Ep #217


This week Ana hosts the podcast with guest author Tasha Suri as they introduce our January theme of Sci-Fi & Fantasy Romance and discuss the power of word of mouth marketing


> ANA COQUI (she/her) A lifelong genre reader, Ana grew up reading fantasy, sci-fi & mystery novels in Puerto Rico, before finally wandering into the romance section of the library in search of HEA’s after bawling through one too many dystopian novels. When she is not reading, knitting, writing about romance for Love in Panels or running #RomBkLove on Twitter as @anacoqui, Ana is a school librarian


> TASHA SURI (she/her) Tasha Suri is an award-winning fantasy author, occasional librarian and cat owner. Her books include the Books of Ambha duology, and the upcoming Indian-influenced fantasy The Jasmine Throne. When she isn’t writing, Tasha likes to cry over TV shows, buy too many notebooks, and indulge her geeky passion for reading about South Asian history. She lives with her family in a mildly haunted house in London. You can visit Tasha’s website at https://tashasuri.com, or follow her on Twitter @tashadrinkstea and on Instagram @tashasuri



NOTE: These notes include affiliate links to Bookshop.org and Amazon.com to support the RBP transcript project

NOTE: This episode was recorded in mid-December during the coronavirus pandemic of 2020

> Title: Empire of Sand (The Books of Ambha #1)

Author: Tasha Suri

Relation to theme: Mughal Empire-inspired fantasy setting

Representation: South Asian, queer author, South Asian-inspired MCs

Content Warnings (from reader Leigh Kramer): forced marriage, threatened rape or sexual assault, drugging, violence, abuse of power

Bookshop: https://bookshop.org/lists/host-ana-s-recs/

Kindle: https://amzn.to/3k3cV1n

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39714124-empire-of-sand

NOTE: This book was also discussed in RBP #209

LISTEN NOW: http://lustandfoundreads.com/rombkpod/ep-209/

NOTE: This book is marketed as SFF with romantic elements

> Title: Realm of Ash (The Books of Ambha #2)

Author: Tasha Suri

Relation to theme: Mughal Empire-inspired fantasy setting

Representation: South Asian, queer author, South Asian-inspired MCs

Content Warnings (from reader Leigh Kramer): death of loved ones, massacre, violence, grief, use of opium to go the realm of ash, hero is drugged with opium, assassination

Bookshop: https://bookshop.org/lists/host-ana-s-recs/

Kindle: https://amzn.to/390J8Eh

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44297804-realm-of-ash

NOTE: This book is marketed as SFF with romantic elements

> Tasha’s next book, The Jasmine Throne, from the new Burning Kingdoms series, is due in June 2021

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54435003-the-jasmine-throne

> Shoutout to @ArdentlyAarya for introducing many of us to Tasha’s writing!

> Tasha mentions Marjorie M. Liu’s Dirk & Steele series, which is a blend of paranormal and fantasy romance

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/series/41078-dirk-steele

> Tasha and Ana both cite Nalini Singh as a romance gateway author

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/71688.Nalini_Singh

NOTE: RBP did a special interview with Nalini Singh this fall

LISTEN NOW: http://lustandfoundreads.com/rombkpod/bonus-nalini-singh/

> Tasha mentions Daughter of the Forest (Sevenwaters #1) by Juliet Marillier which is a retelling of the Seven Swans fairytale

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11289310-daughter-of-the-forest

> Tasha mentions Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente which is historical fantasy with romantic elements

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10237040-deathless

> Ana mentions Uprooted by Naomi Novick which is a Beauty and the Beast retelling that decentralizes the romance 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36681425-uprooted

> Tasha mentions Master of Crows by Grace Draven as similar to Uprooted but possessing a better balance with the romance

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12381358-master-of-crows

> Title: Kushiel’s Dart (Phèdre’s Trilogy #1)

Author: Jacqueline Carey

Relation to theme: Fantasy setting

Representation: White author, queer MC, bi rep

Content Warnings: sexual violence, character death, s&m, graphic violence, sex work, torture

Bookshop: unavailable

Kindle: https://amzn.to/3bSJAX0

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11818109-kushiel-s-dart

NOTE: This is primarily historical fantasy with romantic elements, and the central relationship is spaced out over multiple books

> Title: Silver in the Wood (The Greenhollow Duology #1)

Author: Emily Tesh

Relation to theme: Retelling of the Green Man folktale

Representation: White author, queer MCs

Content Warnings: character death, graphic violence, general horror creepiness, heavily implied abuse/murder

Bookshop: https://bookshop.org/lists/host-ana-s-recs/

Kindle: https://amzn.to/35NToO3

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43562824-silver-in-the-wood

NOTE: This book was previously mentioned in RBP #120

LISTEN NOW: http://lustandfoundreads.com/rombkpod/ep-120/

> The second book in the Greenhollow Duology is Drowned Country

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/49928905-drowned-country

> Ana mentions The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison which may finally receive a sequel soon?

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17404280-the-goblin-emperor

> Title: In the Vanisher’s Palace

Author: Aliette de Bodard

Relation to theme: Beauty & the Beast retelling

Representation: Asian-French author, queer MCs

Content Warnings: abuse, trauma, coercion, the general awfulness of dystopia

Bookshop: https://bookshop.org/lists/host-ana-s-recs/

Kindle: https://amzn.to/39GQegd

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41724928-in-the-vanishers-palace

NOTE: This book was previously mentioned in RBP #120

LISTEN NOW: http://lustandfoundreads.com/rombkpod/ep-120/

> Title: Son of the Shadows (Sevenwaters #2)

Author: Juliet Marillier

Relation to theme: Seven Swans fairy tale retelling

Representation: White author, white, cishet MCs

Content Warnings: sexual violence, graphic violence, pregnancy/childbirth, domestic violence

Bookshop: https://bookshop.org/lists/host-ana-s-recs/

Kindle: https://amzn.to/394pGGv

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11796524-son-of-the-shadows

NOTE: This is primarily historical fantasy with romantic elements

> Title: This Is How You Lose The Time War

Author: Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone

Relation to theme: Time travel plot

Representation: Author of color, queer MCs

Content Warnings: war, violence

Bookshop: https://bookshop.org/lists/host-ana-s-recs/

Kindle: https://amzn.to/35SkrYG

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43352954-this-is-how-you-lose-the-time-war

> Tasha highly recommends the audio book for This is How You lose the Time War, narrated by 

Cynthia Farrell and Emily Woo Zeller

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42996336-this-is-how-you-lose-the-time-war

> Ana also recommends the audio for Tasha’s book Empire of Sand, narrated by Soneela Nankani

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42785926-empire-of-sand

> Tasha recommends Winter’s Orbit by Everina Maxwell which is due for release in Feb 2021

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53320169-winter-s-orbit

> Title: The A.I. Who Loved Me

Author: Alyssa Cole

Relation to theme: Android MC

Representation: Black, queer, neuro-divergent author, Black MC, Asian MC

Content Warnings: past accident

Bookshop: unavailable

Kindle: https://amzn.to/390NnQd

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53467163-the-a-i-who-loved-me

> The A.I. Who Loved Me originated as a full-cast Audible Original and is highly recommended on audio

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52255365-the-a-i-who-loved-me

> Which Sci-fi & Fantasy romance favorites did we miss? Tag us @RomBkPod or share with us in the comments

Happy Reading!


Music: “Lift Off” by Jahzzar

From the Free Music Archive

CC BY-SA 3.0