More Fantasy and Historical Fiction Featuring Main Characters of Color
someone asked for this rebloggable!
[carryalaser asks: Was wondering (sorry if it’s been dealt with before) if you had favourite/recommended works of fantasy/historical fiction in regards to positive PoC representation? And thank you a lot for the effort put into this blog, one of the finest. My mother wishes it was around when she was homeschooling my sisters and I.]
OMG, Thank you!!! And your mom sounds awesome.
I’m a pretty hardcore Fantasy/Sci Fi fan and have been since childhood. The unrelenting whiteness of the genre (especially the late 70’s early 80’s stuff I was practically weaned on) really did a number on me, especially as a teen. That’s a lot of why this blog exists, in fact.
- The Crown of Stars Series by Kate Elliott
A must for medieval fans! I love the series for the awesome character development, realistic worldbuilding, and instead of “medieval England” going on and on through the entire map, you end up in versions of Hungary, Eurasia, Mesoamerica, Ethiopia and Egypt. Not only that, here’s your protagonist:
For those who are more into Steampunk and Historical Fiction (not me, in other words), I actually DO recommend another Elliott series:
- The Spiritwalker Trilogy by Kate Elliott (Cold Magic, Cold Fire, Cold Steel)
I’m still making my way through this series, but I’m actually really impressed so far. The worldbuilding is really impressive. Also, you won’t read a better summary than the one here.
- The Inheritance Trilogy by N. K. Jemisin (The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, The Broken Kingdoms, The Kingdom of Gods)
OMG. YOU NEED THIS.
Seriously if you pick one, pick THIS one. Characters you never knew you couldn’t live without include Oree Shoth, Sieh, Yeine, Nahadoth, and many, many more. Description:
Gods and mortals. Power and love. Death and revenge. In the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, gods dwell among mortals and one powerful, corrupt family rules the earth. Three extraordinary people may be the key to humanity’s salvation.
- Dreamblood (The Killing Moon, The Shadowed Sun) by N. K. Jemisin
YOUR MIND WILL BE BLOWN OKAY.
Magic system is really unique, and the characters will feel like your new, weird, difficult best friends who have hero complexes and martyr complexes and so much political intrigue and so much EVERYTHING.
- Acacia Trilogy by David Anthony Durham (Acacia, Other Lands, The Sacred Band)
This is a person with a background in Historical Fiction, so to MY taste, it starts a little dry but is meaty and totally worth it. The plot and the politics and the geography are really going to appeal to Historical Fiction buffs. The whole plots hinges around moral quandaries involving power, colonization, slavery, and drugs.
Also, the characters are pretty good. More plot driven than character driven.
- The Elemental Logic Series (Fire Logic, Earth Logic, Water Logic, forthcoming Air Logic) by Laurie J. Marks
AMAZING High Fantasy fare. These books read like a good meal. I don’t even have words for it, just….you’ll feel what the characters feel when they’re tested to the breaking point and beyond. You’ll love who they love, and need what they need. GLORIOUS DESTINIES tempered by incredible grittiness, and villains you will hate so much it’ll feel like a toothache. One of my very favorites. (NOTE: The cover of Fire Logic is whitewashed. Zanja is a woman of COLOR. I will post the cover of Earth Logic instead.)
Well, that’s what I’ve got for now!
Best way to make me late to work: ask me about books in the morning!
A lovely follower reminded me of a glaring, terrible error I made:
ESPECIALLY THE EARTHSEA SERIES
THE LEFT HAND OF DARKNESS.
THE ANNALS OF THE WESTERN SHORE
And for more Fantasy and Sci Fi written by Women of Color (original list source deactivated):
- Dawn by Octavia Butler
- Redemption in Indigo by Karen Lord
- Wind Follower by Carole McDonnell
- Mindscape by Andrea Hairston
- Racing the Dark by Alaya Dawn Johnson
- Dragon Sword and Wind Child by Noriko Ogiwara
- The Icarus Girl by Helen Oyeyemi
- Salt Fish Girl by Larissa Lai
- Half World by Hiromi Goto
- Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon
- Guardian of the Spirit by Nahoko Uehashi
- Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
- The Iron King by Julie Kawaga
- Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor
- Hammer of Witches by Shana Mlawski
- Ico: Castle in the Mist by Miyuki Miyabe
- Orleans by Sherri L. Smith
- Dualed by Elsie Chapman
- The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin
- What’s Left of Me by Kat Zhang
- Filter House (short stories) by Nisi Shawl
- Huntress by Malinda Lo
- Legend by Marie Lu
- Signal Red by Rimi B. Chatterjee
- The Conch Bearer by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
- The Island of Eternal Love by Daína Chaviano
- My Soul to Keep by Tananarive Due
- Cast in Shadow by Michelle Sagara
And, adding one of my personal favorites: