Wyrd & Wonder: Top Five Fantasy Reads Since Last May

Here we are at last: Wyrd and Wonder 2022!! As part of the event, the team has created five list prompts, one for every weekend of the event! First up, they want to know what our favorite fantasy reads were since the last time we all gathered in celebration.

So, in no particular order, my favorite fantasy reads since last May were:

  The Jasmine Throne  The Liar's Knot  Last Argument of Kings

This big thick book is full of sapphic romance and tearing down the patriarchy. Oh, and I guess there’s magic and prophecies and stuff. Look, you can come for the princess and the (magic) handmaiden who team up to overthrow the despotic emperor, but I’m here for Bhumika, the nine-month-pregnant wife of a local governor who tries to politely work behind the scenes until she decides she’s done being polite. Do not mess with Bhumika.

THE LIAR’S KNOT by M.A. Carrick
My favorite book of 2021 was THE MASK OF MIRRORS, so it’s little surprise that it’s sequel, THE LIAR’S KNOT, is on this list. A Venetian-flavored fantasy world with tarot-inspired magic, full of dance balls, warring crime gangs, dual identities, and dark conspiracies? This series has it all. Come for the con-artist living her best life, stay for a whole host of characters you’ll fall in love with.

I managed to read all of the THE FIRST LAW trilogy last year, and if you forced me to choose my favorite, I’d have to go with this one. It is amazing that in a series where so relatively little happens, I found myself completely enthralled with the characters and their plight. Even more amazing is that this series doesn’t have exactly a happy ending, and yet it completely works and I didn’t throw the book across the room in frustration. One of my big goals for this year is to move on to the standalone novels set in this world, and eventually on to the full second trilogy!

 Jade Legacy  Foundryside

JADE LEGACY by Fonda Lee
Surprising absolutely no one, the third book in a trilogy all about characters has made the list! It’s a big of epic proportions, both in page count and scope; it follows the Kaul family over the course of nearly 30 years as it struggles to define itself and the clan as the next generation prepares to take over. I cannot recommend these books enough, especially if you’re looking for a more modern-feeling fantasy where super-human abilities exist alongside airplanes and cellphones.

FOUNDRYSIDE by Robert Jackson Bennett
Okay, this was a reread, but I did ACTUALLY read it in the last few months, so it counts! THE FOUNDERS trilogy by Bennett is one of my favorite series of the last few years, and with the trilogy finale coming out in June 2022, I had to give the first two books a reread! In this world, magic works by inscribing runes onto objects to give them commands such as “don’t unlock unless a certain person is present” or “steel doesn’t actually sink, it’s very buoyant.” It’s essentially magic computer coding and I love it. Sancia is a thief who finds herself in possession of a powerful relic that completely upends how the magic in this world works – and soon finds there are many who would kill to get their hands on it.

Honorable mentions

 Grey Sister  Empire of the Vampire  Under the Whispering Door

GREY SISTER by Mark Lawrence

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