“Night fell as death rode into the Great Library of Summershall.”First line in Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson
Hey, it’s the last Tuesday in 2020! Who would have thought we’d get here? Today you get the post I love making every year: all of the best books I read in 2020. It was actually quite difficult to narrow it down to 10 books, and there are technically also more than 10 books on this list. If I’ve read multiple books in a series, they only take up one spot unless I had widely differing opinions on them. To torture myself even further, I’ve also decided to put them in order. Last year I remember being completely sure what my number one was, but this year, 1 and 2 are practically interchangeable. 10 to 3 are pretty set though.
Top Ten Tuesday is as usual hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Enjoy!
10 – Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson
Sorcery of Thorns doesn’t only take the number 10 spot, it is also my most surprising read of the year as I originally hadn’t intended to read it. But oh am I glad I did! I’m not sure how I would have gotten through 2020 without being able to reminisce about the funny banter and the generally beautiful relationship between the two main characters. And it’s a book about books! (You’re going to see a trend on this list).
9 – Burn by Patrick Ness
This is the book that finally made me understand why so many fantasy readers go crazy over dragons. Combine that with Patrick Ness’ unparalleled way of writing YA, and I think I have a new favorite book by this author.
8 – The Bone Ships by R. J. Barker
The Bone Ships introduces the reader to a highly intriguing and brutal fantasy world with a culture that often circumvents expectations. I was so excited to learn more that I was able to ignore that I don’t normally like seafaring stories. I’m also pleased to announce that The Bone Ships is the winner of my own unofficial contest called “Best First Line of 2020” with its very simple opening: “Give me your hat.” Other than it made me laugh, the author also quickly proved how this is the only line that can start this story, and I think it’s bloody brilliant.
7 – Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson
Even though Words of Radiance didn’t manage to beat The Way of Kings as my favorite Stormlight Archive book, it was very close. It has two of the most epic scenes I’ve ever read, so it was very easy for me to forgive the small parts of this book that I didn’t love. Some of my favorite Kaladin-scenes are also in this book.
6 – The Last Sun and The Hanged Man (Tarot Sequence #1 and #2) by K. D. Edwards
A diverse urban fantasy series that is very adult in some areas, but still has a lot of lighthearted and funny moments. It has some of the most hilarious banter between some of the characters, and the friendships in here are so precious. Even though they claim to want to kill each other a lot. Don’t worry, they only mean it, like, half of the time.
5 – The Library of the Unwritten by A. J. Hackwith
Hey, it’s another book about books! And it explores the very cool concept of characters from unwritten books coming to life to search for their authors. This book is an example of a unique idea that is just executed so brilliantly, but the book still manages to be more than its concept. You also get a character-driven story with a bunch of wholesome characters that each have their own struggles. It takes place in Hell after all.
4 – The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne
Historical Fiction/Literary Fiction
The Heart’s Invisible Furies is a very simple story about the life of an Irish man called Cyril. It’s a story that doesn’t have any kind of plot, but that didn’t bother me in the slightest. It tore at my heartstrings anyway and even produced a few tears. The writing is exceptional. Boyne had a certain way of relaying information that I’ve never seen before, and I loved every sentence.
3 – Silver in the Wood and Drowned Country (The Greenhollow Duology #1 and #2) by Emily Tesh
I don’t read novellas, but apparently, I should make exceptions for dark fairytale-like stories with an intense focus on nature elements and lovable characters. I admire how Tesh manages to tell this story in so few pages and still create depth in every character. When all you need is a few sentences to make readers understand and love a character, there’s really no need to write a 500-page book.
2 – The Watchmaker of Filigree Street and The Lost Future of Pepperharrow (The Watchmaker of Filigree Street #1 and #2) by Natasha Pulley
Historical Fiction/Magical Realism
You know when you love a book so much because of how it makes you feel, so you can’t explain why you love it other than going 😍😍😍🥰🥰❤️❤️❤️😍😍? These books are like that for me. That I don’t usually enjoy magical realism, but you still find these books at the top of my list of favorites, should also tell you all you need to know. The characters won me over with their depth, and the writing made me love it with its cleverness.
1 – The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
The Starless Sea is one of those “either you love or you hate it”-kind of books. For me, it is one of the most perfect books I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. I’m in awe of Morgenstern’s imagination portrayed through all the minor stories sprinkled throughout the book. Every single one of them felt unique while still reminding you of an old fairy tale. And of course, a book about books needs to be my number one in 2020.
I had such a great time looking back on these amazing books to remember why I loved them so much. Proof that 2020 wasn’t all bad. Please let me know what your favorite book of 2020 was! Do we have any books in common? Happy reading in 2021!