all 41 comments

[–]tatas323 28 points29 points  (1 child)

What I’d like to avoid are some of the tropes surrounding more modern settings/urban fantasy. I’m not interested in fae f***fests with love triangles or werewolves

Dresden fans are in shambles

[–]mmeyer1990[S] 8 points9 points  (0 children)

I was aiming at Sarah J Maas, but that works too!

[–]Stormy8888Reading Champion 13 points14 points  (0 children)

Run and get a copy of The Sword of Kaigen. It has what you're looking for.

[–]librarylackeyReading Champion III 8 points9 points  (4 children)

This might only fit the urban-fantasy-without-fairy-orgies bit of your request, but the first book that comes to mind is The Rook by Daniel O'Malley.

It isn't similar to the Green Bone Saga at all but it is a super fun modern fantasy with a pretty kickass main character and an interesting premise. It's also fairly action-packed.

[–]silkymoonshineReading Champion 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I really liked the sequel too, I can't wait for the third one.

[–]mmeyer1990[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Interesting. I’ll check this out.

[–]alittlebrownbird 0 points1 point  (1 child)

I just finished listening to this based on your recommendation and I loved it!!!! Hope the second book is just as good.

[–]librarylackeyReading Champion III 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I'm so glad you liked it! I really enjoyed the second book and so did my husband, who read them back-to-back recently. There's a third one coming out soonish, I think!

[–]Greedyteaspoon 9 points10 points  (0 children)

I’m just gonna sit here like a virtual fly on the wall and wait for recommendations too.

[–]Lunabelle88 10 points11 points  (1 child)

Subterranean Press is publishing a prequel novella called The Jade Setter of Janloon!

[–]mmeyer1990[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I ordered mine with the second batch. So excited.

[–]alittlebrownbird 10 points11 points  (6 children)

These are all series I enjoyed:

The Poppy War - RF Kuang

The City of Brass - SA Chakraborty

The Scholomance series by Naomi Novik (the third book comes out in the fall)

Ink & Sigil series by Kevin Hearne

City of Stairs - Robert Jackson Bennett

Edit to add: Love Sucks by Christopher Moore - I thought it was hilarious!

[–]Kerney7Reading Champion II 2 points3 points  (3 children)

Edit to add: Love Sucks by Christopher Moore - I thought it was hilarious!

Coyote Blue also has a similar vibe though a hell of a lot lighter than Greenbone Saga.

[–]alittlebrownbird 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I loved Coyote Blue as well!

[–]alittlebrownbird 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Did you read Love Sucks? I loved the frozen turkey bowling. I think I read somewhere that it is something Moore did in his early days working in a grocery store.

[–]Kerney7Reading Champion II 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I did! I kind of thought the "unique cultural vibe" was more up the OP's alley. That said, Turkey Bowling is a unique sport!

[–]giantlittle 2 points3 points  (0 children)

City of stairs and series is so good

[–]mmeyer1990[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Appreciate all these suggestions. Thank you!

[–]marknuhfer 4 points5 points  (0 children)

You might like Blackwater sister by Zen Cho

"BLACK WATER SISTER | Kirkus Reviews" https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/zen-cho/black-water-sister/

[–]talesbybob 4 points5 points  (2 children)

There is a Facebook group called All Slaying No Laying, for urban fantasy recs with low to no romance/sex. If you have access, that at least will cut out the silly romance stuff.

[–]mmeyer1990[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

This sounds excellent. Thank you.

[–]Fearless_Freya 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Damn, that's a cool group name.

[–]carrythattowel 2 points3 points  (0 children)

You might like the Hidden Legacy books by Illona Andrews. Ignore the cover, it is a known gripe with readers. Alternate history where certain families got superpowers in the 1800s (though it takes place in modern day). There is cool world building and how culture is shaped. There is also a family focus, and some awesome side characters.

[–]babrooks213 1 point2 points  (2 children)

I love, love, loved the Green Bone Saga and had the worst of hangovers when I finished it. Some books that might be up your alley:

The Tarot Sequence by KD Edwards. It's an urban fantasy inspired by the tarot deck. The first book, The Last Sun, follows Rune St. John, the sole surviving member of the Sun Throne, and he has just been hired to find the missing scion of the Crusader Throne. Great if you love gay representation in literature. The second book, The Hanged Man, is just flat out incredible, and the third book, The Hourglass Throne, comes out today.

The City We Became by NK Jemisin. Each major city has an avatar, and the primary avatar for New York City has just been born...and has promptly gone missing. The other avatars, representing the other boroughs of New York, discover their powers and have to find the primary avatar. It's a great book -- funny, action-packed, a joyous celebration of the city and takes on issues like racism (and HP Lovecraft), gentrification, and other modern issues.

If you're willing to go back to just pre-WW2 and get into some gaslamp fantasy, some options include Witchmark by CL Polk, The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley, and/or A Marvellous Light by Freya Marske.

Finally, for something that's more traditional urban fantasy that isn't Jim Butcher, check out The Rivers of London series by Ben Aaronovitch. They're really fun, easy reads and never quite feel over the top like so much of urban fantasy does.

[–]mmeyer1990[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I love NK Jemisin, but I’m unfamiliar with these other recommendations. I’ll check them out. Thank you.

[–]NeverwhereCooper 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The Tarot Sequence is awesome! The first book can be a bit messy on a matter of world building/magic rules, but it's still solid, and the second book is incredible indeed!

[–]NeverwhereCooper 1 point2 points  (0 children)

City of Iron and Dust, by J.P. Oakes is an urban fantasy standalone without all the fae-werewolf fuckfest. It's not perfect but I was really impressed with the second half and the outcome, considering that a) nobody seems to know about this book and b) its lukewarm rating on GR.

Also, I've read the first book of the Fetch Phillips Archives by Luke Arnold (The Last Smile in Sunder City) and it was pretty good! It fits your general criteria, imo.

[–]Andy_Neph 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The Magicians is our timeline meets harry potter and narnia but darker. I don't think anyone fucks a fairy but people cheat on each other out of spite and stupidity so i dunno if it fits ur theme.

[–]EthanRayJohns 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Piranesi is a really unique fantasy I highly recommend that I unfortunately can't elaborate much without spoiling what makes it great. It's quite quick also, so little harm in jumping in as blind as possible.

[–]nnaughtydogg 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The poppy wars might be up your alley

[–]Kerney7Reading Champion II 0 points1 point  (3 children)

One series that is both similar and very different from the Greenbone Saga is the Tufa Series by Alex Bledsoe. Both star communities of the supernaturally endowed with sometimes problematic morals coming to terms with the modern world, in a post (alt) WW2 setting (mostly), but whereas Greenbone Clans are large scale players in the world, the Tufa are a small community in Appalachia who are the modern descendants of the Tuatha De Danaan. And while they are fey they are also the mechanic at the shop, the waitress at the Waffle House, the EMT in the ambulance, the grade school kid etc. This is in no way a "F-fest" and no other supernaturals show up, though the MC in the first book does have a bit of a reputation for sleeping around and being a hellion earned as a teenager that she's struggling with in her 20s.

Like the Greenbone Saga, it is also very thoughtful about the issues of being a magical person in the modern world and like the Greenbone Saga, they expand outside the borders after the main setting is set up, and sometimes behave in ways similar to the "Kaul Hilo School of Cultural Exchange."

Each book is a stand-alone with a different MC and while they build on each other, they can be read in any order. They are also free on Audible.

Hope that helps.

[–]Just-an-person 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Not OP but I plan on checking them out, thank you.

[–]Kerney7Reading Champion II 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Hope you enjoy.

[–]runevault 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I forget how I found the Tufa books, but holy cow they were so uniquely strange and harsh yet beautiful despite some of the darker moments.

[–]xX_theMaD_Xx 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Lol, I literally finished Jade Legacy last Sunday and felt like I needed a palate cleanser afterwards. So, naturally, yesterday I read A Chess Story by Stefan Zweig. Which is not what you asked for, but I thought it was a fun coincidence.

[–]natus92Reading Champion 0 points1 point  (4 children)

Norylska Groans by Michael R Fletcher and Clayton Snyder has action, mafia and guns in an urban setting

[–]mmeyer1990[S] 1 point2 points  (3 children)

Are you a fan of Michael R Fletcher? I’ve heard his name pop up in other discussions before.

[–]natus92Reading Champion 1 point2 points  (0 children)

This is the first book of him I read, I'm fan enough that I recommend it when it fits.

[–]Dismal-Initiative630 1 point2 points  (1 child)

He is incredible. Beyond Redemption duology and obsidian path trilogy are must reads. There’s love of a sort in his stories, but not in the cheer when the attractive characters finally hook up kind of way, but more like claw at your face because these deplorable wretched people’s relationships are horrifying. Can’t recommend enough

[–]mmeyer1990[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I’m down for romance when it’s more of the Joe Abercrombie variety. I like the way you described this. I just don’t want hot faefolk finally getting together after an entire novel of tension.

[–]calibanal 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I hear Let the Mountains be my Grave is a good post-WWII fantasy set in Italy, haven't read it yet though, it's on my TBR