Today is a special day for me and I stumbled upon the perfect blog post to showcase that. Bree Hill originally created this tag as the Get to Know the Romance Reader Tag, and Madi @ The Book Pusher adapted it for fantasy readers. I’ve played around with the order of questions, so check out this post by Sahi @ My World of Books for the original format. If you’ve read any of my blog posts, you would know that I’m a huge fan of fantasy books. I’ll be digging in a little deeper and talking about my fantasy origin story, favourite books and more, so let’s get started!
Origin Story & Opinions
1. What is your fantasy origin story?
I grew up on the staples from Indian mythology and Western fairytales as a young child but the first fantasy book I loved with my entire being was The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis. We had an excerpt of it in our English syllabus in 4th standard and our teacher decided to read the book aloud to the entire class throughout the rest of the academic year. I was hooked and bought my own copy soon to read by myself. I remember sobbing at certain parts of the book and re-reading it many times since then. Since then, I have been passionate about fantasy but have diversified my tastes over the years and have the book community to thank for it!
2. What is your favourite and least read fantasy subgenre?
I love epic fantasy the most because it’s the easiest to get lost in and I mostly read fantasy as an escape. I also really enjoy sweeping world-building and tend to rate books higher solely on that aspect even if the plot or characters don’t appeal to me. Urban fantasy has to be the least read subgenre purely because the escapism is lesser in these books. I want to read more books by authors of colour in this subgenre as the most popular books in this, especially in YA, comes from white authors. Lobizona by Romina Garber is an upcoming YA urban fantasy release I’m really looking forward to!
3. What is a misconception about fantasy you would like to bury?
My personal pet peeve is seeing fantasy books by women authors shelved as YA even though they are explicitly written for an adult audience. There was a huge outcry about this when R. F. Kuang clarified that The Poppy War is for adults and was misunderstood to make it seem like she snubbed YA. I think it’s important to recognise that it’s a microaggression to do so in a field that is already dominated by white, cis, straight male authors. The adult fantasy genre has been steadily gaining valuable contribution from women and I’m very happy to see them being awarded for it. I wish more people would check the intended audience of the book before recommending and shelving them.
4. Which author and trope would you choose if you were to be the protagonist in a fantasy story?
The only author I would trust to write me in a fantasy book is Roshani Chokshi. She’s written characters that I have strongly identified with already (Laila and Zofia in The Gilded Wolves) and she’s a huge fan of mythology, fairytales, The Lord of the Rings, history and a myriad of nerdy stuff, just like me. I also adore her writing style very much and I know she would do an amazing job overall. A trope that I am immensely enjoying in books these days is found family. It’s very close to my heart for a number of reasons and I think fictional me would love to be surrounded with a good support system.
✨Related: Top 10 Asian Women Authors of SFF Who Inspire Me
5. Who are your auto-buy fantasy authors?
I don’t buy a lot of books as they are very expensive and most are imported, so instead I mostly read via subscription services. However, I want to mention authors that I’ve read from and have multiple books out for this answer. I want to devour their impressive backlist and support their future work too. I have talked about a few of them already, so here are some more other authors I 100% support –
- N. K. Jemisin
- Nnedi Okorafor
- Zen Cho
Favourites & Recommendations
6. Who is a fantasy content creator you’d like to shoutout?
I’ve discovered an amazing community of readers through Book Twitter mostly and I’m lucky to be surrounded by such creative people. I recently came across several new people who also enjoy fantasy as much as me, which is a delight to experience. Here is a list of my favourites –
- Mis Hashmi, BookTuber and blogger
- Gagan @ A Fantasy Sky, Bookstagrammer
- Wendy Xu, illustrator and comic artist
7. How do you find fantasy recommendations?
I find new books to read through a combination of lurking on Book Twitter, combing through book blogs, select videos on BookTube and sometimes Bookstagram. I make sure to have a diverse following feed so I can get many perspectives and recommendations from different corners of the world. The author community also has pointed me to new favourites from blurbs or just gushing about new books online. Lastly, I keep an eye on shortlists and longlists for industry awards such as the Hugos, Nebulas and World Fantasy Awards. One of my favourites, Jade City by Fonda Lee, came on my radar when it won the World Fantasy Award for best novel in 2018.
8. Which 3 books would you recommend for beginners?
- Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia (MG)
- An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir (YA/NA)
- Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri (Adult)
9. What is an underrated fantasy you’ve read this year?
I was lucky enough to get an ARC of A Wish in the Dark by Christina Soontornvat this year and my only wish is to get this book into more readers’ hands. It came out right when countries around the world went into lockdown because of the pandemic and there wasn’t a lot of hype around it when it came out. It is one of my favourites of the year – an #OwnVoices Thai-inspired MG fantasy based on Les Misérables.
10. What is an upcoming fantasy release you’re excited for?
As someone who makes a list of 10 books every month, it’s very difficult for me to choose just one! I’m eagerly anticipating series conclusions like The Burning God by R. F. Kuang, sequels like The Silvered Serpents by Roshani Chokshi and the start of new series like Paola Santiago and the River of Tears by Tehlor Kay Meija. You can check out all the books I’m looking forward to under the Reading Lists Planet category on my blog.
I’m tagging a few friends who love fantasy to do the tag –
If you are also a fantasy reader but haven’t been tagged, please consider yourself tagged by me. Don’t forget to link back to the original tag creator and check out Sahi’s post I linked in the introduction for the intended order and wordings of the questions. Let’s spread some magic and love in the fantasy book community!
Do you also love fantasy like me? Who are some of your favourite authors? Did you like getting to know a bit more about me? Let me know in the comments section below. Hope you are having a magical week, readers from Earth!