So this month for Top 5 Wednesday we’ve got a rewind month, where we can do any of the previous topics we missed or wanted to re-do. I had actually planned on doing this kind of blog post anyway, so I figured it was the perfect time to tackle this topic. This week we’ll be talking about 5 underrated reads, and I won’t be limiting myself to a specific genre. If ya’ll wanted me to do top 5 underrated reads for all the different genres, I could definitely do posts like that later (and might anyway).
These are in no specific order.
The Graceling Trilogy and Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore
Yes, I know I’m repetitive and extra but seriously everyone needs to read these. Kristin Cashore is an AMAZING author and I feel like if you didn’t read Graceling when it was super popular that you don’t know that it exists, so I’m trying to get the word out. The Graceling Trilogy was what got me into reading. It’s a fantasy series that’s feminist, and diverse, and each companion novel is written incredibly, and explores a different place in the Seven Kingdoms.
As for Jane, Unlimited, it’s the first book she’s written since like 2012 and I’ve only seen a handful of people reading it on Goodreads. You can check out my review if you’d like, but it’s a queer, genre-mashup choose-your-own-adventure (but don’t actually, it’s meant to be read in order) story and you definitely won’t regret picking it up. I will say that this book, compared to the Graceling Trilogy, is definitely targeted towards the younger side of the YA genre, so keep that in mind when picking it up.
The Darkest Drae series by Raye Wagner and Kelly St. Clare
I actually just started this series yesterday, and read the entire first and almost the entire second book in one sitting. This is a romance fantasy series, with horror elements (at least in the first book) woven in. The world that this book takes place in is split up into three kingdoms, but the entire empire is run by a crazy, disturbed emperor. One of the Kingdoms, Verald, is run by a sick and twisted King who allows all his people to starve, and drinks the blood of Phaetyn, which is a race of more-than-human healers who used to be responsible for keeping their crops growing (until the king slaughtered them all for their blood), to live forever. In the first book, our main character Ryn, through some really unfortunate circumstances, is taken into captivity by the King. The series is all about her story. How she discovers who she really is, gaining her freedom, and eventually falling in love.
A full review will be on my blog soon, but no one talks about this series. It is a romance series, all though you don’t see any of that in the first book, and you can get the three books currently out on kindle for less than 12 bucks total.
The Queens of Renthia Series by Sarah Beth Durst
I recently completed the first book in the series, and will soon be reading the second. This is an amazing feminist fantasy series, where the world is only protected because of one queen who can hold back all the violent spirits and protect the people. But what happens when that queen values her own life over the lives in her kingdom?
This is an amazing series, and I was surprised at how little I’ve heard about it, especially since this is a relatively new release (first book released in 2017).
The Valiant Series by Lesley Livingston
This is an amazing historical fiction series, set in the time of Julius Caesar, the main character is captured and forced to fight in the Gladiator rings as a Gladiatrix (their term for a female gladiator) – the Gladiatrix who wins gains her freedom. Another really underrated and pretty much completely un-talked about series that I think everyone should really pick up. There are some really amazing sisterhood elements that really just topped the series off for me as a favorite.
S.M. Reine Books
Her descentverse is HUGE and I spent the first two months of having my kindle devouring her books. They cost practically nothing, a lot of them are free, and the series is NUTS. I would recommend this series to absolutely everyone who loves fantasy. You should read her books in the order indicated in the graph. The entire world contains werewolves, angels, demons, witches, romance, pregnancy, killing, family, legit WAR…it’s just nuts. 100% recommend.
That’s it for this Top 5 Wednesday. If you know what’s good for you you’ll look into all these underrated reads. If you’re poor like me, I would start with S.M. Reine and then the Darkest Drae. I’ll see you all on my next post 🙂