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Fantasy Novels with Minority Protagonists



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Nowadays, everyone is familiar with the acclaimed fantasy genre. Fantasy takes us to a whole new world filled with magic and the surreal. Two famous examples, Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, helped catapult the fantasy genre to its current worldwide popularity.

But what about the lesser-known fantasies? The ones that feature primarily people of color? Many people of color enjoy fantasies as well.

Unfortunately, there aren’t many fantasy novels with a minority main character. At the very least, they do not get as much recognition in the media.

Let’s take a moment to highlight some fantasy novels that have minority protagonists.

One particular novel is a science fantasy novel called Who Fears Death by the Nigerian-American author, Nnedi Okorafor. The book is about two opposing groups called the Nuru and the Okeke.

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Published in 2010, the novel’s protagonist, Onyesonwu, is the child of a Okeke woman and a Nuru man. Onyesonwu is an Ewu, a child born as a result of rape.

The plot revolves around her quest to seek vengeance against her evil, sorcerous father. The book also has a HBO adaptation reportedly in the works.

A second science fiction and fantasy book is an anthology series called Dark Matter. The anthology series features short stories from numerous black authors, all of them edited by Sheree Thomas.

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These stories are full of the magical wonders we all know and love. There are even some horror stories in there if that’s your taste. The series features some notable black authors such as Octavia Butler, Samuel R. Delany, and Tananarive Due.

Speaking of Octavia Butler, let’s turn our attention to Patternmaster (1976). This science fiction novel is the first in the Patternmaster series, but it is the last one chronologically. Kind of intriguing tidbit, huh?

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The world of Patternmaster consists of three humanoid groups called the Patternists, the Clayarks, and the enslaved mutes. The Patternists are the dominant group in this futuristic setting, while the Clayarks and mutes are considered subhumans.

In this book, you can expect descriptions of superhuman intelligence, psychic and telepathic abilities. The story’s protagonist is Teray, who discovers that he is the son of a Patternmaster, which is a powerful telepath. Definitely check this novel out if futuristic hero stories are your style.

The final novel to look at is Tananarive Due’s My Soul to Keep. The novel was published in 1997 and is the first in the African Immortals series.

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The book introduces us to newlywed couple, David and Jessica, who seem normal at first glance. Not long after their union, however, many people around them begin dying out of nowhere.

It turns out that David is an immortal human who was born over 400 years ago. The story then follows David and Jessica as their unusual, mysterious situation unfolds.

Of course, the list doesn’t end there. The world of fantasy is vast and endless.

Fantasy and sci-fi novels with minority protagonists are out there, we just need to dig more to find them.

These are just a few of the wonderful authors who wrote some pretty fantastic stories that deserve more recognition. Happy reading!

By: Chris Lewis

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