In this series, I ask various publishing professionals (including authors, bloggers, editors, agents etc.) to recommend 2-3 authors or books they feel haven’t received the recognition they deserve.
Today’s recommendations are by Teresa Frohock. T. Frohock has turned a love of dark fantasy and horror into tales of deliciously creepy fiction. T is the author of Miserere: An Autumn Tale and has a short story, “Naked the Night Sings,” in the urban fantasy anthology Manifesto: UF. Another short story, “Love, Crystal and Stone” appears in The Neverland’s Library Fantasy Anthology.
Her newest work is the novella, The Broken Road, which is a dark fantasy similar to the Dark Tower series.
T lives in North Carolina where she has long been accused of telling stories, which is a southern colloquialism for lying.
This was a hard post to write, because so many books popped into my mind when I was asked to name three that haven’t received enough recognition. I could probably fill a library with those books. As it is, my picks are as follows:
- Courtney Schafer: The Shattered Sigil Series (The Whitefire Crossing and The Tainted City). Both novels are excellent adventure fantasy with cool magic, witty banter, and wonderful characters. Dev is a smuggler of charms into the country of Alathia, where magic is forbidden. He uses his skills as a mountain climber to guide the caravans through the Whitefire Mountain range. Everything is going great until Dev takes on the job of smuggling a blood mage, Kiran, into Alathia, but Kiran is not all that he seems either.Schafer utilizes her knowledge of climbing to write breathtaking, fast-paced scenes that will leave your heart pounding. The relationship between Dev and Kiran is especially well handled in both novels. Schafer is quite deft at showing the gradual maturing of both of these young men through their decision-making processes and their allegiances.
- Kate Elliott: Spirit Gate. Kate Elliott is no newcomer to the fantasy scene. She has had numerous books published, yet I don’t hear nearly enough about her works online. I asked Kate which of her novels might be the best one to start with, and she suggested that since I enjoy darker fantasy, that I might like Spirit Gate. I have enjoyed it immensely. It is just dark enough to hold my attention without being too dark for those who prefer lighter fantasy novels.In Spirit Gate, the Guardians are gone, and all that is left to represent their former power are the reeves, who patrol on enormous eagles. One young reeve, in a moment of youthful arrogance, ascends to the Guardians’ altar only to find their bones. It seems that the Guardians have abandoned the people. Corruption begins to seep into the courts and the councils, and the people begin to lose their respect of the reeves as marauders threaten the people and the lands with annihilation.Elliott’s style is terse and dark, and the story is filled with intrigue and memorable characters. If you enjoyed novels by Rothfuss, Martin, and Abercrombe, I would highly recommend Spirit Gate.
- Sabrina Vourvoulias: Ink. In the near future, a biometric tattoo is approved to mark temporary workers, permanent residents and citizens with recent immigration history. These people are known collectively as “inks.” Vourvoulias weaves her story through the voices of a journalist; an ink; an artist; and a teenager whose mother runs an inkatorium (a sanitarium-internment center opened in response to public health concerns about inks).It is a frightening scenario that depicts what happens when we forget the human beings who are often the subject of hysterical political rhetoric. Simply by referring to immigrants as “inks,” Vourvoulias demonstrates how easy it is to strip people of their humanity and turn them into entities that are to be feared and loathed, because we cannot see their faces or hear their words. Vourvoulias utilizes her skills as a journalist to tell a tight story in a strong voice that is uniquely hers. She is a writer to watch out for and I hope we will be seeing more of her work in the future.
Stay tuned for the next post where we get reading recommendations from Stephen Graham Jones!