The Inn’s Summer Reads Recs

Ohhh the weather outside is… hot. Very, very hot. Almost too hot to read, at times. (We know, we know, blasphemy.) And so the Inn has collected a list of books for you: they’re fun, light, and go great with ice cream. Whether you’re on an exciting vacation or chilling at the beach (or continuing your life like normal except ugh it’s hot), these books are the perfect summer reads.

Nice Dragons Finish Last by Rachel Aaron


A couple decades into the future magic comes rushing back to earth. Our hero is the nicest dragon ever, whose mom kicks him out of the home because he’s so wimpy. Our heroine is a very talented mage in desperate need of a job. Together they fight crime! they try to avoid getting on bad terms with our hero’s slightly maniacally evil family while they earn money in the Detroit Free Zone. A fast-paced and funny urban fantasy with one of the nicest characters around. Tam’s full review here!

Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett


Nothing says fun quite like a Discworld book. In this third instalment of the Witches subseries (but don’t worry, it can be read as a standalone!), Granny Weatherwax, Magrat Garlick and Nanny Ogg head to the Kingdom of Genua for an unusual mission. You can expect Pratchett’s inimitable humour and pointed observations. And so many twists on fairy tale tropes. The book is best paired with a banana…nana…nanana? sorbet.

Senlin Ascends by Josiah Bancroft


We swear we don’t get a commission each time we mention Bancroft’s Books of Babel series. But this is the perfect read if you want to put in perspective a journey that hasn’t gone as planned. Or if you want to commiserate about a less-than-accurate traveling guide. In Senlin Ascends, Thomas Senlin loses his new bride, Marya, in a crowd the moment they arrive for their honeymoon in the legendary Tower of Babel. He tries to reunite with her by exploring the different “ringdoms” (levels) of the mysterious and dangerous structure. While “fun” isn’t exactly how the book could be described, Bancroft’s witty prose and poor Thomas’ adventures make for an ideal summer (and, really, all – seasons) read. Tam’s full review here!

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee


If you enjoy over-the-top adventure stories with just a hint of fantasy elements, The Gentleman’s Guide is the book for you! Follow Lord Monty in his European Grand Tour, while he pines after his best friend and manages to create all kind of trouble. Romantic, angsty, funny, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is a fast and hilarious read with a lot of heart. Sharade’s full review here!

Penric and Desdemona by Lois McMaster Bujold


In this series of novellas set in Bujold’s World of the Five Gods, we follow Penric, a young lord, whose life is turned upside down when he becomes possessed with an old demon, Desdemona. The 6 novellas released so far are full of mystery, divine shenanigans and a healthy dose of sass from the worldly and irreverent demon.

A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan


Lady Isabella Trent is famous for being the first female dragon naturalist and her contributions to the field are greatly respected. But even the most illustrious of figures can have humble beginnings. In Volume I of her autobiography, she recounts her first scientific expedition. In the mountains of Vystrana, Isabella encounters not only the dragons that she loves, but hurdles and intrigues she hadn’t planned for… A witty Fantasy of Manners for all dragon lovers.

Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch


Constable Peter Grant of the London Metropolitan Police was supposed to be on boring stakeout duty. But when a ghost suddenly pops up and insists he’s a key eyewitness to a murder, the young cop is thrust into a side of London he never knew existed. Peter’s ghostbustering is noticed by the lone wizard on the force, the cool and collected Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale. Soon the two must race against time to stop the wave of brutal murders engulfing the city. A fast-paced, magical crime story. Tam’s full review here!

A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin


Sometimes you just need a very short, quick read to sit down and relax with. At less than 200 pages, A Wizard of Earthsea is certainly short, but it doesn’t lack substance. This classical fantasy tale has some of the most beautiful prose in the genre. This is the story of Ged, the greatest sorcerer in all of Earthsea, and his life as a youth named Sparrowhawk. There’s magic, there’s dragons, and there’s darkness… but it’s all wrapped up in a palpable sense of wonder.

The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss


After her mother’s death, Mary Jekyll must find some way to earn her living. She decides to solve a decade-old murder committed by her father’s old lab assistant, Mr Hyde, and claim the reward for his capture. With the help of Sherlock Holmes, a certain Miss Hyde who claims to be her half-sister, some other extraordinary women, and a good dollop of Deductive Reasoning, Mary is ready to solve any mystery. A pastiche of Victorian-era fantasy novels in the style of a cozy mystery. Jenia’s full review here!

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers


A wholesome Slice-of-Life story about the crew of a long-distance tunnelling spaceship as they undertake their most dangerous (and must lucrative) job yet. Rosemary is the newest member of the crew of the Wayfarer, and so we get to watch as relationships form and flower as the story moves on. Pick this up if you fancy a relaxing and meandering character-focused tale. Jenia’s full review here!

Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames


Now if you want an action-packed story with a tonne of humour, then this is the book for you. Kings of the Wyld blends DnD madness with rock music culture in a surprisingly seamless way. There’s multiple references to rock icons here, and just as many references to common fantasy tropes that have appeared throughout the years. But at its core, this is a story about a group of old monster-hunting friends reuniting for one last hurrah. They’re getting the band back together. Hiu’s full review here!

The Inn wishes you happy sunbathing and even happier reading!

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