Top Ten Hidden Gems

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday is all thanks to The Broke and the Bookish! This lovely header is thanks to APR's own Dani.

This week's topic is about the top hidden gems I read alllll the way back in 2016. 

1. Saint's Blood by Sebastien de Castell (Greatcoats #3)
It mat be because it's the third in the series, but Falcio's best adventure is, at least so far, his least read. There are less than 1600 ratings for this on Goodreads! The creativity and fun that was present in the first two books are here again, but there are less of the silly tropes that kept the previous books from being perfect.

2. By Helen's Hand by Amalia Carosella (Helen of Troy #2)
This author has really emerged as a hidden gem for me in the last few years. I have loved both of her Helen novels and am very eager to get to reading both Daughter of a Thousand Years and Tamer of Horses this year.
3. The Rivals of Versailles by Sally Christie (Mistresses of Versailles #2)
This historical fiction series chronicles the lives of the mistresses of France's infamous Louis XV. Detailed, intricate, lushly-rendered and full of distinct personalities, both books thus far published have breathed new life into the lives of both the well-known (Pompadour) and the previously unknown (all the Mailly-Nesle sisters) paramours of the king.
4. The Status of All Things by Liz Fention and Lisa Steinke
If you liked Taylor Jenkins Reid's Maybe in Another Life, this is going to be your newest favorite book. Heart, humor, banter, and entertainment -- The Status of All Things has these in spades. Creative angle that a lot of people could relate to and it's also charming.

5. The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinsin
Though some parts of this are dry and dense with theories/strategies for economics and armies --  a geopolitical fantasy after all -- it also packs a lot of diversity and a few very well-played moments. It's not my normal type of fantasy, since I tend to go for epic/high/low varieties, this is a thoughtful exploration about alternative means of conquest and rule.

6. The Iron Ghost and The Silver Tide by Jen Williams (The Copper Cat #2 and #3)
A creative and fun fantasy that is diverse, inclusive, features all kinds of badass women, interracial and gay relationships... and no rape. There are also dragon-women, wyverns, evil gods, new gods -- it's a fun series.

7. Your Soul is A River by Nikita Gill
I am so nooot the person here for verse or poetry; I rarely read either and even mor rarely do I buy a volume of it. However, I found Nikita Gill on instagram (lol what) and she just... resonated with me in a way few things do. 

8. Quintessence by David Walton
A story that has a flat Earth, alchemy, monsters, and exploration of the unkown --- this book does a lot of stuff and it does it differently than any other book I've read. It's not perfect read, but it is original and memorable.

9. A Song of War by various authors
The H-Team has published several amazing anthologies the last few years, and their take on the Trojan war is their best yet. With new spins on old voices and new ideas for the infamous conflict, it's a must-read for mythology fans.

10. Blackbringer + Silksinger by Laini Taylor
These are hidden gems simply because they can be hard to find. I looked for years for a new hardcover of Silksinger because I'm picky and she's my favorite author. Still, this are criminally underread.


  1. Oh I just finished the Daughter of Smoke & Bone series at the end of last year and I'm super excited to check out her other works. The other titles I haven't heard of but they look and sound pretty interesting! My Top Ten

    1. If you liked DoSaB, you should enjoy her younger books :)

  2. Wow, I've never heard of any of these! I am definitely going to have to go check some of these out on Goodreads. Great list!

    1. Woohoo -- I guess I succeeded in finding 'hidden gems' then!

  3. It breaks my heart that I still haven't read Laini's Dreamdark books. I want them so bad but still haven't found copies. I don't get why they don't do a reprint with these books.

    Oh man, I gotta continue with the Greatcoats series. I only read the first (which I loved) yet. MIGHT need a reread though because I have no idea what happened.

    and MUST read the Copper Cat series it seems. "no rape" alone makes me very interested but the other stuff too.

    Haven't even heard of Quintessence before but definitely adding to the TBR now!

    1. I searched for a looong time. And then paid about $30 for it, which I raaarely would do. Especially for a backlist title! But it's Laini so... I had to. And I hope they do! I really hope she writes a third book and that jumpstarts a reprint.

      YES READ THE GREATCOATS. I love them all so much.

      Yep - Jen Williams is one of the few authors I can say that about. It is so refreshing.

  4. I still need to read By Helen's Hand and The Song of War! I loved the first Helen book so much and the ending is left in such a distressing place lol! I also want to check out the poet that you love because I love the poems that you've posted before :)

    1. aaah yes you do, to both -- BHH and TSOW are such good interpretations of the character and time. Dooo it.

      Aww, yay! I am so glad other people find something to love in her words :)

  5. So much fantasy I need to read! The Status of All Things is clearly going on my TBR and I added that poetry collection the first time you mentioned it. Need to get my hands on it, pronto. :)

    1. The Status of All Things is really clever! I hope you like it. It made me think a lot of about how people present themselves online versus in real life


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