Heyhey, BookNerds! It is that time of year again where we all try to chose our top 10 most loved books of the year, only to realise we are all incredibly indecisive and cannot possibly compose such a list!
However, I have managed to compose a list of my most loved books of 2021 (all published this year, to narrow down my list!)- so let’s see what I LOVED this year!
In no particular order, here is my top 10 books of the year!
Book Review: The Jasmine Throne (Burning Kingdoms #1), by Tasha Suri. Ok, so if you somehow haven’t realised this by now, one of my absolute top reads of this year had to be The Jasmine Throne, by Tasha Suri – and let me tell you that this book absolutely deserves all the love. This book was just Beautiful and Amazing in so many ways. We get multiple POV, sapphic MC’s, plant magic, Burn the patriarchy, a multitude of strong women, and gorgeous prose. The plot is gripping, focusing on Priya (our maidservant with a secret) and Malini (An imprisoned princess), the characters are so well crafted and the whole story really draws you in.
Book Review: She Who Became The Sun (The Radiant Emperor #1), by Shelley Parker-Chan. So SWBTS is a phenomenal book that deserves so much love and was undoubtedly a top read of mine this year. SWBTS deals with gender, power, fate, war, morality and so much more. The plot is clever, the prose witty and brilliant, and the characters are just amazing. We also get a lot of rep, with sapphic love, genderqueer mc, Chinese setting/cast and more! This historical fantasy is just an all round amazing read that I cannot recommend enough.
Book Review: The Unbroken (Magic Of The Lost #1), by C.L. Clark. The final sapphic trifecta book and a brilliantly powerful read. This book tackles colonialism and race in an epic story of war, magic and politics. Of course we get sapphic mc’s and some more rep, a PoC cast, and a lot of morally grey chaotic characters! This book really shines with the complexity of the characters within it, but the plot is just as engaging! I definitely recommend, and if you need prompting the I just -> Touraine’s Arms.
Book Review: The Mask Of Mirrors (Rook And Rose #1), by M. A. Carrick. AND Book Review: The Liar’s Knot (Rook & Rose #2), by M.A. Carrick (I’m not cheating shh) I have to include the two books from the Rook and Rose series that dropped this year! So Both of these books are absolutely amazing and incredibly intricate. The plot is twisty and full of magic and secrets, the characters I LOVE (from Ren to Vargo to Grey) they are complex and clever, and the prose is descriptive and yet flows easily. From pattern to numinat – this queernormative world and it’s magic will utterly captivate you.
Book Review: The Dragon Of Jin-Sayeng, (Chronicles Of The Bitch-Queen) by KS Villoso. The impressive finale to an amazing trilogy – The Chronicles of the Bitch-Queen is over and will truly amaze you This book is gritty, emotional, powerful and a perfect ending to this series. This definitely became a top read with its impressively realistic flawed and complex characters. The plot is also excellent, with action, dragons and wars. But the heart of this book is the raw emotion inked on every page.
Book Review: The Bone Ship’s Wake (The Tide Child #3), by RJ Barker. Barker impresses us again with this dark and gritty finale (all kittens for sure!!) We get an explosive finale with prophecies coming to an end, venegeance at the helm and, of course, with Keyshans rising. The series wraps up well, and this finale delivers with both emotion and action. I definitely recommend finishing or picking up this series, it’s such an amazing swashbuckling series that takes you to seas full of magic and danger on a ship made of Bone.
Book Review: The Wild Court (The Coming of Aed #3), by EG Radcliff. Another final installment and a powerhouse finale to a gritty and magical series. A series with strong Celtic influences and a strong heart at the centre, this finale will blow you away. It is funny, tender and hard-hitting, with strong themes of trauma, found family and belonging. The series gives us magic and fae, and the finale finally gives us a glimpse at the fae’s world! From the plot to the characters, the detail and construction is brilliant. Not to mention, the character’s relationships are truly the heart of this series with their genuine sincerity and complexity that makes them so real.
Book Review: The Shadow Of The Gods (The Bloodsworn Saga #1), by John Gwynne. My first book by Gwynne and it definitely left it’s mark! From old magic, to battles, to mysterious kidnappings and pasts – this is a true Norse fantasy that is bloody, brutal and brilliant. We get such a range of characters from brute force powerhouses to quick and clever skilled fighters – not to mention the abundance of secrets and questionable trades we learn about over the course of the book. I definitely recommend this book that perfectly captures the consequences and power of magic from Old Gods.
Book Review: A Master of Djinn (Dead Djinn #1), by P. Djèlí Clark. This is an excellent, fun, detective-type fantasy set in Egypt with the addition of magic, Djinn and some brilliant characters. Fatma and her suits is enough to make you want to read this but if that’s not convincing enough this sapphic led fantasy will take you on a twisty murder mystery full of old tales and tricky word bargains! With secret cults, magic and plots – this book will definitely capture your attention.
Book Review: The Bone Shard Emperor (The Drowning Empire #2), by Andrea Stewart. Another second installmet to an intriguing fantasy series ! This book picks up where book 1 ends and takes us on a secret filled adventure. This book delivers more action, politics and answers while maintaining enough mystery for book 3. With Lin assuming the role of Emperor, we get a whole new dyamic to explore and it really pays off!
5 Special Mentions!
Book Review: For The Wolf (Wilderwood #1), by Hannah Whitten. I love retellings and this one was definitely interesting and unique! With plant/forest magic, a mysterious wolf, and a headstrong mc, this book takes you on a dark fairytale adventure. Not to mention the sister bond throughout the book really playing a crucial role, and the sister’s POV giving us more insight into the world!
Book Review: The Quicksilver Court (Rooks and Ruin #2), by Melissa Caruso. This excellent, dark and twisty second installment brings our character’s worst fears and darkest secrets to the forefront as Ryx tries to correct the consequences of book 1. The Rookery really is tested in this book, and it is absolutely thrilling to watch play out, especially with all the secrets revealed!
Book Review: Legacy Of Light (The Legacy Trilogy #3), by Matthew Ward. An epic finale to a fantasy series of phenomenal proportions. This chonky, epic, large-scale fantasy finally brings together all the prophecies, bargains and secrets of the series together and challenges our heroes and villains in every way. As alliances become fragile, and the hard earned peace is threatened, our characters must make some cucial decisions that will decide their fates.
Book Review: Skin Of The Sea, by Natasha Bowen. This beautiful fantasy explores the Mami Wata and what hapens when they break their oath. Condemned for saving a life, one brave Mami Wata must risk everyhing to save her people and the world as she knows it. This is a gorgeous and emotional read that takes you on a magical and emotional journey.
Book Review: We Lie With Death (The Reborn Empire #2), by Devin Madson. I haven’t had the chance to buy and read the third installment of this series yet, but the second installment released this year too! This is an epic, gritty and brutal fantasy that has multiple POV, an extensive world and some very dark and gritty magic. This is definitely an epic fantasy that is worth the read.
So these were my top reads of the year! So many great books were released this year! What was your top read? Let me know.👀