In 2017 I made a concerted effort to read more books, even though I was at university and couldn’t read as much as I wanted. According to Goodreads, I managed 19 books – nothing for some, but impressive for me – some of which were AMAZING, some of which were, well, just okay, and some of which I really wasn’t a fan of. So, even though it’s a couple of months overdue, here are my favourite and least favourite reads of 2017!
The Hero Of Ages by Brandon Sanderson
I can’t believe I had never picked up a Brandon Sanderson book before 2017! But he’s quickly become one of my favourite authors, and the Mistborn trilogy became an instant favourite when I read it over the summer. Sanderson’s magic system and plots are outstanding throughout the series, but the third book, The Hero Of Ages, is particularly impressive; it’s epic, full of plot twists, and it brings the series to a satisfying yet unexpected and heart breaking finale. While Sanderson isn’t the best at characterisation and makes little attempt at pretty prose, I still found this to be an entertaining, engrossing, and endlessly exciting book.
Oh, and I got to meet Sanderson at his Oathbringer tour in December, and he signed my copy of The Hero Of Ages for me!
You can read my full review of The Hero Of Ages here.
The Name Of The Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
The Name Of The Wind is the first book in The Kingkiller Chronicle, a fantasy unlike any other. The trilogy follows once-legendary Kvothe, now in hiding as a village innkeeper, through the challenges and adventures of his youth, as he seeks to learn magic and unravel mysteries, and begins to garner a hero’s fame.
While they are both fantasy writers, Rothfuss and Sanderson are almost opposites; unlike Sanderson’s books, Rothfuss’s books excel in their prose and characterisation, and it was these rather than any epic plotlines which had me falling head over heels for this book. Rothfuss plot is a little slow, but the world and the writing is beautifully crafted and immersive. It’s a story with a lot of tension and even more feeling, and it’s truly un-put-down-able.
You can read my full review of The Name Of The Wind here.
Twelve Kings (in Sharakhai) by Bradley P Beaulieau
The first book of The Song Of Shattered Sands, Twelve Kings follows orphaned fighter Çeda in her quest for revenge and answers. Other than my own, I’ve actually only read very few bad reviews of this book. And to be fair, that’s because it’s not a bad book. The premise is interesting; the worldbuilding is good; the writing and the plot are decent. The series promises to become epic, but I’m not going to be reading it. Why? Twelve Kings also promised to be epic – and fast-paced and badass and exciting. It was none of these things. I couldn’t even get attached to the characters either. By the time I finished reading it, over a year after I’d started it, I was frankly sick of it. And also quite disappointed – I’d gone through all that, for a finale and “plot twist” which I didn’t even find that exciting or satisfying.
So while I didnt enjoy and wouldn’t recommend this book, I also won’t go around yelling that no-one should read it. Just don’t expect anything bombastic.
You can read my full review of Twelve Kings here.
Talon by Julie Kagawa
It’s a book about dragons. What more do you need to know?
Except you do need to know more. Because it’s not just about dragons, it’s about teenage human-dragon shapeshifters. It’s about their summer at the beach, which they spend mostly in their human forms. It’s also about the evil organisation that ‘protects’ them. And also some angst, some rather rash decisions, and a love triangle.
So, again, it’s my expectations being disappointed (and very, very annoyed, by the protagonist who I didn’t like, and the writing style which I didn’t like, and the love triangle which I saw coming a mile off) which is bringing down my opinions of this book. But I’m not going to say “it’s good, just beware of your expectations”. Not this time. Instead I’ll say, if you want a good fantasy story, don’t bother. But if you want a teenage romance that happens to involve dragons? Go ahead.
You can read my full review of Talon here.