Alright, I’m finally getting around to doing my best and worst of the year posts! These are honestly my favorite posts to read and it’s my first year actually being able to do them myself!
Before I get into my top 10, I want to mention some stats first. I read 76 books this year which was one more than my goal of 75 which I find really amazing that I even managed to complete my goal, let alone pass it! Those 76 books had a total of 29,380 pages, and the longest of those books was Kingdom of Ash!
If you are new here, then you haven’t witnessed my love of this book and it’s sequel, so hello, I absolutely loved Kings of the Wyld! It’s a rock-n-roll band meets fantasy that follows a mercenary crew that is past it’s prime, but gets together for one last adventure to save a members daughter. Think old rock bands going on a reunion tour and just not quite being up for all their old tricks, then turn that into a band of mercs doing the same thing and you have a clever, hilarious fantasy adventure! I do have a full review of this one, but I think I’ve talked about it so much that everyone knows how I feel about it!
And of course the sequel to Kings of the Wyld was just as good as the first book! This one follows Rose, who is the daughter that the crew saved in the first book. Now she’s all grown up and has a mercenary crew of her own, going on arena tours and kicking ass. This one, although it follows Rose’s story, is actually told from the perspective of the crew’s bard Tam. This book has all the laughs and heart of the first book, but a lot of heartbreak as well. Just like KotW, I have a full review of this book!
While I realize there are some issues with this series as a whole, that doesn’t stop me from being a huge fan of it! This was the perfect ending to this series, and there were parts of it that made me cry, laugh and get angry. This book made me fall back in love with some of the characters that I previously wasn’t the biggest fan of *cough ROWAN cough*. I have a full review of this book if you are interested in seeing all my thoughts.
Mira Grant is a penname for Seanan McGuire, and originally I wasn’t going to read any of her works because I didn’t think I would enjoy them. I completely changed my mind with this book and she now has two books on this list! Have you ever wondered what it would be like if mermaids were real? This book tackles that topic in such a dark, disturbing way, but what makes it so compelling is the inclusion of scientific information that makes it read more like fact than fiction. Yet again, I have a full review up for this book as well.
Another author whose works I wasn’t planning on reading but ended up loving! I have another review up for this one if you are interested, but this follows Karou, who has always known there was something different about her, but could never figure out what it was. It was such a fast read for me because I was totally invested in her story, plus the love interest is fantastic and their history really makes it worthwhile. I liked this so much that I immediately continued on with the series, although I still need to finish the third book.
This is my most recent read and it was just what I needed! While it has a ton of common tropes in it and it isn’t the most original book ever, it was so entertaining and the tropes that were in it were done just the way I like them! It has everything I love: murder, intrigue, slow burn romance, magic, cool fight scenes, and just enough blood and gore to keep things interesting!
Like I mentioned earlier, I wasn’t too keen to read this series because they are novellas, and usually for me that means not enough world building or time to get to know the characters. I had some audiobook credits to use and decided to go with this one since it was shorter, and I am so happy that I did! I have no idea how Seanan managed to make this series so atmospheric and complex in such a short amount of pages, but she managed to do it!
This was the Viking Celtic/Norse book of my dreams. The blending of Celtic and Norse mythology was fantastic and the element of the crow being a warning to the two warring kingdoms was a really nice addition to the story to bring the two kingdoms together and defeat a much larger threat to both kingdoms. Both of our main characters will do whatever it takes to defend their kingdoms, and the interactions between the two characters were so sassy and fun to read!
I obviously have a thing for dark, gruesome fantasies, because I also loved reading Three Dark Crowns, and then promptly binge-read the rest of the currently published books and the novella bind-up! In this world, there are triplet queens born every generation, but only one can become the sole ruler of their island Queendom. So naturally, they have to fight to the death until only one is left standing. Queen Arsinoe is my favorite of the three, and I loved all the intrigue and murder that happens throughout this series! I am impatiently waiting for the final book in this series to be released so I know what finally happens!
This was such a fun an unique fantasy! In this world, everything has a spirit, from the trees to the rivers to the dirt underneath. The only thing is, these spirits want to rid the world of humans, and only the queen of the kingdom of Renthia has the power to stop them. The queen doesn’t actually produce heirs of her own, there is a school where young girls are trained and the strongest of those become the queens heirs. Yes, heirs, because the world is so dangerous that some may die before they can become queen so there need to be backups. Daleina is the main character and she has no intentions of becoming an heir, she just wants to help right the wrongs and get revenge for the spirits attacking her village. I loved how Daleina was just an ordinary girl who ended up being in the right place at the right time at the end, but what she was in the right place for would be a spoiler, so you’ll have to read it yourself to find out!
Of course, there were a TON of books that I enjoyed along with these ones such as The Poppy War, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Theft of Swords and Furyborn, but if I talked about all of them we would be discussing almost every book I read this year!
What are some of your favorites this year? If you have a blog about it, leave me your links in the comments and I’ll come check it out!