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Author Topic: Which twenty fantasy books from 2010 to 2020 should I and everybody read?  (Read 1529 times)

Offline eclipse

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I think I might have missed reading some standout books which I need to read  (series count as one)
According to some,* heroic deaths are admirable things

* Generally those who don't have to do it.Politicians and writers spring to mind

Jonathan Stroud:Ptolmy's Gate

Offline hexa

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Re: Which twenty fantasy books from 2010 to 2020 should I and everybody read?
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2020, 04:41:10 PM »
1. The Hungering Saga by Heath Pfaff
2. Schooled in Magic by Christopher Nuttall
3. The Choice of Magic by Michael Manning

Offline Peat

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Re: Which twenty fantasy books from 2010 to 2020 should I and everybody read?
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2020, 11:49:32 PM »
Hmm...

Dominions of the Fallen by Aliette de Bodard
The Winnowing Flame by Jen Williams
The Craft Sequence by Max Gladstone
The Golem and the Djinni by Helene Wecker
The Wounded Kingdoms by RJ Barker
A Brightness Long Ago by GGK
Turning Darkness into Light by Marie Brennan
The Goddess Project by Bryan Wigmore
Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch
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Offline cupiscent

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Re: Which twenty fantasy books from 2010 to 2020 should I and everybody read?
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2020, 12:38:08 AM »
I think eclipse and I have fairly overlapping lists, but in the interests of completeness, some "good/important" reads from the last ten years imho would be, in no particular order:

City of Stairs, Robert Jackson Bennett
The Fifth Season, NK Jemisin
The Library at Mount Char, Scott Hawkins
The Traitor (Baru Cormorant), Seth Dickinson
Three Parts Dead, Max Gladstone AND/OR The Ruin of Angels, Max Gladstone (book 1 vs "standalone" book 6)
The Dragon's Path, Daniel Abraham
Tomorrow The Killing, Daniel Polansky (second book, but I think it should stand ok?)
Red Country, Joe Abercrombie
Tess of the Road, Rachel Hartman
A Brightness Long Ago, Guy Gavriel Kay
The Tiger's Daughter, K Arsenault Rivera
The Unspoken Name, AK Larkwood
Amberlough, Lara Elena Donnelly
Spinning Silver, Naomi Novik

If you're interested in stretching "fantasy" a little broader, into history-with-(slight)-fantastical-elements, then also:
The Watchmaker of Filigree Street, Natasha Pulley
The Beautiful Ones, Silvia Moreno-Garcia
...possible Amberlough should come under here but I'm not moving it so there nyah.

Offline Peat

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Re: Which twenty fantasy books from 2010 to 2020 should I and everybody read?
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2020, 12:47:05 AM »
I should have had The Traitor and City of Stairs on my list.
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Offline Bender

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Re: Which twenty fantasy books from 2010 to 2020 should I and everybody read?
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2020, 01:35:43 AM »
Way of Kings - Brandon Sanderson
Prince of Thorns - Mark Lawrence
City of Stairs - Robert Jackson Bennett
Steelheart - Brandon Sanderson (abit YA'ish, but really a classic theme)
Theft of Swords (Riyria) - Michael Sullivan

I haven't read, but have heard good things about:

Warded/Painted Man - Peter V Brett
Thousand Names - Django Wexler
Under Heaven - Guy Gavriel Kay
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Offline eclipse

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Re: Which twenty fantasy books from 2010 to 2020 should I and everybody read?
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2020, 12:21:20 PM »
I will do my list later but Throne of the five winds will be on there @cupiscent
According to some,* heroic deaths are admirable things

* Generally those who don't have to do it.Politicians and writers spring to mind

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Re: Which twenty fantasy books from 2010 to 2020 should I and everybody read?
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2020, 12:26:18 PM »
Wait for my input ;)
I'll do it after this meeting I'm in... although to be fair, given our matching tastes and the previous inputs, I think you're covered already ;D
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Offline JMack

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Re: Which twenty fantasy books from 2010 to 2020 should I and everybody read?
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2020, 01:12:16 PM »
The Crimson Empire trilogy by Alex Marshall
I love this weird and wonderful epic fantasy
Change, when it comes, will step lightly before it kicks like thunder. (GRMatthews)
You are being naive if you think that any sweet and light theme cannot be strangled and force fed it's own flesh. (Nora)
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Re: Which twenty fantasy books from 2010 to 2020 should I and everybody read?
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2020, 01:35:16 PM »
I'll add (not specifically for eclipse!)

Malazan - Steven Erikson
Greatcoats - Sebastien de Castell
The faithful and the falleen - John Gwynne
Raven's mark - Ed McDonald
Godblind - Anna Stephens
Starless Sea - Erin Morgenstern
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Offline Alex Hormann

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Re: Which twenty fantasy books from 2010 to 2020 should I and everybody read?
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2020, 01:52:40 PM »
Limiting myself to one per author, and trying to focus on newer authors rather than releases from established ones.

1-Way of Kings, Brandon Sanderson
2-Prince of Thorns, Mark Lawrence
3-The Court of Broken Knives, Anna Smith Spark
4-The Painted Man, Peter V. Brett
5-Twelve Kings In Sharakai, Bradley P. Beaulieu
6-A Natural History of Dragons, Marie Brennan
7-The Vagrant, Peter Newman
8-Kings of the Wyld, Nicholas Eames
9-The Dragon's Path, Daniel Abraham
10-Promise of Blood, Brian McClellan
11-The Grace of Kings, Ken Liu
12-Rivers of London, Ben Aaronovitch
13-Battlemage, Stephen Aryan
14-The Poppy War, R.F. Kuang
15-The Wolf, Leo Carew
16-Snakewood, Adrian Selby
17-The Way of Shadows, Brent weeks
18-Malice, John Gwynne
19-Empire of Silence, Christopher Ruocchio (Sci-Fi, but with all the trappings of epic fantasy)
20-Skullsworn, Brian Stavely
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Offline cupiscent

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Re: Which twenty fantasy books from 2010 to 2020 should I and everybody read?
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2020, 10:11:37 PM »
I will do my list later but Throne of the five winds will be on there @cupiscent

I hmmed on that one. Obviously I thoroughly loved it, but it's not a book I would recommend to everyone blanketly. It's more a "if you like this sort of thing, then BOY HOWDY THIS ONE". :D I acknowledge all its "weaknesses", I just don't care / actively love them!

Offline eclipse

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Re: Which twenty fantasy books from 2010 to 2020 should I and everybody read?
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2020, 01:05:10 PM »
This are the books published in 2010-2020 that I enjoyed reading

1 Made Things by Adrian Tchaikovsky

She was good at making friends.

Coppelia is a street thief, a trickster, a low-level con artist. But she has something other thieves don’t… tiny puppet-like friends: some made of wood, some of metal. They don’t entirely trust her, and she doesn’t entirely understand them, but their partnership mostly works.

After a surprising discovery shakes their world to the core, Coppelia and her friends must reexamine everything they thought they knew about their world, while attempting to save their city from a seemingly impossible new threat.



2 How to Rule an Empire and get away with it by K.J Parker

This is the story of how the City was saved, by Notker the professional liar, written down because eventually the truth always seeps through.

The City may be under siege, but everyone still has to make a living. Take Notker, the acclaimed playwright, actor and impresario. Nobody works harder, even when he's not working. Thankfully, the good citizens of Classis appreciate an evening at the theatre even when there are large rocks falling out of the sky.

But Notker is a man of many talents, and all the world is, apparently, a stage. It seems that the Empire needs him - or someone who looks a lot like him - for a role that will call for the performance of a lifetime. At least it will guarantee fame, fortune and immortality. If it doesn't kill him first.




3 The Empire of Gold by S.A. Chakraborty

The final chapter in the Daevabad Trilogy, in which a con-woman and an idealistic djinn prince join forces to save a magical kingdom from a devastating civil war.

Daevabad has fallen.

After a brutal conquest stripped the city of its magic, Nahid leader Banu Manizheh and her resurrected commander, Dara, must try to repair their fraying alliance and stabilize a fractious, warring people.

But the bloodletting and loss of his beloved Nahri have unleashed the worst demons of Dara’s dark past. To vanquish them, he must face some ugly truths about his history and put himself at the mercy of those he once considered enemies.

Having narrowly escaped their murderous families and Daevabad’s deadly politics, Nahri and Ali, now safe in Cairo, face difficult choices of their own. While Nahri finds peace in the old rhythms and familiar comforts of her human home, she is haunted by the knowledge that the loved ones she left behind and the people who considered her a savior are at the mercy of a new tyrant. Ali, too, cannot help but look back, and is determined to return to rescue his city and the family that remains. Seeking support in his mother’s homeland, he discovers that his connection to the marid goes far deeper than expected and threatens not only his relationship with Nahri, but his very faith.

As peace grows more elusive and old players return, Nahri, Ali, and Dara come to understand that in order to remake the world, they may need to fight those they once loved . . . and take a stand for those they once hurt.




4 The Throne of the Five Winds by  S.C. Emmett

Two queens, two concubines, six princes. Innumerable hidden agendas. Yala, lady-in-waiting to the princess of a vanquished kingdom, must navigate their captors' treacherous imperial court.

The Emperor's palace -- full of ambitious royals, sly gossip, and unforeseen perils -- is perhaps the most dangerous place in Zhaon. A hostage for her conquered people's good behavior, the lady Komor Yala has only her wits and her hidden maiden's blade to protect herself -- and her childhood friend Princess Mahara, sacrificed in marriage to the enemy to secure a tenuous peace.


But the Emperor is aging, and the Khir princess and her lady-in-waiting soon find themselves pawns in the six princes' deadly schemes for the throne -- and a single spark could ignite fresh rebellion in Khir.


And then, the Emperor falls ill, and a far bloodier game begins...




5 Jade War by Fonda Lee

In Jade War, the sequel to the World Fantasy Award-winning novel Jade City, the Kaul siblings battle rival clans for honor and control over an Asia-inspired fantasy metropolis.

On the island of Kekon, the Kaul family is locked in a violent feud for control of the capital city and the supply of magical jade that endows trained Green Bone warriors with supernatural powers they alone have possessed for hundreds of years.

Beyond Kekon's borders, war is brewing. Powerful foreign governments and mercenary criminal kingpins alike turn their eyes on the island nation. Jade, Kekon's most prized resource, could make them rich - or give them the edge they'd need to topple their rivals.

Faced with threats on all sides, the Kaul family is forced to form new and dangerous alliances, confront enemies in the darkest streets and the tallest office towers, and put honor aside in order to do whatever it takes to ensure their own survival - and that of all the Green Bones of Kekon.




6 The Hod King by Josiah Bancroft

Fearing an uprising, the Sphinx sends Senlin to investigate a plot that has taken hold in the ringdom of Pelphia. Alone in the city, Senlin infiltrates a bloody arena where hods battle for the public's entertainment. But his investigation is quickly derailed by a gruesome crime and an unexpected reunion.

Posing as a noble lady and her handmaid, Voleta and Iren attempt to reach Marya, who is isolated by her fame. While navigating the court, Voleta attracts the unwanted attention of a powerful prince whose pursuit of her threatens their plan.

Edith, now captain of the Sphinx's fierce flagship, joins forces with a fellow wakeman to investigate the disappearance of a beloved friend. She must decide who to trust as her desperate search brings her nearer to the Black Trail where the hods climb in darkness and whisper of the Hod King.

As Senlin and his crew become further dragged in to the conspiracies of the Tower, everything falls to one question: Who is The Hod King?





7 The Corset by Laura Purcell

Is prisoner Ruth Butterham mad or a murderer? Victim or villain?

Dorothea and Ruth. Prison visitor and prisoner. Powerful and powerless. Dorothea Truelove is young, wealthy and beautiful. Ruth Butterham is young, poor and awaiting trial for murder.

When Dorothea's charitable work leads her to Oakgate Prison, she is delighted with the chance to explore her fascination with phrenology and test her hypothesis that the shape of a person's skull can cast a light on their darkest crimes. But when she meets teenage seamstress Ruth, she is faced with another theory: that it is possible to kill with a needle and thread. For Ruth attributes her crimes to a supernatural power inherent in her stitches.

The story Ruth has to tell of her deadly creations – of bitterness and betrayal, of death and dresses – will shake Dorothea's belief in rationality and the power of redemption.

Can Ruth be trusted? Is she mad, or a murderer?






8 The 7 half Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

Aiden Bishop knows the rules. Evelyn Hardcastle will die every day until he can identify her killer and break the cycle. But every time the day begins again, Aiden wakes up in the body of a different guest at Blackheath Manor. And some of his hosts are more helpful than others. With a locked room mystery that Agatha Christie would envy, Stuart Turton unfurls a breakneck novel of intrigue and suspense.

For fans of Claire North, and Kate Atkinson, The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a breathlessly addictive mystery that follows one man's race against time to find a killer, with an astonishing time-turning twist that means nothing and no one are quite what they seem.




9 Cold Bath Street by  A.J. Hartley

Preston Oldcorn is in a desolate void between life and death. In order to save his soul he must brave his greatest fear - Cold Bath Street. A gothic thriller - think Hunger Games crossed with Artemis Fowl - that will keep you gripped to the end. Stunning black and white illustrations throughout.



10 Death's Merchant by @Justan Henner

War between gods. Mortals are pawns.

Fate lays a curse to bring the god of Death to the world.

A boy makes a list of people he's got to kill. What could go wrong?

Jem just killed his father.
He should have done it five years ago, but kids don't always make good decisions.
Next on Jem's list is a military tyrant. Maybe the whole Legion.
With so many people to kill, Jem hopes to satisfy his hunger for vengeance... and obtain redemption too.

Trin is cursed by Fate to bring the god of Death to the world.
She's found the key to breaking Fate's curse.
It's not the answer she wants.

You'll love this Epic Fantasy because it's 1200 pages of captivating characters and humor.





11 The Devil's Evidence by Simon Kurt Unsworth

A new case of unsolvable murders brings Hell to Heaven in the explosive sequel to The Devil’s Detective.

Hell is burning out of control. Thomas Fool, Hell’s first Information Man tasked with investigating the endless stream of violence in Hell, has been promoted to the head of the newly expanded Information Office. Now in command of a legion of Information Men, his new position finds him hated by demons and almost revered by humans. He alone has survived the wrath of demon and angel alike, but he stands alone and at the center of a brewing crisis. New on the scene is the Evidence, a shadowy department whose officers do not investigate; they punish and spread fear. And its leader, Mr. Tap, is gunning for Fool.

Fool is ordered to accompany a political delegation to Heaven, and his arrival coincides with an impossible—and sinister—discovery. A dead body. Murder in Heaven. Violence, corruption, and fear are the currency of Hell, and how does one investigate a crime where these concepts are paradoxes? As the bodies pile up, Fool sees disturbing connections between Heaven and Hell. He must follow clues in a strange land where nothing is as it seems and danger can present itself in any form.

What follows is a phantasmagoric, mind-bending thriller as exciting and unsettling as anything in recent fiction. The Devil’s Evidence is an electrifying, provocative novel filled with stunning set pieces and characters who will live on in your deepest nightmares[/b



12 The Iron Ship by K.M. McKinley

The order of the world is in turmoil. An age of industry is beginning, an age of machines fuelled by magic. Sprawling cities rise, strange devices stalk the land. New money brings new power. The balance between the Hundred Kingdoms is upset. For the first time in generations the threat of war looms.

In these turbulent days, fortunes can be won. Magic runs strong in the Kressind family. Six siblings strive – one to triumph in a world of men, one to survive murderous intrigue, one to master forbidden sorcery, one to wash away his sins, one to contain the terrible energies of his soul.

And one will do the impossible, by marrying the might of magic and iron in the heart of a great ship, to cross an ocean that cannot be crossed.




13 Orconomics by  J. Zachary Pike

Brimming with swords, sorcery, and wit, Orconomics: A Satire introduces Arth, a world much like our own but with more magic and fewer vowels. For the licensed wizards and warriors of Arth, slaying and looting the forces of evil is just a job. The Heroes' Guild has turned adventuring into a career, selling the rights to monsters’ hoards of treasure as investment opportunities. Corporations spend immense sums sponsoring heroes to undertake quests, betting they’ll reap the profits in plunder funds when the loot is divvied up.

Questing was all business for famous Dwarven berserker Gorm Ingerson, until a botched expedition wiped out his party, disgraced his name, and reduced him to a thieving vagabond. Twenty years later, a chance encounter sees Gorm forcibly recruited by a priest of a mad goddess to undertake a quest that has a reputation for getting heroes killed. But there’s more to Gorm’s new job than an insane prophecy; powerful corporations and governments have shown an unusual interest in the job. Gorm might be able to turn a bad deal into a golden opportunity and win back the fame and fortune he lost so long ago.




14 Among Thieves by Douglas Hulick

Drothe has been a member of the Kin for years, rubbing elbows with thieves and murderers in the employ of a crime lord while smuggling relics on the side. But when an ancient book falls into his hands, Drothe finds himself in possession of a relic capable of bringing down emperors-a relic everyone in the underworld would kill to obtain.



15 City of Burning Shadows by  Barbara J. Webb

Joshua “Ash” Drake is a man in hiding.

Hiding from the past, from the horror of his life as a priest after the gods disappeared.

Hiding from his emotions, denying the nightmares that haunt his sleep and the anger that fuels his days.

Most of all, hiding from the truth—that no matter how much he keeps his head down, no matter how he clings to the echoes of everyday life, his city—his world—is dying.

When a new technology offers salvation to his desperate city, Ash must reach out to people he left behind and step back into the world that almost killed him. But coming out of hiding now could be the worst mistake Ash has ever made.

Because there are monsters in the darkness, feeding the chaos, watching the city burn. And once those monsters know his name, Ash will never be able to hide again.




16 The Shadowed Sun by  N.K. Jemisin

Gujaareh, the city of dreams, suffers under the imperial rule of the Kisuati Protectorate. A city where the only law was peace now knows violence and oppression. A mysterious and deadly plague now haunts the citizens of Gujaareh, dooming the infected to die screaming in their sleep. Someone must show them the way.



17 The Braided Path by Chris Wooding

The story of an exotic oriental world. The empire of Saramyr has relied on the secretive sect of Weavers for far too long. Now the Weavers, manipulating space and time through the Weave of existence, are plotting the overthrow of the families. Their motives twisted by the Witchstones they draw their power from.

As the empire crumbles the disowned abbearant daughter of the empire and a few scattered rebels must find out the secret of the true nature of the witchstones and rescue the empire from depravity and the rule of demons.

Chris Wooding has an unrivalled flair for Machiavellian plotting, explosive description and memorable young characters. This is the ideal first adult fantasy for his teenage fans.




18 The sprit Lens by Carol Berg


n a kingdom on the verge of a grand renaissance, where natural science has supplanted failing sorcery, someone aims to revive a savage rivalry...

For Portier de Savin-Duplais, failed student of magic, sorcery's decline into ambiguity and cheap illusion is but a culmination of life's bitter disappointments. Reduced to tending the library at Sabria's last collegia magica, he fights off despair with scholarship. But when the king of Sabria charges him to investigate an attempted murder that has disturbing magical resonances, Portier believes his dreams of a greater destiny might at last be fulfilled.

As the king's new agente confide, Portier - much to his dismay - is partnered with the popinjay Ilario de Sylvae, the laughingstock of Sabria's court. Then the need to infiltrate a magical cabal leads Portier to Dante, a brooding, brilliant young sorcerer whose heretical ideas and penchant for violence threaten to expose the investigation before it's begun. But in an ever-shifting landscape of murders, betrayals, old secrets, and unholy sorcery, the three agentes will be forced to test the boundaries of magic, nature, and the divine..





19 City of Ruin by Mark Charan Newton

In the frozen north of a far-flung world lies Villiren, a city plagued by violent gangs and monstrous human/animal hybrids, stalked by a serial killer, and targeted by an otherworldly army. Brynd Lathraea has brought his elite Night Guard to help Villiren build a fighting force against the invaders. But success will mean dealing with the half-vampyre leader of the savage Bloods gang. Meanwhile, reptilian rumel investigator Rumex Jeryd has come seeking refuge from Villjamur's vindictive emperor--only to find a city riddled with intolerance between species, indifference to a murderer's reign of terror, and the powerful influence of criminals. As the enemy prepares to strike, and Villiren's defenders turn on each other, three refugees--deposed empress Jamur Rika, her sister Eir, and the scholar Randur Estevu--approach the city. And with them they bring a last, desperate hope for survival . . . and a shocking revelation that will change everything.



20 The City of Silk and steel by Mike Carey

Once, in a city known as Bessa, there was a sultan named Bokhari Al-Bokhari, who was thrown down by the zealots of the ascetic Hakkim Mehdad. The sultan, his wives and children were put to the sword, while his 365 concubines were sent to a neighbouring caliph as tribute, Hakkim having no use for the pleasures of the flesh.

But a day after the caravan had departed from Bessa, Hakkim discovered the terrible secret that the concubines had hidden from him.His reaction was swift and cruel.

Kill the women of the harem forthwith, along with their children and maidservants. Let not one survive. Their bodies let the desert claim, and their names be fed to silence.

This, then, is the tale - or tales - of how a remarkable group of women fight together to survive both the fury of Hakkim and the rigours of the desert. It is the tale of Zuleika, whose hidden past holds the key to their future, and of Rem, the librarian whose tears are ink. Of the wise Gursoon, who defines the group's conscience, and of the silver-tongued thief, Anwar Das, who knows when to ignore that conscience.

This is the tale of the forging of a rabble of concubines, children, camel-herds and thieves into an army of silk and steel. It is the tale of the redemption and rise of Bessa, fabled City of Women. And it is the tale of an act of kindness that carries the seed of death, and will return to bring darkness and the end of a dream
















« Last Edit: November 28, 2020, 01:32:19 PM by eclipse »
According to some,* heroic deaths are admirable things

* Generally those who don't have to do it.Politicians and writers spring to mind

Jonathan Stroud:Ptolmy's Gate

Offline eclipse

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Re: Which twenty fantasy books from 2010 to 2020 should I and everybody read?
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2020, 01:16:25 PM »
Looks at my list notice that most tiles have a Major City in them ...

Also I'm I the first one to pick a K.J Parker novel  as well?

and no ones picked the same authors as me feels sad. oh wait @cupiscent  picked N.K jesmin Too feels better.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2020, 01:23:38 PM by eclipse »
According to some,* heroic deaths are admirable things

* Generally those who don't have to do it.Politicians and writers spring to mind

Jonathan Stroud:Ptolmy's Gate

Offline cupiscent

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Re: Which twenty fantasy books from 2010 to 2020 should I and everybody read?
« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2020, 10:26:35 PM »
I hmmed on 16 Ways as well. :) And we've seen a lot of love for Robert Jackson Bennett's City of Stairs.

Mostly I'm sitting here laughing over how so many of our lists have at least one book that I went, "Oh no, I hated that!" about. ;D I do love the marvelous diverse breadth of the genre!