Mint Book Club: July

Mint Book Club is jacking your July with some fantas-tic recommendations

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NATALIE BLAKE

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ZACH GOFF, Evergreen columnist

I have always been a fantasy lover. It’s easy for me to get lost in a world that is so vastly different from the one we currently live in. Plus, who didn’t want to have superpowers as a kid?

One thing I should explain is the difference between high fantasy and low fantasy as I use the terms several times. 

Low fantasy would be like Harry Potter — the magical world is incorporated with or hidden from the society we currently know. Just like when Potter goes back to the Dursley’s at the end of each book and can no longer do magic for the summer, low fantasy is usually hidden from the ‘muggle’ world.

High fantasy is typically the opposite. It’s usually an entirely different world with different government structures (usually centered around the type of magic). Some are based on the elements while others are based on ingesting different metals that give you abilities. 

“The Aeronaut’s Windlass” – Jim Butcher

High fantasy steampunk pirates! What more do you need? 

This is the first book of the series, and I think that it’s a great introduction to new adult fantasy. It’s easy to read, and the magic system is well written while hopefully keeping people new to fantasy engaged in the book. 

“The City of Brass” – S.A. Chakraborty

Taking place in Egypt, the book has a lot of influences from the Middle East. It’s the first of a trilogy and the first five or so chapters are available online so you don’t have to outright buy the book if you’re not entirely sure if this is for you. 

It’s high fantasy, and the three main characters have such different personalities that it’s always interesting to see them bicker.

“The Ocean at the End of the Lane” – Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman has become such a household name that it’s impossible to talk about fantasy without at least mentioning him.

When I first read this book, I was working a night shift at Amazon. When I say I needed to take a break at some of the scarier moments in the book, I mean it took me back to when I was seven years old and afraid of the dark. 

I really enjoyed this story and because it’s low fantasy, it’ll probably be a little bit easier for brand new people to not get lost in the magic system.

“Duel of Fire” – Jordan Rivet

If you’re more of an action book fan, this one has a fairly straightforward magic system and the culture is primarily focused on the fighters in the ring.

It has an elemental magic system focusing on fire so I’m sure all the pyromaniacs out there will get a kick out of this book.

I included this book because of its length. It’s shorter than most of the books on this list, which can be really helpful if you’re trying to see if you even like the genre.

“Foundryside” – Robert Jackson Bennett

This book follows the story of a thief, so that’s always an exciting ride. It’s high fantasy, but the author does a great job of re-explaining the magic when it becomes relevant. 

This can either be really annoying to readers or helpful to remind them of the rules. For beginners, I thought it would help dip their toe into a high fantasy world without having to remember all of the rules on their own.

“Mistborn”- Brandon Sanderson

As one of my favorite authors, I couldn’t leave off Brandon Sanderson. He has helped pave the way for a new fantasy. Mistborn has a unique magic system and follows a girl starting to learn it.

The world is so fleshed out I felt myself getting lost in the book. I know several people that have started loving fantasy because of this book.

“The House in the Cerulean Sea” – T.J. Klune 

I don’t have much to say about this one yet because my book club is reading this this month. 

What I can say is it has occult aspects and LGBTQ+ characters. It’s a high fantasy novel, and I’m excited to read it.