Admittedly, I am not the biggest fantasy reader. However, over the past couple of years I’ve realised that if a fantasy book is diverse in any way, it makes me 10000% more likely to read it. So, here are a couple of diverse fantasy books that I’ve read pretty recently. I do apologise if a lot of them are pretty hyped – I do try and include less well-known books on these top 5 lists, but I just didn’t have enough of them for this particular list.
- Moonstruck by Grace Ellis and Shae Beagle – So I’ve been trying graphic novels recently, and this is the first one that I picked up! Moonstruck features black and Latinx lesbian werewolves! Non-binary centaurs! Fat people! Oracles and witches! I was a pretty big fan. And I think the next volume comes out soon, too.
- Speak Gigantular by Irenosen Okojie – This short story collection is weird. Ghosts of people who have completed suicide haunt the London Underground, and a boy with a tail makes jam with his mum. Not all the stories in this are fantastical, but the ones that do use fantasy elements were my favourites. Her novel, Butterfly Fish, is also excellent.
- Mirage by Somaiya Daud – So technically this is science fiction, but to me it read a lot more like fantasy. This is a book that deals heavily with colonialism and oppression, and it does that really well. Although it didn’t 100% work for me, a lot of people really connected with it, so I wanted to include it. You can read my full review here.
- The Hour of Daydreams by Renee M. Rutledge – OK again, this is more magical realism than fantasy, but I’m going to go with it. Based on a Filipino folktale (I think it’s the star maidens – however please correct me if I’m wrong), this is a dreamy novel where women have wings, and grandmothers can lull whole neighbourhoods into an afternoon nap. (Well, all except naughty children!) Another version of this fairytale, The Star Maidens by Roshani Chokshi can be found here.
- Fire Boy by Sami Shah – Set in Pakistan, this is a book about a boy who is half human and half djinn. The fantasy elements are influenced by Islamic beliefs. I really liked the mystical and creepy vibes going on in this book, especially when there are flashbacks to the djinn. Though I would like to read the sequel, Earth Boy, it isn’t at the top of my TBR at the moment.
Some diverse fantasy I want to read includes:
Got any good and diverse fantasy recs for me? I’d like to hear them!