Now that 2019 has come and gone, it is time to wrap up the past year and I’m quite excited about it, because it means I’ll get to talk about all my favourite things! Like I usually do, I thought I’d dedicate the next week or so to talk about my favourite books, movies and TV shows of the year, starting with books, of course.
According to Goodreads, in 2019, I read 39,604 pages across 102 books, which I’m quite happy about, as I didn’t always have a lot of time to dedicate to reading. I haven’t really done stats or anything, but I mainly read fantasy novels, which isn’t surprising considering it’s my favourite genre and you can definitely tell from my list of favourite books.
In 2019, I read so many amazing books, yet only gave five star ratings to two books, as I’m being quite picky with my five stars now. I also found new favourite series, which makes me so happy. Anyhow, without further ado, here are my favourite books of 2019:
The City of Brass was one of my favourite books of 2018 AND put me in a big fantasy slump, so I’m quite happy I loved its sequel that much. This Middle-East inspired fantasy series is about Nahri, a con woman who lives in 18th century Cairo, and accidentally summons a djinn warrior. He tells her about the legendary city of Daevabad, a city to which she is irrevocably bound and it all goes from there. The Kingdom of Copper was an ambitious and brilliant sequel, it made me love these characters even more and it developed its world-building splendidly. The last hundred pages were so intense I actually had to take breaks between chapters to breathe and process what was happening. This series is surely becoming one of my favourites and I can’t wait for the last book to come out in 2020!
What I love about Nevernight is that it reminded me why fantasy is my favourite genre: it has a fascinating and complex world-building, unforgettable characters, a great plot and months later, I still think about it. I adore books about female assassins and this one sure didn’t disappoint: it’s about Mia Corvere, who witnessed her parents being murdered as a child and promised she’d avenge herself on those that shattered her world. To do that, she has been training to join the Red Church of Itreya, where she’ll have to prove herself to them to become an assassin. I also love that while this book is quite dark, considering it is about assassins, it has a great narrator that shows a lot of humor, so it makes it even better and sometimes easier to read. I still have one book left to read in the trilogy, so I can’t wait to see how Mia’s story will end!
After falling in love with Robin Hobb’s Farseer trilogy in 2018, I moved on to her Liveship Traders trilogy in 2019 and became obsessed with that one as well (I *might* have mentioned it quite a lot in recent months 😇). This fantasy trilogy is all about pirates, talking ships, magic, sea serpents, slave revolts and bloody battles, and I’m pretty sure it is the best series with pirates I have ever read. I’m in such awe of Robin Hobb for the world she has created and I love the characters from this trilogy so much: every time I read one of these books, it’s all I can think about and I’m always so sad to say goodbye to them (I felt the same way towards the Farseer trilogy, I’m glad it happened again). I didn’t have time to read the last book in the trilogy in 2019, but it’s happening in the next few weeks and I’m so excited about it!
Genres: fantasy, historical fiction
After years of hearing readers rave about Juliet Marillier, I finally started reading her Sevenwaters series and I fell deeply in love with it. This medieval fantasy series is mainly set in ancient Ireland and follows four generations in the family of Sevenwaters, which has a special relationship with the people of the Otherworld. These books are very character-driven, have an immersive setting and feel like fairy tales (the first one being a retelling of The Six Swans), which I adored so much. I can’t get enough of these books and they made me want to read every book Juliet Marillier has ever written, so I’m looking forward to slowly make my way through them in 2020.
Genres: gothic, historical fiction
When I think about The Thirteenth Tale, I remember how late I stayed up to read it, how fully immersed I was in its gothic atmosphere and how I kept being speechless, both because of plot twists and how beautifully written this story was. This novel is about Vida Winter, a renowned author, who has been creating various outlandish life histories for herself for the past six decades, and decides to trust the story of her life to biographer Margaret Lea, a young woman for whom the secret of her own birth, hidden by those who loved her most, remains an ever-present pain. It is such a dark and captivating tale and I can’t praise it highly enough. It was my very first five star read of 2019 and I still think about it all the time.
The Priory of the Orange Tree and I were very much love at first sight: from the very first few pages, I knew it would become a favourite and I already wanted to reread it. Truth be told, it is the fantasy novel I had always wanted and I’m so happy it exists. It is quite an intricate fantasy novel, and it has it all: it is mainly set in a queendom, has dragons and dragon riders, queer characters, amazing world-building, political plotlines and so much more. It can be intimidating considering its length, but it is worth every word of it. It’s my favourite book of 2019, I can’t get enough out of it and I can’t wait to reread it this year, I miss it so much.
So there you have it, here are my favourite books of 2019!
What were your favourite books of 2019?