Best Books of 2018
I’ve read about 200 books this year and it was so hard to narrow my favourite books down to just ten (I’ll probably end up doing a best-of-the-rest post too). I decided they had to be 2018 releases or earlier, and new-to-me to qualify. I hope some of these tempt you if you haven’t read them yet.
Circe by Madeline Miller
This was an incredible story focusing on the life of Circe, a witch, goddess and immortal, exiled to a deserted island. The beautiful prose was lyrical and powerful, and the characters were wonderfully nuanced. Perfect to savour on a wintry day.
Hero at the Fall by Alwyn Hamilton
If you want an action-packed YA fantasy series then you should definitely read the Rebel of the Sands trilogy. The evocative worldbuilding draws the reader in and is often described as the Arabian Nights meet the Wild West. The characters are brilliantly complex, and the love story between Amani and Jin is one of my favourite ever.
The Toymakers by Robert Dinsdale
This is one of those books that’s difficult to describe as it’s hard to pinpoint what makes it so fantastic. This was an exquisite story which weaves a spell of nostalgia and wonder that is undercut by the horror of war and the creeping encroachment of the outside world. An ideal Christmas present, perfect for fans of The Night Circus.
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
I completely fell in love with this series when I read it over the summer and it left me with a huge book hangover. Taking the format of a dossier of hacked documents, the Illuminae Files are a unique reading experience. This was just such a fun series; the characters are brilliant, the setting is incredible, and the humour is perfect.
Darksoul by Anna Stephens
When recommending this series, I would compare it to Game of Thrones for the unforgettable cast of characters and complex world-building (they also have a similar level of violence and profanity) but they stand on their own as a fantastic fantasy series.
Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
Naomi Novik has somehow written another phenomenal book full of magic, beauty and wonder. Loosely based on Rumpelstiltskin, this is pure escapism and a story that’s made to be reread. I adored this even more than Uprooted (which you should also read if you haven’t!).
The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden
I will never stop saying how much I love this series. It’s a hauntingly atmospheric trilogy with beautiful prose and a magical storyline inspired by Russian folktales. I’ve already read the final book and it’s the perfect ending. Now’s the time to read the first two books before the release of The Winter of the Witch next month.
Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor
Strange the Dreamer was one of my favourite books of 2017. I fell in love with Weep, its characters, and the beautiful writing style of Laini Taylor. I don’t read many books on release day but Muse was one I read straight through. This is such an incredible fantasy duology and one I wholeheartedly recommend.
The Light Between Worlds by Laura Weymouth
This book explores the emotional ramifications of returning to ordinary life after living in a magical land such as Narnia. Its portrayal of mental health was wonderfully nuanced and I loved the dual narrative of sisters torn between two worlds. This was a fantastic read that would make a great stocking filler for any bookworm.
The City of Brass by SA Chakraborty
This was a fairly last-minute entry into my top ten but, as soon as I finished it, I knew it would become a book I’ll keep rereading. If you love lush fantasy with incredible worldbuilding then this book is for you. I can promise you that the sequel is even better too.
What were your favourite books of the year? Please let me know in the comments!