Here we are again. It’s Wednesday, and I have another Top 5 for you. This week is a free week where I got to choose the topic. I almost made this about series I wanted to start this year, and then I remembered all the series I have left unfinished. So, let’s focus on the series that I would love to finish this year, preferably before starting another one! I am trying to focus on series that are finished as of 2019.
Gentlemen Bastard by Scott Lynch
An orphan’s life is harsh—and often short—in the mysterious island city of Camorr. But young Locke Lamora dodges death and slavery, becoming a thief under the tutelage of a gifted con artist. As leader of the band of light-fingered brothers known as the Gentleman Bastards, Locke is soon infamous, fooling even the underworld’s most feared ruler. But in the shadows lurks someone still more ambitious and deadly. Faced with a bloody coup that threatens to destroy everyone and everything that holds meaning in his mercenary life, Locke vows to beat the enemy at his own brutal game—or die trying.
While there are set to be supposedly seven books in this series, only three are published, with the fourth in the series being impatiently awaited for years now. I have only read the first book, The Lies of Locke Lamora, but I loved it. Even if more end up being published, I don’t want to fall any further behind in the series.
Grisha Verse by Leigh Bardugo
Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.
Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.
Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.
I just recently finished the first book, Shadow and Bone, and while it wasn’t the most mindblowing fantasy I have read, it was interesting enough. The love and obsession over this series and it’s following duology, has sparked my interest. Plus, there is a Netflix series in the works, and I love seeing how they do adaptations.
The Broken Earth by N.K. Jemisin
This is the way the world ends. Again.
Three terrible things happen in a single day. Essun, a woman living an ordinary life in a small town, comes home to find that her husband has brutally murdered their son and kidnapped their daughter. Meanwhile, mighty Sanze — the world-spanning empire whose innovations have been civilization’s bedrock for a thousand years — collapses as most of its citizens are murdered to serve a madman’s vengeance. And worst of all, across the heart of the vast continent known as the Stillness, a great red rift has been been torn into the heart of the earth, spewing ash enough to darken the sky for years. Or centuries.
Now Essun must pursue the wreckage of her family through a deadly, dying land. Without sunlight, clean water, or arable land, and with limited stockpiles of supplies, there will be war all across the Stillness: a battle royale of nations not for power or territory, but simply for the basic resources necessary to get through the long dark night. Essun does not care if the world falls apart around her. She’ll break it herself, if she must, to save her daughter.
While The Fifth Season had me a little confused at times, I thoroughly loved the writing style. Now that I have a better grasp of the world, I’d love to dive back in and finish out the trilogy.
Book of the Ancestor by Mark Lawrence
At the Convent of Sweet Mercy young girls are raised to be killers. In a few the old bloods show, gifting talents rarely seen since the tribes beached their ships on Abeth. Sweet Mercy hones its novices’ skills to deadly effect: it takes ten years to educate a Red Sister in the ways of blade and fist.
But even the mistresses of sword and shadow don’t truly understand what they have purchased when Nona Grey is brought to their halls as a bloodstained child of eight, falsely accused of murder: guilty of worse.
Stolen from the shadow of the noose, Nona is sought by powerful enemies, and for good reason. Despite the security and isolation of the convent her secret and violent past will find her out. Beneath a dying sun that shines upon a crumbling empire, Nona Grey must come to terms with her demons and learn to become a deadly assassin if she is to survive.
Red Sister is one of those books that is so different that even if you have an issue, you can’t help but be pulled in. While it hadn’t been the story I was expecting, I enjoyed it nonetheless, and I am excited to see where it leads. The third and final book will be published toward the start of the year, so I should be able to complete it.
War of the Spider Queen by Forgotten Realms
While their whole world is changing around them, four dark elves struggle against different enemies. Yet their paths will lead them all to the most terrifying discovery in the long history of the drow, and set them on a quest to save not only Menzoberranzan but the entire dark elf race from Dissolution.
The War of the Spider Queen begins here.
This is an older series that has been sitting on my shelf for a very long time, back when I first got into fantasy. I devoured anything Dragonlance or by Salvatore, but I kept getting stuck on book one in this series. Eventually, I managed to read the first three, but the last three are just sitting there, mocking me. It would feel like an accomplishment, not to mention it would knock three books off my Conquering the Collection goal. I will have to do a lot of summary reading first.
Honorable Mention: The First Law by Joe Abercrombie
Logen Ninefingers, infamous barbarian, has finally run out of luck. Caught in one feud too many, he’s on the verge of becoming a dead barbarian – leaving nothing behind him but bad songs, dead friends, and a lot of happy enemies.
Nobleman Captain Jezal dan Luthar, dashing officer, and paragon of selfishness, has nothing more dangerous in mind than fleecing his friends at cards and dreaming of glory in the fencing circle. But war is brewing, and on the battlefields of the frozen North they fight by altogether bloodier rules.
Inquisitor Glokta, cripple turned torturer, would like nothing better than to see Jezal come home in a box. But then Glokta hates everyone: cutting treason out of the Union one confession at a time leaves little room for friendship. His latest trail of corpses may lead him right to the rotten heart of government, if he can stay alive long enough to follow it.
Enter the wizard, Bayaz. A bald old man with a terrible temper and a pathetic assistant, he could be the First of the Magi, he could be a spectacular fraud, but whatever he is, he’s about to make the lives of Logen, Jezal, and Glokta a whole lot more difficult.
Murderous conspiracies rise to the surface, old scores are ready to be settled, and the line between hero and villain is sharp enough to draw blood.
This is only an honorable mention, because I feel like I have been saying for the past year that I would finish this series. In fact, the second book, Before They Are Hanged, is consistently on my TBR for the month. I really want to finish this series. I enjoyed the first book so much, but for some reason, I feel intimidated. Maybe it’s the size of the book or the expectations I feel I have now set. But it deserves to be read!
While making this post, I was amazed at how many series I have read that aren’t yet finished in terms of publication. I think I’ll need to make a list so I don’t lose track! What series do you want to finish this year? Any you’ve decided to let fall by the wayside? I’d love to hear in the comments below.