Hi guys, I hope you are all well. You guys may or may not be aware that The Fantasy Hive and Nils at nils.reviewsit are spotlighting SFF (science fiction and fantasy) by women and so I thought now is the perfect time for me to put together a recommendations post of SFF written by women. The books mentioned are mainly series or trilogies, but there are also a few standalones in there too. A few of the series mentioned are currently unfinished but I’ve enjoyed them so much so far I wanted to share them anyway. Let’s get started, because I have 13 books/series to talk about.
The Sword of Kaigen / M. L. Wang / ★★★★★
Publisher / M. L. Wang
Length / 649 pages
The Sword of Kaigen is a self published, Japanese-inspired, high fantasy book set in the same world as the author’s Theonite series. It was one of my favourite reads from last year.
Fudoki / Kij Johnson / ★★★★★
Publisher / St. Martins Press-3PL
Length / 316 pages
Set in Japan, it follows Harueme (a dying, unmarried noblewomen) as she prepares to leave the Emperor’s court to go into seclusion for her last days. While her attendant Shigeko continues with preparations, Harueme begins writing a story of a young cat who sets out on an adventure to the other side of the empire.
The Pellinor series / Alison Croggon / ★★★★★
The Gift, The Riddle, The Crow and The Naming
Publisher / Walker Books
It is a four book fantasy series written by Australian author Alison Croggon and is set in the fictional land of Edil-Amarandh. I first read this in my teens and it remains one of my all time favourite series.
The Beast Player / Nahoko Uehashi / ★★★★★
Publisher / Pushkin Press
Length / 512 pages
Originally written in Japanese and published in 2006, this edition is translated by Cathy Hirano. Set in a fictional fantasy world, the story starts when a young Elin’s life is thrown into disarray when her mother is sentenced to death.
The Goblin Emperor / Katherine Addison / ★★★★.5
Publisher / Solaris
Length / 480 pages
This is a fantastic slower paced fantasy book that follows Maia, a young half goblin and half elven male, who becomes the emperor at the very start of the book. It is probably going to be one of my favourite reads from this year.
A Tale of Stars & Shadow series / Lisa Cassidy / ★★★★
A Tale of Stars & Shadow, A Prince of Song & Shade and A King of Masks & Magic
Publisher / Tate House
A Tale of Stars & Shadow is a fantasy series by Australian author Lisa Cassidy. It is a dual perspective story following Talyn Dynan and Shadowhawk. A fourth book is currently in the works – no title or release date right now.
The Winternight trilogy / Katherine Arden / ★★★★
The Bear and the Nightingale, The Girl in the Tower and The Winter and the Witch
Publisher / Del Rey
This is an adult historical fantasy trilogy set in a medieval Russian village and is influenced by Russian folklore. It follows a young girl called Vasya as she grows up in the Russian wilderness, in a male orientated society.
The Coraidic saga / Alicia Wanstall-Burke / ★★★★
Blood of Heirs, Legacy of Ghosts and an untitled third book
Publisher / Alicia Wanstall-Burke
This is a debut fantasy series that follows two main character perspective; Lidan and Ran. If you are looking for some great character driven fantasy then this is well worth checking it out.
Daughter of the Forest / Juliet Marillier / ★★★★
Publisher / Harper Voyager
Length / 672 pages
It is a historical fantasy book loosely based on the Celtic myth, the Six Swans. If you are looking for fantasy with a fairy tale feel to it, then you should definitely check this one out.
The Winnowing Flame trilogy / Jen Williams / ★★★★
The Ninth Rain, The Bitter Twins and The Poison Song
This is a fantastic fantasy trilogy, full of incredible characters, a compelling plot and a vivid world. The covers of these books are also amazing.
The Crystal Ribbon / Celeste Lim / ★★★★
Publisher / Scholastic Press
Length / 352 pages
Set in medieval China, this is a middle grade historical fantasy book that follows a twelve year girl called Li Jing, who must adapt to a new life when she is sold as a bride to the the three year old son of the Koh family. This is the author’s debut book.
The Forgotten Beasts of Eld / Patricia A. McKillip / ★★★★
Publisher / Tachyon Publication
Length / 240 pages
Forgotten Beasts of Eld is a fantasy standalone that follows Sybel, a sixteen year old girl who has grown up alone on Eld Mountain. Her only companions are mythical beasts, until a man brings a baby for her to raise.
The Black Magician trilogy / Trudi Canavan / ★★★★
The Magicians’ Guild, The Novice and The High Lord
Publisher / Orbit
This is a fantasy trilogy that follows a young girl from the slums called Sonea, who discovers that she has magic. It is a sentimental favourite for me and I will always recommend it to people.