I know everyone is busy and the world is falling apart, but could we get more Ilona book reviews for our self imposed isolation. I could use some escapism right now.Sean
This is going to be an off-brand recommendation. Usually, we try to recommend books that will appeal to people who read us. I haven’t read any of those lately. Gordon is reading an early Piers Anthony. The title is KIAI! (Jason Striker,) which is, according to him, a “martial arts men’s adventure. If they wrote a book to go along with Big Jim action figures from the 70’s, this would be that book.” Make of that what you will. He says the martial arts are very well written and there are ninjas at the end.
I am also reading a martial arts book, but mine is more fantasy. I am on book 3 of this series, which for me is nothing short of a miracle.
Sacred artists follow a thousand Paths to power, using their souls to control the forces of the natural world.
Lindon is Unsouled, forbidden to learn the sacred arts of his clan.
When faced with a looming fate he cannot ignore, he must rise beyond anything he’s ever known…and forge his own Path.
This is a terrible synopsis, so let me explain this a little bit. It’s a fantasy world, slightly reminiscent of Ancient China in that everyone is a martial artist and they wear robes. The similarities end there.
Our hero, Lindon, lives in a Sacred Valley, an idyllic green valley sheltered by tall mountains. Everything in the Sacred Valley revolves around madra. Madra is a magical force that permeates the world. Each living being has it and every aspect of the world produces it. There is fire madra, water madra, earth madra. Even sunlight generates madra.
Madra can be absorbed. Martial artists cultivate it by pulling it into their core and refining in, using it to push their bodies beyond human limits. Madra enables them to do incredible things. It can give them enhanced sight and indestructible bodies. It allows them to hurl weapons of pure magic and animate constructs. Plants that absorb madra for a long time bear magical spirit fruit and beasts who are exposed to it gain powers, intelligence, and become sacred.
As the martial artist become more proficient in their handling of madra, they begin climbing up the ranks of cultivation. First comes Wood, when you are nothing. Then Copper, which gives you enhanced senses, then Iron which reshapes you body, then Jade, which gives you foundation, then legendary Gold which comes with devastating power. In the Sacred Valley, everyone hopes to attain the rank of Jade.
The more Iron fighters and Jade martial artists a clan has, the stronger it is. That’s why early on, the clans test their children. Each of them dips their hand into a bowl of pure madra and it shows their predestined path. They could become Strikers, Enforcers, Forgers, or Rulers. Each specialization comes with its own unique set of powers.
Lindon is tested. He is a dud. He has magic, he feels madra, but when he dips his hand in to the bowl, nothing happens.
This is a catastrophic development. He is a source of shame to his family and his clan. An abomination, who must be shunned. Nobody will train him. He grows up learning ways to survive in a clan where a child half his age can murder him at will and nobody would bat an eye. He pushes himself, desperately trying to claw his way to Copper and failing.
Then the world ends and everything changes.
This is competence porn of the highest level. Lindon starts at less than zero. He is actually in the negative and he climbs out of that hole, slowly, but surely, at great personal cost. The world is very interesting, but Lindon himself is the main draw.
When beginning writers ask us about characterization, we usually try to explain that the character must be a product of their environment. Lindon is very much a product of his upbringing. He was weak and at the mercy of everyone, so to survive he develops an entirely different set of skills than his peers. He is forced to use his mind to keep on breathing, so he is smart. If he can cheat to win, he will. If he sees an opportunity to trick his opponent, he will take it. Despite being shunned, he is kind and compassionate, but most of all he is hungry to learn. He is starved for knowledge and when he finally finds a teacher, he excels in unexpected ways.
The book has a merest hint of romance. He meets this badass girl, Yerin, who is terrifying, and he travels out of the valley. Most of it is about different types of madra and how to use them and different martial arts. As I said, I’m on book three and I love it. But it’s different from our work in tone, so it may not appeal to you. As always, try the sample first.
Buy links: Amazon KU.
Will Wight’s website: https://www.willwight.com/
Just have to second your recommendation of Will Wights series. I devoured the entire thing over the course of a week.
Looks like something cool to check out!
As for more stuff that might be somewhat similar in tone, how about Seanan McGuire’s InCryptid series or Tanya Huff’s Enchantment Emporium?
Ray Craine says
Both are excellent reads!
Susan B says
I love Seanan McGuire’s InCryptid series and after reading all of the ones in print at the time, I moved on to her October Daye books which are also great reads.
Brooke J Frazier says
I absolutely love the unsouled series by wight and I devour them as quickly as I devpour your books, check out the red rising series too by another author, Peirce brown they are completely different yet their is some overarching likenesses.
Brian R Schulz says
I liked this series as well. Can’t wait for the next one in the Unsouled.
Actually this sounds rather fantastic! I just started a surprisingly good “fluff” series for easy happy brain right now (like the contemporary romance middle age married couples have life and romance angst but you know it’s all gonna be happy in the end? That’s my best kind of fluff). BUT usually after finishing a series I want something totally different after, so I’m queuing this up!! Thanks ????
Also my kindergartner is having an extended spring break because the schools are closed statewide for 2.5 weeks so I’ll need some mental downtime in the form of books nightly to decompress, so perfect timing ????????
Love this series…would welcome more recommendations for competence porn from this community…
Akeru Joyden says
Sounds interesting. And considering my head first dive into asian drama lately, thanks in part to you greasing the downward path, right up my alley.
Katie R says
I love your synopsis. I’ve never seen the term “competence porn”. I assume that’s what The Martian was and I absolutely loved that. I’ll pick this one up based on your rec!
Bhushan Harripersad says
It’s always nice to expand your reading horizons, thanks for the recommendation. Have you read the spellminger series by Terry Mancour or the Rivers of London series by Ben Aaronovitch?
Second the Rivers of London series by Aaronovitch.
Wendy S says
Thanks Ilona! Not always, but frequently enough I’ve enjoyed the books you recommend. And this one is on Kindle Unlimited! I’ve found some good authors on Kindle Unlimited. I’ve had to wade through trash and more trash to find the gems, (download, read a page, maybe 2 pages, hit Return to Kindle, repeat) but there are gems and if I really like a book or series and know I’ll read again, I buy the book outright. I think it’s a good venue for new authors to trial and build up a reader base. And when you can get a six month subscription for half price, it’s especially a good deal! I recommend Hailey Edwards Beginners Guide to Necromancy series. It’s Urban Fantasy. Great characters, danger, humor, romance but not too much romance, clever and original, all the good stuff we look for. Check it out when you need rest from writing! And I hope you are feeling better in general. You had enough to deal with lately.
Downloaded! Thank you. A new series, and KU to boot, is a gift right now.
Here’s a link https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2678797-jason-striker-master-of-martial-arts to it on goodreads. It really is not a bad book.
About a gazillion years ago I read a bunch of his Xanth series and really enjoyed them. Okay maybe a gazillion is a bit of an exaggeration but I just realized it was at least 30 years ago. Time flies
It was over a gazillion for me. 35+ years I think. Xanth was fun but I got a bit tired of it after book…5? Like eating too much candy. Anthony had a couple other series that were also decent IIRC.
I’ve read the entire series that’s been published thus far and love it. It’s very reminiscent of shonen anime without all the things that can make a lot of shonen awful and predictable.
If we are going for different strokes, I actually am reading a lot of Sophie Kinsella right now. Her heroines and heroes are as feminist as they can be. The story is never entirely predictable, and the pace and wit is always funny.
This sounds fantastic – right up my alley. But if all I’d read was that synopsis, I highly doubt I’d be giving it a try. Thanks for this!
This book series (Cradle, by Will Wight) is an absolute gem! Lindon is such a good protagonist who’s primary goal is stoping something the strongest people on his world die fighting. Should he fail, his entire home will be destroyed. And he goes on this journey with 100% believability!
One of my favorite part of the book is when Lindon is competing with two Iron’s (people at iron gain Captain America like strength) while he is still unsouled (about as strong as you or I) and wins because he finds an unorthodox way of passing the challange. And he keeps doing that time and again!
Just try it. If you read for 10 minutes and don’t finish the entire book, i’d eat my boot!
The Wess’har series by Karen Traviss
The Indranan War series by KB Wager
Books by TA White
The Lana Harvey Reapers series by Angela Roquet
Loved the Indranan war series!
I figure if you like it, I probably will too. I’ve read some in this genre which were intriguing at first, but ultimatly didn’t pan out for the series. Thanks for the recommend.
I love love love this series!! It keeps getting better as it goes! I think of it as a cousin to Dragon Ball Z.
That hooked me…
cheryl z says
One of my all time favorite books is the Paladin by C J Cherryh, Taizu is such a great female lead, the pig farmer girl learns to fight, trained by the greatest swordsman in the country, with a bad knee who has been banished to a small mountain home. No magic, but the book is magical.
Starts with The Sheepfarmer’s Daughter, adn continues. I agree that it’s an excellent series.
Also, I love her “Cats in Space” series (as my friend called it when I tried to get him to read it), the Chanur series. Starts with Pride of Chanur.
The Sheepfarmer’s Daughter – which I agree is great, if not always cheerful – is the first of a trilogy collectively called The Deed of Paksenarrion by Elizabeth Moon.
Loved the Chanur series!
I love this book too!! The political intrigue was fun too.
I love the cradle series. It comes in just after the kate daniels books for me. I also have to say for anyone on the fence, Unsouled is easily the worst book in the cradle series and things really catch on fire from book 3 onwards.
Lora Tyler says
Thank you so much for sharing your reading material. Also, thanks to the other readers for sharing theirs as well. Looking forward to reading them.
Thank you for the recommendations. I will shortly be housebound due to double knee replacement surgery. Needed some new reading material. Love getting steered towards writers that I am unfamiliar with their writing.
Just in time – I was searching for something new. I tried the sample and liked it. Thanks!
Your book recommendations are always a win for me, so I’m going to go for it. ????
I am going in another direction. Reading cozy mysteries. I like Kate Carlisle book series. It starts with Homicide in Hardcover. You get info on book restorations, food and wine , and Brooklyn is a hoot. She is always tripping over bodies. Much to her consternation.
Thinking of rereading Cat and Bones. Love Jeanine frost.
And Pat Briggs has new book coming out next week.
But will check out your Will.
Today’s crazy, 2 millennials were on line at grocery store. They bought a large wagon Full of Kleenex, and some matches.
That is all. The store was selling the mini hand sanitizer for $6-8 dollars.
Every stay calm and wash your hands. Then make tea or coffee and read.
Waiting eagerly for the Pasty Briggs. But why Tuesday? I’d have more reading time over the weekend!
Patty! Damn auto corrupt…
For reasons that escape me, but probably have to do with shipping schedules and sales reporting, Tuesday is the most popular release day. Well over half of the American new releases come out on a Tuesday.
I track the new books I am interested in with an Amazon list. I have 4 “possible preorders” for March 31st, 5 for April 21st, and only 3 for May 5th. Most dates will have only a single book, but if there are more on a day, chances are good it’s a Tuesday.
Wendy S says
Right? I don’t know who makes these decisions but they don’t work full time.
Susie Q. says
I love Kate Carlisle. Also reading Vicki Delaney Sherlock Bookshop mysteries featuring Gemma, an Englishwoman who moved to US following an romantic/business disaster. Not a big Holmes fan herself, she e hibits manyof his characteristics. Surprisingly, in the most recent book, found out that she isn’t the considered the smart one in her family. Good character development, love interest tending towards a possible HEA.
Some gooders I found include Elizabeth Hunter vampire series especially Tensin. It’s a LENGTHY Series mostly KU that is tricky to figure out where to start. Mostly read them all and fairly easy to fall in anywhere. My other favs right now are my autistic/aspergergers/Vietnamese/super nerd outstanding contemporary romances by Helen hoang the kissing quotient is first maybe. Outstanding.
that is a very good wuxia/cultivation book. the best i’ve read actually – even better than chinese webnovel originals.
Went to Wal-Mart to get Rx as pitting soil. They got a truck of toilet paper yesterday morning and the shelves were totally empty by afternoon. Good grief. Thanks for the recommends, the list is long. Roll on Tuesday!
Anything by Guy Gavriel Kay. Start with the Fionavar Tapestry trilogy. My absolute favorite is the Lions of al-Rassan. Gifted writer who creates wonderful worlds and characters (sound familiar?). Fascinating and fully absorbing reads.
Anne-Marie McRoberts says
I have just discovered RJ Barker and The Bone Ships, a fascinating world not like anything else I have come across. He is inspired by CS Forester’s Hornblower series, if you haven’t come across them, do try them, they start with Mr Midshipman Hornblower, he becomes famous as the snotty who was seasick in Spithead. If you like those, and tall ships are your thing, then there is Patrick O’Brien and Alexander Kent. AK also writes Naval Adventures set in WWII and since he was in the wavy navy (Fleet Reserve) for the whole of the war they ring with authenticity. The best of the WWII Naval adventures is probably Nicolas Monsarrat’s ‘The Cruel Sea’ but Alistair McClean’s HMS Ulysses comes a very short second. All available on kindle.
Now to look at some of your recommendations BDH! Just thought I would take the list in a slightly different direction, though I would second Patti Briggs, she’s an auto buy, and TA White.
Thanks, I always appreciate book recs and now more than ever! Carrie Vaughn’s The Immortal Conquistador (featuring Rick from her excellent Kitty Norville series) just came out so I’m currently reading that, but I will check out Unsouled next 🙂
Jeezeloueeze. Lots of great recommendations. How about:
The Cast Series (by Michelle Sagara)
The Ancillary Series (by Ann Leckie)
The Walker Papers Series (by C. E. Murphy)
The Rabbit Trilogy (by Lorna Freeman — if you can find it)
and of course:
All the Liad books by Steve Miller and Sharon Lee
Thanks for the recommendations always looking for new reads. Currently I am rereading Jayne Castle (AKA Jayne Ann Krentz) Rainshadow series.
I love that series! I was sad when someone on here said that there wouldn’t be anymore new ones. I didn’t verify that though, so I’m hoping that there will be more. ????
Jayne Ann Krentz seems to be only writing what I would say is her modern day series and her older series under Amanda Quick. She hasn’t written a futuristic story since Illusion Town. I wish she would write them too.
For different reads, i’m actually really enjoying craig schaefer. I started with his Harmony Black series (that first book still gives me nightmares) and then inhaled the Daniel Faust series. He writes so fast! and its still good which is amazing!
@savil, I love the Daniel Faust series – I just got finished rereading it again prior to reading the latest release. And there’s a couple of series that tie in with Daniel Black – The Revanche Cycle and The Wisdom’s Grave Trilogy). They’re not absolutely integral to the Faust story but really fleshes it out. Oh, and Daniel makes an appearance in Wisdom’s Grave.
Just a heads up, it gets even better. By the time you get to the end of what’s currently available, you’ll roll around your house in full Gollum mode, crying about needing more of your precious.
I just read Ben Aaronovitch’s new book in the Peter Grant series False Value. There is a bit about Norse weapons and jewellery infused with magic and I thought he must be reading Kate Daniels ‘re Magic Gifts.
I could not believe the grocery stores this week. I went to do shopping for a trip to my mother’s this weekend and it was insane. Ralph’s was well stocked, but Trader Joe’s was demolished and Sprouts was so crowded I left. Even Total Wines was packed with customers stocking up on booze.
On the road trip from L.A. to Phoenix I had a grocery packed car and got shot at while driving at 75 miles an hour and it went through both windshields! It was after midnight near Banning and it was raining so hard and I had to stop and make all the necessary arrangements. Thank goodness for Ice chests and cooler bags.
Cath for short says
You like games as well as books right? So why not explore stories set in or about Role Playing Games of the future? LitRPG is a huge, new genre.. try some free samples from amazon and see if they appeal.
Bushido Online by Nikita Thorn – It’s character driven and the first chapter still makes me cry.
Mahanenko’s Shaman series. – ground breaking series is a must read.
Alexey Osadchuk – hero has to make money online to pay for daughter’s operation
I love the whole russian cultural background to a game set in the future (mothers, daschas, public attitudes, to police, military service etc etc….).
OH totally forgot about this genre, I read Threadbare series by Andrew Seiple, it’s about a magical girl’s Teddy Bear in an LitRPG world, such a neat series, it had some issues, but I seriously loved how he worked LitRPG into the story and the main character was a teddy bear who saves the day which was so cool.
Cindy M says
Makes me think of the Codex Alera series by Jim Butcher
Loved Alera series x 100!!
+Marjorie m. Liu’s Dirk & Steele
+ann bishop ‘s Others series
+Rachel Bach’s Paradox series
+patty (of course)
+Bujold (of course)
Maybe Michelle sagara’s Chronicles of Elantra… 15 book series ???? I liked That too! Plus lots of the other books recommended here were awesome!
Doomsday Book by Connie Willis – This one is a little off track but it does involve time travel. And it will make you appreciate the fact that compared to somethings Covid-19 is a walk in the park.
Meanwhile, WFH another hour or so and then off to try Unsouled. Thanks to Ilona, Gordon and the BDH for all recommendations!
I have a fondness for Naomi Novik and her books “Uprooted” and “Spinning Silver”.
Comsidering Ilona’s book reference, I think you may like this trilogy:
Best wishes for all ????
I also want to recommend both Elizabeth Moon andTanja Huff. They have good series. Space opera.
Old Science fiction, try Larry Niven, and Poul Anderson.
Larry Niven Fallen Angels was good . “Mote in God’s Eye.”
Corina Paris says
This reminds me a little of Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera, the hero had no magic at first, had to rely on wits and worked his way slowly up to the top. Loved that series, and will look into this one.
Kelly M says
I love the Amaranthine books by Forthright but that may very well have been because of an IA recommendation, haha.
Great review, and sounds like a good book that I’ll never be able to take seriously because Madra is Irish for Dog…
Omgoodness, I absolutely love Will Wight. I’ve read a few of his books and I’m a huge fan. Thanks for promoting his work!
Thanks for the book ideas. Also try Rachael Aaron (Kindle Unlimited!!)the dragon series is great, gets better as it goes on. And she just completed a trilogy with a male writer about online game players that get sucked into the game world. And she has a new series that I love, also set in the dragon universe. Totally differently, I discovered an English writer from the past who wrote many different novels, different types of stories too; not much action adventure, but engaging characters and visiting another time and culture, D.E. Stevenson. And a lot of her stuff is on Kindle Unlimited, too. The last one I read was called The English Air, great stuff.
I have found so many great books as recommendations by Ilona and Gordon.
I second whoever said Michelle Sagara’s Chronicles of Elantra, just read her latest, still love them 15 books in. Linesman series by SK Dunstall, is my second favorite series after Ilona’s Hidden Legacy series. The Others by Anne Bishop, Amaranthine Series by Forthright, and then my total guilty pleasure JAK’s Arcane Society. These are like comfort food for me, they are the books I pick up when I’m stressed and need to calm down. Kindle Unlimited I just read a paranormal cozy mystery series that was really funny, Jordaina Sydney Robinson’s Afterlife adventures, made me LOL
This book sounds like a Chinese web novel! Really! I love to read those, but I prefer female characters. If you like it, the best book I can recommend is Shen Yi Di Nu, that it’s about a girl who transmigred firm the modern world to ancient China, were the law of the stronger applies, and she is weak and her father family tried to kill her, and she ends overturning her family. I love it. Is well translated, and you can fin it here, if someone is interested: https://springraintranslations.wordpress.com/sydn/
I was intrigued about Ilona’s recommendation, I’m going to try and read.
Thanks authorlords! ????
I am finishing up reading the Others series by Anne Bishop (for the third time). She has a new book coming out next week as well (for some reason, her books and Patricia Brigg’s books are always released together).
The Others series, particularly the first FIVE in that series (Meg Corbyn) are unbelievably wonderful. The new book by Anne Bishop is not in this series, but belongs to a YA series that she also authors.
Charlaine Harris’ works are also SO well written — the characters are rich. Her most recent series is Gunnie Rose. Before that, the Midnight Texas trilogy was outstanding.
K D says
Black Jewels isn’t YA.
The new book (Queen’s Bargain) is part of the Black Jewels series, but I would definitely not consider it YA with all the violence and erotica. But the series is great. I love all of her books, although the Others is my favorite (included the two tacked onto the end). Vicki was a wonderful character and very funny.
Actually QB came out this week on Tuesday. At least in the U.S. I finished it Wednesday. Completely destroyed Tuesday sleep cycle.
Exactly! But I’m still not sure if I hate it or love it. Poor Surreal, everything was wonderful, except for her role in this book, I’m not reconciled
I love the Gunnie Rose character. She rocks.
I was so pissed at the last book of sookie, i haven’t read anything of hers since.
Sookie books were written by MaryJanice Davidson, not by Anne Bishop.
the Sookie Stackhouse books were by Charlaine Harris. And yeah, I was disappointed in the last one, too
Jenn D. says
Agreed. The last book of the Sookie series turned me off of Charlaine Harris so hard that I’ve yet to pick up another book by her. Ugh.
I loved, loved, loved the Others series but not the Black Jewels series. It was too dark for my taste. Like you, I’ve read the Others series from start to finish several times.
I’m currently reading my way back through the Incryptid series by Seanan McGuire. Her Wayward Children series is also good and as imaginative as the Incryptid series.
Pretty much my favorite urban fantasy series (still in progress) are by Ilona Andrews, Patricia Briggs, Seanan McGuire, Anne Bishop, and Benedict Jacka. I’m still waiting for Jim Butcher to finish the Dresden series. Sadly, Alex Bledsoe finished the last book in his fabulous (in every meaning of the word) Tufa series.
Ha! I am as well (for the third time)! Solid recommendation.
Jenn D. says
I’ve read everything Anne Bishop has written, multiple times. Actually, before I read Kate Daniels, the Black Jewels trilogy was my favorite fantasy series. Anyway, have you read Anne’s Tir Alainn series? I almost never hear this get mentioned, but I really enjoyed it. It might not be ~right~ up there with Black Jewels and The Others, but it was a great series, IMO.
Lynn E. says
Besides Patricia Briggs new book, Jennifer Estep has Crush the King out on the 17th.
TA White new book Age of Deception is awesome too! Not sure when it was released but it was suddenly there without any bells and whistles attached. But this series is another one that I cannot put down from start to finish.
I know. I cannot wait for the next one
Which Patricia Briggs book?
Thank you for the book recommendations. It is always fun to see what you are reading and consider good. Usually an author has great recommendations but not always for the same reasons. As a reader I can sometimes care more about the story than the writing techniques used, where as the writing maybe more important than the story to you. In a lot of ways it is unfair in the amount of time it takes to write a book versus the amount of time it takes to read one. Please keep up the good work and I look forward to the next book.
I tried a new seies i stumbled across in my library. It had promise, but was written in the present tense, which I hate, but not consistently which was just confusing.
Thanks that looks interesting. And different.
anne-marie stager says
You know, my kindle unlimited subscription more than pays for itself every month I have it. Best deal ever. If I don’t like something, I just return it. If I do, I have the option to buy. That’s how I got onto T A White. She’s got both fantasy and scifi. Her dragon series left me unimpressed, but the Pathfinder and Firebird collections are fabulous.
Colleen Thorsen says
Yes! Those books are great!!1
Hmm. Sounds like a straight-up copy of several chinese manhua, down to the “born without any mana cultivation ability” ( they call it mana) , bullied by the weak, meets a badass chick, they fall in love ( but other chicks dig him so usually harem), gains new power or ability or amulet that helps him beat up bad guys and become the strongest than the rest of the world.
@Jukebox013, Will Wight’s Cradle was indeed inspired by Chinese cultivation novels. He’s the first one to write an western cultivation novel, and it’s one of the best cultivation stories out there, counting both Western and Eastern authors.
No, it’s not a copy of Chinese manhua. It’s a wuxia novel, a work of fiction set in a martial world. It’s a genre of its own right and has millions of readers, just like urban fantasy is a genre or western is a genre. There are thousands of wuxia books, shows, and yes, also comics. The roots of this genre reach to 300 BCE. Several classics of Chinese literature can be classified as wuxia. It bugs me to no end that you said this, because I heard our work dismissed in the exact same way as “romance with vampires.”
My apologies, my only exposure to this were countless Chinese manhua, which may or may not be converted to live action, or live actions which were then converted to manhua. There’s soooooo many that follow almost the exact same plot, so by the description I couldn’t tell what made this one stand out. I was seeing it from the point of view of how the West or Hollywood sometimes makes exact remakes of a story or movie that was originally brilliantly told in another language/Country, to then have all the credit get taken by the screenplay writers or directors with no reference to the original writer or movie.
Sorry didn’t mean to offend. I’ve gone through so much manhua with the exact same plot, so there wasn’t much in this description that stood out to me as being different. I was looking at it from the point of view of how the West or Hollywood has taken so many stories/movies that were brilliantly told in another language/country, to then reproduce something so similar and give all the credit to the screenplay writers or directors of the western production, without a single reference, or nod, to the original work of art.
But hey….may I offer two new reading suggestions in the Epic Military Sci-Fi category? I have read most books that people have suggested, and have yet to see these being referred to although I might have missed it.
There’s G.S. Jennsen’s epic Aurora series with a smart female lead with lots of physics in it, (smart characters all around, really) then there’s also Jean Johnson’s “Theirs Not To Reason Why” series, with a modern-day Cassandra that also has an epic and looping storyline revolving around the repercussions of actions taken both the past and present. The author was originally a romance author, so there’s a lot of “How dare you’s” in the dialogue, but the storyline is pretty unique.
Now, take away the military aspect of it, keep the physics elements, time elements, add magic to it with a whole lot of Hindu mythology and you’ve got an EPIC 434-chapter manhwa drawn and written by Currygom called “Kubera”, which can be found on Line Webtoon (legally). Don’t let the simple drawings fool you, the storyline and plot go beyond anything I’ve ever seen before.
Hope this helps to keep the peace!
No worries, I deleted the duplicates.
Shoot sorry maybe my Opera browser was buggy, I did several attempts when a refresh didn’t show my post. Please delete.
Just my luck, been a grateful appreciative fan since KD 2, for all the stories, the free snippets, the sharing of knowledge and personal details, and my 1st post that gets noticed I get author mad. Now I look like a spammer too. I’m not I swear!
Lots of truth in that. There are a number of sub-types of Chinese novels. I have to refer back to my list off and on to see what’s what. Some of the best wuxia feature female protagonists, something we rarely see in action type novels in the West. Many are available online, but you need to be able to put up with iffy/awkward translations at times. Some are well worth it though.
There’s a lot to be learned about Chinese culture, and even how modern Chinese view their government. Without the wuxia, I’d never have learned that a cougar (human) is called “an old cow who likes to eat young grass” there.
Sarah Lyons Fleming. Beautifully written zombie apocalypse romance.
I second this, absolutely love her books! Be prepared, though, I cried my eyes out several times while reading!
Sounds interesting. Have you ever read The Bridge of Birds By Barry Hugart? He has other books about these characters but the first is the best. A wonderful silly orient based fantasy with an ancient legend vibe. No martial arts though and no direct romance. I also liked the Sunset Warrior cycle by Van Lustbader a fantasy series with an ancient a Japanese vibe. Sword and Sorcery meets apocalypse meets Sengoku. First book is the Sunset Warrior
I loved the Barry Hugart series. I always wanted more. I understand he wrote them as therapy so I hoped he found what he needed when he stopped writing.
I loved The Bridge of Birds. It is an amazing fantasy of mythical China.
I’ve also read Unsouled and it is wonderful in an entirely different way. Although both have roots in Chinese philosophy, those two books are utterly different from each other.
Since you have the rare taste to like Bridge of Birds, I’ll have to consider reading this Sunset Warrior cycle although I am allergic to the idea of reading a book by anyone who’d choose a pseudonym like Lustbader…
Actually I think Van Lustbader is the poor guys actual last name. The Sunset warrior series was his first books and I think the only fantasy Scifi he ever wrote. After that he was strictly the thriller genre
Sara Bright says
I love book recommendations, thank you!
Some of my fav authors
I love humour in my fantasy and these ladies are very good. Of course IA books are my favourites!
AAAAAAAAH!!! Two of my favourite authors cross paths!!!!!!!
In my book store I recommend a few books and they are magic bites and unsouled
Whaa sounds like a cultivation novel I sometimes binge-read in webnovel^^
You might also like the Cassandra Palmer & Dorina Basarab series by Karen Chance. 🙂
Sounds a bit like naruto series.. madra is like chakra, naruto is like lead of thus series.. sounds interesting, will give it a go
The first three are great.
d lm a says
Dorina Dorina Dorina
I’m loving the evolution of her growth
I have read and listened to all of the, currently available, Cradle books (Unsouled being the first) as well as all Will Wight’s other works repeatedly and cant get enough of them. Each reread reveals more information that you missed or weren’t aware of the foreshadowing. I can highly recommend this series ????
Sadly my library does not have this bookmor this author. It won’t even pop up in the we don’t own this, would you like to recommend it section 🙁
Melissa Brisentine says
I have decided to reread al your books in this madness. So I’m starting with the Edge series and probably end with Kate’s. Your books make it possible to go into another world and not worry for a little while. So thank you!
Charlene Leader says
I just finished the mt Olympus employment agency trilogy by R.L.Naquin. It was really good if you like Greek mythology in modern times.
Nathalie Turcotte says
Thank you so much for the all suggestions! Never heard of any! Wonderful new discoveries in this time of seclusion:)
Jeremiah Agware says
Hi. I have a major problem with singing-it doesn’t sound like music at all and I am sure it is because of the rhythm. I am totally out of the beats. I make the rough rhythm of the song and everyone thinks that I am perfect in rhythm but I am not. I can post my song to hear. Any tips to improve?? I go to 15 different music teachers and drummers and no one even notices my timing problems they said stupid things like I don’t put emotions and so on… but my problem is the rhythm.
I love Will Wight and the Unsouled series! It makes me happy to see that other people like him too! I recommend his Travelers Gate series to anyone who enjoyed Unsouled. It’s his first work, and a bit rough, but so much fun!
Very nice review. However, the first rank is Foundation. They just use a wood badge because it’s cheap and convenient. Always great to see a new fan. Especially an author.
I like Will Wight a lot, and this series is his most fun. (Non-spoilery stuff to anticipate): I wrote him to ask if we were going to find out more about the Abadon, and his response was that he built the entire Abadon universe and story before ever thinking of Cradle & Lindon. I had been hoping for an Abadon-based series answer, but decided the one I got was ok ????.
He also has a dual-trilogy going on, which is two trilogies regarding the same events, each trilogy told from one “side” in the conflict. Of Sea & Shadow/Of Shadow & Sea are the two books 1, and it’s a nifty concept that he’s making work. I highly doubt he could get away with something like that if he wasn’t self-published.
His House of Blades trilogy disappointed me. I had been reading a lot of Ilona Andrews & Kelley Armstrong at the time, and was working my way through a thousand possible twists, and it ended up being a very straightforward adventure. I had a sad. But I read those first and they were clearly not so disappointing that I stopped reading him.
Tracy Annis says
I love Piers Anthony. I read the Apprentice Adept series in high school. It’s what got me hooked on Fanstasy 🙂 Enjoy your new reads!
The Vanishing Fleece by Clara Parkes is really good.
K D says
There’s a new series called Death Before Dragons (Sinister Magic is the first) by Lindsay Buroker . It’s pretty good, looking forward to book 2. Also the Guild Codex by Annette Marie is really, really good.
+3 Love Lindsay Buroker and LOVE this new DbD series. Like Annette Marie and wish she would write more of her fantasy MMO short stories.
As a fan of Will Wights work since he first came out with Unsouled I’m so glad you put up a recommendation for his stuff. I love this series (course I love his Traveler’s Gate books too).
Trail Of Lighting by Rebbecca Roanhorse. Its Kate Daniels mixed with Mercy Thompson. The world has flooded and the the gods are back, specifically those of the Navajo. There are only two books so far and it’s horrible. i want more. The first book was nominated (and won) a handful of awards. More people need to read these.
I agree, I really like Roanhorse’s Sixth World series. I saw where there are 2 more books planned, and I hope they continue further. The world of the Navajo is as foreign to most people as Arland’s Vampire society in the Innkeeper books.
Sara R. says
Oh thank you for the recommendation! I am picking the first book up today. Have you read Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera series? It one of my go-to rereads.
I was going to post that very suggestion! The main character in Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera series, Tavi, also starts at the bottom of the barrel (albeit not ostracized). His journey through all the books of that series is amazing. I do wish Butcher would write more in that world as I liked Codex Alera even better than his Dresden books (although Harry Dresden is no slouch either and they are very much worth a read ). According to wikipedia, the Alera series was inspired by challenge to write a good story on a bad idea. This one, apparently was Pokemon meets the mythical lost roman legion.
Jim has said it was a bar bet.
All bar bets should end so well…
Guy Gavriel Kay is pretty well know but sounds like an author in a similar quasi historical fantasy vein. He tends to focus on Asia and Mediterranean inspired cultures.
Another more unknown author I like is Charlie Adhara. Similar feel if you mushed Faith Hunter and Kelly Armstrong together.
Ben Aaronovich’s Rivers of London series is a lot of fun.
I enjoyed the first Dragon book by Elle Katharine White. They’re selling it as “Pride and Prejudice with Monsters” which isn’t really correct (not literally British Regency period with all the trappings) but it has the historical romance feel with a more typical fantasy type plot.
Meghan Viana Doidge is decent. Not on my favourite-favourite list but solid and lots of books if you are looking for longer term enjoyment. Bonus if you know Vancouver and area as her books are mostly set there.
If you like more horror tinged urban fantasy and/or extremely character driven space opera and haven’t read Tanya Huff, do it now.
Colleen Whitley says
I really enjoy Guy Gaveriel Kay too. His Fionaver trilogy are one of my ‘go-to’ books. His world building is astounding but, while the books end in character, there isn’t always a HEA. Very rich reading material.
Dr Jules says
I love love love Ella Summers Legion of Angles books, but not the Dragon Born books – the stories seem to generic and repetitive to me, but I know others love them.
I will definitely try it and pass it to the husband and maybe 17 yr old son. It sounds a little like Dresdens Codex Alera series, except Jim Butcher used a roman society basis, if I remember correctly. I havent read anything like it since. Thanks for the recommendation!
Glynn Stewart’s latest is coming out this week.
I read this blog often but I never leave comments (too lazy) . Today, however, I d like to say thank you for this and previous posts recommending books, plus your other posts and work in general. You and your husband rock, and make a difference for many people. Thank you 🙂
Here is a great series by Bethany Adams. “The Return Of The Elves”, book #1 FREE on
Kindle . I believe it was a suggestion on Amazon, or Good Reads where, if you like
Ilona Andrews you might like these authors. neither I nor my county library had ever heard her.
Seanan McGuire’s InCriptid series is hilarious. She’s another NYT Bestseller that I’d never heard of, Picture a virtual killing machine who is trying to protect the sentient Criptid population of Manhattan, while trying to become a high rated ballroom dancer, while supporting herself waiting tables at an exotic ( in more ways then one) dancing bar.
Another series by her is “October Daye”
Anything you can get your hands on by Naomi Novik is dangerous, because like Ilona’s
books, you just can’t put them down. The Temeraire series may be even more magical
than the old P.E.R.N. series. It Takes place all over the world and has you constantly looking places up on a map. Great PG13 material as well.( here, the sentient dragons
are the air forces of the world during the Napoleonic wars .
P.S. Can’t get enough “Innkeepers”– my all time Favorite.
Just a bit off-topic: I really, really love the new header picture for the blog!! Magic sparkles rising up out of an open book! That perfectly captures how I’ve felt about books ever since I learned to read. (First grade, back in the “old days”! ????????)
If you do like Wuxia novels, one short romance story I recommend is “Gentleman Free-Flowing Cloud” by Yu Qing, translated by onesecondspring on blogsplot. The grammar may not be perfect, but it was refreshing to read about a calm, lazy female lead rather than the typical wild, shameless (and hilarious) leads in Wuxia novels.
Thank you for supporting the sharing of books and authors. I truly appreciate your kindness for that. I’ve just finished the first book in a series by Jodi Taylor and am ready to buy the remaining seven! ‘Just One Damned Thing After Another’. A series about time-traveling historians. Based in England. Has love, death, loss, friendships, betrayals. Strong female lead character (at least in book 1).. thank you for all the other recommendations, fellow BDH.
Aaargh unintentional spam. Sorry.
I forgot the one I just finished that was fantastic! S.K. Dunstall’s second book
“Stars Beyond”, the sequel to “Stars Uncharted”, which was Mind blowing.
I want another one!
Their Linesman series was equally great.
They are part of the BDH, too.
If you like SIFY, please give these books a look.
Stay well, all.
As with your books I have read every book Will Wight has written. I have yet to find a bad one my personal favorite series was House of Blades series, with Cradle series coming in a close second glad that you are enjoying it.
Mary Carnahan says
I really loved THE LEMONCHOLY LIFE OF ANNIE ASTER by Scott Wilbanks and for a different sort of dragon, HIGHFIRE by Eoin Colfer. I hope he makes a sequel.
Garrick P. says
For those who enjoy cultivation stories like this, there’s a whole ecosystem of books out there that you may enjoy digging into. There’s two associated websites I’d recommend: novelupdates.com for fan-translated light novels out of Japan, China, and Korea (the latter two favor the cultivation type stories), and scribblehub.com for original works in English (though some of the novels are not written by native speakers, so bear with the sometimes abhorrent grammar).
I will comment that if you don’t appreciate fan translations that occur without proper licensing, many (but far from all) light novels are properly released on Amazon, typically in YA and comic-book categories.
I’d also recommend two books for cultivation fans: “Golden Fox with System”, and “Everyone Else is a Returnee”. There’s also a few manga out there which have a lot of fun with the genre.
Hey a cultivation novel! At least it’s one of the good ones.
for a story with magic, adventure and a bit of whimsy to lift spirits I will happily suggest reading Bill Ricardi’s “Another Stupid Spell” trilogy. I personally had a great time reading these and believe that most that are willing to take a chance on a series where an orc is the hero would too.
Thanks to all for this really long list of authors and books! With everyone being told to self-isolate as much as possible, this is the perfect time to drink tea and read, read, read.
Lynn Thompson says
Thank you, Ilona Andrews for the post and recommendations. I agree with Gordon about P. Anthony. Dad read and enjoyed his works as well as Asimov, BuJold (military oriented), Heinlein, McCaffrey (Anne— dragon rider series), L’Amour (westerns), Laumer (Retief books), Ringo (military sci fi), Schmidt (Analog magazine stories were republished by Flint a few years ago and I bought the books from Baen for Dad, visionary forward thinking for when they were first written), Weber (Dad was a mechanical engineer.)
The nephews and nieces are not dead tree readers or readers but are digital millennials.
Be well. Looking forward to next book.
A different side of Anne Rice: The Wolf Gift and The Wolves of Winter. Found them at my local library, and then bought copies when I was lucky to find them in a bookstore.
For people who have enjoyed Forthright’s Amaranthine saga, you may like to check out C J Milbrandt’s Galleries of Stone. A sweet ‘coming of age’ trilogy accessible to readers aged 10-110. The rumour is that this is one of Forthright’s pen-names and, from the quality and tone of the writing, I can well believe it.
Decades ago Piers Anthony also wrote Battle Circle, which I really enjoyed. I was reading it while in early labor with my daughter in ’79. I’ll have to check out Kiai!
Unsouled reminds me a little of the Missing Magic series I’ve been reading recently about a character who lacks the magic everyone in his society relies on so he grows up finding ways to work around his limitation–which enables him to cultivate a talent for innovation. It begins with A Boy Without Magic.
Tracy F Pagendarm says
I also want to thank you for all your wonderful books. I just haven’t seen anyone mention Wen Spencer. She is one of my favorites.
Also if anybody is still interested Effie is doing very well.
I’ll second both of those thoughts. Thank you and Wen Spencer’s Elfhome is also a favorite of mine.
I think I will binge read Cat and Bones…. and, I do love Karen Chance’s Cassie Palmer.
Thanks for the recommendation! Just finished binge reading this series, ugh cliff hanger endings =) can’t wait for the next book
I’m going to jump right in and try this. I’m on a bit of a fantasy high after reading the new Anne Bishop and the entire black jewel series to get ready. I just want more!!!
Jenn D. says
I read this awhile back and really, really enjoyed it. Totally bummed that it’s not a complete series but yay for more books! LOL. It is pretty different from what I usually read, but it sucked me in and I was very glad I picked up the first book on a whim. Great recommendation!
Thank you for the series recommendation. I read the first chapter of Unsouled and now hooked. I am on forced leave for at least six weeks ….so need lots of reading material. Only so much spring cleaning and workouts and Coronavirus info overload I can do. Nice to escape into a good book.
Aman Sidhu says
I started reading this, thank you for the recommendation! I’m enjoying it so far. Keep the recommendations coming please. I also enjoyed the first 3/4 of Pathfinder’s Way, when it became too romance like I ended up a bit bored so it’s in my “to be finished” category. I also enjoyed Tsumiko’s story that you recommended. I’m an avid reader and I consume books so the more recommendations you have while I patiently wait for your releases the happier I am :).
As an Asian, I had the same reaction to this book that you had to the Grisha series; my own experiences spoiled it and I found it annoying.
We bring out own 50% to the books we read. That’s why I never discourage anyone from reading a book – unless it’s just egregiously harmful – but I always warn that your mileage will vary. 🙂
Katherine M Coynor says
You might enjoy the Broken Earth trilogy by N. K. Jemisin.
This is one of the tightest narratives I have ever read. I have trouble with suspending belief because my brain is always asking “why, why, why” and pointing out things that don’t make sense. This is particularly true on the second and third read-throughs. But that doesn’t happen here. This story is *tight*.
The story takes place at some point in the unknown future. Earth has been pretty much destroyed several times. Society has made and remade itself over and over but there a constant threat of additional catastrophes on the horizon. The remnants of previous societies scatter the landscapes and their presence is largely unquestioned and unexplored People are too busy trying to survive.
In the current society, people are divided by casts. There are strongbacks (manual laborers) leaders, breeders, and a few others that I can’t remember. You inherit your cast from your mother but you can move into another cast through merit or (in the case of the breeders), good looks and good genes.
Then there are the Rogga. Rogga have the power to manipulate the earth. In a world where Earth is already unstable this is seen has a bad thing and the Rogga are cast out.
However, the Rogga are also needed. They can cause earthquakes, yes, but they can also prevent quakes from shaking their homes and towns. So in addition to be cast out of their homes, they are also sequestered a commune and required to serve the society that they are not allowed to live in.
The protagonists of the story are mostly Rogga. They’re all very much products of their environment. They mostly mean well — there are no classic villains in this tale — but they don’t always do well. In fact, they sometimes do horrible things and then they have to live with them, although the narrative doesn’t really spend much time on that side of things.
There is almost no romance in this tale. There are relationships but no great love story. If the book has one flaw it is that the author may have tried for a love story but it was kind of weird and didn’t work for me. She doesn’t belabor it though so it didn’t take away from the overall narrative for me.
For any interested, the cradle series is FREE for the next five days, pls pick it up it’s amazing.
Only other book I’ve read that is equivalent to kate Daniels world building
Tracye O'Brien says
What is the cradle series?
K D says
The Traveler’s trilogy by Will Wight is free today on Amazon
I’ve literally read the entire series in the past week. These books are so addicting, and now I need the next one! Thanks for the excellent suggestion.
I have come to this a few days later than everyone else so apologies if I am repeating authors that have already been mentioned but I would suggest reading:
Ilona Andrews (of course)
Mark E Cooper
J C Daniels
S K Dunstall
Michael R Hicks
B D Jackson
Sarah J Maas
Megan Whalen Turner
T A White
Lol – Linda, I think you’ve been checking my shelves !
I am also late to the thread but have to add Katherine Addison / Sarah Monette. Unfortunately the first 2 books of Sarah Monette’s series, Melusine and the Virtu, are only available in hard cover but they are wonderful. Any Mildmay fans out there?
Thank you so much for your books and for this wonderful recommendation which makes this need for social distancing a little easier to bear.
This series is pure crack, I’d flew through books 1-6 fairly quickly, it’s just addictive like that.
I rec you take a look at The Sword of Kaigen by M.L. Wang but it’s definitely more emotionally engaging than Cradle. Absolutely worth checking out.