The greatest fantasy fiction uses the boundless power of imagination to examine the deep limitations that exist in the real world. Evan Winter knows that, and his originally self-published debut, The Rage of Dragons, underlines the importance that the fantasy genre can have in reckoning with life on earth. Winter, who was born in the U.K. to South American parents with African ancestry, has said he wished to create a world that reflected his family and their global experiences. The Rage of Dragons, touted as a cross between Gladiator and Game of Thrones, is set among the Omehi people, where every so often a woman is born with “the Gift” to control dragons and their destructive power. The book’s main character is Tau, a swordsman from an oppressed class who is out for revenge after a terrible tragedy. Winter’s debut was re-released by publisher Orbit as part of a four-book deal and won Reddit’s Fantasy Award for best debut novel. The anticipated sequel, Fires of Vengeance, is due in November 2020. —Peter Allen Clark

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