Hello all! As 2021 comes to a close I had an absolute blast making my way through my ever-growing TBR. Making a top 10 list was very difficult, but I followed my gut and came up with 10 books that have really stuck out to me. Also, I have decided to only list one book per author as this list would have looked very different. I hope you enjoy it and happy reading!
#10 – Assassin by Andy Peloquin (Darkblade #1)
All in Voramis know the legend of the Hunter.
Relentless. Immortal. Death walking. The greatest assassin who ever lived.
Pay the master killer his due and the Hunter will execute any target, carry out any contract, no matter how impossible.
But when the Bloody Hand crime syndicate harms the innocents under his protection, they foolishly make an enemy of the one man they can’t afford to anger. The price of the Hunter’s vengeance is high—paid in blood and eternal damnation. Not even an army of crooks, cutthroats, and demonic creatures of nightmare can stand in his way.
He’s far more than just one man…he’s the Keeper-damned Hunter of Voramis.
#9 – Sword in the Storm by David Gemmell (Rigante #1)
Fierce and proud, the Rigante dwell deep in the green mountain lands, worshiping the gods of air and water, and the spirits of the earth. Among them lives a warrior who bears the mark of fate. Born of the storm that slew his father, he is Connavar, and tales of his courage spread like wildfire.
The Seidh–a magical race as old as time–take note of the young warrior and cast a malignant shadow across his life. For soon a merciless army will cross the water, destroying forever the timeless rhythms of life among the Rigante.
Swearing to protect his people, Connavar embarks on a quest that will take him into the heart of the enemy. Along the way, he receives a gift: a sword as powerful and deadly as the Seidh who forged it. Thus he receives a name that will strike fear into the hearts of friend and foe alike–a name proclaiming a glorious and bitter destiny . . .
#8 – Hall of Bones by Tim Hardie (The Brotherhood of the Eagle #1)
In the remote land of Laskar the seven ruling clans have vied with each other for power for over a century. The son of the Reavesburg Clan Chief, Rothgar, has been groomed all his life for a role supporting his elder brother, Jorik, in leading their kingdom when their father’s time finally comes to an end.
However, the rulers of their greatest rivals, the Vorund Clan, are in the grip of something older and far darker. They have been conquered by evil, a remnant from the time when the gods warred with one another and the world of Amuran collapsed into the Fallen Age.
Everything is about to change …
#7 – A Drowned Kingdom by P.L. Stuart (The Drowned Kingdom #1)
Once Second Prince of the mightiest kingdom in the known world, Othrun now leads the last survivors of his exiled people into an uncertain future far across the Shimmering Sea from their ancestral home, now lost beneath the waves. With his Single God binding his knights to chivalric oaths, intent on wiping out idolatry and pagan worship, they will have to carve out a new kingdom on this mysterious continent―a continent that has for centuries been ravaged by warlords competing for supremacy and mages channeling the mystic powers of the elements―and unite the continent under godly rule.
With a troubled past, a cursed sword, and a mysterious spirit guiding him, Othrun means to be that ruler, and conquer all. But with kingdoms fated on the edge of spears, alliances and pagan magic, betrayal, doubt, and dangers await him at every turn. Othrun will be forced to confront the truths of all he believes in on his journey to become a king, and a legend.
When one kingdom drowns, a new one must rise in its place. So begins the saga of that kingdom, and the man who would rule it all.
#6 – The Eye of Everfell by Bard Constantine (The Shadow Battles #1)
The inhabitants of Erseta have been overtaken. Their kingdoms are infiltrated, their rulers reduced to mere puppets. A game is played from the shadows, where the most powerful move unseen but make their presence felt in devastating ways. A whisper, and a king goes mad. A subtle nudge, and an empire topples. A war is being waged; the Five Kingdoms teeter on the verge of being ripped apart like rotted cloth.
Yet no one knows the truth.
Alaric Aelfvalder once took an interest in the ambitions of his kin. But as an immortal, the years have taken their toll, and his obsession rules his every whim. He will risk his soul to cure his people of the curse that afflicts them: their terrible brand of immortality.
Nyori Sharlin may have just been appointed a Shama, but her role as a keeper of ancient lore has already put her life in jeopardy. Her discovery of an ancient artifact captures the attention of Alaric, the Pale Lord who would do anything to recover it.
Renowned knight Marcellus Admorran knows nothing of shadowy schemes, but finds himself at the center of one regardless. Betrayed and left for dead, he returns to his once-favored kingdom consumed by two things: unanswered questions, and a thirst for vengeance.
Their lives will intersect with others: men who shift their shape with a thought, an ambitious and brutal warlord fixated on conquest, a cunning agent with duplicitous loyalties, a crimson-eyed mistress whose name means Death, and a band of skilled fighters who dare to hunt the immortal.
The Eye of Everfell spins a web of intrigue and suspense, romance and adventure. A must-read for fans of classic epic fantasy.
#5 – Winterset Hollow by Jonathan Edward Durham
Everyone has wanted their favorite book to be real, if only for a moment. Everyone has wished to meet their favorite characters, if only for a day. But be careful in that wish, for even a history laid in ink can be repaid in flesh and blood, and reality is far deadlier than fiction . . . especially on Addington Isle.
Winterset Hollow follows a group of friends to the place that inspired their favorite book—a timeless tale about a tribe of animals preparing for their yearly end-of-summer festival. But after a series of shocking discoveries, they find that much of what the world believes to be fiction is actually fact, and that the truth behind their beloved story is darker and more dangerous than they ever imagined. It’s Barley Day . . . and you’re invited to the hunt.
Winterset Hollow is as thrilling as it is terrifying and as smart as it is surprising. A uniquely original story filled with properly unexpected twists and turns, Winterset Hollow delivers complex, indelible characters and pulse- pounding action as it storms toward an unforgettable climax that will leave you reeling. How do you celebrate Barley Day? You run, friend. You run.
#4 – The Bone Shard Emperor by Andrea Stewart (The Drowning Empire #2)
The Emperor is Dead. Long live the Emperor.
Lin Sukai finally sits on the throne she won at so much cost, but her struggles are only just beginning. Her people don’t trust her. Her political alliances are weak. And in the north-east of the Empire, a rebel army of constructs is gathering, its leader determined to take the throne by force.
Yet an even greater threat is on the horizon, for the Alanga–the powerful magicians of legend–have returned to the Empire. They claim they come in peace, and Lin will need their help in order to defeat the rebels and restore peace.
But can she trust them?
#3 – Stormed Fortress by Janny Wurts (The War of Light and Shadow #8)
The spellbinding final instalment of The Alliance of Light.
Though Athera may be free, the fight is far from over…
The heartstopping conclusion to the Alliance of Light series brings Lysaer’s army of Light to besiege the great citadel of Alestron. Master of Shadow, Arithon, with barely a moment’s recuperation from his victory over the necromancers, has discovered that young Jeynsa s’Valerient whom he has sworn to protect, has joined the ranks of his disowned allies within the threatened citadel. Worse, following a failed rescue attempt, his beloved Elaira, his double, Fionn Areth, and the spellbinder Dakar are also trapped within Alestron’s walls. The chancy wiles of Davien the betrayer must spirit Arithon across the enemy lines to attempt a bold and perilous rescue mission.
Arithon must seek the heartcore of his talent, even while embroiled in a savage battle against those he has vowed to protect. But treachery strikes from deep within the duke’s ranks. Lysaer’s fanatics will be unleashed to claim their bloody revenge. With the Fellowship Sorcerers in mortal danger, and all under threat from a collapsing grimward, Davien the betrayer is unable to intercede to save his colleagues and so will be forced to invoke the dire terms of an ancient and most secretive bargain.
Arithon stands alone at the hour of reckoning as the true purpose of the Koriani enchantresses becomes, at long last fully, unveiled – with the covetous Prime Matriarch now poised to snatch a prize, a prize beyond that of merely integrity and life…
#2 – The Shadow of the Gods by John Gwynne (The Bloodsworn saga #1)
A century has passed since the gods fought and drove themselves to extinction. Now only their bones remain, promising great power to those brave enough to seek them out.
As whispers of war echo across the land of Vigrid, fate follows in the footsteps of three warriors: a huntress on a dangerous quest, a noblewoman pursuing battle fame, and a thrall seeking vengeance among the mercenaries known as the Bloodsworn.
All three will shape the fate of the world as it once more falls under the shadow of the gods.
#1 – Dragon Mage by ML Spencer (Riverworld #1)
Aram Raythe has the power to challenge the gods. He just doesn’t know it yet.
Aram thinks he’s nothing but a misfit from a small fishing village in a dark corner of the world. As far as Aram knows, he has nothing, with hardly a possession to his name other than a desire to make friends and be accepted by those around him, which is something he’s never known. But Aram is more.
Much, much more.
Unknown to him, Aram bears within him a gift so old and rare that many people would kill him for it, and there are others who would twist him to use for their own sinister purposes. These magics are so potent that Aram earns a place at an academy for warrior mages training to earn for themselves the greatest place of honor among the armies of men: dragon riders.
Aram will have to fight for respect by becoming not just a dragon rider, but a Champion, the caliber of mage that hasn’t existed in the world for hundreds of years. And the land needs a Champion. Because when a dark god out of ancient myth arises to threaten the world of magic, it is Aram the world will turn to in its hour of need.