2016: The Worst of Times, the Best of Tomes


Ah, 2016. For various reasons, I’ve read nowhere near the amount of books I wanted to this year. But the ones I have read were pretty damn awesome. Here’s a few of the awesomest (note: not all of these were actually published in 2016!).

2016 shall henceforth become known as The Year in Which I Truly Discovered Self-Published Books. The abundance of awesomeness from the SPFBO (Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off) – as well as a few other gems – has left me seriously impressed with those who publish via this method.

(I spoke about self-publishing, and the many positive ways in which indie authors contribute to the genre, here.)

I’m pleased to say that I discovered – and read! – an entirely new trilogy in the form of Jeff Salyards’ Bloodsounder’s Arc. Here’s what I said about book three, Chains of the Heretic:

Bloodsounder’s Arc is a work of art, a dark and masterful tapestry of tension and momentum wherein each word weaves a more deftly spun strand than the last. The final triptych, Chains of the Heretic, is Salyards’ pièce de résistance, falling naturally but devastatingly into its place as the boldest and most brutal piece of the saga.

2016 has been a shite year for politics, pop-culture legends, and the general future of humanity. However, you can’t deny that it’s given us some excellent sequels.

2016 has seen the conclusions to several of my favourite series, including The Dagger and the Coin by Daniel Abraham, The Faithful and the Fallen by John Gwynne and The Red Queen’s War by Mark Lawrence.

We’ve also been gifted with the fun finale to Joe Abercrombie’s Shattered Sea trilogy, as well as two more instalments in Marc Turner’s spectacular six-book Chronicles of the Exile(Check out my post about meeting Marc here!)

I’ve also had the pleasure of starting one or two ongoing series by new (to me) authors Michael R. Fletcher, V.E. Schwab and Ruth Nestvold.

A few forays into the realm of shorter fiction have also yielded very pleasant results. Alyssa Wong’s very (very!) short but beautiful A Fist of Permutations in Lightning and Wildflowers left me keen to read more by this author; while the talent and variety on display in the Fantasy-Faction Anthology made me bubble with pride at being able to call myself a part of that community.Los Nefilim by T. Frohock... read by Kili-cat in 2016

And of course, one of my favourite reads of the year: Los Nefilima trilogy of novellas by the wonderful and talented Teresa Frohock, brought together for the first time in a single, brilliant collection.

Finally, the year wouldn’t be complete without revisiting at least one old favourite… or, in this case, two: The Bonehunters by Steven Erikson, and Terry Pratchett’s charming, witty and hilarious Hogfather.

What were your favourite books of 2016? And which ones are you most looking forward to next year?

4 thoughts on “2016: The Worst of Times, the Best of Tomes

  1. I slacked like CRAZY in 2016 when it comes to reading. Too busy focusing on the whole writing books thing. But, they always say reading is the best thing for writing, and I’m planning to turn this trend around in 17′.

    • It really does help with the writing! I really slacked during the first half of the year, too, but joining Fantasy-Faction and participating in the SPFBO has really kicked my arse into gear. The more I read, the more I *want* to write, which is brilliant when you’re suffering from lack of motivation. Us indies should start our own reading challenge in 2017 – with a forfeit for anyone who doesn’t complete it!

  2. I read Ian C. Esslemont’s Dancer’s Lament, David Benem’s What Remains of Heroes, Sean Rodden’s Whispers of War, and two short stories: Benny Hinrich’s A New Plague and JP Ashman’s Black Martlet.

    I’m 1/3rd through Fae – the Wild Hunt by Graham Austin-King, but going so slowly I’m ashamed to point that out.

    Barely any. I blame exploding publisher and newborn. Don’t judge me. Good news is as a teacher I’ll get lots of Indigo and Amazon gift cards for the holidays and can stock up.

    • ‘Stock up’… like not owning enough books is the problem here. 😉

      I’m looking forward to Dancer’s Lament a lot, but think I’ll leave it until after my main re-read (which could be a while, given that I’m only up to Reaper’s Gale!). What Remains of Heroes, on the other hand, is on my 2017 ‘to read’ list for sure. As is Purge of Ashes by some weirdo whose name I forgot.

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