Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Books on my Spring TBR


Top Ten TuesdayWelcome to Top Ten Tuesday – a weekly feature hosted by those lovely bookworms over at The Broke and the Bookish. Expect a new top ten list every week!


| Top Ten… Books on my Spring TBR |

This Tuesday I’m paying homage to all those books which have taken long term residence on my bookshelves; books which I fully intend to devour over the coming months! I’m late to the party on all fronts – yes my list even includes some of my favourite (if somewhat neglected) authors – but with these ten beauties to look forward to, it looks like spring is set to be a riot!heart

| 1. |

Gardens of the Moon

Book One of the Malazan Book of the Fallen

by Steven Erikson

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The Malazan Empire simmers with discontent, bled dry by interminable warfare, bitter infighting, and bloody confrontations. Even the imperial legions, long inured to the bloodshed, yearn for some respite. Yet Empress Laseen’s rule remains absolute, enforced by her dread Claw assassins.

For Sergeant Whiskeyjack and his squad of Bridgeburners, and for Tattersail, surviving cadre mage of the Second Legion, the aftermath of the siege of Pale should have been a time to mourn the many dead. But Darujhistan, last of the Free Cities of Genabackis, yet holds out. It is to this ancient citadel that Laseen turns her predatory gaze.

But it would appear that the Empire is not alone in this great game. Sinister, shadowbound forces are gathering as the gods themselves prepare to play their hand….

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| 2 |

The Man in the High Castle

by Philip K. Dick

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It’s America in 1962. Slavery is legal once again. The few Jews who still survive hide under assumed names. In San Francisco, the I Ching is as common as the Yellow Pages. All because some twenty years earlier the United States lost a war—and is now occupied by Nazi Germany and Japan. This harrowing, Hugo Award-winning novel is the work that established Philip K. Dick as an innovator in science fiction while breaking the barrier between science fiction and the serious novel of ideas. In it Dick offers a haunting vision of history as a nightmare from which it may just be possible to wake.heart

| 3 |

King of Thorns

Book Two of The Broken Empire

by Mark Lawrence

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To reach greatness you must step on bodies. I’ll win this game of ours, though the cost of it may drown the world in blood…

A six nation army marches toward Jorg’s gates, led by a shining hero determined to unite the empire and heal its wounds. Every omen says he will. Every good king knows to bend the knee in the face of overwhelming odds, if only to save their people and their lands. But King Jorg is not a good king.

Faced by an enemy many times his strength, Jorg knows that he cannot win a fair fight. But playing fair was never part of Jorg’s game plan…

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| 4. |

Shadows of Self

Book Five of the Mistborn Series

by Brandon Sanderson
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A bloody massacre, a hunt for an assassin.

An Invitation to the criminal elite of Elendel from the brother of the city’s governor to an auction for his vote in the senate becomes a death sentences for all involved when an unknown assailant slaughters everyone in attendance.

Waxillium Ladrian investigates and is shocked to discover that the perpetrator may be a kandra calling herself Bleeder. As the servants of Harmony, the god of the religion Wax himself adheres to, the kandra usually operate in secret, and many people think them merely a myth. Now one of the kandra has gone rogue, which shouldn’t be possible.

Wax, Wayne and the brilliant Marasi must track down Bleeder and keep her from assassinating the governor of Elendel and plunging the city into chaos.

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| 5. |

The Tower Lord

Book Two of the Raven’s Shadow

by Anthony Ryan
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“The blood-song rose with an unexpected tune, a warm hum mingling recognition with an impression of safety. He had a sense it was welcoming him home.”

Vaelin Al Sorna, warrior of the Sixth Order, called Darkblade, called Hope Killer. The greatest warrior of his day, and witness to the greatest defeat of his nation: King Janus’s vision of a Greater Unified Realm drowned in the blood of brave men fighting for a cause Vaelin alone knows was forged from a lie. Sick at heart, he comes home, determined to kill no more.

Named Tower Lord of the Northern Reaches by King Janus’s grateful heir, he can perhaps find peace in a colder, more remote land far from the intrigues of a troubled Realm. But those gifted with the blood-song are never destined to live a quiet life. Many died in King Janus’s wars, but many survived, and Vaelin is a target, not just for those seeking revenge but for those who know what he can do.

The Faith has been sundered, and many have no doubt who their leader should be. The new King is weak, but his sister is strong. The blood-song is powerful, rich in warning and guidance in times of trouble, but is only a fraction of the power available to others who understand more of its mysteries. Something moves against the Realm, something that commands mighty forces, and Vaelin will find to his great regret that when faced with annihilation, even the most reluctant hand must eventually draw a sword.

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| 6. |

Golden Son

Book Two of the Red Rising Trilogy

by Pierce Brown
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Golden Son continues the stunning saga of Darrow, a rebel forged by tragedy, battling to lead his oppressed people to freedom from the overlords of a brutal elitist future built on lies. Now fully embedded among the Gold ruling class, Darrow continues his work to bring down Society from within.

A life-or-death tale of vengeance with an unforgettable hero at its heart, Golden Son guarantees Pierce Brown’s continuing status as one of fiction’s most exciting new voices.

| 7. |

The Falcons of Fire and Ice

by Karen Maitland
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The year is 1539 and the Portuguese Inquisition ushers in an era of torture and murder. When the Royal Falconer is imprisoned on false charges to remove him from the inner circle of the boy King, the Inquisitors strike an impossible deal with his daughter, Isabela. Bring back two rare white falcons from Iceland within the year or her father dies.

Meanwhile in Iceland, a menacing stranger appears to have possessed the soul of a woman chained up in a volcanic cave and is threatening to destroy the community. The woman’s twin sister, Eydis, is desperate to intervene but vivid dreams suggest the twins’ only salvation lies with a young girl from afar, travelling in search of white feathers.

Isabela’s quest might hold a more crucial purpose then she could ever imagine and there are those among her travel companions who have an interest in doing her harm. But in order to fulfil her destiny, first she must reach Iceland’s shores. Alive.heart

| 8. |

Assassin’s Quest

Book Three of The Farseer Trilogy

by Robin Hobb
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King Shrewd is dead at the hands of his son Regal. As is Fitz—or so his enemies and friends believe. But with the help of his allies and his beast magic, he emerges from the grave, deeply scarred in body and soul. The kingdom also teeters toward ruin: Regal has plundered and abandoned the capital, while the rightful heir, Prince Verity, is lost to his mad quest—perhaps to death. Only Verity’s return—or the heir his princess carries—can save the Six Duchies.

But Fitz will not wait. Driven by loss and bitter memories, he undertakes a quest: to kill Regal. The journey casts him into deep waters, as he discovers wild currents of magic within him—currents that will either drown him or make him something more than he was.
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| 9. |

The Air War

Book Eight of the Shadows of the Apt Series

by Adrian Tchaikovsky
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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

And last but not least, a book which has been on my bookshelf since 2009…

| 10. |

The Gone-Away World

by Nick Harkawayheart

The Jorgmund Pipe is the backbone of the world, and it’s on fire. Gonzo Lubitsch, professional hero and troubleshooter, is hired to put it out – but there’s more to the fire, and the Pipe itself, than meets the eye. The job will take Gonzo and his best friend, our narrator, back to their own beginnings and into the dark heart of the Jorgmund Company itself.

Equal parts raucous adventure, comic odyssey and Romantic Epic, The Gone-Away World is a story of – among other things – love and loss; of ninjas, pirates, politics; of curious heroism in strange and dangerous places; and of a friendship stretched beyond its limits. But it also the story of a world, not unlike our own, in desperate need of heroes – however unlikely they may seem.
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What books are you planning to read this spring? If you would like to join in with Top Ten Tuesday, head on over to The Broke and the Bookish and sign up!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Books When You’re in the Mood for Axe-Wielding Maniacs


Top Ten TuesdayWelcome to Top Ten Tuesday – a weekly feature hosted by those lovely bookworms over at The Broke and the Bookish. Expect a new top ten list every week!


| Top Ten… Books When You’re in the Mood for Axe Wielding Maniacs |

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is looking at a wondrous array of books for when you’re in the mood for… well just about anything really. So if you’re in the mood for some axe-wielding, blood-raging, battle-crying maniacs then look no further! Some of them may look nice, some of them may even be nice, but you sure as hell don’t want to be within arm’s reach of these bastards when all hell breaks loose. With more battle-axes, hand-axes and axe axes than you can shake a stick at, here is this week’s top ten:

| 1. |

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Black Dow

The First Law

by Joe Abercrombie

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| 2 |

The Grim Company

Jerek the Wolf

The Grim Company

by Luke Scull

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| 3 |

Jean Tannen ( & The Wicked Sisters )

The Gentleman Bastard Sequence

by Scott Lynch

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| 4. |

Druss ( & Snaga )

The Drenai Saga

by David Gemmell
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| 5. |

Perrin Aybara ( & a Moon-Bladed Hand Axe )

The Wheel of Time

by Robert Jordan
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| 6. |

Barkus Jeshua ( & Brenda)

Raven’s Shadow

by Anthony Ryan
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| 7. |

Gothmog, Lord of the Balrogs

The Silmarillion & The History of Middle Earth

by J.R.R. Tolkien
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| 8. |

Fitz

The Farseer Trilogy

by Robin Hobb
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| 9. |

Shagga

A Song of Ice and Fire

by George R.R. Martin

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| 10. |

Dwarves

From Everything!

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Who are your favourite axe-wielding maniacs? If you would like to join in with Top Ten Tuesday, head on over to The Broke and the Bookish and sign up!

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2015: A Year in Review


2015


| Books by Proxy – A Year in Review |

Welcome to my first end of year post – and what a year it has been! I started this blog on the last day of July and, over the last half of 2015, have found myself as part of a wonderful community of readers and bloggers. In my albeit limited experience, we book bloggers are lucky to enjoy a very friendly and supportive community, where sharing our books, our reviews and our experiences is all done for a love of reading and can be enjoyed by many. So thank you readers and thank you bloggers for making 2015 such an enjoyable year. I hope you all have a fantastic 2016!heart


| A Year in Books |
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I think we can all agree these two very similar and equally profound books, Blood Song by Anthony Ryan and The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, deservedly made it into my longest and shortest book categories.heart


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Donna Leon

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Leon 10

with ten books in her Commissario Brunetti series

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2015 - 6

P.G. Wodehouse

with nine books in total including seven from his Blandings series

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Jim Butcher

with eight books in The Dresden Files series

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AC - 6

Agatha Christie

with six books in her Hercule Poirot series

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best fantasyBlood Song

Book One of the Raven’s Shadow Series

by Anthony Ryan

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Best SciFiRed Rising

Book One of the Red Rising Trilogy

by Pierce Brown

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best novellaThe SerpentThe Serpent

The Gameshouse I

by Claire North

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best crimeThe Few

A Leone Scamarcio Thriller

by Nadia Dalbuonoheart

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best historicalLamentationLamentation

Book Six of the Matthew Shardlake Series

by C.J. Sansom

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best classicSomething FreshSomething Fresh

Book One of the Blandings Series

by P.G. Wodehouse

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There were so many more amazing books which deserve to be on this list but then it would just be most of 2015’s books!

Thank you all for reading and have a wonderful 2016!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Newly Read Authors 2015


Top Ten TuesdayWelcome to Top Ten Tuesday – a weekly feature hosted by those lovely bookworms over at The Broke and the Bookish. Expect a new top ten list every week!


| Top Ten… Newly Read Authors 2015 |

For this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, we’re taking a look at some of my favourite newly read authors of 2015. From debut authors published in recent years to firmly established literary masters with a huge repertoire to their name, these are the writers whose work has crept to the top of my reading pile. In no particular order, here are ten of my favourites:

| 1. |

Michael J. Sullivan

with Theft of Swords

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| 2. |

Becky Chambers

with The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet

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| 3. |

Brent Weeks

with The Way of Shadows

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| 4. |

Pierce Brown

with Red Rising

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| 5. |

Bernard Cornwell

with Azincourt

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| 6. |

Victoria Schwab

with A Darker Shade of Magic and Vicious

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| 7. |

Helen Lowe

with The Heir of Night and The Gathering of the Lost

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| 8. |

Anthony Ryan

with Blood Song

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| 9. |

David Gemmell

with Morningstar and Knights of Dark Renown

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| 10. |

Kim Stanley Robinson

with Red Mars

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Who are your favourite newly read authors of 2015? If you would like to join in with Top Ten Tuesday, head on over to The Broke and the Bookish and sign up!

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Tough Travelling: Labourers


Tough Travelling 2Join me each Thursday for some Tough Travelling with the Tough Guide, hosted by Fantasy Review Barn. Inspired by ‘The Tough Guide to Fantasyland, we will set out on a quest to track down the biggest tropes and clichés in fantasy fiction.


| Labourers |

Not everyone can be a Prince.  There is only room for one Queen.  A few spoiled nobles can sit around and play cards.  But fantasyland can’t build its own castles and roads, nor can it plough its own fields, nor cook its meals.  Someone has to do the hard work.  And often, as a reward of course, these labourers get pulled from their hard but simple life into a bigger plan.

This week I’m going to looks at a character type that occurs again and again in fantasy fiction. They may not fit the role of protagonist but they make a pretty damn good supporting character. They’re sturdy, strong and reliable and know how to use weapons like… well like they make them! Yes, I’m talking about the humblest character of all, the…

 | Blacksmith |

| 1 |

RJ

Perrin Aybara

The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan

A hammer wielding blacksmith warrior? What’s not to love?! Whisked away from his life as a blacksmith in Emond’s Field for many an adventure, Perrin prefers to bash people with a hammer because it sheds less blood than an axe… too kind Perrin, too kind.

| 2 |

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Barkus Jeshua

Blood Song by Anthony Ryan

Barkus has a natural, though some would say dark, affinity with metal and though he can wield a sword like nobody’s business, his large and sturdy forge-forged frame makes him a perfect man mountain for unarmed combat.

| 3 |

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Durnik

The Belgariad by David Eddings

Steady, strong and reliable, Durnik is the atypical fantasy blacksmith. An honest hero, he finds himself on an adventure because he’s too kind and caring, and his strength and prowess at killing those pesky villains is always used with the greatest reluctance.

| 4 |

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Llaw Gyffes

Knights of Dark Renown by David Gemmell

And what list of fantasy blacksmiths would be complete without a wrongly accused man on the run? Llaw Gyffes is a blacksmith come reluctant outlaw who is thrown into a life of rebellion and adventure and must lead his people to freedom. He’s not too bad with a sword either.

| 5 |

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Gendry

A Song of Ice and Fire by George. R.R. Martin

Ahh Gendry, a young, strong and simple blacksmith sucked into a world of bloody adventure for a mere circumstance of birth. But never fear! You can still get your custom made bull, goat or horse headed helmet, for the Known World is saturated with blacksmiths!

Are there any other blacksmiths in fantasy fiction that float your boat?  Or can you think of any other labourers who unwittingly find themselves on an adventure? If you would like to join in with Tough Travelling, head on over to the Fantasy Review Barn and sign up!

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