Challenge Accepted: Read Harder 2017
A new year means new year resolutions and challenges. One reading challenge that I love to do is Book Riot's 2017 Read Harder challenge. Instead of having people focus on a specific number of books, Read Harder challenges people to read different genres or authors that they may overlook. This year, there are 24 prompts for readers, and a complete list may be found here on the Book Riot Goodreads page. This list will address the twelfth challenge, to read a fantasy novel.
The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill (Middle Grade)
Outside of a village filled with sorrows, in the middle of a bog, lives a witch. The town elders say that she' an evil witch, and to prevent her from committing evil deeds they must sacrifice a child every year, which only deepens the sorrow of the people. The witch, Xan, has no idea why the townspeople leave a child on the edge of the bog but goes out every year to rescue the infant. On these journeys, she feeds the baby starlight to keep the baby fed and strong, but on one journey she accidentally feeds the baby moonlight, giving the baby incredible magic powers. She keeps the baby and named her Luna. This is her story.
Guards! Guards! By Terry Pratchett
The first in the City Watch mini-series of Terry Pratchett's epic Discworld series, Guards, Guards! will give readers something that has been missing from high fantasy: a detective story. Captain Sam Vimes of the crumbling Night Watch and his compatriots Nebby, Sgt. Colon, and new recruit Carrot - the guards of the night watch - are charged with tracking down a dragon (who knew those were real?) and solving the mystery of how it got there and to ask it to stop burning people alive, please. Full of the humor that made Terry Pratchett beloved by millions of readers, Guards, Guards! will make readers fall in love with the city of Anhk-Morpork.
The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin (YA)
In the ancient city-state of Gujaareh, peace is the only law and keeping this peace relies on the Gatherers. Priests of the dream-goddess, the gatherers' duty is to harvest the magic of the sleeping mind and use it to heal, soothe, and kill those judged corrupt. But what happens when the leaders become corrupt themselves? A questioning priest and a foreign agent come together to try and examine the mysteries of Gujaareh. Filled with introspection, heart, and a pseudo-Ancient Egypt, readers will become immersed in the Dreamblood duology.
Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho
In London, the study and practice of magic is in decline. The Unnatural Philosophers of Britain, a gentlemen's society is led by the Sorcerer Royal. To the dismay of many of the members of the society they are now led by Zacharias Wythe, a freed slave and protege of the former Sorcerer Royal, Stephen Wythe. To solve the mystery of why the magic of Britain is drying up Zacharias goes into Fairyland and meets a woman with immense magical powers and starts a journey that will alter the Society and Britain at large. If you liked Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, then this book is a perfect companion.
Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Agnieszka lives in a village surrounded by a dark and corrupted wood. In Agnieszka's village, a wizard nicknamed the Dragon takes a girl every ten years for unknown reasons back to his castle. Agnieszka is sure that the Dragon will take her best friend, Kazia. But when it's harvest time, the unexpected happens and Agnieszka is put to task to learn magic and help save her village from the creeping wood filled with dark forces and harmful creatures.
Did you read something else for this challenge? Share it with us on Twitter by using #readharderdcpl! And if you love talking about fantasy books, join us for #fanfansdc a monthly twitter chat about all things fantasy and sci-fi!