What books have I prioritised for this year?
In the last couple of years I've made myself a must read list of books for the coming year. Sometimes they're books that I've been putting off reading for a while. Other times they are new releases that are just begging to be read as soon as they come out. Let's look after the jump to see what I have on my list for this coming year.
Must Reads 2017
Smoke and Mirrors - Short Fiction and Illusions by Neil Gaiman
In the deft hands of Neil Gaiman, magic is no mere illusion... and anything is possible. In this, Gaiman's first book of short stories, his imagination and supreme artistry transform a mundane world into a place of terrible wonders -- a place where an old woman can purchase the Holy Grail at a thrift store, where assassins advertise their services in the Yellow Pages under "Pest Control," and where a frightened young boy must barter for his life with a mean-spirited troll living beneath a bridge by the railroad tracks. Explore a new reality -- obscured by smoke and darkness, yet brilliantly tangible -- in this extraordinary collection of short works by a master prestidigitator. It will dazzle your senses, touch your heart, and haunt your dreams
Zee has been at me for years to read more Gaiman. I hear you Zee. This one is on the cards for this year and I'll be sure to give it my utmost attention. I loved American Gods by Gaiman and this books is sure to be just as wonderful.
The Pillars of the Earth (Kingsbridge Series #1) by Ken Follett
The building of the cathedral, with the almost eerie artistry of the unschooled stonemasons, is the center of the drama. Around the site of the construction, Follett weaves a story of betrayal, revenge, and love, which begins with the public hanging of an innocent man and ends with the humiliation of a king.
At once a sensuous and endearing love story and an epic that shines with the fierce spirit of a passionate age, The Pillars of the Earth is without a doubt Ken Follett's masterpiece.
This book as ended up being pushed down my list of what to read, due to it's shear size. 973 pages is a big undertaking, and some bright spark started reading The Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson at the end of last year. Crazy to scoff at 973 pages now.
Bone Crossed (Mercy Thompson #4) by Patricia Briggs
By day, Mercy is a car mechanic in the sprawling Tri-Cities of Eastern Washington. By night, she explores her preternatural side. As a shapeshifter with some unique talents, Mercy has often found herself having to maintain a tenuous harmony between the human and the not so human. This time she may get more than she bargained for.
Marsilia, the local Vampire Queen, has learned that Mercy crossed her by slaying a member of her clan—and she's out for blood. But since Mercy is protected from direct reprisal by the werewolf pack (and her close relationship with its sexy Alpha), it won't be Mercy's blood Marsilia is after.
It'll be her friends'.
I've read the first 3 books in this series and enjoyed them. It's one of the those series I keep meaning to get around to, but for some reason I keep putting it off. I put it down to my over indulgence in urban fantasy. I plan to at least get this book read this year, so I can move along in the series.
Silent in the Grave (Lady Julia Grey #1) by Deanna Raybourn
"LET THE WICKED BE ASHAMED, AND LET THEM BE SILENT IN THE GRAVE."
These ominous words, slashed from the pages of a book of Psalms, are the last threat that the darling of London society, Sir Edward Grey, receives from his killer. Before he can show them to Nicholas Brisbane, the private inquiry agent he has retained for his protection, Sir Edward collapses and dies at his London home, in the presence of his wife, Julia, and a roomful of dinner guests.
Prepared to accept that Edward's death was due to a long-standing physical infirmity, Julia is outraged when Brisbane visits and suggests that Sir Edward has been murdered. It is a reaction she comes to regret when she discovers the damning paper for herself, and realizes the truth.
Determined to bring her husband's murderer to justice, Julia engages the enigmatic Brisbane to help her investigate Edward's demise. Dismissing his warnings that the investigation will be difficult, if not impossible, Julia presses forward, following a trail of clues that lead her to even more unpleasant truths, and ever closer to a killer who waits expectantly for her arrival.
Yet another book I've been staring at for a few years, however this one is definitely being read in February as it meets a challenge book for a few of my Goodreads challenges. Another of my favourite genres as well, historical mystery.
The Warded Man (Demon Cycle #1) by Peter V. Brett
As darkness falls after sunset, the corelings rise--demons who possess supernatural powers and burn with a consuming hatred of humanity. For hundreds of years the demons have terrorized the night, slowly culling the human herd that shelters behind magical wards--symbols of power whose origins are lost in myth and whose protection is terrifyingly fragile. It was not always this way. Once, men and women battled the corelings on equal terms, but those days are gone. Night by night the demons grow stronger, while human members dwindle under their relentless assault. Now, with hope for the future fading, three young survivors of vicious demon attacks will dare the impossible, stepping beyond the crumbling safety of the wards to risk everything in a desperate quest to regain the secrets of the past. Together, they will stand against the night.
Reading in February 2017. Because a person who already has numerous series started, really needs to add another series to the list. A fantasy that my friends reviews shows it has promise to be a favourite series.
The Lions of Al-Rassan by Guy Guvriel Kay
Meanwhile, in the north, the conquered Jaddites' most celebrated — and feared — military leader, Rodrigo Belmonte, driven into exile, leads his mercenary company south.
In the dangerous lands of Al-Rassan, these two men from different worlds meet and serve — for a time — the same master. Sharing their interwoven fate — and increasingly torn by her feelings — is Jehane, the accomplished court physician, whose own skills play an increasing role as Al-Rassan is swept to the brink of holy war, and beyond.
Hauntingly evocative of medieval Spain, The Lions of Al-Rassan is both a brilliant adventure and a deeply compelling story of love, divided loyalties, and what happens to men and women when hardening beliefs begin to remake — or destroy — a world.
Thank goodness a book which is actually a standalone. This book is also marked to read in February 2017. I've only read one Guy Guvriel Kay book, so looking forward to seeing if I enjoy this one.
Marked in Flesh (The Others #4) by Anne Bishop
For centuries, the Others and humans have lived side by side in uneasy peace. But when humankind oversteps its bounds, the Others will have to decide how much humanity they’re willing to tolerate—both within themselves and within their community...
Since the Others allied themselves with the cassandra sangue, the fragile yet powerful human blood prophets who were being exploited by their own kind, the delicate dynamic between humans and Others changed. Some, like Simon Wolfgard, wolf shifter and leader of the Lakeside Courtyard, and blood prophet Meg Corbyn, see the new, closer companionship as beneficial—both personally and practically.
But not everyone is convinced. A group of radical humans is seeking to usurp land through a series of violent attacks on the Others. What they don’t realize is that there are older and more dangerous forces than shifters and vampires protecting the land that belongs to the Others—and those forces are willing to do whatever is necessary to protect what is theirs…
Booked in to read this year. I had intended to read Marked in Flesh when it was released in March 2017, but kept putting it off. The last book is due out this year, so that will hopefully give me the push to read this one. I've loved the world Bishop has created in this series can will looking forward to delving in again.
New Release Must Reads 2017
The Awakening (Graveyard Queen #6) by Amanda Stevens.
Shush…lest she awaken…
My name is Amelia Gray, a cemetery restorer who lives with the dead. An anonymous donor has hired me to restore Woodbine Cemetery, a place where the rich and powerful bury their secrets. Forty years ago, a child disappeared without a trace and now her ghost has awakened, demanding that I find out the truth about her death. Only I know that she was murdered. Only I can bring her killer to justice. But the clues that I follow—a haunting melody and an unnamed baby's grave—lead me to a series of disturbing suspects.
New release March 28th 2017 and I'm so looking forward to this one. I've really enjoyed following Amelia Gray as she grows into her powers. Well I'll be a bit sad to see this end, I'm sure Stevens will make it just as spooky and mysterious as previous books.
Tyrant's Throne (Greatcoats #4) by Sebastien de Castell
Would you - could you? - uphold the law at the cost of those you love?
After years of struggle and sacrifice, Falcio val Mond, First Cantor of the Greatcoats, is on the brink of fulfilling his dead King's dream: Aline, the King's daughter, is about to take the throne and restore the rule of law once and for all.
But for the Greatcoats, nothing is ever that simple. In the neighbouring country of Avares, an enigmatic new warlord is uniting the barbarian armies which have long plagued Tristia's borders - and even worse, he is rumoured to have a new ally: Trin, who's twice tried to kill Aline to take the throne for herself. With the armies of Avares at her back, she'll be unstoppable.
Falcio, Kest and Brasti race north to stop her, but in those cold and treacherous climes they discover something altogether different, and far more dangerous: a new player is planning to take the throne of Tristia, and the Greatcoats, for all their skill, may not be able to stop him.
As the nobles of Tristia and even the Greatcoats themselves fight over who should rule, the Warlord of Avares threatens to invade. It is going to fall to Falcio to render the one verdict he cannot bring himself to decide: does he crown the girl he vowed to put on the throne, or uphold the laws he swore to serve?
Another series where this is the final book and it's been such a fun ride that expect Tyrant's Thrones will be just as much swashbuckling fun. Even though I'm sure there will be moments of grimness. I'm also extremely delighted that Falcio, Kest and Brasti are all on the cover of this book. Due for release 6th April 2017.
Skullsworn by Brian Staveley
Pyrre Lakatur doesn’t like the word skullsworn. It fails to capture the faith and grace, the peace and beauty of her devotion to the God of Death. She is not, to her mind, an assassin, not a murderer--she is a priestess. At least, she will be a priestess if she manages to pass her final trial.
The problem isn’t the killing. Pyrre has been killing and training to kill, studying with some of the most deadly men and women in the world, since she was eight. The problem, strangely, is love. To pass her Trial, Pyrre has ten days to kill the ten people enumerated in an ancient song, including "the one you love / who will not come again."
Pyrre is not sure she’s ever been in love. If she were a member of a different religious order, a less devoted, disciplined order, she might cheat. The Priests of Ananshael, however, don’t look kindly on cheaters. If Pyrre fails to find someone to love, or fails to kill that someone, they will give her to the god.
Pyrre’s not afraid to die, but she hates to quit, hates to fail, and so, with a month before her trial begins, she returns to the city of her birth, the place where she long ago offered an abusive father to the god and abandoned a battered brother—in the hope of finding love...and ending it on the edge of her sword.
After devouring The Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne last year, I'm delighted that their is now a standalone about Pyrre. She was one of my favourite characters in Staveley's trilogy and I'm sure she will do justice to her own book. Due out 25th April 2017.
Where the Dead Lie (Sebastian St Cyr #12) by C.S. Harris
year-old boy dumped into a makeshift grave on the grounds of an abandoned factory.
One of London’s many homeless children, Benji Thatcher was abducted and tortured before his murder—and his younger sister is still missing. Few in authority care about a street urchin’s fate, but Sebastian refuses to let this killer go unpunished.
Uncovering a disturbing pattern of missing children, Sebastian is drawn into a shadowy, sadistic world. As he follows a grim trail that leads from the writings of the debauched Marquis de Sade to the city’s most notorious brothels, he comes to a horrifying realization: someone from society’s upper echelon is preying upon the city’s most vulnerable. And though dark, powerful forces are moving against him, Sebastian will risk his reputation and his life to keep more innocents from harm..
The Sebastian St Cyr has become a must read series for me over the years. Historical mystery where C.S. Harris always makes me feel like I'm really in 19th century London. the mysteries are always thought provoking and trying to uncover the murderer is a challenge. Due for release 4th April 2014.
Once again it looks like 2017 is going to be a mix of mystery and fantasy reads. My two favourite genres.
Let me know below any books you have on your list to read in 2017.
All book images and blurbs from www.goodreads.com