Court life, political intrigue, backstabbing – figurative and literal, complex alliances, moral grays, diplomacy, spycraft, possible wars etc. These are all the hallmarks of good political fantasy for me.
I have been craving fantasy books full of political intrigue for the last year or so. I have read a number of them so I thought it was time to make a list of recommendations for you. For the purpose of this list i am not interested in assassin books, they can get their own list since there are so many of them. For this list I am interested in the diplomacy and backstappy nature of court and church politics. I like quite a bit of adventure in my fantasy books so these are not dull political meetings and they are not political in the way that they deal with current world politics. Of course current issues might be part of the issues but it tend not to be the point. In these books the protagonists are active players in the politics rather than passive victims of the politics made by other people.
I believe the question, then,” says Vasily Yaroslav, “is one of intent.
So I read City of Stairs in November but I have not had the head space to review it before now. Apparently my brain is all squashed most days when I come home from work and my weekends have been full of x-men… because OMG x-men. But I wanted to take time to review City of Stairs before I did my best of 2014 list because this has to be up there.
Most of the books I read this month are later books in ongoing series where I have reviewed earlier books. I can’t seem to find the head space to sit down and properly review them. So I thought I would do a quick run down of the books and if I am lucky it makes me want to write the proper reviews. I read seven books this month so that might also be part of it. Looking at the books now I can see that there is a theme though most of these books. Five of them are spy thrillers of some kind or another.
I adore urban fantasy. Cities are so interesting places they drive innovation, they are diverse in a way small towns can never be, they hold the unknown as an integral part of their makeup, they have options of entertainment and nightlife that smaller rural areas just can’t have. They also contain so many contrasts and contradictions. The poor and the super rich exist in the same space, walk the same streets. Cities can hold secrets and hidden places that in the rural areas are only secrets to outsiders. But I do not only like the urban setting in fantasy set in our world – in modern times – I also really like cities as a setting in straight up fantasy. This is a list of the fantasy stories that I can recommend that is not urban fantasy as such, but is fantasy set in cities, where the city is quite important for the story. These are not books were the protagonist travel all over the place on a long quest. These stories primarily take place within the confound of a single city.