Top Ten Books I Meant to Read In 2020 but Didn’t Get To

In news that should surprise no one, I did not manage to read everything on my “Must Read” lists of 2020 (Jan to MarchApril to JuneJuly to SeptemberOctober to December), but considering the number of books we’re talking about, I think I did pretty well! I got to finish the vast majority, but there are still some I regret not being able to get to, the top ten of which I’ve listed below. Who knows though, there’s a little more than a week left in the year and I may still knock a few more off this TBR, and I do plan on getting to these even if it means squeezing some catch-up time into 2021. Have you read any of these, and what did you think? Which ones should I tackle first?

The Girl and the Stars by Mark Lawrence

In the ice, east of the Black Rock, there is a hole into which broken children are thrown.

On Abeth the vastness of the ice holds no room for individuals. Survival together is barely possible. No one survives alone.

To resist the cold, to endure the months of night when even the air itself begins to freeze, requires a special breed. Variation is dangerous, difference is fatal. And Yaz is not the same.

Yaz is torn from the only life she’s ever known, away from her family, from the boy she thought she would spend her days with, and has to carve out a new path for herself in a world whose existence she never suspected. A world full of difference and mystery and danger.

Yaz learns that Abeth is older and stranger than she had ever imagined. She learns that her weaknesses are another kind of strength. And she learns to challenge the cruel arithmetic of survival that has always governed her people.

Only when it’s darkest you can see the stars.

We Ride the Storm by Devin Madson

In the midst of a burgeoning war, a warrior, an assassin, and a princess chase their own ambitions no matter the cost in Devin Madson’s visceral, emotionally charged debut.

War built the Kisian Empire. War will tear it down.

Seventeen years after rebels stormed the streets, factions divide Kisia. Only the firm hand of the god-emperor holds the empire together. But when a shocking betrayal destroys a tense alliance with neighboring Chiltae, all that has been won comes crashing down.

In Kisia, Princess Miko Ts’ai is a prisoner in her own castle. She dreams of claiming her empire, but the path to power could rip it, and her family, asunder.

In Chiltae, assassin Cassandra Marius is plagued by the voices of the dead. Desperate, she accepts a contract that promises to reward her with a cure if she helps an empire fall.

And on the border between nations, Captain Rah e’Torin and his warriors are exiles forced to fight in a foreign war or die.

As an empire dies, three warriors will rise. They will have to ride the storm or drown in its blood.

Ashes of the Sun by Django Wexler

Long ago, a magical war destroyed an empire, and a new one was built in its ashes. But still the old grudges simmer, and two siblings will fight on opposite sides to save their world, in the start of Django Wexler’s new epic fantasy trilogy

Gyre hasn’t seen his beloved sister since their parents sold her to the mysterious Twilight Order. Now, twelve years after her disappearance, Gyre’s sole focus is revenge, and he’s willing to risk anything and anyone to claim enough power to destroy the Order.

Chasing rumors of a fabled city protecting a powerful artifact, Gyre comes face-to-face with his lost sister. But she isn’t who she once was. Trained to be a warrior, Maya wields magic for the Twilight Order’s cause. Standing on opposite sides of a looming civil war, the two siblings will learn that not even the ties of blood will keep them from splitting the world in two.

The Last Uncharted Sky by Curtis Craddock

The Three Musketeers meets Jules Verne in Curtis Craddock’s concluding novel in the critically-acclaimed high fantasy Risen Kingdoms series, an engrossing tale of courtly intrigue and breathtaking magic.

Isabelle and Jean-Claude undertake an airship expedition to recover a fabled treasure and claim a hitherto undiscovered craton for l’Empire Celeste. But Isabelle, as a result from a previous attack that tried to subsume her body and soul, suffers from increasingly disturbing and disruptive hallucinations. Disasters are compounded when the ship is sabotaged by an enemy agent, and Jean-Claude is separated from the expedition.

In a race against time, Isabelle must figure out how to ward off her ailment before it destroys her and reunite with Jean-Claude to seek the fabled treasure as ancient secrets and a royal conspiracy threaten to undo the entire realm.

The Trouble with Peace by Joe Abercrombie

Conspiracy. Betrayal. Rebellion.
Peace is just another kind of battlefield…

Savine dan Glokta, once Adua’s most powerful investor, finds her judgement, fortune and reputation in tatters. But she still has all her ambitions, and no scruple will be permitted to stand in her way.

For heroes like Leo dan Brock and Stour Nightfall, only happy with swords drawn, peace is an ordeal to end as soon as possible. But grievances must be nursed, power seized and allies gathered first, while Rikke must master the power of the Long Eye . . . before it kills her.

The Breakers still lurk in the shadows, plotting to free the common man from his shackles, while noblemen bicker for their own advantage. Orso struggles to find a safe path through the maze of knives that is politics, only for his enemies, and his debts, to multiply.

The old ways are swept aside, and the old leaders with them, but those who would seize the reins of power will find no alliance, no friendship, and no peace, lasts forever.

The Burning God by R.F. Kuang

The exciting end to The Poppy War trilogy, R. F. Kuang’s acclaimed, award-winning epic fantasy that combines the history of twentieth-century China with a gripping world of gods and monsters, to devastating, enthralling effect.

After saving her nation of Nikan from foreign invaders and battling the evil Empress Su Daji in a brutal civil war, Fang Runin was betrayed by allies and left for dead.

Despite her losses, Rin hasn’t given up on those for whom she has sacrificed so much—the people of the southern provinces and especially Tikany, the village that is her home. Returning to her roots, Rin meets difficult challenges—and unexpected opportunities. While her new allies in the Southern Coalition leadership are sly and untrustworthy, Rin quickly realizes that the real power in Nikan lies with the millions of common people who thirst for vengeance and revere her as a goddess of salvation.

Backed by the masses and her Southern Army, Rin will use every weapon to defeat the Dragon Republic, the colonizing Hesperians, and all who threaten the shamanic arts and their practitioners. As her power and influence grows, though, will she be strong enough to resist the Phoenix’s intoxicating voice urging her to burn the world and everything in it?

The Tower of Fools by Andrzej Sapkowski

Reinmar of Bielawa, sometimes known as Reynevan, is a doctor, a magician and, according to some, a charlatan. And when a thoughtless indiscretion finds him caught in the crosshairs of powerful noble family, he is forced to flee his home.

But once he passes beyond the city borders, he finds that there are dangers ahead as well as behind. Strange mystical forces are gathering in the shadows. And pursued not only by the affronted Stercza brothers, bent on vengeance, but also by the Holy Inquisition, Reynevan finds himself in the Narrenturm, the Tower of Fools.

The Tower is an asylum for the mad, or for those who dare to think differently and challenge the prevailing order. And escaping the Tower, avoiding the conflict around him, and keeping his own sanity might prove a greater challenge than Reynevan ever imagined.

Bone Chase by Weston Ochse

In true The Da Vinci Code fashion, a taut thriller filled with rival factions vying for control of the truth in a giant global conspiracy.

There were giants on the earth in those days—at least that’s what the Bible says. But, where are they? Did they ever really exist at all?

When out-of-work math teacher Ethan McCloud is sent a mysterious box, he and his ex-girlfriend begin to unravel a mystery 10,000 years in the making—and he is the last hope to discovering the world’s greatest conspiracy. Chased by both the Six-Fingered Man and the Council of David, Ethan must survive the chase—and find the truth.

Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

Harrow the Ninth, the sequel to Gideon the Ninth, turns a galaxy inside out as one necromancer struggles to survive the wreckage of herself aboard the Emperor’s haunted space station.

She answered the Emperor’s call.

She arrived with her arts, her wits, and her only friend.

In victory, her world has turned to ash.

After rocking the cosmos with her deathly debut, Tamsyn Muir continues the story of the penumbral Ninth House in Harrow the Ninth, a mind-twisting puzzle box of mystery, murder, magic, and mayhem. Nothing is as it seems in the halls of the Emperor, and the fate of the galaxy rests on one woman’s shoulders.

Harrowhark Nonagesimus, last necromancer of the Ninth House, has been drafted by her Emperor to fight an unwinnable war. Side-by-side with a detested rival, Harrow must perfect her skills and become an angel of undeath — but her health is failing, her sword makes her nauseous, and even her mind is threatening to betray her.

Sealed in the gothic gloom of the Emperor’s Mithraeum with three unfriendly teachers, hunted by the mad ghost of a murdered planet, Harrow must confront two unwelcome questions: is somebody trying to kill her? And if they succeeded, would the universe be better off?

Call of the Bone Ships by RJ Barker

A brilliantly imagined saga of honour, glory and warfare, Call of the Bone Ships is the captivating epic fantasy sequel to RJ Barker’s The Bone Ships.

Dragons have returned to the Hundred Isles. But their return heralds only war and destruction. When a horde of dying slaves are discovered in the bowels of a ship, Shipwife Meas and the crew of the Tide Child find themselves drawn into a vicious plot that will leave them questioning their loyalties and fighting for their lives.


37 Comments on “Top Ten Books I Meant to Read In 2020 but Didn’t Get To”

  1. I‘ve been a bit underwhelmed with Tower of Fools and the second Boneship (recommended to read it together with the upcoming third book because of cliffhanger). Can’t say much about the others, though.
    Each year, so many great titles come up and I have to let go. Sad but true.


    • Yep, I’ve long accpted that I will never have the time to read everything I want – but it’s nice to know which to prioritize! I will probably shelf Tower of Fools for a little longer, I heard not so great things from others too :\

      Liked by 1 person

  2. First of all, Land You Never Leave (which ummm did I mention you’re quoted in?). Also, I swear GR told me you were reading Ashes of the Sun? Annnd… I’ve not only NOT read the rest of these and meant to, BUT only read one of the combined books in all these series 😅 (and I was feeling so good about my tbr…)


  3. I’ve actually read four of these, although I gave up on The Girl and the Stars, it just bored me to tears, unfortunately. I do regret not reading The Last Uncharted Sky though. I’ll have to try and fit it in.


  4. I read “Harrow the Ninth,” and it was okay (for me). I’m going to try and finish “The Burning God” by New Years Eve. As for the rest of the books on your list, they’re on my list, too!


  5. Nope, I didn’t get to any of these. Nor have I started any of the series. There are several here that I’m interested in, though, like We Ride the Storm and Call of the Bone Ships.


  6. Well you’ve made me feel better about all the things I meant to read this year!
    I haven’t read any of these, but The Last Uncharted Sky and We Ride the Storm are both on my list. 😊


  7. I’ve read and loved four of these – but then there are so many other books that I was so excited to have but also haven’t had time to pick up. Of course my reading took a nosedive for a few months earlier in the year so that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.
    Lynn 😀


  8. It’s not exactly the same, but if I wrote a similar post it would certainly feature a lot of the same books or series. Especially the We Ride rhe Storm, The Girl and the Stars and The Poppy War books.


  9. Oh I think I’d feel depressed if I made a list like this LOL. The Burning God would be on mine too. And somehow Network Effect (unless….there’s still a few days left to the year haha)


  10. I have to see, it’s kind of reassuring to see someone who reads as much as you also missed a bunch of books they meant to read this year!! But that’s just more things to look forward to, right? I will say, I did enjoy Ashes of the Sun and We Ride the Storm. Hopefully they work for you too!


    • Oh I miss books all the time! You should see my list of books that I wish I had gotten to – this is just the top ten but I probably could make a list of 50 or more 2020 releases that I regret missing 😛 Ah the life of a book blogger!

      Liked by 1 person

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