If you are anything like me, then you are DYING for the next installment in Sarah J. Maas’ Throne of Glass series, Queen of Shadows. If anything the recent release of A Court of Thorns and Roses only made you more impatient. You my friend are a smart cookie and are right to be fiending for the continuation of arguably (and I will argue this) one of the best YA High Fantasy series this oh, decade!?
I know the months are long, like really long, I mean, September 1st? That’s next school year already! That’s not even summer reading territory!! (deep breaths, woosah, all that) but don’t fear! There are other books out there to tide you over for the long months ahead and i’m here with a list to keep you sane as we all wait it out and cry it out together.
1. The Abhorsen Trilogy
Now if you love YA High Fantasy then you’ve probably jumped on this train a while ago, but thankfully Ms. Maas has brought so many converts to our ranks who i’m sure are dying to fill their worlds with books just like these. Sabriel was probably the first High Fantasy book I read and it’s the first one that made me realize what types of books I like most. You might remember from a previous post that it was only recently that I realized that the genre I like is YA High Fantasy, not simply “Sabriel-esque” even though my good reads list is still titled that.
If you’re looking for something with a bad ass female protagonist, animal/demon sidekicks, and the same adventurous spirit where said bad A female protag actually participates in the action rather than having action happen to her, then this is your new bag.
For those of you like me who have already read the trilogy roughly a billion times, then if you haven’t yet read Clariel (like me) the pre-quel to these books then fear not! We at least still have something to look forward to!
2. Grisha Trilogy
So I almost feel bad telling you to read the Grisha trilogy given that i’m also currently dying in anticipation of Six of Crows which also comes out September 2015. Thankfully though at least the Grisha trilogy is it’s own complete story and Six of Crows is only set in the same universe.
I like to describe this series as “Russian Avatar the Last Airbender” even though it’s so much more. There are elemental powers and something akin to bending with them but the world building and mythos behind those powers and the Slavic inspired world this is built in is so intense and different I love it. The world is lush with detail and oh dear god the relationships! I am usually a love triangle hater but I can’t help but LOVE this one. I’m not an alarkling fan (you’ll figure it out) but I also do not feel guilty admitting that i’m not against the occurences in the book. Even though the dynamics are REALLY messed up, it’s a perfect explanation of those dynamics and it just works.
3. Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Here is another complete trilogy for you! No waiting for the conclusion like I had to either, it’s complete it’s here and it’s over (*quietly sobbing*) YEP! Laini Taylor just announced on twitter this past week that she signed another three book deal with Little Brown and nope they have nothing to do with the world we’ve all fallen in love with.
This series is not only beautifully written, the world is perfectly built, the mythos is complete, and the characters and their relationships are just amazing but it’s also so aesthetically pleasing I could die. And no I don’t mean the covers (although the UK covers are pretty dang cool). I mean that everything about this book I just want it in my life and in front of my eyes constantly. Taylor has this amazing world building ability where everything is just described in such exquisite detail, every character so well rounded, every location so full of description that I could feel everything in this book. I won’t lie to you, since reading this series my hair has been blue and i’ve acquired so many pieces of hamsa and wishbone attire that I lost count. I lowkey cosplay these books almost every day (i’m wearing wishbone earrings right now) and I have no regrets. I’ve even been talking to my tattoo artist about an idea that’s inspired from this series.
The plot? Well that’s complicated. All you need to know is there are scary angels, gentle monsters, an entirely new creation myth, reincarnation, and a love so strong it spans lifetimes. Just go read it now.
4. Princess of Thorns
I literally finished this book 30 minutes ago but it was the inspiration for this entire list AND it’s a stand alone read so if you’re just looking to get a quick fix without getting entrenched in more heart wrenching and beautifully built words that span several books, then this is for you.
1. It’s a fairy tale add on, not simply a retelling. This is based on the story of Sleeping Beauty and the main character is Aurora’s daughter, Aurora and the back story have changed significantly and there are Ogres now.
2. One of the best villains i’ve read recently. They even get POV chapters and it is glorious.
3. The characters are flawless and I love them and want to keep them in my world forever and ever I love them.
4. If you want someone close to Celeana/Aelin then this is your book.
Bonus: Even more feminism!
5. A Court of Thorns and Roses
Finally ACOTAR, you can find my write up of it here but if you’re dying waiting for more Aelin and you haven’t read this yet, do it. Do it now.
Also to help you ease your aching heart, or to entice you further, check out SJM’s pinterest! It’s so much fun to speculate what the pins mean and what they imply about the story. Also they’re just straight up beautiful boards. You can also follow her on twitter (highly recommended) and her blog.
Until next time, have fun with the new reads!