You must read this!

This page will be updated with books I think everyone should read. It will probably grow beyond all measure and end up all snobby.

Chocolat – Joanne Harris – this is the book I wish I’d written. Sublime! I read it every Lent (usually in one evening) accompanied by a mug of hot chocolate. Bliss.

The Lies of Locke Lamora Scott Lynch – an example of how to do twist-plotting without relying on Deus Ex or M Night Shyamalan idiocy. Great characters in a very well-realised setting that is part Venice, part Dickensian slum, part fantasy city state. The heroes are criminals! But they’re the good guys! Kind of! The audiobook narrated by Michael Page is also astounding, as he does great voices 🙂

Steelhaven trilogy – Rich Ford (not the American Pullitzer prize winner) – It sounds like an insult to say this is almost like Abercrombie-lite, but I mean it in the best possible way. I really like the First Law trilogy but it just does not let up! The Steelhaven books are grim, and dark ,and bloody, and gut-wrenching without hope in places, but not quite to the level of Lord Grimdark himself. So if you tried very much to like Joe Abercrombie but it just got a bit too much, try these. The first book is called Herald of the Storm and is an excellent set up to what you already know is a trilogy. The characters are diverse, and follow their own plots which intersect but never quite run together long enough for all the key players to team up. Which is excellent. The best part of this book is being the omnipotent reader yelling at the page “but X can solve that! Y knows that person!” but of course the in-world characters don’t know that. The Shattered Crown and Lord of Ashes only go from strength to strength and considering the saturated Gritty Fantasy market I thought “same old” and nearly didn’t read them. But I’m very glad I did and it is definitely on the “repeated-readings” list.

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