This was inspired by DailyJulianne’s thread and it’s something I’ve been thinking of a lot too. A lot of readers seem to think that adult fantasy is only George RR Martin, Brandon Sanderson, and Patrick Rothfuss. They’re all great writers, but fantasy is a hugely diverse genre and if you really want to dig into it, there’s more than just cishet white dudes.
Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho
Actually one of my favorite books of all time. A grumpy Black sorcerer and a spunky Indian girl with newfound magic must band together to save the magic of England in this Regency fairy story.
City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty
When a girl in Cairo encounters a djinn, she never realizes that it might be the secret to her heritage, or that there is a secret city of djinn with its own political machinations and wars.
The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson
In a world where religion rules with an iron fist, one girl finds out through her mother’s diary that her mother consorted with witches. At first horrified, she begins to realize that the Church has a dark past–and she may have the power to change its future.
Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri
The daughter of a nobleman and an outcast must learn to harness her magic before she is destroyed by the grasping nobility–or awakens the wrath of the gods.
Queen of the Conquered by Kacen Callendar
An Afro-Caribbean fantasy in which the daughter of the deposed monarchs has to figure out how to destroy the colonizers who stole her family’s kingdom.
Uprooted by Naomi Novik
In a town where girls are taken by a magician as tithe, one girl is ready to change the game. She goes to save her friend and ends up finding a love–and a magic–that she never expected. Beautiful writing, clever plotting, and so swoony.
Black Wolves by Kate Elliott
An exiled captain of the guard and the son of the king he failed to protect must band together when the heir’s life is in danger. Kate Elliott writes some of the most richly detailed fantasy I’ve ever experienced. Total GRRM vibes but less dense and more gripping.