Hi guys, I hope you are all well. It’s coming up to the end of the year now so I thought it was time to share my favourite books from the last 12 months of reading. To be honest, I didn’t have the best year of reading in terms of the number of books I’ve read – the last couple of years I’ve managed to read around 100 books but this year I just didn’t read as much. I don’t know what it was in particular, but I found that I wasn’t in the biggest reading mood. I did still manage to read around 50 books this year though and I wanted to share my favourites with you guys. No surprise that all of the books I’m going to mention are fantasy books. Let’s get started.
The Haunting of Tram Car 015 / P. Djèlí Clark / ★★★★
My review of the Cairo novellas
Publisher / Tor.com
Length / 130 pages
The Haunting of Tram Car 015 is a novella set in an alternate Cairo and is the second book in the Fatma el-Sha’arawi series. Two agents from the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments and Supernatural Entities are sent to investigate reports of a haunted tram car. First of all, I love the setting of this book and the dynamics between the two agents was done so well. The plot was compelling throughout and the writing is fantastic. A full length book set in this world is set to be released next year and I cannot wait for it.
The Bone Shard Daughter / Andrea Stewart / ★★★★★
Publisher / Orbit
Length / 438 pages
The Bone Shard Daughter is the first book in the Drowning Empire trilogy and is the author’s debut novel. It is a multi-perspective story set in a fictional Empire consisting of many islands. One of the main strengths of this book was the magic system, specifically bone shard magic. It is clear the amount of time Stewart has put into creating this magic system – the concept is well thought out while also maintaining some mystery around it to explore in later books. The plot is compelling throughout, the world is a vivid one and the characters are so well written. I would highly recommend checking it out.
A Time of Courage / John Gwynne / ★★★★★
Publisher / Pan Macmillan
Length / 648 page
A Time of Courage is the third and final book in the Of Blood and Bone trilogy. It is the seventh book to be set in the Banished Lands. Gwynne is one of my favourite authors right now and he continues to produce incredible fantasy books. This was an amazing final instalment to this trilogy and I can’t recommend this trilogy enough. The characters are so well written, the plot is compelling throughout and the world is a vivid one. If you haven’t started this trilogy yet, I highly recommend checking it out.
The Goblin Emperor / Katherine Addison / ★★★★
Publisher / Solaris
Length / 480 pages
The Goblin Emperor is a slower paced fantasy book that follows Maia, a young half goblin and half elven male, who becomes emperor at the start of the book when his father and other heirs to the throne are mysteriously killed in an “accident”. I had this on my TBR for a while before finally reading it this year and for some reason I kept putting off picking it up – I don’t know why because I ended up loving this book. From the very beginning I was invested in the story and I found it so easy to settle into the flow of the story. I definitely recommend checking this one out.
A Tale of Stars and Shadow series / Lisa Cassidy / ★★★★
A Tale of Stars and Shadow, A Prince of Song and Shade, A King of Masks and Magic and A Duet of Sword and Song
Publisher / Tate House
A Tale of Stars and Shadow is a four book fantasy series written by Australian author, Lisa Cassidy. I started and finished this series this year – I binged the first three quite close together and then read the fourth when it was released in September. The characters are well written, the plot is compelling throughout and the world is vividly written. I definitely think this one is underrated – I haven’t seen alot of people talking about it in the bookish community. I highly recommend checking it out.
Honourable mentions: Senlin Ascends by Josiah Bancroft, Heresy by S. J. Parris, Powder mage novellas by Brian McClellan and Blood of an Exile by Brian Naslund.
That’s it for today. Let’s all hope for a better year in 2021. It wasn’t an all bad year for me (started my VCA course and got offered a VCA job at the end of the year), personally, but overall I think 2020 has been a pretty rubbish year. I did also read some fantastic books too. What’s your favourite book (or books) of the year? I’d love to know what you guys have been loving. Let’s chat in the comments. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.