Adult Fantasy Novels That May Appeal to the YA Reader: also, A Segue

The theme for next month is Fantasy and today, you and I are going to discuss some series/novels of the fantastic genre that may appeal to those more inclined to read YA fantasy. YA fantasy is…well, it deserves it’s own post and will get it next month. But for now, let’s focus on the books I want to recommend.

The Chronicles of Elantra by Michelle Sagara


What It’s About: The picture shows six covers but there are 9 out now with the tenth scheduled to be released sometime in June. If you are like me and love long series, you are going to adore this one. The series follows Kaylin who is in her early twenties or even late teens, I am not sure. Kaylin is a Hawk which in normal people terms is something like a patrol officer who tries to keep the peace in the world she lives in. And oh, the world she lives in is amazing. The dominant creatures are Dragons, then come beings like Elves and then there are lions or bears. Anyway, humans are at the very bottom of the food chain. Kaylin mostly solves mysteries and crime and does her best to save the world when she can.

Why You Should Read This: The rich world building. This series has one of the most well developed fantasy worlds I have had the pleasure of reading. And if someone were to write a paper on the series, they’d find a treasure trove of stuff to analyze. Such as the gender expressions, species development, colonialism and postcolonialism (in context) and just so many other things. Academic nerdery aside, the stories are fun. Dense but fun. The writer is a POC and Canadian and have I mentioned dragons? Also, Kaylin is a wonderful character and is as richly developed and complex as the world she lives in.

Romance: This series has very little/to no romance. So if you like a liberal dose of romance in your fantasy, you may wish to read something else.

The Tamir Triad – Lynn Flewelling

What It’s About: There’s a crazy king who kills all female babies because there is a prophecy (isn’t there always?) that he’ll be deposed by a female warrior who’ll go on to become queen. A pair of twins is born and one of them is killed while the other one is magicked to be a boy. The story is about the boy who is actually a girl and how she deals with everything that happens to her as she grows up, has an awesome identity crisis and wages war.

Why You Should Read It: People who like gender-benders will like this. People who like reading about gender constructions will also like this. There’s an interesting commentary on gender and the power awarded to each sex. The mythology is pretty darn awesome. Prose style and character constructions are also brilliant. The trilogy is fun and definitely worth checking out if you like something a little bit lighter than the usual fantasy fare.

Romance: Lots of romance. Complicated romance. I liked it.

The Spiritwalker Trilogy – Kate Elliott

What It’s About: Cat Barahal thinks she’s of the Barahal clan but one marriage and three assassination attempts later, she realizes that her sire is someone else entirely, someone who is not entirely human (or at all). The trilogy focalizes on Cat but also follows Cat’s cousin Bee to some extent as both woman go on journeys to self-realization and actualization.

Why You Should Read It: Because it’s awesome. No, seriously. If you want to read fantasy that is feminist without there being any misandry, this is it. The world building is amazing, dense and crunchy, and the premise wonderful. The writing crisp and the characters, rich and complex. And it’s almost 3 am so there’s no way I can do justice to this trilogy but just take my word for it.

Romance: Epic romance. Realistic romance. The romance was one of my most favourite things about this series because Kate dealt with it so well. She never romanticized the relationship and I liked how she showed that you have to work for the relationship no matter how much you may love each other.

Alif the Unseen – G. Willow Wilson


Everything I want to say.

12 responses to “Adult Fantasy Novels That May Appeal to the YA Reader: also, A Segue

  1. Despite the unappealing covers* (those are some oddly unnatural looking poses in those first two), you totally have me sold on the Tamir trilogy there. If I come across them, I’ll add them to the grand stack.

    *:… which are still better than the whole model on top of photoshopped background style…

    • Right? The covers are atrocious but the books are good and quick reads despite the read. And yes, I agree with you on the blank white model wearing some colour designer dress and pensively staring off in the distance.

      • I think it’s because it’s a style so heavily used by romance and paranormal romance, that it’s easy to assume that it might be (because it REALLY looks like one) and so everyone who sees you reading it will think you’re reading about some lady making love gods/monsters/fairies/whatever.

        A while ago I did a feature on my blog highlighting the Drasmyr series, of which the second book just came out. The first book is lots of fun, and would actually be a pretty good YA fantasy, and I’m sure the second one is as well (I haven’t gotten around to picking up a copy yet). Unfortunately for the second book, I think the author commissioned his promotional company to come up with the cover for him, so it looks like a bad fantasy erotic novel. I kind of feel bad for the guy, because he’d be a great YA fantasy writer, but he’s unfortunately hired a company that specializes in erotic horror and paranormal romance to handle his promotion for him :/

      • And speaking of atrocious covers, has finally got its server issues resolved, so the internet’s biggest treasure trove of sci-fi/fantasy paperback cover travesties is available again :)

  2. Pingback: Weekly Recap| May 25 – 31, 2014 | Oh, the Books!·

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