Hello folks! Another book tag for you this week, this one based on one of my favourite films of last year – Beauty and the Beast! Since the film’s been out for a whole year already, (and still no bonus features??) I thought now would be a good time to do this tag! It was originally created by Du Livre, and I pinched it from Dreamland Book Blog.
Katsa and Po from Graceling by Kristen Cashore. I love them both so much. Their relationship is built on trust and strength, and Po respects and adores Katsa absolutely, from the beginning. It is an unconventional pairing – a prince and a tool of terror – but they do not compromise – rather, they build one another up. Katsa doesn’t want children, or to marry, and Po settles the matter by making her his heir. They are both powerful, and adorable, and so very precious to my heart.
The Jure’lia in The Ninth Rain by Jen Williams. Not quite in the same vein as Gaston, but their looming presence has shaped a world. Their structures are so huge they are beyond comprehension, their technology far surpassing the people that live under their shadow. They are terrifying, but I love that. I can’t wait to see how they can possibly be defeated, or even fought, in the sequel, The Bitter Twins, which comes out this year.
Agnieszka from Uprooted by Naomi Novik. She’s just a regular village girl, but when she is unexpectedly chosen by the Dragon, the ageless wizard from the tower, she grows into something much more. It’s a really refreshing look at the dynamic between a young woman and her socially superior love interest – and watching him tear his hair out at the way she does magic is so, so hilarious.
Daughter of the Flames by Zoe Marriott. River prawns, stir-fried with onion and garlic, with cold sesame sauce and butter rice. Sweet sesame seed bread rings with sour black cherry jam. Flaky pistachio and date pastries, fried dumplings and golden herby omelettes. Delicious. Absolutely mouthwatering.
Dashti from The Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale rarely has an opportunity to be herself. An orphan, a lady’s maid, she is imprisoned with her mistress when this fine lady refuses to marry the man her father has chosen. The man she has selected for her champion rides to the prison tower, but she cannot face him. She asks Dashti to speak to him instead. And in so doing, the fates of many alter. Dashti will lie and deceive her way to the feet of power, in defence of her lady, and in loyalty to the man pledged to another. Also, she’s kind and brave and I love her.
Thud! by Terry Pratchett was my first adult Pratchett book. And it was a revelation. It was the first time that I realised that fantasy could be funny (I’d only read kids’ Diana Wynne Jones at this point) and political commentary at the same time. It was the first time I saw that fantasy could be clever, and still hold up as good fantasy. It opened my eyes to a whole new corner of the bookshop.
A murderous Caliph and the sister of one of his victims? It seems unbelievable, but in The Wrath & the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh is a retelling of a very familiar story – One Thousand and One Nights. But this version leans into the reasons for it all in the first place, and builds Khalid and Shazi into a strong – and, remarkably, believable – pairing.
The end of Abhorsen by Garth Nix. It’s very difficult to say anything that wouldn’t just be a massive spoiler, and therefore potentially ruin the impact for someone else. All I will say is that everyone is heartbreakingly excellent, and The Disreputable Dog deserves an honourable mention for being the Best Dog. Such a Good Dog.
The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin. The whole of last summer, it seemed like this was the only book people could recommend me. I finally relented, though I know I often fail to adore old-school sci-fi that everyone else loves. I did not fail here. I honestly found it a bit of a slog at first, but I’m so, so glad I carried it through.
And that’s all, folks! Thanks for reading. Would you have picked differently? Let me know in the comments!