Welcome to part one of my blog series!
Recently, I noticed that my library wasn’t all that diverse. To rectify that, I’ve been trying to find more black authors to add to my TBR catalog. Thanks to Goodreads and bookstagram, I’ve been able to come across A LOT of different books with black characters written by talented black authors. At first, this was just going to be one post with a list of books. But that list just kept growing and growing. So I decided to break it up by genre. This week we’re looking at my favorite genre: fantasy!
I found The Rage of Dragons on my recommendation list on Goodreads and the synopsis piqued my curiosity. It’s an adult fantasy book centered around a 200-year war, women with the gift to call down dragons, and men who can transform themselves into unstoppable killing machines. The story follows Tau, a giftless soldier who suffers a terrible loss. Driven by revenge, Tau dedicates himself to destroy those who betrayed him.
I love plots that are driven by revenge. The synopsis made the books sound like a great read. I’m especially intrigued by the fact that some women can call down dragons. With an 4.38 (currently) rating on Goodreads, I know I had to add this book to my TBR. I can’t wait to get lost in this world and get to now all the characters. The Rage of Dragons has been out since 2019, and the second book, The Fires of Vengeance, is set to come out November 2020.
Cinderella Is Dead by Kalynn Bayron
Cinderella Is Dead takes place 200 years after Cinderella found Prince Charming. Now, teen girls are required to attend the Annual Ball to be chosen by potential suitors. However, those who don’t make a match mysteriously disappear. The main character in this story is Sophia, who has no interest in marrying any suitors but instead, would like to marry her best friend Erin. After fleeing the ball, Sophia meets the last descendant of Cinderella, Constance, and her step-sisters. Together, they decide to take down the king, and in the process learn the truth about Cinderella’s story.
I’ve seen Cinderella Is Dead floating around bookstagram for a couple of weeks and I love retellings! I haven’t seen a lot of books with an LGBTQ+ main character, so I’m excited that this book features one. I can’t wait to witness how Kalynn Bayron spins this classic fairytale.
The Return of the Earth Mother series by Reni K. Amayo
The old gods have deserted earth after a gruesome war. The remnants of their power now lie within two girls. Separated at birth, identical twins Naala and Sinai grew up believing they were regular human girls. Their separation came at a cost to ensure their survival from the man that brought the mighty gods to their knees, Eze Ochichiri. The girls are tested in ways that awaken their formidable power, and eventually their journey leads to Eze.
The first thing the drew me to this series were the GORGEOUS covers. This is the type of book I would by just for the cover alone. But the synopsis is a big help too. This series sounds like just my type of read. Daughters of Nri has been out since 2019 and the second book, Descendants of the First is set to come out March 2021.
The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna
The upcoming blood ceremony has teenage Deka living in fear and anticipation. She hopes her blood will run red, signifying that she is truly a member of her village. But on the day of the ceremony, her blood runs gold, the color of impurity. Faced with a choice, Deka must decide if she wants to stay in her village and suffer a fate worse than death, or travel to the capital to train with the alaki, an army of near immortal girls, just like her, gifted with rare abilities. Deka decides to leave her old life behind and go to the capital, but soon finds that nothing is as it seems, even herself.
I have seen The Gilded Ones all around bookstagram and Goodreads. It has amazing reviews from those who have received an ARC. The synopsis hooked me and I can’t wait for February 2021 so I can have this book in my hands!
Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko
Tarasai has always wanted a family. She’s only known isolation while being raised by an absent mother known as The Lady. When The Lady sends her to the capital of Aritsar, its in the hopes that Tarasi will be chosen as one of the Crown Prince’s Council of 11. If she’s chosen, she will be connected to the other members in a bond deeper than blood, which is everything she’s ever wanted. But The Lady has compelled Tarasai to kill the Crown Prince once she gains his trust. Tarasai vows to not be a pawn in someone else’s game; but will she be strong enough to choose her own path?
Raybearer was another book I’ve seen floating around. It was just released and has amazing reviews from readers who’ve received an ARC. This sounds like a fun read and I’m interested to see how this compulsion will affect Tarasai and her bond. I will definitely have to pick this up soon.
Legendborn by Tracey Deonn
After Bree Matthews loses her mother in a car accident, she decides to escape her painful memories by attending a residential program at UNC – Chapel Hill. One night she witnesses a demon feeding on human energies. It is the duty of the secret Legendborn society to hunt the demons down. When a Merlin fails to erase the memory of what she just saw, he unknowingly unlocks Bree’s hidden magic and suppressed memories of the night her mother died: another Merlin at the hospital. Now Bree realizes there’s more to her mother’s death than a car accident. Desperate for answers, Bree recruits exiled Legendborn member Nick and decides to infiltrate the secret society as one of their initiates. When the Legendborn tell Bree that they are descendants of King Arthur’s knights and a magical war is coming, Bree must decide whether she join the fight or use her magic to take the society down.
I don’t know too much about the knights of King Arthur, but I do enjoy retellings. Add in black girl magic and I’m sold! I am really intrigued to see how this contemporary spin will turn out. So far the ratings are great. September 15th can’t come fast enough!