a modern tale of faerie

CLAP FOR HOLLY BLACK AND LGBTQ+

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown has a trans character, and one of the two main couples in The Darkest Part of the Forest is gay, and same in the Modern Faerie Tale series, as well as a lesbian character.
There are more examples that I can’t think of now, but this is already pretty good. Thanks @hollyblack for this representation

NOT FOR HUMANS by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black

This is a short piece Holly and I wrote for John Green’s Project for Awesome a few years ago. I recently mentioned it and enough people asked to see it that I thought we ought to put it up! It’s a crossover between Holly Black’s Modern Faerie Tale series and Shadowhunter Chronicles. Kaye, Roiben, Corny and Luis are all from Holly’s books. You may well know the others. :) This is set before the beginning of City of Bones. Remember when Jace talked about eating faerie food and running naked down Fifth Avenue…?

Happy 4th!

 Kaye really wasn’t expecting Shadowhunters to come to Moon in a Cup, especially on opening day.

 She wasn’t even really sure what Shadowhunters did. They appeared to believe that the world was menaced by demons, wore a lot of weapons, tattooed one another, and didn’t trust anyone who wasn’t one of them. Kaye had once pointed out that she’d never seen a demon and, really, she’d seen plenty of odd things. The Shadowhunter she’d been talking with had claimed her not seeing any demons only proved that the Shadowhunters were doing their job. She’d stopped arguing after that. You can’t prove a negative, Corny had said. 

It annoyed her, though, because not only did they believe in demons, but they thought faeries like her were part demon too. That made all the weapon carrying and weirdness a little more nervous-making than it might have been otherwise. But Luis liked them and, besides, Kaye needed customers. She just hoped they didn’t eat the scones. Moon in a Cup was her dream and now that it was nally happening, she was incredibly nervous. She loved the smell of the espresso in the air, the clouds of steam and the sound of frothing milk. She loved all the things that she and her friends had scavenged from thrift sales and from the side of the road. Ratty little wooden tables that she and Valerie and Ruth had decoupaged with postcards and sheets of music and pages from encyclopedias. Gold-painted chairs. Outsider art and weird antlers and a few landscapes with sea serpents painted on top of them. Mismatched cups that ranged from bone china to chipped bowls with pictures of ducks on them to mugs with slogans for businesses long closed. Every single one felt like a treasure to her, but she’d never owned anything before or been very responsible. She’s worried over whether she could handle it – whether she’d even like it once it was real – for months. 

 And now, finally, finally, finally, the place was open.

Ravus and Luis had painted a big sign announcing their GRAND OPENING, which hung above the register. There, in somewhat organized canisters, were the makings for many things, both mortal and less so. In addition to various coffee drinks, including the terrifying Red Eye, and the Dirty Chai, they were serving herbal teas made from nettle, milk thistle and dandelion, rosehip and sticklewort, bluecap and coltsfoot. Then one of the Unseelie knights, Dulcamara, had sent Kaye a large basket of pastries – scones, muns, all tarts – all baked with faerie fruit, none of which Kaye could picture the knight making herself. Corny had put them out, but marked them NOT FOR HUMANS, which Kaye worried might confuse people who came in off the street. Still, she’d been too busy to do more than promise herself that she was going to keep an eye on them. 

 The place was already half full by the time the Shadowhunters arrived. There were a ton of faerie folk that Kaye didn’t know — denizens of Roiben’s court, looking curiously around at the décor. Corny was helping Kaye behind the bar, mixing up a pot of seaweed tea for a sharp-dressed kelpie who winked at him. Corny didn’t wink back, probably because Luis was watching him from across the room with an amused expression, flanked by Val, her short red hair growing out in curls, Ravus, and Val’s best friend Ruth with her new girlfriend whose hair was dyed the color of a blueberry. 

Luis stopped watching his boyfriend, though, and looked over at the door when the Shadowhunters came in. They tended to attract attention, even though they were often glamoured up like they really didn’t want it. Still, it was hard to ignore a group of tall, heavily armed people whose cheekbones were as sharp as their weaponry.

 It was a group of three of them: two boys and a girl. The taller boy had black hair and blue eyes, and wore a quiver of bows slung over his shoulder. His hands were in his pockets and he was glaring like he really didn’t want to be there. The boy next to him was blond, really bright blond, with hair the same color that the gold chairs were painted. He was wearing a long leather jacket so any weapons he had on him were probably concealed, although Kaye was sure they were there. The girl had the same long black hair as the tall boy — siblings, Kaye guessed — though her eyes were dark. She was wearing a owing lacy top and a velvet skirt, and a very unusual sort of golden bangle that curled over and over up her arm. 

 “Meliorn!” the girl cried out upon entering, and dashed across the room to throw herself into the arms of a faerie knight in white armor. Kaye recognized him as one of the Seelie Court’s knights, kind of a silent, stuck-up type. He returned the Shadowhunter girl’s embrace.

 “Isabelle,” he said. “You are as lovely as a willow tree.” 

 Kaye smirked to herself. Ah, faerie compliments. Some willow trees were lovely and some weren’t, so the compliment didn’t mean much. The Shadowhunter girl, Isabelle, seemed to purr under his words, though; grasping him by his slightly pointed ears — maybe only a half-fae? — she kissed him warmly.  Well, that was new. Shadowhunters dating faeries? 

 The two boys came up to the bar, looking around like they were sure that anyone would be honored to serve them coffee. Kaye wasn’t so convinced. “So what’s a red eye?” asked the blond one. 

 “It’s a shot of espresso in a cup of coffee,” Kaye explained. “Not for amateurs.” The blond boy grinned. He had that kind of grin that really good-looking people who knew they were good-looking had. It was more than a little intimidating. “I think you’ll find I’m not an amateur at anything.” 

 “So does that mean you want one, or not?” Kaye always felt awkward around boys like him, sure that they were laughing at her. 

 “I think it means if you come out from behind that counter and spend a few minutes with me somewhere a little more private, you won’t be disappointed.” Kaye stared at him, open-mouthed. Was he really suggesting they go have sex? Like right then, in the middle of her shift? Or maybe he meant something else. She took another look at him. Nope, probably not. 

 “Jace,” hissed the boy standing next to him. “Just order a freaking cookie or something.”

“I like cookies,” said Jace, with a particularly charming smile, “but what I really prefer is pretty ladies with green skin.”

 “Slow your roll, Captain Kirk,” said Corny. “She has a boyfriend.”

 “A serious one?” Jace inquired — he was still smiling in that charming way that made it hard to be irritated. 

 “He has a seriously big sword,” Corny said. “And he’ll be here any minute.”

Jace’s hand went to his waist. “Well, if it’s seriously big swords we’re discussing —“

 The dark-haired boy thunked his head down on the countertop. “Stop this pointless flirting,” he said. “Or I will bash my head through this pastry case.” 

 “I wish you wouldn’t,” said Kaye. “We just had it installed.” 

 “Calm down, Alec.” Jace shrugged, in a no-harm-trying kind of way and flashed his grin at Corny. “In that case, I guess we’ll have to make do with two Red Eyes and a scone.” 

“The scones aren’t for humans,” Kaye protested. “We’re not humans,” said Jace. Kaye was about to protest again, when Corny slid a plate with a scone on it onto the countertop with a flourish. 

 She wanted to snatch it back – faerie fruit wasn’t wise for anyone – but it would be bad for business to be seen wrestling food away from customers, especially when they were currently in the process of paying for it. Besides, she thought, trying to convince herself, people liked faerie fruit. It made them a little crazy, sure, and there was that one time that Corny had recited all the lyrics to Synchronicity while eating them and that other time that he’d maybe been involved in an orgy, but on the whole, Jace would probably be fine. Shadowhunters were supposed to be different. Maybe they had some control over themselves that ordinary human beings didn’t. The rumor about them was that they were part angel, and Kaye couldn’t imagine angels running around reciting all the lyrics to Synchronicity or getting into orgiastic situations. Then again, she couldn’t picture angels hitting on her either. “Enjoy it,” she said, giving up and setting their coffee drinks on the counter. 

Alec took the change she handed out and dumped it in the tip jar. She felt bad for him. It was obvious he had a bit of a crush on Jace, and equally obvious that he was having a pretty bad day. 

She watched as they made their way across the shop and sank down on a couch across from Isabelle and Meliorn, who were busy rubbing noses and making cutesy faces at each other. Jace and Alec rolled their eyes.

Another boy came in, staggering a little. His black hair stuck straight up, thick with glitter, and he appeared to be very, very drunk. He had a stack of papers with him and was handing them out to the patrons. Every time someone took one, there was a little electric burst of glitter. Finally he sprawled out in an armchair near Isabelle, and leaned over to her. 

She broke away from Meliorn, frowning at him — he seemed to be saying something about his cat’s birthday as he waved another piece of paper at her. Or maybe he was talking about his own birthday, since his eyes looked very like the reective, unblinking eyes of a cat. Kaye wondered what he was. Not a faerie, and not a Shadowhunter either. 

 “The Magnificent Magnus?” Isabelle said, dubiously, then shrugged. “But, hey, thanks for the invite.” She took the paper, folded it up, and thrust it down the front of her shirt before going back to kissing Meliorn. 

 For a few minutes, Kaye was absorbed in making another pot of seaweed tea, passing over three espresso shots to a trio of hobgoblins and making one Dirty Chai for a human in a business suit who seemed a little unnerved, as though despite not being able to see through the glamour all around him, he was able to discern that something about the other customers was a little off. He scuttled away as soon as she handed him her drink, clearing the way for her to see across the room — 

 To where Jace was taking off his clothes. The scone plate on the coffee table in front of him was empty, and he had a dreamy expression on his face – the dreamy expression of a human who had eaten faerie fruit. He had already shrugged off his long coat, and was getting to work on the buttons of his shirt. “Jace,” Alec hissed. “Jace, what are you doing?”

“It’s warm in here,” Jace said, in a slurred voice. 

Two knives hit the ground. 

 Across the room, several faeries began to giggle. Jace kicked off his boots and socks. 

 “Corny,” Kaye said. “Do something. This is entirely your fault, you know. You gave him those scones.” 

 Corny was watching Jace undressing with raised eyebrows and an appreciative expression on his face. “I think I might be some kind of genius. You couldn’t pay me to stop this.” 

 Jace had whipped his shirt off. Kaye squinted and had to admit Corny had a point. You rarely saw a body like that outside of magazine spreads. Some people had six-packs; Jace appeared to have a twelve-pack. It didn’t look humanly possible. “Could be good for business,” she mused and pulled herself an espresso shot. She thought she was going to need it. 

 “Maybe we could get him to do it every day?” Corny said, as Jace unbuttoned his jeans. Alec attempted to stop him, but Jace moved nimbly out of his way and kicked the jeans off with a flourish. 

 “Don’t try to stop me, Alec,” said Jace. “This body has to be free.” 

 Isabelle looked up from kissing Meliorn and her eyes widened. “Holy crap,” she said. 

“Jace —“ She started to stand up, but Jace had already made his way to the door. He paused there and bowed — to not considerable applause — plucked the pair of antlers o the wall, and placed them gently on his head. 

Then he darted out the door, just as Roiben came in. Roiben, in his long black cloak, raised both his silver brows and stared after Jace, a small smile playing at the corner of his lips. He looked about to ask Meliorn a question and then seemed to think better of it. Then, abruptly, he began to laugh. 

 “Oh, by the Angel,” Alec said mournfully. “Another place we can never go to again. You’d think, in a city as big as New York …” 

 Kaye noticed that the boozy Magnus the Magnicent was watching Alec with a gleam in his catlike eyes. It really was too bad Alec seemed too sunk in gloom to notice. 

 “We should have hung a sign on that guy,” Corny said. “Imagine the advertising.” And right then, Kaye realized two things. One was that Shadowhunters might be good at killing things, but their dating lives were a mess. And the other was that she was going to love owning a coffee shop.

the-worst-trope  asked:

1 & 22 : )

1. if someone wanted to really understand you, what would they read, watch, and listen to?

I got asked #1 a lot, so I will answer the what-to-read portion in this response, and the watch/listen parts in other responses.

I read so voraciously that narrowing down favorite books is impossible for me. I will answer this one with books that I read during my formative years/that I think made me into the person I am today.

  • The Chronicles of Faerie by O.R. Melling
  • A Walk Out of the World by Ruth Nichols
  • The Queen of Everything by Deb Caletti
  • The Young Wizards series by Diane Duane
  • The Modern Faerie Tales series by Holly Black
  • Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard
  • 8,414 Strange and Fascinating Superstitions by Claudia De Lys
  • The Animorphs series by K.A Applegate/Scholastic
  • The Baby-Sitters Club series by Ann M. Martin
  • The Abhorsen series by Garth Nix
  • The Fianoavar Tapestry by Guy Gavriel Kay
  • Clever-Lazy by Joan Bodger
  • Behind the Attic Wall by Sylvia Cassedy
  • Island of the Aunts and Which Witch by Eva Ibbotson
  • Gunnerkrigg Court by Tom Sidell (This is an ongoing fantasy/sci-fi webcomic also available in print)
  • The Weetzie Bat books (note, I don’t recommend these today, but I was obsessed with anything Francesca Lia Block in my young teen years)

    and, of course,

  • The X-Men comics, so many, but especially The Dark Phoenix Saga

22. list the top five things you spend the most time doing, in order.

  1. Daydreaming/imagining at the same time as doing other things, all the time (I like to say that it’s all a part of my writing process but being honest it’s escapism/maladaptive daydreaming most of the time)

  2. Lying in the dark, not sleeping, trying to sleep, doing the insomnia

  3. Sleeping (nonrestorative sleep = lots of naps and still being tired, fun /s)

  4. Working, alternating between advocacy/writing/boring making-money stuff/commissions/volunteering

  5. Reading fiction maybe? Or, perhaps, just consuming fiction. Some days my brain is too tired to read, and on those days I watch things. I just finished Netflix’s 3%.

I’m reading “Tithe” by the talented @hollyblack and wanted to draw something!

Been looking at a lot of lovely new art lately in an attempt to be inspired to try something unlike my usual portraits. I noticed what attracted me most to a lot of new artists is their compositions. I’ve decided to work harder to improve on that.

anonymous asked:

Which are your top ten fave books (don't have to be all ya)?

ahhh okay i hope i don’t mess up the genres but i’ll put disclaimers for the ones that are adult/new adult in case someone doesn’t want to read smth like this (also i’m combining standalones + series so i hope you don’t mind):
1. shatter me 2. six of crows 3. deathless (adult) 4. the grisha trilogy 5. when the moon was ours 6. uprooted 7. the darkest part of the forest 8. the dark wife 9. the coldest girl in coldtown 10. a modern faerie tale (i think it’s TECHNICALLY new adult bc it features mature themes and i personally wouldn’t tag it as ya but goodreads says ya so?? take that with a grain of salt from someone who’s read the entire trilogy and likes it nonetheless but thinks it’s a bit too dark for ya)

anonymous asked:

Have you read Modern Faerie Tales by Holly Black? The first book is soo dark and I think you'd like the main character

No, not yet, but this series is on my List;)

anonymous asked:

Hi! if its not too much trouble i was wondering if you have any book recs? I've read the queen's thief and I'm working on the magicians right now and I just thought we had similar book taste!

You know not what you have unleashed.  Giving book recs is my only joy in life.

I was going to joke that this is just a list of Every Book I Have Ever Liked but that is a lie as I am a voracious reader and that list would probably be in the several hundreds, if not thousands.  (I just did some sloppy math and at the rate that I read, it is totally possible for a list of books I have liked to be well over a thousand books.)

Books with a * are books I would die on a hill for.  Books with more than one * are books I would die on a mountain, or possibly a mountain range, for.

Books I just generally love:

*The Telling by Ursula K. LeGuin.  SciFi.  Anthropology and Linguistics and more gay than you originally expected.

***The Imperial Radch series by Ann Leckie.  SciFi.  What does it mean to be a person?  (I hate picking favorites but this is.  The favorite.)

**Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee.  SciFi.  A level of space military tactics Ender’s Game only wished it could achieve.  (Fuck you, Orson Scott Card.)  (I love this book so fucking much, I just re-read it.)

*The Flora Segunda series by Ysabeau S. Wilce.  Fantasy.  A young girl and her dog keep fucking shit up in a place with great worldbuilding.  (So good that my friend I loaned the first book to turned to me after reading it and said, “Wow, I can really tell these books influenced you a lot.”  I picked up some mannerisms from the protag.  Also I picture the red dogs as Vizslas.)

*Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho.  Fantasy.  Regency-era magicians where the main characters are people of color and one of them is a Slytherin force for good.  (Really fucking good.)

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.  Fantasy.  Not quite as good as Sorcerer to the Crown (similar eras, somewhat similar themes) but there’s more of it so you can enjoy it for longer.

**Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones.  Fantasy.  Cranky assholes work at cross-purposes and everything is way more complicated than you thought.  Not very much like the movie.

*Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones.  Fantasy.  Have you ever wished you could forget your embarrassing teenage mistakes?  Yeah, be careful what you wish for.  Somewhat uncomfortable age gap.  (Weird and complicated and great.)

*The Mortal Engines series by Philip Reeve.  SciFi/Speculative Fiction.  Social Darwinism taken to its logical, horrible conclusion.  Also: feelings about robots and family!  (Also: the typewriter scene.  Also also I cosplayed as one of the main characters for a pre-Halloween party.)

The Graceling Realm Series by Kristin Cashore.  Fantasy.  Angry women fuck shit up in a cool fantasy world.  I like the third book best, but the other two are very good.

The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson.  SciFi.  I don’t remember this super well because I haven’t read it in ages, but I fucking loved it and cried my eyes out at the end.  Not that it’s hard to get me to cry my eyes out.

The Flavia de Luce books by Alan Bradley.  Mystery.  Normally I hate mystery novels, but these are really good–probably because the protag is a young, deeply nerdy girl instead of a grizzled middle-aged man or something.  She bikes around the countryside and terrifies adults.

The Pit Dragon Chronicles by Jane Yolen.  SciFi.  Yes, it’s SciFi with dragons.  I don’t remember them super well but the worldbuilding is really cool.

*The Wind on Fire series by William Nicholson.  Fantasy.  These are… very odd?  Kind of about faith and standing against conformity?  They’re so hard to explain but they’re VERY VERY good.

**Deep Secret by Diana Wynne Jones.  Fantasy.  Local Man Does Everything Wrong, Also Ends Up At A SciFi/Fantasy Convention, Then Does Some Things Right.  I really really love this book.  I actually read the sequel, The Merlin Conspiracy, first.  I felt like it had to be the sequel to something, but there was nothing about a previous book anywhere in that book.  Finally I found out the first book is Deep Secret, but they’re not sold together because Deep Secret is for adults and The Merlin Conspiracy is middle-grade.  The Merlin Conspiracy is also very good, even if I would be way better at the plant magic than Roddy, so there!  (The series is The Magids.)

The Claidi Journals by Tanith Lee.  Science Fantasy.  No listen that’s a genre and this series is in that genre.  Deeply confused girl gets an involuntary tour of her weird world.  Super bizarre but very cool worldbuilding.

The Elemental Logic series by Laurie J. Marks.  Fantasy.  You know that post that goes around about a gentle giant, but a lady?  With a tiny girlfriend?  This is that post, in book form.  This is supposed to be a quartet but no one seems to know if the fourth book will ever happen.  So if you don’t want to deal with getting invested in something that may always have some loose threads, stay away.  Really gay, although some of the gay does have an unpleasantly large age gap.

Books to read if you liked the Queen’s Thief series:

The Bartimaeus trilogy by Jonathan Stroud.  Fantasy.  Reason for recommending: snarky narrator similar to Gen in The Thief.  Alternate history where djinn are the source of all magicians’ magic.

Behind the Throne by K.B. Wagers.  SciFi.  Reason for recommending: complicated politics.  SciFi imperialism done interestingly.  Also, funny hair color mishaps.  Haven’t read the second book yet, can’t vouch for it.

The Inheritance Trilogy by N.K. Jemisin.  Fantasy.  Reason for recommending: complicated politics.  Young woman suddenly finds she’s in the running to be the next ruler of the land she lives in, but she knows something’s fishy.  Then stuff happens with gods.  And polyamory.

*The Wicked Lovely series by Melissa Marr.  Fantasy.  Reason for recommending: complicated politics.  (Can you tell I have a type?  I have a type.)  Faerie court politics done pretty damn well.  The first book seems like a godawful, poorly written YA fantasy with faeries instead of vampires–push through it, it gets so fucking good.  (These were some of the books, besides the Queen’s Thief series, that got me into SciFi/Fantasy books with a lot of politics.)

The Lynburn Legacy series by Sarah Rees Brennan.  Fantasy/Southern Gothic except it’s in England?  English Countryside Gothic?  Reason for recommending: more dysfunctional straight people.  This is a fun lark, with mind meld shit, which I like in fiction.

The Realm of the Elderlings books by Robin Hobb.  Fantasy.  Reason for recommending: Fitz and Gen would get along a little too well.  There are a bajillion of these books divided into smaller series.  Lots of fun politics, lots of fun characters, and cool magic.  (I want to live in the world of these books, except I don’t because I would probably die for having the Wit.  Because I would have the Wit if I lived in this world.)

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson.  Graphic novel, Fantasy.  Reason for recommending: similarly plucky protags with dark pasts.  A young shapeshifter informs a supervillain she’s his sidekick now.

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart.  Realistic Fiction.  Reason for recommending: have you ever wondered what Gen would be like as a modern-day teen girl at a private school?  Now you know.  Local Girl Gets Pissed About All-Male Secret Club, Does Something.  Don’t read it if you don’t have a high tolerance for privileged private school kids being ridiculous.

The Modern Faerie Tales by Holly Black.  Fantasy.  Reason for recommending: complicated politics.  The original (or close to original) gritty urban faeries.  Definitely better than the shitty copies people made later.

The In The Shadow of the Bear series by David John Randall.  Fantasy.  Reason for recommending: main character would get along with Gen a little too well.  Adorable blonde girls wants to fight everything, dark magic is a hell of a drug.  Endgame romance has a moderate age gap, though.

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black.  Fantasy.  Reason for recommending: similarly mindfuck-y, also some complicated politics.  Faeries are real and people keep making bad decisions involving them.  Also there’s a hot dude in a glass coffin.

The Martian by Andy Weir.  SciFi.  Reason for recommending: snarky narrator similar to Gen in The Thief.  It’s pretty similar to the movie, but essentially: a crew of people go to Mars and the botanist gets left behind.  Now he has to survive.  On Mars.  No biggie.  I love this book because both my parents are botanists, and I’ve studied botany a bit.  (Although the movie Arrival wins re: People Studying What I Study Are The Heroes.  Also this one book called Cognate but the writing was only so-so.)

**Code Name Verity by Elizabeth E. Wein.  Historical Fiction.  Reason for recommending: [REDACTED DUE TO SPOILERS, JUST READ IT].  Two young women in World War II are a pilot/spy duo, and the spy has been captured–how did we get here?

Books to read if you liked The Magicians series:

The Kingkiller Chronicle series by Patrick Rothfuss.  Fantasy.  Reason for recommending: similarly cool magic system.  Dude is a Mary Sue but in a compelling way, for once.  Warning: this is supposed to be a trilogy but the third book has been years in the works.  Don’t start this series if you don’t like waiting.

*The Abhorsen trilogy by Garth Nix.  Fantasy.  Reason for recommending: similarly cool magic system.  A young girl becomes the Necromancer-in-Chief in a failing kingdom.  Ignore Clariel and Goldenhand, neither is very good.  Just keep pretending it’s a trilogy.  Read Clariel if you desperately want more, but Goldenhand sucks.

The Engelsfors series by Mats Strandberg and Sara Bergmark Elfgren.  Fantasy.  Reason for recommending: similarly cool magic system.  Kind of like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but a hell of a lot gayer, and frequently cooler too.  Actually now that I think of it, it’s like Buffy if everyone was Willow.  Except for the character who’s basically Cordelia.  (The ending of the series fucking ruined me but in a good way.)

**The Wicked + The Divine by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie.  Comic book, Fantasy.  Reason for recommending: similarly dark.  Maybe not quite as dark?  Every ninety years, twelve gods are incarnated into the bodies of teens/young adults.  This time, they’re pop/rock stars.  This is still ongoing.  (I cosplayed a background character from this (kinda) for actual Halloween.)

The Keys to the Kingdom series by Garth Nix.  Fantasy.  Reason for recommending: I feel like there are some similar themes/tones, but these books are nowhere near as dark.  A boy almost dies of asthma, but is saved by the gift of a strange clock hand.  Suddenly, his world looks very different.  (Literally, haha.)

*The Dalemark Quartet by Diana Wynne Jones.  Fantasy.  Reason for recommending: I feel like there are some similar themes/tones, but these books are nowhere near as dark.  A series of interconnected books (what order you read them in REALLY changes how you see things) about the history of a world kind of like ours but with magic.  And weaving.

***The Young Wizards series by Diane Duane.  Science Fantasy.  Reason for recommending: similarly cool magic system.  Kids learn how to do magic, yell at Secular Satan.  I’m an atheist but the belief system of these books is the closest I get to a faith of some kind, even if I am really bad at remembering I’m trying to slow entropy.  I would recommend reading the reworked editions–I haven’t, because they’re only available as eBooks right now and I don’t super like reading eBooks.  She fixed the timeline in the new versions, plus some issues with how she portrayed an autistic character.  The first few books were written ages ago, so the series gets more diverse as it goes on, culminating in some Good Shit in the most recent book.  (There’s an asexual character!!!)

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman.  Fantasy.  Reason for recommending: main character is a lot like Quentin.  Normal Dude Finds Dying Girl, Decides to Help her, Realizes he Fucked Up and is in Too Deep.

Watership Down by Richard Adams.  Realistic Fiction but about rabbits???  Reason for recommending: about as dark as the Magicians series.  Yes, it’s about rabbits.  Yes, it’s that dark.

*The Earthsea Quartet by Ursula K. LeGuin.  Fantasy.  Reason for recommending: similarly cool magic system, also some similar themes/tones, has a Magic School, main character is somewhat like Quentin.  This random goat-herding kid turns out to be a powerful mage and gets sent off to school to learn how to handle that.  Then he makes a lot of mistakes.  Like, a lot.

SOMEBODY. PLEASE. TALK TO ME ABOUT "THE DARKEST PART OF THE FOREST"

I stayed up until 2AM reading “The Darkest Part of the Forest” by Holly Black, because obviously I forgot the cardinal rule, don’t start a new book after 9PM.

AND OMG THIS BOOK. THIS BOOK RIGHT HERE.

I don’t have time to review it until this weekend but I have a desperate need to fangirl over this amazing fairy tale. So please please please, if you have read it, pop something into my inbox. Even if it’s just wordless keyboards smashing about how flipping AWESOME this books was.

I just want to crawl into this book and live. Forever. Faeries take me away!

Aaaaaaand now I have to go to work. Later!