Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme created by Shanah, the Bionic Book Worm, and now hosted by Meeghan at Meeghan Reads.
This week’s topic:
Top 5 books set in an alternate universe
So, instead of an alternate universe, I’ve decided to focus on books set in this universe but with a historical twist, I guess. The following are all fantasy books set in this world in the past… or seem to be set in this world in the past.
Dread Nation by Justina Ireland
The majority of this YA novel takes place shortly after the Civil War — when the dead began to rise. Because of this predicament, Black and Native American teens are trained to protect wealthy White people from zombie attacks. I enjoyed this story, mostly because of the plucky protagonist, but also because of the zombies.
The Deep by Rivers Solomon
This novella takes place either during the slave trade or shortly after. It’s about what became of the slaves lost during the Trans-Atlantic slave trade — those who took their lives by jumping overboard the ships. It was an interesting read, but I didn’t like the execution much. I only liked the lore it gives us about what happened to slaves who went into the sea and its exploration of the trauma of slavery and how it affects people generations later.
The Conductors by Nicole Glover
This is Glover’s debut fantasy novel. The majority of it is set shortly after slavery was abolished in the U.S. The protagonist, Hetty, is a former slave who helped others escape slavery via the Underground Railroad. But now that slavery is abolished, she works with her partner, Benjy, to solve crimes that occur in Philadelphia’s Black communities. In this alternative past, there are two types of magic systems, Celestial magic, which Black people use, and Sorcery, which White people use. It’s a great premise, but some parts of the story worked for me while others didn’t.
Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey
I don’t know history so well to tell the equivalent of the historical period this story takes place in, but I assume the country that is the focus of the story is France. Kushiel’s Dart is the first book, and it’s fantasy about a courtesan trained as a spy who uses her skills to save her kingdom many times. I really enjoyed these books and loved how they are written. Although it took me a while to work through the third book in the trilogy, I enjoyed it because we get to see even more countries in this world, such as the equivalent of Egypt, Greece, and Ethiopia.
Rasputin, Vol. 1: The Road to the Winter Place by Alex Grecian
This comic book takes us to Russia. It’s a fantasy comic that gives us an alternative background to Rasputin, the monk who served as a healer and adviser to the Romanovs during Nicholas II’s monarchy. It’s an origin story that mixes in some folklore, and it’s very intriguing. But it’s been a while since I’ve read it, so I wonder if I’ll like it still if I should reread it today.
11 thoughts on “Top 5 Tuesday #79: History With a Twist”
Kushiel’s Dart is one of my favorite ever! And I have aslo read The Conductors… I should read the sequel too, but I am keeping procrastinating, even if it’s not the book fault!
The Kushiel books are so great. I think the books are getting updated covers soon.
Hope the Conductors sequel goes well for you when you get to it.
Loved Dread Nation! The Deep is on my TBR list.
The Deep is an interesting read.
It feels like I should have tried Kushiel’s Dart by now… one day, I swear! 🙂
Lol! Take your time. It will still be around when you’re ready to try it.
Oooh interesting! Have you read the My Lady Jane series? Their twist on Jane Grey was really fun!
I haven’t, but lots of folks seem to really enjoy it.
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That’s a great twist on this week’s theme. The man in the High Castle is one of my favourite books in this genre.
And that’s one that’s been recommended to me many times.
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