I’m one of those people who, no matter how warm it gets, I still want to read fantasy right through the summer! I definitely feel like there is a good summer fantasy vibe though, and that is super fast paced fun books that you can get stuck into for an afternoon in the garden or by the pool! So today, I am bringing you some recommendations for the perfect summer binge reads!
1. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
“Simon Snow is the worst Chosen One who’s ever been chosen.
That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.
Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he starts something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around, wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here — it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.
Carry On – The Rise and Fall of Simon Snow is a ghost story, a love story and a mystery. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story – but far, far more monsters.”
This was recent read for me, and has shot to the top of my all-time favourites list. This gives off an almost spoofy Harry Potter vibe, taking beloved tropes such as the Chosen One and breathing new life into them with sarcasm, british humour and brilliant characters. It’s better if you’ve read Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, so you can understand the concept of it being a little bit like fanfiction and at times a bit silly, but if you understand that this book doesn’t take itself too seriously then you can totally read this without reading Fangirl first. It’s really heartwarming and entertaining, it’s really worth picking up!
2. Demon Road by Derek Landy
“Killer cars, vampires, undead serial killers: they’re all here. And the demons? Well, that’s where Amber comes in…
Sixteen years old, smart and spirited, she’s just a normal American teenager until the lies are torn away and the demons reveal themselves.
Forced to go on the run, she hurtles from one threat to another, revealing a tapestry of terror woven into the very fabric of her life. Her only chance rests with her fellow travellers, who are not at all what they appear to be…”
This is one of my underrated favourites, by Irish author Derek Landy. Again, it’s very witty and sarcastic but really fun and gripping. It’s also based around a roadtrip across supernatural America. What’s more summery than a road trip? It’s also a trilogy so it has major binging potential. If you like the show Supernatural, then you’ll definitely really enjoy this one!
3. The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
“A world divided.
A queendom without an heir.
An ancient enemy awakens.
The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction—but assassins are getting closer to her door.
Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.
Across the dark sea, Tané has trained all her life to be a dragonrider, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.
Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.”
Honestly, this one is incredible at any time of year but I know some people are put off by it’s resemblance to an actual brick – hence it’s appearance on this list. Like, this is 800+ pages of magical, dragony goodness. Your week off this summer is the perfect time to sit down with this chunky boy and fly through it. Summer is definitely the time to dedicate yourself to getting through that massive beast you’re always ‘too busy’ to pick up – yes I’m calling you out here!
4. The Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Clare and Wesley Chu
“All Magnus Bane wanted was a vacation—a lavish trip across Europe with Alec Lightwood, the Shadowhunter who against all odds is finally his boyfriend. But as soon as the pair settles in Paris, an old friend arrives with news about a demon-worshipping cult called the Crimson Hand that is bent on causing chaos around the world. A cult that was apparently founded by Magnus himself. Years ago. As a joke.
Now Magnus and Alec must race across Europe to track down the Crimson Hand and its elusive new leader before the cult can cause any more damage. As if it wasn’t bad enough that their romantic getaway has been sidetracked, demons are now dogging their every step, and it is becoming harder to tell friend from foe. As their quest for answers becomes increasingly dire, Magnus and Alec will have to trust each other more than ever—even if it means revealing the secrets they’ve both been keeping.”
This rec is for the Shadowhunter fans out there – I know some of you guys haven’t loved this, or have been apprehensive to start it because it’s not 100% Cassie’s work and therefore might not be as good, but I really think this is a great summer read! If you’re going into it with the attitude that it’s going to be a fun side story, rather than a full blown Shadowhunters novel then I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. It follows Magnus and Alec going on a road trip and holiday together (and getting into lots of trouble along the way!) which is just the perfect vibe for summer – plus it’s really short for a Shadowhunters book so its really easy to fly through. Another point to note is that this is set during City of Ashes, the second Mortal Instruments book, so you can totally pick this one up without being up to date with all the books!
5. Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller
“Sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient hidden map—the key to a legendary treasure trove—seventeen-year-old pirate captain Alosa deliberately allows herself to be captured by her enemies, giving her the perfect opportunity to search their ship.
More than a match for the ruthless pirate crew, Alosa has only one thing standing between her and the map: her captor, the unexpectedly clever and unfairly attractive first mate, Riden. But not to worry, for Alosa has a few tricks up her sleeve, and no lone pirate can stop the Daughter of the Pirate King.”
This one is stretching the fantasy boundaries slightly as there isn’t much magic to the story, but it does feature mythical creatures such as sirens, so there’s definitely some suspension of disbelief required. This one is basically an angsty, steamy version of Pirates of the Caribbean. If you’re looking for a swashbuckling, romantic adventure then you should definitely pick this one up!
And those are my recommendations! Please let me know what books you like to read in the summer, and what your recommendations would be!