Happy belated New Year to all!
It’s that time of year where we start making promises we know we won’t keep but in the spirit of trying, I’ve decided I’m going to formally commit/attempt at reading a set number of books this year!
Indeed, as far as Goodreads is concerned, I have set myself an achievable target of 30 books (1 down, 29 to go).
I’m hoping to make this a mix of published and self-published books but, for now, here are the top five novels – in no particular order – I’m hoping to get my hands on.
1) Prince of Thorns – Mark Lawrence
“Before the thorns taught me their sharp lessons and bled weakness from me I had but one brother, and I loved him well. But those days are gone and what is left of them lies in my mother’s tomb. Now I have many brothers, quick with knife and sword, and as evil as you please. We ride this broken empire and loot its corpse.” – (Goodreads)
It’s reportedly very dark, the front cover’s gorgeous, and George R. R. Martin’s a fan. What’s not to like?
Follow a young boy called Jorg, driven by an insatiable thirst for vengeance after watching the cold-blooded slaughter of his mother and brother – I did mention that it was dark, right?
2) Children of Blood and Bone – Tomi Adeyemi
“They killed my mother.
They took our magic.
They tried to bury us.
Now we rise.” – (Goodreads)
That’s two cases of parental killings now – I worry I’m starting some kind of morbid theme. Anyhow, putting aside the fact that Adeyemi’s debut novel won a Goodreads Choice Award (for Best Debut Author), what really grabs the attention is the story’s West African influence.
3) The Rage of Dragons – Evan Winter
“One in twenty-five hundred Omehi women are Gifted, wielding fragments of their Goddess’ power and capable of controlling the world’s most destructive weapon – Dragons. One in a hundred of their men has blood strong enough for the Gifted to infuse with magic, turning these warriors into near unstoppable colossi.” – (Goodreads)
Okay, okay, I know its a book of dragons, yes… I see the dragon… yes the author compares the book to Game of Thrones but hear me out! It’s a self-published, debut novel by Evan Winters, which comes with swathes of high recommendations.
Like Adeyemi’s, Winters’s novel is similarly influenced by the author’s African upbringing and should hopefully be just as fresh a breath of air as Children of Blood and Bone.
4) Senlin Ascends – Josiah Bancroft
“Soon after arriving for his honeymoon at the Tower, the mild-mannered headmaster of a small village school, Thomas Senlin, gets separated from his wife, Marya, in the overwhelming swarm of tourists, residents, and miscreants.
Senlin is determined to find Marya, but to do so he’ll have to navigate madhouses, ballrooms, and burlesque theaters. He must survive betrayal, assassination, and the long guns of a flying fortress. But if he hopes to find his wife, he will have to do more than just endure.” – (Goodreads)
Ooooh…. pretty. Did I mention I’m a sucker for a good cover?
You may also remember Mark Lawrence from #1, who simply can’t get enough of Senlin Ascends, and sells the book far better than I could at this stage:
“It’s the story of a man’s literal ascent up the many tiers of the Tower of Babel, a series of bizarre ring-doms standing at the centre of a huge and varied empire. Senlin goes there on honeymoon armed with his expertise on the subject in hand, and finds the reality very different to what his reading has led him to expect. As with all journeys of consequence, Senlin’s ascent has an impact on both the traveler and those encountered on his travels.
It has truly excellent prose. So many lines made me deeply jealous. Clever, literary, insightful lines that cut to the quick of the matter.
The story is compelling. It unfolds and unfolds. Because the characters are excellently drawn I cared very much about where it was all going.
The imagination is unbound and intriguing. This has a strong Jack Vance, Dying Earth vibe, mixed in with overtones of Kafka, but it’s also very much its own thing with hope and defiance to offset the cynicism.” – (Mark Lawrence, Goodreads)
5) Throne of Glass – Sarah J. Maas
“In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake. She got caught.” – (Goodreads)
Meet Celaena Sardothien, a teenage assassin forced to compete with her fellow assassins to serve as her king’s champion – and personal killer – and earn her freedom.
I’m more curious than anything with this New York Times bestseller, to be completely frank. Anyone who spends any time in the depths of Instagram’s ‘bookstagram’ world will be all too aware of the unrelenting horde of Maas followers.
I’m bowing to the horde with this one.
So there’s my top five books for 2019! But I’d love to see what you’re all hoping to read this year and what you enjoyed in 2018! Feel free to leave your favourites in the comments below.