Top Ten Tuesday – Books I loved but Never Reviewed

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme that currently resides at The Artsy Reader Girl and features bloggers sharing lists on various book topics.  As part of the latest Top Ten Tuesday, participants need to list their top ten books that they loved but never reviewed.  This is a rather intriguing topic and it is one that I instantly related to as there are quite a few incredible novels that I have read which I never got around to reviewing.

Now, if I am going to be honest the number of books that I have read throughout my life heavily outweighs the total number of reviews that I have written.  This is mostly because I only started reviewing books a few years ago, but I have been reading pretty much my entire life.  Indeed, it has only been since I have started writing this blog that I really began reviewing every book that I read, and even then, I do miss a few.  As a result, there are quite a few books that I read pre-2018 which I never got around to reviewing, including several novels and series I consider to be my most favourite books of all time.  While I have managed to go back and review several key series that I loved when I was younger, such as The Inheritance Cycle, the Tomorrow series and the Empire trilogy, I have not had the chance to write anything about some truly amazing series and novels I previously read.  While I hope to rectify that in the future, for the moment my lack of action allows me to include these novels in this Top Ten list.

It honestly did not take me long to come up with the ten entries for this article, as several key books have been floating in my mind since I saw this topic.  I have cheated a little and included several series as entries rather than individual novels.  However, I think that this better highlights how much I enjoyed these books, plus if I review one book in the series, I will try my hardest to review all of them.  The list that I came up with contains quite a few major series and authors, including several of my absolute favourite authors and these represent some pretty substantial gaps in my reviewer credentials.  Still, I like how the list turned out, even if it is a bit fantasy heavy, and I feel that it accurately represents which books I most want to go back and review.

Top Ten List:


The Kingkiller Chronicles
by Patrick Rothfuss

The Name of the Wind Cover

The first entry on this list is the amazing Kingkiller Chronicles from the exceedingly talented Patrick Rothfuss.  I only got around to reading these books a few years ago, but in my opinion they are some of the greatest, if not the absolute best, fantasy novels of all time.  I had an absolutely incredible time reading both The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear, and I have been eagerly awaiting the third novel in the series (currently titled The Doors of Stone) ever since I finished the first two books.  While I adore both books in the series, writing a review for them now is somewhat problematic due to how much intricate detail and clever storytelling that Rothfuss fit into these novels.  In order to do a proper review, I really need to do a reread of these books, which, due to their length, is rather hard to fit into my reading schedule.  Still, I really should make the time to have another read of them in the near future, especially before the third book comes out.


Harry Potter
series by J. K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone Cover

My second entry on this list is a series that truly needs no introduction.  Like everyone of a certain age, I read all seven of these books when they first came out, and I have also done a huge number of rereads of all of them over the years.  While I could easily do a review of any of them from memory alone, I have been hesitant about writing anything about the Harry Potter books, due to the sheer amount of reviews and discussions that have already occurred.  Let us face it, pretty much everyone has read these books since they came out and there are already innumerable reviews about them all over the place.  I honestly cannot think of anything new or original that I could say that would differentiate anything I wrote from what already exists, so it seems a little pointless to do so.


Gentleman Bastards
series by Scott Lynch

The Lies of Locke Lamora Cover

This is another incredible fantasy series that I only got to reading a few years ago but which I absolutely loved.  The Gentleman Bastards books are an extraordinary fantasy series that sets a group of clever conmen against some of the most dangerous people in a chaotic fantasy world.  All three of the books in this series have been top rate reads, and I cannot wait for the fourth novel to come out.  This is another series chock full of detailed and complex storylines and I really need to do a reread before I can talk about all the clever twists and turns that occur throughout the story.


Most of the Discworld novels by Terry Pratchett

The Colour of Magic Cover

Based on the name of blog, it should come as no surprise that I am a huge fan of Terry Pratchett’s iconic, hilarious and exceedingly clever Discworld series.  I have loved these books since I was a child, and I have read them all so many times I could probably review them from memory alone.  However, so far I have only reviewed one of them, Moving Pictures.  I have always intended to review the rest of these books as part of my Throwback Thursday series, but I have so far failed to do so.  Hopefully, I will manage to write some stuff for them up in the future as these are all great books to read.


The First Law
series by Joe Abercrombie

The Blade Itself

The First Law series is a trilogy of impressive dark fantasy novels that I really enjoyed.  This is such an amazing series and I have plans to review it at some point in the future, especially as I loved its compelling and violent story, as well as its various complex and flawed characters.  In the meantime, make sure to check out my review for the first book in the sequel series, A Little Hatred.


A Game of Thrones
by George R. R. Martin

A Game of Thrones Cover

This is another world-famous book which I have held off reviewing as every man and their dog has already said something about it, or its associated television show.  I did really enjoy this first novel, which is unsurprising considering how similar it is to the show, although I really need to read it again in order to note all its complexities.  I have been considering doing a big A Song of Ice and Fire reading marathon now that the show is finished, but that would take up a huge amount of reading time that I honestly just do not have.  Still, it is something to consider for the future, and maybe I could do it before the next novel in the series comes out.


Magician
by Raymond E. Feist

Magician Cover

I could have featured any of the fun fantasy novels in Feist’s long-running Riftwar Cycle on this list due to how much I enjoyed them, but I decided to only include his debut novel, Magician.  Not only is Magician one of the most impressive novels that Feist ever wrote, but it is actually the Riftwar Cycle novel I have the best memory of as I reread it a couple of years ago.  I will probably try and read this book a third time before I write anything up for it, especially as I can use that as a jumping off point to go back and check out the rest of the books in the Riftwar Cycle after that.


The Dark Elf
trilogy by R. A. Salvatore

Homeland Cover

I have read a huge amount of novels from fantasy legend R. A. Salvatore and while I have reviewed a lot of his recent stuff I have not yet had a chance to go back and review some of his earlier work. This includes The Dark Elf trilogy, which I consider to be his strongest and most impressive series of books.  These three novels are extremely good, especially as they contain the background story for one of the most complex and iconic high fantasy characters of all time, the Dark Elf ranger Drizzt Do’Urden.  I have read these books a few times, but I will probably need to do another reread in order to capture them completely.  Luckily, these books are not too long, so it would be a somewhat easier prospect to go back and read them than some of the other entries on this list.  I will probably consider doing this soon once I get my hands on the next upcoming book from Salvatore, Relentless, so this might happen soon.


King of Assassins
by RJ Barker

king of assassins cover

King of Assassins was a 2018 release from new fantasy author RJ Barker that I listened to halfway through last year.  Serving as the final novel in The Wounded Kingdom series, which followed on from Age of Assassins and Blood of Assassins, King of Assassins was an amazing read and it was probably the best entry in the entire trilogy.  Due to other reviews and conflicting priorities, I completely failed to write any sort of review for this book, which was a real shame because this is an amazing five-star read.  I really need to write something for this before all the details slip out of my mind, and even a short review would be better than nothing.


Recursion
by Blake Crouch

Recursion Cover

This is another book I read last year which I completely failed to finish reviewing.  Recursion is a really clever science fiction thriller that I had an awesome time reading.  I actually started a quick review for this book at some point, but I never got around to finalising it.  This was easily one of my favourite books of 2019, so I should probably finish off this review some point soon.

 

Well, that is the end of that top ten list.  As you can see, I have a ton of really impressive novels that I need to review at some point, and I foresee a lot of rereads in my future.  Still, it should be worth as each of the above books is pretty damn awesome and I know I can do a great review for each of them.  Despite my lack of writing about them, all of the above novels and series are amazing reads, and each of them come highly recommended, especially if you want to see how incredible the fantasy genre can be.  Meanwhile, make sure to let me know which of the above series/books are your favourites in the comments below.

Waiting on Wednesday – The Thorn of Emberlain by Scott Lynch

Welcome to my weekly segment, Waiting on Wednesday, where I look at upcoming books that I am planning to order and review in the next few months and which I think I will really enjoy.  Stay tuned to see reviews of these books when I get a copy of them.

The Thorn of Emberlain Cover.jpg

For my first Waiting on Wednesday for 2019, I will be looking at a fantasy book that has been on many people’s waiting lists since 2013, The Thorn of Emberlain by Scott Lynch.  The Thorn of Emberlain is the fourth planned book in Lynch’s Gentleman Bastards series, which started with the epic 2006 release The Lies of Locke LamoraThe Gentleman Bastards series follows the adventures of a small gang of conmen, known as The Gentleman Bastards, as they attempt to steal and embezzle money from the rich and powerful in a unique and excellently crafted fantasy world.  The third book in the series, The Republic of Thieves, was released back in 2013, and fantasy fans have been eager for the fourth book to be released ever since.  Unfortunately, The Thorn of Emberlain has been delayed multiple times in recent years, with potential release dates announced for 2016 and 2017 falling through.  As a result of these delays, The Thorn of Emberlain is now one of the most highly anticipated pieces of unreleased fantasy fiction, up there with The Doors of Stone (working title for the third book in The Kingkiller Chronicle) and The Winds of Winter (upcoming sixth book in A Song of Ice and Fire).  Despite the delayed release, some details have trickled through about this book, such as the above cover, and the synopsis below.

Goodread Synopsis:

Locke Lamora, thief, con-man, pirate, political deceiver is back, and now he must become a soldier.

A new chapter for Locke and Jean and finally the war that has been brewing in the Kingdom of the Marrows flares up and threatens to capture all in its flames.

And all the while Locke must try to deal with the disturbing rumours about his past revealed in The Republic of Thieves. Fighting a war when you don’t know the truth of right and wrong is one thing. Fighting a war when you don’t know the truth of yourself is quite another. Particularly when you’ve never been that good with a sword anyway…

The first thing I should mention about this book is, unlike the other books I have previously examined in my Waiting on Wednesday segments, I have no idea when it is going to be released.  At this point in time, Goodreads and several other sites have no definitive release date included, and I cannot see any recent posts online about it coming out.  However, Amazon and Book Depository currently both have late 2019 release dates (although neither site has the same release date), potentially indicating that the book may be released later this year.  While I really hope that it will come out in 2019, I realise that there is a very strong possibility that I might have to wait a little longer.

Why I am so eager to get a copy of The Thorn of Emberlain?  The main reason is that I really loved the first three books in the series.  I first read them in 2016 when I was first getting back into fantasy after several years focusing on historical fiction, and it was one of the series that really got me back into the genre.  I really enjoyed the series’s fantastic humour, brilliant twists, clever examination of the criminal element of a dark fantasy world and the inclusion of magic and elaborate alchemy in heists and embezzlements.

I loved all three of the books that Lynch has released so far.  The Lies of Locke Lamora really does live up to the hype surrounding it, and is an outstanding debut from Lynch, featuring a superb story in the outstanding city setting of Camorr.  The second book, Red Seas Under Red Skies is just as epic in my opinion, continuing the amazing style of the first book, while also adding in a ton of great new elements.  The third book, The Republic of Thieves, is probably the weakest book out of all of them but it still retains the fun storytelling and features of the first two books, while also including a fantastic split timeline narrative.  I also must commend the audiobook versions of these three books and their narration by Michael Page.

In addition to my past enjoyment of this series, what has been revealed about The Thorn of Emberlain already sounds quite promising.  It sounds like the Gentleman Bastards will be dragged into a war that has been slowly brewing in the last few books of the series.  Knowing the main characters of the series, you have to imagine that they will be engaging in some elaborate plot to get rich off the war, and I am looking forward to them attempting to con a rich general or warlord of some variety.  It also sounds like the Gentleman Bastards will have to go undercover as soldiers, which is reminiscent of the plot of Red Seas Under Red Skies, in which the characters had to pretend to be sailors.  As that was one of my favourite parts of Red Seas Under Red Skies, I am eager to see the characters undergo the transformation into soldiers, especially Locke, who has never been a particularly good fighter.

In addition, it sounds like there will be some other interesting elements in this latest book.  Lynch has previously revealed in a Twitter thread from February 2018 that he will be including a homosexual character in his latest book, and he appears to very keen to provide a sensitive and positive representation of this experience in his book.  I think this will be a great element to the book, and I am interested to see how Lynch’s new characters add to the story.  Some of the other details revealed in this thread also sound quite interesting, as Lynch indicates he has done extensive research on horses, rivers, architecture, roads, wolves, farms, stabbing people with swords and much more.  Considering the sheer amount of research that would have been required for previous books, I am really looking forward to seeing what all this work will turn into.

Overall, this book has been near the top of my personal to-read list ever since I finished The Republic of Thieves.  I hope that it is released at some point soon, but even if it takes a while to finally come out, I will be waiting eagerly for it.