THAT COVER! THAT COVER! Do you know how hard it is to find a cover of black woman on fantasy? I obsess over fantasy. I especially love high fantasy. World-building novels are my absolute favorite, because I am always in awe of how the author's creative imagination developed a world that seems so realistic. The older I get, the more I seek out diverse representations. This book I found through (if I recall correctly) a retweet of a speculative fiction list featuring African-American women authors. TWITTER IS THE BEST. It been instrumental in expanding the range of my to-read books tenfold.
LET'S TALK ABOUT JASMINDA:
Jasminda was the bomb. I'm sure I split my time invested in the characters and the world more than the plot. She starts off an the uncomfortable environment (for who she is), sort of like Eternal Sonata's own Polka. In Eternal Sonata, Polka (her voice is whiny) is a person that can use magic, which in their world means she is destined to die. Usually, if she goes outside her village people want nothing to do with her, and she doesn't want to let them touch her.
What I loved best about Jasminda was how she just rolled with terrible situations. It was one disaster after another and she just kept on going. It was amazing to me how she was the only person wanting to get to the bottom of what was going on between the One True Father and the Queen. She was easy to connect with, and her passion shined through. I loved that she wasn’t the typical damsel in distress, but sought to make her own way. I was sorta imagining that this was her reaction to all the royals who shamed her.
L. Penelope did some solid world-building. As I immersed myself in that world, I was going: how can I get a ticket to go visit those countries? The rich magical world she created made me want to hug her. Anyway, if you have read some great diverse fantasy novels, share with me in the comments or through Twitter!