Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
1) The Once and Future King by T.H. White
The Once and Future King is T.H. White’s masterful retelling of the saga of King Arthur, a fantasy classic as legendary as Excalibur and Camelot, and a poignant story of adventure, romance and magic that has enchanted readers for generations.
Once upon a time, a young boy called “Wart” was tutored by a magician named Merlyn in preparation for a future he couldn’t possibly imagine. A future in which he would ally himself with the greatest knights, love a legendary queen and unite a country dedicated to chivalrous values. A future that would see him crowned and known for all time as Arthur, King of the Britons.
During Arthur’s reign, the kingdom of Camelot was founded to cast enlightenment on the Dark Ages, while the knights of the Round Table embarked on many a noble quest. But Merlyn foresaw the treachery that awaited his liege: the forbidden love between Queen Guinevere and Lancelot, the wicked plots of Arthur’s half-sister Morgause, and the hatred she fostered in Mordred that would bring an end to the king’s dreams for Britain—and to the king himself.
I’ve been needing to read this one for a while now. I’d love to have a nice, pretty copy of it.
2) Brian Froud’s Faerielands: Something Rich and Strange by Patricia A. McKillip
They have lived among us for centuries — distant, separate, just out of sight. They fill our myths, our legends, and the stories we tell our children in the dark of night. They come from the air, from water, from earth, and from fire. What are these creatures that enjoin out imagination? Faeries. Something Rich and Strange creates a faerie story that’s not to be missed: Megan is an artist who draws seascapes. Jonah owns a shop devoted to treasures from the deep. Their lives, so strongly touched by the ocean, become forever intertwined when enchanting people of the sea lure them further into the underwater world — and away from each other.
Just look at this gorgeousness. I’ve read the novel version and it was amazing (as is everything McKillip writes) and this version is illustrated by Brian Froud. Seriously amazing combination, I’ve no doubt.
3) Steampunk Poe illustrated by Zdenko Basic & Manuel Sumberac
If you combined clockwork gears, parasols, and air balloons with Edgar Allan Poe, what would you get? Steampunk: Poe! This is the first collection ever of Poe stories illustrated with the influence of steampunk. Running Press Teens has selected some of the most popular, thrilling, and memorable stories and poems by the classic 19th century American writer whose literary talent continues to open the mind to countless interpretations.Every Poe story and poems is fully illustrated with steampunk-inspired art—from 1920s aviation gear to elaborate musical instruments—creating a fresh perspective on his work containing bizarre characters of madmen and mystery. Just in time for Halloween, Steampunk: Poe is the perfect classic horror choice with a haunting steampunk twist!
It’s Edgar Allan Poe with Steampunk illustrations! What could be more awesome?
4) The Asylum For Wayward Victorian Girls by Emilie Autumn
Presenting Emilie Autumn’s long awaited autobiographical, reality-bending thriller, “The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls.” This beautifully bound hardcover volume measures 8″ x 11.5″ and clocks in at a massive 274 fully illustrated pages. Positively packed with hand-written memoirs, photos, and paintings, this profoundly empowering epic not only deserves a place on your tea table, it is also one of the most complete accounts of bipolar disorder ever penned, and will take readers behind the doors of both modern day psych ward and Victorian insane asylum in this true life horror tale of madness, murder, and medical experimentation.
But reader beware: It’s much easier to get into the Asylum than it is to get out.
Emilie Autumn is so, so amazing but it would pretty much take Santa to make this appear under my tree, since it’s currently unavailable and when it was available it was $75. Some day…
5) Solstice Wood by Patricia A. McKillip
The World Fantasy Award-winning author’s foray into the modern world-now in paperback.
No stranger to the realms of myth and magic, World Fantasy Award-winning author Patricia A. McKillip presents her first contemporary fantasy in many years-a tale of the tangled lives mere mortals lead, when they turn their eyes from the beauty and mystery that lie just outside of the everyday…
When bookstore owner Sylvia Lynn returns to her childhood home in upstate New York, she meets the Fiber Guild-a group of local women who meet to knit, embroider, and sew-and learns why her grandmother watches her so closely. A primitive power exists in the forest, a force the Fiber Guild seeks to bind in its stitches and weavings. And Sylvia is no stranger to the woods.
Oh look! Another McKillip! This book is the sequel to “Winter Rose”, one of my very favorite McKillips. It’s contemporary fantasy, so it’s different from her usual fare, but I am eager to see how she does in the genre, and of course I’m all about sequels to books I love.
6.) Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
Darkness never dies.
Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. She can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.
The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her–or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.
I already have Shadow and Bone but I need this one so I can read them both back to back and then cry until the last one comes out in June. Sometimes you just know you’re going to love a series, even if you haven’t read it yet.
7) Witchstruck by Victoria Lamb
Meg Lytton has always known of her dark and powerful gift. Raised a student of the old magick by her Aunt Jane, casting the circle to see visions of the future and concocting spells from herbs and bones has always been as natural to Meg as breathing. But there has never been a more dangerous time to practise the craft, for it is 1554, and the sentence for any woman branded a witch is hanging, or burning at the stake.
Sent to the ruined, isolated palace of Woodstock to serve the disgraced Elizabeth, daughter of Henry VIII and half-sister of Queen Mary, Meg discovers her skills are of interest to the outcast princess, who is desperate to know if she will ever claim the throne. But Meg’s existence becomes more dangerous every day, with the constant threat of exposure by the ruthless witchfinder Marcus Dent, and the arrival of a young Spanish priest, Alejandro de Castillo, to whom Meg is irresistibly drawn – despite their very different attitudes to her secret.
Thrilling and fast-paced, this is the first unputdownable story in a bewitching new series.
Witches + Elizabethan (well okay, pre-Elizabethan) England = must have. A story like this has been on my “please, somebody write this” wishlist for years.
8.) The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead
Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets – and human lives.
In The Indigo Spell, Sydney was torn between the Alchemist way of life and what her heart and gut were telling her to do. And in one breathtaking moment that Richelle Mead fans will never forget, she made a decision that shocked even her. . . .
But the struggle isn’t over for Sydney. As she navigates the aftermath of her life-changing decision, she still finds herself pulled in too many directions at once. Her sister Zoe has arrived, and while Sydney longs to grow closer to her, there’s still so much she must keep secret. Working with Marcus has changed the way she views the Alchemists, and Sydney must tread a careful path as she harnesses her profound magical ability to undermine the way of life she was raised to defend. Consumed by passion and vengeance, Sydney struggles to keep her secret life under wraps as the threat of exposure — and re-education — looms larger than ever.
Pulses will race throughout this smoldering fourth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where no secret is safe.
Santa knows how much I need this. I think everyone else on the planet does too at this point.
10) Antigoddess by Kendare Blake
The Goddess War begins in Antigoddess, the first installment of the new series by acclaimed author of Anna Dressed in Blood, Kendare Blake.
Old Gods never die…
Or so Athena thought. But then the feathers started sprouting beneath her skin, invading her lungs like a strange cancer, and Hermes showed up with a fever eating away his flesh. So much for living a quiet eternity in perpetual health.
Desperately seeking the cause of their slow, miserable deaths, Athena and Hermes travel the world, gathering allies and discovering enemies both new and old. Their search leads them to Cassandra—an ordinary girl who was once an extraordinary prophetess, protected and loved by a god.
These days, Cassandra doesn’t involve herself in the business of gods—in fact, she doesn’t even know they exist. But she could be the key in a war that is only just beginning.
Because Hera, the queen of the gods, has aligned herself with other of the ancient Olympians, who are killing off rivals in an attempt to prolong their own lives. But these anti-gods have become corrupted in their desperation to survive, horrific caricatures of their former glory. Athena will need every advantage she can get, because immortals don’t just flicker out.
Every one of them dies in their own way. Some choke on feathers. Others become monsters. All of them rage against their last breath.
The Goddess War is about to begin.
Again, I can tell already that I will love this. Greek mythology with a decidedly dark twist (not that Greek mythology isn’t dark to begin with), and some really disturbing yet beautiful imagery.
10) The Girl of Fire & Thorns by Rae Carson
Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.
Elisa is the chosen one.
But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can’t see how she ever will.
Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.
And he’s not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people’s savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.
Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.
Most of the chosen do.
So I won “The Crown of Embers” and “The Biter Kingdom” (separately) and they look really sad on my bookshelf without this one. Once I have this first installment I can actually read them all! (I don’t believe in reading a series out of order).
So hard to narrow it down to only ten, but I’ll be happy if Santa gets me just one. 🙂 Books are the best presents.
Merry Christmas everyone! I hope Santa fulfills all your reading wishes! Thanks for checking out my post. 🙂