Adult Fantasy Books by Female Authors I Want to Read

Hi everyone! I have been trying to read more adult fantasy in 2020 and I have noticed that most recommendation lists include mainly books by white straight men, because they tend to be the most popular. As much as I have found some really great books throught those lists, the truth is that I read mostly female authors and authors of color and it’s something that I want to keep doing, so I found a bunch of books by female authors – most of them are women of color or queer women- and I made this list of the books that I want to try to read before 2020 ends.

I divided this list in 2 categories: continue reading, which are books or series that I have started and need to finish, and start reading, which are books or series that I want to start. Without further ado, here’s the list:


The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang

What is this about? This book is about a poor girl who manages to pass a very diffciult test to go to a prestigous milatary academy, and once there she realizes that a war’s coming and she was chosen by a god and given powers that may help save her people, but at a great cost.

Why am I excited to read it? This is inspired by real events from China’s history and I have heard it does a great job of showing the real consecuences and impacts of war in the vulnerable population and that sounds really interesting to me.

I’m actually currently reading this book and I’m really enjoying it so far. It’s very dark, but also a lot more fast-paced that I was expecting. I’m hoping I’ll end up loving it and I’ll be able to read the sequel before the final book comes out in November.

The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty

What is this about? This book is about a young woman who accidentally summons a djinn warrior and he takes her to the legendary city of the Daevas, where she gets involved with schemes, fights for power and court politics.

Why am I excited to read it? This book is middle eastern inspired, it includes Arabian mythology and the main characters are muslim, which it’s so refreshing after reading a lot of Western inspired fantasy books.

I actually started listening to this last month but I lost access to the audiobook. I did read 60% of it and I have the audiobook back, so I’m hoping I’ll finish it this month and read the sequel before the final book comes out in June.

The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin

What is this book about? This is a sequel, so I won’t talk about it, but I’ll say that the series is about a woman looking for her daughter, a man looking for vengeance, people fighting for the basic resources necessary to survive the ‘end of the world’ and mysterious forces whose goals are unknown.

Why am I excited to read it? If I’m honest, I’m not excited to read this, I actually thought that I wasn’t going to. The first book was brilliant but devastating and it made me feel hopeless, so I wasn’t sure if I wanted to read more. But some time has passed and I’m curious to see where the story goes and what happens to the astonishing world and characters that N.K. Jemisin created.

Realm of Ash by Tasha Suri

What is this book about? This book is about a young woman with magical blood and an outcast prince, who make a journey together to save an Empire and throughout that journey, they will question everything they’ve ever believed…including whether the Empire is worth saving at all.

Why am I excited to read this? I love the first book in this series of companion novels, I feel in love with Tasha Suri’s writing, her Indian-inspired world and her characters, and I can’t wait to learn where the story goes.


Jade City by Jane Fonda

What is this book about? This is basically about a crime family in a fantasy setting where there is magic, and it follows the children of that family as they get swept into a clan war thanks to the apperence of a new powerful drug.

Why am I excited to read it? The whole concept of mixing mobsters, magic, blood wars and street politics sounds fascinating to me and if you add the fact that family is one of the main focuses of the story, this one feels perfect for me. Also, so many of my friends love this book that I’m very intrigued about it.

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

What is this book about? This book follows three women faced with an ancient enemy that’s awakening. A queen whose life is at risk and who is in need of an heir, a lady in waiting protecting the queen with forbidden magic and a dragonrider.

Why am I excited to read it? A book with a f/f relationship, pirates, dragons and other mythical beasts sounds just up my alley and if you add the fact that this is a standalone -which is not common in fantasy – I’m even more excited to read it. Also, this one is nominated for the Booktube SFF Awards and since I’m trying to read most of the nominees, this book is a priority.

The Sword of Kaigen by M.L. Wang

What is this book about? this is a Japanese-inspired fantasy book about a mother with a violent past, a son struggling to grasp his violent future, an upcoming war and changing dynamics within a family

Why am I excited to read it?: When a self-pub fantasy book gets as much attention as this one has, it has to be good, and when people mention that it represents the direction fantasy should be headed in, I’m intrigued enough to want to give it a chance. Also, I have heard it includes modern technology, which I haven’t seen in an epic fantasy book before and I’m curious.

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

What is this book about? This book is a loose reimaging of Rumpelstiltskin, it’s the story of three girls: a tax collector, her hired help and the local duke’s daughter. All of them are on different paths, all promised to different men and all dealing with uncaring or abusive fathers.

Why am I excited to read it? All my friends that have read this describe it as the epitome of feminist fatantasy and that alone has me so excited to read it. Beyond that, the setting of this is a fantasy version of Lithuania and the concept is based on Rumpelstiltskin and both of those things sound amazing.

Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb

What is this book about?  This book is about a royal bastard, cast out into the world with only his magical link with animals for solace. This magic is rejected by the nobility and he has to hide it when he is adopted into the royal household to be trained as a  royal assassin.

Why am I excited to read it? Robin Hobb is one of the female authors in fantasy that I feel like everyone talks about and The Farseer Trilogy is her most well-known series, so I’m very curious about it. I have heard that it’s impossible not to fall in love with the main character and the magic system is supposed to be outstanding, so hopefully I’ll enjoy it.

A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin

What is this book about? This book is about a great sorcerer who loosed a terrible shadow upon the world and this is the tale of his testing, how he mastered the mighty words of power, tamed an ancient dragon, and crossed death’s threshold to restore the balance.

Why am I excited to read this? From the classical fantasy books written by women, this one was the one that caught my attention the most and the one that I have seen mentioned more often. I have heard amazing things about Le Guin’s writing and her concepts and themes, so I’m excited to give her a chance.

What fantasy books by women would you recommend? Have you read any of the books I mentioned on this lists? Is there a book on this list that I should prioritize?

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24 thoughts on “Adult Fantasy Books by Female Authors I Want to Read

  1. Yes, to ALL of these. I absolutely loved The Poppy War. All of these books are on my TBR and I’m not even closer to getting to them. Ahhh.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So many great recommendations! I was not expecting to know The Poppy War is fast pace, but it’s great to know because I really want to read it, but the length intimidates me! City of Brass is also one of the books on my TBR I need to read asap, everyone in book twitter talks about it and I want to see if I think it’s as good as everyone thinks. And The Priory of the Orange Tree has been all over my Twitter and WordPress feed, so I need to get on that too!


  3. Jade City is a really good dense Asian fantasy!! And I think Spinning Silver looks so good I love fairytale related things!! Great post 💛

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ooh I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying The Poppy War – it’s one I’d like to pick up soon. The Broken Earth trilogy really can knock the stuffing out of you, but it’s so worth sticking with. The Sword of Kaigen is fantastic and Spinning Silver is one of my favourite books of all-time. It’s SO good. I hope you enjoy all of these!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I finished The Poppy War and loved it! Hopefully you’ll enjoy it too. I’m glad to hear that about The Broken Earth trilogy because I’m curious but still a bit hesitant about continuing. I’m glad you enjoyed The Sword of Kaigen and Spinning Silver, now I’m even more excited to read it!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. OK basically I’m the exact same as you haha Every one of these authors is on my TBR list
    I’ve already enjoyed Tasha Suri’s and N.K. Jemisin’s work before so I am excited to dive into their newer books! The rest I haven’t read from but these books are definitely on my list!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great list, Sofia! Many of those are on my TBR as well 🙂 As to what I can add to it — I really loved The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern and The Binding by Bridget Collins. I need to pick up more adult fantasy written by women as well! Happy reading!!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It is one of those books that will stay with me for a long time. Wilder Girls is another one that will stick with me because of brutal imagery. I am so excited for the third book in The Poppy War series.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I am getting a lot of reviews about The Poppy War series and it is making me increasingly curious. Must check it out. Assassin’s Apprentice and A Wizard of Earthsea are classics. I have read them. Absolutely fabulous. Great list.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Anything by Andre Norton is a must. The Dreaming Tree by C.J. Cherry. If you like Urban Fantasy – Laurell K. Hamilton. Oathbound, Oathbreaker, Oath Blood by Mercedes Lackey.

    Liked by 1 person

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