Saturday, January 3, 2015

Best Books of 2014, part 3 - Fiction

This is part 3 of my listing of the best books I have read this year.  This list is fiction.  Truth be told, except for two superb exceptions, most of the fiction I read this year was good, but not great.  It kept me entertained, but not necessarily immersed.  Here is the best of what I read, and the rest of what I read.  As you can see, fantasy is still my favorite genre.

Heartstone by C. J. Sansom.  The year is not complete without reading another fine Shardlake mystery set in Tudor England.  Once again hump-backed lawyer Matthew Shardlake finds himself embroiled in the mystery and politics of Reformation-era Britain.  I cannot wait for Sansom’s next installment – Lamentation, due out in February.
The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson.  (Stormlight Archive, #1) Brandon Sanderson is one of my favorite fiction writers.  This is book 1 of his latest epic fantasy series.  I read it a few years ago, and read it again this year as a prequel to book 2.  Very rarely do I think a book is better the second time, but this one was.  Amazing world-building!

Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson. (Stormlight Archive, #2)  Book 2 of Sanderson’s series is even better than book 1, if that is possible. (To give you an idea, my 17 year old son read this 1000 page book in about 48 hours!  He literally could not put it down.)  Sanderson returns with the characters you have grown to love and adds new ones you find yourself fascinated by.  The book leaves you waiting for book #3.  Definitely the best fiction I have read this year.

Natural Ordermage and Mage Guard of Hamor by L. E. Modesitt Jr. (Saga of Rescluce) I admit, I have a strange fascination with the books of L. E. Modesitt Jr., as you can see below.  Out of all of Modesitt’s fantasy series, the original Recluce series is still my favorite. These two related books take the Saga to a new continent with new characters and provide an enjoyable change of pace. 

The Skin Map, The Bone House and The Spirit Well by Stephen R. Lawhead. (Bright Empires series, #1, #2, #3)  I have been a Lawhead fan for a long time – he is one of the few Christian fiction writers I can stand to read.  While this series is not his best – I reserve that for his Song of Albion series – it is enjoyable, intriguing and finally finished.  I am reading #4 right now and have #5 in the hopper after that.

2nd Tier reads – very good, not great.
Imager’s Challenge by L. E. Modesitt Jr. (Imager Portfolio, #2)
Arms Commander by L. E. Modesitt Jr.  (Saga of Recluce series)
Imager’s Intrigue by L. E. Modesitt Jr. (Imager Portfolio, #3)
The White Order by L. E. Modesitt Jr.  (Saga of Recluce series)
The Magic Engineer by L. E. Modesitt Jr. (Saga of Recluce series)
Colors of Chaos by L. E. Modesitt Jr. (Saga of Recluce series)
Scholar by L. E. Modesitt Jr. (Imager Portfolio, #4)
The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson

3rd Tier read – books I finished, but were mildly disappointing.
Scepters by L. E. Modesitt Jr.  (Corean Chronicles, #3)
Forever Odd by Dean Koontz

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