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?

If you would like to join in with Top Ten Tuesday, head on over to ThatArtsyReaderGirl and sign up!

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


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 with Black in the Title |

Following last week’s post, in which I discussed all my favourite books read and unread featuring the colour red, this week I will be looking at books with the colour black in their title. With books I’ve read, books I’ve reviewed and books that are firmly planted on my TBR, scroll down for this week’s Top Ten… Books with Black in the Title.

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| 1. |

Shadowblack

Book Two of Spellslinger

by Sebastien de Castell

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| My Thoughts |

Shadowblack, and the Spellslinger series as a whole, are some of my favourite YA novels to date. They’re frequently action-packed and engaging, always funny and fast-paced, and often keep you guessing to the very end. Kellen’s character is only surpassed by the wonder that is Reichis, the angry, thieving and quick to bite squirrel-cat that accompanies him on his journeys – his business partner, some might say – and the swaggering Argosi, Ferius Parfax. A highly recommend series which I only wish hadn’t concluded after Book Six, Crownbreaker.

Rating

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| Synopsis |

It’s a few months since Kellen left his people behind. Now aged sixteen, Kellen is an outlaw, relying on his wits to keep him alive in the land of the Seven Sands. He misses home, he misses family and more than anything, he misses Nephenia, the girl he left behind.

Then he meets Seneira, a blindfolded girl who isn’t blind, and who carries a secret that’s all too familiar to Kellen. Kellen and Ferius resolve to help – but the stakes are far higher than they realise. A Shadowblack plague is taking hold – and Kellen can’t help but suspect his own people may even be behind it.

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| 2. |

Empire in Black and Gold

Book One of Shadows of the Apt

by Adrian Tchaikovsky

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| My Thoughts |

Despite the fact that I’ve still not finished this series – book eight here I come – I have so much love for the Shadows of the Apt series. They were my introduction to Adrian Tchaikovsky’s writing and I can honestly say that I have never looked back. Empire in Black and Gold, the first book in the series, introduces a detailed and complex world full of insectoid humans and their struggles between race, power and warring kingdoms. This is a unique world with unique characters which I could easily rate as one of my favourite series of all time.

Rating

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| Synopsis |

The city states of the Lowlands have lived in peace for decades, bastions of civilization, prosperity and sophistication, protected by treaties, trade and a belief in the reasonable nature of their neighbours.

But meanwhile, in far-off corners, the Wasp Empire has been devouring city after city with its highly trained armies, its machines, its killing Art…And now its hunger for conquest and war has become insatiable.

Only the ageing Stenwold Maker, spymaster, artificer and statesman, can see that the long days of peace are over. It falls upon his shoulders to open the eyes of his people, before a black-and-gold tide sweeps down over the Lowlands and burns away everything in its path.

But first he must stop himself becoming the Empire’s latest victim.heart

| 3. |

Blackwing

Book One of Raven’s Mark

by Ed McDonald

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Ed McDonald’s debut is a solid and vividly written fantasy which follows the tale of Ryhalt Galharrow – Blackwing Captain and bounty hunting mercenary – as he undertakes the bidding of the Nameless master, Crowfoot, in an ages long war against the Deep Kings. With battles, magic and grim-beings aplenty in a landscape blighted by a catastrophic war, this is a unique and refreshing grimdark novel which has me itching to read it’s sequel, Ravencry.

Rating

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| Synopsis |

The republic faces annihilation, despite the vigilance of Galharrow’s Blackwings. When a raven tattoo rips itself from his arm to deliver a desperate message, Galharrow and a mysterious noblewoman must investigate a long dead sorcerer’s legacy. But there is a conspiracy within the citadel: traitors, flesh-eaters and the ghosts of the wastelands seek to destroy them, but if they cannot solve the ancient wizard’s paradox, the Deep Kings will walk the earth again, and all will be lost.

The war with the Eastern Empire ended in stalemate some eighty years ago, thanks to Nall’s ‘Engine’, a wizard-crafted weapon so powerful even the Deep Kings feared it. The strike of the Engine created the Misery – a wasteland full of ghosts and corrupted magic that now forms a No Mans Land along the frontier. But when Galharrow investigates a frontier fortress, he discovers complacency bordering on treason: then the walls are stormed, and the Engine fails to launch. Galharrow only escapes because of the preternatural magical power of the noblewoman he was supposed to be protecting. Together, they race to the capital to unmask the traitors and restore the republic’s defences. Far across the Misery a vast army is on the move, as the Empire prepares to call the republic’s bluff.

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| 4. |

The Black Prism

Book One of Lightbringer

by Brent Weeks

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| My Thoughts |

With a fascinating and unique magic system, and a wonderfully imagined but complex world, The Black Prism is a stunning start to the Lightbringer series. Well-written and exquisitely rendered throughout, The Black Prism features engaging characters, interesting politics, and a fast-paced narrative that I couldn’t tear my eyes from. The only let down is that I still haven’t picked up the next in the series!

Rating

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| Synopsis |

Guile is the Prism, the most powerful man in the world. He is high priest and emperor, a man whose power, wit, and charm are all that preserves a tenuous peace. Yet Prisms never last, and Guile knows exactly how long he has left to live.

When Guile discovers he has a son, born in a far kingdom after the war that put him in power, he must decide how much he’s willing to pay to protect a secret that could tear his world apart.

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| 5. |

Black City Saint

Book One of Black City Saint

by Richard A. Knaak

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| My Thoughts |

With Black City Saint, a book filled with saints, dragons and long-dead emperors, Richard A. Knaak has created an instantly compelling protagonist on a backdrop of dark magic and mob violence. An absorbing, inventive and humorous read, this stunning debut is high on my list of urban fantasy favourites. And, had I remembered this series sooner, I would have had two further black titled books to add to today’s list – Black City Demon and Black City Dragon.

Rating

My review of Black City Saint can be found here.

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| Synopsis |

For more than sixteen hundred years, Nick Medea has followed and guarded the Gate that keeps the mortal realm and that of Feirie separate, seeking in vain absolution for the fatal errors he made when he slew the dragon. All that while, he has tried and failed to keep the woman he loves from dying over and over.

Yet in the fifty years since the Night the Dragon Breathed over the city of Chicago, the Gate has not only remained fixed, but open to the trespasses of the Wyld, the darkest of the Feiriefolk. Not only does that mean an evil resurrected from Nick’s own past, but the reincarnation of his lost Cleolinda, a reincarnation destined once more to die.

Nick must turn inward to that which he distrusts the most: the Dragon, the beast he slew when he was still only Saint George. He must turn to the monster residing in him, now a part of him…but ever seeking escape.

The gang war brewing between Prohibition bootleggers may be the least of his concerns. If Nick cannot prevent an old evil from opening the way between realms…then not only might Chicago face a fate worse than the Great Fire, but so will the rest of the mortal realm.

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| 6. |

The Black Jewels Trilogy

Daughter of the Blood

Heir to the Shadows

Queen of the Darkness

by Anne Bishop

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| My Thoughts |

I first discovered this trilogy when I was fifteen years old and my rating almost certainly reflects that. It was like nothing else I’d ever read before – dark, passionate and grim with highly adult themes throughout and a female-dominated world and magic system to boot. It hit teenage me right in the sweet spot.

Despite my young age, I can almost certainly say that this is not a YA book (sex, violence, torture and slavery abound) and I wonder, given the mixed reviews, whether I would enjoy it as much now. It would, however, be dishonest of me to not give the same rating I gave all those years ago so perhaps The Black Jewels Trilogy is due a re-read.

Rating (Sixteen Years Ago)

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| Synopsis |

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…

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| 7. |

The Black Magician Trilogy

The Magician’s Guild

The Novice

The High Lord

by Trudi Canavan

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| My Thoughts |

Despite none of the individual titles having the word ‘black’ in them, it would be remiss of me not to include The Black Magician Trilogy in this list. I first read The Magician’s Guild when I was sixteen years old and, like The Black Jewels Trilogy, my rating will be influenced by that fact.

The first in the Black Magician Trilogy is an exciting and magical tale of a young girl with strange and dangerous powers who finds herself elevated to the position of novice in the Magicians’ Guild. This is a YA fantasy that began my love of Canavan’s writing, which I have enjoyed over the many years since, and I would be more than happy to re-read this trilogy again.

Rating (Fifteen Years Ago)

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| Synopsis |

Each year the magicians of Imardin gather together to purge the city streets of vagrants, urchins and miscreants. Masters of the disciplines of magic, they know that no one can oppose them. But their protective shield is not as impenetrable as they believe.

Sonea, angry, frustrated and outraged by the treatment of her family and friends, hurls a stone at the shield, putting all her rage behind it. To the amazement of all who bear witness, the stone passes unhindered through the barrier and renders a magician unconscious.

The guild’s worst fear has been realised… There is an untrained magician loose on the streets. She must be found before her uncontrolled powers unleash forces that will destroy both her, and the city that is her home.

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| 8. |

The Black Hawks

Book One of Articles of Faith

by David Wragg

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| My Thoughts |

The Black Hawks is a dark, action-packed and witty fantasy featuring a whole host of mercenaries, pompous princes and strangers willing to stab each other, quite literally, in the back. This debut novel by David Wragg is a solid read, which leaves the reader on a knife’s edge and was just shy of greatness.

Rating

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| Synopsis |

Life as a knight is not what Vedren Chel imagined. Bound by oath to a dead-end job in the service of a lazy step-uncle, Chel no longer dreams of glory – he dreams of going home.

When invaders throw the kingdom into turmoil, Chel finds opportunity in the chaos: if he escorts a stranded prince to safety, Chel will be released from his oath.

All he has to do is drag the brat from one side of the country to the other, through war and wilderness, chased all the way by ruthless assassins.

With killers on your trail, you need killers watching your back. You need the Black Hawk Company – mercenaries, fighters without equal, a squabbling, scrapping pack of rogues.

Prepare to join the Black Hawks.

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| 9. |

The Black Song

Book Two of Raven’s Blade

by Anthony Ryan

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| My Thoughts |

Having still not completed the brilliant Raven’s Shadow series, it may be a little early to put the second book of the follow-up series on the list, but it does feature the colour black and Anthony Ryan is a masterful writer. It really is about time I delved back into the world of Vaelin Al Sorna.heart

| Synopsis |

The Steel Horde has laid waste to the Venerable Kingdom, unleashing a storm of fire and blood. Now the leader of this mighty host – Kehlbrand, the warlord who thinks himself a god – turns his eyes to the other merchant kingdoms. No one can stop his divine conquest.

No one, perhaps, except Vaelin Al Sorna.

Yet Vaelin is on the run, his own army in disarray. Worse, the new blood song he has acquired is as much a curse as a blessing, and seeks to guide him down a path far darker than he could have imagined…

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| 10. |

The Black Company

Book One of The Chronicles of the Black Company

by Glen Cook

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| My Thoughts |

This classic, dark fantasy has influenced so many fantasy authors that it is a wonder I’ve never read it. Credited with being the progenitor of grimdark, and with mercenaries, anti-heroes and villains by the bucket-load, The Black Company is one book that is firmly placed on my TBR.

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| Synopsis |

Some feel the Lady, newly risen from centuries in thrall, stands between humankind and evil. Some feel she is evil itself. The hardbitten men of the Black Company take their pay and do what they must, burying their doubts with their dead – until the prophesy: The White Rose has been reborn, somewhere, to embody good once more.

There must be a way for the Black Company to find her..


Click here to see last week’s post:

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

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Which ‘Black’ book is your favourite?

If you would like to join in with Top Ten Tuesday, head on over to ThatArtsyReaderGirl and sign up!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

 

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


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 with Red in the Title |

Having had little to no free time over the past week or so, my blog posts have taken something of a dive. However, having started preparations for next week’s post in which I will be exploring books with the colour black in their title (and seeing as this week is a freebie), I managed to pull together this post based on the colour red!

With books I’ve read, books I’ve reviewed and books that are firmly planted on my TBR, scroll down for this week’s Top Ten… Books with Red in the Title

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| 1. |

Red Sister

Book One of the Book of the Ancestor

by Mark Lawrence

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| My Thoughts |

Red Sister is a thrilling start to an action-packed and mesmerising series by Mark Lawrence. The world-building and magic system are unique and well-balanced, Nona and her fellow sisters are brilliant, if a little terrifying, and the plot takes a hold of you at the start and refuses to let go. Red Sister is most definitely one of my favourite reads of the past two years.

Rating

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| Synopsis |

At the Convent of Sweet Mercy young girls are raised to be killers. In a few the old bloods show, gifting talents rarely seen since the tribes beached their ships on Abeth. Sweet Mercy hones its novices’ skills to deadly effect: it takes ten years to educate a Red Sister in the ways of blade and fist.

But even the mistresses of sword and shadow don’t truly understand what they have purchased when Nona Grey is brought to their halls as a bloodstained child of eight, falsely accused of murder: guilty of worse.

Stolen from the shadow of the noose, Nona is sought by powerful enemies, and for good reason. Despite the security and isolation of the convent her secret and violent past will find her out. Beneath a dying sun that shines upon a crumbling empire, Nona Grey must come to terms with her demons and learn to become a deadly assassin if she is to survive…

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| 2. |

The Red Knight

Book One of The Traitor Son Cycle

by Miles Cameron

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| My Thoughts |

The opening to The Traitor Son Cycle is an action-packed epic full of knights, mercenaries and nuns, with and inordinate number of battles, skirmishes and duels to see you through to the closing chapter. Don’t be fooled by a slow start, The Red Knight is a brilliant fantasy novel that will have me reaching for The Fell Sword in no time.

Rating

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| Synopsis |

Twenty eight florins a month is a huge price to pay, for a man to stand between you and the Wild.

Twenty eight florins a month is nowhere near enough when a wyvern’s jaws snap shut on your helmet in the hot stink of battle, and the beast starts to rip the head from your shoulders. But if standing and fighting is hard, leading a company of men – or worse, a company of mercenaries – against the smart, deadly creatures of the Wild is even harder.

It takes all the advantages of birth, training, and the luck of the devil to do it.

The Red Knight has all three, he has youth on his side, and he’s determined to turn a profit. So when he hires his company out to protect an Abbess and her nunnery, it’s just another job. The abby is rich, the nuns are pretty and the monster preying on them is nothing he can’t deal with.

Only it’s not just a job. It’s going to be a war…heart

| 3. |

Red Rising

Book One of the Red Rising Saga

by Pierce Brown

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Red Rising now needs little introduction. This stunning debut introduces us to Darrow as he begins a quest against a classist and racist ruling elite following generations of lies and oppression. This is an action-packed novel that had me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end.

Rating

My review of Red Rising can be found here.

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| Synopsis |

Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars liveable for future generations.

Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity already reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity’s overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilisation against the best and most brutal of Society’s ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies… even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.
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| 4. |

Red Mars

Book One of the Mars Trilogy

by Kim Stanley Robinson

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| My Thoughts |

Red Mars charts the colonisation of Mars in this descriptive science fiction epic. In a narrative where personal politics reign supreme, the petty dramas and squabbles acted out by numerous characters could cost the hundred the very success of the mission. With worldbuilding and description on an epic scale, Red Mars is a solid and science-heavy read.

Rating

My review of Red Mars can be found here.

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| Synopsis |

For eons, sandstorms have swept the desolate landscape. For centuries, Mars has beckoned humans to conquer its hostile climate. Now, in 2026, a group of 100 colonists is about to fulfill that destiny.

John Boone, Maya Toitavna, Frank Chalmers & Arkady Bogdanov lead a terraforming mission. For some, Mars will become a passion driving them to daring acts of courage & madness. For others it offers an opportunity to strip the planet of its riches. For the genetic alchemists, it presents a chance to create a biomedical miracle, a breakthrough that could change all we know about life & death. The colonists orbit giant satellite mirrors to reflect light to the surface. Black dust sprinkled on the polar caps will capture warmth. Massive tunnels, kilometers deep, will be drilled into the mantle to create stupendous vents of hot gases. Against this backdrop of epic upheaval, rivalries, loves & friendships will form & fall to pieces–for there are those who will fight to the death to prevent Mars from ever being changed.

Brilliantly imagined, breathtaking in scope & ingenuity, Red Mars is an epic scientific saga, chronicling the next step in evolution, creating a world in its entirety. It shows a future, with both glory & tarnish, that awes with complexity & inspires with vision.

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| 5. |

Red Country

by Joe Abercrombie

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| My Thoughts |

Red Country is a witty and gritty Abercrombie offering set in the same world as the First Law. Styled as a western fantasy, this stand-alone novel is full of brutal, bloody action, where humour and a heavy dose of sarcasm take the edge off the grim and the dark. Another brilliant offering from Abercrombie and another solid five stars!

Rating

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| Synopsis |

They burned her home.
They stole her brother and sister.
But vengeance is following.

Shy South hoped to bury her bloody past and ride away smiling, but she’ll have to sharpen up some bad old ways to get her family back, and she’s not a woman to flinch from what needs doing. She sets off in pursuit with only a pair of oxen and her cowardly old step father Lamb for company. But it turns out Lamb’s buried a bloody past of his own. And out in the lawless Far Country the past never stays buried.

Their journey will take them across the barren plains to a frontier town gripped by gold fever, through feud, duel and massacre, high into the unmapped mountains to a reckoning with the Ghosts. Even worse, it will force them into an alliance with Nicomo Cosca, infamous soldier of fortune, and his feckless lawyer Temple, two men no one should ever have to trust . . .

RED COUNTRY takes place in the same world as the First Law trilogy, Best Served Cold, and The Heroes. This novel also represents the return of Logen Ninefingers, one of Abercrombie’s most beloved characters.

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| 6. |

Red Seas Under Red Skies

Book Two of the Gentleman Bastard Series

by Scott Lynch

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| My Thoughts |

Red Seas Under Red Skies is a fun and exciting sequel which continues the story of Locke and Jean as they once again attempt to pull of the impossible using their wits alone. Generally considered not quite as good as The Lies of Locke Lamora, the second in the Gentleman Bastard series is a thoroughly enjoyable romp full of humour, beautiful architecture and a whole host of liars, swindlers and cheats.

Rating

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| Synopsis |

After a brutal battle with the underworld that nearly destroyed him, Locke Lamora and his trusted sidekick, Jean, fled the island city of their birth and landed on the exotic shores of Tal Verrar to nurse their wounds. But even at this westernmost edge of civilisation, they can’t rest for long—and they are soon back doing what they do best: stealing from the undeserving rich and pocketing the proceeds for themselves.

This time, however, they have targeted the grandest prize of all: the Sinspire, the most exclusive and heavily guarded gambling house in the world. Its nine floors attract the wealthiest clientele – and to rise to the top, one must impress with good credit, amusing behaviour…and excruciatingly impeccable play. For there is one cardinal rule, enforced by Requin, the house’s cold-blooded master: it is death to cheat at any game at the Sinspire. Brazenly undeterred, Locke and Jean have orchestrated an elaborate plan to lie, trick, and swindle their way up the nine floors…straight to Requin’s teeming vault. Under the cloak of false identities, they meticulously make their climb – until they are closer to the spoils than ever.

But someone in Tal Verrar has uncovered the duo’s secret. Someone from their past who has every intention of making the impudent criminals pay for their sins. Now it will take every ounce of cunning to save their mercenary souls. And even that may not be enough.

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| 7. |

All Systems Red

Book One of The Murderbot Diaries

by Martha Wells

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| My Thoughts |

The Murderbot Diaries are a new addition to my TBR and the first book, All Systems Red, has already made its way onto my Kindle after reading numerous glowing reviews.

Check out this review by Maddalena @ Space and Sorcery to find out more!

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| Synopsis |

In a corporate-dominated spacefaring future, planetary missions must be approved and supplied by the Company. Exploratory teams are accompanied by Company-supplied security androids, for their own safety.

But in a society where contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, safety isn’t a primary concern.

On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied ‘droid—a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though never out loud) as “Murderbot.” Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is.

But when a neighboring mission goes dark, it’s up to the scientists and their Murderbot to get to the truth.

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| 8. |

Red Moon

by Kim Stanley Robinson

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| My Thoughts |

After reading Red Mars many moons ago, I have been eager to read more of Kim Stanley Robinson’s beautifully descriptive writing, and Red Moon, a political science-fiction thriller, may just fit the bill!

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| Synopsis |

American Fred Fredericks is making his first trip, his purpose to install a communications system for China’s Lunar Science Foundation. But hours after his arrival he witnesses a murder and is forced into hiding.

It is also the first visit for celebrity travel reporter Ta Shu. He has contacts and influence, but he too will find that the moon can be a perilous place for any traveller.

Finally, there is Chan Qi. She is the daughter of the Minister of Finance, and without doubt a person of interest to those in power. She is on the moon for reasons of her own, but when she attempts to return to China, in secret, the events that unfold will change everything – on the moon, and on Earth.

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| 9. |

A Red-Rose Chain

Book Nine of the October Daye Series

by Seanan McGuire

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| My Thoughts |

The October (or Toby) Daye series is a wonderful and fae urban fantasy by Seanan McGuire. Having read books one to four, I still have some way to go before A Red-Rose Chain but I’m sure it’ll be a magical journey along the way!

My review for Rosemary and Rue, Book One of the October Daye series, can be found here.

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| Synopsis |

Things are looking up.

For the first time in what feels like years, October “Toby” Daye has been able to pause long enough to take a breath and look at her life—and she likes what she sees. She has friends. She has allies. She has a squire to train and a King of Cats to love, and maybe, just maybe, she can let her guard down for a change.

Or not. When Queen Windermere’s seneschal is elf-shot and thrown into an enchanted sleep by agents from the neighboring Kingdom of Silences, Toby finds herself in a role she never expected to play: that of a diplomat. She must travel to Portland, Oregon, to convince King Rhys of Silences not to go to war against the Mists. But nothing is that simple, and what October finds in Silences is worse than she would ever have imagined.#

How far will Toby go when lives are on the line, and when allies both old and new are threatened by a force she had never expected to face again? How much is October willing to give up, and how much is she willing to change? In Faerie, what’s past is never really gone.

It’s just waiting for an opportunity to pounce.

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| 10. |

The Red Prince

Book Three of The Long War

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| My Thoughts |

The Red Prince is the third novel in The Long War series by A. J. Smith. Having now read several wonderful reviews for this series, it has been firmly attached to my TBR!

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| Synopsis |

Between the desert plains of Karesia and the icy wastes of Ranen, there once lay the kingdom of Ro. Its lands were fertile. Its men and women were prosperous. Their god – the One – was satisfied.

But then the men of Ro grew unwatchful, and the armies of the south took their chance. Now the Seven Sisters rule the Kingdom, enslaving their people with sorcery of pleasure and blood. Soon, they will appoint a new god. The Long War rumbles on … but the Red Prince has yet to enter the field of battle.

ALL THAT WAS DEAD WILL RISE.

ALL THAT NOW LIVES WILL FALL..


Stay tuned for next week’s post:

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

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Which ‘Red’ book is your favourite?

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Book Festivals in the UK


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… Book Festivals in the UK |

Despite a lifelong love of literature I have been to painfully few book or arts festivals. My only and thus most memorable festival was GollanczFest – a must for fans of modern science fiction and fantasy.

It was at GollanczFest 2015 that I discovered Aliette de Bodard, Richard K. Morgan and Sarah Pinborough; and it was at GollanczFest 2015 that I first met Ben Aaronovitch, Brandon Sanderson, Joe Hill and Joanne Harris. With incredible panels, talks, book sales and signings amongst so many brilliant and like-minded individuals, it really was a memorable experience.

Luckily, under normal circumstances, the UK boasts multiple world renowned literature festivals throughout the year which I have collated, in no particular order, into my Top Ten book festival wishlist.

Scroll down for this week’s Top Ten… Book Festivals in the UK.heart

| Speculative Fiction Festivals |

| 1. |

GollanczFest

London / Manchester, England

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| 2. |

Cymera Festival

Edinburgh, Scotland

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| 3. |

Discworld Convention

Birmingham, England

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| The Big Three |

| 4. |

The Hay Festival of Literature & Arts

Hay-on-Wye, Wales

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| 5. |

Cheltenham Literature Festival

Cheltenham, England

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| 6. |

Edinburgh International Book Festival

Edinburgh, Scotland

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| Crime Fiction Festivals |

| 7. |

Noirwich Crime Writing Festival

Norwich, England

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| 8. |

Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival

Harrogate, England

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| Something Different |

| 9. |

Wealdon Literary Festival

Kent, England

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| 10. |

Port Eliot Festival

Cornwall, England

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Which books festivals have you been to? Which would you love to go to?

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Books That Make Me Smile


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 That Make Me Smile |

Books can make us smile for many reasons, they can be happy or they can be sad, they can be triumphantly savage or just darn-right hilarious. This week, I’ve broken down my Top Ten into the reasons these books make me smile, from the very first to the very last. And who knows, maybe one day one of these books will make you smile too!

Scroll down for this week’s Top Ten… Authors I’ve Read the Most Books By.heart

| 1. |

The First Book That Made Me Smile

Where’s Spot?

by Eric Hill

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I am reliably informed by my mother that nothing would bring me more joy as a baby than Where’s Spot? by Eric Hill. This little beauty even came with a Spot the Dog toy that, by the time I was too old to play with it, was a lovely shade of well loved brown and was for all intents and purposes the family dog. heart

| 2. |

A Book That Made Me Laugh Out Loud

Going Postal

Book Thirty-Three of the Discworld Series

by Terry Pratchett

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I am almost certain that any Pratchett novel could be inserted under this title and still be relevant. Going Postal was, however, the last Pratchett novel I read and is well deserved of the title of Book That Made Me Laugh Out Loud – as I did, multiple times.

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| 3 |

A Book That Made Me Cheer

(For death, mayhem, and bloody destruction)

The Blade Itself

Book One of The First Law

by Joe Abercrombie

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There is no other author that brings me joy like Lord Grimdark himself. Witty, exciting, visceral and bloody brilliant; every single one of Joe Abercrombie’s books is a masterpiece that makes me, as a reader, feel inexplicably jubilant. And seeing as it was The Blade Itself that commenced this half-life-long obsession, it was only right that it should find its place on this list. heart

| 4. |

A Book That Brings Me Comfort

The Little White Horse

by Elizabeth Goudge

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The Little White Horse is a beautiful children’s novel which captivated me throughout my childhood. Reading (and repeatedly re-reading) an old, yellowed copy of the book which had belonged to my mother, the magical writing and wonderful illustrations whisked me away to Moonacre Manor and has remained a favourite ever since.

My particular favourite illustration was the one shown above which I used to stare at, so very hard, and wish that one day I would have a room just like Maria Merryweather’s.

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| 5. |

A Book That Changed My Life

The Lord of the Rings

by J.R.R. Tolkien

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And once again Mamma Proxy shows her literary influence! I first read The Lord of the Rings when I was ten years old and it has been read and re-read many, many times since. Those of you who love Tolkien need no description, this book has defined and influenced so many in so many aspects of their life that the only reaction is to smile.

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| 6. |

A Book That Made Me Laugh as a Child

The Bartimaeus Trilogy

by Jonathan Stroud

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If it wasn’t my mother getting me into all her favourite reads, it was my great uncle researching the latest and greatest in children’s fiction to spend my birthday book vouchers on. The Bartimaeus Trilogy was sarcastic, funny and everything I didn’t know I wanted and more! In fact, I loved it so much that a re-read wouldn’t go amiss. Bravo Uncle Ted, you pulled that one out of the bag.

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| 7. |

A Book I Loved as a Teenager

Lion of Senet

Book One of the Second Sons Trilogy

by Jennifer Fallon

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As a teenager, The Second Sons Trilogy absolutely blew me away. It was exciting, action packed, with twists and turns a-plenty and, up until that point, had the biggest cast of evil bastards I had ever had the pleasure to read. Slow to start but a joy all round, this series is a YA epic that I wouldn’t be sorry to re-read.

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| 8. |

A Book I Should Have Read Much Sooner

The Importance of Being Earnest 

by Oscar Wilde

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The Importance of Being Earnest was the first Oscar Wilde book I read and, while I had of course heard of his comedy credentials, it was in fact so much funnier than I expected it to be. Wilde is so witty and so eloquent that every moment spent with this book was pure, unadulterated joy.heart

| 9. |

A Book That Came as a Surprise

Senlin Ascends 

Book One of The Books of Babel

by Josiah Bancroft

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Beautifully descriptive with more than a little dose of steampunk and Victoriana, the first in this fantasy series chronicles Thomas Senlin’s momentous and utterly chaotic ascent through the Tower of Babel in search of his misplaced wife Marya. Having not read anything about about this prior to cracking it open, Senlin Ascends came as a thoroughly enjoyable surprise.heart

| 10. |

The Last Book That Made Me Smile

A Closed and Common Orbit

Book Two of the Wayfarers Series

by Becky Chambers

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I finished A Closed and Common Orbit yesterday… and it was absolutely amazing! As I read the final paragraphs I had tears in my eyes, my heart was soaring and I was so goddamn happy. This book – nay, this series! – is so very highly recommended. If you haven’t already, add it to your TBR!

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Which books make you smile?

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Authors I’ve Read the Most Books By


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… Authors I’ve Read the Most Books By |

Welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday!

Fantasy and crime fiction are known for their lengthy and world spanning series and, as two of my most read genres, it comes as no surprise that they top this week’s Top Ten. In fact, seven of my top ten authors are tied with ten books read each!

Scroll down for this week’s Top Ten… Authors I’ve Read the Most Books By.heart

| 1. |

Ellis Peters | 20 Books

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| 2. |

Brandon Sanderson | 16 Books

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| 3 |

Jim Butcher | 13 Books


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| 4. |

P.G. Wodehouse | 10 Books

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| 5. |

Adrian Tchaikovsky | 10 Books

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| 6. |

Trudi Canavan | 10 Books

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| 7. |

Sebastien de Castell | 10 Books

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| 8. |

Mark Lawrence | 10 Books

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| 9. |

J.R.R. Tolkien | 10 Books

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| 10. |

Donna Leon | 10 Books

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Who is your most read author? If you would like to join in with Top Ten Tuesday, head on over to ThatArtsyReaderGirl and sign up!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Books That Take Place in Another Country


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 That Take Place in Another Country |

Welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday! When the majority of your books take place in a fantasy world, finding ones that take place in another country is a far more difficult task than you might expect; particularly when the majority of historical fiction, classics and crime fiction you read take place in your own country! Scroll down for my Top Ten… Books That Take Place in Another Country!heart

| 1. |

Chicago, USA

The Dresden Files

by Jim Butcher

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In this gritty urban fantasy, Harry Dresden, a wizard P.I. who consults for the Chicago P.D., takes the reader on a journey through the streets, morgues and and crime scenes of Chicago. heart

| 2. |

San Francisco, USA

The October Daye Series

by Seanan McGuireheart

The Changling October ‘Toby’ Daye awakes from a curse to find herself living in modern day San Francisco; a San Francisco populated by the courts of the Fae where fairytale creatures abound.heart

| 3 |

Venice, Italy / Bangkok, Thailand / The World

The Gameshouse Novellas

by Claire North

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The Gameshouse has no fixed location but has appeared in various countries over the course of history to play with the lives and fates of kingdoms, countries and players of the ultimate high stakes game.
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| 4. |

Azincourt, France

Azincourt

by Bernard Cornwell

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This piece of historical fiction tells the story of Henry V’s invasion of Normandy, from the prolonged siege of Harfleur and the subsequent march to Calais, to the Battle of Agincourt itself. This is a tale of war and blood and death.
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| 5. |

USA

Vicious

by V.E. Schwab

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Vicious follows the lives of two college students, Eli Cardale and Victor Vale. Absorbed in their research into EOs, or ExtraOrdinary people, their discoveries lead them down a dark and dangerous path where morality, ethics and caution are thrown to the wind in their quest of discovery.
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| 6. |

Colditz Castle, Germany

The Colditz Story

by P.R. Reid

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Colditz Castle, located in the town of Colditz in Germany, was considered an impossible fortress to escape from. Over the course of its four-year history as a military prison, however, over 300 men escaped its walls, 31 of whom completed the dangerous journey home.  The Colditz Story was my introduction to military escape memoirs, which has since become one of my favourite sub-genres of non-fiction. 
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| 7. |

Stalag Luft III, Germany (Then) / Poland (Now)

The Great Escape

by Paul Brickhill

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The Great Escape tells the story of the escape attempt of 600 prisoners from Stalag Luft III during the Second World War. Like The Colditz Story, The Great Escape highlights the skill, ingenuity and bravery of those held captive; a group of men who would stop at nothing to attempt escape and make their way home.
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| 8. |

The Great Hunting Ground (Most of Europe + Part of Asia)

The Mortal Engines Quartet

by Philip Reeve
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One of my favourite series from my early teens, The Mortal Engines Quartet is set in a post-apocalyptic world where people live and work on traction cities, great tiered metropolises that move across the land on caterpillar tracks and hunt smaller towns in what is known as Municipal Darwinism.
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| 9. |

Rome, Italy

The Leone Scamarcio Thrillers

by Nadia Dalbuono

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Set in Rome, the Leone Scamarcio series tells the story of a young detective in Rome’s Flying Squad who must escape his mafia past whilst solving a number of complex and dangerous crimes. With beautiful description of Rome and its criminal underworld, this series transports the reader onto its streets and into the heart of danger itself.

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| 10. |

Edinburgh, Scotland

The Frey + McGrey Series

by Oscar de Muriel

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Combining crime, history and horror, The Frey and McGrey series transports the reader to Victorian Edinburgh, where paranormal crimes abound the unlikely duo of Inspector Ian Frey of Scotland Yard, and Adolphus ‘Nine-Nails’ McGrey must work together to solve dastardly murders and bring peace to its streets.
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What is your favourite setting? If you would like to join in with Top Ten Tuesday, head on over to ThatArtsyReaderGirl and sign up!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Books On My Spring TBR


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 On My Spring TBR |

Welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday! This Spring I intend to make headway into my vast, vast to-be-read pile, a huge and ever-growing thing that only ever seems to get bigger the moment I look away. This week’s Top Ten is just the tip of that literary iceberg, but encompasses the ten books I am most excited to read. heart

| 1. |

The Ninth Rain

Book One of The Winnowing Flame Trilogy

by Jen Williams

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The great city of Ebora once glittered with gold. Now its streets are stalked by wolves. Tormalin the Oathless has no taste for sitting around waiting to die while the realm of his storied ancestors falls to pieces – talk about a guilt trip. Better to be amongst the living, where there are taverns full of women and wine.

When eccentric explorer, Lady Vincenza ‘Vintage’ de Grazon, offers him employment, he sees an easy way out. Even when they are joined by a fugitive witch with a tendency to set things on fire, the prospect of facing down monsters and retrieving ancient artefacts is preferable to the abomination he left behind.

But not everyone is willing to let the Eboran empire collapse, and the adventurers are quickly drawn into a tangled conspiracy of magic and war. For the Jure’lia are coming, and the Ninth Rain must fall… heart

| 2. |

The Providence of Fire

Book Two of the Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne

by Brian Staveleyheart

The conspiracy to destroy the ruling family of the Annurian Empire is far from over.

Having learned the identity of her father’s assassin, Adare flees the Dawn Palace in search of allies to challenge the coup against her family. Few trust her, but when she is believed to be touched by Intarra, patron goddess of the empire, the people rally to help her retake the capital city. As armies prepare to clash, the threat of invasion from barbarian hordes compels the rival forces to unite against their common enemy.

Unknown to Adare, her brother Valyn, renegade member of the empire’s most elite fighting force, has allied with the invading nomads. The terrible choices each of them has made may make war between them inevitable.

Between Valyn and Adare is their brother Kaden, rightful heir to the Unhewn Throne, who has infiltrated the Annurian capital with the help of two strange companions. The knowledge they possess of the secret history that shapes these events could save Annur or destroy it.
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| 3. |

The Air War

Book Eight of the Shadows of the Apt

by Adrian Tchaikovsky

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An empress demands her birthright . . .

All is in turmoil as the world moves towards war. In Solarno, the spies watch each other and ready their knives, while Myna sees the troops muster at its border and emotions run high as it vows never to be enslaved again. In Collegium, the students argue politics, too late to turn the tide.

In the heart of the Empire, new pilots have completed their secretive training, generals are being recalled to service and armies are ready to march. Their Empress, the heir to two worlds, intends to claim her birthright. And nothing – either within the Empire or beyond it – will stand in her way.

A conflict is coming, the like of which the insect-kinden have never seen.heart

| 4. |

Wrath

Book Four of The Faithful and the Fallen

by John Gwynne

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Events are coming to a climax in the Banished Lands, as the war reaches new heights. King Nathair has taken control of the fortress at Drassil and three of the Seven Treasures are in his possession. And together with Calidus and his ally Queen Rhin, Nathair will do anything to obtain the remaining Treasures. With all seven under his command, he can open a portal to the Otherworld. Then Asroth and his demon-horde will finally break into the Banished Lands and become flesh.

Meanwhile Corban has been taken prisoner by the Jotun, warrior giants who ride their enormous bears into battle. His warband scattered, Corban must make new allies if he hopes to survive. But can he bond with competing factions of warlike giants? Somehow he must, if he’s to counter the threat Nathair represents.

His life hangs in the balance – and with it, the fate of the Banished Lands.
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| 5. |

The Silver Tide

Book Three of The Copper Cat Trilogy

by Jen Williams
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Tales of the Black Feather Three and their exploits abound far and wide, and Wydrin of Crosshaven, Lord Aaron Frith and Sir Sebastian have become sell swords in demand. Having foiled powerful mages and evil magic, they now face a challenge unlike any before – in the form of Wydrin’s mother.

Devinia the Red, notorious pirate and captain of the Poison Chalice, is intent on finding the fabled treasure hidden within the jungles of the cursed island of Euriale. She needs the skills of her daughter Wydrin and her companions to get there, and our heroes cannot resist the lure of coin and adventure. But no explorer has returned from the heart of the island, and it’s not long before the Three find themselves in the clutches of peril. Deep within the island of the gods, there are remnants of forces best left undisturbed…
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| 6. |

Shadowblack

Book Two of Spellslinger

by Sebastien de Castell

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It’s a few months since Kellen left his people behind. Now aged sixteen, Kellen is an outlaw, relying on his wits to keep him alive in the land of the Seven Sands. He misses home, he misses family and more than anything, he misses Nephenia, the girl he left behind.

Then he meets Seneira, a blindfolded girl who isn’t blind, and who carries a secret that’s all too familiar to Kellen. Kellen and Ferius resolve to help – but the stakes are far higher than they realise. A Shadowblack plague is taking hold – and Kellen can’t help but suspect his own people may even be behind it. 
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| 7. |

Half a War

Book Three of the Shattered Sea

by Joe Abercrombie
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Words are weapons

Princess Skara has seen all she loved made blood and ashes. She is left with only words. But the right words can be as deadly as any blade. She must conquer her fears and sharpen her wits to a lethal edge if she is to reclaim her birthright.

Only half a war is fought with swords

The deep-cunning Father Yarvi has walked a long road from crippled slave to king’s minister. He has made allies of old foes and stitched together an uneasy peace. But now the ruthless Grandmother Wexen has raised the greatest army since the elves made war on God, and put Bright Yilling at its head – a man who worships no god but Death.

Sometimes one must fight evil with evil

Some – like Thorn Bathu and the sword-bearer Raith – are born to fight, perhaps to die. Others – like Brand the smith and Koll the wood-carver – would rather stand in the light. But when Mother War spreads her iron wings, she may cast the whole Shattered Sea into darkness.
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| 8. |

A Time of Dread

Book One of the Of Blood and Bone Series

by John Gwynne
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The Ben-Elim, a fierce race of warrior-angels, burst into the Banished Lands over a hundred and thirty years ago. They were in pursuit of their eternal enemy, the Kadoshim demon-horde. On that day a great battle was fought, the Ben-Elim and Kadoshim joined by allies from the races of both men and giants, and a great victory was won.

Now much of the Banished Lands is ruled by the Ben-Elim, who have made this world their home, extending their influence and power as they swallow ancient kingdoms into the protective grasp of their ever-extending borders. But peace is fragile within the realm and the Kadoshim that remain are now amassing on the edges of the empire….

Threats long in the shadows are about to strike. 
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| 9. |

The Court of Broken Knives

Book One of the Empires of Dust

by Anna Smith Spark

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They’ve finally looked at the graveyard of our Empire with open eyes. They’re fools and madmen and like the art of war. And their children go hungry while we piss gold and jewels into the dust.

In the richest empire the world has ever known, the city of Sorlost has always stood, eternal and unconquered. But in a city of dreams governed by an imposturous Emperor, decadence has become the true ruler, and has blinded its inhabitants to their vulnerability. The empire is on the verge of invasion – and only one man can see it.

Haunted by dreams of the empire’s demise, Orhan Emmereth has decided to act. On his orders, a company of soldiers cross the desert to reach the city. Once they enter the Palace, they have one mission: kill the Emperor, then all those who remain. Only from ashes can a new empire be built.

The company is a group of good, ordinary soldiers, for whom this is a mission like any other. But the strange boy Marith who walks among them is no ordinary soldier. Marching on Sorlost, Marith thinks he is running away from the past which haunts him. But in the Golden City, his destiny awaits him – beautiful, bloody, and more terrible than anyone could have foreseen.

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| 10. |

Age of Assassins

Book One of The Wounded Kingdom

by R. J. Barkerheart

To catch an assassin, use an assassin…

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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What books are you looking forward to reading this Spring? If you would like to join in with Top Ten Tuesday, head on over to ThatArtsyReaderGirl and sign up!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Books With Plot Twists and Surprises


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 With Plot Twists and Surprises|

Welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday where this week we’re looking at the books that gave us the biggest surprises.

I’m fairly certain that the majority of the books I’ve read have provided a good assortment of twists and turns to keep me hanging to the very last. Narrowing the list down therefore is a rather difficult task. This Top Ten considers those books that gave me the biggest surprises when I first read them, and that still surprise me when I think about them now. So, without giving anything away, here are my Top Ten… Books With Plot Twists and Surprises.heart

| 1. |

The Second Sons Trilogy

by Jennifer Fallon

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| 2. |

The Mistborn Series

by Brandon Sandersonheart

| 3. |

The Turn of the Screw

by Henry James

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| 4. |

His Dark Materials

by Philip Pullman
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| 5. |

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

by J. K. Rowling
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| 6. |

Angels and Demons

by Dan Brown
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| 7. |

And Then There Were None

by Agatha Christieheart

| 8. |

Rebecca

by Daphne du Maurier
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| 9. |

Jane Eyre

by Charlotte Brontë

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| 10. |

The Girl With All The Gifts

by M. R. Carey
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Which books gave you the biggest surprise? If you would like to join in with Top Ten Tuesday, head on over to ThatArtsyReaderGirl and sign up!

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