Best of 2019

Best of 2019

I’m not gonna sugar coat it. 2019 hit us pretty hard here at EBR, and I find it somehow apropos that I’m sitting here writing the content for this page while I’m slowly and inevitably sliding down into clutching grasp of a cold. Just kind of puts the cherry on top of things, you know? If you happened to notice those weeks in 2019 that we failed to meet our goals, please trust that we were at the very least always banging away at that pile of books, trying to share our oh-so-vaulted opinions with you our reading public. And if you didn’t notice… well… thank you very much for not noticing. ๐Ÿ™‚

Below is our list of the best fantasy books and best science fiction books that we read here at EBR. Honestly, we should have read more horror than we did. I’m still trying to finagle a way to get Adam Nevill’s most recent book. There’s a lot of great fiction out there. So, this list probably doesn’t fit everyone’s bill, but they definitely hit ours.

Best of 2019

The Hod King by Josiah Bancroft (EBR Review)
Dark Age by Pierce Brown (EBR Review)
Tiamat’s Wrath by James S.A. Corey (EBR Review)
Light Brigade by Kameron Hurley (EBR Review)
A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine (EBR Review)
Holy Sister by Mark Lawrence (EBR Review)
Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City by K.J. Parker (EBR Review)
Stars Uncharted by S.K. Dunstall (EBR Review)
Shadow Captain by Alastair Reynolds (EBR Review)
Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse (EBR Review)
Seven Blades in Black by Sam Sykes (EBR Review)
Jade City by Fonda Lee (EBR Review)
To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers (EBR Review)
Storm Cursed by Patricia Briggs (EBR Review)
The Burning White by Brent Weeks — Review Coming Soon (Amazon)
Empress of Forever by Max Gladstone — Review Coming Soon (Amazon)

Most Anticipated of 2020

There are a lot of books here that are looking especially tasty. I mean, the first two books on this list are literally spinning our reader-wheels at top speed.

Peace Talks by Jim Butcher (Amazon)
The Expanse: Book 9 by James S.A. Corey
The Girl and the Stars by Mark Lawrence (Amazon)
Ten Arrows of Iron by Sam Sykes (Amazon)
Bone Silence by Alastair Reynolds (Amazon)
Shorefall by Robert Jackson Bennett (Amazon)
How to Rule an Empire and Get Away With It by K.J. Parker (Amazon)
The Last Emperox by John Scalzi (Amazon)
The Trouble with Peace by Joe Abercrombie
Smoke Bitten by Patricia Briggs (Amazon)
Stormlight Archive Book 4 by Brandon Sanderson (Amazon)
The Thorn of Emberlain by Scott Lynch

We’d love to see something from these authors…

If you see any of these authors in the wild, give them a pat on the back, a great big smile, and tell them we want to see them succeed. Because they write awesome stuff. If you aren’t familiar with their books, seriously check out those archive pages and give them a shot.

Ian Tregillis (EBR Archive) (Author’s Website)
Jeff Salyards (EBR Archive)
Mark Hodder (EBR Archive) (Author’s Website)

To all appearances… no

Not sure where these are in the process or, for some, if we’ll ever get them. Still, they’re kind of on our radar.

The Winds of Winter by George R.R. Martin
The Doors of Stone by Patrick Rothfuss
The No God: Book 1 by R. Scott Bakker

Not coming in 2020, but…

These are a few that we’ve heard of and are excited for, but they’re more long-term projects at this point.

4th Book of Babel by Josiah Bancroft –> 2021
6th Red Rising by Pierce Brown –> 2021
A Desolation Called Peace by Arkady Martine –> 2021
In the Shadow of Lightning by Brian McClellan –> 2022

So what think ye? What awesome-sauce books did we miss in our 2019 efforts? Which of these have you read and enjoyed? Drop us a line and let us know!

Parent page: Best-of Lists


  • Lu says:

    Excellent choices!
    Iโ€™ve read and loved Holy Sister, The Hod King, and Dark Age. I enjoyed Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City but didnโ€™t love it as much as the other three.ย 

    The books that made it to my Top 10 of 2019 and that I recommend are:
    The Gameshouse by Claire North
    Theory of Bastards by Audrey Schulman
    Kings of Ash by Richard Nell (I know you have mixed feelings about self-published books but if it ever gets in your hands, I would love to hear your thoughts).
    From the Wreck by Jane Rawson

    • Writer Dan says:

      Awesome. And thanks for the further suggested reading, Lu. Especially the self-published one. Love to find self-published books that are great, and a rec for a self-pub that comes from a completely unaffiliated third party always stands pretty high for me. May just stick that one on my EBR TBR list. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Gregory says:

    If not for being on another continent, I would barge in, violate your privacy and vigorously shook your hands. Thank you for all the elitist reviews and all the work for upkeeping the site! ( Even tho the social media bar is messing things up it at moment, had to remove it on my browser to be able to post comment ๐Ÿ™‚ ).

    • Writer Dan says:

      Ah, dangit. I have another issue to fix with that social media bar as well. Maybe its the same issue… If you can, throw me a screenshot showing the problem to, will you? Would very much like to avoid having issues that keep readers from making comments.

      And we’re really glad to hear that you have such good taste in books too!

      Thanks, Gregory.

  • Lu says:

    In this case, it’s worth mentioning that Kings of Ash is the second book of the Ash and Sand series. You definitely want to start with Kings of Paradise ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Thibault says:

    Dark Age and Tiamath’s Wrath were awesome! As well as Jade City and Holy Sister. My favs of 2019 included:
    — The Bone Ships by RJ Barker
    — The Sword of Kaigen by ML Wang
    — Smoke and Stone by Michael R. Fletcher
    — An Illusion of Thieves by Cate Glass (Carol Berg)
    — The Nine by Tracy Townsend
    — An Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors by Curtis Craddock.

    • Writer Dan says:

      Lots of goodness out there this year, for sure. Vanessa’s a pretty big fan of Carol Berg too.

      And another vote for Bone Ships. Yeah, I’m likely going to have to check that one out.

      Thanks for the comments, Thibault.

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