Black Leopard, Red Wolf
At its most basic, Marlon James’s epic hallucinatory adventure centers around the search for a missing boy in a mythical version of Africa. However, like all of the works of Marlon James to date, it is much more than that simple premise. Steeped in African mythology and folklore, the world of Black Leopard is one of shifting alliances, constant dangers and ever-present supernatural threats ranging from witches to vampires and various were-creatures. It also features one of the most enigmatic and intriguing protagonists in recent memory.
While this bit of urban fantasy takes place in a contemporary Chicago, fans of The Witcher will certainly fill at home among the elves, vampires, and supernatural creatures lurking in the shadows of Butcher’s Windy City. Harry Dresden is a private investigator who also happens to be Chicago’s only wizard. This particular specialty makes him a go-to when the police are dealing with a case that just doesn’t make sense. For Storm Front, it’s a grisly double murder that puts Harry on the trail of a beastly murderer. If you tuned in for Geralt, Harry Dresden is just the guy for you.
The Winter of the Witch
The third and final installment in Katherine Arden’s bestselling Winternight Trilogy brings the story of Vasilia (Vasya) Petrovna to an epic conclusion. Set against the backdrop of medieval Russia at a nexus of folklore and history, The Winternight Trilogy—which begins with The Bear and The Nightingale—follows Vasya’s journey from being a frightened girl struggling to save her village to becoming a powerful young woman fighting to save her country from evils both supernatural and existential. If you loved Ciri’s journey in The Witcher, this the series is a must-read.
The Waking Land
When she is accused of the murder of the king who raised her as his own, Lady Elanna is forced to flee for her life if she is to have any chance of clearing her name. Hailing from a magical homeland she long ago turned away from, Elanna must confront her past—and her deep connection to the natural world—if she has any hope of survival. This is an ideal read for fans of Ciri and Yennefer.
Steel Crow Saga
At the center of The Witcher is a story of a group of disparate individuals drawn toward one another by fate and circumstance. In The Steel Crow Saga, Paul Krueger draws on a similar theme. The Steel Crow Saga centers around four individuals—a cursed soldier, a prince, an eccentric detective, and a small-time thief—who band together to defeat a seemingly unstoppable evil with the fate of their world hanging in the balance.
From Unseen Fire
Set against the backdrop of an alternate Rome, From Unseen Fire begins Cass Morris’s Aven Cycle. With the Dictator dead, the fate of the Republic is up in the air. As various factions begin to vie for control in the void of power, a young woman named Latona, a mage of spirit and fire, steps forward to take her place as the potential protector of her people and possibly the world as she knows it.
Gates of Stone
Gates of Stone centers around the intertwining destinies of three individuals in a fantastical land of blood and magic. Katerina is a sixteen-year-old princess who refuses her crown and sets off for the tropical islands of Laut Besar in search of wealth and power. Prince Arjun’s perfect life is destroyed at the feet of an invading sorcerer who razes his palace and leaves Arjun for dead. Finally, there is Mangku, a deadly sorcerer on the hunt for Seven Keys to unlock the evils of the Seven Hells. Fate has drawn each to Laut Besar and the survival of humanity hangs in the balance.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve likely already binged your way through the first season of The Witcher on Netflix. The labyrinthine tale of Geralt of Rivia, Princess Ciri, and the political and martial machinations of Nilfgaard and Cintra made for some compelling TV. Fortunately, The Witcher was greenlit for a second season before the premiere aired, so rest assured that Geralt’s story is far from over. In the meantime, if you need a little something to fill that Continent-sized hole in your schedule, there are a few recent novels more than capable of helping you pass the time. Whether you’re a fan of the titular not-quite-as-stoic-as-he-seems witcher, entranced by the journeys of Ciri and Yennefer, or simply in it for the adventure, we’ve got something for you.
Featured Image: Henry Cavill in The Witcher