The best fantasy journeys of self discovery

Who am I?

From reading by torchlight when I should have been asleep, through to adulthood, books have always been special to me. From making up stories to get the kids through tough situations to becoming an author, my deep-seated love of fantasy has been apparent. Fantasy can be so much more than elves, shapeshifters, and every other creature imaginable (although they are always exciting). It’s nearly always about a journey, a growth in character, good over evil, but whatever else you may take from the story, it’s always about losing yourself in the pages and having a really good read.


I wrote...

Janalya

By Marie Godley,

Book cover of Janalya

What is my book about?

Janalya has been alone and searching for other elementals for decades. The only constant in her life is Katsuo, an enemy shapeshifter. Can they defy history, or is it merely going to be repeated?

Janalya is a book about enemies, friendship, and discovering your true identity, all enjoyed in the presence of a strong and caring woman, and a panther who, although guarded, is curious enough to want to discover the truth about things for himself.

The books I picked & why

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Daughter of Smoke & Bone

By Laini Taylor,

Book cover of Daughter of Smoke & Bone

Why this book?

Not only is this story a different take on the angels versus demons saga, but it shows each race in a different light. I also love the characters and world-building. The characters are intense and believable, with the quirks of the human characters being just as well written as the fantastical ones, especially some of the minor ones. The worlds are so descriptive that you’re instantly transported there.


The Sword of Summer: Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, Book One

By Rick Riordan,

Book cover of The Sword of Summer: Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, Book One

Why this book?

The main thing that draws me to this book, and what sets it apart from his other series, are the diverse characters. Different ethnic backgrounds, religions, LGBTQ, and disabilities are all portrayed, but they are just part of the character's story, not the main plot focus. The Norse mythology runs through the book with humour and lots of deadly action, and an interesting take on some of the gods. With an array of creatures and characters that stand either with or against the Vikings, this is a fun adventure, and it even has a cameo from the Percy Jackson series, so look out for that.


Black Diamond

By Jennifer Loiske,

Book cover of Black Diamond

Why this book?

Black Diamond is definitely the darkest and scariest choice out of my five picks. There’s magic, demons, ghosts, and rituals, but it stops short of horror and stays in the fantasy category. The characters are so well written, portraying the more annoying aspects of the youngsters, that you might find yourself getting cross or frustrated with them. But the mystery and magic will have you rooting for them to succeed, and you will get caught up in their journey, trying to uncover the truth of the English mansion and its occupants.


Graceling

By Kristin Cashore,

Book cover of Graceling

Why this book?

I first read this book years ago and what I really like about this story is that the main character, Katsa, is already strong and sassy. That doesn’t mean there’s no personal discovery, but that would lead to spoilers so you’ll have to find that out for yourselves. The premise of a person being born with a ‘grace’ is original, but the power struggle, bias, and individual challenges are familiar making the characters relatable and interesting. The supporting cast is equally engaging, bringing a smile and some relief to the adrenaline and stress.


Seraphina

By Rachel Hartman,

Book cover of Seraphina

Why this book?

Out of all my book picks, Seraphina may have the least to discover personally, but most of the characters in the story have something to hide or discover and it’s great to see which is which as they disclose their true natures. What makes this book really great though, is the different way that dragons are portrayed. It is a unique slant on what are always strong, iconic beings.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Norse mythology, the Czech Republic, and princes?

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And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

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