My Top 10 favorite reads of 2022!

#10

Synopsis:

The Empire of the Wolf simmers with unrest. Rebels, heretics, and powerful patricians all challenge the power of the Imperial throne. Only the Order of Justices stands in the way of chaos. Sir Konrad Vonvalt is the most feared Justice of all, upholding the law by way of his sharp mind, arcane powers, and skill as a swordsman. At his side stands Helena Sedanka, his talented protégé, orphaned by the wars that forged the Empire. When the pair investigates the murder of a provincial aristocrat, they unearth a conspiracy that stretches to the very top of Imperial society. As the stakes rise and become ever more personal, Vonvalt and Helena must make a choice: Will they abandon the laws they’ve sworn to uphold, in order to protect the Empire?

My Review:

#9

Synopsis:

With a year of stunning victories behind him, Damien Dreadfire seeks to drive a stake through the heart of Betanthia. With his ranks burgeoning, he pushes deeper into enemy territory. But with each new conquest, his alliance fractures even further, until it nearly shatters into pieces. Damien must walk the line between appeasing old enemies, and keeping his allies content, or watch his well-laid plans come to ruin.

Meanwhile, Prince Gareth Bethard’s struggles continue. With a dangerous conspiracy growing bolder by the day, and barbarians marauding at will, the future king finds himself in utter peril. With the help of trusted friends and allies, he begins mounting an offensive against enemies from without, and from within. But after suffering an unspeakable tragedy, Gareth must find the courage to fight on, or watch as Betanthia is consumed by fire.

My Review:

#8

Synopsis:

Heroes will rise. Nations will fall.

Behind the towering walls of Belduar, Calen Bryer and his companions stand in defense of the city and its new king. In over a thousand years, Belduar has never fallen. It has stood as a bastion of hope. But the Lorian empire are at its walls once more, and the Dragonguard are coming.

In the North, with Faenir by her side, Calen’s sister Ella arrives at the port of Antiquar. She holds no fear of the unknown. She will see this through, no matter what – or who – gets in her way.

Meanwhile, at the embassy of the Circle of Magii in Al’Nasla, Rist Havel hones his newfound powers in preparation for the trials. Unbeknownst to Rist, he is being watched, measured, and judged. He was not taken into the Circle by chance. There is greatness in him. But great men can do terrible things.

As Lorian forces land on southern shores and Aeson Virandr’s letters of rebellion find their way to the right hands, only the Knights of Achyron see the true danger. The danger that stirs in the darkness. The coming shadow will not stop. It will consume all in its path. It wants for nothing but blood and fire.

My Review:

#7

Synopsis:

It is nine months after the end of the previous book. Many noble allies have come to the Ninefold Forest for a Feast in honor of General Rudolfo’s first-born child. Jin Li Tam, his wife and mother of his heir, lies in childbed.

As the feast begins, the doors of the hall fly open and invisible assassins begin attacking. All of Rudolfo’s noble guests are slain, including Hanric, the Marsh Queen’s Shadow. And on the Keeper’s Gate, which guards the Named Lands from the Churning Waste, a strange figure appears, with a message for Petronus, the Hidden Pope.

Thus begins the second movement of The Psalms of Isaak, Canticle.

#6

Synopsis:

Increasingly estranged from Osidian, Carnelian struggles to contain his malice. But Osidian is a Master, and a Master will not endure having less than total dominion. As events spiral towards chaos and violence, can Carnelian even save those he loves?

My Review:

#5

Synopsis:

A painted mage. An unfaithful queen. A stolen throne. Three lords in disguise. Escaping Atalantyx’s destruction, Prince Othrun has forged alliances with Eltnish kings: former enemy Hert and King Wely, who has promised Othrun a kingdom of his own.

When Wely’s realm was stolen by Wely’s wife, a powerful mage, and Wely’s brother, a feared warlord, Othrun hatched a daring plan to restore the rightful king. The bold scheme involved Othrun entering Lynchun in disguise, risking his life and the life of those with him, to topple the usurpers. But for Othrun’s plot to succeed, he must entrust his Atalanteans into the uncertain hands of Hert—on the cusp of confronting his own political challenges to kingship, while tasked with protecting Othrun’s followers—even as Wely, a captive where he should be king, gambles both crown and the head upon which it sat on Othrun’s survival.

Othrun’s abilities, faith, and trust in his mysterious guardian spirit are soon to be tested. The mage Lysi continues to entangle herself in Othrun’s affairs, tempting him, challenging his beliefs, and threatening to bring his plans to ruin. But Othrun, Lord of the Last of the Atalanteans, does not intend to fail. He will be a king. Or die trying. Othrun will go to battle, and he will triumph against the odds. If not, all will be burned to ashes, consumed in the fires of his ambition. And so, the ancient war banner of Atalantean kings will fly. One last time. A kingdom has fallen. A legend will rise.

My Review:

#4

Synopsis:

It has been a thousand years since the last Seed abandoned their duty. The mists are closing in. Finally, the Morning Bell tolls. A new Seed is born, but is it too late?
The rot eats away at mortals. The Witnesses pray so that they may not turn into one of the forgotten. And the constricting mists infect the lands with fear.
But there is more to this tale than just the Elders and their Seeds. Four mortals will have a part to play in Minethria’s fate. A farmer girl with only love in her eyes. A warrior born to the life of a refugee. A highborn stuck between the realm of gods and men. And a woman running into front lines and away from home.
Will the cycle finally be completed? Or will the mist swallow all?
A seed is born and the evil is slain, so doth another cycle commence. Yet the last Seed born hath turned traitor, and the mists which had been pushed back, returneth.

My Review:

#3

Synopsis:

The battle continues in this silkpunk fantasy as science and destiny collide against the will of the gods in this final installment in the epic Dandelion Dynasty series from Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Award–winning author Ken Liu.

The concluding book of The Dandelion Dynasty begins immediately after the events of The Veiled Throne, in the middle of two wars on two lands among three people separated by an ocean yet held together by the invisible strands of love.

Harried by Lyucu pursuers, Princess Théra and Pékyu Takval try to reestablish an ancestral dream even as their hearts grow in doubt. The people of Dara continue to struggle against the genocidal Lyucu as both nations vacillate between starkly contrasting visions for their futures. Even the gods cannot see through the Wall of Storms, for only mortal hearts can decide mortal fates.

My Review:

#2

Synopsis:

Lin Sukai has won her first victory as Emperor, but the future of the Phoenix Empire hangs in the balance – and Lin is dangerously short of allies. 

As her own governors plot treason, the Shardless Few renew hostilities. Worse still, Lin discovers her old nemesis Nisong has joined forces with the rogue Alanga, Ragan. Both seek her death.  

Yet hopes lies in history. Legend tells of seven mythic swords, forged in centuries past. If Lin can find them before her enemies, she may yet be able to turn the tide.  

If she fails, the Sukai dynasty – and the entire empire – will fall. 

My Review:

#1 Song of the Mysteries by Janny Wurts

The art is the copyright of Janny Wurts. Used with permission from the author (This is NOT the official cover for the novel)

I realize that this book has not been released yet but I want to describe the experience I had reading the finale to The Wars of Light and Shadow series.

My Review:

In December 2021 I completed the final published book in the series titled Destiny’s Conflict, which absolutely knocked me flat on my ass. In all the right ways of course. Janny was kind enough to ask me to be a part of the beta team for her final volume titled Song of the Mysteries and I didn’t hesitate to say yes! My experience having read through the series only once gave me a fresh perspective going into the final volume. So the whole month of January 2022 was me reading the finale, chapter by chapter, taking diligent notes for Janny to read through, and trying to maintain my composure as the story just overwhelmed me many times over all the way to the epilogue.

The long and short of this is yes I have read the final volume in The Wars of Light and Shadow series. It is in my opinion Janny’s greatest work to date and at the very least, on the same level as Stormed Fortress and Peril’s Gate. Long-time fans and new readers of this series will without a doubt love this book. I would also like to take this time to highlight that being a beta reader is a very demanding process but one that is essential for the completion of any book. The hours of careful note taking and reflections upon previous volumes was a small price to pay for the incredible work Janny has done to complete this series. Never doubt the importance you can bring to any situation regardless of the profession or passions you may have. Every little bit helps and you never know who is watching.

I’m a humble and shy person by nature but it brings me joy to see new readers enthusiastic about picking up this series plus the joys and tears to be found. It seems everyday someone new gets in contact with me and/or Janny screaming about The Wars of Light and Shadow and how much they enjoyed it. There are many great books out there that are not popular with the modern readership and it is my goal to discover every single one of them (wishful thinking)! Thank you all for listening to my journey to the very end. This series will forever be among my favorites in the fantasy genre and by the end, it will be in some of yours as well!

Even though this was the first novel i read in the year 2022, it still holds up as the best book of the year and will always challenge for the best book I will ever read when you take the whole series into account. Thank you Janny for trusting me with your life work. This is an experience I will never forget!

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