The Sharing Knife: Beguilement
This is one of my most-recommended books and it was a Christmas treat to re-read it! It might be surprising that this quiet little low-magic novel with a romance novel structure is something I've recommended to literally dozens of people, but then on the other hand a book this unusual AND this fun is a great example of about a dozen different writing innovations, which is worth pointing out to people.
Things in THE SHARING KNIFE that you don't see every day:
* a 'medieval' fantasy setting without kings, lords, evil overlords, warring armies, or in fact any kind of organized government at all (I've recommended this book as an example of anarchism in practice)
* a fighting-evil-monsters novel that's structured as a romance (it has dual protagonists! It ends with a wedding! I've got multiple writer friends trying to do similar things who have searched desperately for published examples of this)
* a (happy!) romance between two characters who are both disabled (Yes, Fawn counts as disabled: not only does she have a serious injury that results in chronic pain, but among the Lakewalkers she's unable to perceive a level of sensory awareness that everyone around her has, as though she were blind or deaf, and it affects her social standing and ability)
* completely, 100% unique monsters, magic system, and metaphysical structure that somehow feels intuitive and simple
* pregnancy, miscarriage, uterine issues, and menstruation on the page
* post-post-apocalypse happiness
I love this book and you probably will too (unless you're one of the joyless reviewers on Goodreads who feel cheated by a fantasy novel that treats its characters as humans with personal lives).