Books I've Loved in 2013

10. Fire of the Covenant by Peter Cruikshank
I might be a little biased on this one.  Peter is in my writing group, and I had the pleasure of beta reading this novel.  Watching it shape from its early draft into this completed work has been an awesome process.  It's Twelfth Night meets epic fantasy, complete with high stakes and dragons.

9. Duplex by Kathryn Davis
This is a weird, weird book.  Wizards, tiny robots, heartbreak.  It's literary fiction with a fantasy twist.  I really enjoyed it though, it was like nothing I've ever read.  It has a self awareness that I've noticed in a lot of books lately.  It's lovely, simply lovely.

8. Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier
 This one is actually a reread for me, but it makes the list nonetheless.  I love, love this book.  It takes a well known fairy tale and adds depth and history to it.  This entire series is so wonderful, I can't recommend it enough.  There are so many complex elements to it, I can't do it justice in just one post.  Just go read it!

7. One by Leigh Ann Kopans
Lord, do I love this book.  I made an effort this year to read some of the books written by my twitter friends.  This has been my favorite so far.  I highly, highly recommend reading about her publishing journey.  She's an indie author done right.  This story is well-written with intriguing characters, a driven plot, and beautiful writing.  Read this.  Read this now.

6. On Writing by Stephen King
This isn't a fiction book, it was incredibly none the less.  I cut my teeth on King books and reading about his process and life was incredibly inspiring.  I'd heard about no adverbs before, but I didn't actually GET it until King demonstrated it in his own writing.  If you want an excellent book on craft, this is it.

5. The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan
I've been meaning to read Robert Jordan for 10+ years.  I tried when I was younger, but couldn't get past the 300 or so pages in the Eye of the World describing a town I have yet to return to in the other books.  I've been listening to them, which has made the over wordiness and ly adverbs and constant repetition of characterizations (braid tugging, yo) less annoying.  As a whole, the story is a pleasure.  This one has been my favorite so far.  

4. Legion by Brandon Sanderson (and Emperor's Soul)
 If you've ever spent more than five minutes talking books with me, you'll know that I have a slight Sanderson obsession.  And by slight I mean fangirl squeeing stalkerishness.  Originally I was just going to talk about Legion, but since Amazon sells the two of them together I thought I would as well.  Legion is a brilliant novella in a very different style from what I've read of Sanderson.  It's fun and fast and out of the magical realms Sanderson usually writes in.  Emperor's Soul, on the other hand, is set in a magical world.  The magic system is intriguing, the writing lovely, and the story fast and fabulous.  I really hope I see more novellas out by Brandon,  not only because I freaking LOVE him, but because it allows me, as a reader, to explore in other genres.
3. Partials by Dan Wells
When Dan tweeted that Partials was on sale on kindle, I couldn't help myself.  Having heard about the writing process on Writing Excuses I went in with eyes open and slightly jaded with the inundation of YA dystopian novels.  Folks, this one does it best.  It's well researched, driven, and just an excellent piece of literature.  It's clear that Dan did his footwork while writing this, and it lacks the glaring plot holes of the Hungervergentium novels.  I liked it so much, I spent $12 dollars for the kindle version of the sequel so I could read it immediately.  Yeah, it was that good.

2. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
This book was actually recommended by Mary Robinette Kowal via twitter.  I listened to this one as well and really enjoyed it.  It subverted a lot of tropes (though it was definitely a slow build) and I loved the MC. On top of an intriguing unfold, her sentences are luxurious and gorgeous.  Worth a read!

1. Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal
As a rabid fan of Writing Excuses, I've been going through and reading everything that the authors have written.  I've read several of Mary's short stories, but nothing compares to her completed work.  Jane Austen with magic and excellently done.  I actually listened to it with audible, but now need to own all of her books so that I can have her sign them.  The sequel is even better (Glamour in Glass) but I haven't finished it yet so I can't count it.  READ THIS BOOK.  And bonus?  Our second son is named for Mr. Vincent.

In the interest of full disclosure, this post contains affiliate links.  That means if you buy one of the books by clicking on the links in the pictures, I get a handful of pennies which help fund the buying of MORE books.  Click or don't click, you should still read these books!

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