Today I come to you a little sore because I have actually exercised for like the first time in three months. My partner and I have been horrific about getting any exercise in lockdown. But I’ve now been doing yoga for four days running and thus am a little on the sore side from like, actually stretching and using muscles.
This week’s theme is all about ensemble casts, groups of chaotic, useless friends who encourage each other to do dumb shit! I actually struggled a little to think of books this week, I feel like I don’t read many books with huge ensemble casts? Which feels like a weird thing to say because I read so much fantasy and these often have huge cast lists, but I don’t think a lot of them really count as “ensemble” because there’s very clearly usually a main character or two. But the following books, I think, all have an ensemble cast that is actually an ensemble cast. Maybe. Who knows really?
Burn the Dark by S.A Hunt
First up is a book with one of the coolest book pitches of all time. This horror novel is about a witchhunter who has a YouTube channel where she films herself killing witches. But the only issue is her followers don’t know it’s all real. DUN DUN DUUUUUN…..
The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad
This baby is sitting absolute top of my fantasy tbr right now (minus like….all my ARCs due in September/October). I’ve had a copy since it released last year and I can’t believe I haven’t read it yet. But I’m trying to tackle the books that have sat on my TBR the longest so I want to read this asap! This is a Silk Road inspired fantasy full of magical creatures and independent, badass women!
Seven Devils by Laura Lam and Elizabeth May
Okay I really need to start looking ahead at the topics for the next few weeks when writing these because I featured this last week BUT it fits so well for this theme, I couldn’t skip it. Seven Devils has a whopper SEVEN POVs which I think could be the most I’ve ever read in a book. It’s about a group of resistance fighters trying to free the galaxy from a ruthless empire.
Ravensong by T.J Klune
There isn’t much more of an ensemble cast than in books about wolf packs, where family is so so important (and usually pretty large). I read and loved Wolfsong last year but haven’t yet read the sequel, Ravensong. I’m probably going to have to reread Wolfsong before I get into this though…
Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett
Okay I know we’re all shocked and surprised to see this fantasy novel by a WHITE MAN on this list, especially given my recent series about speculative fiction you can read that specifically aren’t written by white men. But I bought an eBook of this before I started not buying fantasy by white men, and it’s apparently sapphic and many queer book bloggers have given it good reviews. So for now, I am giving Bennett the benefit of the doubt and will try read this at some point….
And that’s my five books for this week! What’s your favourite book with an ensemble cast? A recent favourite of mine was Dangerous Remedy, which has the best group of queer disasters just fucking shit up in the French Revolution and it is fantastic.