Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday! This is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, where a new top ten list hits the web every week!
This week our topic is …
TOP TEN HIDDEN GEM BOOKS/SERIES
I love this topic. For me, there is nothing better than discovering a great book none of my friends have tried yet. That is part of the reason I started this blog: to share my favorite stories with all my friends and fellow book lovers out there. So it will come as no surprise I had a lot more than ten books for this list.
Out of my voluminous list of hidden gems, I have carefully selected my top ten. These are the novels I’ve enjoyed which also happen to have the least number of ratings on Goodreads (less than a thousand). Instead of picking which ones I liked the most, I have merely placed them in order from most ratings to least.
After my top ten, you will find ten more books/series. These novels/series are among my favorites (and stories I feel are underappreciated), average less than a thousand ratings on Goodreads, but have too many to make the final cut. There are some amazing reads in this list however, so I wanted to include them as well.
Hopefully, something in here will spark your interest and get you to give some of these hidden gems a go!
10. NAGASH THE SORCERER by MIKE LEE
Ancient Egypt Warhammer style. Necromancy. Risen dead. Battles. Magic. All of it combined into a really entertaining story which keeps you interested with its shifts forward and backwards in time. Definitely, this book isn’t for those looking for a serious fantasy work, but if you are looking for sinister fun, this is a novel that is worth giving a try.
Large cast of characters. Dark magic. Godly intrigue. Every scene building to a climatic clash between everyone basically. This book the start of a sprawling epic in the Malazan mold. What more can I say to peak your interest?
I’ve mentioned this book many times on other lists, because, basically, it is an overlooked Cook series. Alien world. Matriarchial society run by witches. Begins as a fantasy before morphing into a sci-fi/fantasy hybrid. What I always tell people is that if you enjoy Glen Cook’s other, more famous series, then you will undoubtably enjoy this one.
7. WEST OF JANUARY by DAVE DUNCAN
How does one describe this book? A genre blender? Maybe. A mixture of both sci-fi and fantasy tropes which tries to use them in new, different ways? Closer. Honestly, this story is a strange one, but by the end, it turns into a really good, fun strange. You know, the kind where you fondly remember how weird you thought something was initially until you actually tried it and liked it. Well, West of January is that kind of weirdness.
6. OATH OF EMPIRE by THOMAS HARLAN
Alternate history. Roman Empire history that is. A familiar yet very different Mediterranean world. Magic galore. Ancient heroes. World spanning plots. Just great fun for readers who like some magic with their alt history.
5. SUNG IN BLOOD by GLEN COOK
More a long novella than a true novel, this hidden gem from Glen Cook had to make the list, even though it is his second appearance. Set in the capital city of a huge empire, it is a rousing murder mystery with lots of detective work, fighting, and tons of magic. Real good stuff.
4. THE IRON SHIP by K.M. McKINLEY
Loads of promise. That sums up this book. Filled with amazing locations, fascinating people, and an intriguing plot filled with mystery, The Iron Ship tantalizes with its possibilities, even if it doesn’t fully live up to them. What it does, however, is set the table for book two, The City of Ice, where everything comes together and sweeps its reader up in exactly the sort of fantastical adventure they were promised in book one.
3. THE DRAGON ENGINE by ANDY REMIC
“If J.R.R. Tolkien and George R.R. Martin had gotten together to write a grimdark interpretation of The Hobbit, The Dragon Engine would have been what they came up with.” That was my description of this grimdark tour de force from Remic, and I can’t think of anything better to say to convince grimdark lovers to give this one a try.
2. CARNIFEX by D.P. PRIOR
“Carnifex is a masterpiece of sword and sorcery storytelling. A visceral yet thoughtful epic of a dwarf (Carnifex), his people (the dwarfs of Arx Gravis), and a series of unusual occurrences which point toward an ominous future for our bearded protagonist. And whether you are already a fan of D.P. Prior’s Aethir books (Shader, The Nameless Dwarf, and Husk) or a newcomer to the paradoxical world of Aethir, this novel is an amazing place to start your journey, because it is as smooth a sword and sorcery brew as has been concocted in many a year.” — Bookwraiths
Sword and sorcery tale at its finest. This grim tale of humans, elves, dwarfs, and other creatures fighting the minions of evil to save their world a brutal affair where the bodies of friends and enemies quickly pile up. What sets it apart from other stories with similar fantasy tropes is the writing style, which clearly captures the horrors and heroics of all the numerous characters. One of my favorites that not enough people have tried.
- MANIFEST DELUSIONS by MICHAEL R. FLETCHER
- THE CHRONICLE OF THE EXILE by MARC TURNER
- BLOODSOUNDER’S ARC by JEFF SALYARDS
- ECHOES OF EMPIRE by MARK T. BARNES
- CHRONICLES OF THE PNEUMATIC ZEPPELIN by RICHARD ELLIS PRESTON, JR.
- CHILDREN TRILOGY by BEN PEEK
- THE MASTER OF WHITE STORM by JANNY WURTS
- BAZIL BROKETAIL by CHRISTOPHER ROWLEY
- THE TOWER OF FEAR by GLEN COOK
- MIRAGE by LOUISE COOPER