In May (I can’t believe it was that long ago to be honest) I made a list of fantasy standalones that I recommend reading. I’ve been thinking about writing another for fantasy duologies that I think that people should read. I really like reading a duology, there are some talked about in the book community pretty often but there are quiet a few that aren’t. This list is going to be a list of popular and lesser known duoligies that I have read and really enjoyed.
The first duology I’m going to talk about is one that I have seen recommended and talked about countless times and it is…
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
I’m pretty sure that this was the first duology fantasy series that I ever read. It’s a duology that people still talk about a lot even now. The two books were published in 2015 and 2016. This series definitely left a big impact on the book community, and it’s the reason why I discovered Leigh Bardugo’s books.
I absolutely adored reading this duology. I actually referred Crooked Kingdom (the 2nd book) over Six of Crows (the 1st book). I love the Grishaverse a lot and I love how Bardugo expanded on the world even further in this duology. She introduced more countries and cultures in this duology, and created a melting pot that is Ketterdam where the place is run by buisness. Both legal and illegal.
Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone. . . .
Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh
Renee Ahdieh, I have come to realise recently is one of my favourite authors. I’ve loved every book by her that I’ve read. Flame in the Mist was actually the first book by Ahdieh that I read and I loved it.
This fantasy is based off of Feudal Japan, with the daughter of a samurai engaged to marry the second son of the Emperor. I absolutely loved the journey that Mariko goes on in these books. I really loved the characters and the story and would highly recommend this book.
The only daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has always known she’d been raised for one purpose and one purpose only: to marry. Never mind her cunning, which rivals that of her twin brother, Kenshin, or her skills as an accomplished alchemist. Since Mariko was not born a boy, her fate was sealed the moment she drew her first breath.
These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch
This was a book that I knew I needed to read the moment I read the blurb and I was hooked once I read the first chapter. These Rebel Waves has three main characters; Adeluna, Dex, and Ben. They are each so very different, coming from different walks of life, with intertwining lives.
The first book went in a different direction than what I expected. But it blew all my expectations away. Honestly, I think that this is a great duology and I highly recommend reading it.
We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal
So far there is only the first book, We Hunt the Flame, published but I am excitedly anticpating the release of the second, We Free the Stars.
This book was one of my favourite books from 2019. I absolutely loved it and I would highly recommend reading this book.
This fantasy is based on ancient Arabia, it has gorgeous story telling and a beautifully created world. I went into the book not really knowing what to expect and I ended up loving it. The two main characters, Zafira and Nasir come from very different walks of life but end up having to reluctantly work together to try to save their world.
People lived because she killed.
People died because he lived.
Zafira is the Hunter, disguising herself as a man when she braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the king. If Zafira was exposed as a girl, all of her achievements would be rejected; if Nasir displayed his compassion, his father would punish him in the most brutal of ways.
Both are legends in the kingdom of Arawiya—but neither wants to be.
Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller
This is a book that I would recommend if you like pirates, and especially if you liked the Pirates of the Caribbean movies as the author has said before that this duology is kinda like a love letter to that franchise.
These books were recommended to me when after I had read To Kill A Kingdom (a fantasy standalone about sirens and pirates) and I would also say that if you enjoyed that book you’re probably going to like this duology.
There’s plenty of pirates, and sirens, in this story that are all trying to find a legendary treasure. It’s a very fun adventure filled story with ruthless pirates, a race to find a map/treasure before anyone else, some romance (enemies to lovers) and a found family.
There will be plenty of time for me to beat him soundly once I’ve gotten what I came for.
Sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient hidden map—the key to a legendary treasure trove—seventeen-year-old pirate captain Alosa deliberately allows herself to be captured by her enemies, giving her the perfect opportunity to search their ship.
More than a match for the ruthless pirate crew, Alosa has only one thing standing between her and the map: her captor, the unexpectedly clever and unfairly attractive first mate, Riden. But not to worry, for Alosa has a few tricks up her sleeve, and no lone pirate can stop the Daughter of the Pirate King.
Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim
This duology takes inspiration from the legend of Mulan, with a twist. Rather than going off to fight in her father’s place Maia goes to the royal palace to compete to become the next imperial tailor disguised as her brother.
I really liked that this duology started off with a lot of similarities with Mulan but Elizabeth Lim put her own spin of in it by crossing it with a sewing competition. I really enjoyed reading this duology and would recommend it to anyone that likes reading retellings/reimaginings.
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.
The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josepheson
This was a duology that I thought was really good. It deals with grief, depression, anxiety, mental health in general in a very open and honesty way. And it doesn’t stop characters from being heroes and badass either.
I thought that this duology was imaginative, exciting, and a really fun read. Even when I was sometimes annoyed with characters (I had to remind myself sometimes that the main characters were teenagers and didn’t always thinks rationally) and their decisions. I’ll be honest though and say that I would have loved it if this series had been more than two books long. I would have happily have read a longer series in this world with these characters.
In the tropical kingdom of Rhodaire, magical, elemental Crows are part of every aspect of life…until the Illucian empire invades, destroying everything.
That terrible night has thrown Princess Anthia into a deep depression. Her sister Caliza is busy running the kingdom after their mother’s death, but all Thia can do is think of all she has lost.
I hope that you found this list useful and that you discovered some duology series that you want to read. I would love to know if you’ve read any of these or want to read any of these duologies. I’d also love to know if there’s any other fantasy duologies that you loved or enjoyed reading that aren’t on this list!
Until next time stay safe and keep on reading 😃