My Top Ten Books of the Past Two Years


Welcome to My Top Ten of the Past Two Years series, where I look back at my favourite books, games and TV series (amongst other things) during my blogging hiatus.


| My Top Ten Books of the Past Two Years: July 2018 – July 2020 |

Although my numbers have been down over the past two years, I have been fortunate enough to read a whole host of stunning, thrilling and darn right bloody books, and it would be remiss of me not to share them with you all.

And here we hit the crux of the problem…

There are far too many five star reads to choose even ten favourites; but endeavour I must. In an effort not to wind up umm-ing and aah-ing over a mountain of books all day, all series, finished and unfinished, have been lumped together and tied with a bow!

In no particular order, here are My Top Ten Books of the Past Two Years!


| 1. |

Kings of the Wyld

by Nicholas Eames

What a debut! Kings of the Wyld is a funny, action-packed adventure full of mercenaries, manticores and mages. This is a novel which hooks you in early and takes you on a perilous ride to the end – with more bloody battles, monsters and aged mercs than you can shake a stick at.

It’s just so damned good!

Next in Series:

Bloody Rose

| 2. |

Wrath

by John Gwynne

Just as I took my prolonged break from blogging I finished Wrath, the final instalment in John Gwynne’s The Faithful and the Fallen series. It wrapped events up so perfectly, and delivered such a brilliant conclusion, that The Faithful and the Fallen stand out as one of the best fantasy series I have ever read.

With A Time of Dread already tucked under my belt, it’s safe to say that it’s about time I revisited the Banished Lands once again.

| 3. |

Book of the Ancestor

Red Sister + Grey Sister

By Mark Lawrence

I cannot even begin to describe just how much I love this series. The first two instalments of the Book of the Ancestor are written so well, are so immersive, and have some of the most brilliantly crafted and multi-faceted characters, that they would probably top my list of favourite reads ever – never mind in the past two years!

Holy Sister here I come.

Next in Series:

Bound (Short Story) + Holy Sister

| 4. |

The Iron Ghost

by Jen Williams

Jen Williams is amazing. Her worldbuilding is amazing, her characters are amazing and every book she writes is just.. well… amazing.

The Iron Ghost, the second book in the Copper Cat Trilogy, is chock full of excitement, adventure and good humour, and lived up to all my (very high) expectations.

Next in Series:

The Silver Tide

| 5. |

The Ninth Rain

by Jen Williams

In the first book in The Winnowing Flame Trilogy, Jen Williams pulls out all the stops to create a vast, beautiful and original fantasy that is sure to be enduring.

The Ninth Rain was so utterly absorbing, and the plot so exciting, that I had to stop myself from reading it all in one go. Not to mention the characters and world building being one hundred per-cent on point.

Next in Series:

The Bitter Twins + The Poison Song

| 6. |

The Greatcoats

Traitor’s Blade, Knight’s Shadow, Saint’s Blood + Tyrant’s Throne

by Sebastien de Castell

Sebastien de Castell’s Greatcoats series takes us on a thrilling journey across troubled lands. Balancing fun and danger in equal measure, this is a world inhabited by complex, amusing characters, where a duel is only a challenge away.

Not a moment went by across all four books where I wasn’t lost in the lives of Falcio, Kest and Brasti – the Three Musketeers of fantasy – and I don’t regret a moment spent with them!

| 7. |

The Grey Bastards

by Jonathan French

Live in the saddle. Die on the hog.

The Grey Bastards is an amazing piece of foul-mouthed, blood soaked, grim and gritty fantasy literature. The winner of 2016’s Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off (SPFBO), this novel sits uncontested in my top ten books of the past two years and I cannot wait to continue the ride.

Next in Series:

The True Bastards

| 8. |

Orconomics

by J. Zachary Pike

And another SPFBO winner graces my top ten list… which does make me wonder about all those other amazing self-published books I had no idea existed – and probably still don’t!

Orconomics is a wonderful, satirical, comedy romp through fantasy-land which manages to excite, entertain and even tug on the heart strings at times. Gorm Ingerson and his unwanted band of less-than-merry misfits have become firm favourites.

Next in Series:

Son of a Liche

| 9. |

Sins of Empire

by Brian McClellan

When I first read Promise of Blood, I enjoyed it so much that I had to create a whole new five-star-plus category when reviewing it; but as time and life caught up with me, I simply forgot to pick up the next two books in the series.

In the interim, Sins of Empire managed to slip its way onto my Kindle, a book set after the events of The Powder Mage Trilogy. In completely uncharacteristic fashion, I cracked it open and waded through a whole swamp of Powder Mage spoilers to its wonderful conclusion. And it didn’t even matter. Sins of Empire is brilliant, Brian McClellan is brilliant, and I think I could read any of his books in any order and would still enjoy the ride!

Next in Series:

Wrath of Empire + Blood of Empire

| 10. |

The Nevernight Chronicle

Nevernight + Godsgrave

by Jay Kristoff

I was reading Nevernight just as I stopped blogging in 2018 and never got to share just how wonderful this book is! Nevernight and its sequel, Godsgrave, are dark, grim and treacherous, and an absolute bloody joy to read.

Kristoff is a master of suspense who takes us through a labyrinth of twists and turns before an always brilliant conclusion. I hadn’t expected to love this series as much as I do and it’s opened a world of Kristoff’s writing that I never even realised existed!

Next in Series:

Darkdawn


Stay tuned for my follow up posts:

My Top Ten Games of the Past Two Years

and

My Top Ten TV Series of the Past Two Years 


What have been your favourite books of the past few years?

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The Month Ahead: May 2016


In The Month Ahead, I will be rounding up the books I’m currently reading, the ones I will start this month, and the ones I intend getting my mitts on… if I haven’t already! Expect news and features by the bucketful!


| Currently Reading |

This month I’m embarrassed to say that NOS4R2 and Emma are still on my currently reading pile – one day they’ll leave it, I promise! – but this month they’re in the wonderful company of Lustlocked by Matt Wallace and Between Two Thorns by Emma Newman.

What are you reading at the moment? 
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| May Events |

Here are the upcoming themes for this month’s Friday Face-Off:

06th May 2016 | You Got The Blues

A cover which is predominantly blue

13th May 2016 | Which Witch is Which?

A cover which features a witch and/or witchcraft

20th May 2016 | Just Then Flew Down a Monstrous Crow

A cover which features a bird

27th May | Renewed Shall be Blade That Was Broken

A cover which features the word ‘blade’ in its title


The Between Two Thorns Read Along

Organised by Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow

Week 1 (Monday 9th May)

Chapters 1-9 – hosted by Over the Effing Rainbow

Week 2 (Monday 16th May)

Chapters 10-18 – hosted by On Starships and Dragonwings

Week 3 (Monday 23rd May)

Chapters 19-25 – Imyril at OneMore.org

Week 4 (Monday 30th May)

Chapters 26-End – hosted by Lynn’s Books

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For this month’s Read Along we’ll be reading the first book in The Split Worlds series by Emma Newman, Between Two Thorns. If you’re interested in joining in then head on over to the Goodreads group page and sign up!heart

| Synopsis |

Something is wrong in Aquae Sulis, Bath’s secret mirror city.

The new season is starting and the Master of Ceremonies is missing. Max, an Arbiter of the Split Worlds Treaty, is assigned with the task of finding him with no one to help but a dislocated soul and a mad sorcerer.

There is a witness but his memories have been bound by magical chains only the enemy can break. A rebellious woman trying to escape her family may prove to be the ally Max needs.

But can she be trusted? And why does she want to give up eternal youth and the life of privilege she’s been born into?

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| May Goals |

This May I’ve decided to mix up my usual goals (which inevitably fail) and set a challenge I may actually complete. Having been a member of the Goodreads Group for a while now but having yet to participate, this month I will be starting my RMFAO Genre Challenge. I’ve put together quite a large list – intention is everything after all – so hopefully I’ll tick at least a few off and actually get some classics read this year!heart

| The Target |

Level 5

Bookiopath

5 books or more (challenging)

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| The Books |

Bulldog Drummond by Sapper (PB)

Service with a Smile by P.G. Wodehouse (PB)

Ashenden by W. Somerset Maugham (PB)

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (PB)

The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick (PB)

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells (EB)

Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne (EB)

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For a list of the rules, levels and each month’s genres, head on over to the Goodreads page


| May Releases |

And here is a (by no means comprehensive) list of the releases I’m most looking forward to this May – dates are from UK publishers only (though many will coincide!).

10th May

Too Like The Lightning

by Ada Palmer

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Children-of-Earth-and-Sky-Guy-Gavriel-Kay1

Children of Earth and Sky

by Guy Gavriel Kay

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19th May

The Sudden Appearance of Hope

by Claire Northheart

TheTowerofTheSwallow

The Tower of the Swallow

by Andrzej Sapkowski

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medusa-chronicles-cover-reveal

The Medusa Chronicles

by Alastair Reynolds and Stephen Baxterheart


24th May

26239013

A Blade of Black Steel

by Alex Marshallheart

Have you picked up any great books lately? What are your goals for the month ahead? 

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The Month Ahead: April 2016


The Month Ahead - April 2In The Month Ahead, I will be rounding up the books I’m currently reading, the ones I will start this month, and the ones I intend getting my mitts on… if I haven’t already! Expect news and features by the bucketful!


| Currently Reading |

I was going to remove Emma and NOS4R2 from my currently reading list… just because it’s slightly embarrassing them having been there for so long! But hey, I might actually get around to reading them this April so, for now, they’re here to stay! Added to that we have Terry Pratchett’s The Colour of Magic (because I have read woefully few of his books!), The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Ken Liu, and this month’s Read Along, An Artificial Night by Seanan McGuire. So all in all, plenty to be getting on with!

What are you reading at the moment? 
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| April Events |

Friday Face Off Meme - whiteTurning The Friday Face-Off into a weekly meme proved to be marvellous fun last month, so thank you for reading and participating! So for those of you who fancy joining in or are interested in what’s coming up, here are the upcoming themes for this April:

08th April 2016 | Peace is Poor Reading

A cover which features war

15th April 2016 | Metropolis

A cover which features a city

22nd April 2016 | Dead Men Tell No Tales

A cover which features something or somewhere relating to death

29th April 2016 | Like One, That on a Lonesome Road

A cover which features a road

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An Artificial Night - white

An Artificial Night Read Along

Organised by Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow

Week 1 (Saturday 9th April)

Chapters 1-7 – hosted by Over the Effing Rainbow

Week 2 (Saturday 16th April)

Chapters 8-17 – hosted by Books by Proxy (me!)

Week 3 (Saturday 23rd April)

Chapters 18-24 – hosted by Lynn’s Books

Week 4 (Saturday 30th April)

Chapters 25-End – hosted by TBA

heartWith Rosemary and Rue and A Local Habitation already under our belts this year, it was only a matter of time before the next October Daye novel was added to our Read Along shelf. Both the previous two novels have been tremendously good fun and have managed to spark an addiction that I can’t see ending soon. If anyone would like to join in with the third book in the series, An Artificial Night, head on over to the Goodreads group and sign up!heart

| Synopsis |

Changeling knight in the court of the Duke of Shadowed Hills, October “Toby” Daye has survived numerous challenges that would destroy fae and mortal alike. Now Toby must take on a nightmarish new assignment. Someone is stealing both fae and mortal children – and all signs point to Blind Michael. When the young son of Toby’s closest friends is snatched from their Northern California home, Toby has no choice but to track the villains down, even when there are only three magical roads by which to reach Blind Michael’s realm – home of the legendary Wild Hunt – and no road may be taken more than once. If she cannot escape with all the children before the candle that guides and protects her burns away, Toby herself will fall prey to Blind Michael’s inescapable power.

And it doesn’t bode well for the success of her mission that her own personal Fetch, May Daye – the harbinger of Toby’s own death – has suddenly turned up on her doorstep…

An Artificial Night is the third installment of the highly praised Toby Daye series.heart


| Upcoming Events |

|May |

The Between Two Thorns Read Along

Organised by Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow

Week 1 (Monday 9th May)

Chapters 1-9 – hosted by Over the Effing Rainbow

Week 2 (Monday 16th May)

Chapters 10-18 – hosted by On Starships and Dragonwings

Week 3 (Monday 23rd May)

Chapters 19-25 – Imyril at OneMore.org

Week 4 (Monday 30th May)

Chapters 26-End – hosted by Lynn’s Books

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In May we’re going to be enjoying the first book in The Split Worlds series by Emma Newman, Between Two Thorns. I’d never heard of this series before the Read Along cropped up but I’m certain I’m going to enjoy it. If you’re interested in joining in with this read along, go over to the Goodreads group page and sign up!

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| Synopsis |

Something is wrong in Aquae Sulis, Bath’s secret mirror city.

The new season is starting and the Master of Ceremonies is missing. Max, an Arbiter of the Split Worlds Treaty, is assigned with the task of finding him with no one to help but a dislocated soul and a mad sorcerer.

There is a witness but his memories have been bound by magical chains only the enemy can break. A rebellious woman trying to escape her family may prove to be the ally Max needs.

But can she be trusted? And why does she want to give up eternal youth and the life of privilege she’s been born into?

heart


| April Releases |

And here is a (by no means comprehensive) list of the releases I’m most looking forward to this April  – dates are from UK publishers only (though many will coincide!).

5th April

ItLoD

In the Labyrinth of Drakes

by Marie Brennanheart


7th April

Fellside

by M.R. Careyheart

BurnedUK300

Burned

by Benedict Jacka

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Saint's Blood

Saint’s Blood

by Sebastien de Castell

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12th April

masks-and-shadows-cover

Masks and Shadows

by Stephanie Burgis

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26th April

Sharp-Ends-FC2-3

Sharp Ends 

by Joe Abercrombie

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| April Goals |

To finish NOS4R2 and Emma before the month is out!

Roll over!

Status: 0 of 2 Complete

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Have you picked up any great books lately? What are your goals for the month ahead? 

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