Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Top Ten Tuesdays: Books/Series I Read in 2014

Book-wise, 2014 was a really awesome year. I discovered new series to love, branched out into a genre I usually wouldn't consider, and added Brandon Sanderson to my top three favorite authors. My reading adventures took me from the Shattered Plains to Middle Earth, from the Gallagher Academy to Adarlan, from Goldstone Wood to Newcago, and so many other places. I met new character-friends and revisited old ones. With all that, choosing my Top Ten Books- or even Top Ten Series- of 2014 will be difficult, but I'm going to try my best. (Though . . . I may go a few over just ten.)

1. Golden Daughter by Anne Elisabeth Stengl.
This book was insanely amazing. There is one Tale that I like better than it, and that one is Heartless. I stayed up until almost midnight on a school night reading it, and I never do that. Never. Except, obviously, for this book. If you want to hear me obsess over it more, you can read my review.

2. The Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson
The Mistborn trilogy was mind-blowing. I'd be reading them, and I'd be like "Ok, this is really cool" one minute, and then the next I'd be like "Oh my pumpernickel what just HAPPENED?" I saw next to nothing coming- and yet I'd think about it and realize that the clues were there; I'd just missed or misinterpreted them.

3. The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson
Like Mistborn, The Stormlight Archive is seriously mind-blowing. The worldbuilding, the twisted and tangled plots and backstories, the characters- it's all seriously incredible and definitely deserving of the title "epic". Also, Words of Radiance evoked the largest emotional reaction of any book I've ever read. I am not exaggerating. 

4. Shadow Hand by Anne Elisabeth Stengl
This wasn't my favorite of the Tales of Goldstone Wood, but it was still awesome. It's hard to say a lot without giving out spoilers, but  . . . Time is a very interesting thing. Also, I never thought I could like Foxbrush as much as I did in this book.

5. The Queen's Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner
This series isn't quite like anything I've ever read, which is part of what makes it so amazing. I love the characters, especially Eugenides. Also, the author has a way of giving you just enough information that you think you know what's going on and then springing a twist on you with that one piece of information that you didn't know. My favorite in the series was The King of Attolia, but they're all awesome.

6. Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
I've read a lot of books about dragons, but none portray these magnificent (if sadly fictional) beings in quite the same way Seraphina does. Rachel Hartman takes traditional dragonic features, gives them little- but powerful- twists, and then adds in new elements to create a very unique take on dragons, which I loved. I also liked the mystery in the story; it was very well done.

7. Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson
Superheroes gone bad? Sounds awesome- but that's only the start. Add in amazing characters- Cody and David in particular- a dystopian city of steel, and Brandon Sanderson's insane plotting skills and you get this amazing book. If you like action or superhero stories (or even if you don't), you should definitely read this book.

8. Cress by Marissa Meyer
These books just keep getting better! Cress is definitely my favorite Lunar Chronicles heroine- maybe because she's so much like me. I loved just about all of this, particularly the ending- no spoilers, but it was beautiful. Except for the cliffhanger, which was . . . not so beautiful. But it was worth it. 

9. The Knight and Rogue series by Hilari Bell
A good fantasy-mystery can be hard to find, which makes the Knight and Rogue books that much better. I heard about this series several times from a friend of mine, but never tried it until this year. Oh, am I glad I finally picked it up! Really getting into the first book took a chapter or two, but once I'd picked up a few things about the characters and setting, I really enjoyed it, and the next two books are awesome.

10. The Word Changers by Ashlee Willis
Bookish girl gets stuck inside a book? It sounded like it would be right up my alley, and it was! I especially loved the idea of characters in books having lives of their own (and the explanation of why, in some books, you're always discovering details that you didn't remember before), and of what might happen if they rebelled
against their Author.

11. The Hollow Kingdom trilogy by Clare B. Dunkle
This trilogy reminds me of Howl's Moving Castle in some ways. It's lighthearted, humorous fantasy with just the right twist of unexpected romance. The characters were great, particularly Marak, and I liked the somewhat unusual take on goblins and elves and their rivalry.

12. Five Glass Slippers by Elisabeth Brown, Emma Clifton, Rachel Heffington, Stephanie Ricker, and Clare Diane Thompson
Five unique Cinderella retellings in one book? What's not to like? Each of the five stories is awesome in its own way. My favorite is "The Windy Side of Care"- I love the dialogue, the characters' plotting, and the twist of humor.

Honorable mentions go to the Girl of Fire and Thorns series and the Throne of Glass series, both of which are also awesome but have some romantic stuff that's borderline on what I'm comfortable with. (I had to skip one scene in particular in the second Throne of Glass book.) What about you? What were your favorite books of 2014? Please tell me in the comments, or feel free to make your own Top Ten Tuesdays post!

Thanks for reading!
-Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)  


  1. Ooh, my favorite book of 2014 is probably Everblaze, the third book in the Keeper of the Lost Cities series. I also really enjoyed On the Fence. I'm so flattered that Five Glass Slippers is on your list... :D Makes my day!

    1. Cool! I'll have to look those up! And of course it is- it's an awesome book! (And your story is my second-fave in it!)

  2. AWESOME LIST. You read so many winners this year. So what part was it in Words of Radiance that nailed you? If you can tell me without spoilers for anyone of course. :)

    1. Hmm, I can try:
      Kaladin. Syl. Second Ideal. "Reach out your hand."
      Did that make sense? :D

    2. Made total sense. Best part of the book.

  3. I plan to start reading Golden Daughter at the beginning of the new year! I really liked Shadow Hand and The Word Changers! :)

    1. Cool! I'm sure you'll enjoy it! And those two were awesome. *nods*


I'd love to hear your thoughts! But remember: it pays to be polite to dragons.