Welcome back to my blog! Today I thought it’d be fun to discuss those authors whose books we buy without even reading the blurb or checking reviews. The ones we know we’ll enjoy, no matter what the book is about. The authors who can lend their hand to any subject matter, whether it’s an epic fantasy based on 15th century Spain, a supernatural ghost story about a haunted bakery, or a contemporary romance between two rival ballet dancers.
In no particular order…
1. Maggie Stiefvater
If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ll already know about my love for Maggie Stiefvater (check out my reviews of The Scorpio Races and The Raven Boys). I stumbled across Shiver back when I was a young pup (21, then…) just looking for something to satisfy my post-Potter reading addiction. It did the trick, and luckily was a trilogy (I’m still yet to read Sinner, #4 in The Wolves of Mercy Falls series!), so there was plenty of content to sink my teeth into.
After I finished that series, I picked up Lament and Ballad, which I didn’t love as much, but I just needed another hit of Stiefvater’s distinctive writing style. Then I got distracted by the likes of The Mortal Instruments and The Hunger Games, and didn’t get around to reading The Scorpio Races or The Raven Cycle until this year, when I realised what I had been missing and renewed my adoration of la Stiefvater once more.
Seriously, if you’re looking for a great young adult fantasy read, you won’t go wrong with one of Maggie’s books. Her style is slightly eerie and very suspenseful, with lots of mythology and supernatural elements mixed with complex and flawed characters.
2. Sarah J. Maas
When I discovered S.J. Maas, she had already published three books in the Throne of Glass series as well as a collection of prequel novellas, and A Court of Thorns and Roses had just been released. There was a lot of hype around her books, and most of the reviews I saw were good – her books sounded right up my street, and I loved that there were a good few to get stuck into without having to wait too long for the next to be released.
Maas writes absolutely epic young adult and new adult fantasy, with some of the most book-boyfriend worthy male characters you will ever come across. She quickly became one of my favourite authors, and Empire of Storms and A Court of Mist and Fury cemented her newfound status as an auto-buy author. I’m impatiently waiting for the next instalments in both series!
She’s also writing a Catwoman novel which will be released in 2018, so if superheroes are your cup of tea then pop that on your TBR. You won’t regret it.
3. Leigh Bardugo
I read The Grisha Trilogy because everyone else was, and I enjoyed it, it was an entertaining read (or listen, I got the audiobooks), but where Leigh Bardugo really came into her own was the follow up series, Six of Crows. Set in the same fictional world, but a different part and a few years later, Six of Crows features cameos from a few of the main characters of the Grisha series, but with a whole cast of new characters and a gripping, exciting plot.
Leigh’s talent for world-building is what really puts her up there in my list of favourite authors, she even created a new language for these series. Set in a fictionalised version of medieval Russia, the language and culture are heavily influenced by Russian. The magic system she invented is deeply complex and fascinating, and the characters really come to life as you’re reading.
I’d recommend reading The Grisha Trilogy before starting on Six of Crows, it’s not essential but it adds to the experience and they are a fun read, lots of people loved them just as much, if not more than SoC.
Bardugo is also working on a Wonder Woman novel as part of a DC Icons project, so there’s another superhero book for your list!
4. Laini Taylor
Daughter of Smoke and Bone was the first book I listened to on Audible, so it has a special place in my heart, but the whole series is just fantasy heaven. The whole concept of creating creatures using teeth and bone fragments, and reincarnating souls into the bodies is really interesting, and the action is fast-paced and full of tension.
The detail in the descriptions of the characters, creatures, magic and the worlds Laini has created is just phenomenal. I loved every single book and was heartbroken when the series concluded, but the ending was really satisfying.
Laini’s next book, Strange the Dreamer (out this month) is hotly anticipated amongst the bookish community online, and I for one can’t wait to get my hands on it!
5. Samantha Shannon
I was given The Bone Season by a friend who works at Waterstones, along with Half Bad and We Were Liars, so I trust his recommendations implicitly. It’s one of the best debuts I have ever read. Shannon wrote it whilst studying English at Oxford, and was a published author at 21. So, not intimidating at all, then.
The Bone Season series is set in London in an alternate future (2059, but with a different history since the 1800s). It has criminal gangs, psychic powers and alien-type creatures from another realm that control the UK government. It’s fantasy, sci-fi, steampunk, and just incredibly well written. It’s one of these really detailed books with a map and a glossary and a completely new lexicon. And I live for that.
The third book in the series comes out this month, and I’m going to a signing at Waterstones so I’ll hopefully be acquiring a signed copy and meeting Samantha!! I’m so excited, and also really nervous, but I bet she’s lovely. She’s a huge inspiration, so it will be a dream come true to hear her speak about the book and hopefully get a signed copy.
Who are your top 5 auto-buy authors? Do you love YA fantasy authors as much as I clearly do? Let me know in the comments!
See you next time,
Current word count: 44,243
Looking forward to smashing out 35k words during Camp Nano!