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Wrapping up 2012: Reading

30 December, 2012

We’ve reached the point when it’s time to look ahead to the New Year and what always feels like a fresh start. First though, I’m going to do a quick look back at 2012, both in terms of my writing (in a separate post) and the books I’ve read. Here are a few of my favourites:

N.K. Jemisin – ‘The Kingdom of Gods‘ and ‘The Killing Moon

Amanda Downum – ‘The Kingdoms of Dust

Kate Elliott – ‘Shadow Gate‘ and ‘Traitors’ Gate

We start off with three authors who have rapidly entered my list that, if it had a name, would be entitled something like ‘buy everything they write’. I know I’ve gushed about all three of these authors in previous blog posts, so I won’t go into too much detail here. Suffice to say, I’ve followed Jemisin from her brilliant first trilogy into an equally brilliant, but entirely different duology (and I got the second volume for Christmas! whee!), and can’t wait to see what she writes next. I’ve also been following Downum’s series since its beginning a few years ago – I have a soft spot for stories about necromancers, and her style is wonderfully lush and evocative (although I can’t see any mention online of the fourth book in the series, which I thought was scheduled for 2013 – if it doesn’t appear, I shall be very sad indeed). Finally, although Elliott’s Crossroads trilogy came out a few years ago, I actually picked up all three books in one go last year. Now that I’ve come to the end of it, I can safely say it’s the most properly epic series I’ve read in some time, whilst remaining unpredictable, intelligent and always powerful. I’ll definitely be getting my hands on her newer Spiritwalker series this year.

Next we come to two very different novels, one recent and one not-so, that nevertheless are tied for first place as my ‘novel of the year’:

Guy Gavriel Kay – ‘Tigana

Hilary Mantel – ‘Wolf Hall

Wolf Hall is a historical novel about Thomas Cromwell, and a book I wholly expected to find underwhelming, but Mantel – and more specifically Cromwell himself – had won me over within the first 20 pages. Tigana, meanwhile, is a fantasy classic and had me in tears several times throughout its length. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever read such a powerful, or nuanced, book before – and if you’ve read it, you’ll probably understand what I mean when I say Dianora’s story in particular absolutely broke my heart at the end.

So, there we have my favourites from 2012. Feel free to share yours below!

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