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  • Writer's pictureCourtney Diles

Top Three Fantasy Books I Read in 2023

I’m on track to read 200 books in 2023! I finished number 188 yesterday. At the risk of reading another fantasy book that blows my mind in the next six weeks, here are my top three fantasy books I’ve read this year.

The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri: An Engrossing and Gorgeous World

This is a book that I will be reading again in 2024. The exquisite descriptions, the magic system a little unlike anything I’ve seen before, the middle eastern culture, and the LGBTQ representation create something the world needs and wants and maybe I’m just speaking for the world. In either case, this is beautiful, full of thought-provoking characters and relationships, political intrigue, and magic that everyone is trying to understand in a way that reflects the world we live in. It also has that way of weaving in intricate descriptions that’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but oh my goodness, it is mine. I love it so much.

When Women Were Dragons by Kelly Barnhill: I Think They Just Might Be

This book is based on a fictional 1950s event in which many women spontaneously turn into dragons, but it quickly becomes a taboo thing to even speak of. The historical narrative passages are so convincing that I stopped to figure out if there was an actual historical event that The Dragoning was based on. The main thing I got from it? Messages about letting women and girls be angry and be themselves and step into their power. I relished it.

The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O'Neill: What Thriving Looks Like

This sweet graphic novel started as a webcomic in 2016 and is now one of the coziest fantasy books I've met. I borrowed it on Libby and devoured it ìn less than a day. Greta, a blacksmith apprentice, learns the fading art of tending to young dragons who grow tea leaves. The cast of characters include people who are relearning how to thrive in peace and who are growing up in it. It’s beautiful and precious.

Courtney Diles (Coco Henderson) has been the Owner of Courtney Diles Writing & Editing Services since 2012. She is the author of The Pain Eater (The Wild Rose Press, 2018) and five ghostwritten indie paranormal romance novels. She specializes in editing paranormal romance, young adult fantasy, and graphic novels, and in Mental Health Sensitivity Reviews. Her former blogs included Studies in Storytelling and The Depression Detective. Thank you for reading!

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