Book Recs: High Fantasy (II)

It’s been a while since I did my first high fantasy rec list on here, and I’ve read a lot more of it since so, it being Friday and I cannot come up with a more interesting theme for this list, I decided that it’s the perfect time for a sequel.

In the interests of making this list a little more, I don’t know, readable, I suppose, I’m going to only include books that are already out. So, yes, there are several upcoming I’ve read and loved, but they won’t be on here. Plenty of motivation to make a part three then though…




Robert Jackson Bennett
Rep: lesbian mcs
CWs: descriptions of slavery, surgical procedures, gore, violence

Why Should I Read It?

There’s nothing like high fantasy at its most creative, and Foundryside is a perfect case of that. Plus there’s a sentient key and I think that is reason alone to pick this up immediately.


The Traitor Baru Cormorant


Seth Dickinson
Rep: lesbian mc with hemilateral neglect, bi side characters, gay mc, nonbinary characters
CWs: homophobia, gore, violence, descriptions of brain surgery

Why Should I Read It?

Sometimes, fantasy novels skip over inconveniences associated with things like empires and imperialism: The Traitor Baru Cormorant very much does not. It’s densely political and heart-wrenching and probably one of my favourite series ever. It’s also a book I would pair with The Unbroken by C. L. Clark (just to drop an upcoming release in there), so if you liked that try this, and vice versa.


Sweet & Bitter Magic


Adrienne Tooley
Rep: bi mc, lesbian mc

Why Should I Read It?

Sometimes all you want to read is a quieter kind of fantasy, one where you’re not constantly on the edge of your seat with tension (although those are good), and Sweet & Bitter Magic meets that perfectly. Sit yourself down with a cup of tea and let yourself be immersed in this story for however many hours it takes to finish it.

You can find our reviews and a mix to listen to here, too, if this hasn’t convinced you.


City of Lies

Sam Hawke
Rep: bi mc with OCD and anxiety, lesbian mc with chronic pain

Why Should I Read It?

You know those books that, if you don’t get the full series as the author intends because publishing’s stupid and money-driven, you might well go on a rampage and burn down the entire world? That’s how I feel about this series. If you enjoy immaculately plotted mysteries and detailed worldbuilding, characters you will love from the first page and twists and turns you don’t see coming, this is the series for you.


Girls Made of Snow and Glass


Melissa Bashardoust
Rep: sapphic mc & li

Why Should I Read It?

You know that all you were missing in life was a sapphic retelling of Snow White, and lucky for us, Melissa Bashardoust is here to provide. And, yes, there’s a very sweet romance in it, but what I loved most about this was the development of the relationship between Mina and her stepmother.


Point of Hopes


Melissa Scott & Lisa A. Barnett
Rep: gay mc, bi mc

Why Should I Read It?

I started this series in order to make a rec list of 70s-90s fantasy novels (it’s coming, but slowly), but I had to include it on this list too. It’s basically the confluence of everything I love: an honest man in a city where corruption is the norm, high fantasy, mystery with high stakes, chuck in some gay romance… There was never any doubt that I wouldn’t like this book. And the entire series is on Scribd, so you can read it right away.


The Councillor


E. J. Beaton
Rep: bi mc, mlm side characters
CWs: drug addiction, withdrawal

Why Should I Read It?

Let me pitch this book to you as so: a bi mc who likes to dominate her partners and a sort-of-but-not-quite-love-interest who is very interested in her dominating him. Have I sold you on it yet?


Phoenix Extravagant


Yoon Ha Lee
Rep: Korean-coded nonbinary mc, lesbian & bi side characters, side polyamory

Why Should I Read It?

There’s a mecha dragon in it. I mean, is that not reason enough? It’s also about an mc who really doesn’t want to be dragged into a revolution. In fact, they would much rather just sit at home and paint. And honestly, I feel that.


The Empress of Salt and Fortune


Nghi Vo
Rep: Vietnamese-coded nonbinary mc, sapphic characters

Why Should I Read It?

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but in my opinion, this is one of the best novellas ever written and the fact that it’s not even hit 10k reviews on Goodreads is a travesty. What more can you want than a nonbinary cleric, travelling across the land to collect stories, a princess and her handmaiden taking down an empire (and falling in love in the process) and the most gorgeous prose? Nothing, that’s what.


The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps


Kai Ashante Wilson
Rep: Black bi mc, Black gay li
CWs: casual homophobia, descriptions of gore

Why Should I Read It?

I feel like I’ve recced this one a fair bit recently, but it truly deserves it. I haven’t really stopped thinking about this book since I read it last year, in all honesty. Every now and then my brain will go remember The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps? and I’ll be thrown for a loop all over again.


What would you rec?

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5 Replies to “Book Recs: High Fantasy (II)”

  1. I completely forgot that Foundryside is queer – it has been on my bookshelves for a while, but I feel like it will get picked up just a bit quicker now.

    I have to agree on Emperess of Salt and Fortune – it was my last book of 2020, but I had so much fun while reading it. Thank you so much for the post!

    Liked by 1 person

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