25 Books by Asian Authors to Read Now and Always | #StopAsianHate

(Last Updated On: March 24, 2021)

The past year has been a wake up call for many privileged people in the United States and beyond. The pandemic highlighted systemic barriers designed to disenfranchise people of color and disabled; it feels like now more than ever, people are finally beginning to open their eyes. But there’s a lot of work to do.

With the rising incidents of hate crimes against Asians in the US and around the world and the heartbreaking act of domestic terrorism in Atlanta last week, I wanted to put together a list of books by Asian authors to read and a list of ten actionable steps we all can take to stop Asian hate. I don’t want the burden of educating people to fall on the Asian community, but also because I want to uplift some of the amazing books by Asian authors you should be reading.


This post of full of recommendations for you, gentlefriends! We’ve got books I’ve read, books that haunt my TBRs, and a list of action items of ways you can help Stop Asian Hate. Grab yourself a cup of your favorite warm beverage and get comfy…

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Books By Asian Authors I Loved

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Seven Deadly Shadows by Courtney Alameda and Valynne E. Maetani

Age Range: Young Adult  |  Genre: Paranormal Fantasy, Retelling  |  Pages: 384

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Seven Deadly Shadows coverSeventeen-year-old Kira Fujikawa has never had it easy. She’s bullied by the popular girls in school. Her family ignores her. And she’s also plagued with a secret: She can see yokai, the ghosts and demons that haunt the streets of Japan. But things accelerate from bad to worse when she learns that Shuten-doji, the demon king, will rise at the next blood moon to hunt down an ancient relic and bring the world to a catastrophic end.

Not exactly skilled at fighting anything, much less the dead, Kira enlists the aid of seven powerful death gods to help her slay Shuten-doji. They include Shiro, a kitsune with boy-band looks who is more flirtatious than helpful, and O-bei, a regal demon courtesan with covert reasons of her own for getting involved.

As the confrontation with Shuten-doji draws nearer by the day, the fate of Japan hangs in the balance. Can Kira save humankind? Or will the demon king succeed in bringing eternal darkness upon the world?

ARC Review

Seven Deadly Shadows is a retelling of Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai and is a fun and immersive read that I recommend with my whole heart.

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The Beautiful (The Beautiful #1) by Renée Ahdieh

Age Range: Young Adult  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  Pages: 448

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cover for The BeautifulIn 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But to seventeen-year-old Celine Rousseau, New Orleans provides her a refuge after she’s forced to flee her life as a dressmaker in Paris. Taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent along with six other girls, Celine quickly becomes enamored with the vibrant city from the music to the food to the soirées and—especially—to the danger. She soon becomes embroiled in the city’s glitzy underworld, known as La Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group’s leader, the enigmatic Sébastien Saint Germain. When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in the lair of La Cour des Lions, Celine battles her attraction to him and suspicions about Sébastien’s guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret.

When more bodies are discovered, each crime more gruesome than the last, Celine and New Orleans become gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose—one Celine is sure has set her in his sights . . . and who may even be the young man who has stolen her heart. As the murders continue to go unsolved, Celine takes matters into her own hands and soon uncovers something even more shocking: an age-old feud from the darkest creatures of the underworld reveals a truth about Celine she always suspected simmered just beneath the surface.

At once a sultry romance and a thrilling murder mystery, master storyteller Renée Ahdieh embarks on her most potent fantasy series yet: The Beautiful.

My Spoiler-free Review

I re-read this book last week to refresh my memory before starting The Damned, and my heart re-broke. The writing is lush, the tension oozes off the page. This is a slow-build with the vampire bits largely at the end of the book, but such an enjoyable read (and the food descriptions made me hungry).

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A Spark of White Fire (Celestial Trilogy #1) by Sangu Mandanna

Age Range: Young Adult  |  Genre: Science Fiction, Retelling  |  Pages: 311

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A Spark of White Fire by Sangu Mandanna coverIn a universe of capricious gods, dark moons, and kingdoms built on the backs of spaceships, a cursed queen sends her infant daughter away, a jealous uncle steals the throne of Kali from his nephew, and an exiled prince vows to take his crown back.

Raised alone and far away from her home on Kali, Esmae longs to return to her family. When the King of Wychstar offers to gift the unbeatable, sentient warship Titania to a warrior that can win his competition, she sees her way home: she’ll enter the competition, reveal her true identity to the world, and help her famous brother win back the crown of Kali.

It’s a great plan. Until it falls apart.

Inspired by the Mahabharata and other ancient Indian stories, A Spark of White Fire is a lush, sweeping space opera about family, curses, and the endless battle between jealousy and love.

My Spoiler-free ARC Review

This trilogy lives in my brain rent free. I love it and cannot wait for A War of Swallowed Stars to come out this June! If you enjoy political intrigue, space operas, complex characters, and amazing world-building A Spark of White Fire is for you!

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Want (Want #1) by Cindy Pon

Age Range: Young Adult  |  Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopian  |  Pages: 328

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Want coverJason Zhou survives in a divided society where the elite use their wealth to buy longer lives. The rich wear special suits that protect them from the pollution and viruses that plague the city, while those without suffer illness and early deaths. Frustrated by his city’s corruption and still grieving the loss of his mother, who died as a result of it, Zhou is determined to change things, no matter the cost.

With the help of his friends, Zhou infiltrates the lives of the wealthy in hopes of destroying the international Jin Corporation from within. Jin Corp not only manufactures the special suits the rich rely on, but they may also be manufacturing the pollution that makes them necessary.

Yet the deeper Zhou delves into this new world of excess and wealth, the more muddled his plans become. And against his better judgment, Zhou finds himself falling for Daiyu, the daughter of Jin Corp’s CEO. Can Zhou save his city without compromising who he is or destroying his own heart?

My Spoiler-free Duology Review

This is such a critically important addition to YA and speculative fiction, and more people should be talking about this duology! Want tackles social and political issues: wealth disparity, access to healthcare, climate change and environmental issues, all with a found family of misfits set on changing the world for the better.

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The Silence of Bones by June Hur

Age Range: Young Adult  |  Genre: Historical Mystery  |  Pages: 336

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The Silence of Bones coverI have a mouth, but I mustn’t speak;
Ears, but I mustn’t hear;
Eyes, but I mustn’t see.

1800, Joseon (Korea). Homesick and orphaned sixteen-year-old Seol is living out the ancient curse: “May you live in interesting times.” Indentured to the police bureau, she’s been tasked with assisting a well-respected young inspector with the investigation into the politically charged murder of a noblewoman.

As they delve deeper into the dead woman’s secrets, Seol forms an unlikely bond of friendship with the inspector. But her loyalty is tested when he becomes the prime suspect, and Seol may be the only one capable of discovering what truly happened on the night of the murder.

But in a land where silence and obedience are valued above all else, curiosity can be deadly.

June Hur’s elegant and haunting debut The Silence of Bones is a bloody tale perfect for fans of Kerri Maniscalco and Renée Ahdieh.

My Spoiler-free ARC Review

This historical fiction debut is haunting and beautiful; it rended my heart and created a space for itself in my heart. This is a book that’s stayed with me long after I finished it and it landed June on my insta-buy author list.

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Descendant of the Crane by Joan He

Age Range: Young Adult  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  Pages: 416

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Tyrants cut out hearts. Rulers sacrifice their own.

Princess Hesina of Yan has always been eager to shirk the responsibilities of the crown, but when her beloved father is murdered, she’s thrust into power, suddenly the queen of an unstable kingdom. Determined to find her father’s killer, Hesina does something desperate: she engages the aid of a soothsayer—a treasonous act, punishable by death… because in Yan, magic was outlawed centuries ago.

Using the information illicitly provided by the sooth, and uncertain if she can trust even her family, Hesina turns to Akira—a brilliant investigator who’s also a convicted criminal with secrets of his own. With the future of her kingdom at stake, can Hesina find justice for her father? Or will the cost be too high?

In this shimmering Chinese-inspired fantasy, debut author Joan He introduces a determined and vulnerable young heroine struggling to do right in a world brimming with deception.

My Spoiler-free ARC Review

A stunning debut fantasy that delivers on the “Chinese version of Game of Thrones” comparison that I’ve seen. This is a fast paced and action packed book that you cannot miss! I love Hesinia and her bad decision making lol. She Tries.

As a note, if you do want to buy a copy of the book please be sure to buy from Titan Books and note Albert Whitman as Joan has reverted rights.

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Where Dreams Descend (Kingdom of Cards #1) by Janella Angeles

Age Range: Young Adult  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  Pages: 464

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cover for Where Dreams DescendIn a city covered in ice and ruin, a group of magicians face off in a daring game of magical feats to find the next headliner of the Conquering Circus, only to find themselves under the threat of an unseen danger striking behind the scenes.

As each act becomes more and more risky and the number of missing magicians piles up, three are forced to reckon with their secrets before the darkness comes for them next.

The Star: Kallia, a powerful showgirl out to prove she’s the best no matter the cost

The Master: Jack, the enigmatic keeper of the club, and more than one lie told

The Magician: Demarco, the brooding judge with a dark past he can no longer hide

Where Dreams Descend is the startling and romantic first book in Janella Angeles’ debut Kingdom of Cards fantasy duology where magic is both celebrated and feared, and no heart is left unscathed.

My Spoiler-free ARC Review

This debut fantasy is magical and mysterious! It was a bit of a polarizing read (people seem to love it or hate it), but I adored the worldbuilding and characters. I am looking forward to the final book in the duology When Night Breaks comes out in August so I can see what happens.

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The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves #1) by Roshani Chokshi

Age Range: Young Adult  |  Genre: Historical Fantasy  |  Pages: 388

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The Gilded Wolves coverNo one believes in them. But soon no one will forget them.

It’s 1889. The city is on the cusp of industry and power, and the Exposition Universelle has breathed new life into the streets and dredged up ancient secrets. Here, no one keeps tabs on dark truths better than treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier Séverin Montagnet-Alarie. When the elite, ever-powerful Order of Babel coerces him to help them on a mission, Séverin is offered a treasure that he never imagined: his true inheritance.

To hunt down the ancient artifact the Order seeks, Séverin calls upon a band of unlikely experts: An engineer with a debt to pay. A historian banished from his home. A dancer with a sinister past. And a brother in arms if not blood.

Together, they will join Séverin as he explores the dark, glittering heart of Paris. What they find might change the course of history–but only if they can stay alive.

My Spoiler-free ARC Review

There’s something magical about historical fantasy, and this 1800s Paris heist story is just *chef’s kiss* The worldbuilding was a little front-loaded, but once you get into the book you are there to stay – what a beautiful cast of characters.

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The Girl from the Well (The Girl from the Well #1) by Rin Chupeco

Age Range: Young Adult  |  Genre: Horror  |  Pages: 267

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cover for The Girl from the WellYou may think me biased, being murdered myself. But my state of being has nothing to do with the curiosity toward my own species, if we can be called such. We do not go gentle, as your poet encourages, into that good night.

A dead girl walks the streets.

She hunts murderers. Child killers, much like the man who threw her body down a well three hundred years ago.

And when a strange boy bearing stranger tattoos moves into the neighborhood so, she discovers, does something else. And soon both will be drawn into the world of eerie doll rituals and dark Shinto exorcisms that will take them from American suburbia to the remote valleys and shrines of Aomori, Japan.

Because the boy has a terrifying secret – one that would just kill to get out.

The Girl from the Well is A YA Horror novel pitched as “Dexter” meets “The Grudge”, based on a well-loved Japanese ghost story.

My Spoiler-free Review

This book is freaking creepy. It’s a delightful feast of nightmare fuel based on a Japanese ghost story and it will make the hair on your arms stand up.

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Here and Now and Then by Mike Chen

Age Range: Adult  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  Pages: 336

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cover for Here and Now and ThenTo save his daughter, he’ll go anywhere—and any-when…

Kin Stewart is an everyday family man: working in IT, trying to keep the spark in his marriage, struggling to connect with his teenage daughter, Miranda. But his current life is a far cry from his previous career…as a time-traveling secret agent from 2142.

Stranded in suburban San Francisco since the 1990s after a botched mission, Kin has kept his past hidden from everyone around him, despite the increasing blackouts and memory loss affecting his time-traveler’s brain. Until one afternoon, his “rescue” team arrives—eighteen years too late.

Their mission: return Kin to 2142, where he’s only been gone weeks, not years, and where another family is waiting for him. A family he can’t remember.

Torn between two lives, Kin is desperate for a way to stay connected to both. But when his best efforts threaten to destroy the agency and even history itself, his daughter’s very existence is at risk. It’ll take one final trip across time to save Miranda—even if it means breaking all the rules of time travel in the process.

A uniquely emotional genre-bending debut, Here and Now and Then captures the perfect balance of heart, playfulness, and imagination, offering an intimate glimpse into the crevices of a father’s heart and its capacity to stretch across both space and time to protect the people that mean the most.

My Spoiler-free ARC Review

I love books that explore time travel and this one surprised me in the best of ways. It’s a genre-bending tale of love and made me Feel Things.

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Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu

Age Range: Young Adult  |  Genre: Historical Fantasy  |  Pages: 313

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cover for Kingdom of BackBorn with a gift for music, Nannerl Mozart has just one wish: to be remembered forever. But even as she delights audiences with her masterful playing, she has little hope she’ll ever become the acclaimed composer she longs to be. She is a young woman in eighteenth-century Europe, and that means composing is forbidden to her. She will perform only until she reaches a marriageable age—her tyrannical father has made that much clear.

As Nannerl’s hope grows dimmer with each passing year, the talents of her beloved younger brother, Wolfgang, only seem to shine brighter. His brilliance begins to eclipse her own, until one day a mysterious stranger from a magical land appears with an irresistible offer. He has the power to make her wish come true—but his help may cost her everything.

In her first work of historical fiction, #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu spins a lush, lyrically told story of music, magic, and the unbreakable bond between a brother and sister.

My Spoiler-free ARC Review

Ethereal and captivating, Marie Lu’s Kingdom of Back is an amazing historical fantasy. It’s a love letter to those silent companions forgotten to history and gives a voice to Mozart’s sister, Maria Anna. “To be remembered in this world, she created another.”

Books by Asian Authors on my TBR

I have so many amazing books by Asian authors on my owned TBR that I can’t wait to get to and wanted to share these as well. All of them have been recommended to me by my friends.

The Forest of Stolen Girls by June Hur

Age Range: Young Adult  |  Genre: Historical Mystery  |  Pages: 384
Release Date: April 20, 2021

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cover for Forest of the Stolen GirlsAfter her father vanishes while investigating the disappearance of 13 young women, a teen returns to her secretive hometown to pick up the trail in this second YA historical mystery from the author of The Silence of Bones.

Hwani’s family has never been the same since she and her younger sister went missing and were later found unconscious in the forest, near a gruesome crime scene. The only thing they remember: Their captor wore a painted-white mask.

To escape the haunting memories of this incident, the family flees their hometown. Years later, Detective Min—Hwani’s father—learns that thirteen girls have recently disappeared under similar circumstances, and so he returns to their hometown to investigate… only to vanish as well.

Determined to find her father and solve the case that tore their family apart, Hwani returns home to pick up the trail. As she digs into the secrets of the small village—and reconnects with her now estranged sister—Hwani comes to realize that the answer lies within her own buried memories of what happened in the forest all those years ago.

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The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He

Age Range: Young Adult  |  Genre: Science Fiction, Mystery  |  Pages: 384
Release Date: May 4, 2021

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cover for The Ones We're Meant to FindOne of the most twisty, surprising, engaging page-turner YAs you’ll read this year—We Were Liars meets Black Mirror, with a dash of Studio Ghibli.

Cee awoke on an abandoned island three years ago. With no idea of how she was marooned, she only has a rickety house, an old android, and a single memory: she has a sister, and Cee needs to find her.

STEM prodigy Kasey wants escape from the science and home she once trusted. The eco-city—Earth’s last unpolluted place—is meant to be sanctuary for those commited to planetary protection, but it’s populated by people willing to do anything for refuge, even lie. Now, she’ll have to decide if she’s ready to use science to help humanity, even though it failed the people who mattered most.

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The Wolf of Oren-Yaro (Chronicles of the Bitch Queen #1) by K.S. Villoso

Age Range: Adult  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  Pages: 496

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cover for The Wolf of Oren-YaroA queen of a divided land must unite her people, even if they hate her, even if it means stopping a ruin that she helped create. A debut epic fantasy from an exciting new voice.

“I murdered a man and made my husband leave the night before they crowned me.”

Born under the crumbling towers of Oren-yaro, Queen Talyien was the shining jewel and legacy of the bloody War of the Wolves that nearly tore her nation apart. Her upcoming marriage to the son of her father’s rival heralds peaceful days to come.

But his sudden departure before their reign begins fractures the kingdom beyond repair.

Years later, Talyien receives a message, urging her to attend a meeting across the sea. It’s meant to be an effort at reconciliation, but an assassination attempt leaves the queen stranded and desperate to survive in a dangerous land. With no idea who she can trust, she’s on her own as she struggles to fight her way home

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Girls of Paper and Fire (Girls of Paper Fire #1) by Natasha Ngan

Age Range: Young Adult  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  Pages: 385

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cover for Girls of Paper and FireEach year, eight beautiful girls are chosen as Paper Girls to serve the king. It’s the highest honor they could hope for…and the most demeaning. This year, there’s a ninth. And instead of paper, she’s made of fire.

In this richly developed fantasy, Lei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most persecuted class of people in Ikhara. She lives in a remote village with her father, where the decade-old trauma of watching her mother snatched by royal guards for an unknown fate still haunts her. Now, the guards are back and this time it’s Lei they’re after — the girl with the golden eyes whose rumored beauty has piqued the king’s interest.

Over weeks of training in the opulent but oppressive palace, Lei and eight other girls learns the skills and charm that befit a king’s consort. There, she does the unthinkable — she falls in love. Her forbidden romance becomes enmeshed with an explosive plot that threatens her world’s entire way of life. Lei, still the wide-eyed country girl at heart, must decide how far she’s willing to go for justice and revenge.

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Scavenge the Stars (Scavenge the Stars #1) by Tara Sim

Age Range: Young Adult  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  Pages: 385

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cover for Scavenge the StarsWhen Amaya rescues a mysterious stranger from drowning, she fears her rash actions have earned her a longer sentence on the debtor ship where she’s been held captive for years. Instead, the man she saved offers her unimaginable riches and a new identity, setting Amaya on a perilous course through the coastal city-state of Moray, where old-world opulence and desperate gamblers collide.

Amaya wants one thing: revenge against the man who ruined her family and stole the life she once had. But the more entangled she becomes in this game of deception—and as her path intertwines with the son of the man she’s plotting to bring down—the more she uncovers about the truth of her past. And the more she realizes she must trust no one…

Packed with high-stakes adventure, romance, and dueling identities, this gender-swapped retelling of The Count of Monte Cristo is the first novel in an epic YA fantasy duology, perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas, Sabaa Tahir, and Leigh Bardugo.

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Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay

Age Range: Young Adult  |  Genre: Contemporary  |  Pages: 323

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cover for Patron Saints of NothingA coming-of-age story about grief, guilt, and the risks a Filipino-American teenager takes to uncover the truth about his cousin’s murder.

Jay Reguero plans to spend the last semester of his senior year playing video games before heading to the University of Michigan in the fall. But when he discovers that his Filipino cousin Jun was murdered as part of President Duterte’s war on drugs, and no one in the family wants to talk about what happened, Jay travels to the Philippines to find out the real story.

Hoping to uncover more about Jun and the events that led to his death, Jay is forced to reckon with the many sides of his cousin before he can face the whole horrible truth — and the part he played in it.

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Forest of Souls (Shamanborn #1) by Lori M. Lee

Age Range: Young Adult  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  Pages: 400

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Forest of Souls coverSirscha Ashwyn comes from nothing, but she’s intent on becoming something. After years of training to become the queen’s next royal spy, her plans are derailed when shamans attack and kill her best friend Saengo.

And then Sirscha, somehow, restores Saengo to life.

Unveiled as the first soulguide in living memory, Sirscha is summoned to the domain of the Spider King. For centuries, he has used his influence over the Dead Wood—an ancient forest possessed by souls—to enforce peace between the kingdoms. Now, with the trees growing wild and untamed, only a soulguide can restrain them. As war looms, Sirscha must master her newly awakened abilities before the trees shatter the brittle peace, or worse, claim Saengo, the friend she would die for.

Danger lurks within the roots of Forest of Souls, an epic, unrelenting tale of destiny and sisterhood, perfect for fans of Naomi Novik and Susan Dennard.

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The Poppy War (The Poppy War #1) by R.F. Kuang

Age Range: Adult  |  Genre: Historical Fiction  |  Pages: 531

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cover for The Poppy WarA “Best of May” Science Fiction and Fantasy pick by Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Audible, The Verge, SyFy Wire, and Kirkus

“I have no doubt this will end up being the best fantasy debut of the year […] I have absolutely no doubt that [Kuang’s] name will be up there with the likes of Robin Hobb and N.K. Jemisin.” — Booknest

A brilliantly imaginative talent makes her exciting debut with this epic historical military fantasy, inspired by the bloody history of China’s twentieth century and filled with treachery and magic, in the tradition of Ken Liu’s Grace of Kings and N.K. Jemisin’s Inheritance Trilogy.

When Rin aced the Keju—the Empire-wide test to find the most talented youth to learn at the Academies—it was a shock to everyone: to the test officials, who couldn’t believe a war orphan from Rooster Province could pass without cheating; to Rin’s guardians, who believed they’d finally be able to marry her off and further their criminal enterprise; and to Rin herself, who realized she was finally free of the servitude and despair that had made up her daily existence. That she got into Sinegard—the most elite military school in Nikan—was even more surprising.

But surprises aren’t always good.

Because being a dark-skinned peasant girl from the south is not an easy thing at Sinegard. Targeted from the outset by rival classmates for her color, poverty, and gender, Rin discovers she possesses a lethal, unearthly power—an aptitude for the nearly-mythical art of shamanism. Exploring the depths of her gift with the help of a seemingly insane teacher and psychoactive substances, Rin learns that gods long thought dead are very much alive—and that mastering control over those powers could mean more than just surviving school.

For while the Nikara Empire is at peace, the Federation of Mugen still lurks across a narrow sea. The militarily advanced Federation occupied Nikan for decades after the First Poppy War, and only barely lost the continent in the Second. And while most of the people are complacent to go about their lives, a few are aware that a Third Poppy War is just a spark away . . .

Rin’s shamanic powers may be the only way to save her people. But as she finds out more about the god that has chosen her, the vengeful Phoenix, she fears that winning the war may cost her humanity . . . and that it may already be too late. 

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Ignite the Stars (Ignite the Stars #1) by Maura Milan

Age Range: Young Adult  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  Pages: 388

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cover for Ignite the StarsEveryone in the universe knows his name. Everyone in the universe fears him. But no one realizes that notorious outlaw Ia Cōcha is a seventeen-year-old girl.

A criminal mastermind and unrivaled pilot, Ia has spent her life terrorizing the Olympus Commonwealth, the imperialist nation that destroyed her home. When the Commonwealth captures her and her true identity is exposed, they see Ia’s age and talent as an opportunity: by forcing her to serve them, they will prove that no one is beyond their control.

Soon, Ia is trapped at the Commonwealth’s military academy, desperately plotting her escape. But new acquaintances—including Brinn, a seemingly average student with a closely-held secret, and their charming Flight Master, Knives—cause Ia to question her own alliances. Can she find a way to escape the Commonwealth’s clutches before these bonds deepen?

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Jade City (The Green Bone Saga #1) by Fonda Lee

Age Range: Adult  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  Pages: 560

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cover for Jade CityJADE CITY is a gripping Godfather-esque saga of intergenerational blood feuds, vicious politics, magic, and kungfu.

The Kaul family is one of two crime syndicates that control the island of Kekon. It’s the only place in the world that produces rare magical jade, which grants those with the right training and heritage superhuman abilities.
The Green Bone clans of honorable jade-wearing warriors once protected the island from foreign invasion–but nowadays, in a bustling post-war metropolis full of fast cars and foreign money, Green Bone families like the Kauls are primarily involved in commerce, construction, and the everyday upkeep of the districts under their protection.
When the simmering tension between the Kauls and their greatest rivals erupts into open violence in the streets, the outcome of this clan war will determine the fate of all Green Bones and the future of Kekon itself.

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The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee

Age Range: Young Adult  |  Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance  |  Pages: 374

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cover for The Downstairs GirlFrom the founding member of We Need Diverse Books comes a powerful novel about identity, betrayal, and the meaning of family.

By day, seventeen-year-old Jo Kuan works as a lady’s maid for the cruel daughter of one of the wealthiest men in Atlanta. But by night, Jo moonlights as the pseudonymous author of a newspaper advice column for the genteel Southern lady, “Dear Miss Sweetie.” When her column becomes wildly popular, she uses the power of the pen to address some of society’s ills, but she’s not prepared for the backlash that follows when her column challenges fixed ideas about race and gender. While her opponents clamor to uncover the secret identity of Miss Sweetie, a mysterious letter sets Jo off on a search for her own past and the parents who abandoned her as a baby. But when her efforts put her in the crosshairs of Atlanta’s most notorious criminal, Jo must decide whether she, a girl used to living in the shadows, is ready to step into the light. With prose that is witty, insightful, and at times heartbreaking, Stacey Lee masterfully crafts an extraordinary social drama set in the New South.

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Spin the Dawn (The Blood of Stars #1) by Elizabeth Lim

Age Range: Young Adult  |  Genre: Fantasy, Retelling  |  Pages: 392

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Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim coverProject Runway meets Mulan in this sweeping YA fantasy about a young girl who poses as a boy to compete for the role of imperial tailor and embarks on an impossible journey to sew three magic dresses, from the sun, the moon, and the stars.

Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.

Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia’s task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.

And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.

Steeped in Chinese culture, sizzling with forbidden romance, and shimmering with magic, this young adult fantasy is pitch-perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas or Renée Ahdieh.

✨✨✨

The Dragon Warrior (The Dragon Warrior #1) by Katie Zhao

Age Range: Middle Grade  |  Genre: Fantasy, Adventure  |  Pages: 288

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cover for The Dragon WarriorAs a member of the Jade Society, twelve-year-old Faryn Liu dreams of honoring her family and the gods by becoming a warrior. But the Society has shunned Faryn and her brother Alex ever since their father disappeared years ago, forcing them to train in secret.

Then, during an errand into San Francisco, Faryn stumbles into a battle with a demon–and helps defeat it. She just might be the fabled Heaven Breaker, a powerful warrior meant to work for the all-mighty deity, the Jade Emperor, by commanding an army of dragons to defeat the demons. That is, if she can prove her worth and find the island of the immortals before the Lunar New Year.

With Alex and other unlikely allies at her side, Faryn sets off on a daring quest across Chinatowns. But becoming the Heaven Breaker will require more sacrifices than she first realized . . . What will Faryn be willing to give up to claim her destiny?

Inspired by Chinese mythology, this richly woven contemporary middle-grade fantasy, full of humor, magic, and heart, will appeal to readers who love Roshani Chokshi and Sayantani DasGupta.

✨✨✨

Shadow of the Fox (Shadow of the Fox #1) by Julie Kagawa

Age Range: Young Adult |  Genre: Fantasy  |  Pages: 454

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cover for Shadow of the FoxOne thousand years ago, the great Kami Dragon was summoned to grant a single terrible wish—and the land of Iwagoto was plunged into an age of darkness and chaos.

Now, for whoever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers, a new wish will be granted. A new age is about to dawn.

Raised by monks in the isolated Silent Winds temple, Yumeko has trained all her life to hide her yokai nature. Half kitsune, half human, her skill with illusion is matched only by her penchant for mischief. Until the day her home is burned to the ground, her adoptive family is brutally slain and she is forced to flee for her life with the temple’s greatest treasure—one part of the ancient scroll.

There are many who would claim the dragon’s wish for their own. Kage Tatsumi, a mysterious samurai of the Shadow Clan, is one such hunter, under orders to retrieve the scroll…at any cost. Fate brings Kage and Yumeko together. With a promise to lead him to the scroll, an uneasy alliance is formed, offering Yumeko her best hope for survival. But he seeks what she has hidden away, and her deception could ultimately tear them both apart.

With an army of demons at her heels and the unlikeliest of allies at her side, Yumeko’s secrets are more than a matter of life or death. They are the key to the fate of the world itself.

10 Action Items to Combat Asian Hate

A good resource to begin your education is the Anti-Asian Violence Resources carrd, which is constantly being updated with new information and petitions as they become available. Do not ask Asian people to educate you or provide you with recommendations, and don’t stop your education with a carrd.

  1. Use your privilege and boost Asian voices.
  2. Donate to the AAPI Community Fund if you’re financially able to.
  3. Watch streams to donate with adblockers off (don’t skip the ads and don’t mute the video on Youtube)
  4. Talk to your friends & family (call out/in implicit bias).
  5. Register and participate in one of the FREE Bystander Intervention Trainings being offered online.
    1. Hollaback & AAJC Trainings: The one-hour, interactive training will teach you Hollaback!’s 5D’s of bystander intervention methodology.
  6. Use trigger warnings when sharing images and articles depicting hate against Asians.
  7. Educate yourself on longstanding history of Asian discrimination and fetishization which have led to the the current situation and confront your privilege.
  8. Read and recommend books by Asian authors all year long!
  9. Go ahead and read How to Be an Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi if you haven’t already.
  10. Remain critical when consuming the news and be aware of the narrative they are trying to paint – get your news from multiple sources (SEX ADDICTION IS NOT A THING, and a bad day doesn’t justify murder.)

To my fellow white people: we need to do the heavy lifting here. It is not on the Asian (and other marginalized groups, for that matter) community to educate us on racial bias. It’s important as white and non-Asian POC that we do not center ourselves and our feelings in these discussions. And please don’t forget the victims who lost their lives too soon.

Thank you so much for reading this very long post – it took days to finish, so I hope you find some recommendations to add to your TBRs and will take some time to educate yourself and do your part to Stop Asian Hate.

https://bookshop.org/lists/books-by-asian-authors-to-read-now-always

Let’s Chat!

💬 Have you read any of the books on my list? Which are your favorites?

💬 What books by Asian authors would you recommend?


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Let’s go on another adventure together!

31 Comments

  1. Heather

    March 23, 2021 at 5:14 AM

    This is an amazing list. Thank you.

    1. Kal

      March 30, 2021 at 12:26 PM

      You’re welcome, happy reading!

  2. Kristi Housman

    March 23, 2021 at 6:44 AM

    Great list! I’ve only read 9 of those so far, but some others are on my TBR. I can’t wait to read The Ones We’re Meant to Find soon.

    1. Kal

      March 30, 2021 at 12:26 PM

      So many amazing books, we are truly blessed! And I can’t wait to read TOWMTF too, it was supposed to be up next for me but… I need something fluffy first lol

  3. Dedra @ A Book Wanderer

    March 23, 2021 at 9:23 AM

    Lovely post, Kal! Thank you for sharing so many great books and tips to educate ourselves with. I’ll be bookmarking this one to come back to again and again. <3

    1. Kal

      March 30, 2021 at 12:28 PM

      I’m so glad you found this post useful, Dedra!

  4. Evelyn Coenen

    March 23, 2021 at 10:04 AM

    So many amazing books on this list! And So many I still need to read!

    (www.evelynreads.com)

    1. Kal

      March 30, 2021 at 12:28 PM

      Too many books, not enough time!

  5. Meghan

    March 23, 2021 at 1:41 PM

    This was such a great post, thank you for sharing not only book recs but a list of resources!

    1. Kal

      March 30, 2021 at 12:29 PM

      Thanks so much for your lovely comment, Meghan! I’m glad you found the post useful.

  6. Lois @ My Midnight Musing

    March 23, 2021 at 2:05 PM

    This is an amazing list with so many wonderful books that are on my tbr list. Jade City was a reading highlight for me last year and I will forever hype that book up along with so many others on this list. There are some titles I’m not as familiar with so I’ll be rushing to check them out now. I particularly love the sound of The Wolf of Oren-Yaro. 😀

    1. Kal

      March 30, 2021 at 12:30 PM

      Everyone I know LOVES Jade City, and I really just need to get around to reading it asap! I have no excuse, truly. Happy reading, Lois!

  7. Kristina

    March 25, 2021 at 6:51 AM

    Thank you for this, Kal 💕
    Few of thoses is already on my tbr; the girl from the well, aswell as the ones we’re meant to find xx

    1. Kal

      March 30, 2021 at 12:31 PM

      You’re welcome Kristina, and thanks for stopping by!

  8. Lisa @ waytoofantasy

    March 25, 2021 at 10:23 AM

    Love Stacey Lee. I actually have The Downstairs Girl in my TBR, need to get to it, loved Under the Painted Sky.

    1. Kal

      March 30, 2021 at 12:34 PM

      I haven’t read anything by her yet, but I did pick up a copy of The Downstairs Girl over the weekend.

  9. Marie @ drizzle & hurricane books

    March 26, 2021 at 5:32 AM

    This is such a lovely list, Kal, thank you so much for sharing! I recently got a copy of Descendant of the Crane, so excited to read it 🙂

    1. Kal

      March 30, 2021 at 12:39 PM

      Thanks so much for stopping by Marie, and OMG I can’t wait for you to be destroyed by read Descendant of the Crane!

  10. Resources to #StopAsianHate + 2021 YA Releases by AAPI Authors! – Beyond the Read

    March 26, 2021 at 6:15 AM

    […] @ Reader Voracious gave us 25 book recommendations by Asian authors, both backlist and TBR, as well as some action items to combat Asian […]

  11. Weekly Update #12 🍻 – Meghan's Whimsical Explorations & Reviews

    March 26, 2021 at 2:23 PM

    […] @Reader Voracious wrote a great resources post filled with book recs and and ways to stop Asian […]

  12. Caro @ bookcheshirecat

    March 29, 2021 at 8:11 AM

    Thank you so much for compiling all these great resources and ways to get involved ❤ As for the books I also loved The Gilded Wolves and I’m eagerly anticipating the series finale coming out this year! I also really want to read Where Dreams Descend and The Kingdom of Back! 😊

    1. Kal

      April 1, 2021 at 9:56 AM

      Of course and I’m glad you found the list useful & informative! I still need to read the Silvered Serpents (oops), so at this point I might just wait for book 3 and do a trilogy reading session Happy reading!

  13. Annemieke

    March 29, 2021 at 10:47 PM

    I have so many of these on my radar/TBR. Of course I love The Poppy War and Jade City. And Seven Deadly Shadows is eagerly awaiting me. <3

    1. Kal

      April 1, 2021 at 9:58 AM

      I am so excited to one day read The Poppy War (really waiting for the right mindset) and Jade City! Seven Deadly Shadows is a delight that deserves more attention; I hope you enjoy it!

  14. What I’ve been up to in March 🌼 End of Finals & Semester Break – The Bookcheshire Cat

    March 31, 2021 at 7:32 AM

    […] 25 Books by Asian Authors to Read Now and Always | #StopAsianHate & Evergreen Content and Book Bloggers | SEO Basics (Kal @ readervoracious) […]

  15. Jayati

    March 31, 2021 at 10:53 AM

    I really really love so many of these books! Especially A Spark of White Fire which never gets all the love it deserves and I can not wait for it’s finale to come out!
    Great list!

    1. Kal

      April 2, 2021 at 7:13 AM

      A SPARK OF WHITE FIRE DESERVES ALL THE LOVE AND PRAISE, on this hill I shall die.

  16. Shruvi

    April 3, 2021 at 9:33 AM

    This is an invigorating post. These small efforts mean a lot. I’m sure this post not only inspires readers to pick Asian books but also encourages Asian writers to publish their works with more vigor. Thanx Kal. I love your blog for the awareness it spreads through the much-loved communication of books. This way, the message is reached through an adventure of a novel and at a personal level. Hats-off to you!

    1. Kal

      April 6, 2021 at 12:35 PM

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment, Shruvi, and I am so happy to see that you found the post invigorating. I know it’s a small thing but I hope it helps someone, you know?

  17. Dancing out of March 2021 – A Dance With Books

    April 3, 2021 at 10:02 PM

    […] ⌘ Ely asked me and some other book community members how we feel about our tbr’s. You can read that here. She also shared how she feels about her own tbr here. ⌘ Wyrd and Wonder is back this May. Find the sign-up en detail post here. ⌘ Bec from Bec & Books talks about the difference between goodreads and the storygraph. ⌘ Louise from Foxes & Fairytales is hosting Mythothon for the fourth time this April! ⌘ Kal from Reader Voracious made a list of 25 books by Asian Authors to read. […]

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