Fantasy is a genre of stories in which humans are not limited by the rules of the real world- and are often not even set in the real world!- and is characterized by fantastical elements. These could be superpowers, mythology, magic, or creatures like mermaids or dragons that do not exist in our world. Fantasy has historically been dominated by male authors whose novels are usually set in a pseudo medieval Europe. Times are changing however, and these women authors are bringing a breath of fresh air to an old genre, and offering representation to groups of people traditionally invisible in fantasy literature along the way!
The Young Elites by Marie Lu is the story of Adelina Amouteru, a survivor a plague that swept her country and took her mother’s life. Like all who survived the plague, she is marked and considered a malfetto, an abomination. Adelina suddenly finds herself sentenced to death after accidently killing her father when the powers she did not know she had, gifted to her by the gods, go haywire. She is saved by a young man known as The Reaper and is introduced to a group called the Young Elites. Their mission is to fight back against Inquisition Axis who are dedicated to killing off people like Adelina and her new friends.
Serpentine by Cindy Pon is a novel steeped in rich Chinese mythology. Skybright was abandoned by her mother as a baby and taken in by a wealthy family to be raised as their youngest daughter’s handmaiden. As Skybright turns sixteen things begin to change within her, and one night she awakes to find a serpent coil where her legs used to be and the spirits of the dead at her doorstep asking for offerings. She tries to keep the life she lives at night a secret from her family, but the two worlds inevitably collide and Skybright finds herself right in the middle of the mess.