If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know that fantasy is my absolute favorite genre. I love the way that fantasy novels offer an escape from our everyday lives, while still pulling in important and timely themes. Whether middle grade, YA, or adult, I will fall into any fantasy with strong world-building, authentic characters, and a compelling plot.
Sound like something you’d like? To continue with my Black History Month spotlight, I’ve pulled together just a few of my favorite fantasies written by Black authors.
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemison: Summoned to the majestic city of Sky and named an heiress to the king, Yeine Darr is thrust into a vicious power struggle that draws her closer to her family’s bloody history. This epic fantasy is lyrical, atmospheric, and filled with political scheming and suspenseful twists.
David Mogo, Godhunter by Suyi Davies Okungbowa: In this riveting, mythpunk fantasy, David Mogo, demigod, scours the dank underbelly of Lagos as a freelance Godhunter. David is super funny and relatable and the concept, steeped in traditional mythology, is fresh and exciting.
Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko: Weaving a tale of loyalty, fate, destiny, and revenge, this is a stunning, lush fantasy following Tarisai as she fights to win a position on the Crown Prince’s Council of 11 while also struggling against her mother’s command to kill him. This sweeping YA fantasy is action-packed and a great choice for fans of Tomi Adeyemi.
Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James: This book has been called an “African Game of Thrones,” and it certainly meets the violent, epic action you would expect. Tracker, hired to find a mysterious boy who disappeared three years before, joins a search party that is targeted by deadly creatures. It’s a lyrical, intricately plotted mash-up of fantasy, horror, and literary fiction.
A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown: A grieving crown princess and a desperate refugee are on a collision course to destroy each other, despite their growing attraction. This is an action-packed, explosive fantasy brimming with political intrigue and magic, while also discussing real-world issues in a thoughtful way.
Beasts Made of Night by Tochi Onyebuchi: In this thrilling story with a well-crafted setting, Taj, a sin-eater who consumes the guilt of others, is drawn into a plot to destroy the city and must fight to save the princess he loves and his own life. It’s a vividly realized fantasy tackling themes of belonging, self-discovery, and inequality.
Song of Blood and Stone by L. Penelope: Enduring life as an outcast from her homeland where her Earthsong powers are feared, Jasminda is enlisted to reinforce the protective Mantle around two nations that are preparing for war. This is a suspenseful, lyrical tale with a power couple you’ll love to root for.
Queen of the Conquered by Kacen Callender: Sigourney Rose lost everything to the colonizers who have massacred and enslaved generations of her people. Now, she is ready to exact her revenge by using her ability to read and control minds to manipulate her way into the ranks of the ruling colonizers. This is a twisting, fascinating, and layered revenge story.
There are SO many more fantasy titles by Black authors to explore this month, and every month. Do you have any favorites? Let me know in the comments!