The Broke and the Bookish.
This week's topic is: Top Ten Underrated Books.
I love this topic! There are so many books that I love that hardly anyone else has read so I am going to have fun sharing a few of my favorites.
The Seer and the Sword by Virginia Hanley
This is one of my favorite YA fantasy/romances ever. When Princess Torina is given Landen, a prince from a conquered kingdom, as a slave, she frees him without hesitation. They grow up together but are then separated by chaperones. Torina falls in love with the handsome, charming Vesputo. But Landon knows that he cannot be trusted and tries to warn Torina of the threat to all their lives. (I won't say anything else because it would ruin it. I love this book!)
Stravaganza: City of Masks by Mary Hoffman
This book is absolutely beautiful, the characters, the setting, the story...I can't believe it isn't more popular.
Lucien has cancer and there is little hope of recovery. When his father gives him a book about Venice, he is transported into another world while he sleeps. In this world he is healthy...and he meets a girl.
Cleopatra's Heir by Gillian Bradshaw
I think that all of Gillian Bradshaw's novels are sadly underrated. In my opinion, she is one of the best historical fiction authors alive. After the death of Cleopatra, there were differing reports of her son Caesarion's death, but what if he didn't die at all? What might happen to him then?
The Golden Rendezvous by Alistair Maclean
Anyone who watches classic old action movies will know who Alistair Maclean is, but how many of them will have heard of one of my favorites of his novels, The Golden Rendezvous? While Where Eagles Dare and The Guns of Navarone were made into films, this one was for the most part ignored. John Carter works on a cruise ship where he is plagued by bored, wealthy young women and a series of murders.
Everything by Catherine Asaro
Catherine Asaro writes sci-fi and fantasy and does a wonderful job with both. Her fantasies are lovely romances and her sci-fi demonstrates magnificent world building skills. Her novel Veiled Webb has surprising depth to both the characters and the story, especially.
The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold
This is a brilliant fantasy with strong characters and a fascinating world. Cazaril used to be a healthy young man, not so very long ago, but the war and life as a Roknari galley slave has broken his body. He stumbles home and finds himself with the task of tutoring the Royesse and her sister. Now, teaching two young ladies can be difficult enough, but what if one of them is cursed?
Archangel by Sharon Shinn
This is the first of a beautiful, evolving series about angels and men and women and theology. Gabriel is to be the next archangel, and so it is time for him to find his chosen bride. When he asks the oracle for her name, though, she is nowhere to be found. Rachel is a slave to a wealthy family, but due to the kindness and generosity of a young girl, she is about to be free. Until and arrogant angel snatches her up and tells her they are destined to marry.
The Westmark Trilogy by Lloyd Alexander
While Lloyd Alexander's Prydain Chronicles are well known, the Westmark Trilogy is not. I have always preferred this shorter series because the main character is much less whiny and annoying than Taran. This series is about Theo, a printer's devil turned rebel by circumstances who ends up traveling with a fraudulent count, a dwarf and a thief named Mickle.
The Secret of Dragonhome by John Peel
I discovered this book by accident at my local library a few years ago and picked it up on an impulse. It was so much fun! Melanie and her brother are Talents, people with specific magical abilities. All of the Talents in the kingdom are being gathered to fight in a war, but Melanie will not cooperate. She runs away with her brother and finds herself in a huge castle with a mysterious lord and his young son.
Airborn by Kenneth Oppel
This is the first steampunk novel I ever read, before I even knew what the genre was called. I love the story, characters, world and everything. I think everyone should read it. Matt Cruse is a cabin boy on the airship Aurora. Born in the sky, he has no fear of heights and thinks of himself as lighter than air. When the ship is taken down by pirates and a storm and they are trapped on an island in the middle on nowhere, all he wants is to fly again. However, he will have to deal with pirates, strange creatures and a very stubborn girl before that can be accomplished.