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  • Writer's pictureThe Fiction Fox

Magical Readathon Orilium: Recommendations

Updated: Jul 28, 2022

Although my TBR is already complete and set, I wanted to use the Magical Readathon as an excuse to talk about some books I’ve (recently) loved as well. What better way to do that, then to give you some recommendations for some of the more specific prompts that are included in the subjects. G always does an amazing job of balancing her prompts to create a mix of highly specific and very up for interpretation. Following below is a list of the 14 subjects, and their more “specific” prompts, as well as 3 books to match the prompt that I’d recommend. All titles are linked to their respective Goodreads pages, for easy reference, and full synopsises. With that all out of the way: let's talk books:

Animal Studies:

Study of Familiars: a book featuring animal companions

  • Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger recommended for: anyone who’s ever wanted to read about a ghost-dog-companion.

  • His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman recommended for: pretty much any fantasy reader! This is such a foundational part of the fantasy-cannon, that you have to at least give it a go. The “companions” in this case are actually reflections of peoples souls/personality manifesting as shapeshifting animal companions, that takes permanent form as you age.

  • A Million Things – Emily Spurr recommended for: if you’re in the market for a good cry. In this heart-breaking, yet hopeful story, a young girl faced with a terrible tragedy, keeps herself standing against all odds with the help of her grumpy elderly neighbour and her beloved family dog. Grab your tissues, because you’ll need them.

Familiar Hare: a book with a rabbits on the cover or title Note that I’m including both hare as well as rabbits, as both can be very similar looking, depending on illustration style.

Familiar Raven: a book with a raven on the cover or title Same here: I’m including both ravens as well as crows. I’m also leaving out Six of Crows and The Raven Boys, as I feel like they’re a given already…

  • Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse recommended for: fans of epic fantasy, set in a phenomenally built world with pre-Columbian American influences.

  • Year One by Nora Roberts recommended for: dystopian readers who aren’t over the pandemic trope yet

  • Ordinary Monsters by J.M. Miro recommended for: fans of the world of Harry Potter, the vibes of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell and the magical orphanage-trope of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, but aged up to an adult audience.


Ravensparn: a story featuring archers/rangers

Meile: a book featuring multiple people on the cover There are too many good options for this one to feature all, but if you want some advice on where to find some; check out some (classic) fantasy covers or movie-adaptation covers, as they will often feature multiple cast members.


Basics of Poisons: a book from someone’s “worst” list For this one, I’m giving you three of my personal worst books, that I know are very beloved by others. It pains me to “recommend” these in any way shape or form, but I know that many other readers hold these close to their hard.

Adidic Amber: a book with an orange cover

  • Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power recommended for: YA-thriller readers and fans of the trope of the spooky rural village surrounded by haunted cornfields…

  • The Martian by Andy Weir recommended for: sci-fi readers in search of a hopeful survival tale with a phenomenal snarky, inventive and resilient protagonist. Because what better to read for a book with an orange cover, than one set on the orange planet.

  • Maps of Our Spectacular Bodies by Maddie Mortimer I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to shout out this recent favourite; a lyrical literary debut about a woman’s co-inhabitation of her body with the cancer that upturned her life, and that of her family. This won’t be a recommendation for everybody, but it felt so much like a quintessential me-book, that I had to mention it. Speaking of quintessential me-books about disability/illness/body: I could also recommend Sitting Pretty, a memoir by wheelchair-using author and poet Rebekah Taussig for this prompt.


Arcane Engineering: a book featuring AI


Necromancy: a book featuring necromancy

Tales of Bonefell: “bone” on the cover or in the title


Imp Wrangler: read a fantasy although there’s choice aplenty, I can’t pass up an opportunity to talk about some of my recent fantasy-favourites.


Inking techniques: an illustrated book As comics/manga’s/graphic novels are a genre I’ve personally never been able to get into, I’ve altered this prompt to include illustrated works as well. If you want to similarly alter the prompt, here are some suggestions on which books to use for them.

  • Julia and the Shark or Leila and the Blue Fox, both by Kiran Millwood Hargrave & Tom the Feston recommended for: fans of middle grade novels with themes of family and mental health, combined with an exploration of the natural world. Artstyle-wise: stunning black and white illustrations with accents of a single colour (yellow for Julia, and blue for Leia)

  • Tales from the Inner City or The Arrival, both by Shaun Tan recommended for: fans of illustrated short-stories with themes of belonging and viewing the world through a lens different from your own. Art style-wise: multicoloured watercolour illustrations

  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman recommended for: dark-fairy tale lovers, or anyone interested in the exploration of childhood memories and the way we see the world as kids (that’s what I personally loved most about this tale). Art style-wise: black and white shaded ink illustrations.

Stilling the mind: a cosy read

Elemental studies:

The Element of Water: Start a book with a drink This one is a little “up for interpretation”, as I feel like G just meant to have a drink whilst reading this next read. Still, I wanted to give some “drink-specific” recommendations that would be perfect to pair with their corresponding drink.

Wave Manipulation: a sea setting


Ancient Caves of Daerune: a desert setting

Psionics and Divination:

Time-theory: A book featuring time-travel


Object restoration: a single object as the focus on the cover

  • Middegame by Seanan McGuire recommended for: fantasy fans who love stories of alchemy, metaphysical shenanigans and slightly disturbed but lovable characters. Must be able to suspend your disbelieve and confusion in order to get into the story though.

  • The Hollow Places by T. Kingfisher recommended for: fans of The Willows by Algernon Blackwood, or anyone interested in portal-fantasy meets horror.

  • If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio recommended for: fans of dark academia, or The Secret History but with younger protagonists.


Formation of Wings: wings on the cover

Arcane Anatomy: “Anatomy” in the title

I hope this list has helped at least one of you with finding the right book to add to your personal TBR. I could've honestly made this list longer, so if you're looking fo a specific recommendation, I'd love to help you out. Feel free to message me on Goodreads or my blog. Until then, happy reading.


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