May is AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) Heritage Month, so I thought I'd put together a list of my favorite books by AAPI authors. These are mostly fantasy titles, since it's my favorite genre. Here we go. . . .
The Shadow of the Fox trilogy by Julie Kagawa
Once every millennium, whoever reunites the pieces of the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers will get to call upon the great dragon god and make one wish. Half-kitsune Yumeko, entrusted with one piece, must retrieve the two others and keep them safe from powerful enemies who would use the wish for evil: to take over the land of Iwagoto and open the gates of hell itself.
Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan
Xingyin is forced to leave her home on the moon and her mother, Chinese moon goddess Chang'e, and start a new life in the Celestial Kingdom. She vows to win her mother's freedom by earning the Crimson Lion Talisman, which will grant her a favor from the emperor. Too bad she had to fall in love with the son of her enemies along the way. . . .
The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
In this Indian retelling of Hades and Persephone, Princess Maya is scorned because of her bad horoscope. After her arranged marriage to Amar, king of Akaran, she finds her voice, but also finds a dangerous ancient mystery that she must unravel to save those she loves.
The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro
This literary fantasy is a love story set in Arthurian Britain. An elderly couple goes on a quest to retrieve memories that have been stolen by a mist creeping over their town.
The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea by Axie Oh
In this retelling of the classic Korean folktale “The Tale of Shim Cheong,” Mina sacrifices herself to the Sea God in the place of Cheong, the woman her brother loves. An epic task awaits Mina in the Spirit Realm.
The Rise of the Empress duology by Julie C. Dao
A Snow White retelling; in the first book, the evil queen (Empress Xifeng) rises to power through cunning and dark magic. In the second volume, exiled Princess Jade must leave her comfortable, monastic life to raise the Dragon Lords and save her people from Xifeng’s reign of terror.
Descendant of the Crane by Joan He
After her beloved father dies, Princess Hesina suspects he was murdered and vows to uncover the truth and bring the assassin to justice. But she soon comes to realize how broken the system is and that no one is innocent. Now she has to stop the investigation from spinning out of control before more blood is shed.
The Line Between and A Single Light by Tosca Lee
This thrilling duology follows Wynter, who escapes a cult just in time for the world to be plunged into a prion-disease pandemic. Through the apocalyptic chaos, Wynter must team up with ex-soldier Chase and make it to a lab in Colorado with samples that might lead to a cure. But can she trust him? And even after this mission, and hiding underground for six months, what will they find when they reemerge?
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
A beloved classic about betrayal and redemption, and the power of friendship. Amir, a wealthy man’s son, forges a close friendship with Hassan, his father’s servant’s son. But jealousy tears them apart and Amir betrays Hassan. Years later, living in America, Amir gets the chance to reconcile and make amends.
I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
You’ve probably heard of this brave girl who stood up to the Taliban. At 15, she was shot point-blank for speaking out and fighting for her right to an education. Her miraculous recovery brought her to the attention of the United Nations, and she became a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest-ever nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize.
What books by Asian/AAPI authors would you add to this list?
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