A list inspired by Daughters of the Storm by Kim Wilkins

On Sale: March 2018

“Have you forgotten we are kings?” Bluebell snapped. “I haven’t. This isn’t a small family matter to be sniped about at the supper table.”

There’s a Game of Thrones-shaped hole in my life. To be fair, there’s a Game of Thrones-shaped hole in many peoples’ lives right now. While 2019 seems like a distant eternity (and The Winds of Winter is never actually going to drop), take heart, for there are so many awesome new fantasy novels out this first half of 2018 to help fill that void. Even better—these books all have layered, flawed female power figures as main characters, guaranteed to sate your desire for familial drama, murder, politics, and yes, even magic.

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Inspired by the recent release of Daughters of the Storm by Kim Wilkins, here are three female-power-player new fantasy novels for the GoT fan hungering for more:

Daughters of the Storm by Kim Wilkins. Bluebell. Rose. Ash. Willow. Ivy. Five sisters, all daughters of the King of Almissia, who could not be more different. When their father falls ill, the eldest heir and great warlord Bluebell is quick to suspect foul magic and moves to gather her sisters in a desperate gamble to save his life. On the road together, it becomes clear that each of the sisters guards different secrets--Ash, with her great and terrifying magicial abilities; Rose and her yearning for a man who is not her husband, threatening to destroy the peace Bluebell has brokered with neighboring Nettlechester; Willow, with her fanatical devotion to her god of pain and martyrdom; and Ivy, ruled by lust and the power and pleasure she takes in the flesh. The entirety of Thyrsland and its fate lie in the balance of these would-be rulers, and Daughters of the Storm follows each sister as the threads of fate weave with the consequences of their actions.

The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton. A new retelling of Shakespeare’s tragedy, The Queens of Innis Lear follows the three sisters of the original play--this retelling framed by a female narrative and feminist interpretation. Innis Lear is teetering on the edge of ruin, thanks to the king’s chaotic, magic-hungry rule. As neighboring countries are poised to absorb the kingdom and control its borders, sisters Gaela, Reagan, and Elia make their own moves to power. Lear’s prophecy-driven desicions, dividing his kingdom amongst his daughters, will only lead to heartache, battle, and blood--it is a dark time for Innis Lear. It is a hard thing to reinterpret Shakespeare successfully, but Gratton does so with beautiful skill, paying homage to the most iconic and important parts of King Lear (Gloucester’s eyes, anyone?), but this time without the flat, sexist interpretation of femininity and women.  

The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang. A dark-skinned orphan girl from a distant village does the impossible--she passes the Keju (an academic test) with flying colors and earns a place at the top military academy of all of Nikan. Of course, earning this kind of honor also earns one many enemies, especially those who think that a commoner should not be admitted to such places of power and prestige. Rin is able to weild magic, and learns to hone her gift of shamanism, as well as the truth of the gods, including the Phoenix god who has chosen her. Her power is considerable, and Nikan would exploit for the third Poppy War with its neighbor, Mugen. Rich with historical detail and drawn from the second Sino-Japanese war, The Poppy War is a tale about war and power. It’s a story that glories in military strategy of glorious and fallen empires, terrible gods, and choices with consequences. If you’re a fan of the war parts of Game of Thrones—and want to read a richly detailed historical asian-inspired world—this one is for you.