Bring on the Fantasy

Not all fantasy has to be grim …

After having a back and forth chat with an online friend about fantasy reads—given the two big fantasy shows about to hit TV screens—I admitted I had never read GRRM and was not likely too, ever. The truth is I’ve not read a great deal of fantasy over the last 4-5 years and it took the likes of the masterful SA Chakraborty and her Daevabad trilogy: The City of Brass, The Kingdom of Copper and Empire of Gold, to rekindle my love of the genre.

Well, not all aspects of the genre, which has, in the intervening years since I started, spawned as many sub genre as science fiction has. Including the one I dislike the most and the one that seems to be a fantasy fan’s favourite these days if BookTok is anything to go by. I’m talking about grimdark. The very same genre that GRRM seems to be currently writing. The kind that is extra violent. The kind wikipedia says of:

“Grimdark is a subgenre of speculative fiction with a tone, style, or setting that is particularly dystopian, amoral, and violent.”

My fantasy reading preference lean more towards the stories Chakraborty and a clutch of other new and emergent authors write. Writers adding a fresh new slant to familiar tropes. Check out these authors if you haven’t done so already: 

  • Luke Arnold — The Last Smile in Sunder City
  • Devon Madson — We Ride The Storm, In Shadows We Fall
  • Nafiza Azad — The Candle and the Flame
  • Sarah Beth Durst — Race the Sands
  • Dan Hanks — Captain Moxley and the Embers of the Empire
  • Malinda Lo — Ash
  • Jim C. Hines — The Stepsister Scheme, The Mermaid’s Madness

And you, what new fantasy authors have you discovered lately, if any?