In my defence, I did not mean to get so into playing Fire Emblem: Three Houses. I started it because I wanted to call the main character shithead (only to find out that, sadly, you cannot get people to call you by your name…) and now look at me. I was writing fic for it the other day! It has been a slippery slope to say the least (I restarted the whole game because I hadn’t managed to recruit Linhardt before the big cut scene, so that’s how it’s going).
But anyway! What can I do with my newfound uhhh obsession but rec some books? It’s that or play the game for hours on end while listening to King Falls AM…
Lockdown and all.
P.S. I don’t have any DLCs, so this is just playable characters for the most basic version.
So you want a book that’ll give you those video game vibes…
The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart
The House of Shattered Wings by Aliette de Bodard
Imperial Spy by Mark Robson
Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Krueger
The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson
Pick a character
Black Eagles House
Blue Lions House
Golden Deer House
Church of Seiros and Others
Opening up this list with a little bit of a cheat, because the book isn’t out yet, but. My list, my rules, etc etc. Anyway, I’m not quite sure why this book gives me Edelgard vibes, but it does. Girl, Serpent, Thorn summed up in a few words is “monster girl in a becoming-a-villain arc”. And she’s also bi.
Hubert being a creepy guy, I have to rec a creepy book, obviously. That and I don’t know a whole lot about Hubert, because I’m playing the wrong path to actually get to know him, but whatever. Ghost book it is. Now, I’ll admit to being a baby about paranormal things, but A Light Amongst Shadows is genuinely creepy and also very good. And hopefully a fit for Hubert here.
Shri characterised Ferdie for me as “he literally discovers that racism exists thru his supports w petra. but he takes all criticism to heart and tries his best so post timeskip he’s still as earnest but his idea of nobility changes and he’s basically a valiant comrade”, which is basically all the characters in City of Lies. Also I’m just looking to push this book on you at all times.
Linhardt just typifies the kind of main character who doesn’t want to really get involved with this shit, but is being dragged into it against his will. Which is sort of exactly like Thomas in Weak Heart.
If we’re talking characters who want to prove themselves, rush headlong into things wanting to do what’s right, and perhaps overcompensates, then I think Genie Lo (eponymous heroine of The Epic Crush of Genie Lo) fits that to a tee. Oh, and of course, so does Caspar.
Okay, bear with me here, because this is a rec that may not make a whole load of sense. Basically, Bernadetta is a shy and quiet character, so I was aiming to pick a quiet book. I don’t know how best to explain what I mean by that, but those books that are not particularly expansive but are mostly character-driven. And just have a quiet feeling about them. Anyway, one I think would work for Bernadetta is The Last True Poets of the Sea.
I mean. Come on, you had to expect me to find a way to slot a Courtney Milan book in here. It was more than inevitable. And Dorothea (for reasons good or bad. Don’t get me started on the female characters in this game) seems to be the kind of character who would read romances, to me. And After the Wedding is perfect, if only because I love Cam and Adrian with my whole heart.
Read Empire of Sand. No, I will not be expanding on this, except hostage princess in a hostile land/place, who really just pines for her country and family. And it’s also an excellent book.
Finding out your family is full of lies, everything you’ve ever known is untrue, and facing that betrayal? Dimitri and Esmae can relate. So if you want that kind of angst that comes from having to face off against your entire family, check out A Spark of White Fire.
I just think you should read Mirage. That’s all. And yes, it also fits with Dedue. Fiercely loyal and family-oriented main character and a plot that considers occupation and conquest, and risking everything for a dream.
So basically my thought process here was “Felix is an arsehole, so I’ll rec a book where the main character is also an arsehole”. Full disclosure, I try to avoid interacting with Felix in the game but. I know he’s uhh somewhat of a favourite. So obviously I’m using that favour to shamelessly plug one of the best (and most underrated) books ever, Lord of Secrets.
Is it mean of me to rec a ghost book for Ashe when he’s scared of ghosts? Maybe, but whatever. It’s happening. And The Ghost Bride also has a great Netflix show to go along with it. (Also it’s not really ghosts like paranormal but fantastical ghosts? If that makes sense. If I ever make sense.)
Sylvain is just like [flirts to cover up insecurities] right, so obviously I have to go with A Prince on Paper, where the main character is almost exactly like that. (Sorry, Johan, I know you deserve better than this.) But anyway. Slowburn fake dating to friends to real dating, it’s amazing. Also, I had to rec Alyssa Cole somewhere on here, c’mon.
Honestly, this is another just-a-vibe one, really, and I know I already recced the other book in this series somewhere in the post (further up, further down, who knows because I’m not doing this chronologically). But. For some reason, I think of Mercedes, I get Realm of Ash vibes. Maybe it’s Arwa and Mercedes’ defiance, maybe it’s the quietness and reverance of the book when it comes to religion.
So I could have gone for an obvious choice here, in comparing Annette’s love of cooking to a certain other character’s, but instead I’m going for Tweet Cute. Mostly because the chaoticness of some of Pepper’s creations matches Annette’s general kitchen chaos. But yeah, sure, it’s tenuous.
Here me out. Ingrid suffered a tragic loss when she was young, as did Tess (though to explain more would be spoilers). And Tess of the Road is about confronting your demons and everything. Don’t ask me to explain further why it fits with Ingrid (because I also tend to avoid her in the game), but it just does.
So, Claude. Think research and investigation and a fascination with history and knowledge, and a propensity for plotting. Which is why I think you should be reading The Gilded Wolves. And no, it’s not (just) trying to make you read one of the best YA novels ever.
Okay, hear me out. Lorenz writes poetry. Therefore, who am I to rec anything that’s not poetry when it comes to him. The poetry collection I’m choosing to rec is Cenzontle which I read the other day, along with a whole lot more poetry (that was also amazing, so you have no idea how hard a choice this was). It’s on Scribd too so, really, you have no excuse not to read it.
Raphael loves his sister a whole lot, right, so obviously I have to rec a book that has an excellent sibling relationship, don’t I? And no one does sibling relationships quite like Markus Zusak does sibling relationships. Which is what the whole of Bridge of Clay is predicated on. So. (Also, have tissues to hand. It’s Zusak. You’ll probably cry.)
I’ll happily admit some of the books in this post are a bit like, how tf is this linked to that character but I think, with Ignatz, I’ve actually picked one that makes sense. Picture Us in the Light is about a boy who does art. You see where I’m going with this? Anyway, it’s also a really great book that centres on love, both familial and romantic.
This is more like a vibe that Lysithea and the book share, so you’re just going to have to trust me here. That and there’s a lot of purple involved in the both of them. Sort of. Anyways, read The Bone Witch already you cowards. It’s about time you got with the programme.
Marianne just gives me off those kind of feelings that are perfectly replicated in a quietly magical historical fantasy with lesbians. I don’t make the rules. You know it’s true. So, I have to rec The True Queen, of course. (P. S. it is a sequel, but you can read it on its own.)
In a way, Hilda reminds me of Flora from Her Royal Highness and, since it’s gone midnight and I just want to finish this rec list, that’s the rec you’re getting here. I mean that and I spend a lot of time asking Hilda to be less useless while playing the game, so I don’t know her all that well. But privileged and lazy? Sounds like a royal.
Lesbians? Horses? It’s Leonie all over (as a side note, don’t talk to me about the “not like other girls” bullshit the game has going on with Leonie). But anyway. Read Taking Flight for the horses. And the lesbians.
One of Seteth’s lost items is that unfinished fable, right, so obviously what better book is there to rec than a book full of stories. I mean, in the sense that the story revolves around a bunch of stories, if that makes sense. If not, just read The Starless Sea and it’ll all be clear.
I’m back at it again with the tenuous links! This time, it’s with Flayn and magic and romance, which leads me to rec Moontangled. But let me explain a little better: Flayn does magic, Flayn likes romance, therefore a fantasy romance is just the thing! Yeah, I know. I feel like I’m scraping the barrel a little here too.
It’s absolutely fair to be reccing a book about a character whose brother’s death drives his desire to research and bring to justice the killers linking with a character whose sister’s death somewhat drives his choice of research, right? That noise you hear? That’s the barrel. But anyway, I think there are probably more similarities between Ian in The Huntress and Hanneman. I just can’t name them.
Manuela? Opera. Sing the Four Quarters. Well, there’s singing? Actually, singing is central and it’s how the bards in that world do magic, and honestly I love this book, so I’m just gonna rec it even if it’s a somewhat square-peg-in-a-round-hole fit. It’s a high fantasy, sure, but it’s not expansive and centres on a family relationship largely.
So Gilbert is a loyal and religious knight, The Raven Tower is about gods and also has a main character who is a loyal knight. No, I do not wish to discuss this barrel I have pretty much reached the bottom of now. Also, it’s about the vibes alright?
Alois likes jokes, so obviously I had to pick a book that made me laugh out loud. The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water did just that, although I’m not sure if it’s exactly Alois’ kind of humour. But whatever. I’m sure he’d appreciate it.
Catherine’s a knight with a serious loyalty to her patron, Kalanthe is also a knight with a serious amount of loyalty to her patron. So, it just makes sense to pair Catherine with The Afterward. Not to mention Kalanthe falls in love with Olsa while on their quest, them being sort of partners and all (*cough cough* Shamir).
I would say we have reached the point of the rec list where I no longer know if these are genuine connections I’m making or I’m just talking out my arse, but I think we’re way past that point, actually. Anyway. Does Shamir actually remind me of Cheris from Ninefox Gambit (with a side order of Jedao), or am I just hallucinating? We will never know.
Let’s talk main characters who are manipulated into being loyal to a fault because they feel they owe someone something. Do I mean Cyril or do I mean Csorwe from The Unspoken Name? You decide.
Please avert thine eyes while I rec a fantasy book by a cishet white man, but this one is actually good, I promise. The main characters are mercenaries and their relationship is so good, and then they pick up a found family of sorts, and really? Theft of Swords is the one valid cishet white man fantasy.
If I knew a book about a character who had had a goddess forcibly planted in them, I would rec that here. Sadly, I do not, so the rec you’re getting instead is The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. Because there are gods interacting with humans? And the main character is an outsider.
And there you see how quickly I ran out of ideas in this post.
What would you rec?