2017: Best of Fantasy

Friday, December 29, 2017
YA Edition:

1. In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan

The Borderlands aren’t like anywhere else. Don’t try to smuggle a phone or any other piece of technology over the wall that marks the Border—unless you enjoy a fireworks display in your backpack. (Ballpoint pens are okay.) There are elves, harpies, and—best of all as far as Elliot is concerned—mermaids.

Elliot? Who’s Elliot? Elliot is thirteen years old. He’s smart and just a tiny bit obnoxious. Sometimes more than a tiny bit. When his class goes on a field trip and he can see a wall that no one else can see, he is given the chance to go to school in the Borderlands.

It turns out that on the other side of the wall, classes involve a lot more weaponry and fitness training and fewer mermaids than he expected. On the other hand, there’s Serene-Heart-in-the-Chaos-of-Battle, an elven warrior who is more beautiful than anyone Elliot has ever seen, and then there’s her human friend Luke: sunny, blond, and annoyingly likeable. There are lots of interesting books. There’s even the chance Elliot might be able to change the world.

2. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
3. The Fallen Kingdom by Elizabeth May (The Falconer #3)
4. Song of the Current by Sarah Tolcser (Song of the Current #1)
5. Whichwood by Tahereh Mafi (Furthermore #2)
6. Ash and Quill by Rachel Caine (The Great Library #3)
7. A Daughter of No Nation by A.M. Dellamonica (Hidden Sea Tales #2)
8. Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust
9. Barefoot on the Wind by Zoe Marriott (The Moonlit Lands #2)
10. Hunted by Megan Spooner

Adult Edition:

1. Skullsworn by Brian Staveley

 Brian Staveley’s new standalone returns to the critically acclaimed Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne universe, following a priestess attempting to join the ranks of the God of Death.

Pyrre Lakatur doesn’t like the word skullsworn. It fails to capture the faith and grace, the peace and beauty of her devotion to the God of Death. She is not, to her mind, an assassin, not a murderer--she is a priestess. At least, she will be a priestess if she manages to pass her final trial.

The problem isn’t the killing. Pyrre has been killing and training to kill, studying with some of the most deadly men and women in the world, since she was eight. The problem, strangely, is love. To pass her Trial, Pyrre has ten days to kill the ten people enumerated in an ancient song, including "the one you love / who will not come again."

Pyrre is not sure she’s ever been in love. If she were a member of a different religious order, a less devoted, disciplined order, she might cheat. The Priests of Ananshael, however, don’t look kindly on cheaters. If Pyrre fails to find someone to love, or fails to kill that someone, they will give her to the god.

Pyrre’s not afraid to die, but she hates to quit, hates to fail, and so, with a month before her trial begins, she returns to the city of her birth, the place where she long ago offered an abusive father to the god and abandoned a battered brother—in the hope of finding love... and ending it on the edge of her sword.

2. Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson (The Way of Kings #3)
3. Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff (Nevernight Chronicle #2)
4. City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty (Daevabad #1)
5. The Tiger's Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera (Their Bright Ascendancy #1)
6. An Unkindness of Magicians by Kat Howard
7. The Tethered Mage by Melissa Caruso (Swords and Fire #1)
8. Tyrant's Throne by Sebastien de Castell (Greatcoats #4)
9. The Dragon's Legacy by Deborah A. Wolfe (The Dragon's Legacy #1)
10. An Echo of Things to Come by James Islington (Licanius #2)

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