The End of Year Roundup Tag!

As it’s the end of the year, I’ve made a 3×3 bingo grid of sorts, for a bit of fun and with the aim of learning about a few new books (and adding to people’s TBRs!) *Evil Laugh*

The aim is to fill yours out, either as a blog post or simply a short twitter thread and then pass it on by tagging another 3 people you think might like to do it. The graphic is below:

If you’d like to have a go, don’t wait for me to tag you, just go ahead and pass it on! Here are my choices:

The most badass character

Hilda from Northern Wrath by Thilde Kold Holdt has to be up there. How many warriors forge an axe in the fires of Muspel, go practically blind, pouring blood into their eyes to relieve their pain, and enter the front line of the shield wall in this condition?

The weirdest or most unique story

The Wrack by John Bierce was a book I really enjoyed. It was unique in that the story followed a deadly pandemic (written just before covid-19 hit!) in a medieval setting, but rather than being a bit part to another tale, the whole story revolved around the horrific Wrack as it spread from town to town, looking at the effect it has and the reactions of the characters. The politics, world building and characters are built around this, and I really enjoyed it. Nobody was safe from The Wrack. Chilling.

The coolest world building

I loved experiencing the imagination of Gareth L. Powell in Embers of War – I was hooked and just wanted to stay in the pages long after I’d finished the book. Space became even more wonderful and dangerous.

The best fictional animal

Mephi from the Bone Shard Daughter. One of our main characters, Jovis, rescues a strange little creature from the sea, destined to drown. Mephi’s cute personality is a particular highlight of the book and the growing role he has to play in the story as it progresses.

The book you just couldn’t put down

We Ride the Storm by Devin Madsen was a terrific read that kept me transfixed. I loved the brutality, the scheming politics, the battles for power and the fantasy elements interwoven through what would have been a fantastic historical fiction even without the magic. Loved it.

A character you loved to spend time with

Sorry, but it’s always gonna be Geralt. One of my favourite characters from anything. This year I read The Last Wish, Sword of Destiny and The Witcher Omnibus Graphic Novel. I love following Geralt’s adventures and his grim and brutal but ultimately very morally guided personality.

The one that hit you in the feels

A Ritual of Bone by Lee C. Conley had one particular moment in which a warrior returns home to find the undead had arrived first; the aftermath is heart-churning. This just adds to the overall feel of despair through the book, in which nobody is safe.

The villain you loved to hate

The Vampire (nickname) from Blood of an Exile by Brian Naslund, is a real piece of shit. A proper bastard. I hated him every time he was on the page. A real evil fucker. I even put the book down in anger at one point and had to come back to it; I was ready to fight this guy myself. Incidentally one of the best books of my 2020. Brilliant.

The 5 star read that you weren’t expecting

Voice of War by Zack Argyle is a debut self published fantasy and as such, you never know exactly what to expect, but I really enjoyed it. Epic fantasy with a fun magic system and captivating story.


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