I don’t exactly know how to describe The Falconer. Let me start by saying that I adore it. It has an extremely rich Scottish setting (which is always a plus) and is about a girl hellbent on avenging her mother’s death by a faerie. It is different, it is remarkable, and it is one of my favorite books of this year. I am eagerly awaiting book two!
Throne of Glass
by Sarah J. Maas
The best comparison I can make for this is it is like the Hunger Games for Fantasy
But better. So much better. This book is *insert every possible positive adjective here* (and book two is even better!)
What is great about the protagonist (among many things) is that she is a morally ambiguous character. She is not the innocent, wide-eyed female protagonist that many book series follow behind. Caelena is, to put it as clearly as the book does, an assassin. That is what she does, and that is what makes her such an interesting character to follow. Maas is a wonderful storyteller that has left me begging for the next book. I cannot get enough of her books.
The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom
by Christopher Healy
This is a charming, clever, and utterly wonderful interpretation of fairy tales. Taking the four “Prince Charming”s from Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Rapunzel, this book shows the frustration these four feel at only being remembered as Prince Charming. After all they have names! (Frederick, Duncan, Liam, and Gustav, respectively, in case you were wondering.) This book is easy to adore, and even easier to laugh with (because, to be honest, these princes aren’t very good at what they do). The League of Princes is the best kind of league–unintentionally funny and still just as charming as their nicknames claim them to be.
This book is outstanding. But the character of Duncan (Snow White’s prince) is the best of all. Read it for him and Snow White, if nothing else.
The Name of the Wind
by Patrick Rothfuss
Oh. My. Lanta.
I cannot even begin to describe this book. Seriously, just go read it right now. Rothfuss has such a deep, well-built world that it is hard to escape from–mostly because you don’t want to. Even putting the magic and all fantasy elements aside, this book offers a point of view of what it is like when someone becomes a legend in their own lifetime. Told as part flashback, part present day, this recounting of a lifetime of adventures is a miraculous journey to take part of.
Seriously. Go read it.
by Alison Goodman
If you like Mulan, you will love Eon.
Eon is really Eona, a sixteen-year-old girl masquerading as a twelve-year-old boy in order to compete to become the next Dragoneye. What is really fascinating about Eon is just how wonderfully Goodman constructs the mythology behind the dragons and the competition. The world feels so real and so magical and complex that it keeps you turning the pages and begging for book two.
The concept alone was enough to make me pick up this book: Elizabeth doesn’t feel emotions–she sees them in human form. Fear is cocky, Courage is his brother and opposite in every way. Emotions aren’t the only things that are personified though–Nightmare, Rain, etc. are also around. This book is written beautifully and is unlike many of the novels I have read: it has an original concept rather than a basic rehash of cliches.
This is more of a recommendation for the trilogy itself rather than just the first book. It is hard not to recommend these three books (The Girl of Fire and Thorns, The Crown of Embers, and The Bitter Kingdom), due to the sheer wonder of their main character–Elisa. She begins the series as a princess who is naïve and completely unsure of her surroundings–and she grows up immensely by the time book 3 rolls around. She is the less beautiful of two princess sisters (something I, as the older sister of a girl who models, can relate to), but is the more important due to the fact that she carries a Godstone–something only one person every hundred years carries (this I cannot relate to…sorry). Elisa’s journey is one of the best and most realistic character arcs I have ever read.