Last week, Jason at Off the TBR announced the return of Self-Published Fantasy Month in September, now featuring co-hosts and even more awesome content! This celebration is here to encourage everyone in the book community to read and share self-published books. This year, I’ve been trying to read one self-published book a month, but come September, I’m going to try to get through two or three, ARC pile permitting. But what books should I read? Below are some top candidates! I’m trying to showcase some self-published works I haven’t discussed as much (or at all), so you won’t see my 5th pledge to really, truly read SWORD OF KAIGEN this year (no, really, I swear).
PATERNUS: RISE OF GODS by Dyrk Ashton
I love urban fantasy, and I love mythology, so how could I not be drawn to a series that combines both? PATERNUS follows Fiona and Zeke, who go on the run when they rescue a catatonic man from a local hospital when it is attacked by strange men. Turns out, gods and monsters are real, and Fiona and Zeke are now square in the middle of a brewing conflict with a rising ancient evil. The last book in this trilogy arrives this summer, which put this book square on my radar as bloggers began gushing about the finale. Definitely a candidate for Self-Published Month!
UNSOULED by Will Wight
I’ve seen this series drift across my Twitter feed a few times in the last year, but it wasn’t until I finally sat down and read David S.’s review that I acknowledged that maaaaybe I should pick this one up. Featuring a magic system influenced by shonen anime, it follows Lindon, born “unsouled,” meaning he isn’t able to use any of the magic of his people. He’ll be driven to chase that power anyway, kicking off a TWELVE book series, seven of which have been released so far. Lest you and I get intimidated by the series length, the books themselves average about 300 pages. I’m always on the lookout for new magic systems, so I want to toss this one on my list!
THORNBOUND by Stephanie Burgis
Last year, I read and quite enjoyed SNOWSPELLED, a tale set in alt-England where Cassandra Hargrove became the first woman magician – and also accidentally became wrapped up in fae politics. In this sequel, Cassandra has established a new magic college so that other women may follow in her footsteps. Her plans may all be for naught, however, when a dangerous item is discovered on school property. This is a brisk 200 pages, I should hopefully be able to squeeze this (and maybe the prequel!) into my reading sometime this year.
FORTUNE’S FOOL by Angela Boord
Okay, since I’m not talking about SWORD OF KAIGEN, winner of 2019 SPFBO, I might as well talk about the very very close runner up, FORTUNE’S FOOL! Kyrra is a woman seeking revenge for the death of the man she loves, and she’ll have to navigate a world of mercenaries, spies and smugglers to do it. Oh, and she also has a metal arm to replace the one she lost years ago. This woman sounds like a bad-ass and I very much would like to know more about her.
THE CROSSER’S MAZE by Dorian Hart
After reading and enjoying THE VENTIFACT COLOSSUS, I want to carry on with THE HEROES OF SPIRA series later this year! This time out, our band of heroes are continuing their quest to prevent an ancient evil from escaping its magical prison by searching for a mysterious artifact known as the Crosser’s Maze. Among the many problems facing them: the enemy already has a lead on the artifact and a month’s head start. I really liked the old-fashioned adventure of the first book, and thanks to a review copy from the author, I can continue on with this series!
And those are some likely candidates for my self-published reading future! Are you participating in Self-Published Fantasy Month? Any other suggestions for my list?