Last week I gave you my top 2020 releases that I read this year, but now here comes the overall top picks of my year. Some of these are repeats from the last list, but altogether I feel like this list had some strong competition from both new releases and books I finally picked up!
- The Empire of Gold by S.A. Chakraborty
- The Empire of Gold was an epic and amazing finale for an Adult Fantasy series I picked up on a whim. It all started with City of Brass on the beach, but I got hooked and amazed by how well this was written, and how magically transportive this series was. The Empire of Gold was the top Fantasy read for me this year, and has staked an eternal spot on my shelves because of it. It combined magic, politics, and this last novel brought some serious action and betrayal that left me floored.
- Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman
- This is one of the non 2020 releases that I picked up during my Red Dead Redemption obsession, and I have zero regrets over this. The main character is rough around the edges, and makes no apologies for wanting revenge on the crew that killed her father. I grew up on western films that starred Clint Eastwood, so this was a fun return to that mode of storytelling, and a nice change to the sweeping Fantasy worlds I’m typically immersed in. If you’re looking for something different to try out, and like westerns this one is worth picking up, and pretty approachable as well since it still has a lot of the writing style present in Young Adult books. There is a written ‘cowboy’ accent, but after the first chapter I wasn’t as bothered by it.
- Folk of the Air Trilogy by Holly Black (Reread)
- One of my rereads of the year, I was a little worried whether this and the other series I reread would stand the test of time, but this one hooked me just as much as it did the first time, and the reread was much due since Black had another novella, How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories, which came out late this year. This is probably one of the most hyped series out there in YA Fantasy, but for me it definitely deserves the hype, and got a reread out of me (a rarity).
- Caraval Series by Stephanie Garber
- I was late to the party on this series, and I honestly don’t know why. It has all the things that get me excited in YA Fantasy (Magic, multiple couples, dangerous games), I just hesitated long enough for me to get all the copies in paperback in binge read. I was painting my room and bookcase when I started reading this, but when I wasn’t painting or nursing my aching hand I was reading these books. I’d say the first book was my favorite overall, but I really enjoyed the entire series and its unique take on magic. I’m glad I finally picked it up, and joined the huge fan group that loves this series.
- Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare
- Last, but certainly not least, Chain of Gold! To be fair, this book has my favorite character of all time in it, Will Herondale, so anyone who knows me knows this book would be somewhere on the list. This series isn’t focused on Will, Tessa, and Jim, but instead the next generation. I think as far as Cassandra Clare books go, they seem to just progressively get better and better. The Mortal Instruments was great, but I think most fans tend to say that the Infernal Devices was that much better, and the improvement is just always there. I will warn that if you haven’t read any other Cassandra Clare books, this may not be the one to start with. Instead I would recommend either Mortal Instruments or Infernal Devices, either are a great “intro” to the Shadowhunters’ world, whereas Dark Artifices and the Last Hours have characters from those two beginning series.
- Bone Crier’s Moon by Kathryn Purdie
- Dangerous Alliance by Jennieke Cohen
- Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco
- Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson
What were some of your top picks for 2020? Let me know in the comments below! 🙂