Hello Dear Readers!
With The Sword of Kaigen, coming out in early 2019, I thought I would put together a list of East Asian fantasy books to get everyone in the mood. Since The Sword of Kaigen has its toes in a few different genres, I’ve been careful to include a diverse spread in this list – YA & adult, urban & epic, wuxia & steampunk, popular & little-known… There should be an Asian fantasy here for everyone!
And be sure to read to the end for the really exciting news (SPOILER ALERT: there’s a giveaway!)
An energetic high fantasy adventure, overflowing with Japanese folklore, from dragons, to yokai, to samurai.
A military fantasy that draws on the warfare and cultural customs of Tang Dynasty China, lauded for its richly detailed politics and world-building.
A post-apocalyptic sci-fi/fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast between a human woman and a female dragon, inspired by Vietnamese mythology.
An epic fantasy featuring the politics, philosophy, and complex magic for which Sanderson is known and loved.
A martial arts retelling of Sleeping Beauty, inspired by Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (wherein ‘Beauty’ isn’t a slumbering damsel, but a swordswoman in a state of deep meditation).
A sapphic fantasy about forbidden romance blossoming in a dark world of opulence and oppression, featuring world-building that draws on a blend of various Asian cultures.
This sword & sorcery story of prejudice, adventure, and rebellion, follows two female protagonists with elemental powers.
A sci-fi/fantasy novella of magic, machines, and politics that follows a pair of twins with prophetic abilities.
A complex political fantasy about a sisterhood of women negotiating power in a setting inspired by Imperial China.
This Japanese-inspired young adult fantasy follows a half-yokai, half-human outcast in her quest to become empress, while concealing her demon half from the world.
A bloody military fantasy inspired by twentieth-century China and the Opium Wars (but with magic).
This nineteenth-century urban fantasy follows a Daoist exorcist through the streets of a San Francisco Chinatown full of martial arts and sorcery.
13) Huntress, by Malinda Lo
A Chinese-inspired fantasy adventure featuring a love story between a pair of young warrior women.
Clockwork machines clash with ancient creatures of myth in a dystopian steampunk take on feudal Japan.
A story of myth, music, and dragons populated by colorful characters on a quest to recover a lost magic and save the world.
This martial fantasy thriller follows the violence and intrigue of gangster families grappling for power and resources in a Chinese-inspired city.
A human girl discovers that she was switched at birth with a spirit in this young adult fantasy, set in a version of contemporary Japan where humans coexist with the monsters and spirits of mythology.
A coming-of-age action/adventure story of warriors and assassins coming together in the midst of a kingdom in turmoil.
As I understand it, Inuyasha… but with a dragon. Hot damn.
A historical fantasy story of spirits, love, and politics that draws on the author’s extensive knowledge of Japanese folklore and language.
An ordinary woman falls into a sword & sorcery novel (as the antagonist!) and has to find a way to save the story in this Chinese-inspired wuxia fantasy.
A martial arts tale of lords and assassins, set in a mystical reimagining of feudal Japan.
A young adult fantasy featuring pirates and a shadow puppeteer with the ability to see spirits, set in a world that incorporates elements of French colonialism alongside Asian culture.
This Chinese-inspired dark fantasy reimagines the story of Snow White’s Evil Queen.
A family drama and adventure set against a steampunk version of the Opium Wars between China’s Qing Dynasty and the British Empire.
Okay, I realize that this technically makes twenty-six, but I have to tell you a bit about The Sword of Kaigen, coming February 19th of 2019!
If you enjoy any of the books listed above, you’ll want to check out this epic military fantasy, which follows a family of ice-elemental samurai struggling to overcome their differences before invaders reach their peninsula.
And here’s the really fun part: as part of The Sword of Kaigen’s launch, I am hosting a giveaway featuring ALL of the books listed above!
To enter, all you have to do is join my Sword of Kaigen mailing list, through which you will also gain access to SoK discounts & pre-order swag (including bookmarks, stickers & art prints).
5 winners will get to choose any book they want from my list of Asian fantasy books (sequels & prequels to listed books eligible upon request). Entry open until February 18th, 2019.
And in the meantime, don’t forget to add The Sword of Kaigen on Goodreads!