ankle! As I’m in a foreign country, I don’t have any medical coverage, so I’ve been resting my ankle, icing it, and being extremely careful so I don’t get any complications! It hasn’t exactly been the right atmosphere around here to get work done. But I’m finally hobbling around and have so many exciting things to talk to you guys about, so it’s back to the A-Z Challenge!)
Sunday is technically a day off… but I’m so far behind, it’s going to be crunch day for me!
Without further ado, here is my article for G: Great Books (That You May Not Have Read.)
I love to read!
I’ve always loved to read. And my whole life, I’ve always wanted the books that I love to get the appreciation they deserve. Sometimes you read a book that you just want to share with the world. But people don’t really read these days, and even readers sometimes have such a backlog it’s hard to get something on their radars! So I thought I’d take some time to talk about some books that I feel are woefully underground for how good they are.
The Spiritwalker Trilogy by Kate Elliot, starting with Cold Magic, has a trait I feel sadly lacking in a lot of fantasy: it’s fantastic. Not in that it’s good (though it is), but in that it’s full of strange and wonderful and weird things, creatures and places and magics that will thrill and alarm you. The world of the trilogy is also beautifully diverse and international, taking place in fantasy alternatives of the Caribbean, Africa, France, and England with most of the cast being either black or mixed race. It mixes Celtic and Mali lore beautifully to create one of the most imaginative fantasy worlds I’ve seen… and it’s still at least half our own!
I love romance novels. Especially historicals. And it’s a joy when I find a romance novel that isn’t just a thrilling, entertaining love story, but is actually consent-positive and has a strong female lead. The Brothers Sinister by Courtney Milan, manages it four times in a row. Despite the series name referencing the men, the theme is the heroines: four brilliant women who have been forced by Victorian society to become lesser than they are. Minnie, the chess prodigy, Jane, the clever thinker, Violet, the natural scientist, and Free, the investigative reporter… all of them are pushed down by their worlds and all of them learn to live big. It’s a beautiful series that people who avoid romance novels are missing out on!
I’ve talked a bit about the Mrs. Quent series before, but oh my gosh. They have got to be the most underappreciated rough-cut gems out there. A melding of the aesthetics and writing styles of Jane Austen and H.P. Lovecraft is a match made in heaven, and the three main characters are so different and so endearing. Ivoleyn Lockwell, the bookish gentlewoman looking to cure her father’s madness. Dashton Rafferdy, the playboy nobleman who has to learn to be an adult. Eldyn Garrit, the poor clerk taking care of his younger sister. I adore these books. They’re rough around the edges, so how can they be so perfect? It’s hard to say. Maybe it’s just that they’re perfect for me.
Speaking of the Lovecraft, while the man himself has aged poorly, those inspired by him are such a joy of mine. One of my favourite horror novels is The Red Tree by Caitlin R. Kiernan. This book is a trip. It’s a dark and confusing and sensual maze through the mind of a woman who may be going mad with grief, or may be haunted by the dark and sinister history of a certain tree, or may be both. I don’t want to say too much about it because a lot of the fun is just how little you know going in! I’ll just say this: if you’re looking for answers, you’ll be frustrated by The Red Tree. But if you want something that you can mull over for weeks, weighing the possibilities, you’ll adore this.
These are just a few of the less known books I love! Check them all out!