5 SFF Books About Rebellion and Overthrowing the Government

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Ann Foster

Staff Writer

Ann can often be found walking very slowly through the aisles of bookstores, making sure that nothing new has come out she doesn’t know about yet, and then eagerly telling people about them. She writes about women from history at, and about books, film, TV, and feminism at various other sites. She prefers her books to include at least three excellent plot twists, which is why she usually reads the end first. Twitter: @annfosterwriter

Stories of rebellion and revolution have long been a staple in all types of books, especially science fiction and fantasy. The stories of brave rebels fighting against unjust regimes are familiar to fans of series like Dune, Star Wars, The Hunger Games, and more. Maybe it’s partly the wish fulfillment of seeing ourselves in these otherworldly heroes. Maybe it’s how sometimes we can understand our own current struggles best through magical adventures in far-off lands. Whatever your reason for enjoying a good tale of riot and rebellion, we’re sure you’ll enjoy these five recent titles:

cover image of The Vanished Queen by Lisabeth Campbell

The Vanished Queen by Lisbeth Campbell

Set in a world where resistance is as dangerous as it is important, this is the story of the courage and sacrifice required to take on a tyrant. After Anza’s father was unjustly executed by King Karolje, she joins a revolutionary group to remove him from the throne. An encounter with the King’s son, Prince Esvar, thrusts her into a dangerous game of court politics. If this unlikely duo fails, the rebellion could die along with them.

cover image of The Poppy War

The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang

This series from the recent Hugo Award-winning author features Rin, a dark-skinned peasant girl who surprises everyone when she aces an Empire-wide test to find the most talented youth. Targeted by her classmates at the academy for her color, poverty, and gender, Rin finds respite exploring her lethal, unearthly power. She soon realizes that her powers may be the only way to save her people from war. But in a world where Gods are more than legends, she fears that winning the war may cost her humanity.

cover image of the bone shard daughter

The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart

The Emperor has reigned for decades, relying on the forbidden art of bone shard magic to retain his power. As revolution sweeps across the Empire’s many islands, his daughter Lin spends her days trapped in a palace of locked doors and dark secrets. Rejected by her father as his heir, she vows to prove her worth by mastering bone shard magic. When the revolution reaches the gates of the palace, Lin must decide how far she is willing to go to claim her birthright and save her people.

savage legion cover image

Savage Legion by Matt Wallace

The first in a new series from a Hugo Award–winning author presents a utopian city with a dark secret, and the underdogs who will expose it, or die trying. The empire relies on an efficient and expendable army called the Savages. But Evie is not a Savage, she’s a warrior on a mission to find the only man capable of ending the mass conscription of the empire’s poor and wretched. This means she must become a Savage. Evie will die a Savage if she has to, but not before showing the world who she really is and what the Savage Legion can really do.

city of lies book cover

City Of Lies by Sam Hawke

The first in The Poison Wars series focuses on Jovan, master of poisons and chemicals, trained to protect the Chancellor’s family from treachery. When the Chancellor succumbs to an unknown poison and an army lays siege to the city, Jovan and his sister Kalina must protect the Heir and save their city-state. But treachery lurks in every corner, and the ancient spirits of the land are rising…and angry.

Can’t get enough books about rebellion? Here’s our list of 100 Must Read Books About Rebellion, and for some true stories, try these Nonfiction Books About Revolutions And Uprisings.