Another year gone, another best reads of the year post!
I feel like I’ve read a lot of incredible books this year, and whilst a few have been in my favoured genres of fantasy and historical fiction, I also feel like I’ve expanded my horizons a lot this year, where reading is concerned. I mean, there’s a couple of contemporaries, a manga series and a ghost story on here, so that’s new!
So here are my best reads of 2019:
Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames
I’m probably supposed to work up to my absolute favourite book of the year by putting it right at the end of this post, but I’m far too excited about this book to do that! This post could essentially just have been a big picture of Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames, I loved it that much, but you know…I have read other books I liked this year too, so I thought I should at least mention them.
But seriously…this was the best book I read in 2019, and probably in years. It made me laugh out loud so many times, it made me tear up at points, it made me just want to keep reading and reading… I really can’t recommend this book enough. It was so fun and unique, but also incredibly heart-warming!
The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
This book had a lot of hype around it this year, and it’s understandable why. It was just a really solid fantasy book (both literally and figuratively) with an interesting world, great characters and plenty of action. I’m looking forward to seeing where this story will go next!
Red Sister by Mark Lawrence
I was pretty certain I was going to love this book based on the concept alone – it’s a fantasy book about a killer nun school – but it was nice to have it confirmed! I tend to like quite dark fantasy, and this definitely fit the bill, with some tough, messed-up characters, a grim, unforgiving world and some pretty cool fights. It was definitely my kind of thing!
The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison
Whilst I said I liked my fantasy on the darker side in general, I read The Goblin Emperor this year, and found it a refreshing change. I love a good anti-hero, but it was nice in this book to just read about a really nice guy for a change. Because Maia is literally the sweetest, and just wants to do the best thing for those around him, and it made such a nice change from the usual badass fantasy protagonists!
Anna of Kleve: Queen of Secrets by Alison Weir
I’ve been enjoying Alison Weir’s Six Tudor Queens series since it began, but I particularly loved 2019’s instalment, Anne of Kleve: Queen of Secrets. Anne of Kleeves is one Henry VIII’s wives who I knew the least about, so it was very interesting to find out her story, and as with all the other wives, I feel like Alison Weir did an incredible job of bringing her to life, and making her someone you could root for and sympathise with.
Lancelot by Giles Kristian
I always like books based on the King Arthur legends, but Lancelot by Giles Kristian was a huge standout for me! It gave me some serious Bernard Cornwell vibes, and I liked how it focused in on the character of Lancelot, rather than King Arthur himself.
Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett
So this was the year I got into contemporaries a lot more, and my absolute favourite was Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett. I loved the whole ‘being lost in the wild’ element of the story, but mostly I just loved the two central characters Zorie and Lennon! They were just the best!
I’ve been meaning to read some more Jenn Bennett books ever since, so hopefully I can get around to that in the New Year.
Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
Eliza and her Monsters feels like the book I had been waiting for ever since I read Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell! I love books that take a closer look at fandoms, and also feature some more introverted protagonists, but I don’t feel like there’s that many books like that out there. But Eliza and her Monsters was an incredible example, and was just so relatable.
The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell
I read this book quite late in the year, but wow, it really blew me away! It also creeped the hell out of me, but in a good way! I don’t usually read horror or spooky books, but this book has definitely got me more interested in the genre, so I’m going to be looking out for some more haunted house reads in the New Year.
One Piece by Eiichiro Oda
Over the last couple of years I’ve sporadically started reading some manga, but 2019 was the year I got hooked, and that’s mostly due to One Piece. I’ve always liked anything with pirates, but One Piece just has everything: incredible characters, great villains, exciting fights, a really wacky world and lots of found family feels (and found family is one of my all-time favourite tropes!). In short, it’s awesome!
I’m very nearly caught up with everything released, and will soon be reading the weekly chapters as they come out. Plus I’m looking forward to trying out some other manga series in the New Year!
So have you read any of these books? What did you think? What are some of your best reads of 2019?