I’ve enjoyed looking through everyone else’s Best Of lists and decided I’d do my own version this year! The books below are listed in the order I read them and are primarily books I’ve rated 5 stars throughout the year, with a small handful of my favorite 4.5 star reads thrown in to round out the number. If you’d like to check out my full reviews, they’re all linked below!
The Frozen Crown by Greta Kelly
Political intrigue, witches and wizards, totally unputdownable!
The Councillor by E.J. Beaton
Epic amounts of political intrigue, murder mystery, amazing main and secondary characters
Odin’s Child by Siri Pettersen
Inspired by Norse mythology, translated from Norwegian, incredible world-building, subverted my expectations
Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse
Inspired by the civilizations of Pre-Columbian Americas, brutal first chapter, really cool magic
The Shadow of the Gods by John Gwynne
Viking inspired fantasy, bad-ass characters, surprisingly heartwarming found families trope
Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir
First contact with aliens, surprisingly heartwarming, humorous, must save humanity!
The Library of the Dead by T.L. Huchu
A girl who can speak to the dead, an occult library, vibrant characters, and disturbing Lovecraftian monsters
The Blacktongue Thief by Christopher Buehlman
Snarky, memorable main character, excellent audio narration, horrific goblins, and an uncanny blind cat
The Last Graduate by Naomi Novik
Satisfies those dark academia cravings, awkward romance, epic heroism, and the threat of the graduation gauntlet full of terrifying monsters
The Empire’s Ruin by Brian Staveley
Epic scenery, scary beasties, bad-ass characters, builds super well on the previous books set in the same world
Angel Killer by Andrew Mayne
Edge of your seat thriller, awesome introduction to Jessica Blackwood, borders on the supernatural
The Forever King by Ben Galley
Seriously deep lore, ultra cool magic (the mages have magical books inked onto their skin!), classic epic fantasy themes, tons of cool magical races
The Bone Ship’s Wake by RJ Barker
Incredible series finale, emotional gut punch ending, and sea dragons
A Spindle Splintered by Alix E. Harrow
Fun spin on the Sleeping Beauty story, incredible friendship, and girls refusing to accept ‘fate’ without a fight
Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff
The moody, goth vampire tome I’ve been waiting my whole life for, solid world-building, such dramatic characters
The Liar’s Knot by M.A. Carrick
Secret societies, vigilante heroes, TWO awesome magic systems, and the fashion is to die for. Also, PEABODY.
The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman
Compelling mystery that feels lighthearted despite the murder, elderly folks solving murders, surprisingly humorous, excellent audiobook narration
All of Us Villains by Amanda Foody
Extra dark riff on the magical tournament trope, grimdark for young adults, explores what people will do in order to survive, so much drama!
Year of the Reaper by Makiia Lucier
Incredible standalone low fantasy book, jaw-dropping plot twists, one of the best YA books I’ve ever read
Engines of Empire by R.S. Ford
January 2022 release, fantastic world building, semi-industrialized world, political intrigue. Full review coming soon!