[Note from Frolic: We are so excited to welcome author Elizabeth Chatsworth back to the site today! She’s sharing her favorite fantasy novels with us. Take it away, Elizabeth!]
In my favorite fantasy novels, I’ve explored astonishing worlds filled with heroic misfits, comic pratfalls, spine-tingling terror, heart-pounding romance, and ultimately, hope that humanity can rise to overcome any challenge. Fantasy is a portal to alternate realities where ancient gods might walk among us, or werewolves and ghosts choose to help us fight crime. Take any historical era, view it through a kaleidoscopic lens, and the past can refract into something new and exciting. Escape with me to eight wondrous worlds, where science, magic, and all that lies between awaits your arrival.
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
…is set during the Napoleonic wars. Two magicians, opposite in character and practices, form a frenemy relationship. From light Austen-worthy social comedy to medieval folklore layered with gothic overtones, this novel blends disparate elements into a magical brew.
Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaimen
…is a fiendishly funny tale of a fussy angel and a slick demon who join forces to stop Armageddon. Over the centuries, these two supernatural beings have developed an enduring love for humanity that warms this reader’s heart.
Soulless by Gail Carriger
…is set in an alternate Victorian London where vampires and werewolves are accepted as members of high society. Enter prickly bluestocking Alexia Tarabotti, intent on solving a supernatural mystery aided by a handsome werewolf lord. This is a light-hearted steampunk romance brimming with colorful characters and hilarious situations. Soulless is a fantastic start to a delightful series.
American Gods by Neil Gaimen
…imagines that ancient and modern gods are real, sparked into existence by human faith. Mr. Wednesday, AKA Odin to his few friends and many enemies, is fighting a holy war in modern-day America. Odin takes an ex-con named Shadow on a bizarre road trip through the United States, where an eccentric cast of characters add humor and horror as Shadow attempts to evade his destiny.
The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman
…tells the tale of Irene, a spy who works for the mysterious Library, a shadowy organization that steals books from alternate realities. Witty dialogue, superb worldbuilding, and fast-paced action made this an instant classic for me. The entire series is simply splendid!
Boneshaker by Cherie Priest
…is a steampunk zombie adventure set in an alternate 1880’s America. A strong female protagonist, a diverse cast of characters, and a quest to save a son from a fate worse than death make this novel a gripping page-turner. Post-apocalyptic nineteenth-century Seattle is lovingly drawn and makes the perfect backdrop for this compelling family drama.
The Spectral City by Leanna Renee Hieber
…is set in New York City at the turn of the century. Eve Whitby is a gifted medium who solves the City’s most disturbing crimes with the help of wayward ghosts. A spooky, thrilling mystery unfolds as Eve investigates stolen souls in a gilded gothic world filled with beauty and danger.
Spellbreaker by Charlie N. Holmberg
…is a Victorian romantic fantasy set in an enchanted England where magic is commonplace. Elsie Camden can dissolve magical spells. But using her abilities without a license is a crime. This captivating coming-of-age duology reaches a climax in the second volume, Spellmaker, where magician murders force Elsie out of the shadows.
About the Author:
Elizabeth Chatsworth is a British author and actor who loves to write of rogues, rebels, and renegades across time and space. She’s the author of THE BRASS QUEEN, an award-winning fantasy set in an alternate Victorian age. When she’s not writing, Elizabeth works as a voice-over actor. There’s a rumor she possesses the world’s best scone recipe. Contact her at www.elizabethchatsworth.com to see if it’s true.
The Brass Queen by Elizabeth Chatsworth, out now!
She knows a liar when she sees one.
He knows a fraud when he meets one.
In a steam-powered world, Miss Constance Haltwhistle is the last in a line of blue-blooded rogues. Selling firearms under her alias, the “Brass Queen,” she has kept her baronial estate’s coffers full. But when US spy J. F. Trusdale saves her from assassins, she’s pulled into a search for a scientist with an invisibility serum. As royal foes create an invisible army to start a global war, Constance and Trusdale must learn to trust each other. If they don’t, the world as they know it will disappear before their eyes.