Well, well, well. Yet another meme I started and then promptly abandoned. The meme I’m bringing back today is the classic recommendation meme. Basically, I recommend things (books, TV shows, movies, etc.) based on what you already like. I usually only recommend things based on one specific piece of media (for example, I recommended other shows for It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia fans). Today, I’m shaking things up a little bit.
I’m going to start with a book, and, as usual, recommend another book I think you’ll also like if you like the original book. However, instead of continuing to recommend more books based on the first book, I’m going to recommend a book I think you’ll like based on the second book. Essentially, if you like Book 1, you’ll like Book 2. If you like Book 2, you’ll like Book 3. It’s a veritable chain reaction of books!
How does a TBR get from Point A to Point E? Like this:
If you like The Young Elites by Marie Lu…
…You’ll like Furyborn by Claire Legrand
When I read Furyborn earlier this year, I instantly wanted to reread The Young Elites. Why? Because both stories feature a protagonist slowly becoming a villain. I saw so many parallels between Adelina Amouteru and Rielle Dardenne. Furyborn is told through two perspectives: Rielle Dardenne and Eliana Ferracora. In Rielle’s timeline, she has been taught her hide her extraordinary abilities. You see, only two people could ever be as powerful as Rielle: the prophesied Sun and Blood Queens. However, one day she is forced to expose her powers and now must complete several trials proving she is the Sun Queen (and not the long-feared Blood Queen).
Eliana’s story takes place a thousand years later, when Rielle’s former home is ruled by the Undying Empire. Eliana is a bounty hunter and, when her mother is kidnapped, she must join the rebels in order to rescue her. Knowing how Rielle’s story ends (her final moments serve as the prologue), I just know she’ll only become more and more twisted. I can’t wait to see her become as dark as Adelina to get what she wants. So, if you want more stories about morally corrupt heroines, look no further than the first installment in the Emperium series.
If you like Furyborn…
…You’ll like The Tethered Mage by Melissa Caruso
Furyborn takes place in a Venetian-inspired magical world. It also stars two well-written female characters. The Tethered Mage is similarly inspired and also features some great female characters. It follows Amalia Cornaro, the sole heir to her mother’s position on the Council. Amalia has been trained her whole life in the ways of political intrigue. However, a twist of fate finds her accidentally bound to fire mage Zaira. Now Amalia holds a precarious and coveted position— she is the only noble to become a Falconer. But treachery is afoot and if Amalia can’t stop the culprit soon, she may have to unleash Zaira’s power on the world.
Not only is this book fantastic, but it’s a really good introduction to adult fantasy. It’s more complex that YA, but not as overwhelming as most adult fantasy. This first volume of the Swords and Fire series makes for a wonderful bridge and read.
If you like The Tethered Mage…
…You’ll like The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
After you’ve taken that first step into adult fantasy, you might find you’re ready for something more challenging. For that, I recommend another book with a complex female protagonist, The Queen of the Tearling series. The series follows Kelsea Raleigh Glynn, whose life has been in danger since she was born. She’s been hidden away, but now she is of age and must take her place as Queen of the Tearling. But the road is not an easy one. Even with her loyal Queen’s Guard, Kelsea must survive assassins, bandits, and the evil Queen of Mortmesne. Will she be able to bring the Tearling back to its former glory? Or will she die in the attempt?
Reading this series is a labor of love, but I promise it’s worth it. Not only does it follow a flawed heroine in a magical world, but it also discusses similar topics to those in The Tethered Mage (ex. slavery and servitude, women’s rights, and the impact history has on the present). Though dense, The Queen of the Tearling is easy to understand and easy to love.
If you like The Queen of the Tearling…
…You’ll like Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
Both The Queen of the Tearling and Strange the Dreamer take place in kingdoms that have been broken by magic. The Tearling suffers from mistakes in its past, while Weep is left with the citadel— the former home of the cruel Mesarthim that looms over the city and hides the sky. Strange the Dreamer follows Lazlo Strange, an orphaned librarian who has been fascinated by the mysterious city of Weep for years. One day, soldiers from the lost city arrive in his town asking for help in returning the sky to Weep and removing the citadel. Lazlo jumps at the chance.
When he gets there, he meets Sarai, a half-blood child of the gods. As Lazlo gets to know Sarai, he learns that it’s not just the citizens of Weep still living with the trauma of the Mesarthim and their demise. The lyrical writing and heavy subject matter elevates this book above most YA, serving more as another bridge between YA and adult fantasy. It’s also just a beautiful story that you need to read. As for me, I’m moving on to the sequel.
And that’s how you get a TBR that starts with Marie Lu and ends with Laini Taylor. You’re welcome.
I would like to do more recommendations, but I have so many memes and posts and not enough time. That said, if you’d like more recommendations, give me a book, TV show, movie, or music artist and maybe I’ll write a post recommending other media based on your request. I’d love to do more audience interaction. In the meantime, it’s scattered content as usual.
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