I’m starting a new feature here on my blog called “So You Want to Read…” which is pretty much what the name suggests. Right now I think it’ll be a monthly thing just because I don’t know if I’ve read enough from certain authors to compile such a list 😉 I think it’ll be fun though, not to mention I’m always happy to recommend books and certain authors to fellow readers 🙂
So, for my inaugural post, the author I will be featuring is Patricia A. McKillip (see tag). Readers of my blog know that I’ve been reading a ton of books by her in the last two years. I had seen her books in the bookstores for such a long time and heard of her in passing in the fantasy circles (though not enough IMO) so I decided to check out her books. The first book I read from her was Ombria in Shadow (review), one of her later books, and absolutely fell in love it her writing and storytelling. They’re so lyrical and beautiful and mysterious. Plus, in a genre filled with trilogies and series, sometimes it’s nice to read a fantasy story that’s contained in one volume (big plus!) 😉
So without further ado, here’s 5 books I’d recommend by Patricia A. McKillip if you want to start reading her books:
- Winter Rose (review) — Hands down my favourite novel by Patricia A. McKillip. I also think this is Patricia A. McKillip at her best: the writing is absolutely gorgeous (found myself just sitting there and dwelling over a sentence every now and then because of how beautiful she’d describe a moment or a feeling or a change in scenery), the plot intriguing and mysterious, the characters wonderous, their lives interwoven by the mystery. Oh, and it’s a sort of is a retelling of the Snow Queen, which was pretty cool too.
- Alphabet of Thorn (review) — The historian part of me was very pleased with this novel because one of the themes that the story touches on involves the study of history, the overlap between history and myth, storytelling (which I mentioned reminded me vaguely of Carlos Ruiz Zafon). The world-building was especially fantastic to explore and discover.
- In the Forests of Serre (review) — Someone pointed out that this book employed some Russian fairy tale elements in its story, which prompted me to pick it up immediately 😛 But it’s a fantastic tale nonetheless, and a very good example of a Patricia A. McKillip story where there’s so much more to the plot than meets the eye. The characters that populate this novel are multi-layered, their characterisations strong; I remember feeling very amused and intrigued by all of the character interactions.
- Ombria in Shadow (review) — This was a pretty good opening book for me despite it being one of her later titles. The story leans more towards political intrigue than the use of swords, but there’s plenty of mystery and sorcery happening behind the scenes to keep the reader intrigued.
- Od Magic (review) — In some respects, this novel feels a little lighter in fare compared to the other books listed because the magic involved has to do with nature and things that grow, but it’s also a very rich book thematically, touching on themes of risk and restriction, illusion and possibility. Another excellent piece of worldbuilding on the author’s part, and I remember feeling quite delightful about the story.
Bonus recommendation! If you’re looking for or are in the mood for something a little darker/more sombre, I would recommend The Book of Atrix Wolfe (review). Still a magical read, but it touches on themes of regret and guilt and loss.
I hope this list of books helps if you’re interested in reading any of her titles! 🙂 You can find plenty more books of hers that I read from her author tag.
What do you think of this new feature? Will you be checking out any of Patricia A. McKillip’s books? Or if you do read her books, which ones do you recommend for new readers? Let me know, I’d love to hear from you!