International Women’s Day has come and gone, but that doesn’t mean we have to stop celebrating women! Keikii over at Keikii Eats Books recently tagged me in a book tag created by Dianthaa over at Dianthaa Dabbles, and it looked like so much fun I decided to do it myself!
All covers link to Goodreads, so if any of these strike your fancy, have at it and add them to your TBR!
A Book with a (
Closer To) Gender-Equal Society
A PALE LIGHT IN THE BLACK by K.B. Wagers
There’s no “closer to” here, the society to be found here is gender-equal in every way possible. Set a few hundred years in Earth’s future, people of all gender identities and sexual orientations live side-by-side without batting an eye. When you meet a person and get their contact card displayed on your retina, their pronouns are right below their name. And the military has men/women/other all serving, and the military competitions aren’t split by gender. Idealistic? Maybe. But couldn’t we use that these days?
A Book About Writing Your Own Story
THE UNSPOKEN NAME by A.K. Larkwood
The main theme in this book is not quietly accepting your fate, but actively choosing your destiny. Csorwe is a young orc-ish child of 14, who has spent her entire life preparing to be a sacrifice to a god when she’s offered a different path at the very last moment. But even freed from death, it takes Csorwe years to realize she needs to stop living for other people and start living for herself. And that starts with rescuing another woman who believes that she, too, must stoically accept a fate that wasn’t her choosing at all.
A Story With Women Working Together
SEVEN BLADES IN BLACK by Sam Sykes
Sal the Cacophany is a mess. She’s a mercenary out for revenge and gets herself into scrape after scrape. Fortunately, she’s got Liette, an artificer who works magic by scribing magical words onto people or things. Do these two have the most functional relationship in the world? No. But when the chips are down, they have each other’s backs.
A Book With a Twist on the Traditional Gender Role
THE NAME OF ALL THINGS by Jenn Lyons
In the country of Jorat, society is divided into stallions and mares. You might mistakenly believe this means men and women, but Jorat has a different way of looking at things. Here, you’re either a leader and protector of others (a stallion) or a follower, one who looks to another for protecting (a mare). Thus, there are women who are stallions and men who are mares and vice versa. It’s about proving your leadership and your ability to defend those who rely on you that determines your gendered status.
A Woman in a Man’s World
THE SHADOWS BETWEEN US by Tricia Levenseller
The world presented in this YA fantasy is a familiar one. Seemingly inspired by England or France 300 to 400 years ago, women in this society have very few rights and basically exist to look pretty and get married off. Enter Alessendra, who is SO tired of being told what she can and can’t do. She’s determined to manipulate her way to power, playing by society’s rules when it suits her needs and flaunting them when it doesn’t. Most importantly, the men she’s attracted to aren’t the ones who want to put her on a pedastal to keep her safe. They’re the ones who treat her as an equal, who not only ask for her opinion on matters of state but actually listen. It may be a man’s world, but Allesandra is not going to let ANYBODY put her in a corner.
A Book With A Matriarchal Society
THE INDRANAN WAR Trilogy by K.B Wagers
Wagers gets to be on this list a second time! There’s a reason I enjoy her books so much. The Indranan Empire at the heart of BEHIND THE THRONE/AFTER THE CROWN/BEYOND THE EMPIRE is a matriarchal society, with a council of women advising the empress, women holding key military positions, etc.. The gender-political dynamics are so flipped, that it is MEN who are having to sue for equal rights and a seat at the table. Would an equal society be better? Sure. But it’s nice to have women be the default for a change.
A Book With a Positive Romantic Relationship
THE OTHERS by Anne Bishop
I will flail about Meg and Sam from THE OTHERS series every chance I get! They are both incredibly awkward and yet so respectful as they try to fumble through their relationship. For context, Meg is a blood prophet, raised in an institution by people who exploited her gift of seeing the future to make money off of people who would pay for it. Meg escaped, but a sheltered life has left her fumbling through how to exist in society. Simon is an “other” a being whose primary form is a wolf, but frequently spends time as a human. As leader of a Courtyard, a bridging place between humans and others, he’s doing his best to understand how humans do things. The end result is two people who barely know how to “human” trying to figure out the boundaries of their own romantic relationship. Neither pressures the other, they’re just trying to figure out what they’re both comfortable with. And when they’re both finally ready for a big step, it’s just so rewarding.
A Book Featuring a Woman’s Issue
Absolutely Everything Written by Tamora Pierce
I read Tamora Pierce when I was 12 or 13, just coming into puberty, and I clung to these fantasy books that not only featured women warrior leads, but dealt with coming of age women’s issues as if they were the most natural thing in the world. Which they are, but when you’re 13 and everything feels like a mess physically and emotionally, and you just feel embarrassed to talk about it with anyone. So to see multiple characters across these books have their first period, deal with cramps and other side effects of “monthlies,” or talk about contraception, provided a lifeline of normality I desperately needed as I came to grips with my own changing body.
Flowers and Chocolate
SORCERY OF THORNS by Margaret Rogerson
The “thorns” in the title might refer to a family name, but this book also has a rose motif sprinkled throughout. In reason 437 of why this book is one of my favorites, SORCERY OF THORNS is lightly inspired by Beauty and the Beast. It’s not blatantly in your face about it, but it’s certainly there if you look. If you haven’t read this fantastic fantasy adventure, it’s about an apprentice warrior librarian trying to thwart a conspiracy involving magical books. Go read it!
And that’s the tag! I tag anyone who would like to jump in!