Through 2013 I have read a total of 96 books. This is along with Magazines, Newspapers and pretty much anything that has the printed word on it. I have always done this. My mother despaired of me. When I wasn’t drawing and painting my head was always in a book or writing in notebooks. Nothing has changed. I do not claim to be any form of knowledgeable critic of the books I read, but I like to let the authors know when I appreciate their efforts. I’m sure I would want to know if I was in their shoes. These are only some of my favourites from the past year. They are in no particular order. I could not list them all for obvious reasons. Where I have read books as a series I have listed them as one item.
Forge of Darkness.
For Steven Erikson’s Tiste Andii world. This prequel to the Malazan Juggernaut is a beautiful portrayal of a decaying world. The inhabitants knowingly, hurtling to their own destruction. Cruel, malicious and savage the Tiste Andii ,tear at each other while Anomander and his kin manoeuver for position for what is to come.
Classic Terry Pratchett. Commander Vimes and The City Watch of Ankh-Morpork, Lord Vetinari, Vampires, Werewolves, Nobbie and all the crew. Mischief and Mayhem, beautiful, funny and clever use of language.
Hopeless, Maine. Books 1 & 2.
These beautiful graphic novels by Tom and Nimue Brown are like little tablets of Onyx. Dark and precious. Tom’s emotive and delightful art works teamed with Nimue’s macabre and witty tales are a sublime pairing.
The Ocean at the end of the Lane.
Neil Gaiman in fine fettle. Nostalgia, love, fear , and so many other things. How memory works. Humanity. Beautifully, achingly , glorious imagery. One mans return to what was lost.
The Broken Empire Books. Prince of Thorns, King of Thorns and Emperor of Thorns.
Mark Lawrence for Jorg Ancrath. A man who acts on the impulses we repress. An intelligent, damaged, beautiful character. Wonderful language and humour. Great action and battle scenes. Looking forward to Mark’s next book.
The Dragon Sword Histories, 3 Books, And The Empire of Bones, Books 1 &2.
Duncan Lay’s land of discarded warriors is a troubled, cruel place. Magic, political intrigues, a young queen in danger. Martil is a rare man of honour, but is he the wielder of the Dragon Sword? Glorious escapism, very well written.
The Left Hand Of God Trilogy – The Left Hand of God, The Last Four Things, The Beating of His Wings.
For Paul Hoffman’s brutal battles, and acts of “Redemption”. For his charismatic characters. For his portrayal of a child monster created by a religious, military superpower. For Thomas Cale, lost child, sociopath, military genius .
The Kingslayer Chronicle – The Name of The Wind , The Wise Mans Fear
For Patrick Rothfuss’s wonderful creation Kvothe. The legendary scallywag, scholar, musician, lover, warrior and hero. Brilliant story and language. I, like everyone else, am waiting for the next instalment.
John Gwynne’s debut novel is a glorious tale. Characters you care about. In a land about to be torn apart by ambition and dark magic’s, one small boy grows into manhood unaware he may make the difference to everything. More to come in this series.
The Blood of Whisperers and The Gods of Vice.
Devin Madson ‘s debut series set in a land reminiscent of feudal Japan is a fast paced page turner. There is a man of common blood on the throne, and too many heirs of the true blood coming out of the woodwork for any good to be had of it. Throw Empaths into the mix and watch the fuse burn.
Jay Kristoff for Kinslayer, Mercedes M Yardley for Atomic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu, Miles Cameron for The Red Knight, Kate Forsyth for The Wild Girl and Traci Harding for Dreaming of Zhou Gong.
Revisited for the umpteenth time and much loved.
Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmerman Bradley and The Belgariad Books by David Eddings.