Witch – Book 2 of the Doppleganger duology by Marie Brennan
Created by the merging of witch and doppelganger, Mirei is a unique being. Her extraordinary magic makes her the most poweful witch alive—and a notorious social outcast. While Satomi, the leader of the witches’ ruling Primes, hails Mirei as a miracle, rival Primes proclaim that Mirei is an evil abomination… and that those who champion her must be destroyed. Now the different witch factions engage in a bloody war with magic, treachery, and murder. But both sides may be fighting for nothing. For the power that the rebel Primes fear, the magic that Mirei alone possesses, is killing her.
Thoroughly enjoyed this one. This is a series that deserves to be better known.
Bone Silence – Book 3 of the Revenger series by Alastair Reynolds
Two sisters ran away from home to join the crew of a spaceship. They took on pirates, faced down monsters and survived massacres . . . and now they’re in charge. Captaining a fearsome ship of their own, adventures are theirs for the taking. But Captain Bosa’s fearsome reputation still dogs their heels, and they’re about to discover that, out in space, no one forgives, and no one forgets . . .
This was quite a gritty, creepy read that took some of the established tropes for this sub-genre – and twisted them into something completely different. Enjoyable and unpredictable.
Crownbreaker – Book 6 of the Spellslinger series by Sebatien de Castell
Kellen and Reichis are settling into their new lives as protectors of the young queen and dealing with the constantly shifting threats to her reign and to her life. For the first time in his life, Kellen feels as if he’s becoming the kind of man that his mentor Ferius had wanted him to be. Even Reichis has come to appreciate having a noble purpose – so long as no one minds him committing the occasional act of theft from the royal treasury. But what seems to be a simple card game between Kellen and an old man is soon revealed to be a deadly game of wits in which a powerful mage has trapped the queen’s spellslinger in order to kill him.
I really enjoyed this series. Kellen is an engaging protagonist and his relationship with the savage little squirrel cat, Reichis, prevented the tone getting too darkly dismal, despite the stakes being raised ever higher.
Sacred Bride – Book 3 of the Olympus trilogy by David Hair & Cath Mayo
Prince Odysseus and the daemon Bria must penetrate the haunted caverns beneath Dodona, seeking a way to save their doomed nation, Achaea, from the might of Troy.
The startling revelation that follows will set Odysseus on his most daunting mission yet, as he seeks to reunite the divided Achaean kingdoms before the rapacious Trojans strike. His journey will pit him against wrathful gods and legendary heroes, in a deadly contest for the hand of Helen of Sparta, the daughter of Zeus, upon whose choice the fate of Achaea rests…
I am a real sucker for Greek myth retellings and 2019 was an outstanding year for this genre, what with this series and Madeline Miller’s wonderful tales. So it was a real treat to revisit this world to complete the series, which is highly recommended for fans of this sub-genre.
The Last Emperox – Book 3 of the Interdependency series
The collapse of The Flow, the interstellar pathway between the planets of the Interdependency, has accelerated. Entire star systems—and billions of people—are becoming cut off from the rest of human civilization. This collapse was foretold through scientific prediction… and yet, even as the evidence is obvious and insurmountable, many still try to rationalize, delay and profit from, these final days of one of the greatest empires humanity has ever known. Emperox Grayland II has finally wrested control of her empire from those who oppose her and who deny the reality of this collapse. But “control” is a slippery thing, and even as Grayland strives to save as many of her people from impoverished isolation, the forces opposing her rule will make a final, desperate push to topple her from her throne and power, by any means necessary. Grayland and her thinning list of allies must use every tool at their disposal to save themselves, and all of humanity. And yet it may not be enough. Will Grayland become the savior of her civilization… or the last emperox to wear the crown?
I thoroughly enjoyed this unusual space opera adventure – but I did find the ending jarring. And as time goes by, my feeling about it haven’t grown any less raw, which is unusual. I’m not going to claim that Scalzi short-changed his readers, because I don’t think he did – but he came mightily close…
The Empire of Gold – Book 3 of the Daevabad trilogy by S.A. Chakrobarty
Daevabad has fallen.
After a brutal conquest stripped the city of its magic, Nahid leader Banu Manizheh and her resurrected commander, Dara, must try to repair their fraying alliance and stabilize a fractious, warring people. But the bloodletting and loss of his beloved Nahri have unleashed the worst demons of Dara’s dark past. To vanquish them, he must face some ugly truths about his history and put himself at the mercy of those he once considered enemies.
I’ve such a soft spot for sand and sorcery books – and this series is outstanding. I loved each book and despite the fact that I found Dara’s actions shocking, Chakraborty managed to make me really care for him.
End Game – Book 8 of the Fallen Empire series by Lindsay Buroker
Alisa Marchenko has reunited with her daughter, and even though she hasn’t figured out how to get Jelena to accept Leonidas yet, she dreams of the three of them starting a new life together. They can return the Star Nomad to its original purpose of running freight and staying out of trouble (mostly). Before that can happen, Alisa must fulfill the promise she made to Jelena: that she and her crew will retrieve young Prince Thorian, the boy who has become Jelena’s best friend. But Thorian was kidnapped by the rogue Starseer Tymoteusz, the man who wants to use the Staff of Lore to take over the entire system—and the man who may have the power to do it. Alisa doesn’t know why he kidnapped Thorian, but Tymoteusz once promised to kill the prince, so she fears they don’t have much time. Unfortunately, Tymoteusz hasn’t left a trail of breadcrumbs. Finding him will be difficult, and even if they’re successful, facing him could be suicidal. To have a chance of surviving, Alisa will have to come up with her greatest scheme yet.
This was so much fun! I loved that the dynamic with this entertaining space opera adventure was a desperate mother looking for her kidnapped daughter. But while that may sound rather bleak – this was nothing of the sort. Full of battles and all sorts of exciting action, including blowing up illegal laboratories and hunting savage dinosaurs – I completed this one with a real sense of loss.
It was one of my targets for 2020 to roll up my sleeves and complete more of the ongoing series I’ve been reading. Though I rather lost my head and requested faaar too many new shiny arcs during March and April, which derailed my good intentions, somewhat. However, I’m reasonably happy that I’ve managed to finish seven series so far. Have you read any of these?
Congrats on finishing all those series. It sure can be hard sometimes to actually finish series you start reading. I always seem to start more than I finish. I also finished that Lindsay Buroker series this year, it was a great series. I also finished SJ Pajonas’ Flyght series this year and I think 5 other series so far this year.
Yes – I know what you mean, Lola! Which was why I wanted to start focusing on my ongoing series and make more of an effort to complete more of them. S.J. Pajonas’ Flyght series is on my list to continue working through it, too:)).
I think it’s great goal to focus on completing more series. I hope you can make some progress on the Flyght series as well this year!
Yes – now I’ve sorted out the completed series, I need to turn my attention to those I’m working through and draw up a list of the series I want to continue throughout the rest of 2020:))
I haven’t read any of those series, but thanks for making a list of options for me. You’re doing well with them.
Thank you, Anne. I had promised myself to focus a bit more on actually finished some of the many series I’ve started! I’ll be posting more articles on my progress during the rest of the year…
You’ve done really well with all these series!
Thank you, Heather. I was conscious that I kept starting series without finishing… not good!
Congrats matey!! Seven is quite an accomplishment. I have managed 3 so far. I keep starting new ones and quitting others. But at least I have been making progress. In this crazy year I take what I can get.
x The Captain
Oh yes – to be honest, during this year, all the usual checks and balances are out of the window! This was GOING to be the year when I really focused on my TBR and got on top of it. Nope – not happening. I want the new and shiny, just now… But I didn’t want my control to completely slip on the series I’m reading, either:))
Hurrah! It’s always wonderful to finish off a series and you have already completed so many this year!
I’ve really enjoyed Kellen and Reichis’ adventures and would be so happy to read more! You’ve also given some great recommendations here – I would love to read more Alistair Reynolds and Scalzi and Chakraborty are definitely on the TBR!
All those series are really worth reading, Proxy. I don’t persevere with series that I don’t love – there’s no point, so by definition, if I have completed a series, it’s because I really loved it:))
A very good sign indeed! 😀
Wow! That’s a lot of finished series! Congrats!
Thank you! I’m now turning my attention to the next tranche of series I want to complete – and Flyght is on that list!
Look at all those complete series. Well done to you, I would love to post something similar but I think my reading progress would be positively shabby by comparison
Well, it looks more impressive that it actually is – some of those series have stretched over several years. And at the end of the day, I needed this nudge because I’m a bit allergic to finishing series.
I also try very hard to not measure my reading speed alongside anyone else. I’ve struggled to slow down and stop skimming – a terrible habit I picked up during doing my History degree, which is one reason why I’m such a fan of audiobooks. I’m delighted that these days I generally read properly and as a result, I’m reading in more depth than I used to.
I’m definitely allergic to completing series.
I know! It’s hard, isn’t it?
So…many…good…series! Oh, for a month of pure reading!
I know! It’s been a wonderful year for reading, so far… Just to remind you, though. I went for 5 years without picking up a book, let alone writing, when mine were little. I simply couldn’t do it… I’m awed at your achievement.
Hugs for this. I have to keep reminding myself it’s okay to pace myself and there is only so much that can be done at a time. We do our best, and we move forward one step at a time. xxxxxxxxxx