Wow, 2019 has been filled with amazing books! I had an incredible year: I traveled with an “I love Lucy”-obsessed alien, visited the Starless Sea, and solved a mystery on Coney Island. And that’s just some of the wonderful things I got to experience in literature this year. I loved so many of the books I read, but I’ve (painfully) narrowed down the plethora of amazing books to a short list of favorites. In no particular order, here they are:
Master of Sorrows ( The Silent Gods #1) by Justin Travis Call
This book is a masterpiece. I loved everything about it. You can find my review here. If you like a good fantasy, don’t let this one pass you by.
You have heard the story before – of a young boy, orphaned through tragic circumstances, raised by a wise old man, who comes to a fuller knowledge of his magic and uses it to fight the great evil that threatens his world.
But what if the boy hero and the malevolent, threatening taint were one and the same?
What if the boy slowly came to realize he was the reincarnation of an evil god? Would he save the world . . . or destroy it?
Among the Academy’s warrior-thieves, Annev de Breth is an outlier. Unlike his classmates who were stolen as infants from the capital city, Annev was born in the small village of Chaenbalu, was believed to be executed, and then unknowingly raised by his parents’ killers.
Seventeen years later, Annev struggles with the burdens of a forbidden magic, a forgotten heritage, and a secret deformity. When he is subsequently caught between the warring ideologies of his priestly mentor and the Academy’s masters, he must choose between forfeiting his promising future at the Academy or betraying his closest friends. Each decision leads to a deeper dilemma, until Annev finds himself pressed into a quest he does not wish to fulfil.
Will he finally embrace the doctrine of his tutors, murder a stranger, and abandon his mentor? Or will he accept the more difficult truth of who he is . . . and the darker truth of what he may become . . . (taken from Amazon)
The Dragon’s Banker by Scott Warren
I fell in love with this unique tale. A story about the man who happens to be a dragon’s personal banker? Brilliant. You can read my review here.
Finance: The lifeblood of any country’s beating heart and the life’s work of Sailor Kelstern — Merchant Banker. While wizards brood in their towers and great warriors charge into battle Sailor is more interested in the price of ore, herbs, and alchemicals carried by the trade ships.
But when a spell of bad fortune and bitter rivalry leaves him scrambling to turn a profit on little more than winds and whispers, one such whisper catches Sailor’s ear— a dragon has been seen in the west.
Sailor soon finds that the dragons are very real, and not at all what he expected. And they practice a very different sort of economy — one of subterfuge and fire. (taken from Amazon)
The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
This book will stick with me for a long, long time. It’s beautifully written, and special in a way that I can’t quite describe. I tried really hard to, though, in my original review. You can find that here.
In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored, and utterly out of place.
Then she finds a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds, and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger. Each page turn reveals impossible truths about the world and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own. (taken from Amazon)
The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
This was my most anticipated new release of 2019. After reading and adoring, Erin Morgenstern’s previous book, The Night Circus, I had ridiculously high expectations for this one. It surpassed them. You can find my original review here.
Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a graduate student in Vermont when he discovers a mysterious book hidden in the stacks. As he turns the pages, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, key collectors, and nameless acolytes, he reads something strange: a story from his own childhood. Bewildered by this inexplicable book and desperate to make sense of how his own life came to be recorded, Zachary uncovers a series of clues—a bee, a key, and a sword—that lead him to a masquerade party in New York, to a secret club, and through a doorway to an ancient library hidden far below the surface of the earth. What Zachary finds in this curious place is more than just a buried home for books and their guardians—it is a place of lost cities and seas, lovers who pass notes under doors and across time, and of stories whispered by the dead. Zachary learns of those who have sacrificed much to protect this realm, relinquishing their sight and their tongues to preserve this archive, and also of those who are intent on its destruction. Together with Mirabel, a fierce, pink-haired protector of the place, and Dorian, a handsome, barefoot man with shifting alliances, Zachary travels the twisting tunnels, darkened stairwells, crowded ballrooms, and sweetly soaked shores of this magical world, discovering his purpose—in both the mysterious book and in his own life. (taken from Amazon)
Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames
Last, but most certainly not least, this fantasy blew me away. I loved every heart-pounding, violent, sweet, or funny moment of it. Read my original rave here.
Clay Cooper and his band were once the best of the best, the most feared and renowned crew of mercenaries this side of the Heartwyld.
Their glory days long past, the mercs have grown apart and grown old, fat, drunk, or a combination of the three. Then an ex-bandmate turns up at Clay’s door with a plea for help–the kind of mission that only the very brave or the very stupid would sign up for. (taken from Amazon)
So, there you have it. I am partially through a book right now that will probably be added to the list. It has been a really, really good reading year. I’m looking forward to more amazing books in 2020. Happy December, everyone!