Diversity Spotlight Thursday: Historical Fantasy


Diversity Spotlight Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Aimal from Bookshelves & Paperbacks. Each week you come up with three book for three different categories: a diverse book you’ve read and enjoyed; a diverse book that’s already been released and is in your TBR; and a diverse book that hasn’t been released yet.

This week’s topic is: Historical Fantasy (aka my two favourite genres mashed together)


A-book-I-have-read2The Bedlam Stacks by Natasha Pulley

I came into this book expecting nothing and left it in a state of euphoria. The Bedlam Stacks is not only one of my top 5 books of last year, it’s one of my favourites of all time. I will definitely do a mini review on it sometime in the future, but here’s what I have to say for now.

This is a story of a 19th-century expedition to the heart of Peru starring Merrick, an ex-smuggler from the British East India Company, and Raphael, a Peruvian priest who guides Merrick to the mysterious village of Bedlam. It’s a quiet, magical, beautiful journey that ruminates on the nature of time and human connection. Natasha Pulley captures the heart of loneliness and love in a way that few writers can, and her characters wind through your very being and leave an indelible mark.

Goodreads | Amazon (US) | Book Depository

A-book-on-my-tbrLovecraft Country by Matt Ruff

H.P Lovecraft is one of those talented, now-deceased authors who paved the way for so many subsequent writers (and other artists) and whose work is admired by many, but who were also human trash fires when it came to morality.

Lovecraft and racism and go together like Russia and political interference of foreign countries. So what better way to tackle Lovecraftian horror than through the eyes of a black family in 50’s America? This book probably has dear old Howard writhing in his grave, and just for that it deserves a read.

Goodreads | Amazon (US) | Book Depository

a-book-releasing-soonWitchmark by C.L. Polk

In an original world reminiscent of Edwardian England in the shadow of a World War, cabals of noble families use their unique magical gifts to control the fates of nations, while one young man seeks only to live a life of his own.

Magic marked Miles Singer for suffering the day he was born, doomed either to be enslaved to his family’s interest or to be committed to a witches’ asylum. He went to war to escape his destiny and came home a different man, but he couldn’t leave his past behind. The war between Aeland and Laneer leaves men changed, strangers to their friends and family, but even after faking his own death and reinventing himself as a doctor at a cash-strapped veterans’ hospital, Miles can’t hide what he truly is.

When a fatally poisoned patient exposes Miles’ healing gift and his witchmark, he must put his anonymity and freedom at risk to investigate his patient’s murder. To find the truth he’ll need to rely on the family he despises, and on the kindness of the most gorgeous man he’s ever seen.

Does that sound good to you? Because it sounds pretty damn good to me. I love World War stories and while historical fiction is currently oversaturated with it, we don’t see enough of it explored in speculative fiction. This sounds like just the thing to satisfy my cravings and I can’t wait.

Releases June 19th
Goodreads | Amazon (US) | Book Depository

Let me know if you’ve read any of these books and/or if any of them catches your eye! And recommend me more historical fantasy books to read!

20 thoughts on “Diversity Spotlight Thursday: Historical Fantasy

  1. elissa says:

    I read Lovecraft Country a while back and while I’m not super well-versed in HP Lovecraft, I thought the magic was weird and fun enough to add to the story without having to carry it, if that makes sense. I’d never heard of this spotlight series so I’m going to check it out now!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kathy @Pages Below the Vaulted Sky says:

      That absolutely makes sense! And weird magic sounds right up my alley, so now I’m even more excited to read it. 🙂 I’m still kind of a newbie to the series, but it’s just such a great way to encourage others to read diverse books and to keep challenging yourself to read more broadly as well

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Susy's Cozy World says:

    They are all interesting! I have Lovecraft Country on my wish list, and I am thinking to add also The Bedlam Stacks, the synopsis isn’t so intriguing for me, but I have read another book from the same author and really liked it, so I am thinking about giving this one a try, too! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ashleyinwonderland says:

    Lovecraft Country is worth the read for exactly the reasons you mentioned. It took me a chapter to properly get into it, but after more characters were introduced I fell in love. The female characters are amazing and completely make the story! It’s also being made into an HBO series which will hopefully capture the magic of the novel. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on it once you read it! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. gwalsh1985 says:

    I love your posts as they are always so well thought out. I need to read more diverse books, I’m actually embarrassed at looking at what I read because there is such a lack. I think there’s a publishing house whose aim is to make sure that more diverse books reach mainstream audiences but unfortunately I can’t think of them right now!

    You are one of the few people that I know who has also read the Watchmaker of Filigree Street! That was one of my random pick ups a couple of years ago!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kathy @Pages Below the Vaulted Sky says:

      Oh my goodness, you’re too kind. ❤ And ooh, I didn't know there was an entire publishing house dedicated to diverse books! I'm only familiar with the #weneeddiversebooks movement.
      And I had problems with the way that Pulley handled Grace's character (she seemed intent on sabotage for no valid reason), but I loved the relationship between Thaniel and Keita. Also, clockwork octopus!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. anna says:

    not to be a dramatic gay but i would give my life for the bedlam stacks & also natasha
    leaving the book in a state of euphoria??? yeah, that’s a perfect way of putting it!

    Liked by 1 person

      • anna says:

        IT IS!!! i actually read the bedlam stacks BEFORE i read the watchmaker & already read it again after less than a year and frankly i just want that whole book tattooed on my body,,,,,, HE WAITED SO MANY YEARS!!!!!


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