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Wyrd and Wonder is a celebration of all things fantasy. The format of figurative consumption doesn’t matter. You can read, watch, game, puzzle, etc. anything fantasy! To learn more visit my introduction post, which includes links to the hosts and more information about this month-long appreciation of the fantasy genre.
Today’s prompt is “Wyrd and Wonderful,” for which we share a book that we were introduced to during (this or a previous) Wyrd and Wonder. I can’t just pick one book, so I’ve included a few below. Since this is my first Wyrd and Wonder, these books were all mentioned by this year’s participants. I linked to Bookshop.org (not affiliated) where possible; otherwise the book link navigates to Amazon (not affiliated).
The Dragon Waiting by John M. Ford
Discovered on Peat Long’s Blog
In a snowbound inn high in the Alps, four people meet who will alter fate.
A noble Byzantine mercenary . . .
A female Florentine physician . . .
An ageless Welsh wizard . . .
And Sforza, the uncanny duke.
Together they will wage an intrigue-filled campaign against the might of Byzantium to secure the English throne for Richard, Duke of Gloucester–and make him Richard III.
Available for the first time in nearly two decades, with a new introduction by New York Times-bestselling author Scott Lynch, The Dragon Waiting is a masterpiece of blood and magic.
When Women Were Dragons by Kelly Barnhill
Discovered on Curiosity Killed the Bookworm
A rollicking feminist tale set in 1950s America where thousands of women have spontaneously transformed into dragons, exploding notions of a woman’s place in the world and expanding minds about accepting others for who they really are. – The first adult novel by the Newbery award-winning author of The Girl Who Drank the Moon
Alex Green is a young girl in a world much like ours, except for its most seminal event: the Mass Dragoning of 1955, when hundreds of thousands of ordinary wives and mothers sprouted wings, scales, and talons; left a trail of fiery destruction in their path; and took to the skies. Was it their choice? What will become of those left behind? Why did Alex’s beloved aunt Marla transform but her mother did not? Alex doesn’t know. It’s taboo to speak of.
Forced into silence, Alex nevertheless must face the consequences of this astonishing event: a mother more protective than ever; an absentee father; the upsetting insistence that her aunt never even existed; and watching her beloved cousin Bea become dangerously obsessed with the forbidden.
In this timely and timeless speculative novel, award-winning author Kelly Barnhill boldly explores rage, memory, and the tyranny of forced limitations. When Women Were Dragons exposes a world that wants to keep women small–their lives and their prospects–and examines what happens when they rise en masse and take up the space they deserve.
Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier
Discovered on Jessticulates
Juliet Marillier brings us a beautifully re-imagined version of the Six Swans myth in Daughter of the Forest.
Lovely Sorcha is the seventh child and only daughter of Lord Colum of Sevenwaters. Bereft of a mother, she is comforted by her six brothers who love and protect her. Sorcha is the light in their lives, they are determined that she know only contentment.
But Sorcha’s joy is shattered when her father is bewitched by his new wife, an evil enchantress who binds her brothers with a terrible spell, a spell which only Sorcha can lift–by staying silent. If she speaks before she completes the quest set to her by the Fair Folk and their queen, the Lady of the Forest, she will lose her brothers forever.
When Sorcha is kidnapped by the enemies of Sevenwaters and taken to a foreign land, she is torn between the desire to save her beloved brothers, and a love that comes only once. Sorcha despairs at ever being able to complete her task, but the magic of the Fair Folk knows no boundaries, and love is the strongest magic of them all…
Under the Pendulum Sun by Jeannette Ng
Discovered on There’s Always Room for One More
Victorian missionaries travel into the heart of the newly discovered lands of the Fae, in a stunningly different fantasy that mixes Crimson Peak with Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell.
Catherine Helstone’s brother, Laon, has disappeared in Arcadia, legendary land of the magical fae. Desperate for news of him, she makes the perilous journey, but once there, she finds herself alone and isolated in the sinister house of Gethsemane. At last there comes news: her beloved brother is riding to be reunited with her soon but the Queen of the Fae and her insane court are hard on his heels.
King’s Dragon by Kate Elliot
Discovered on Every Book a Doorway
Set in an alternate Europe where bloody conflicts rage, the first book of the Crown of Stars epic fantasy series chronicles a world-shaking conflict for the survival of humanity
It begins with civil war….
For though King Henry still holds the crown of Wendar, his reign has long been contested by his sister Sabella. There are many eager to flock to her banner, and there are ways to make even the most unwilling lord into a weapon pointed at the heart of Henry’s realm.
Torn by internal strife, Wendar also faces deadly raids from the north by an inhuman race, the Eika. And now terrifying portents are being seen; old ruins restored to life under the light of the full moon and peopled by the long-vanished Lost Ones; dark spirits walking the land in broad daylight.
And suddenly two innocents are about to be thrust into the middle of the conflict.
Liath, who has spent her early years fleeing from unknown enemies, is a young woman with the power to change the course of history if she can only learn to master her fear and seize what is rightfully hers.
While Alain, a young man who may find his future in a vision granted by the Lady of Battles, must first unravel the mystery of who he is—whether the bastard son of a noble father, the half-breed child of an elfin lord, the unwanted get of a whore, or the heir to a proud and ancient lineage. For only when he discovers the truth can he accept the destiny for which he was born.
Liath and Alain, each trapped in a personal struggle for survival, both helplessly being drawn into a far greater battle, a war in which sorcery not swords will determine the final outcome, and the land itself may be irrevocably reshaped by the forces unleashed….