Top 3 Right Now: Kathy’s Top 3 Fantasy Books for a Wider Audience

This week we’re featuring a Top 3 list of awesome modern fantasy books from Kathy, our teen services librarian at the Snohomish Library.

Take it away, Kathy!

“I love reading fantasy, where I not only can lose myself in a new and interesting world, but also get pulled along by a fast plot. Complex characters that are more than just ‘Good’ or ‘Bad’ are a plus, too. What is perhaps not so strange is that until recently, these imagined worlds have brought along the blind spots in our own culture: race. What is cool is that new authors are coming out with amazing new stories where not everybody is automatically white.

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

A gripping story in an interesting new world with a persecuted minority needing magic to come back. I liked how the flawed characters grew and changed, and not always for the better: Prince Inan is the self-hating, pursuing enemy that becomes the love interest who believably falls back into being the enemy. Zelie is The Chosen One, yet she can be dangerously impulsive. This is a harsh story, with blood and battles, casually brutal racism and an intense torture scene, so this is not for the faint of heart. Nevertheless, I rooted for these characters all the way.

Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor

I love this way cool fantasy set in Nigeria, starring a girl who is in between: she lives in Nigeria but raised in the US, she is black/Igbo but also white/albino, and then she finds out that she is ‘Leopard’ (magical), but she lives in a non-magical family. This has many echoes from Harry Potter (group of young students must defeat a powerful evil magician), but with the strong sense of a very different place. There is a growing body of good literature coming out of Nigeria recently, and this is a worthy addition.

The Reader by Traci Chee (The Sea of Ink and Gold book #1)

Sefia has hidden in the jungle with her Aunt Nin since the vicious murder of her parents, but now Nin has been captured. What is the strange square object they were they trying to protect? In a world where reading is unknown, and stories are how people are remembered, Sefia and the strange, scarred boy she rescues and names Archer race to figure out the conspiracy that may link both their tragedies. Multi-layers of stories, pirates, arena death fights, assassins and secret societies, oh my!”

Excellent suggestions, Kathy – thank you!

Stay tuned next week when Jessica from Oak Harbor will give us her Top 3 newer dark fantasy titles.


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