4 Underrated BIPOC Fantasy Novels For You to Add To Your TBR | ft. a return to blogging & great YA novels

Hi everyone!

As I’ve sat down to write this post, I’ve been interrupted over five times.

Maybe it’s a sign for me to not write this post?

Anyways, I finally pushed my parents and brother away and I’m ready to finally, finally write a blog post. First of all, I missed you all so much! I miss being a part of the blogging community, waking up to so many notifications, and reading all of my friends’ posts. I missed that a lot and I can’t wait to jump back in the flow of it.

Now, why have I been so MIA lately? Well, firstly, a lot has been going on in my life. I’ve had to start prioritizing what I want to do and what I don’t have time for. Obviously, blogging took a bit of a backseat on this. I don’t really regret it- it allowed me to do so much more- but I want to come back and learn how to manage my time, but with blogging this time.

That’s the gist of it, basically. I’m planning to do a longer post about myself at the end of year (speaking of which- can you believe it’s December? because I absolutely cannot) but for now, I want to give you all the sort of content that you’ve been missing!!

I know a lot of people who don’t know a lot of fantasies written by BIPOC authors.

If you’re not sure what BIPOC stands for, it means Black, Indigenous, People of Color. It’s a similar acronym to POC (people of color), but it specifically highlights the separate experiences that Black and Indigenous folks experience. I say it like bye-pock and if you don’t know me, I’m BIPOC as well!

That’s a pity, because there are so many amazing fantasies written by authors of color that people really are sleeping on. Originally when I started this post, I had it as 7 books- then I realized that it might be even more valuable to narrow it down to the most underrated of the books, in my opinion at least. Most of the books on my list I had screamed about on my blog already (Children of Blood and Bone? We Set The Dark on Fire? Girls of Paper and Fire? Ring any bells?) so I wanted to try out screaming about books that I don’t talk about as much.

So let’s get into it!

1. The Kyoshi Novels

JUN198566 - AVATAR LAST AIRBENDER RISE OF KYOSHI HC NOVEL ...    From ‘Rise’ to ‘Shadow,’ F.C. Yee on Deepening the Story ...

Okay, I’m pretty sure that in the few months that it’s been since I read this duology, I’ve spoken about this book about every chance I could get. Because I think this series is probably my favorite of the entire year.

Why am I so obsessed with it?

First of all, these books take place in the Avatar: The Last Airbender universe. That’s my favorite show ever, FYI. I love the universe and the worldbuilding so much, so the Kyoshi novels did more than just excite me! And when I actually read it, I definitely wasn’t disappointed. The novels not only brought the universe to life- they expanded on it and gave me so much more.

Oh, and not to mention, Kyoshi is one of my favorite avatars (I’ll always have a soft spot for Aang though) and her character is amazing. I loved how F.C. Lee wrote Kyoshi and her girlfriend Rangi (speaking of which- Kyoshi is bi !!! and Rangi and Kyoshi are an amazing couple). I loved honestly everything about this series.

2. Star Daughter

STACKED – books

I actually wrote a whole post on Star Daughter when I read it a few months ago, so definitely go check it out. This was one of my favorite stand-alones that I read this year as well!

Why do I love it so much?

I am absolutely obsessed with the prose of this book. For people who don’t like flowery language, this book might not be for you- but for the people who do, I highly highly recommend reading this! The way the author describes everything is just- chef’s kiss.

Another reason why I loved this book was because of the Indian representation. I haven’t read many Indian YA fantasies, so this book means a lot to me. There were so many times when I felt seen and represented– and while this book isn’t perfect, I’m not ashamed to say that it made me cry many times.

3. Shadowshaper

Shadowshaper - Perma-Bound Books

This is a book I don’t see getting a lot of love, sadly. It was gifted to me by one of my dear friends!

Why I recommend it:

It’s been a while since I’ve read Shadowshaper, but I do remember some of my favorite parts of it. My absolute favorite was definitely the setting. I loved the way that the author wrote New York as a wonderfully diverse and mixed city, and also tackled the hard topics of racism and gentrification.

Not to mention that the fantasy elements were pretty cool! It was unique and while I think it was tacked on a little bit hastily, I really enjoyed reading about it.

4. Cemetry Boys

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas | Swoon Reads

This is a book that I read just under two months ago (on Halloween!) so I haven’t talked about it at all on my blog yet. Which gives me free reign to rant about it as much as I want!

Why makes me love this book?

Cemetry Boys is about Yadriel, a trans boy, and how he tries to prove to his family that he is a boy during Dia de Muertos, when his community, brujx, are making preparations to invite the dead back for the festival (but- literally). Not to mention that there’s a really cool mystery involved.

My favorite part of this book was Yadriel. I absolutely adore him and he’s an amazing protagonist. I also loved his budding romance with Julian! It was so sweet and while it made me super anxious sometimes, overall I loved it.

Also my favorite part is the magic. It’s so darn creative- I’m obsessed with it! I loved everything about the Latine heritage and it makes me so so happy to read about the customs and traditions. The way that Aiden Thomas weaved in beautiful magic into the heritage was absolutely genius. I wish I could do it as well as them!

I loved this book so much- I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to read a novel about Latine queer teens doing awesome magic. Or, honestly, anyone.

And that’s a wrap!

I really enjoyed writing this post and I hope you all enjoy reading it as well! I haven’t checked my stats in a long while but I’m sure they’ve dropped a lot… oh well. I guess I’ll just have to build up again which I’m okay with!! <33

I love you all! Tell me how you’ve been doing and what sorts of posts you’d like to see from me. More life posts? Bookish? Tags? Something else? I’m open to any ideas!

30 thoughts on “4 Underrated BIPOC Fantasy Novels For You to Add To Your TBR | ft. a return to blogging & great YA novels

  1. I’d never heard of any of these before, but they sound great! I love learning about new (and especially underrated) books. Thank you for giving me a good excuse to add to my 6+ page list of books I want to read. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love fantasy books and I realised this year that I really haven’t read enough, like I say it is my favourite genre but I need to read more.
    After watching Avatar (thank youuu 💛), I definitely want to check out The Rise of Kyoshi, I’m excited to learn more about her 😍 and I love that she is bisexual!!

    Ah… STAR DAUGHTER!! I NEED TO GET ON THAT ASAP! oops I didn’t mean that to be capitals 😂😂 but I do need to get to it!! I love flowery language and I want to read it even more as I know it means so much to you!!

    I don’t hear a lot about Shadowshaper but I have been meaning to check out more urban fantasy so this one definitely intrigues me!!

    I have Cemetery Boys on my shelf and I really need to read it soon because it sounds amazing!!

    Thank you so much for this list. I loved reading it!! 💙💙

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally get that!! I feel like I don’t read a lot of fantasy despite it being one of my favorite genres! (then again- I feel like I don’t read a lot, period XD)
      I loved the Kyoshi novels, as you can probably tell lmao. I highly recommend it!!! I think you’ll love it :))
      HAHA you’re good i love capitals!! And it’s definitely worth a read!!
      YES it’s a great intro to urban fantasy!!
      CEMETRY BOYS WAS ACTUALLY AMAZING I HOPE YOU LOVE ITT
      Thank YOU so much for commenting Sophie! Your comment made my day- I was having a rough morning but now I’m smiling 💛💛
      (ALSO I FORGOT ABOUT OUR HEART THING AND NOW I’M SO NOSTALGIC 💛💛)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha Yess, I used to feel like I didn’t read a lot too but I definitely read a lot more now.
        Yess I can definitely tell 😂 ahh.. I can’t wait!!
        YAY!!!
        ahhh… Thank you, me too. I’m sure I will though!! 💙
        Aww.. Of course, I’m so glad I could make you smile on a rough day!! 🥺 I’m so sorry you were having a rough morning though, I hope you are better now and I’m always here if you need anything 💙💙
        I know it has been so long but I love it!! 💙💙

        Liked by 1 person

  3. admit, i am so happy to see you in my feed again! i hope everything is going well – if you’re doing online school/distance learning, i can imagine it really must be overwhelming. i definitely had to step back from blog hopping in the last couple weeks, and i’ve just been trying to catch up on everything i missed now.

    i don’t read a lot of fantasy, but i loved cemetery boys as well! the characters were amazing, their banter was hilarious and i really liked yadriel’s character arc as he realizes he doesn’t need to compromise all the time and he deserves to be respected for who he really is. it was an absolutely amazing experience!

    wishing you a great holiday season & end of december!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. lais!! ahh, thank you! i’ve missed you and your posts so much! i feel so bad for slacking on blog hopping but i’m glad i’m not the only one :((
      cemetry boys really was a great book! i’m so glad that you loved it as well!
      you toooo! have a wonderful rest of 2020!

      Like

  4. i’ve actually been thinking the same thing about wanting to learn how to better manage my time so i can blog more. i’ve really missed it & spending time visiting other people’s blogs as well. it’s great that you’re drawing attention to some underrated diverse fantasy novels! i read and loved shadowshaper awhile back because i saw it in my high school library. haven’t tried cemetery boys or star daughter yet, though i’ve seen a lot of positive reviews for them in my gr feed.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. love this post, thank you so much for sharing these recs!! i started and finished ATLA earlier in 2020 (it’s now one of my favorite shows of all time 💛), and then, bc i was craving more ATLA content, i read The Kyoshi Novels soon afterwards. I LOVE THEM SO MUCH. it’s such an intense, emotional, heartbreaking, and absolutely brilliant series and i looove Kyoshi as well, she’s such a strong and powerful Avatar 🤩 i really loved her romance with Rangi as well!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. i love ATLA so much! i did a post on TV shows like ATLA if you want to see it 👀 and SAME OMG that’s exactly why i picked them up, and they ended up being my favorite series of 2020!!! as a bi ATLA fan, i loved kyoshi and rangi so much 💕💕
      thank you so much for commenting, dezzy!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. i’m also a bi ATLA fan, and same 😭💕 and oMG yes i did read your TV show post and LOVED it :)) have you watched She-Ra since you wrote that post? i actually watched the entirety of She-Ra after finishing ATLA bc i needed another animated show to fill the void that finishing ATLA left in me haha :’) and i actually started rewatching She-Ra recently cuz i love it soooo much, it’s such a wonderful show and i love all the characters + friendships sm 😭💓

        i’m also currently watching The Legend of Korra with my friend (we’re on season 3 now) and i’m enjoying it – it’s definitely a whole different vibe than ATLA but it’s fun! and still intense at times. i’m also really excited to start Kipo and Glitch Techs, i’ve heard good things about them both ☺️ other animated shows that i really want to watch (that i think are reminiscent of ATLA?) are The Dragon Prince and The Owl House (i started this, but haven’t finished it).

        haha omg sorry for my extremely long comment – i didn’t even realize how much i started rambling about all these animated shows 😂 super excited to continue chatting with you about ATLA + PJO + all the amazing media out there! 😌

        Liked by 1 person

        1. YAYY twins!!
          and YES I DID She-Ra is literally AMAZING I love it so much! my unpopular She-Ra opinion is that I’m not a huge fan of Glimmer 🤐 she gets better in the last season I think! i love Glimmer and Bow though!
          TLOK is definitely different but I love it as well! It’s also definitely more mature than ATLA but I like it! I’m glad that we get to see multiple sides of the universe. I haven’t watched the newest season of Kipo yet, sadly 😭 I keep forgetting about it XD I need to prioritize it!
          I haven’t seen TDP or TOH but my brother loves TDP apparently! How do you like TOH?
          PLEASE don’t be sorry! I love long comments 💕💕 Thank you so much for commenting and I’m super excited too!

          Liked by 1 person

  6. I love this list of books, and hooray for bringing more attention to BIPOC authors! ☺ I absolutely adore the Avatar universe but I somehow still haven’t gotten to the Kyoshi books…clearly I need to change that soon. I loved Cemetery Boys too! The magic was SO creative and beautiful, and I can’t wait to see what Aiden Thomas does next.

    Liked by 1 person

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