Put together by Lília

Written by Tiemen, EmmaV, IrisW, Juno, Jesmae and Maria

Some of the titles below were chosen by one or more ABC colleagues, but everyone has their own reasons for loving them. Read on to see what they are. You might even find one or two new titles for your TBR list!

Legends and Lattes by Travis Baldree

Tiemen: I have a soft spot for cozy fantasy. Especially the kind in which the main character builds something up instead of burning down whole cities yelling dracarys. Coffee is also a thing I happen to like. So, it is no surprise I really enjoyed Legends and Lattes; the coziest fantasy of 2022 about an Orc adventurer who decides to retire and open the first coffee shop in the city of Thune. For fans of Dungeons & Dragons, coffee and Animal Crossing.

IrisW: “High fantasy, low stakes” – if that isn’t exactly what everyone needs right about now, I don’t know what is. This story is fluffy, adorable, slightly bittersweet and filled with absolutely mouthwatering pastry descriptions (seriously, make sure you stock up on snacks before you dive in). I loved it!

While this is obviously a fantasy novel, I think it would work really well for readers who tend to gravitate towards other genres; romance readers who don’t mind a bit of magic alongside their sapphic swooning, for example, or YA readers who are looking for some more mature characters. It would also be great for ttrpg players who want to get (back) into reading. Whatever your reading background, I’d love you to give this a try!

Botanical Curses and Poisons by Fez Inkwright

EmmaV: Isn’t this a lovely cover? On a dark grey background, dainty, blue and copper-coloured leaves spiral around ominous skulls and bones. Yes, this book’s contents may make you feel slightly uneasy, as “Botanical Curses and Poisons” is an encyclopedia of everyday plants and fungi, and their dark history and folklore: some of these plants are simply weird, others are deadly poisonous. Inkwright’s writing style is lively and accessible, and her fascination for the “shadow-lives” of plants is tangible throughout the book. If you are interested in folkore, biology and magic, then this book is for you! It is simply enchanting.
PS: If you like this book, you may also want to read its prequel, “Folk Magic and Healing”.

Medusa by Jessie Burton

Jesmae: “The Medusa. What did he mean, the Medusa? My name was Medusa, and I was a girl. Perseus had made me sound like a mythical beast. I didn’t want to be a myth. I wanted to be me.”

In this fascinating re-imagining of the myth of Medusa, author Jessie Burton gives us a fresh feminist perspective on a character and tale that have, for the most part, been associated with one of Perseus’ most heroic deeds. Simply put, Perseus has always been the victor and Medusa the victim.

Not this time around!

Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco

Maria: What a fantastic start to the series. I cannot wait to read the second book after this introduction. I love the darkness of it. Superstition that turns out to be very real is one of my favorite book tropes, also… Enemies to Lovers.

Spear by Nicola Griffith

IrisW: This is a retelling of (a part of) the King Arthur legend. I was optimistic going in, but had not expected to be as completely blown away by this book as I ended up being. I don’t want to give too much away (it’s a short book, after all), but there’s a nice bit of gender bending and sapphic romance, all while drawing from different mythologies. Highly recommend!

Jade City by Fonda Lee

Juno: This East-Asian inspired series is about a powerful clan that explores themes of family, post-colonialism, and culture. It is a truly brilliant blend of urban fantasy that uses fantasy to amplify real world topics and consequences. Together with stunning fight scenes and Jade that gives people extraordinary powers it becomes one of the best series I have ever had the pleasure to read.