The Dragon and the Goddess: Top Ten Reads of 2014

  1. The Turn of the Story – Sarah Rees Brennan
  2. Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell
  3. Fairytales for Wilde Girls – Allyse Near
  4. On the Steel Breeze – Alastair Reynolds
  5. The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
  6. Ancillary Justice – Ann Leckie
  7. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms – N.K. Jemisin
  8. To the Lighthouse – Virginia Woolf
  9. Rose Under Fire – Elizabeth Wein
  10. Nimona – Noelle Stevenson

As if these books are not all wonderful enough, two are available for free online. Sarah Rees Brennan’s The Turn of the Story was intended as an extra for her short story ‘The Wings of the Morning’ (published in Monstrous Affections: an Anthology of Beastly Tales) but kept getting extended into more segments and sort of turned into a novel. It includes the most dangerous pacifist you’re ever likely to meet, his mildly concerned friends, matriarchal elves, a judgemental unicorn and all the fabulous fantasy meta you can stab with a sword. Links to all the chapters are compiled here.

I can LINK again! It’s exciting!

Another excellent online project that engages with fantasy traditions while at the same time totally inverting them is Noelle Stevenson’s webcomic Nimona, about an idealistic supervillain and his entirely unmanageable shapechanging apprentice. It can be read in full here, and a print edition will be released in 2015 with an exclusive epilogue. Creators in any medium usually face a difficult balance between making what they love and making a living; that these women have chosen to share so much of their amazing work free of charge is incredibly generous, and could not be more appreciated.

Happy New Year, and happy reading in 2015!

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