From maze-like masas to sprawling dunes
I love fantasy novels with a desert setting. There is an added edge of danger and a certain mysteriousness air created by the endless dunes or craggy mesas. These eight novels deliver epic stories and adventures.
Now in no particular order:
Sand And Storm by Stella Dorthwany
Drama, intrigue, and the end of the world. This book kept me sitting on the edge of my seat while providing a dash of romance and humor to the whole thing. I loved the rich scenery, the tension between the characters and the trials they went through to save the world. There were several clean romances in this novel and I loved each one of them. I can’t wait to pick up the next one in the series!
The sequel: Blood Traitors by Stella Dorthwany
The plot in this was twisty, and I didn’t see the ending coming at all! I loved Cora and Damorin in this novel. I think Fayn takes more after her father than she realizes.
See Also: The Wrong Proposal and The Wrong Betrothal humorous short stories
The Desert Wall by Raf Morgan
First, the cover is absolutely gorgeous and was the first thing that caught my eye. I love stories set near deserts and this delivers in spades. The magic system felt fresh and interesting. I loved how the main character had to build bridges between all the characters and considering her upbringing the occasional piece of wisdom from the young girl made sense. I love each of the characters fiercely and would adopt all of them in a heartbeat! I had a moment (you’ll know when), where I thought, well, crap, now I have to adopt this grown man too. They tug on my heartstrings. I loved the strong female friendships formed in this book; it is rare that I read about women forming such close friendships and bonds in a way that it is realistic. I really enjoyed the three vicious girls in this book. This didn’t feel like a YA or MG book to me, just a fantasy book with protagonists who were younger and that is refreshing. Highly recommend!
Windwalker: Forbidden Flight by H.G. Chambers
I love the rich world building, the sand, the characters, the birds! The author has created a tangible fantasy world with filled with a vibrate culture who have their own unique mythology. I know strong female character can sound like a buzz word, but I really felt like this story portrayed a very real person who was strong in spirit and in action while staying true to her femininity.
The sequel: Windwalker: Relic Of The Dead by H.G. Chambers
This is a sequel to the amazing first Windwalker book, and it certainly delivered. This is one of those authors where you don’t worry if the sequel is going to be good, you just worry about whether everyone will make it out with all of their limbs intact! Relic Of the Dead took the universe in a completely different direction than I expected, but it was refreshing! Plunging deep into their mythology and religion, Kiva leaves behind the troubles of her everyday life and trades them for the fate of the world once again. I think Lim might be my new favorite character, but Samal was great too! Kiva experienced a lifetime of character development in this adventure and I can only imagine what the next adventure holds in store for her!
See Also: Windwalker: Order of the Red Sons and Windwalker: Bonds Of The Forsaken
Seas Of Crimson Silk by Emma Hamm
*slow clap* This book is so good! The settings are lush and vibrant. The characters are human; they make mistakes; they have triumphs, and losses. They don’t always say or do the right thing, but in their hearts they mean well. Sigard is an epically amazing character, strong, compassionate, stubborn and with a huge heart. Nadir grew on me, but I have a feeling he is letting all his power go to his head at the end. I want to pick up the sequel soon!
See also: Dawn of Cobalt Shadows
The City Of Masks by Ashley Capes
This is the first book to stab me in the back so hard I almost threw my kindle across the room with how absolutely devastating the plot twist was. I personally felt the betrayal. Don’t get me wrong, Ashley Capes is an amazing author! This book has so many layers, the world building is richer than most fantasy novels I read, and there are many threads unsolved while still leaving a satisfying ending. Weird and scary monsters, multiple conspiracies and so many lies, I almost didn’t think Sofia was going to make it! I love Notch, Flir, Seto, Luik, and Sofia. I don’t know if I could pick a favorite. Recommend for fantasy lovers! I just got the second book and I am looking forward to diving in!
See also: The rest of the series!
Free Trader Of Warren’s Deep by Craig Martelle
I thought they would set this on a space station based on the cover. I have been trying to read exclusively fantasy this year, but the cover convinced me to dip into science fiction. Imagine my delight when I found a sci-fi fantasy story in the same vein as Dragon Riders Of Pern! The story follows Braden and his mindlinked Hillcat as they traverse dangerous terrain filled with mutant creatures to find Old Tech that he can trade for untold riches. Along the way, Braden picks up new companions like a Hawkoid and a female warrior much more knowledgeable about ancient tech than he is. The cooperation between the different creatures and their mission makes for an entertaining read. I love the back story of this world and how it is revealed piece by piece through the eyes of someone who does not understand the ancient tech. I am looking forward to exploring more of this world in the sequels!