2016 has been a fantastic year for books. We’ve been spoiled for choice here at The Bandwagon, with countless excellent review books and amazing debuts. Now it’s nearly over, so we’ve made a list of our favourite books of the year. Here are James’s picks of 2016.
“For me, 2016 has been a great year of reading, and this has been made all the more possible since joining The Bandwagon blog, as I have got to read some amazing books thanks to the blog, and Vikki! Usually over the course of a year I struggle to read 12 books, but this year I have already read 21 books, and I plan to increase that number before the year is out.”
Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.
Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.
Now, Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic—the Red Church. If she bests her fellow students in contests of steel, poison and the subtle arts, she’ll be inducted among the Blades of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the vengeance she desires. But a killer is loose within the Church’s halls, the bloody secrets of Mia’s past return to haunt her, and a plot to bring down the entire congregation is unfolding in the shadows she so loves.
Will she even survive to initiation, let alone have her revenge?
Nevernight is definitely my highlight of the year. I had never read anything by Jay Kristoff prior to this, and reading this has certainly made me want to change that, as it is a great book. It has everything I love about fantasy books and then some, without ever letting the pace wane. If you are a fan of fantasy then this is a must read.
Read my full review here.
The Dragon’s Blade by Michael R Miller
Dragons once soared in the skies, but that was before the Transformation, before they took human form. Now, demonic forces stand to obliterate them. When left mortally wounded, Darnuir, the Prince of Dragons, can only be saved through a dangerous rebirthing spell. He is left as a babe in human hands.
Twenty years later, Darnuir is of age to wield the Dragon’s Blade. As the last member of his bloodline, he is the only one who can. He is plunged into a role he is not prepared for, to lead a people he does not know. Shadowy demons ravage his new home and the alliance between humans, dragons and fairies has fractured.
I still remember the first time I heard about Dragon’s Blade: The Reborn King. Not only did the synopsis grab my interest, but so too did the cover, as I found it truly astounding. Once I started reading the book I quickly realised that my expectations of the book would be fulfilled. I found the more I read and delved into the world, the more I enjoyed it. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this and I am greatly looking forward to the sequel.
The Buried Symbol by Jeffrey L Konahek
Discover a lost magic, long buried and forgotten…
Without a rune marking his role in society, Brock is doomed to an existence below the lowest rung of the social ladder. Unwilling to accept his fate, the teen risks his life to obtain a fake rune that marks him as a member of the Empire’s ruling class. He then embarks on a quest to join an institution where the Empire’s future leaders are trained.
As a student of the Academy, he soon uncovers a chain of secrets kept hidden for centuries, secrets that expose cracks in the foundation of Empire society. Among his discoveries is a powerful magic, long buried and forgotten.
Brock’s compassion and sense of justice are seeds that sprout tight friendships and a blossoming romance. An unwillingness to be bullied earns him a dangerous enemy, becoming a feud that escalates to a climactic showdown.
When I first started reading this, I thought I was going to be reading a take on the Harry Potter trope, but as the book developed it became clear that the story would be unique. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and its unique perspective on a magic school. I am currently reading its sequel, The Emblem Throne, so keep an eye out for that review!
Read my full review here.
Danse Macabre by Laura M. Hughes
The dead beckon and the little girl obeys. Night after night she answers the graveyard’s call, though she dreads her encounters with the creature that dwells there.
But she’ll soon come to learn that memories are much more dangerous than monsters…
When I first read the summary for Danse Macabre I was instantly intrigued. What I found when I started reading was something that exceeded my initial excitement and expectations. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book as I found it had the right level of creepiness and unease. If you want to read a horror story with only some light horror elements, then I would highly recommend this. I am greatly looking forward to reading any of Laura’s future work.
The Liar’s Key by Mark Lawrence
From the critically-acclaimed author of PRINCE OF FOOLS comes the second volume of the brilliant new epic fantasy series, THE RED QUEEN’S WAR.
‘If you like dark you will love Mark Lawrence. And when the light breaks through and it all makes sense, the contrast is gorgeous’ ROBIN HOBB
The Red Queen has set her players on the board…
Winter is keeping Prince Jalan Kendeth far from the longed-for luxuries of his southern palace. And although the North may be home to his companion, the warrior Snorri ver Snagason, he is just as eager to leave. For the Viking is ready to challenge all of Hell to bring his wife and children back into the living world. He has Loki’s key – now all he needs is to find the door.
As all wait for the ice to unlock its jaws, the Dead King plots to claim what was so nearly his – the key into the world – so that the dead can rise and rule.
I have been a fan of Mark Lawrence’s books since around the release of Emperor of Thorns. as each new book comes out, I seem to enjoy them more and more. The Liar’s Key is no exception. I loved getting back into this world and thoroughly enjoyed reading this. If you are a fan of grimdark fantasy books then I would highly recommend you read Lawrence’s work.
Touch of Iron by Timandra Whitecastle
Is the Living Blade real or just a legend?
With it… Prince Bashan could win back his kingdom.
Master Telen Diaz can free himself of the burden from his past.
Owen Smith sees a once-in-a-lifetime chance to gain untold knowledge.
… but for Noraya Smith, the Living Blade will bring nothing but suffering and sorrow.
When I first saw the cover for Touch of Iron, I thought to myself, I want to read that, it looks really cool. My expectations were very much exceeded as I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, and experiencing the world Timandra has created.
Don’t forget to check out Vikki’s picks here, and keep an eye out for David’s books of 2016, coming soon.