Top Books for 2021

Top Books of 2021 | Q1 Edition

Hello, hello! Welcome back for another bookish post, this time showcasing my top books of 2021 (so far). I’ve had the idea for this one for a while and figured it was something that I wanted to write – so here goes.

At the end of each year, I stare helplessly at my bookshelves and try and remember which books I particularly loved, or stood out for me. Flicking through Goodreads only gets me so far to figure out what my 5* reads were. The easy solution? Keep track of the best reads as the year goes on! Genius!

So, without any further ado, I’d like to present to you (drum roll, please), the books that have all been 5* reads for me this year. The reviews for each book (where applicable) are linked if you want to find out exactly why I loved them.

Please note: this only goes up to books I’ve read until the end of March (as otherwise my whole quarterly approach to this post goes completely out the window!)

Top books for 2021 (so far…)

The Library of the Dead
The Stone Knife

The Library of the Dead by T.L Huchu

Publisher: Tor | Date: 2021 | Genre: Fantasy | Review

Plot: When a child goes missing in Edinburgh’s darkest streets, young Ropa investigates. She’ll need to call on Zimbabwean magic as well as her Scottish pragmatism to hunt down clues. But as shadows lengthen, will the hunter become the hunted?

When ghosts talk, she will listen…

Ropa dropped out of school to become a ghostalker. Now she speaks to Edinburgh’s dead, carrying messages to the living. A girl’s gotta earn a living, and it seems harmless enough. Until, that is, the dead whisper that someone’s bewitching children–leaving them husks, empty of joy and life. It’s on Ropa’s patch, so she feels honor-bound to investigate. But what she learns will change her world.

She’ll dice with death (not part of her life plan…), discovering an occult library and a taste for hidden magic. She’ll also experience dark times. For Edinburgh hides a wealth of secrets, and Ropa’s gonna hunt them all down.

The Stone Knife by Anna Stephens

Publisher: HarperVoyager | Date: 2019 | Genre: Fantasy | Review

Plot: For generations, the forests of Ixachipan have echoed with the clash of weapons, as nation after nation has fallen to the Empire of Songs – and to the unending, magical music that binds its people together. Now, only two free tribes remain.

The Empire is not their only enemy. Monstrous, scaled predators lurk in rivers and streams, with a deadly music of their own.

As battle looms, fighters on both sides must decide how far they will go for their beliefs and for the ones they love – a veteran general seeks peace through war, a warrior and a shaman set out to understand their enemies, and an ambitious noble tries to bend ancient magic to her will.

Black Sun
The Bear King by James Wilde

Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse

Publisher: Rebellion | Date: 2021 | Genre: Fantasy | Review

Plot: In the holy city of Tova, the winter solstice is usually a time for celebration and renewal, but this year it coincides with a solar eclipse, a rare celestial event proscribed by the Sun Priest as an unbalancing of the world.

Meanwhile, a ship launches from a distant city bound for Tova and set to arrive on the solstice. The captain of the ship, Xiala, is a disgraced Teek whose song can calm the waters around her as easily as it can warp a man’s mind. Her ship carries one passenger. Described as harmless, the passenger, Serapio, is a young man, blind, scarred, and cloaked in destiny. As Xiala well knows, when a man is described as harmless, he usually ends up being a villain.

Crafted with unforgettable characters, Rebecca Roanhorse has created an epic adventure exploring the decadence of power amidst the weight of history and the struggle of individuals swimming against the confines of society and their broken pasts in the most original series debut of the decade.

The Bear King by James Wilde

Publisher: Bantam Books | Date: 2020 | Genre: Historical fiction/Fantasy | Review

Plot: AD 375 – The Dark Age is drawing near . . .
As Rome’s legions abandon their forts, chaos grows on the fringes of Britannia. In the far west, the shattered forces of the House of Pendragon huddle together in order to protect the royal heir – their one beacon of hope.

For Lucanus, their great war leader, is missing, presumed dead. And the people are abandoning them. For in this time of crisis, a challenger has arisen, a False King with an army swollen by a horde of bloody-thirsty barbarians desperate for vengeance.

One slim hope remains for Lucanus’ band of warrior-allies, the Grim Wolves. Guided by the druid, Myrrdin, they go in search of a great treasure – a vessel that is supposedly a gift from the gods. With such an artefact in their possession, the people would surely return and rally to their cause? Success will mean a war unlike any other, a battle between two kings for a legacy that will echo down the centuries. And should they fail? Well, then all is lost . . .In The Bear King, James Wilde’s rousing reimagining of how the myth of King Arthur, Excalibur and Camelot rose out of the fragile pages of history reaches its shattering conclusion.

The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles
Eragon by Christopher Paolini

The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles

Publisher: John Murray Press | Date: 2021 | Genre: Historical

Plot: Paris, 1939: Young and ambitious Odile Souchet has it all: her handsome police officer beau and a dream job at the American Library in Paris. When the Nazis march into Paris, Odile stands to lose everything she holds dear, including her beloved library. Together with her fellow librarians, Odile joins the Resistance with the best weapons she has: books. But when the war finally ends, instead of freedom, Odile tastes the bitter sting of unspeakable betrayal.

Montana, 1983: Lily is a lonely teenager looking for adventure in small-town Montana. Her interest is piqued by her solitary, elderly neighbor. As Lily uncovers more about her neighbor’s mysterious past, she finds that they share a love of language, the same longings, and the same intense jealousy, never suspecting that a dark secret from the past connects them.

A powerful novel that explores the consequences of our choices and the relationships that make us who we are—family, friends, and favorite authors—The Paris Library shows that extraordinary heroism can sometimes be found in the quietest of places.

Eragon by Christopher Paolini

Publisher: Corgi | Date: 2007 | Genre: Fantasy

Plot: One boy…
One dragon…
A world of adventure.

When Eragon finds a polished blue stone in the forest, he thinks it is the lucky discovery of a poor farm boy; perhaps it will buy his family meat for the winter. But when the stone brings a dragon hatchling, Eragon soon realizes he has stumbled upon a legacy nearly as old as the Empire itself.

Overnight his simple life is shattered, and he is thrust into a perilous new world of destiny, magic, and power. With only an ancient sword and the advice of an old storyteller for guidance, Eragon and the fledgling dragon must navigate the dangerous terrain and dark enemies of an Empire ruled by a king whose evil knows no bounds.

Can Eragon take up the mantle of the legendary Dragon Riders? The fate of the Empire may rest in his hands.

The Doors of Eden by Adrian Tchaivosky

The Doors of Eden by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Publisher: Pan Books | Date: 2020 | Genre: Science Fiction | Review

Plot: Lee’s best friend went missing on Bodmin Moor, four years ago. She and Mal were chasing rumours of monsters when they found something all too real. Now Mal is back, but where has she been, and who is she working for?

When government physicist Kay Amal Khan is attacked, the security services investigate. This leads MI5’s Julian Sabreur deep into terrifying new territory, where he clashes with mysterious agents of an unknown power ­who may or may not be human. And Julian’s only clue is some grainy footage ­– showing a woman who supposedly died on Bodmin Moor.

Khan’s extradimensional research was purely theoretical, until she found cracks between our world and countless others. Parallel Earths where monsters live. These cracks are getting wider every day, so who knows what might creep through? Or what will happen when those walls finally come crashing down…

What have you been reading lately? Do any of these catch your eye?

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42 thoughts on “Top Books of 2021 | Q1 Edition

  1. Oooh you know I LOVE a roundup! The Bear King sounds really good for me. I love anything that is pure escapism – pick it up and lose yourself for an hour!

    Rosie

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  2. Completely feel you when at the end of the year you don’t remember what you liked or not! Already added some of these to my reading lists after your reviews so can wait to read them. I think that favourite reads so far were ‘Six of Crows’ duology and Yolk x

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  3. The Paris library is a book that I really want to pick up, I remember you mentioning it in a previous post and it really perked my interest. I really like eragon too – the book series is one of my favourites.

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    • Oh my gosh, Eragon has been on the top of my favourites list for years, it’s just my comfort read! I really hope you like The Paris Library if you get the chance to pick it up!

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      • Of the books noted above, your previous mention of The Paris Library is the one that stood out the most! Here it is again, standing out! Maybe it’s time to pick it up.

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  4. I always enjoy hearing about what books other readers have loved, as it allows me to add books to my TBR that I might have otherwise missed. The only book I am familiar with from this list is Eragon and I haven’t read that one yet either. These all sound quite interesting.

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  5. These all sound like fab books! I have been looking for something new to read, so I will be checking these out.

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  6. I loved Eragon! The movie wasn’t great, but I remember enjoying the book very much. The Paris Library sounds really good. I’ll have to add that to my TBR list.

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  7. First, I love the idea of doing a post like this every quarter. Because it so hard to remember all the books I read at the end of the year! I’ve also got Black Sun on my TBR!

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  8. Ahh you’ve just reminded me that I want to do a best books of the first half of the year post! I usually do but I had completely forgot about it filling up my content calendar so thank you! Sounds like it’s been a fab reading year so far. The Doors of Eden really piqued my interest since I read your review!

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    • Aha in that case, you’re very welcome!! Yeah it’s satisfying how many solid reads there have been so far this year, hopefully lots more to come!

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  9. The Paris Library sounds like it’s a great read! Thanks for sharing your favourites for Q1 2021!

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  10. Great picks! I’ve wanted to read The Stone Knife since you posted your review for it earlier this year. I totally agree, it’s so hard when you want to do these kind of roundup posts and can’t remember which books you liked.

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  11. Some great books on here – I especially want to read The Paris Library and Black Sun, heard such good things about them both so I’m intrigued for sure. Thanks for sharing! x

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  12. Lovely picks! I’m so bad and I haven’t heard a novel in sooo long! I really miss walking to the library and I’m hoping to get back into reading for Summer. Thanks for sharing and hope you get to read more great books this year! x

    Lynn | https://www.lynnmumbingmejia.com

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    • It was really good fun, for sure! I started a re-read earlier in the year with Eragon, but then got side-tracked – definitely need to continue the series again, I still love it!

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  13. Great post! I also find it hard to remember which books I’ve loved, and I like to write a little note of what I read as the year goes on- and your blog is a great place to talk about any you’ve loved! Thank you for sharing x

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  14. Great books, I love Fantasy books and stories. Would love to check out the black sun book. Thank you for sharing!!

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