Although I’ve pulled away a bit from that genre, Fantasy will always stay special to me ; there’s just something so enthralling in Fantasy novels done right, I cannot explain fully how these books make me feel. I just love them so much, you know? Unfortunately, as a whole Fantasy is also one of the most icky genre when it comes to diversity in my opinion : first many 20th Century novels take their roots in Tolkien (and we all know what that means in terms of white supremacy, don’t we?), and we cannot ignore all the recent works that were called out by POC readers as being downright racist. Moreover, they aren’t often open to LGBTQIA+ characters and are bloody sexist 99% of the time, either because they forget that women do, actually, exist, or they build all their character arcs on sexual assault, which is a trope that is, again, insufferable in its frequency. And don’t even get me started about the lack of Fantasy novels with disabled and neurodivergent characters.
To those who say “politics” shouldn’t influence fictional stories, I’ll answer this : DUDE, banning POC, LGBTQIA+, disabled characters and women is not only the equivalent of yelling that you’re a bigot (and so full of white/allo cis heterosexual privilege that you can’t see it), but it’s also a failure of craft, and a big one at that. Your story is most likely freaking terrible and that’s lazy storytelling. If you create a fictional world filled with white, allocishet, abled men, you’re gonna have to explain to me how does that fucking work, and if you can’t (and trust me, I’m VERY curious to listen to your excuses), it means that your world-building does not make sense. Hence : terrible, and lazy.
However, it wouldn’t be right to say that Diverse Fantasy novels don’t exist, and it annoys me when people shrug in a “what you gonna do” fashion.
They do, and many of them are fabulous, okay?
Hence why I wanted to take the time to 1) promote my favorite Diverse Fantasy novels and 2) introduce those I have on my TBR.
The books above are either absolute favorites of mine, or books I enjoyed a lot, and I cannot urge you enough to give them a chance, okay? You do that.
- Darkling by Brooklyn Ray
- Sunbolt by Intisar Khanani
- The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury
- Jade City by Fonda Lee
- Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
- The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F. C. Yee
- Timekeeper by Tara Sim
- The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin
- Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza
- Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
- Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan Mcguire
- Monstress by Marjorie M. Liu
Now here are the books on my TBR, and trust me, I cannot WAIT to read them all. After a few hectic months medically wise, I’ve been slowly coming back to my usual reading pace, and those are the ones I’m most excited about. Of course, this list isn’t exhaustive, so please feel free to recommend me more books in the comment section! Moreover, I’ve tried to read as many #ownvoices reviews as possible, but if I missed something and if one of them has problematic representation, please let me know, I’ll remove it!
Last thing : I haven’t found any, but I’d LOVE to read a Fantasy novel with an adult character who has ADHD?
I’ve yet to find one in which I can see myself, and it would mean the world to me if you could help me with that. Thank you ♥