Top 5 Wednesdays: Reader “Canon” (That I Haven’t Read Yet!)

It took me some time to really figure out what this week’s prompt was even asking for. When I think of a “canon” for readers, I tend to think more along the lines of classics, or very popular series like Harry Potter or The Hunger Games. I’ve only really gotten into watching book-related videos in the past couple of years, so I also felt like I’d kind of missed out on some of the earlier books that received a lot of hype, so even when I looked up some ideas, they didn’t quite feel right because they didn’t seem like books everyone was reading now. The few most popular series that did spring to mind were: The Lunar Chronicles, ACOTAR, The Raven Cycle, and the Grisha series including Six of Crows. Those are all series that I picked up specifically because of the hype a few years ago, and have started to seem like canon, at least for YA fantasy. For this week’s prompt, I decided to focus on a few more, mostly recent, series that I haven’t read yet, but also seem like they are or will become canon too.

Top 5 Wednesday is a meme created by Gingerreadslainey on Youtube, and is now hosted by Sam at ThoughtsOnTomes. The official GoodReads group with the weekly topics can be found here.

1) The Folk of the Air series by Holly Black

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It’s probably a little too early to tell if this series will be canon considering it only came out two years ago, but if the amount of hype is anything to go by, it will be. My goal is to read the entire trilogy by the end of this month, and lucky for me, these books are much shorter than most other fantasy series that I read. This series is about a girl named Jude whose parents were murdered by Faeries, and she and her sisters were stolen away to live in the High Court of Faerie. Now, a decade after she was taken, Jude wants to fit in with the Court, and must defy the cruel Prince Cardan to win herself a permanent place there. I’ve only read one other Holly Black book so far and I wasn’t such a fan, so I’ve been a little nervous to pick this series up, but this one sounds a lot more like something I would enjoy. For years, I avoided anything that had to do with Fae or Faeries, but that’s changed since I started reading Sarah J. Maas’s series. I’m looking forward to finally giving this one a try in the next couple of weeks.

2) The Stalking Jack the Ripper series by Kerri Maniscalco

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To be honest, I only had a very mild interest in this series when I first heard of it, but by the time the last book came out last year, I’d bought into the hype. Lucky for me, these books have been coming up one at a time through Book Outlet so I’ve been collecting them that way. I’m just missing the first one now, so I might end up buying that one full price. This series is about a 17-year-old girl named Audrey Rose Wadsworth who secretly studies forensic medicine in her uncle’s laboratory, which leads her into the investigation of a serial killer. Each book seems to follow her as she investigates some sort of mystery involving real historical figures, including Vlad the Impaler and Houdini. The more I’ve heard about this series, the more intriguing it seems although it seems to be one of those series that people either love or hate. Either way, I think it is safe to consider it canon by now because it has been so popular.

3) The Arc of a Scythe series by Neal Shusterman


This is another series that only mildly interested me at first before shooting straight to the top of my priority list, and it’s another series that I’ve been slowly collecting through Book Outlet. The first book came out in 2016 when I still wasn’t very invested in reading series in general, so I did not care that much about it, but I’ve heard so many amazing things about it over the years by now. It is set in a world where there is no hunger, war, disease or death. The only ones who can end someone’s life are the Scythes, who are commanded to do so for population control. The series follows Citra and Rowan, who are both chosen to be apprentices to a Scythe to learn how to take on the role themselves, which is a job that neither of them want. To be honest, even with all the hype surrounding this series in the past few years, I feel like I’ve never heard very much more about what it is about, although I suspect there may be a reason for that. I have not read anything else by Neal Shusterman, although I’ve been mildly interested in the Unwind series for quite a while too. I’ve heard so many great things about the series that I definitely would not be surprised for it to become canon.

4) The Legacy of Orisha series by Tomi Adeyemi


This may be another case where it is a little too early to tell whether these books will become canon, especially since the third one doesn’t even have a title or a release date yet. Children of Blood and Bone was absolutely everywhere when it debuted in 2018, and I’ve been excited to try it ever since. It is an African-inspired high fantasy series about a young woman named Zelie, who is on a quest to restore magic to her people and fight back against the ruthless king who banned it and ordered the deaths of the maji, which left many children orphaned and traumatized and the remaining maji oppressed and powerless. I currently own the first two books in the series and I’ve been so nervous to pick them up because of all the hype! If nothing else, I think this book will likely become part of the canon because of it is a book featuring an all-Black cast of characters and written by a Black author, which is still somehow relatively rare in fantasy. I’ve been a little intimidated to try this one, but I’m expecting to love it when I finally do.

5) The An Ember in the Ashes series by Sabaa Tahir

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This is the one series on this list that I think can already be considered canon, although I missed the majority of the the initial hype surrounding it because I wasn’t involved in online book communities at the time. I’ve had this book on my TBR since November 2016, which is just a few months after it first came out, but never picked it up or kept up with finding out about the rest of the series. It’s one of those series that has always been at the back of my mind to try, but kept getting pushed aside because there were always others I wanted to read more. Now that the finale is due out this December, I’m thinking I might add this series to my priority list for next year so I can binge-read them all. This series is about a slave named Laia and a solider named Elias who meet when Laia agrees to spy for the rebels in exchange for their help rescuing her brother. Elias wants to be free of the tyrannical system he is being trained to uphold, and Laia from her family’s poverty and suffering under the Empire. To be honest, I’ve never had a strong sense of what this series was really about which is probably why I kept putting it off, but I’d like to prioritize it next year!


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