If you liked this fantasy book…
By Candice Blackwood
If you’re like me, when you fall in love with a book or a series, you want to find another that will give you the same feeling. I’ve picked three older, wonderful fantasy novels published in 2007, 2013 and 2017, and I’ve paired them with a recent release that closely matches the themes and tone of its companion. I hope you find a new favourite.
Readers who enjoyed The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss will find many elements of The First Binding by R.R. Virdi familiar and equally as enjoyable.
As just one of the many who read, loved and still dares to hope that the third and final book will be published in Virdi’s lifetime, reading The First Binding was a comforting welcome home. Using several layers of
frame story, Virdi introduces us to The Storyteller. In a dark tavern, The Storyteller begins to share his own story of when he was just a boy named Ari and how he came to be known as the sword, the eagle, the lion – Fire Binder, Lightning Rider, Princesskiller – and how he set loose the first evil.
Virdi has created a rich world, laying out his magic system of bindings and holding folds in your mind. The magic system is explained carefully, and the characters are held to it. While Ari is dedicated and possesses some natural talent, his learning of the bindings and holding the folds is brought on by necessity and requires sacrifice.
The First Binding is available in print, eBook and downloadable audiobook. The sequel will be published in October of this year.
If you liked A Natural History of Dragons: a memoir by Lady Trent, written by Marie Brennan, read Emily Wilde’s Encyclopedia of Faeries by Canadian author Heather Fawcette.
In Brennan’s book, the protagonist, Cambridge professor Emile Wilde, is visiting the icy, remote village of Ljosland in the name of science. Her goal is to conduct research into Hransvik’s faerie folk known as the Hidden Ones. The Hidden Ones of Hransvik have never been studied before because of the danger they present to humans. Her first step is to learn what the locals know about The Hidden Ones, but Emily is an awkward scholar who quickly has trouble fitting in with the townspeople. She inadvertently offends them at every turn and isn’t sure what she’s doing wrong. When her rival, and only friend, Dr Wendell Bambleby arrives uninvited, he quickly charms the townsfolk, and he and Emily agree to work together while in Hransvik.
Readers of A Natural History of Dragons will enjoy Fawcette’s use of the diary style for this historical fantasy and the gentle romance that builds throughout the novel. Emily Wilde’s Encyclopedia of Faeries is available in print, eBook, downloadable audiobook and as an express eBook from CloudLibrary.
Now this next one might seem like a stretch but hear me out. If you liked Jade City by Fonda Lee, give One for My Enemy by Olivie Blake a try.
Fonda Lee’s Jade City is a crime drama in a fantasy setting where Green Bone warriors use jade for its magical abilities. In Kekon’s capital city of Janloon, war between crime families, or clans as they’re called in the book, seems inevitable as they vie for power and control of the jade supply. In One for My Enemy, witches take the stage in modern day Manhattan. Two powerful witch families, rivals that have maintained a fragile coexistence for over a decade, finally clash as they struggle to maintain control over their criminal enterprises. Blake is known for her character work, so expect to be taken on a gut-wrenching journey in this retelling of Romeo and Juliet.
In addition to the feuding criminal families, when picking up One for My Enemy, readers of Jade City will find similarities to One for My Enemy in the well-developed characters, an action-packed storyline, and a fast-paced writing
style. One for My Enemy is available in print, eBook and downloadable audiobook.
Candice Blackwood is the coordinator at Sunnyside Branch. She enjoys reading fantasy novels for all ages. She is currently reading A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers, a cozy science fiction novella about a tea-monk and a robot who have the first human and robot encounter since the robots gained consciousness centuries ago and left humans to live in the forest.