The topic for March’s Monthly Recommendations is duologies! I’m hoping that with the popularity of Six of Crows (which you know is going to be on my list), we’ll start seeing more duologies pop up. I think it’s a nice change of pace from your usual trilogy or full-fledged series because you get more than you would out of a standalone, but you don’t have to wait forever for the series to be completed.
While I love a good duology, I’m afraid my list is a bit short. So many duologies become popular enough that authors decide to write more books in the series, so I can’t include those on my list (*cough* To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before *cough*). There are also a few books where I liked them when they were standalones, but the sequels that turned them into duologies weren’t my favorite, so I chose not to include those. Regardless, I’m excited about the handful of books that did make my list!
Oh, and don’t forget to check out the Goodreads group here for even more recommendations.
Six of Crows/Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
As mentioned above, there was no way this duology wasn’t making it onto this list after I included it in my favorite books of 2017. If you aren’t familiar with Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo yet, it’s a heist story following six different characters in a fantasy world as they break into one of the most heavily guarded courts in the world and kidnap a hostage at the center of a drug outbreak that has a dangerous affect on magic users.
I enjoy these books so, so much. As I said in my favorite books post, these are such thrilling reads that are so fun and fast-paced that you can’t help falling in love with them. Bardugo just did a great job creating these characters and pulling in a bunch of very real issues, like sex trafficking and slavery and discrimination and prejudice. It was excellently conceived and executed and I can’t recommend it enough to fantasy fans.
Passenger/Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken
Passenger and Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken are a fun time travel duology that I really enjoyed. The duology starts with Etta’s violin performance at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which goes sideways when her mentor is shot and she’s sucked into a time hole that sends her back to the nineteenth century. There she meets ship captain Nicholas, and together they embark on a quest to hunt down a mysterious object that a powerful time-traveling family is searching for.
I’ll admit, the first one was stronger for me personally. It was a lot of fun to learn about the time travel of this world and see the different historical time periods, plus I really enjoyed the case of characters. I really enjoyed Passenger, but it took me a bit longer to get into Wayfarer, and I wasn’t totally sold on the conclusion of the duology. Still, I really enjoyed these books and think they’re worth checking out if you like time travel and YA historical fiction.
Trickster’s Choice/Trickster’s Queen by Tamora Pierce
I’m a bit hesitant to include Trickster’s Choice and Trickster’s Queen on this list because it’s been a really long time since I’ve read these books, but Tamora Pierce is a fantasy icon for a reason. In this duology, Aly wants to follow in her father’s footsteps and enter into the world of spycraft, but her life takes a turn when she’s captured and sold as a slave to an exiled royal family. Her kidnapping turns out to be part of a much larger scheme, though, and Aly becomes caught up in a high-stakes game to reclaim the kingdom.
From what I can recall, this duology was a really fun fantasy involving politics and adventure and gods and queens, and I loved it when I was younger. In fact, I think it might have been my first introduction into the world of Tortall. Plus I thought the romance was adorable and was obsessed with Nawat. It definitely still holds a special place in my heart, and I’m excited to go back and revisit the world of Tortall.
Alright, those are the three duologies that I definitely recommend checking out, especially if you enjoy fantasy. I wanted to include some other genres on here, but most of the non-fantasy YA that I read are standalones (though I’m thinking The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue might turn out to be a duology?). And while there are a few duologies in romance, that genre heavily favors longer series.
This post is making me really excited to read some of the duologies I’ve been wanting to get to for a while! Now that it’s finished, I’d like to get to the Monsters of Verity duology by Victoria Schwab, plus The Assassin’s Curse duology by Cassandra Rose Clark sounds fun. I’m also interested in the Strange the Dreamer duology by Laini Taylor, but I’m a bit reluctant to pick it up since I didn’t love The Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy. We’ll see.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, the two duologies where I actually recommend skipping the sequels are Seraphina by Rachel Hartman and The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. I really enjoyed Seraphina, but I couldn’t stand the sequel and regretted reading it after I finished. I keep debating whether I even want to keep my copy of the sequel on my shelves because I was that disappointed. And I loved The Rosie Project and thought it was a really fun read, but the sequel just didn’t live up to the first one. It’s not bad, I’m not mad I read it, I just didn’t think it added anything and wasn’t a necessary continuation of the story. I’d rather just reread the first book.
Anyways, let me know in the comments what some of your favorite duologies are!