Branching out in the fantasy genre, you might be searching for a more eastern-inspired fantasy. Here’s a list for you to help diversify your reading.

Fantasy books will help you escape the world for a while!
Fantasy books will help you escape the world for a while!
Image by Mystic Art Design from Pixabay

Mulan may have just left you with a big craving for the more oriental-inspired fantasy. Fear not! We are here with a humble list of mind-blowing fantasy books that also give you a sneak peek into the correct culture of the oriental nations. Most of the titles belong to authors writing about their ethnicity. So be prepared for a healthy dose of diversity and flavor. The additional benefit in this is that you get to support diverse authors from all around Asia while diversifying your bookshelf.

“The Bone Witch” By Rin Chupeco

The Bone Witch
The Bone Witch

What’s This Book About?

In a world of heartglasses, Asha and monsters called Daeva, “The Bone Witch” trilogy follows the journey of Tea. Tea is a bone witch, one gifted with the power of necromancy. Bone witches are rare and shunned for their unique gifts and this makes Tea very different from any other witch in her village.

Discriminated and different, Tea follows another older and wiser bone witch to train as an Asha magic wielder. But dark plots and plans rage in the land of Ashas and royals. Will Tea be up to the task?

Why Read It?

This is a tale of love, revenge, power, and family with monsters and magic added in for good measure! Tea is an evolving character who is morally grey. In other words, someone who is not a saint but also not a villain. It is her struggle that defines the tale. As the story continues with two narratives, one in Tea’s past and one in her present, it’s chilling, darkly poetic, and utterly devastating when they merge as one.

“The Sword of Kaigen” by M.L Wang

The Sword Of Kaigen
The Sword Of Kaigen

What’s This Book About?

Misaki needs to confront her violent past as she struggles to make a loveless marriage work. Her son Mamoru is unable to uphold the Matsuda family name. While the Matsuda family seems to be struggling, the winds of war wait for no one and will soon reach the Kaigen Peninsula.

This is set in a world inspired by Avatar the Last Airbender where humans wield the powers of the four elements. Kaigen’s survival and the Matsuda family’s struggle are inextricably linked. It asks you how far you will go for love.

Why Read It?

For all those who are suffering from an Avatar Nostalgia, this will be the perfect antidote! This tale will redefine love, family, and loyalty as you know it. Switching between 2 viewpoints, the book is fast-paced and addictive. Misaki is a very interesting character with her inner conflicts and conflicted morals while Mamoru is just being exposed to the world and the new facets of his mother. The prose is literally lyrical! What more can you ask from a book?

“Flame In The Mist” by Renee Ahdieh

Flame In The Mist
Flame In The Mist

What’s This Book About?

Mariko, destined for marriage since birth, is attacked by a group of rebels when she is on her way to meet her betrothed, whom she had never met. Narrowly escaping, she dresses as a boy to infiltrate the Black Clan. There she plans revenge.

But with the Black Clan, she finds herself valued more than she was ever valued by her family! And she finds love! Love that will make her or ruin her! New York Times Bestselling Author Renee Adhieh comes back with another tale of love, mystery, and romance that will sweep you off your feet!

Why read it?

Renee Adhieh has prose that will make you swoon! And this book is full of twists and turns that you will never expect in a million lifetimes. Alongside its sequel, it’s the perfect length, one book to start it, and one book to end them all!

“The Poppy War” by R.F. Kuang

The Poppy War
The Poppy War

What’s This Book About?

When Rin aced her entrance exams, it was a pleasant surprise not to be married off by her criminal aunt and uncle. But after entering the Sinegard, the most elite military school in Nikan, Rin discovers she is discriminated against because of her color, gender, and lack of parentage. There she discovers with the help of her mad master and some psychoactive substances, her talent for the legendary art of shamanism.

Then she discovers that gods thought to be dead are very much alive and they are not kind. Then war strikes the Nikara Empire and Rin’s gift might be the only thing that could save it from the Mugen federation but using it might cost Rin her humanity! Set in a world inspired by ancient China, Kuang’s debut will blow you away with its characters, twisting plot and it’s dark allure.

Why Read It?

First of all, the author is brutal and the things she puts her characters through can give people nightmares. The book is from such an unexpected angle that it gives you shocks that could almost stop your heart! Rin is sometimes an unlikeable character while also relatable. The story is brutal, strong, and gives no quarter. When you finish this book you will feel the need to reread it right away!

“Spin The Dawn” by Elizabeth Lim

Spin The Dawn
Spin The Dawn

What’s This Book About?

When the royal summons for Maia’s old father arrive, Maia knows that her father cannot accept. Although an experienced tailor, his hands are no longer what they were. With her remaining brother being no good at tailoring, Maia knows what she has to do. She disguises herself as a man and sets off to the capital as her father’s son! Armed with nothing but a pair of scissors, she discovers that there is a competition to be the royal tailor with the most elite of the tailors, all to be the one who designs the Empress’s wedding dress!

And the final challenge is more deadly than any before. To sew three dresses from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. So starts the journey of of Maia and the Sorcerer, Edan! Little do they know that this journey will change them forever.

Why Read It?

This book is so steeped in Chinese culture that you’ll feel like you have lived in the imperial court for years. And there is love! Love so big that it can swallow the skies! Love that makes you wish for it in your life! It’s perfect for fans of Sarah J Mass and Renee Adhieh with its magic, love, and sizzling storytelling!

“Two Pearls Of Wisdom” By Alison Goodman

The Two Pearls of Wisdom
The Two Pearls of Wisdom

What’s This Book About?

This book deals with Eon, a crippled boy training to become a Dragoneye! Dragoneyes use their connection to their dragons to control nature! Though not as powerful as in the past, the Dragoneyes are still a force to be reckoned with. But Eon has a secret. Eon is not a boy but a girl named Eona.

As Eona tries to navigate the complex imperial court and learn about her dragon, her identity threatens to be exposed and in the land where women cannot practice dragon magic, that is certain death. But darker forces are at work and will Eona survive the battle for her magic and her life?

Why Read It?

The Eon duology has awesome magic and a very complex plot. It gives an insider’s view of the court. And just like Mulan, Eona needs to hide as a man. So this book is the total package with magic, dragons, intrigue, love, and plot twists! And did I mention about it having an awesome trans character?

“Steel Crow Saga” by Paul Krueger

Steel Crow Saga

What’s This Book About?

Tala is a soldier who has fought all her life against the empire that destroyed her family. But her secrets are darker and the sins she committed are against all of the magic and her blood. Now she has one last mission. Escort the enemy emperor home! Jimuro has inherited a defeated empire, he must now trust an enemy soldier to bring him home safely. The stakes have never been higher and flames burn hot between Tala and Jimuro. She will either be his rise or he will be her fall!

Xiulan is a princess in disguise as a detective. She plans to pave her path to the throne by capturing the most wanted ruler of a defeated empire! Lee doesn’t trust anyone. Not after what happens sooner or later! But when Xiulan offers a position as her partner and a spirit animal, the thief cannot refuse. And soon finds out love can be the hardest of bonds. Four unlikely characters come together to fight a broken monster who defies the rules of magic!

Why Read It?

“Steel crow saga” is one awesome blend of Asian culture and magic! Perfect for fans of both Avatar the Last Air Bender and Pokémon, Krueger’s writing style and plot are flawless. The pacing is awesome and the book is very inclusive! The romance, both sapphic and straight, are great as well!


So these are the seven books that can help you get over Mulan as well as help you diversify your shelves! And to have a better understanding of them, visit Goodreads for their blurbs. Happy reading!