Books I Want to See On Screen!

Posted 18th August 2020 by Sia in Top Ten Tuesdays / 0 Comments


Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. Check out upcoming Top Ten themes on Jana’s blog!

This TTT prompt is very timely, since Netflix announced not long ago that they’re looking for IPs to turn into their own big movie franchises.

Now, if you read the article, they say they’re looking for PG stuff, but this list is about what I wish would get adapted, not what books might actually be a good fit for them!

Kushiel's Dart (Phèdre's Trilogy, #1) by Jacqueline Carey

The land of Terre d'Ange is a place of unsurpassing beauty and grace. It is said that angels found the land and saw it was good... and the ensuing race that rose from the seed of angels and men live by one simple rule: Love as thou wilt.

Phèdre nó Delaunay is a young woman who was born with a scarlet mote in her left eye. Sold into indentured servitude as a child, her bond is purchased by Anafiel Delaunay, a nobleman with very a special mission... and the first one to recognize who and what she is: one pricked by Kushiel's Dart, chosen to forever experience pain and pleasure as one.

Phèdre is trained equally in the courtly arts and the talents of the bedchamber, but, above all, the ability to observe, remember, and analyze. Almost as talented a spy as she is courtesan, Phèdre stumbles upon a plot that threatens the very foundations of her homeland. Treachery sets her on her path; love and honor goad her further. And in the doing, it will take her to the edge of despair... and beyond. Hateful friend, loving enemy, beloved assassin; they can all wear the same glittering mask in this world, and Phèdre will get but one chance to save all that she holds dear.

Set in a world of cunning poets, deadly courtiers, heroic traitors, and a truly Machiavellian villainess, this is a novel of grandeur, luxuriance, sacrifice, betrayal, and deeply laid conspiracies. Not since Dune has there been an epic on the scale of Kushiel's Dart-a massive tale about the violent death of an old age, and the birth of a new.

Could anyone do justice to the Kushiel series? I’m not sure, but I’d love to see someone really try! And it would make such an amazing contrast and counter to GoT and its ilk – a lot of sex, even kinky sex, but sex-positive instead of gross and rapey! Give it a huge budget, gorgeous costumes, sets, really beautiful artistic camera-work… Gods, it could be perfect.

The Dragon’s Legacy (The Dragon's Legacy #1) by Deborah A. Wolf

The last Aturan King is dying, and as his strength fades so does his hold  on  sa  and  ka. Control of this power is a deadly lure; the Emperor stirs in his Forbidden City to the East, while deep in the Seared Lands, the whispering voices of  Eth bring secret death.

Eight men and women take their first steps along the paths to war, barely realizing that their world will soon face a much greater threat; at the heart of the world, the Dragon stirs in her sleep.

A warrior would become Queen, a Queen would become a monster, and a young boy plays his bird-skull flute to keep the shadows of death at bay.

Yeah, I know – I never shut up about this series. But that’s because it’s freaking epic! Dragon’s Legacy blows Game of Thrones out of the water, with a cast dominated by incredible women (but without GoT’s sexual violence), desert and East Asian-esque settings rather than quasi-Europe, psychic tusked tigers, kingdoms clashing, and saving the world depending on not bringing the dragons back! I’d love to see the settings and costumes of Legacy given as much exquisite detail as GoT did, and the dreaming realm, and…just, it could be so great.

The Black Jewels Trilogy: Daughter of the Blood, Heir to the Shadows, Queen of the Darkness (The Black Jewels, #1-3) by Anne Bishop

Seven hundred years ago, a Black Widow witch saw an ancient prophecy come to life in her web of dreams and visions.

Now the Dark Kingdom readies itself for the arrival of its Queen, a Witch who will wield more power than even the High Lord of Hell himself. But she is still young, still open to influence--and corruption.

Whoever controls the Queen controls the darkness. Three men--sworn enemies--know this. And they know the power that hides behind the blue eyes of an innocent young girl. And so begins a ruthless game of politics and intrigue, magic and betrayal, where the weapons are hate and love--and the prize could be terrible beyond imagining...

A friend of mine and I have spent years discussing how the Black Jewels series would translate to the screen, and gods, if it was done well it would be incredible. It would have to be handled carefully – there’s a lot of sexual violence, especially in book one of the series – but maybe it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world to put woman-on-man sexual violence in the forefront for once (not to titillate, but to draw attention to the real-world issue)? But the aesthetic, the world, the magic, the story of corrupting a society versus holding it together through honour? And the KINDRED!

I think a really great Black Jewels tv series would change and expand the story from what it is in the books, but I would give a lot for a worthy adaptation!

Written in Red (The Others, #1) by Anne Bishop

As a cassandra sangue, or blood prophet, Meg Corbyn can see the future when her skin is cut—a gift that feels more like a curse. Meg’s Controller keeps her enslaved so he can have full access to her visions. But when she escapes, the only safe place Meg can hide is at the Lakeside Courtyard—a business district operated by the Others.

Shape-shifter Simon Wolfgard is reluctant to hire the stranger who inquires about the Human Liaison job. First, he senses she’s keeping a secret, and second, she doesn’t smell like human prey. Yet a stronger instinct propels him to give Meg the job. And when he learns the truth about Meg and that she’s wanted by the government, he’ll have to decide if she’s worth the fight between humans and the Others that will surely follow.

The Others series is urban fantasy…if humans didn’t rule the world. It’s another that would need some careful handling – Meg, the main character, sees prophecies whenever her skin is cut, and you’d have to be careful not to go into self-harm territory. But this series is, ultimately, about what would happen if there was something bigger and badder out there to step in if humans grew too toxic, and I love that. Not to mention finding a way to depict the Elementals, and the Elders, would be fantastic!

Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1) by Laini Taylor

Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.
And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands", she speaks many languages - not all of them human - and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

Although I no longer count this among my favourite series, I still think Daughter of Smoke and Bone could make for a really beautiful – and powerful – show. The world always needs more stories about love overcoming hate, after all.

King's Dragon (Crown of Stars, #1) by Kate Elliott

Set in an alternate Europe where bloody conflicts rage, the first book of the Crown of Stars epic fantasy series chronicles a world-shaking conflict for the survival of humanity

It begins with civil war....

For though King Henry still holds the crown of Wendar, his reign has long been contested by his sister Sabella. There are many eager to flock to her banner, and there are ways to make even the most unwilling lord into a weapon pointed at the heart of Henry’s realm.

Torn by internal strife, Wendar also faces deadly raids from the north by an inhuman race, the Eika. And now terrifying portents are being seen; old ruins restored to life under the light of the full moon and peopled by the long-vanished Lost Ones; dark spirits walking the land in broad daylight.

And suddenly two innocents are about to be thrust into the middle of the conflict.
Liath, who has spent her early years fleeing from unknown enemies, is a young woman with the power to change the course of history if she can only learn to master her fear and seize what is rightfully hers.

While Alain, a young man who may find his future in a vision granted by the Lady of Battles, must first unravel the mystery of who he is—whether the bastard son of a noble father, the half-breed child of an elfin lord, the unwanted get of a whore, or the heir to a proud and ancient lineage. For only when he discovers the truth can he accept the destiny for which he was born.

Liath and Alain, each trapped in a personal struggle for survival, both helplessly being drawn into a far greater battle, a war in which sorcery not swords will determine the final outcome, and the land itself may be irrevocably reshaped by the forces unleashed....

The Crown of Stars series is another that can be compared to GoT…favourably. It’s better, more complicated, and has much, much higher stakes. Draconic humanoids, centaurs, Aztec-inspired elves, star-magic, even time-travel – this series has everything. A medieval Europe aesthetic, but with a matriarchal angle (the Pope’s a woman!), and so much political intrigue… It would blow people away.

Feed (Newsflesh Trilogy, #1) by Mira Grant

The year was 2014. We had cured cancer. We had beaten the common cold. But in doing so we created something new, something terrible that no one could stop.

The infection spread, virus blocks taking over bodies and minds with one, unstoppable command: FEED.

Now, twenty years after the Rising, bloggers Georgia and Shaun Mason are on the trail of the biggest story of their lives—the dark conspiracy behind the infected.

The truth will get out, even if it kills them.

Take The Walking Dead, have the humans ‘win’, add the issues around journalism and a presidential race with life-and-death stakes – and you’ve got the Newsfeed series. Honestly, this would probably be the easiest to adapt to screen, even with having to sacrifice the brilliance of Georgia’s first-person narration. It’s so screen-ready. Why hasn’t this been optioned yet?!

The Imaginary Corpse by Tyler Hayes

A dinosaur detective in the land of unwanted ideas battles trauma, anxiety, and the first serial killer of imaginary friends.

Most ideas fade away when we're done with them. Some we love enough to become Real. But what about the ones we love, and walk away from?

Tippy the triceratops was once a little girl's imaginary friend, a dinosaur detective who could help her make sense of the world. But when her father died, Tippy fell into the Stillreal, the underbelly of the Imagination, where discarded ideas go when they're too Real to disappear. Now, he passes time doing detective work for other unwanted ideas - until Tippy runs into The Man in the Coat, a nightmare monster who can do the impossible: kill an idea permanently. Now Tippy must overcome his own trauma and solve the case, before there's nothing left but imaginary corpses.

File Under: Fantasy [ Fuzzy Fiends - Death to Imagination - Hardboiled but Sweet - Not Barney ]

Could this work without the brilliance of Tippy’s narration??? I’m not sure – Tippy is one of my favourite first-person characters EVER – but I’d love to see a good attempt. And maybe you could keep the narration? Think Sin City, but hopepunk and whimsical – that could be freaking amazing, actually!

Although you might have to swap Sin City’s red highlights for yellow – how else would viewers appreciate that the detective main character is a yellow triceratops plushie???

The Gift (The Books of Pellinor, #1) by Alison Croggon

Maerad is a slave in a desperate and unforgiving settlement, taken there as a child when her family is destroyed in war. She is unaware that she possesses a powerful gift, a gift that marks her as a member of the School of Pellinor. It is only when she is discovered by Cadvan, one of the great Bards of Lirigon, that her true heritage and extraordinary destiny unfolds. Now she and her teacher, Cadvan, must survive a punishing and uncertain journey through a time and place where the dark forces they battle with stem from the deepest recesses of other-worldly terror.

The Pellinor series is a big epic fantasy, very reminiscent of LotR or Wheel of Time…but with an even smaller cast. A huge part of what makes these books so special is the writing, but I think the setting, story and characters might just make the transition to screen, with the right production company, director – and, of course, cast! And now is a pretty good time for female chosen ones, after She-Ra and similar shows. I think it could be excellent.

The Last Sun (The Tarot Sequence, #1) by K.D. Edwards

Rune Saint John, last child of the fallen Sun Court, is hired to search for Lady Judgment's missing son, Addam, on New Atlantis, the island city where the Atlanteans moved after ordinary humans destroyed their original home.
With his companion and bodyguard, Brand, he questions Addam's relatives and business contacts through the highest ranks of the nobles of New Atlantis. But as they investigate, they uncover more than a missing man: a legendary creature connected to the secret of the massacre of Rune's Court. In looking for Addam, can Rune find the truth behind his family's death and the torments of his past?

And finally – the Tarot Sequence! Which has been optioned…they need to make up their minds and make the show already!!!

What books would YOU love to see as a movie or TV show?


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