Fantasy Must-Reads of 2018

Here are three novels published on the Year 2018 that I’ve recently been obsessed about.

So for like-minded individuals looking for your next obsessions. Here are 3 standalone novels you should really take a look at! (And yes, they do not require sequels). The endings are satisfying!!!!

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

Hands down, one of the best novels I’ve read so far.

Chapter one started out looking like a downer story wherein main character Miryem has a loving father who is unfortunately a really bad money-lender. How bad? He cannot manage to get back the money he lent. The villagers keep telling him that they don’t have the money to pay back due to the coming hard winter though Miryem observes those same villagers talking about buying something special just a few days later. Things come to a head when Miryem’s mother is unable to even get out of bed from illness.

At this point, I already expect Miryem’s mom to kick the bucket. Thus providing Miryem with a tragic backstory.

But my expectations were proven wrong when Miryem decides to take matters into her own hands. She memorizes the names of all the people that owe them and how much. No actual money to pay? No problem. Give her what you have and she’ll figure out how much is the remaining balance and the payment schedule going forward. You don’t want to pay? Ok. Miryem will just have her super successful grandfather from the city call the authorities on you.

And with that, Miryem managed to save her mom from near-death. Unfortunately, at the price of the villagers’ enmity. But Miryem doesn’t care. It isn’t a surprise to any reader that Miryem eventually becomes a very successful money-lender. She is understandably proud of herself that she even boasts of being able to spin silver into gold.

Unfortunately, someone heard this. A magical someone who wants gold. And doesn’t care much what it has to do to get it. So when Miryem’s house gets covered in snow with six pieces of silver at her doorstep, she pretty much gets the message to turn these 6 silver pieces into 6 gold pieces, or else…

So what’s a girl to do? She’s certainly not going to give 3 gold pieces from her own hoard. She’ll lose money. Instead, Miryem manages to get to the city, have a jeweler turn the silver pieces into a ring that sold for ten gold pieces. So let’s see. Six goes to the Staryk (that’s the magical creature who gave her the silver pieces). Two goes to the jeweler. And the last two goes to Miryem. Woah! She just made a profit

And that’s just about a third of the novel!

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

A siren who literally takes out the heart of princes. And a prince turned pirate who hunts sirens.

It’s inevitable for these two to meet. And as luck would have it, both decide to target the other at around the same time.

This dark little mermaid re-telling is perfect for fans tired of naive princes/princesses. Both protagonists are far from being ideologically, philosophically, or morally pure.

Which makes their enemies to lovers romance all the more compelling in my opinion.

Phoenix Unbound by Grace Draven

Main character Gilene’s fire and illusion magic comes in handy every year when the empire demands a sacrifice from each village. Her resistance to burning and her weaving of illusion allows her to survive and escape only to come back to the empire’s capital to be “sacrificed” again.

This cycle is broken when a gladiator Azarion sees through her illusion and blackmails her into freeing him in exchange for his silence.

Anyone tired of gladiator-style romance should give Grace Draven’s novel a chance because it definitely does not focus on the coliseum setting and the Roman Empire-based setting. Azarion has more in mind than getting his freedom. And to achieve his major goals of retribution, he needs Gilene. Hence you get a novel in about 3 parts. The first focuses on how Azarion and Gilene get away from the Empire and journey (reluctantly on Gilene’s part) to Azarion’s tribe (a tribe based on the pre-Genghis Khan Mongol tribes).

While the second and third parts are a combination of how Azarion plans to topple the Empire and how Azarion and Gilene get together. So there’s a bit of something for romance lovers and readers who shy away from heavy romance

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