Julia’s Favourite #WomenInSFF – PART 1
The Fantasy Hive is spotlighting women in SF/F this month, so what better time than to make a list of all my favourite female Fantasy and SciFi authors!
Then the list got so long… you’ll get it in three parts. Obviously this is not an exhaustive list, just the ones that I personally read and loved. There’s oh so many more that I haven’t read yet, and other great ones that simply aren’t a match for my own taste.
This first list is focusing on Epic and Dark Fantasy. Part Two’s list will be Urban, Contemporary, Children’s, YA and some LitRPG. And Part THREE will focus on my TBR going forward!
So without further ado, here are some excellent books you might want to check out!
Godblind (Godblind, #1) by Anna Stephens
Dark, bloody, yet still hopeful in a way – this is an emotional rollercoaster of a book with amazing character arcs and a plot that keeps you hooked. Extra points for diversity in the cast!
Fortune’s Fool (Eterean Empire #1) by Angela Boord
A book that shouldn’t have been my cup of tea as I don’t like slow books with romance, but this one worked fantastically well for me.
The Sword of Kaigen by M. L. Wang
A different world and an Asian-inspired culture to explore, characters that grow and change, lots of amazing sword fights – what’s not to love!
The Poppy War (The Poppy War, #1) by R.F. Kuang
A wild mix of a book. The first half is a quick and easy read that could almost be classed as YA, and then the second half gets grim, bloody, and quite more complex.
The Spirit Thief (The Legend of Eli Monpress, #1) by Rachel Aaron
Fun, light and a bit silly, and yet still had the real fantasy feel and not like a comedy. This was a great change to the dark books I’ve read recently.
To Whatever End (Echoes of Imara, #1) by Claire Frank
A wife setting out to rescue her vanished husband. That was a really nice new plot I haven’t read before!
Dragons of Autumn Twilight (Dragonlance: Chronicles, #1) by Margaret Weis
Obviously a classic. Compared with modern books it is a bit slower and a bit predictable, but still way worth the read, and definitely a good start into the genre!
Blade’s Edge (Chronicles of Gensokai #1) by Virginia McClain
Another Asian-inspired one that has some serious topics included, while still managing to be an easy and quick read. I especially loved the main characters and the time they spent traveling.
Darkmage (The Rhenwars Saga, #1) by M.L. Spencer
Finally, a book with lots of magic again! Lately I’ve had mostly low-magic stories. Also fascinating to see how much power might be too much power – and the question: Does too much power corrupt?
Across the Nightingale Floor (Tales of the Otori, #1) by Lian Hearn
I’ve seen this one both in the YA and the adult section. Where ever you’d put it, it was a great mix of Asian inspired culture and action with relatable characters! A quick and addicting read.
The Blood of Whisperers (The Vengeance Trilogy, #1) by Devin Madson
On the grimmer and bloodier side this one is a special favourite of mine – how could a book that has a bow as a main plot item not be? I also loved the realistic feel and amazing characters.
The Tale of Gurion Thricebound by Angela Holder
This is a slow burn. Usually I would get bored, but for some reason this one worked for me! The plot is quite relevant as it’s about the power divide in society and a starting rebellion.
A Natural History of Dragons (The Memoirs of Lady Trent, #1) by Marie Brennan
Dragons! Even if not mystical creatures but just animals, Dragons and gorgeous illustrations are always amazing. Paired with a witty female main character who goes her own way it is a pleasure to accompany Lady Trent on her expeditions!
Sorcerer to the Crown (Sorcerer Royal, #1) by Zen Cho
This book manages to both be a quick, fun and easy comfort read like Pride and Prejudice, and yet handle topics like racism and feminism in a really great way. I loved the witty banter!
Smiler’s Fair (The Hollow Gods, #1) by Rebecca Levene
This one looks cute, but it is on the grimmer and bloodier side of things. I especially liked the unique world and the not-only-standard cast.
Blood of Heirs (The Coraidic Sagas #1) by Alicia Wanstall-Burke
This one starts off like a “good old fantasy” but over time it does leave the beaten track and swerve in new directions. I especially enjoyed the character growth in this one!
Soulless (Parasol Protectorate, #1) by Gail Carriger
Fun, banter, strong main character who doesn’t fit into society’s role, and doesn’t really care that much. It has romance, but the humorous kind, not the hot whiny one. My favourite bad mood read!
The Gospel of Loki (Loki, #1) by Joanne M. Harris
I loved the tone and voice in this one. The most fun lesson in Norse mythology I’ve ever had the pleasure to read. Who doesn’t love a trickster god! And it surely isn’t his fault when everything goes haywire….
The Summer Goddess by Joanne Hall
A strong female main character who goes on the hunt for her family. I loved the balance between easy read and yet not fluffy. Really enjoyed seeing the main character grow and flex! (Also love her Rider series, which is quite a bit darker!)
The Magicians’ Guild (Black Magician Trilogy, #1) by Trudi Canavan
Another one I’ve seen on YA and adult shelves. It does fit as the characters grow quite a bit over the course of the series! Gripping plot and lots of magic had me hooked from start to end.
His Majesty’s Dragon (Temeraire, #1) by Naomi Novik
Alternate history with dragons in the military! These are quite an easy and quick read and I found them perfect in between the grim or complex tomes.
Assassin’s Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy, #1) by Robin Hobb
Great characters who change and grow throughout the whole series, I quickly formed a bond with Fitz. And while I found there was less assassinating than I expected, I was still hooked all the way through!