Today’s recommended reads are inspired not only by the fact that they’re amazing books, but because KAIKEYI by Vaishnavi Patel is currently on sale in digital under Orbit’s New Voices initiative, so you can also try it before you buy it for someone else, if you’d like! And the Great Cities series by N.K. Jemisin was just recommended by Emma Straub on The Today Show, so you don’t have to take my word for it! (After all, I am her agent, so perhaps a bit biased.)
KAIKEYI by Vaishnavi Patel
Buy US: https://bit.ly/3VFhYYV Buy UK: https://bit.ly/3VA2yF6
Before she was cast as Indian mythology’s most jealous and vengeful queen, she had her own story…
Kaikeyi is the only daughter of the kingdom of Kekaya, beloved by her many brothers and raised on stories about the might and benevolence of the gods: how they churned the ocean to obtain the nectar of immortality, how they vanquish evil and ensure the land prospers, how they offer the devout powerful boons. Yet she watches as her father unceremoniously banishes her mother, listens as her own worth is reduced to how great a marriage alliance she can secure. And when she calls upon the gods for help, they never seem to hear.
Desperate for some measure of independence, she turns to the texts her she once read with her mother and discovers a magic that is hers alone. With this power, Kaikeyi transforms herself from an overlooked princess into a warrior, diplomat, and most-favored queen, determined to forge a better world for herself and the women around her.
But as the demons of her childhood stories threaten the cosmic order once more, the path she has forged clashes with the destiny the gods have chosen for her family—especially that of her beloved son, Rama. Kaikeyi must decide if resistance is worth the destruction it will wreak…and what legacy she intends to leave behind.
A stunning debut from a singular new voice, Kaikeyi reimagines the life of the vilified queen from the Indian epic the Ramayana. It is a story of fate, family, courage, and heartbreak—of an extraordinary woman who dares to leave her mark in a world where gods and men dictate the shape of things to come.
The Great Cities Duology by N.K Jemisin
Four-time Hugo Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author N.K. Jemisin crafts a glorious tale of identity, resistance, magic and myth.
I could go on and on about this series, but I’m going to tell the tale in two of my favorite reviews that I really think sum up each book:
“VERDICT Jemisin (The Broken Earth) writes a harsh love story to one of America’s most famous places. As raw and vibrant as the city itself, the prose pushes the boundaries of fantasy and brings home what residents already know—their city is alive.” – Library Journal, Starred Review, on THE CITY WE BECAME
“A ray of hope in a dark time.” – Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review, on THE WORLD WE MAKE