My Top 15 Favorite Author Debuts

Sam at The Book in Hand book blog and I were talking about some of our favorite books. We were amazed that they were the author’s debut book because of how good they are. We got to like 5 or 6 authors before Sam suggested I should do a blog post about it. Thank you for the idea Sam!

To do anything extremely well the first time you do it is amazing and all of these authors deserve a ton of respect and acknowledgement for absolutely killing their debut novels. I had planned on only doing a top 5, but as I kept thinking about it and going through my “Read” shelf on Goodreads it ended up being a top 15….reader problems. This list is not based on the series as a whole, but rather how each individual book stands up on its own. I think the best books, at least for me, are those that you can’t quite put into words why you love them. With that in mind, I won’t be adding any thoughts about each one like I usually do. These are all books I abolutely love and highly recommend for any fan of SFF. In no particular order, here is the list of the debut books that I enjoyed the most.

Theft of Swords (Riyria Revelations #1-2) by Michael J Sullivan

“Aren’t you going to say, I told you so?” Hadrian whispered.
“What would be the point in that?”
“Oh, so you’re saying that you’re going to hang on to this and throw it at me at some future, more personally beneficial moment?”
“I don’t see the point in wasting it now, do you?”

Age of Assassins (The Wounded Kingdom #1) by RJ Barker (Review)

“Bad friends are worse than no friends,”

We Are The Dead (The Last War #1) by Mike Shackle (Review)

“We are the dead who stand in the light.
We are the dead who face the night.
We are the dead whom evil fears.
We are the Shulka and we are the dead.”

Promise of Blood (Powder Mage trilogy #1) by Brian McClellan (Review)

“The age of kings is dead, Adamat, and I have killed it.”

Red Rising (Red Rising #1) by Pierce Brown

“I would have lived in peace. But my enemies brought me war.”

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Harry Potter #1) by J.K. Rowling

“It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.”

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

“Every man has his excuses, and the more vile the man becomes, the more touching the story has to be. What is my story now, I wonder?”

Blood Song (Raven’s Shadow #1) by Anthony Ryan

“War is always an adventure to those who’ve never seen it.”

The Forgetting Moon (The Five Warrior Angels #1) by Brian Lee Durfee

“Trust is fleeting, while betrayal is timeless. Alas, life is crowded with lies. So be bloody, be brave, be happy. For at the end of every tale, nobody is who they seem to be…”

Malice (Faithful and the Fallen #1) by John Gwynne

“I shall stay and tell my tale, hope that it may serve some purpose, that eyes shall see it and learn, that the future will not repeat the mistakes of the past. That is my prayer, but what use is prayer to a god that has abandoned all things…”

The Rage of Dragons (The Burning #1) by Evan Winter (Review)

“And, like that, there was no going back. A Dragon had been called and someone would have to die.”

The Warded Man (The Demon Cycle #1) by Peter V Brett

“There’s a wide world out there, for those willing to brave the dark.”

The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentlemen Bastards #1) by Scott Lynch (Review)

“Someday, Locke Lamora,” he said, “someday, you’re going to fuck up so magnificently, so ambitiously, so overwhelmingly that the sky will light up and the moons will spin and the gods themselves will shit comets with glee. And I just hope I’m still around to see it.”

Ender’s Game (Ender Quartet #1) by Orson Scott Card

“In the moment when I truly understand my enemy, understand him well enough to defeat him, then in that very moment I also love him. I think it’s impossible to really understand somebody, what they want, what they believe, and not love them the way they love themselves. And then, in that very moment when I love them…I destroy them.”

The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicles #1) by Patrick Rothfuss (Review)

“Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts. There are seven words that will make a person love you. There are ten words that will break a strong man’s will. But a word is nothing but a painting of a fire. A name is the fire itself.”

10 Comments Add yours

  1. I love this and your answers are dead- on! I can’t believe Red Rising was a debut! Can I borrow this idea (credit and link to you, of course)?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. David S says:

      Isn’t it crazy?! Red Rising is so good! As I was going through these I just kept getting shocked at how good each of these debuts are.

      Feel free to use the idea as a post!:)


  2. Mada says:

    All excellent debuts
    I wonder if I’ll ever have my novel featured on this site one day haha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. David S says:

      Hey you never know man! Keep up the writing!


  3. Ugh, SO MANY of these are still on my TBR! But I guess that just means more things to look forward to, right? I adore Locke Lamora and am always happy to see it get some love. Fantastic list!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. David S says:

      You definitely have some awesome ones to look forward to! I didn’t know you love Lies of Locke Lamora! Gah, it’s so good!

      Liked by 1 person

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