Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Books I Loved but Never Reviewed


Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday – a weekly feature from The Broke and the Bookish, now hosted by ThatArtsyReaderGirl. Expect a new top ten list every week!


| Top Ten… Books I Loved but Never Reviewed |

Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday where this week we’re looking at our Top Ten Books that didn’t quite make it to review.

After a two year hiatus, I have a veritable mountain of un-reviewed but brilliant books and, since my return, I’ve written quite a few posts featuring teeny reviews, such as the Red and Black posts of the last few weeks and My Top Ten Books of the Past Two Years. Consequently, I’ve decided that each book featured this week will be one I haven’t featured since my return and will be limited to one series per author.

Scroll down for this week’s Top Ten… Books I Loved but Never Reviewed!heart

| 1. |

The Waking Fire

Book One of the Draconis Memoria

by Anthony Ryan

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| My Thoughts |

With a surfeit of deadly assassins, explosive naval battles and dragons’ blood, The Waking Fire is an epic fantasy suffused with action, intrigue and betrayal. The first in The Draconis Memoria is well-written, brilliantly paced and stunned with a cliffhanger ending at its close.

Rating

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| Synopsis |

Throughout the vast lands controlled by the Ironship Syndicate, nothing is more prized than the blood of drakes. Harvested from the veins of captive or hunted Reds, Green, Blues and Blacks, it can be distilled into elixirs that give fearsome powers to the rare men and women who have the ability harness them—known as the blood-blessed.

But not many know the truth: that the lines of drakes are weakening. If they fail, war with the neighbouring Corvantine Empire will follow swiftly. The Syndicate’s last hope resides in whispers of the existence of another breed of drake, far more powerful than the rest, and the few who have been chosen by fate to seek it.

Claydon Torcreek is a petty thief and an unregistered blood-blessed, who finds himself pressed into service by the protectorate and sent to wild, uncharted territories in search of a creature he believes is little more than legend. Lizanne Lethridge is a formidable spy and assassin, facing gravest danger on an espionage mission deep into the heart of enemy territory. And Corrick Hilemore is the second lieutenant of an ironship, whose pursuit of ruthless brigands leads him to a far greater threat at the edge of the world.

As lives and empires clash and intertwine, as the unknown and the known collide, all three must fight to turn the tide of a coming war, or drown in its wake.

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| 2. |

The Way of Kings

Book One of The Stormlight Archives

by Brandon Sanderson

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| My Thoughts |

The Way of Kings is a stunning introduction to The Stormlight Archives and may be one of my favourite books ever. With incredible magic systems, brilliantly portrayed characters, and a jaw-dropping plot, this novel is an action-packed and beautiful adventure that I cannot wait to continue.

Rating

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| Synopsis |

According to mythology mankind used to live in The Tranquiline Halls. Heaven. But then the Voidbringers assaulted and captured heaven, casting out God and men. Men took root on Roshar, the world of storms. And the Voidbringers followed…

They came against man ten thousand times. To help them cope, the Almighty gave men powerful suits of armor and mystical weapons, known as Shardblades. Led by ten angelic Heralds and ten orders of knights known as Radiants, mankind finally won.

Or so the legends say. Today, the only remnants of those supposed battles are the Shardblades, the possession of which makes a man nearly invincible on the battlefield. The entire world is at war with itself – and has been for centuries since the Radiants turned against mankind. Kings strive to win more Shardblades, each secretly wishing to be the one who will finally unite all of mankind under a single throne.

On a world scoured down to the rock by terrifying hurricanes that blow through every few day a young spearman forced into the army of a Shardbearer, led to war against an enemy he doesn’t understand and doesn’t really want to fight.

What happened deep in mankind’s past?

Why did the Radiants turn against mankind, and what happened to the magic they used to wield?
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| 3. |

The Impossible Times Trilogy

by Mark Lawrence

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With time travel, Dungeons and Dragons, and action aplenty, this fast-paced science fiction series is a love letter to 80’s geek culture. Skilfully plotted, beautifully written and at just over two hundred pages apiece, The Impossible Times Trilogy is a short but brilliant read that I only wish would continue.

Rating

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| Synopsis |

In January 1986, fifteen-year-old boy-genius Nick Hayes discovers he’s dying. And it isn’t even the strangest thing to happen to him that week.

Nick and his Dungeons & Dragons-playing friends are used to living in their imaginations. But when a new girl, Mia, joins the group and reality becomes weirder than the fantasy world they visit in their weekly games, none of them are prepared for what comes next. A strange—yet curiously familiar—man is following Nick, with abilities that just shouldn’t exist. And this man bears a cryptic message: Mia’s in grave danger, though she doesn’t know it yet. She needs Nick’s help—now.

He finds himself in a race against time to unravel an impossible mystery and save the girl. And all that stands in his way is a probably terminal disease, a knife-wielding maniac and the laws of physics.

Challenge accepted.

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| 4. |

A Gathering of Shadows

Book Two of Shades of Grey

by V.E. Schwab

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| My Thoughts |

A Gathering of Shadows is a beautiful, exciting and wonderfully realised tale full of magic, honour and friendship. A more than worthy successor to A Darker Shade of Magic, I only wish I had picked up the third in the series sooner.

Rating

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| Synopsis |

It has been four months since a mysterious obsidian stone fell into Kell’s possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Prince Rhy was wounded, and since the nefarious Dane twins of White London fell, and four months since the stone was cast with Holland’s dying body through the rift–back into Black London.

Now, restless after having given up his smuggling habit, Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila, who disappeared from the docks as she always meant to do. As Red London finalizes preparations for the Element Games–an extravagant international competition of magic meant to entertain and keep healthy the ties between neighboring countries–a certain pirate ship draws closer, carrying old friends back into port.

And while Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Games, another London is coming back to life. After all, a shadow that was gone in the night will reappear in the morning. But the balance of magic is ever perilous, and for one city to flourish, another London must fall.

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| 5. |

Company of Liars

by Karen Maitland

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| My Thoughts |

Company of Liars is a disturbing tales of lies, murder and deception told in the year of the plague. This was my introduction to Karen Maitland’s brilliant historical fiction and, like her other novels, is a tale steeped in suspicion, folklore and grim visions of the past.

Rating

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| Synopsis |

The year is 1348 and the first plague victim has reached English shores. Panic erupts around the country and a small band of travellers comes together to outrun the deadly disease, unaware that something far more deadly is – in fact – travelling with them.

The ill-assorted company – a scarred trader in holy relics, a conjurer, two musicians, a healer and a deformed storyteller – are all concealing secrets and lies. And at their heart is the strange, cold child – Narigorm – who reads the runes.

But as law and order breaks down across the country and the battle for survival becomes ever more fierce, Narigorm mercilessly compels each of her fellow travellers to reveal the truth … and each in turn is driven to a cruel and unnatural death.

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| 6. |

Matthew Shardlake Series

by C.J. Sansom

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| My Thoughts |

With a brilliant but flawed protagonist, a wonderfully rendered vision of the past, and more criminals, murderers and traitors than you can shake a stick at, the Matthew Shardlake series is undoubtedly one of the greatest historical fiction series of all time. If you like historical crime fiction, this series is a must.

Rating 

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| Synopsis |

Dissolution is the first in the phenomenal Shardlake series by bestselling author, C. J. Sansom.

England, 1537: Henry VIII has proclaimed himself Supreme Head of the Church and the country is waking up to savage new laws, rigged trials and the greatest network of informers ever seen. Under the order of Thomas Cromwell, a team of commissioners is sent through the country to investigate the monasteries. There can only be one outcome: the monasteries are to be dissolved.

But on the Sussex coast, at the monastery of Scarnsea, events have spiralled out of control. Cromwell’s Commissioner Robin Singleton, has been found dead, his head severed from his body. His horrific murder is accompanied by equally sinister acts of sacrilege – a black cockerel sacrificed on the altar, and the disappearance of Scarnsea’s Great Relic.

Dr Matthew Shardlake, lawyer and long-time supporter of Reform, has been sent by Cromwell into this atmosphere of treachery and death. But Shardlake’s investigation soon forces him to question everything he hears, and everything that he intrinsically believes…

Dissolution is the first book in this bestselling phenomenon, where C. J. Sansom creates both a stunning portrait of Tudor England, and an unforgettable character in Matthew Shardlake. Follow Shardlake into the dark heart of Tudor England with the bestselling Dark Fire, Sovereign, Revelation, Heartstone, Lamentation and Tombland.

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| 7. |

A Time of Dread

Book One of Of Blood and Bone

by John Gwynne

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| My Thoughts |

 Mysterious fires are appearing on the outskirts of civilisation, tales of human sacrifice abound and four characters tell a tale of dark magics, a growing rift, and the ultimate fight between good, bad and something far darker and more terrifying. With brilliant characters and a truly absorbing plot, A Time of Dread drew me in at the start and didn’t let go until the end.

Rating

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| Synopsis |

Set in the same world as the Faithful and the Fallen quartet, the first novel in John Gwynne’s Of Blood and Bone series, A Time of Dread, takes place one hundred years after the end of Wrath.

The Ben-Elim, a race of warrior angels, once vanquished a mighty demon horde. Now they rule the Banished lands. But their dominion is brutally enforced and their ancient enemy may not be as crushed as they thought.

In the snowbound north, Drem, a trapper, finds mutilated corpses in the forests – a sign of demonic black magic. In the south, Riv, a young, tempestuous soldier, discovers a deadly rift within the Ben-Elim themselves.

Two individuals with two world-changing secrets. But where will they lead? And what role will Drem and Riv play in the Banished Land’s fate? Difficult choices need to be made. Because in the shadows, demons are gathering, waiting for their time to rise. . .

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| 8. |

The First Law

by Joe Abercrombie

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| My Thoughts |

The First Law needs no introduction – it is quite literally one of the best fantasy series of all time. With brilliant and terrifying characters, bloody and brutal battles, and an intricately woven plot, this grimdark series is the best possible introduction to Joe Abercrombie’s writing.  If you haven’t read it, read it; and if you have, then read it again!

Rating

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| Synopsis |

Inquisitor Glokta, a crippled and increasingly bitter relic of the last war, former fencing champion turned torturer extraordinaire, is trapped in a twisted and broken body – not that he allows it to distract him from his daily routine of torturing smugglers.

Nobleman, dashing officer and would-be fencing champion Captain Jezal dan Luthar is living a life of ease by cheating his friends at cards. Vain, shallow, selfish and self-obsessed, the biggest blot on his horizon is having to get out of bed in the morning to train with obsessive and boring old men.

And Logen Ninefingers, an infamous warrior with a bloody past, is about to wake up in a hole in the snow with plans to settle a blood feud with Bethod, the new King of the Northmen, once and for all – ideally by running away from it. But as he’s discovering, old habits die really, really hard indeed…

…especially when Bayaz gets involved. A bald old man with a terrible temper and a pathetic assistant, he could be the First of the Magi, he could be a spectacular fraud, but whatever he is, he’s about to make the lives of Glotka, Jezal and Logen a whole lot more difficult…heart

| 9. |

Age of Assasins

Book One of The Wounded Kingdom

by R.J. Barker

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| My Thoughts |

A castle full of secrets, an enemy within the walls and a plot suffused with mystery. Age of Assassins is an utterly absorbing tale full of interesting politics, detailed settings and dynamic characters that I just couldn’t put down. With Blood of Assassins and King of Assassins already on my bookshelf, this series is sure to entertain for many months to come.

Rating

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| Synopsis |

Girton Club-foot, apprentice to the land’s best assassin, still has much to learn about the art of taking lives. But his latest mission tasks him and his master with a far more difficult challenge: to save a life. Someone, or many someones, is trying to kill the heir to the throne, and it is up to Girton and his master to uncover the traitor and prevent the prince’s murder.

In a kingdom on the brink of civil war and a castle thick with lies Girton finds friends he never expected, responsibilities he never wanted, and a conspiracy that could destroy an entire kingdom.

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| 10. |

The Grim Company

by Luke Scull

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| My Thoughts |

Somewhat unfairly compared to the likes of Joe Abercrombie, The Grim Company is a deftly plotted and action-packed series with bloody battles, anti-heroes and terrifying enemies aplenty. Having read this entire series prior to reading a single review, I found it to be a thoroughly enjoyable grimdark adventure that is deserved of a better reputation.

Rating

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| Synopsis |

The difference between a hero and a killer lies in the ability to justify dark deeds. But this is the Age of Ruin. And there are no heroes…

Five hundred years ago, the world was destroyed in the celestial Godswar. Seeking to throw off the shackles of the deities who created them, a cabal of mages rose up and made war upon the Gods. Though they won out, it was at a great cost: the ensuing cataclysm brought forth the Age of Ruin to the world.

Five hundred years later, the world limps on, seemingly winding down to an inevitable end. Dystopian city states have arisen, each presided over by one of the Magelords who first made war.

Corrupted, near-immortal, and far too powerful, those wizards who once sought to free the world now make war upon each other, while the helpless populace limp on from day to day.

Into this blighted world, steps Davarus Cole, a boy obsessed with notions of heroism and adventuring, who burns to do great deeds. One night, in a reckless act, Cole gets himself into a brawl with the authories. He quickly finds himself sent away from the city, where the world still groans from the ancient cataclysm, and the corpses of Gods lie deep beneath the bedrock, leaking wild, uncontrolled magic into the world.


Click here to see some past Top Ten posts:

My Top Ten Books of the past Two Years

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Books with Red in the Title

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Books with Black in the Title

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Which ‘Black’ book is your favourite?

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55 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Books I Loved but Never Reviewed

  1. Way of Kings and First Law share the same fate of unreviewed favorites. I’ve read them before systematically reviewing.
    I‘ll maybe do a reread of Way of Kings as preparation for Rhythm of War before November. It’s just such a huge time investment with those door stoppers 😁
    I was tempted to invest in the WoK Kickstarter but retracted https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/dragonsteel/the-way-of-kings-10th-anniversary-leatherbound-edition

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve read A darker shade of magic and nothing more on the series. I actually have no idea why, because I loved it!

    The C.J. Sansom series seems sooooo good. I am having a look at it.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! I appreciated it so much!

    PS: I will do a Friday Face-off again on Friday.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hurrah! I’m glad you’re joining in! 😄

      The C.J. Sansom books are amazing. They’re so well written and so well plotted that I can barely put them down once I’ve started! I really recommend!!

      Like

  3. Dragon book! Including a book about dragons as your first entry is sure to get me reading and the rest of your list did not disappoint! For example I am now even more curious about Age of Assassins, as I’ve read The Bone Ships by the same author and it was very good, so I should probably read his past works! I’m also very intrigued by the CJ Sansom series. I’ve heard a lot of good things, but I only started reading historical fiction recently so have not got around to it. Your thoughts are very positive though!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh the C.J. Sansome books are some of my favourite non-speculative fiction! They’re incredibly well written and well plotted and I cant think of one that didn’t captivate me.

      Oh The Bone Ships is still on my reading list too.. I really must get onto it! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I need to read the Shardlake books! Someone else just blogged about these this week too. I’ve had the first 3 on my bookshelf for a few years now, and I know I’ll enjoy them once I finally start.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I was nodding my head in agreement reading this list – so many great series – Shardlake, wonderful books indeed. I need to read First Law – I know! And, I’ve always fancied Maitland but for some strange reason never picked up her work yet. One day.
    Lynn 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This topic was pretty much made for you, Proxy! 😁 I have a copy of Dissolution on my to-be-read shelf so really must get to reading that soon and being a fan of Karen Maitland, I hope I will get to Company of Liars someday too. Have you read The Plague Charmer? That’s my favourite of Maitland’s so far. 😃

    Like

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