We can all agree that November was the month for a bunch of amazing Asian YA. And October was pretty great too…and September…honestly the Asian rep has been killing it this fall and I am IN LOVE.
I’ve read so many new favorites recently, and they make me all happy and bubbly, I can’t wait to share them with you too! And it’s not just that they have good rep. It’s that these are truly amazing books and I loved their stories and characters (but I also loved seeing myself represented in them too!)
So anyways, this month I have 5 recommendations of Asian fantasy novels that you should 100% check out, and I based them all off of…not so Asian books. To keep you from waiting too long, let’s dive right in, and hopefully you fantasy fans out there will find a new great read!
If you liked The Thief, then you’ll love Shadow of the Fox!
Hands down, I did not expect to love Shadow of the Fox as much as I did. It was just so…endearing? Heart-warming?
I loved the quest/hero’s journey style story, which is where Megan Whalen Turner’s classic fantasy, The Thief comes in with Gen & his quest-like journey. And like Gen, Yumeko is also wildly smart and wily and cunning, especially as she’s half yokai. Her character was one of my favorites, and I can’t remember loving a character in a long time as much as I loved Yumeko.
There are so many reasons you should pick this up, but honestly, just do it for the sheer enjoyment reading this book will bring you!
If you liked The Hunger Games, then you’ll love Empress of All Seasons!
This is obviously a comparison that has been made before, but what can I say?!
The rooms in Empress of All Seasons remind me so much of The Hunger Games (notably, some of the game in Catching Fire) as there are different rooms that feature one of the seasons, and deadly trials to survival and figure out the riddle within the room.
The competition is fierce in this book, and anyone who likes the sound of books feat. competition and a solid hint of romance, along with some female independence, needs to pick this up!
If you liked , you’ll love The Star-Touched Queen!
Can I just say that it took me forever to find an adequate comparison for The Star-Touched Queen? Because this is such an awesome book with such a lush writing style that it took me forever to find something that was even somewhat close to the amazingness of Rosani Chokshi!
The Star-Touched Queen had such a lush and vivid writing style just like Caraval, but it didn’t jump into purple prose and there are so many endearing characters! I love the lil’ horse sidekick and so much about this book, I totally recommend you check it out! *squeezes book to chest with happiness*
If you liked To Kill a Kingdom, then you’ll love Forest of a Thousand Lanterns!
It’s pretty obvious where the comparison lies, but both have some viscious main characters, and they’re retellings.
Although To Kill A Kingdom doesn’t focus on a sea witch (that would be Sea Witch), I think it’s a better fit for FOTL in just sort of the darker atmosphere! (Also I haven’t read Sea Witch yet.)
Xifeng is such an awesome main character, and although To Kill a Kingdom is more starts out evil and becomes less evil, Forest of a Thousand Lanterns is pretty much the reverse with Xifeng starting out okay and progressively getting more evil. It’s positively chilling.
I definitely recommend Forest of a Thousand Lanterns to anyone looking for a darker, somewhat villainous read!
If you liked Game of Thrones, then you’ll love Descendant of the Crane!
I just finished Descendant of the Crane like, less than two weeks ago, and I’m SCREAMING ABOUT IT. Can it be April already so I have more friends to go AHHH with?
Because it is SO AMAZING, and the politics in it are fantastic (and not boring). The traditional comp title is Game of Thrones, but since I know nothing about the books or TV show, I get to make my own comp!
And I think Shadow and Bone is fitting in the way that Alina and Hesina (and some other characters) both have to make a lot of decisions that might not benefit themselves or the people close to them *cough cough cough Joan* but might be the good for society as a whole! There’s so many complex elements to Descendant and it was such an amazingly layered read.
What Asian fantasies have you read & loved & would recommend?