Monday, May 20, 2013

Let's Play "The Book Dating Game!"

I think we've all had this experience: You read a fantasy novel you love, but when you go search for a book with the same feel to it, the two of you just don't have that same chemistry. But hey, they say that getting set up through friends is a great way to make a book-love connection, so let's see if the Inkpot Hivemind can do just that.

Just put your "what I'm looking for" request in the comments and we'll try to fix you up with the perfect book. Then chime in with your own book-dating recommendations.

Ready? I'll go first. Here's what I'm looking for in the perfect book:

-A story set in a somewhat realistic past with touches of magic and a bit of a fairy tale feel. Some of my favorites include Magic Under Glass and Sorcery and Cecelia.

Okay, it's your turn. Let the book matchmaking begin!

37 comments:

  1. Marissa Doyle's Leland Sisters series is right along the lines of what you're looking for (Bewitching Season, Betraying Season, and Courtship & Curses). I also found Mercedes Lackey's Elemental Masters series to be the same sort of concept - real-world history, with magic hidden underneath.

    And, uh, not to blow my own horn here, but if you're looking for short stories along those same lines, my own If This Be Magic/The Traitor and The Spy is a two-story collection of historical magic. It happens to be my favorite genre, too, and there just aren't enough books out there to fill it! I'll be checking the comments to see other people's recommendations along these lines.

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    1. Thanks, Louise! I just read Betraying Season and loved it. I'll definitely check out the Elemental Masters series, and thanks for mentioning your own stories; they sound right up my alley!

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    2. Have you ever read Naomi Novik's Temeraire books? Napolianic wars with dragons....

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    3. Napoleonic Wars and DRAGONS?? I'm sold! :-)

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    4. I JUST got an email from my library letting me know they have the first Temeraire book in and are holding it for me. I've been hearing about this series for ages, and I am so excited to read it - library day can't come soon enough!

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    5. Yes indeed, Napoleonic....sigh. Spelling is hard.

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  2. This is such an awesome idea. Okay, I like dark, surreal and lyrical YA fantasy like Sabriel by Garth Nix or Seraphina by Rachael Harman. What should I read next?

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    1. Have you ever tried any Patricia McKillip, Lena? I'm not sure she's "dark" exactly, but perhaps you'd enjoy her. I'd suggest The Bards of Bone Plain, or The Alphabet of Thorn.

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    2. Can't believe I've never heard of Patricia McKillip. Now that I've googled her, I think she might be right up my alley. Thanks Charlotte!

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    3. Lena, have you read Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo? Or The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater?

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    4. Chime by Franny Billingsley (now recommended in 2 categories!)

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    5. Been meaning to get to both of those, Anna. Thank you. Franny Billingsley is definitely a favorite of mine, Leah. i wish she wrote faster!

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    6. I second Shadow and Bone and The Raven Boys. I'd throw in The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater, too. I also recently finished Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers and the sequel, Dark Triumph. All are great! And Lena, Franny Billingsley's writing is so gorgeous it rolls off the brain like dark chocolate. LOVE it!

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  3. I haven't read either of those, Lena, (but now I really want to!). Laini TAylor's books might not be hugely lyrical, but they're definitely dark and surreal, and utter page-turners. Not YA, but our own William Alexander's books meet all your other specifications. (If we have the same definitions of "surreal.")

    So I guess what I want is more of that: dark and lyrical MG or YA.

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  4. Oh, and Anna...not new, but maybe Elizabeth Bunce's "A Curse Dark as Gold" would suit you. It's set in Industrial REvolution England, as I recall. Also, "Chime" by Franny Billingsley is in a sort of alternate Industrial Revolution England, and is marvelous.

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    1. Thanks, Ellen. I've actually read both of those; clearly we're on the same wavelength. :-)

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  5. Having finally read Robin LaFevers's GRAVE MERCY (and waiting impatiently for my library hold on DARK TRIUMPH to come through), I'm in the mood for dark, atmospheric stories about women who bring the mayhem in service of that which is righteous and good. To the extent that it's possible to know, anyway. Whatcha got for me?

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    1. I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest The Inn Keeper's Son, by Peter Beagle -- darkness, a woman known as Swordcane Lal with mad skillz (plus other zowie characters), mayhem in the service of good, a smidge of heartbreak...

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    2. Mike, I assume you've read Kristin Cashore's books? Also, you might want to check out Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas and The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson (and its sequel which is also really good).

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    3. Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst, the Incarnate trilogy by Jodi Meadows (only the first 2 are out so far; the second is way more mayhemy than the first), The Archived by Victoria Schwab.

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    4. Leigh Bardugo's Shadow and Bone is another good one along those lines!

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    5. I'd throw in Daughter of Smoke and Bone, too, by Laini Taylor. And I agree with all of those recommendations. There's an immersive decadence to them all that's similar. But don't leave out Leah Cypess' Mistwood! I'd put it in the same category.

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    6. Kristin Cashore's books are a good pick for that. They can certainly get dark, and the heroines are pretty kick-butt.

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  6. Chime might work for you, too, Lena.
    --Ellen, who obviously is a bit scattered today

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    1. LOVE Chime. I read Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke & Bone but looking at her website, I see I might really like her Dreamdark series as well. Thanks Ellen!

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  7. It's not YA, but Glamour in Glass by Mary Robinette Kowal and The Native Star by MK Hobson sounds right up your alley!

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    1. Leah, those both sound great! I might have to wander out of my MG/YA comfort zone and check them out. :-)

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  8. Have you read A CURSE AS DARK AS GOLD by Elizabeth C. Bunce? May be something right up your alley with a historical-fiction-based-on-Rumpelstilskin feel.

    Me, I'm always looking for good superhero books, whether fantasy or sci-fi, I'm all about the action hero's journey, especially if they're TRAGIC heroes! ;-)

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    1. Dawn, here are a couple superhero-type books that I've heard of but haven't read yet: INSIGNIA by SJ Kincaid and THE RISE OF RENEGADE X by Chelsea M. Campbell.

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  9. I loved False Prince and Runaway King, by our own Jennifer Nielsen. Any more like that? I'm also loving Robin LaFevers's Grave Mercy, Mike.

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    1. Erin, if you haven't read it yet, there's galactic rock star Megan Whalen Turner's THE QUEEN'S THIEF series, which has some of the same galloping adventure/crazy plot twist/endearing rapscallion protagonist qualities as THE FALSE PRINCE and THE RUNAWAY KING. MWT is amazing.

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  10. I will definitely read THE QUEEN'S THIEF! Thanks Mike!

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  11. Hmmm... I think I'd like something with an unreliable narrator and a fantastic, unguessable twist. (And don't suggest Megan Whalen Turner or Jennifer Nielsen, because I've already read and adore both.) Thanks!

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  12. I liked the world creating as well. It makes the story really interesting. Although this dating games are with three bachelors, to be honest, I think it's obvious she will end up with Mal. I would be beyond surprised if she completed up with Nikolai.

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  15. I like books based on different types of mythology. Something with violence and war, but also a little romance and comedy thrown in there. Any ideas?

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