Not Your Typical Fantasy

I don't know about you, but when I think of fantasy, I think of made-up worlds, magic, and strange creatures. There are some fantasies that are considered magical realism, which is our world plus magic. The following books are all considered fantasy, but they put a unique twist on the genre.

The Ex-Princess, opens a new window, by Fiona West, is an adult book that has one of the most unique twists I have seen in the fantasy genre. What if a magic world had its own modern era? That is what the world of the Borderline Chronicles is like. It is a made-up world that acts like our own, but magic is used like electricity. While the world provides an interesting backdrop, this first book focuses on Abelia, who is being persuaded to go back to her life of royalty after she rejects it.

While royalty seems to be a staple in the fantasy genre, not all royals can be painted with the same broad stroke. In Of Curses and Kisses, opens a new window, by Sandhya Menon, you are left guessing whether Grey Emerson is actually cursed by Princess Jaya Rao’s relative through magic or if it was all coincidence in this Beauty-and-the-Beast retelling.

Snow White With the Red Hair, opens a new window (1), by Sorata Akizuki, may sound just like a Snow-White retelling, but it goes beyond the original tale. This is a feel-good, cozy fantasy manga series about a girl with unusual red hair who wants to be a royal court herbalist as well as be friends and possibly more with the second prince of Clarines. This is a fantasy in the sense it is a made-up world, but there are no strange creatures or magic as well as no lasting, high-octane danger. If you are interested in this story, but are not interested in reading the manga, there is a two-season anime series that follows the manga, beginning with Snow White With the Red Hair, opens a new window (Season 1).

Intrigue, suspense, and danger might be your favorite thing, but perhaps you want something a little different. Erin Beaty’s The Traitor's Kiss, opens a new window is fantasy in the sense it is a made-up world, but it plays out as a political-intrigue/military mash-up. Apprentice matchmaker Sage Fowler stumbles upon a treasonous plot, and she becomes a spy, while, at the same time, she falls for a soldier.

I hope you give some of these unique fantasy reads a try!