Top 10 books on my TBR

I was going to do a ‘most anticipated reads’ post, and then realised that a big bunch of the books I really can’t wait to read are already out and sitting pretty on my bookshelves, just waiting to be plucked and loved (or as the case may be, for their digital counterparts to find their way onto my Kindle…). So I guess the list below isn’t so much my anticipated reads as a list of the books I really can’t wait to devour. Putting them in some form of order was hard and I feel like I had to betray some books to do justice to how much I can’t wait to read others.

10 – The Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher

The only reason The Dresden Files are bottom of this list is because there are quite a few books I still need to read to catch up with the series. And although I really want to catch up with it, it doesn’t mean they take priority on the other books I want to read. Having read up to Death Masks, thefifth book of the series, I can say without a shadow of a doubt that I am a Harry Dresden fanboy. As such, I really can’t wait to pick up the next one in the series. Problem is, once I start I find it hard not to read one Dresden after the other. It’s why I tend to not put the Dresden books at the top of my TBR list–so they don’t eclipse everything else!

Next in the series is Blood Rites and I have been assured I’m going to appreciate the amount of Thomas in it (I love him so much as a character!). Dead Beat, theseventh instalment, is probably the one I am looking forward to the least. It has zombies in it. Zombies. And I have never understood the fuss with zombies.

Nevertheless, I know that before the year is over, I am going to have devoured a few more of these books.

9 – The Spirit Lens by Carol Berg (Collegia Magica #1)

This is one that has been sitting on the shelves a while, without getting any love. Then, the other week, I attempted to start reading it aloud to my brother. Unfortunately, the elegant, complex, period writing of The Spirit Lens does not lend itself to being read aloud. At all. After three chapters of stumbling over really long, almost archaic sentences, we gave it up as a bad job.

But those three chapters were enough to get me hooked. Portier makes for a rather likeable narrator, but it was Ilario—the fool—and Dante—the mage—who got me hooked on the story. Both are unique characters in their own way, and their interactions together, even through the short span of the book I read, were a great source of entertainment.

The plot intrigued me as soon as it started and it is definitely one I looked forward to carrying on reading.

8 – The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

Another book that is an overdue read, but that somehow has always been trumped by another book before it could get to the top of my TBR list. The Lies of Locke Lamora follows the adventures of Locke and his band of thieves as they go about their business. Set in a fantasy Venice with a history that predates it being inhabited by humans, The Lies of Locke Lamora is one of those books that I just know I am going to enjoy.

It has everything I like: gentlemen thieves, adventure, mystery! My brother read it and just keeps hammering home just how awesome I will find it, but the fact that I have little interest in the sequel (my brother tried to read it and said it just didn’t have the same feel), has made it so I haven’t felt a sense of urgency when it came to reading it.

7 – Spellwright by Blake Charlton

I got about eighty pages through Spellwright and thoroughly enjoyed it. I stopped reading it for a new release that I had been eagerly awaiting
(and that I ended up hating), and I haven’t picked it up since then. I am terrible in that; once I start a book and put it down, I end up finding it really hard to go back to. It doesn’t mean I don’t want to, however, and Spellwright has been firmly rooted towards the top end of the TBR pile for a while.

I really loved the character of Nicodemus—I even have a cat named after him—and the way the magic works definitely intrigued me. It’s a book that should probably be higher on my TBR list than it is, but it seems new releases always seem to come and slot themselves above it as the excitement of something new takes over.

6 – The Exiled Queen by Cinda Williams Chima (The Seven Realm #1)

This is the second book in the Seven Realm Series and something that I didn’t feel a great deal of excitement for after I finished the first book. Although I really enjoyed The Demon King, I never felt the need to jump feet first in the sequel. I don’t know if it was because I had read the book at a bad time, or because I felt no affinity towards one of the main characters. Either way, The Exiled Queen fell lower and lower in the TBR list.

But the The Gray Wolf Throne came out and my brother—yes, always him!—couldn’t stop raving on about it.So much so that I am now to the point that I am eager to catch up with the series.

I don’t read much YA—more because I never seem to pick up YA books than because “I’m too old for this”—but I do have a fondness for characters around the ages presented in this series. There is something about teenage protagonists, searching for their place in the world that just appeals to me a lot more than I first thought it would. And although I wasn’t fond of Han, the idea of seeing more of Dancer, Raisa, and Micah Bayar are definitely enough to make me return to the series.

5 – Ashes of a Black Frost by Chris Evans (Iron Elves #3)

Ashes of a Black Frost, last instalment in the Iron Elves series, brings us to the top five of this list. This is where things got tricky and I must have
spent about half an hour decided what belonged where. And I feel that no matter what I did, the order never managed to truly represent how unbearably excited I am about these books.

Despite some hang ups, I thoroughly enjoyed the first two books in this series, probably even more with retrospect. Konowa is an awesome protagonist. And hell, he’s an elf, and I have a definite soft spot for any elf that crosses my path. But he’s not only an elf, he’s a soldier thrust into the middle of a war bigger than anybody could ever expect. The rest of the cast helped make the first two books as awesome as they are—Yimt, I’m looking at you especially—and with how the second book ended, I just have to get back to Konowa and his troops to find out what happened.

To be honest, I’m not even sure why this book hasn’t been read yet, and I can’t figure out why I seemed so convince that I hadn’t liked the first two as much as I actually did. At least I have opened my eyes to the errors of my way now.

4 – Trinity Rising by Elspeth Cooper (Wild Hunt #2)

Songs of the Earth was one of my favourite books, ever. It definitely ranks in my top three. I loved it so much I didn’t have the words to express just how much I had loved it at the time. So obviously, its sequel is going to be sitting fairly high on the list of books I just have to read soon.

I can’t wait to get back to Gair and Chapterhouse, find out more about the reasons behind everything that happened, see more of Tanith and her people, and get to know the new POV. I simply don’t have the words for how much I want to read this. I loved Cooper’s writing in the first book and I can only imagine that it is going to have gotten better.

This is a book I know I am going to love.

3 – Shadow’s Master by Jon Sprunk (Shadow #3)

Much like Ashes of a Black Frost, Shadow’s Master is the last in a series that I thoroughly enjoyed. Where Evans’ story is full-on military fantasy, Sprunk writes good old sword and sorcery.

I loved the first book beyond words, and although the second didn’t get me quite as excited, I still very much so enjoyed it. Having left the series on a slightly less excited note, I didn’t jump on the third book when I received it. It has been patiently sitting on the shelves ever since. That was until my eyes landed on it the other day, and I thought back on how much I loved reading Caim’s adventures, how cool a character he was, and how much I had enjoyed the plot surrounding him.

So suddenly, without warning, Shadow’s Master leapt all the way to the top of my TBR list and I am convinced it is the only thing that will sate my sudden craving for sword and sorcery.

2 – Blood and Feathers by Lou Morgan

Now this is one book that snuck its way at the top of the list without me even knowing it had done. When I first heard of Blood and Feathers, I hardly gave it a second glance. I tend to have this distrust of any UF written by women—apologies!—as they are often more romance based than I like my UF to be.

But then I saw Lou Morgan on Twitter, and I thought she seemed friendly, so I went and checked the synopsis. I don’t think I took anything in after the word ‘angels’. I love what little of UF I have read, and I have a UF project I need to start properly working on at some point. But although mages, demons, even fae and other creatures walk among the pages openly, I hadn’t had the chance to see any angels yet. And I am fascinated by them.

So I was sold. I got the book—which is one very sexy little book, let me tell you—and I just can’t wait to read it. It’s written third person, which promises more than just Alice’s POV, and I can’t wait to get acquainted with Mallory and whatever other angels—or people—there are in the book.

Definitely one I am hurrying through my current read to be able to get my hands on!

1 – Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff (Lotus War #1)

I heard about his book a little over a year ago. The first thing I ever heard about it were the words ‘Japanese steampunk’. And that was all I needed to hear. I love the concept of steampunk, although I have never read anything in a setting that would constitute steampunk, and I love, love, Japan, and most things Japanese. So when I found out there was a book out there that was going to be mixing both, I just knew I had to get my hands on it asap.

As it were, however, I couldn’t find a release date for the book. Hell, I couldn’t even find a synopsis at first either. So I sighed and grumbled a lot and resigned myself to the fact that I was going to have to wait. As time passed, I forgot to check to see if a release date had appeared, and it drifted to the back of my mind.

Until a couple of weeks ago, that is, when somebody on my Twitter was kind enough to tweet something about the imminent release of Stormdancer. With all the initial excitement back, I jumped on Amazon, pre-ordered the book (which is due out beginning of September), and read the synopsis that had finally appeared. My excitement for the book went up even more when I read the plot, and I swear there are no words to describe how much I can’t wait to follow Yukiko on her adventures and discover her world.

So this is why, even though it hasn’t been released yet, this book is at the top of my list. I just know I need to read it as soon as it gets here!

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