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Another a year, another almost impossible task trying to each choose our Top 10 Reads of the year! For me, the word “favorite” is an important part of this list. As I go through the last year’s worth of reading, I often found that some books would strike particular chords within me more deeply than others, even if, quality-wise, another book might be stronger. Of course, this just makes it all that much harder to put them in any order. But here it goes! Today I’m going to countdown my favorites reads, ten to six. And since it’s the end of the reading year, don’t forget to enter our “12 Days of Christmas Giveaway!”
10. “The Bird and the Sword” by Amy Harmon
“The Bird and the Sword” Review
Amy Harmon is one of my best new finds as far as authors go this year. She and T. Kingfisher probably share the distinction (you’ll see the latter on this Top 10 list as well!). That being the case, I read and reviewed several of her books this year, greatly enjoying them all. But this was the one I chose for this list as I think it was my most enjoyed read of the lot. Harmon is definitely an author who mixes weighty topics alongside her more fantastical, and I think this one struck the perfect balance. There was romance, there was magic, there was fortitude in the face of grim odds. It’s just a solid, stand-alone fantasy novel. There’s a second book set in this same world that I’ve been holding on to for a rainy day. We’ll see if that one shows up on next year’s list!
9. “The Murder of Mr. Wickham” by Claudia Gray
“The Murder of Mr. Wickham” Review
I was approached about participating in a blog tour for this book, and man, am I glad I did! While we all know that Jane Austen fans can fall on the more snobby side when it comes to adaptations of their beloved originals, as one of said snobs, I’m not above admitting when someone has done a fantastic job! Gray not only creates two solid original characters, but somehow manages to represent every single Austen hero and heroine to near perfection, even zeroing in on some relationship dynamics that were only barely hinted at in the originals. Truly, it’s an impressive feat. There are also numerous Easter eggs for Austen fans who really know their stuff.
8. “Half a Soul” by Olivia Atwater
I love fairytales and I love historical fiction. So of course I’m going to love a combination of the two! Especially when the fairytale is an original story featuring a young lady who has, shocking!, half a soul! And while much of the story is light-hearted and romantic, Atwater also focuses in on some of the social struggles going on during this period of history. I went on to read two other books by Atwater over the summer, each of which I enjoyed in their own right. But this first one still sticks with me as the best of the three. Fans of historical fantasy should check out all three, but this one most of all! I’m giving away an ARC version of this one in our “12 Days of Christmas Giveaway!”
7. “Eversion” by Alistair Reynolds
While I definitely read a lot more fantasy fiction than science fiction, it seems that every year I read a book that slaps me around the side of the head reminding me that I really should check out more science fiction. This year, that book was “Eversion.” Reynolds is known as a pretty great science fiction author, but I hadn’t gotten around to reading one of his books until Orbit sent me an ARC of this one. And it was so great! I really don’t want to say much about it at all, because I think it’s one of those books that’s best read completely unknown. There are so many layers of secrets upon secrets and reveals upon reveals, that you’ll be glued to the page from start to finish! I’m also giving away an ARC version of this one in our “12 Days of Christmas Giveaway!”
6. “Spells for Forgetting” by Adrienne Young
“Spells for Forgetting” Review
It’s well known on this blog that I’m a big fan of Adrienne Young. I’ve read a good number of her books, and I don’t think I’ve given a poor grade to any of her stuff. So I was intrigued to see her coming out with an adult contemporary fantasy. Contemporary fantasy can be very hit and miss for me, but in the hands of Young, I should never have feared. Put together a small town romance, a cold case murder of a teenage girl, and magic very akin to the sort found in “Practical Magic,” and you have yourself a winner and a place on this list!
So that’s ten through six. Next time I will give a countdown of my top five. What have been some of your favorite reads of 2022?