Now that 2014 has drawn to a close and 2015 is here and upon us, I wanted to take some time this month to reflect on the best of what I read this past year. I read way more than I ever have in a single year (306 books!) and while a few of them were not ones I’d recommend, most books were compelling and engaging reads. While everything I’d recommend is either already here on the blog or still to come (I’ve some reviews already queued out into March), I’m going to highlight the 10 books I read in 2014 that I rated a whopping 5 stars.
Note: These are books I read in 2014, not necessarily published in 2014.
#6 – City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett
Hands down the top science fiction/fantasy title I read this year, City of Stairs, tells the story of Shira Thivani who, in the course of investigating the death of a diplomat, comes to learn more than she could have imagined about the history of her world, her country, and her family. See my full review of City of Stairs.
#5 – The River Leith by Leta Blake
When former amateur boxer, Leith, wakes up from a coma with amnesia, he starts on a difficult journey of finding himself. But there’s a similar journey to be had for those around him as they find what role they will play in Leith’s new life. See my full review of The River Leith.
Image courtesy of adamr at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Title: City of Stairs (The Divine Cities, Book 2)
Author: Robert Jackson Bennett
Published: September 9, 2014
Publisher: Broadway Books
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This book was on the periphery of my radar for a while after it came out; I heard some discussions here and there but only a few bits here and there. So when I saw it as an option to request from Blogging for Books, I decided to give it a chance. And I’m so very glad I did.
The city of Bulikov used to be the seat of a great empire but after the gods who protected it were defeated, the city finds itself conquered and made subservient to those it formerly oppressed. When a senior diplomat is murdered inside the city walls, Shira Thivani is dispatched to investigate. And as she starts to poke around, she finds evidence of something much bigger going on beneath the surface and eventually must face the truth about the city, her country, and her family’s past.
I found myself immersed into the world that Robert Jackson Bennett has created almost immediately. There is a rich history here that just flies out onto the pages and the characters are dynamic, life-like, and engaging. Layer that over the top of a well-written high fantasy novel with a strong female protagonist and there’s no wonder I’m sitting here giving this five stars and an incredibly high recommendation. I definitely look forward to reading more from this author (and certainly wouldn’t be opposed to hearing more about Shira’s world and what happens next).
Disclaimer: I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for an honest review.