Varian’s Recommendations

Varian the Toadshifter, with a hand over his heart, with a staff, shield, sword, and bow around him. A sewing needle and thread is above his head, lit up for emphasis.

One of the Pond’s inhabitants, Varian the Toadshifter, is working hard to improve their skills in sewing to create lovely costumes.

Every time you visit Varian and they have something to show you, they’ll also recommend some books that inspired their costume. You can read a little more about Varian’s life and story here!


You approach the Pond during one of your visits. You think about Varian the Toadshifter, and how you would like to revisit your memories to see their costumes again. The Pond emits a soft purple pulse of light in response to your silent question, and its magic envelopes you as it takes you back to the past.

varian - diverseanthologies

Remember Varian’s very first costume? It was a rainbow and they had recommended some diverse anthologies that inspired their costume. They also told you more about their story, explained what a Toadshifter was and what they do, and how they ended up in the Pond. See their recommendations for diverse anthologies! →


Varian the toad wearing a panda costume, holding onto a red cup with tea.Varian’s second costume was a lot cuter and fluffier! They dressed up as a giant panda for the Year of the Asian Reading Challenge that Xiaolong is hosting and they recommended some books with tropes, all by Asian authors! See their recommendations for Asian books with tropes! →


Varian the green toad wearing armour, holding a sword in front of them.Varian’s third costume was something completely new and different! They dressed up as a warrior for the Year of the Asian Reading Challenge, and they recommended some Asian books that had themes of power. See their recommendations for Asian books about power! →


Varian the green toad, holding up a fabric with a rainbow infinity symbol and rainbow heart stitched into it.Varian didn’t have a costume to share, but they did some cross-stitching! They stitched a rainbow infinity symbol and rainbow heart for Autistic Pride Month, and they recommended books by autistic authors about autistic charactersSee their recommendations for #ownvoices books by autistic authors! →


Varian the toad wearing a green leafy dress, with red flowers. Holding a flag with the words #APAHM on the flag.To celebrate Asian-Pacific Heritage Month, Varian noticed that Pasifika authors don’t get a lot of attention, so they wanted to showcase books by Pasifika and Maori authors! They made a dress that was vibrant, had flowers, and was green! See their recommendations for books by Maori and Pasifika authors! →


An illustration of Varian the toad, wearing a rainbow skirt and holding a big rainbow flag about their head, smiling. They wear a sash that says, #YARC, with an aromantic and asexual pin.It’s June, which means it’s Pride Month! Varian dressed up in their rainbow skirt and donned their biggest rainbow flag, and gave you recommendations of books with queer Asian characters for the Year of the Asian Reading challenge! See their recommendations for queer Asian characters! →


An illustration of Varian the toad wearing a shirt that reads 'Master Mischief was right about the cheese'Varian loves reading science-fiction and fantasy books and they also love reading about girls in love! Varian made the t-shirt that Jess wears in Not Your Sidekick, and recommended some science-fiction/fantasy books with f/f romances! See their recommendations for YA SFF with f/f rep here! →