I finally, finally, finally, watched Shadow & Bone. I know I was behind the 8-ball when I didn’t start it the day it came out, but I am now caught up. And I am OBSESSED. Season 2, where is she? Because I’m ready for it. While I anxiously await season 2, you know I’ll be binge reading the series. But for those of you who have already experienced the book series, here are some books to help tide you over.
The Seven Realms Series
by Cinda Williams Chima
Okay. If you are a fan of Kaz Brekker – prepare yourself for Han Alister. I’m just saying Han Alister walked so Kaz could run. Han Alister is the (ex) leader of a fearsome street gang, now just trying to stay out of trouble and help his mom and little sister out. But when three young wizards set fire to the sacred mountain of Hanalea, Han takes an amulet away from Micah Bayar, son of the High Wizard – and trouble is exactly what Han finds himself in. Meanwhile, Princess Raisa ana’Marianna has just returned to court after three years of riding and hunting with her father’s family in Clan territory. She wishes to be just like Hanalea, the legendary warrior queen who killed the Demon King and saved the world. But forces are at work to undermine Raisa’s future rule – and everything her Queendom stands for.
And the good news is, this four-book series is already all out, and ready for the binging! And, seriously, you should be prepared, because these books are so brilliant and the cliff-hangers – OH the cliffhangers! A fully bingeable series, yes ma’am. I would know, I’ve binged them four times.
The Hollow Crown Duology
by Zoraida Córdova
A young woman with a power she doesn’t fully understand, a kingdom in the balance, and an enemies-to-lovers romance? AHEM. Yes, please and thank you. When Renata was a child, she was kidnapped by the King’s Justice and brought to the luxurious palace of Andalucia. As a memory thief, the rarest and most feared of the magical Moria, she was used by the crown to carry out the King’s Wrath, a siege that resulted in the deaths of thousands of her own people. Now Renata works for the Whispers, rebel spies working against the crown. But when her team leader, and the boy she loves, is taken by the notorious Principe Dorado, Castian, she must return to the castle of her childhood and confront the memories she has locked away.
Epic Fantasy (capitals on the E and F), this duology is full of thrilling action, dangerous magic, and kissing! And seriously, if you’re into the Alina/Darkling pairing, this is the book for you. Though, don’t worry, this love interest is not nearly so evil as he first appears.
The Folk of the Air
by Holly Black
Again, this one is for the Alina/Darkling stans, but with a love interest who is actually the good guy. Not like, pure evil, so yay! Jude was seven when her parents were murdered, and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the High Court of Faerie. Now, despite her mortality, she wishes for nothing more than to belong. But many of the fey despise humans – particularly Prince Cardan, the youngest and most wicked of the High King’s sons. To win a place at Court, she must defy him – and face the consequences.
When I tell you this is the tip of the iceberg… you have no idea! The plot twists in this book are absurd and brilliant and had me literally screaming. Go in prepared for book two, The Wicked King, because that ending had me yelling into my pillow at four in the morning so I wouldn’t wake up my roommate. I have never wanted to throw my book out the window from a sixth story building more – and if that isn’t a stunning recommendation, I don’t know what is.
Girls of Paper and Fire
by Natasha Ngan
Dark magic, Demon castes, and an opulent cage that is the royal court. Lei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most persecuted class of people in Ikhara. Years ago, her mother was stolen by royal guards and taken to an unknown fate. And now they are back, this time for Lei – the girl with golden eyes who’s beauty has piqued the king’s interest. In the oppressive palace, Lei and the other Paper girls are trained to charm and please the king as befits their roles as king’s consort. But then she does the unthinkable – she falls in love. Her forbidden romance becomes enmeshed in a nation-wide rebellion against the king, and she will have to decide how far she is willing to go for justice – and revenge.
The beautiful fantasy is fully of intrigue and glorious prose, and the stakes only get higher with each book! If you loved Shadow & Bone for its world-building, you will adore this book!
We Rule the Night
by Claire Eliza Bartlett
Okay, this one is a standalone, but you know what – it’s absolutely brilliant! If you loved Shadow & Bone for its Russian history-inspired elements and the magic system, you will adore this book! I know I do!
Revna is a factory worker, manufacturing war machines for the Union of the North. When she is caught using illegal magic, she fears being branded a traitor and imprisoned. Meanwhile, Linne has defied her father, a Union general, and disguised herself as a boy to join the army. Both girls are offered a reprieve from punishment if they use their magic in a special women’s military flight unit and undertake deadly missions under cover of darkness. But Revna and Linne can barely stand to be in the same cockpit. But if they cannot learn to fly together, the enemy’s superior fire-power will destroy them.
by Elly Blake
Ruby is a Fireblood who has concealed her powers of heat and flame from the Frostblood ruling class her entire life. But when her mother is killed trying to protect her, and rebel Frostblood demand her help overthrowing their bloodthirsty king, she agrees to come out of hiding in order to exact her revenge. Throw in an icy Frostblood rebel love interest in the form of Arcus, and you’ve got yourself a real firey situation! Heh, see what I did there? Seriously though, between two warring magic factions, the secrets of gods, and richly built fantasy world, the Frostblood series has everything you need to get you through the wait for Shadow & Bone season 2.
Strange the Dreamer
by Laini Taylor
One of the things I love about Shadow & Bone is the way it keeps you guessing as to the pasts of the characters and the source of so much of this world’s magic. And if you love a puzzle-box of a mystery, no book is better for you that Strange the Dreamer. Seriously, once you think you’ve figured everything out, it turns out you’ve figured just about nothing out. Laini is a genius who knows just how far to pull the curtain back to give you a peek – but still keep you guessing the whole way through!
Lazlo Strange – war orphan and junior librarian, has been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep ever since he was five years old. But it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. But when a stunning opportunity presents itself I the form of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, he must seize his chance or lose his dream forever. But what happened to Weep two hundred years ago that cut it off from the rest of the world? And who is the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams? And what ghosts haunt the citadel of murdered gods?
The Bartimaeus Trilogy
by Jonathan Stroud
Set in a London where magicians rule, Nathaniel is a boy magician-in-training sold to the government by his birth parents at the age of five. His master, Arthur Underwood is cold, condescending and cruel – a middle-ranking magician in the Ministry of Internal Affairs. When Nathaniel is publicly humiliated by the ruthless magician Simon Lovelace, Nathaniel vows revenge. He hones his magical skills until he muster the strength to summon the 5,000 year old djinni Bartimaeus to avenge Lovelace by stealing the powerful Amulet of Samarkand. But summoning and djinni and controlling one are two different skills, and Nathaniel is plunged into a whirlwind of espionage, murder, and rebellion.
If you loved learning about the Grisha and their training in the Little Palace, you will love this world of a magical Britain where rival magicians fight for power in hidden intrigues!