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A Reader of Fictions: Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books for People Who Like Graceling

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books for People Who Like Graceling

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Alright, guys, this week the challenge is to choose a book and make ten recommendations based on that. Well, one of my favorite authors is Kristin Cashore, so I'm going to suggest some more fantasy novels with ass-kicking heroines. In building this list, I realized that what makes a book a readalike for Cashore to me is having a heroine who knows her strengths and her faults, and who is comfortable with who she is. She's strong, powerful, and takes care of herself. If she wants to have sex, she has it. If there's a tough decision to be made, she makes it. In these books, there may not be happy endings, and likely not the unequivocally happy ones.

If you love this, try:

1) War for the Oaks - Emma Bull

This may seem like somewhat of an odd choice, given that it's both aimed at adults AND urban fantasy. While this one definitely doesn't fit with the other choices on the list in most ways, I feel like the strength of the heroine brought it to mind immediately. This is one for people who usually don't like traditional fantasy. Also, if you like rock music and faeries, this is for you. Oh, and, for a super awesome bonus, this book came out in 1987 and was a pioneer of the urban fantasy genre. Isn't that cool?

2) The Goose Girl - Shannon Hale

Continuing on in the less obvious recommendations, I have Shannon Hale. I love her books, which almost always feature a very strong heroine. This one has magic, a handsome prince and a lot of other awesomeness. Again, this is a strong heroine, who often ends up having to protect those around her and who manages to survive in the worst of circumstances.

3) Scarlet - A. C. Gaughen

Alright, I think this is my most off-the-wall suggestion, considering that it falls into the genre of historical fiction more than fantasy. Still, it called to me when I was looking through possibilities of books to add to this list. Scar is scarred, both mentally and physically, from the life she's had to live. She fights like a demon and knows how to survive. There is also some wonderful romance in here that is reminiscent of Cashore perhaps.

4) Sisters Red - Jackson Pearce

Jackson Pearce's book differs in that it focuses on two heroines, rather than just the one. Both girls are strong, but in very different ways. Rosie fits in more with people and has managed to survive her fairy tale destiny without too much mental damage. Scarlett is pretty much broken, living solely for hunting, resigned to her life. The darkness, beautiful writing, and powerful girls make this a good choice for a Cashore fan.

5) The Shadowed Sun - N. K. Jemisin

Well, this is book two in an adult epic fantasy series. Deal with it. The first book wasn't nearly as reminiscent of Cashore, which is why I'm highlighting this one. I do think it would probably be advisable to read book one first. The heroine of The Shadowed Sun has chosen a rough path in life and is trying to decide whether it really suits her and makes her happy. There is also some delicious romance.

6) Rampant - Diana Peterfreund

Peterfreund's Killer Unicorn series also features a heroine with a calling to kill, although Astrid is destined to kill unicorns. Unlike Katsa, poor Astrid isn't allowed to have sex, so this is not the one to go to for romance. This one is set in the modern world and will take you on a book trip to Italy. Warning: this shares the whole not entirely happy ending thing.

7) Shadows on the Moon - Zoë Marriott

This is the point in the list where the books pretty much are perfect readalikes for Cashore. Shadows on the Moon is a retelling of Cinderella unlike any I've encountered before. We have a damaged heroine, mourning the loss of her family and set on revenge, a sexy hero the heroine may be too far gone to appreciate, and magical powers.  Very dark and fantastical!

8) Trickster's Choice - Tamora Pierce (or really anything by Tamora Pierce)

Tamora Pierce was undoubtedly an influence on Kristin Cashore. I could really see that in her books. Tamora writes powerful heroines, whether magical or not. She also is notable for allowing her heroines to have guilt-free sex, even with more than one partner and before marriage. I love her for this. Her books are a bit happier than Cashore's, but definitely a must-read for a Cashore fan. The Trickster's series is my favorite so far (I haven't read all of Pierce's oeuvre yet), but most people prefer the Alanna books. Either is awesome!

9) Grave Mercy - R. L. Lafevers

Killer nun. Hot guy. Freaking totally completely awesome fantasy setting. Yeah, this one's just amazing. You should probably read it right now.

10) Touch of Power - Maria V. Snyder

Maria V. Snyder writes amazing sexy scenes, brooding but realistic heroes, and powerful heroines. I'm pretty sure you could read any of her books and love them if you liked Graceling. Touch of Power is my favorite thus far.



Blogger Cayce said...

I loved Shadows on the Moon, so maybe I should try Graceling. :)

July 17, 2012 at 10:16 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Everyone should try Graceling! I love it so much! I now realize that this list is also ten opportunities for me to convince someone who hasn't read it that they should. That is AWESOME.

July 17, 2012 at 10:17 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I loved Graceling. It was so good. I haven't read any of the books on your list but if they are like Graceling I'm sure they are fantastic.

July 17, 2012 at 10:58 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

The last ones on the list are really similar. I would recommend starting there and then branching out from there!

July 17, 2012 at 11:04 AM  
Blogger April (BooksandWine) said...

There are a lot of these that I still need to read, namely Touch Of Power, Sisters Red, Trickster books, and Scarlet.

Sigh. So many books, so little time.

Also, Grave Mercy. I love that book something fierce.

July 17, 2012 at 11:46 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

I totally second your sigh. My to-read list is spiraling out of control, because I follow so many awesome blogs and hear about even more books. With NetGalley and review copies, I get still more I might not otherwise have read. It's crazy.

But yes, you should read those things!

Grave Mercy is definitely a favorite for the year!

July 17, 2012 at 11:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yay! The Goose Girl made it on your list! I love, love, love Shannon Hale's books! Plus, I really really want to read Grave Mercy. Great list, Kristin Cashore's books are wonderful. :)

July 17, 2012 at 12:18 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Yay! The Goose Girl is one of my favorites! Shannon Hale does some amazing things. It totally was not the story I was expecting. :)

Grave Mercy: you will love it.

July 17, 2012 at 12:42 PM  
Blogger Bekka said...

Did you write this list for me :P This is exactly what I've been looking for!

Can you believe I haven't read any Tamora Pierce? I have to remedy this. I really want to read Shadows on the Moon, and I totally agree with your pick in Grave Mercy.

I'm loving all the sex-positive messages here.

July 17, 2012 at 4:41 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Actually, I sort of DID write this for you. I was thinking about Graceling even more than usual since you just read it. :)

It is pretty amazing how many readers have missed Tamora Pierce. I found her in college. The Trickster's series is totally my favorite so far, but her hardcore fans don't like that one, so I don't really know. Alanna is good too, but I liked her daughter better, a bit more inquisitive and clever, I thought.

You will love pretty all of these things, I suspect!

Yeah! Girls should get the sex if they want it, are careful, and are aware of the repercussions that could result. Sex shouldn't be shameful. Also, I really wish that real life had the sachets from fantasy novels where you just wear some herbs around your neck and magically do not need to worry about pregnancy anymore.

July 17, 2012 at 4:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Grave Mercy sounds and looks great! Just the kind of YA books I like to read. I hadn't heard of it before but I can't wait to read it now!


July 30, 2012 at 12:02 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

You should definitely check it out!

July 30, 2012 at 12:47 PM  

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