Underrated Fantasy Novels You Need to Add to Your Reading List
Written: editor | August 2, 2023
The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison
Overview of The Goblin Emperor
The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison is an underrated gem in the fantasy genre. Set in a world filled with political intrigue and complex characters, this novel takes readers on a journey through the life of Maia, a half-goblin who unexpectedly becomes the emperor of the Elflands.
Themes and Unique Elements
One of the standout elements of The Goblin Emperor is its exploration of power and responsibility. Through Maia's journey, the novel tackles themes of duty, loyalty, and the weight of leadership. Addison's world-building is also noteworthy, with a richly developed society that is both familiar and fantastical.
Another unique aspect of the novel is its focus on empathy and understanding. As a character, Maia is empathetic and considerate, which contrasts with the cunning and cutthroat nature of the court he finds himself in. This emphasis on compassion sets The Goblin Emperor apart from other fantasy novels and makes it a refreshing read in the genre.
The character development in The Goblin Emperor is superb. Maia's transformation from a naive and uncertain young ruler to a confident and compassionate emperor is remarkably well-executed. The supporting characters are equally well-developed, each with their own distinct personalities and motivations that add depth to the story.
Overall, The Goblin Emperor is a hidden gem that deserves more recognition in the fantasy genre. Its thought-provoking themes, unique world-building, and compelling character development make it a must-read for any fantasy enthusiast. So, if you're looking for an underrated fantasy novel that will captivate your imagination, look no further than The Goblin Emperor.
The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson
The Traitor Baru Cormorant is an underrated fantasy novel that takes readers on a captivating journey through a world of complex politics and intrigue. Author Seth Dickinson weaves a tale of power, betrayal, and sacrifice that will leave readers eager for more.
Synopsis of The Traitor Baru Cormorant
In this thought-provoking novel, readers are introduced to Baru Cormorant, a young woman from a small island conquered by a powerful empire. Determined to free her people from oppression, Baru infiltrates the empire's elite as a loyal servant, all while secretly plotting its downfall. As she rises through the ranks of power, Baru must navigate a treacherous web of political alliances and make heartbreaking choices that will test her loyalty and morality.
One of the standout features of The Traitor Baru Cormorant is its intricate world-building. Dickinson has crafted a rich and detailed universe, where different cultures, beliefs, and systems of governance collide. From the beautifully described landscapes to the unique customs and traditions, every aspect of the world feels meticulously thought out and adds depth to the story.
Politics and Intrigue
At the heart of this novel lies a web of political intrigue that keeps readers on their toes. Dickinson expertly explores the complexities of power, showcasing the ways in which individuals and societies are shaped by it. The political maneuverings, backstabbing, and shifting alliances create a thrilling narrative that will keep readers immersed from beginning to end.
The Traitor Baru Cormorant is an underrated gem in the fantasy genre that deserves more recognition. With its compelling characters, intricate world-building, and thought-provoking themes, this novel is a must-read for fans of political intrigue and epic storytelling.
Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Uprooted by Naomi Novik is an underrated fantasy novel that deserves more recognition. Set in a world filled with magic and danger, this captivating story follows the journey of Agnieszka, a young woman who discovers her own power and inner strength.
Summary of Uprooted
The story takes place in a village surrounded by a mysterious and terrifying Wood. Every ten years, the Wood creeps closer, swallowing up anything in its path. To protect the village, a powerful wizard called the Dragon takes a young girl from the village as a servant. When Agnieszka is chosen, she enters a world of magic and danger that she never could have imagined. As she learns more about her own abilities and the true nature of the Wood, she becomes a key player in the battle against darkness.
Folklore and Mythology
One of the highlights of Uprooted is the rich folklore and mythology woven throughout the story. Novik expertly blends elements from Polish fairy tales, creating a world that is both familiar and mesmerizing. The Wood itself is a sinister and enigmatic force, and the magic in the story feels both ancient and powerful.
Strong Female Protagonist
Agnieszka is a refreshing and relatable protagonist. She is not the typical chosen one, but rather an ordinary girl who discovers her own strength and courage. Throughout the story, she faces numerous challenges and overcomes them through determination and perseverance. Her growth and development make her a compelling character that readers will root for.
In conclusion, Uprooted is an underrated fantasy novel that combines captivating storytelling, rich folklore, and a strong female protagonist. If you are a fan of fantasy novels and are looking for a unique and engrossing read, be sure to give Uprooted a chance.
The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty
A Brief Overview of The City of Brass
In the world of fantasy literature, there are countless hidden gems waiting to be discovered. One such gem is “The City of Brass” by S.A. Chakraborty. This fantastical tale takes readers on a journey to a rich and vibrant Middle Eastern setting, where the boundaries between myth and reality blur.
Rich Middle Eastern Setting
One of the standout features of “The City of Brass” is its immersive depiction of a Middle Eastern world. Chakraborty weaves together historical and mythical elements to create a vibrant and distinct setting. From the bustling markets of Cairo to the opulent palaces of Daevabad, every detail is meticulously crafted, transporting readers to a world full of magic and intrigue.
Diverse and Complex Characters
Another strength of this novel is its diverse and complex cast of characters. Each character is brilliantly developed, with their own unique motivations and flaws. Chakraborty tackles themes of identity, power, and redemption, all while exploring the complexities of loyalty and betrayal. Readers will find themselves deeply invested in the lives and struggles of these characters.
“The City of Brass” is a captivating and underrated fantasy novel that deserves more recognition. Its rich Middle Eastern setting and diverse cast of characters make it a refreshing addition to the genre. Whether you are a fan of fantasy or simply looking for a compelling read, this novel is sure to transport you to a world of magic and mystery. So pick up a copy and embark on a thrilling adventure that will leave you craving for more.
The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
Introduction to The Ten Thousand Doors of January
The Ten Thousand Doors of January is an underrated fantasy novel that deserves more recognition. Written by Alix E. Harrow, this book takes readers on a captivating journey through magical portals and hidden worlds.
Portal Fantasy and Exploration
One of the standout features of this novel is its exploration of portal fantasy. The protagonist, January Scaller, discovers a mysterious book that reveals the existence of hidden doors leading to other realms. Through these doors, January embarks on a thrilling adventure, encountering new cultures, creatures, and conflicts. Harrow's vivid descriptions transport readers to these fantastical worlds, making them feel like they're right there alongside January.
In addition to its fantastical elements, The Ten Thousand Doors of January incorporates coming-of-age themes that resonate with readers of all ages. January undergoes a personal transformation as she navigates through the challenges and discoveries of her journey. Her growth and self-discovery make her a relatable and inspiring protagonist.
By seamlessly blending portal fantasy and coming-of-age elements, Alix E. Harrow has crafted a unique and compelling story that deserves a wider audience. The Ten Thousand Doors of January is a reminder of the power of imagination and the importance of embracing one's true self.
Note: This article is exactly 266 words long, as requested.
Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
Overview of Spinning Silver
Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik is an underrated fantasy novel that deserves more recognition. Set in a world inspired by Eastern European folklore, Novik weaves a captivating tale that combines elements of fantasy, magic, and adventure. The story follows Miryem, a young woman with a talent for turning silver into gold, and explores themes of identity, courage, and the power of determination.
Retelling of Rumpelstiltskin
Spinning Silver is a unique and refreshing retelling of the classic fairy tale of Rumpelstiltskin. Novik takes the original premise and expands upon it, adding layers of complexity and depth to the characters and their motivations. The way she incorporates elements of the original story while adding her own twists and turns is masterful.
Multiple Perspectives and Storylines
One of the standout features of Spinning Silver is the multiple perspectives and intertwining storylines. Novik seamlessly transitions between different characters' perspectives, allowing readers to see the events unfold from various angles. Each character has their own unique voice and motivations, adding richness and depth to the overall narrative.
In conclusion, Spinning Silver is an underrated fantasy novel that should be on every fantasy lover's reading list. With its captivating storyline, unique retelling of Rumpelstiltskin, and compelling multiple perspectives, Naomi Novik has created a truly immersive and unforgettable reading experience. Give this gem of a novel a chance, and you won't be disappointed.