Late 2016 Wrap-Up and Best of 2016

I’m a bit late to the party since I should have done this on December, but life and chronic illness got in the way. I made a Goodreads challenge for reading 25 books, but fell a bit short. Most books I read last year are old school fantasy classics I’ve made a personal goal to catch up with, and only a couple new releases. Btw this is why you shouldn’t ask me to review new releases. Unfortunately I am not one of those people who read 150-200 books a year, my own writing takes a lot of my free time. Here goes my 2016 top ten list:

1. The Wheel of Osheim by Mark Lawrence

The Wheel of Osheim I had been anxiously waiting for this book, since I’m a huge fan of Mark Lawrence, and his was hands down the best book I have read in 2016. See my review.

2. The Mirror’s Truth by Michael R. Fletcher

The Mirror's Truth I had been looking forward to sequel to Beyond Redemption, and it turned out to be more glorious than I expected. Superb characters, excellent prose and a superb grimdark setting, this was definitely the best grimdark I have read in 2016.See my review.

3. Senlin Ascends by Josiah Bancroft

Senlin Ascends I picked this one up after it made it to the SPFBO semifinals and Mark Lawrence recommended it. I normally read fantasy in pre-modern settings, but I have been curious about steampunk and Senlin Ascends turned out to be quite an excellent choice. It’s very different from the usual genre fiction, leaning more towards literary fiction/magical realism, but steampunk to the core. I can’t recommend it enough. See my review.

4. The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan

The Eye of The World I have been wanting to get into the Wheel of Time and finally managed in 2016. Never too late to read the Eye of the World! I loved it so much I am planning to re-read already after I finish the whole series. See my review.

5. The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb

The Farseer Trilogy

I will cheat and put the whole trilogy here. I loved these books to death, though it is quite a heavy read and you need to read something funny afterwards to get out of the intense melancholy it gives you. See my reviews for book #1, book #2 and book #3.

6. The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan

The Great Hunt The Eye of the World got me hooked and this book got me addicted to the Wheel of Time. The way Jordan unfolds the world and the characters is truly stellar. The length of the series may be intimidating, but it’s such a great joy to slowly explore the eormous diverse world, you gotta read it to see how awesome it is! See my review here.

7. The Dragon Reborn by Robert Jordan

The Dragon Reborn Book #3 of the Wheel of Time distinguished itself with the non-Rand POV’s and the impressive character development while showing the plethora of diverse cultures and lands. Matt’s slow character development reaches the level of awesomeness I have a hard time describing with words and the Aes Sedai world has the supreme dose of magic all epic/high fantasy fans will love. Character development and depth in general is some of the best I have read in fantasy to date. See my review here.

8. Road Brothers – Tales From The Broken Empire by Mark Lawrence

Road Brothers : Tales from the Broken Empire This indie published collection of short stories from the Broken Empire explores the various side characters in depth and gives a good glimpse to their background stories. I greatly enjoyed this book, it was like meeting old friends again. See my review here.

9. Last Argument of Kings by Joe Abercrombie

Last Argument of Kings I am a huge fan of the First Law Trilogy and this book made a superb ending with fireworks and lots of twists. See my review here.

10.The Tombs of Atuan by Ursula K. Le Guin

Tombs of Atuan I am glad to read the first two books of the Earthsea Cycle, and liked this book more than A Wizard of Earthsea. Perhaps it was the gritty, melancholy atmosphere, or the awesome female protag, but Earthsea is definitely a must read for all fantasy fans. See my review here.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Historical Settings I’d Love to Read

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesdays meme is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish and this week’s theme is favorite historical or futuristic settings. Since I don’t read scifi and not interested in futuristic settings, I will list my top 10 historical settings I’d love to read in fantasy books

Here goes my Top 10:

1. Ancient Greece

It would be awesome to read fantasy reflecting the daily life and culture of ancient Greece. There are fantasy books with Geek god themes, but it’s not the same. I want to go back to Socrates time, but with magic, supernatural races and fantasy themes.

2. Ancient Rome

Another all time favorite of mine. I need to dig out some fantasy books set in an ancient Roman environment.

3. Persian and Sassanid periods

If there are any epic fantasy books featuring a main setting based on Persian or Sassanid Empires, I don’t know about them. I’ll take

4. Byzantine Empire

The only book I have heard of that features a Byzantine setting is the Sarantine Mosaic by Guy Gavriel Kay, it’s in my TBR for 2016. I hope it’s as good as the reddit denizens say it is!

5. Genghis Khan period

I’d love to read fantasy based on the Mongolian Empire of Genghis Khan.

6. Ancient Egypt

Give me the dynasty wars and and the semi-divine pharaohs of ancient Egypt any day!

7. Medieval Europe

Even though most epic fantasy is set in a pseudo Medieval Europe setting, I still can’t get enough of it.

8. Medieval Japan

I loved, loved, loved it in the Empire Trilogy and would love to read more of it.

9.Norse/Viking period

This is a popular theme in epic fantasy and a favorite I’ll never get tired of.

10. Medieval India

India has an incredibly rich culture and mythology, I think it would make an awesome fantasy setting. If you know of books featuring Indian mythology and culture, let me know!

What is your top ten? Share your link in the comments!

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite New Authors I Read For The First Time In 2015

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesdays meme is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish and this week’s theme is the top 10 new authors I read in 2015. Many of them are established, some are even international bestsellers but I picked up reading again in late 2014 and discovered those great names this year. I haven’t done that much reading in 2015, since I’m too busy finishing my own book, and I read multiple books by the same authors so my list is rather short. I am adding the authors I have discovered and added to TBR to make it 10.

Here is my Top 10:

Authors whose books I have read in 2015:

1. Mark Lawrence

Discovered via the blogosphere looking for gritty fantasy to read while waiting for the new ASOIAF and Second Apocalypse books – I can safely say that Mark is the author of the future classics and the new king of Grimdark.
I’ve read 5 books by Mark Lawrence in 2015 and looking forward to The Wheel of Osheim. Future classics, I’m telling you!

2. Joe Abercrombie

I discovered Abercrombie along with Mark Lawrence, when I was looking for books to read to cure my ASOIAF hangover. I’m now a big fan of The First Law series. Joe’s characters are something else. Sand dan Glokta is the Raskolnikov of fantasy literature.

3. Graham Austin-King

Discovered via Facebook. Graham’s Riven Wyrde Saga is an awesome fantasy read. It has the dose of great magic lacking in the realistic fantasy books, yet it’s not your typical heroic epic fantasy. I particularly liked the martial arts training in the first book, the Norse inspired elements and the alien Fae world. Book 3 is releasing this Thursday, I’m so looking forward to read it!

4. Michael R. Fletcher

Discovered via word of mouth and blogosphere -I’m 320 pages into Beyond Redemption and utterly impressed with the depth of the characters ands the gritty setting. This book is a grimdark masterpiece.

Authors I discovered and added to TBR in 2015:

5. Robin Hobb

Discovered via word of mouth, my bookish friends swear up and down by the Farseer Trilogy and I’m planning to read it as soon as I finish the immediate review stack.

6. Mazarkis Williams

Discovered via social media, later on I found out she beta read The Broken Empire books by Mark Lawrence. Added Tower and Knife Trilogy to my TBR, the books sound quite promising for a fantasy lover.

7. Michael Sullivan

Discovered via Reddit /r/fantasy and the denizens there convinced me to read his Riyria series. I bought the first few books, planning to read them soon.

8. Sarah J. Maas

Discovered via blogosphere -since the majority of the book bloggers out there are focused on YA and everyone has been hyping the Throne of Glass series, I am planning to read it soon.

9. Marissa Meyer

Discovered via blogosphere -Lunar Chronicles sounded quite promising (even though I am not interested in reading scifi) so I decided to give it a shot.

10. Victoria Schwab

Discovered via blogosphere -A Darker Shade of Magic sounded very intriguing so I added it to my 2016 TBR as well.

What is your top ten?

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books To Movies I Can’t Wait For

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesdays meme is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish and this week’s theme is the books we can’t wait to see on the big screen.

Here is my Top 10:

1. Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss

They already optioned this, so I expect to see a movie soon enough. It will be interesting to see how they will adapt a story with no plot. It will be a difficult one for sure.

My reviews for the books:

The Name of The Wind

The Wise Man’s Fear


2. The Broken Empire by Mark Lawrence

Gritty as gritty goes, I’m dying to see a movie adaptation of this magnificent trilogy. I think Jorg will have millions of fangirls if they ever make it a movie of these books.

My reviews for the books:

Prince of Thorns

King of Thorns

Emperor of Thorns


3. The First Law trilogy by Joe Abercrombie

Who wouldn’t want to see Sand dan Glokta on the big screen? Though I’m looking forward to Ferro kicking arse and Bloody Nine going nine kinds of berserk.

My review for the first book here:

The Blade Itself

4. The Prince of Northing by R. Scott Bakker

This is one guaranteed to make the Game of Thrones look like a Disney princess movie. It’s the epitomy of grimdark allright! But I doubt I will see a movie adaptation of it in my lifetime.

My reviews for the series:

The Darkness That Comes Before
The Warrior Prophet
The Thousandfold Thought


5. The Empire Trilogy by Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts

Oldies but goodies -this is the second fantasy series I have read after Tolkien and it has a special place in my heart. It features superb political intrigue, a powerful and exceptionally intelligent female lead and a cast of awesome secondary characters. I think it would make a great series of movies. Which reminds, I need to re-read this series and write reviews that’s long overdue too, damnit!


6. The Riftwar Saga by Raymond E. Feist

This is the prequel to The Empire Trilogy (though The Empire Trilogy can be read as a standalone) and the first fantasy series I have read after the Tolkien books. I think it would make a fantastic movie series.

See my reviews for the books:

Magician (Apprentice and Master)
Silverthorn
A Darkness in Sethanon


7. Dark Elf Trilogy by R.A. Salvatore

I don’t know about you but I can’t wait to see Drizzt and his magical pet panther Guenhwyvar on the big screen. If they could make an accurate Menzoberranzan it would be a total delight to watch.

8. Dragonlance Chronicles by Margret Weis and Tracy Hickman

This series has millions of fans worldwide, yet they never bothered making movies or even a TV show of it save for that pathetic, 70’s style cartoon pilot. It’s a total shame, really. I hope some day we will get to see Raistlin on the big screen or at least on TV… Some day…

Read my reviews for the books:

Dragons of Autumn Twilight
Dragons of Winter Night
Dragons of Spring Dawning

9.The Chronicles of Amber by Roger Zelazny

It’s such a shame they never made a movie of this cult classic of fantasy literature. It would make a terrific tv series if anything! But movies would be great. I think Benedict Cumberbatch would make a fantastic Corwin!

10. The Elric Saga by Michael Moorcock

Another older cult classic, another way overdue movie adaptation fans have been waiting for decades. Sword and Sorcery is never out of fashion and I think it would be fairly successful if they made movies of the Elric books.

See my review here

Elric Saga: Part 1

What is your top ten?

Top Ten Tuesday: The Last Ten Books I Have Acquired

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish and this week’s theme is the last ten books we have acquired (purchased, borrowed from the library, ARC copies) and here goes my list, dominated by Grimdark as expected (click on the images to see my reviews, if available):

The Portal: Journeys to New Realms of Fantasy (Anthology of Six Novels)

Dragons of Spring Dawning (Dragonlance: Chronicles #3) by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman

Dragons of Winter Night (Dragonlance: Chronicles #2) by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman

Fae:The Wild Hunt (The Riven Wyrde Saga #2) by Graham Austin-King (

Fae – The Realm of Twilight (The Riven Wyrde Saga #2) by Graham Austin-King

Prince of Fools (Red Queen’s War #1) by Mark Lawrence

The Blade Itself (First Law #1) by Joe Abercrombie

Before They Are Hanged (First Law #2) by Joe Abercrombie

Those Above (The Empty Throne #1) by Daniel Polansky

Emperor of Thorns (The Broken Empire #3) by Mark Lawrence